Fractionals Q & A

Posted on November 8, 2019 by Lisa Knorr & Amy Sand

1.  What are fractionals?

Fractional ownership of vacation homes allows you to enjoy a designated number of weeks or months of home ownership privileges in Big Sky or our surrounding areas but at a fraction of the cost of whole ownership.

2.  Who are fractionals really for?

This type of real estate arrangement is ideal if you want the benefits of owning a second home located in an amazing location like the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Montana but can’t justify the investment because of limited use.

3.  How long is a typical fractional share?

Most fractionals are between two to 13 weeks. Those don’t necessarily have to be consecutive weeks. Because there are far fewer owners of each individual property than say your typical timeshare, you’ll have a lot more options regarding when you can use the home.

4.  Who manages the fractionals?

Typically, fractionals are usually self managed. They are governed by recorded declarations.

5.  How do fractionals differ from timeshares?

Fractionals tend to be larger homes or condos, usually two to four bedrooms. Timeshares are typically for one to two weeks per year.  Fractionals offer from two to 13 weeks, and those don’t necessarily have to be consecutive weeks. Fractional ownership is a method of property purchase involving several buyers, typically 6-12. The main difference between fractional ownership and a timeshare is in the way actual equity is distributed. In a fractional ownership arrangement, the purchaser actually owns a piece of equity in the property. If the property goes up in value, the fractional owner's share of the pie also becomes more valuable. With a timeshare, ownership is not distributed. The owner purchases only weeks or months of enjoyment in a property, and these weeks or months do not rise and fall in value with the value of the property. The title is still owned by the principal owner.

6.  Why should I buy a fractional instead of a wholly-owned second home?

Most people who buy a fractional recognize that they won’t be spending more than a couple of months a year at their vacation home.  With a fractional you can get the quality and level of luxury you want and only pay for the “fraction” of time you actually plan to use the home.

7. Can you trade or rent out your time?

In some cases, yes, but you will want to check the specific guidelines for the property you’re considering.  Most fractionals also participate in a reciprocal usage program similar to timeshares in which you can trade weeks and locations.

8.  Can more than one individual or family own a residence interest?

At most properties, the answer is yes. In addition, the extended family of the owner including children, grandchildren, siblings and parents can use the residence and are entitled to use the property.

9.  What are ownership costs of a fractional?

Typically speaking operating costs ie property taxes, utilities, HOA dues, general maintenance, etc. are divided equally between the owners.


Yellowstone Condo 74C

Yellowstone Condo 74C (Half ownership): 1,070 Sq. Ft., 2 BED, 3 BATHROOMS. OFFERED FOR $195,000 

16 Woodbine

Hidden Village Condo - 16 Woodbine (Approx. 6 weeks per year of usage): 1,928 Sq. Ft., 3 BED, 3 BATHROOM. OFFERED FOR $38,500


Hidden Village Condo - 23 Coneflower Court (Aprox. 6 weeks per year of usage): 1,950 Sq. Ft., 3 BEDS, 3 BATHROOMS. OFFERED AT $44,000


Categories: Real Estate

Big Sky's Market Report - Q3 2019

Posted on October 28, 2019 by Amy Sand
Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty provides the latest real estate statistics for Big Sky and it's surrounding areas. Get the stats Q3 2019 Market Report and stay informed.
Seller’s Market

We are definitely still in a seller's market! 

In Big Sky overall Q3 2019 vs Q3 2018, sold volume increased 22% and average days on market decreased 6%. Prices moved upwards with average sold price increasing over 37%.

Buying a house in a seller's market

To compete against other buyers in a seller's market, you need to be prepared. First, you’ll need a mortgage pre-approval letter if you are not paying cash before you start shopping, that way a seller knows you can afford to purchase.

You may also have to waive some contingencies to edge out other buyers—or widen your search to neighborhood with less demand.

Other ways to make your offer more attractive include increasing the amount of earnest money that you'll put into the escrow deposit, writing a personal letter to the seller and, of course, offering above list price. 

We look forward to being of service in 2019/2020 - wherever your real estate requirements take you.

Categories: Real Estate | MARKET TRENDS

Winterizing Your Home

Posted on October 23, 2019 by brookew

Winter weather snuck in a bit early this year, but don’t let it get the best of you—there’s still time to prep your home before the snow really settles in. With a few critical maintenance items, you can keep your home safe, warm and energy-efficient!

• Check the heating system. When is the last time you had your furnace serviced? Best practice is to have it professionally serviced every year, and Northwestern Energy will rebate you for that service every three years. Additionally, regular homeowners maintenance, such as changing your filters every time the season changes, will extend the life and efficiency of your system.

Curious how you could reduce your heating and cooling costs? Schedule an Energy Audit with Northwestern Energy!

An energy audit includes:

  • Blower door test to detect areas of leakage
  • Water heater temperature check
  • Refrigerator/freezer temperature check
  • Gas equipment safety check
  • Insulation evaluation
  • Free water heater tank wrap
  • Free hot water pipe insulation
  • Free low-flow faucet aerators and shower head

• Check the trim around windows and doors. If you find any openings or areas where the paint is peeling, be sure to re-caulk. Clean the gutters. Overflowing gutters cause water to drip onto the exterior (and sometimes interior) of your home causing water damage. Check the downspout extenders to be sure they are far enough away from the foundation and don’t allow water to build up. Any low spots around the house should be addressed to en- sure drainage away from the foundation.

• Clean the chimney. If you have a fireplace or stove, start the season with peace of mind by having your chimney or stovepipe cleaned.

•We know you’ve already done this one - right? Blow out the sprinkler system. You don’t want to start the spring with cracked pipes or a flooded crawl space! Be sure hoses are disconnected too.

Curious what else you might be able to do? Call your preferred Sotheby’s International Realty® expert and let’s talk about what might specifically be needed for your home.


Maze Adventures in Bozeman!

Posted on October 22, 2019 by brookew

Fall fun kicks off at the beginning of October with Maze adventures!

Bozeman Maze: Dale Mandeville started the Bozeman Maze in 1998 intending to provide fun fall farm entertainment. Today, this 5000-bale hay maze draws crowds from around the region. In addition to the maze, whose theme changes each year, enjoy a hayride, giant corn bins, Power Jump Bungee Trampoline, and concessions.

Check out the Haunted Maze, one night only, Saturday, October 26, at 7:00 pm!

Montana Corn Maze: Another local favorite, Montana Corn Maze, sits on 4.5 acres off of Cameron Bridge Road Manhattan, Montana. The maze is made by cutting 4 foot wide paths into corn that has been planted on a grid. On Saturdays, Smoldering Coals Catering will be on-site featuring Dutch oven cooking, along with a farmer’s market full of honey, eggs, and baked goods.

Photo Credit:



Homecoming MSU Bobcat Tailgate!

Posted on September 20, 2019 by brookew

Park at Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty (on the corner of Willson and Kagy) and join us for a taco bar and custom Bloody Mary before the Bobcat Homecoming game on October 12. 11-1:00 we will be here to support you in supporting the Bobcats!


Artist Reception: Meet Abby Pittman

Posted on September 10, 2019 by brookew
When you walk into the Bozeman office you will are immediately greeting by the colorful paintings by local painter, Abby Pittman. Her wildlife and landscape paintings are lively and complemented beautifully by her bright personality. You will be delighted to experience her work when you join Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty in Bozeman for drinks and appetizers while celebrating Abby and her work.
“I hope my paintings will remind people to slow down, notice the little details, and appreciate the amazing world we live in and the incredible creatures who share the earth with us." -Abby
Abby’s original art is guaranteed to brighten your day - and your home if you choose to take one home to make your own.
Earl the Eclectic

Common Types of Deeds

Posted on August 22, 2019 by First American Title Company

Common Types of Deeds

A WARRANTY DEED…warrants to the Grantee:

A. That the Grantor has not previously conveyed the estate or any interest therein to anyone except the Grantee; and

B The estate is free from encumbrances.

The General Warranty Deeds if the deed most used in insuring titles to real property and give the most protection to the Grantee.

A SPECIAL WARRANTY DEED…limits the warranty to: “by, through or under the Grantor but not otherwise.”

These deeds are often used when the conveyance is from an executor, administrator, trustee, guardian, etc. There must be a valid reason for the Grantor to be limiting the warranty. We want to be certain that the Grantor does not have knowledge of some defect I the chain of title that is not being acknowledged.

A QUIT CLAIM DEED…does not contain “grand and convey” language.

Quit Claim Deeds are not acceptable in the direct chain of title and are normally used only for  curative matters. An example would be where a Divorce Decree properly divest one spouse’s interest in the property to the other-a Quit Claim Deed may be used to satisfy disposal of the spouse’s interest in the real property records.

You can rely on your title company’s knowledgeable professional to work diligently to ensure the orderly and efficient transfer of real estate.

Contact Amanda Harris with First American Title Company with any of your questions today (406) 682.5337.

Categories: Real Estate

Mountain Mall Remodel - Summer 2019

Posted on July 22, 2019 by Lindsey Bedell

Construction is well underway on the Mountain Mall at the base of Big Sky Ski Resort Village. The Big Sky Sotheby’s International Realty team was invited to get a sneak peek at the recent renovations. An open concept and new structural steel bring a much needed upgrade to the space, thus creating a natural flow for incoming and departing skiers. Grab a coffee before heading out to the slopes for the day, or sit down at the new Apres Bar after a day of adventure and enjoy the view of Lone Peak from the large picture windows.

You can expect expanded dining options in the new Mountain Mall that includes sushi, stone-fired pizza, coffee shop and breakfast stop, along with cafeteria-style food options. There will be additional restrooms and sitting areas added- both indoor and outdoor with views of Lone Peak. The large, beautiful fireplaces offer a feeling of solitude and create a place to warm up before heading back out to the slopes.

The construction will also offer the option to host an array of events and will boast a wedding venue, conference and events center and offer additional outdoor space to increase capacity to accommodate 750 people.

The option to enter through the lower level and use the changing area and rent day-use cubbies to store your belongings before hitting the slopes is a huge bonus! Take advantage of the new elevator that will take you to the central core of the building to access retail and restaurants; in addition to the elevator, a new staircase, accessible on the exterior, will be great for those people coming in from the slope side.

Jamie Daugaard, Centre Sky Architects and Rocky Mountain Rustics have been working hard to get this project up and running for opening day in November! We hope to see you on the slopes and enjoying this awesome new upgrade to the Mountain Mall!


Categories: Big Sky Culture

Big Sky's Market Report - Q2 2019

Posted on July 19, 2019 by Amy Sand
Big Sky Sotheby's International Realty provides the latest real estate statistics for Big Sky and it's surrounding areas. Get the stats Q2 2019 Market Report and stay informed.
Seller’s Market

We are definitely still in a seller's market! 

In Big Sky overall Q2 2019 vs Q2 2018, sold volume increased 18% and average days on market decreased 21%. Prices moved upwards with average sold price increasing over 30%.

Buying a house in a seller's market

To compete against other buyers in a seller's market, you need to be prepared. First, you’ll need a mortgage pre-approval letter if you are not paying cash before you start shopping, that way a seller knows you can afford to purchase.

You may also have to waive some contingencies to edge out other buyers—or widen your search to neighborhood with less demand.

Other ways to make your offer more attractive include increasing the amount of earnest money that you'll put into the escrow deposit, writing a personal letter to the seller and, of course, offering above list price. 

We look forward to being of service in 2019 - wherever your real estate requirements take you.

Categories: Real Estate | MARKET TRENDS

Do You Need A Survey?

Posted on July 19, 2019 by Erin Mandeville

According to First American Title Company, one of the Top 10 Title Problems Sellers encounter during the home selling process is Boundary, Survey Disputes. “You may have seen several surveys of your property prior to purchasing, however, other surveys may exist that show differing boundaries. Therefore, a neighbor or other party may be able to claim ownership to a portion of your property.” That can be scary stuff!

Further, did you know that Title Insurance (provided by the Seller at closing on behalf of the Buyer to ensure clear title) doesn’t insure a Buyer against proper fence placement? Without a survey, you may think you own more, or less, property then you actually do if you rely on the fence placement as your guide. Particularly in Montana, it is important to check the location of the fence as often we see them installed without surveys, or locating the corner pins.

In my own neighborhood, I am watching a neighbor go through the struggle of assuming they knew where the fence should be located; as they relied on the location of my fence, and continued their installation in a straight line. Fun fact, our lots are not all parallel on the south side. In the distance between three homes, there is a nearly 5’ of difference between my properly placed fence line to the neighbors improperly placed fence. Can you imagine the cost of moving a gazebo, concrete pad, and fencing?

fence  fence

You know that phrase “the Devils in the details”? The details are what will set your real estate experience apart. At Sotheby’s International Realty, the details are our speciality. Are you thinking a survey might be appropriate for you? Give us a call, let us connect you with the specialists in our area, that’s what we do!

Montana Home Sellers Guide:

Categories: Real Estate

The Collection - Summer 2019

Posted on July 17, 2019 by Amy Sand
Our collection of real estate listings
Explore real estate in The Collection of Big Sky, Bozeman and the surrounding area's listings magazine. Browse market statistics and our most recent significant sales.  Find out what is happening in Southwest Montana!
Categories: The Collection | Real Estate

All In. Big Sky Community Center – A Space for Everyone.

Posted on June 26, 2019 by Kali Gillette

Big Sky Community Center – A Space for Everyone.

by Kalli Gillette

“Alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

When the people of Big Sky embrace an idea, they go big. It’s been a long-time dream to have an indoor community center, and today a space for recreation, eduction, arts and culture is becoming a reality.

Three years ago, Big Sky brought in a consultant to work with the Big Sky Community Organization (BSCO) and the Parks and Recreation District to assess the parks, open spaces and recreation in the area. The study found the only standard amenity missing from the community was a multi-use, public, indoor center.  As it turned out, the study also found this to be a top priority for both full time residents and second home owners.

Once these priorities were identified, the vision became clear; develop a permanent, year-round space where locals, visitors, organizations and clubs can connect and recreate. A community asset for culture, recreation, education and work space. A place that supports healthy lifestyles; physically, mentally and emotionally. A gathering place.

BSCO took the lead and set the wheels in motion. Philanthropic dollars were used for a cost analysis to identify 3.3 acres as the future site for this place. This land acquisition would also dedicate the existing well-loved Town Center Park as parkland in perpetuity. The plan made sense and a Founders Circle of 16 individuals donated money to purchase the parcel, which was then rezoned into dedicated open space.

The Founders Circle also funded the architectural design of the building. The center will house community learning and fitness rooms, an arts and cultural center, a gymnasium, a climbing gym, and office spaces for local non-profit organizations. Ciara Wolfe, Chief Executive Officer for BSCO explains, “Every space can be multi-use and utilized by all age groups. Whether it’s an after school program or a group of retirees, the space will be available for different ages at different times.” The master plan also includes an improved outdoor amphitheater and a refrigerated outdoor skating rink.

Another benefit of the plan is increased access to the trail system. During the study, 80% of residents said better connectivity to the vast amount of trails was highly important and the new project will provide a 43% increase in parkland.

Thus far, private funds have paid 100% of the cost. A capital campaign to pay for the building raised $12.5 million in philanthropic dollars. From there, the BSCO rolled out the public campaign, All In, to raise the remaining $5 million needed. “Every bit helps,” “Wolfe says, “From $20 to large donations, it’s important that this is a community-owned project.”

Tallie Lancey, BSCO Board of Directors and Chair of the Pubic Fundraising Committee, says, “At the Big Sky Community Organization, one of our guiding values is inclusivity. Our vision for the facility and its surrounding park space is to provide a safe place for our entire community to connect with each other, regardless of your background or ability. Furthermore, we are striving to build a Platinum LEED Building which would be the first of its kind in a Big Sky commercial application. Personally speaking, I'm delighted that BSCO is taking the bold step show the rest of the community how to create a healthy, sustainable building. Here's hoping that the residential marketplace will subsequently appreciate the benefits of healthy, sustainable spaces." 

Wolfe goes on to say, “The enthusiasm for this project speaks loudly for the values of the community. This is the most ambitious goal we have ever set. It shows a deep level of commitment to the people who live and visit Big Sky.”


Contributions can be made online at, or call Ciara Wolfe at


Categories: Big Sky Culture

The Music Scene - Live from the Divide

Posted on June 19, 2019 by calliep

When it comes to the music scene, Bozeman lived with an unfair reputation for a long time. While natural beauty and adventure abound in Gallatin County, Bozeman suffered from a lack of good music venues, and the resulting stereotype that the county’s most populace city never supplied quality music.

Now, things have changed with the revitalization of several venues Downtown. If you ask a local, they’ll tell you that the stereotype simply isn’t true. Not only does Bozeman routinely ship in unique and excellent music that spans genre boundaries, there are also a number of exceptional and commensurately-unique venues in which to see some of this great music.

 For years now, Live from the Divide has been one of the hottest tickets in town.

 The Venue

Live from the Divide 

While Bozeman has seen unprecedented growth in the last 20 years, nothing typifies this turnaround better than the North Bozeman neighborhood, and more specifically, businesses like Live from the Divide.

30 years ago, North Bozeman was pock-marked with condemned homes, closed storefronts and shuttered industrial spaces. Now, it’s a magnet for the town’s creative entrepreneurs and small business gurus. Live from the Divide, in a lot of ways, sits at the center of this revitalized neighborhood identity.

Live from the Divide is as much a concept as it is a music venue. The venue is located in a 100-year old rail yard building just to the East of the Wild Crumb, and offers concert-goers a certifiably unique music listening experience.

LFTD puts on up to six acoustic Americana sets each month in a venue that’s limited to just 50 seats. This cap on capacity keeps each show intimately unique, and deeply personal.

Alcohol is BYOB, and each show is rebroadcasted on KGLT, the area’s alternative radio station, as well as on the LFTD website.

Even if you haven’t heard of many of the upcoming acts, we suggest choosing a show, buying tickets, and opening yourself up to the new experience. After all, LFTD has hosted the likes of Sturgill Simpson before he made it big.

Who will you see?


Upcoming Acts

Mike McLure June 19

Carson McHone July 2

Folk Revival Family July 17

All Upcoming Acts

The Details


Address: 627 East Peach Street, Bozeman, MT







Skiing in June - Beartooth Pass

Posted on May 3, 2019 by calliep

Summer Skiing in the Beartooths

Just because the snow in your backyard has melted away, doesn’t mean the ski season is officially over. In Montana, we’re blessed with a unique set of geographical features and elevations that allow for skiing when other states’ residents have long since hung up the winter gear. This season, save up some snow sliding momentum for an early summer skiing trip to Beartooth Basin. Not far from the resort town of Red Lodge, it can make a great weekend getaway, whether you're camping or looking for a cute B&B. The 2019 summer ski season is planned for May 26-July 7, snow and weather permitting. In addition to the ski area, there are other areas to ski in Beartooth Pass that don't offer lift service but provide excellent backcountry terrain. Travel through Beartooth Pass and you are bound to see skiers hiking and skiing in many different areas of the pass. For an incredible scenic drive back to Big Sky, drive Beartooth Pass all the way through, enter Yellowstone National Park through the Northeast entrance in Cooke City, enjoy the park scenery and wildlife along the way.

Summer Skiers Ready to Hike


About the Basin

Beartooth Basin Summer Ski Area was established in the mid-1960’s by three Austrian ski racers as a summer training location. As ownership has changed hands, the Basin is now a public ski area that offers a unique training space for ski racers, mogul skiers and freestyle athletes to keep their skills sharp late into the season. Beartooth Basin Ski Area runs two high speed Poma lifts that access 600 acres of terrain with a summit elevation of 10,900 feet. As a locally owned small operation, they are always working on how to financially make it worth spinning the lifts each year. If you are interested in donating to their Summer 2019 Operating Fund, please visit the GoFundMe site.

Nearby Red Lodge and Cooke City offer plenty of lodging and dining opportunities. Visit Beartooth Basin Ski Area’s website for more details on ticket price options and space reservation for ski camps and team events.


Beartooth Pass
Photos by Dave Pecunies Photography



New Release of 39 Branded Residences in the Montage Hotel

Posted on February 4, 2019 by Will Brunner

New Residences in the Montage Hotel at the Club at Spanish Peaks

I am excited to share with you the much-anticipated release of 39 branded residences in the Montage Hotel located within the boundary of the Spanish Peaks Mountain Club.  The Residences range in size from 2 bedrooms to 6 bedrooms, 2,244 to 7,603 square feet, and prices range from $5,760,000 to $17,870,000.  Within the 518,379 square foot ski in/ski out mountain luxury building there will be 150 hotel keys, 39 branded residences, 4 food and beverage outlets, world-class spa, fitness center, children’s center, event spaces and more.  Currently the anticipated completion date is late 2021.  Please reach out at your convenience should you or anyone you know have interest in learning more.

Best Regards, 

Will Brunner, Broker
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