Surrounded on all sides by beautiful topographical features — the Beaverhead and Deerlodge National Forests, Flint Creek Mountain Range to the north, Highland Mountains to the east, the Ruby Range to the south and adjacent to both the beautiful Big Hole and Jefferson Rivers — Butte has always been a desirable place to settle if based upon nothing but breathtaking aesthetic beauty.
Beauty aside, however, the intentional diversification of Butte’s economy compounded with the city’s low cost of living have created an environment in which young families are able to thrive in their community. Not to mention, the housing market is quite affordable. According to an article published by The Montana Standard, “Butte-Silver Bow is still the most affordable housing market in the state.”
Butte vs. Chicago Home Listing Comparison
The housing market in Butte strongly favors buyers, meaning if you are looking to buy a home, you will get significantly more land and a much larger house for the same price of a house that you may find in a Chicago neighborhood. And, you still get to live in a picturesque mountain town with all the views, a significantly less-dense population and none of the traffic during your morning commute.
Take, for example, the house shown above. This is a home in Butte listed on Zillow in September of 2018. After a complete remodel in 2017, 397 E Galena Street has been outfitted with all-new plumbing and electrical infrastructures, stainless-steel appliances, exceptional wood floors and an expansive master bedroom, complete with gas fireplace. The two-story, single-family home features three bedrooms, three full bathrooms (one including a jetted tub), a modern kitchen, dining area, living room and spacious laundry area — plenty of space to raise a family. All within walking distance of uptown Butte, the location is also ideal. This home, at 2,433 square feet, has a price tag of $210,000.
When you compare the starter home in Butte to a similarly-priced house (shown above) in an up-and-coming Chicago neighborhood, the differences are astounding. This single-family home was also recently remodeled in 2016 and much like the house in Butte, was overhauled with all new plumbing and electrical infrastructures, stainless-steel appliances, as well as heated travertine tiles in the kitchen and a stylish new bathroom. With a modest fenced backyard, patio and detached garage, this 808 square-foot home priced at $208,900 could be perfect for a first-time home buyer.
Breaking It Down
More for Your Money
The first glaringly obvious difference is that of size. While the house in Butte is priced at $86/square foot, the house in Chicago costs $259/square foot. This means that the house in Chicago costs three times more per square foot than the house in Butte. With considerably less space, the Chicago home’s kitchen serves not only as the kitchen, but also as the laundry room, living room and dining area.
Raising a Family
The next point to consider is that of the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. The Butte home contains three bedrooms and three full bathrooms spread out over two stories, whereas the Chicago home contains only two bedrooms and one full bathroom on a single, ground-level story. Raising a family in such a confined environment would be no less than difficult — especially if the kids have to share a room.
Lot size is another important consideration when buying a home. While the home in Chicago sits on a lot sized at a tenth of an acre, the home in Butte sits on three tenths of an acre. Albeit seemingly insignificant, the larger lot size paired with drastically fewer neighbors awards the privacy prize to the Butte home.
As mentioned previously, Butte is located in scenic Western Montana. While you may be within walking distance of two small parks in Chicago, you are able to see mountain ranges a mile high from your living room window in Butte. A walk in the park, or seemingly endless possibilities for outdoor recreationists: the choice is yours.
All This, And A Great Economy Too
Butte has been home to a bustling economy since the early 1800’s. What was once no more than a gold and silver mining camp before the turn of the nineteenth century has now become a productive city in the mountains of Montana, ripe with opportunity.
Known in the past for its wildly lucrative copper mining industry, Montana Connections Business Development Park, legislators and citizens alike have taken steps in recent years to diversify Butte’s economy as big-time businesses on the cutting-edge of science and technology like Resodyn, REC Silicon and Montana Precision Products have taken up residence in the “Mining City”. These companies have been able to profit from Butte’s highly-educated and ambitious workforce and the city’s resources as a major transportation hub in the West.
With a housing market that favors the buyer, plus a healthy economy built on steady industries, Butte is an increasingly attractive spot to put down roots for your business and family.
Want to see it for yourself? Take a look at this drone footage of Butte!
Article written by Kyle Adams