Community Power Hour: Sidney's Housing Market"
October 5, 2022 | View PDF
Tuesday, Sept. 20, the Sidney Chamber held its third monthly Community Power Hour. This session focused on the Housing Market in Richland County. It was held in the Sidney/Richland County Fire Hall.
Three local experts on the local housing market were asked to participate in the panel. Cheryl VanEvery, Stockman Bank mortgage lender, handled a lot of the financial questions. She has been doing real estate loans for 40 years. Nickolas Johnson, Sun Valley Property Management owner, handled a lot of the questions about renting and renters. Johnson has been working in property management since 2018 and started Sun Valley in 2019. Stacia Creek, 406 East Realty owner, handled most of the questions about purchasing homes. Creek has been in real estate for about 10 years, with five years of it selling, and opened her business in 2021.
They were asked a series of questions such as what the biggest challenges are to them performing their services. VanEvery said that the difficulty in getting locals to consider local businesses first is a big challenge for her as a lender. She also said a lack of local appraisers is a challenge to her doing her job. The closest ones in Montana are coming out of Miles City, Malta, and Havre and they have a backlog of work. Creek said that a lot of buyers are coming from out of town and/or using lenders from out of town and those who are not used to this area do not realize that things are taking more time around here. She also said that the increase in interest rates is scaring some potential buyers off. Johnson mentioned a lack of local contractors was an issue for him.
There were a few other questions about things such as prices and what was keeping people in the area. According to VanEvery and Creek, while the prices of everything, including housing, are going up, it is not because of the housing boom that is hitting western Montana and several other states. From the entire panel, what is keeping people here is the kindness and desire of the locals to live in the area. There was not enough time to take questions from the audience, but the meeting room had plenty of attendees. For the location and topic of October's Community Power Hour, watch the Sidney Chamber of Commerce's Facebook page.