San Franciscans invade Montana, pay cash for houses and are already complaining

by WorldTribune Staff, February 1, 2022 247 Real News

What did Big Sky Country ever do to deserve this?

Escape to Billings, Montanna: ‘For $719,000 in California, you can maybe get a one-bedroom condo.’

The San Francisco Chronicle reports:

In 2020 and 2021, moves from San Francisco to Montana increased by 140% compared to the previous two years — making Montana the state that saw the biggest increase in new San Franciscans during the [coronavirus] pandemic.

Californians are fleeing to the red state in droves:

But while San Francisco saw the biggest pandemic-era percent increase to Montana, all 10 of California’s most populous counties saw move-outs to the state increase significantly. And based on the 32 counties with enough data for us to measure, at least 13,000 Californians moved to Montana over the last two years — not a small number for a state of just over 1 million residents by the latest census count.

Needless to say, the locals are not pleased:

A large share of Montanans’ frustration with incoming Californians appears to be economically based. From January 2020 through December 2021, home prices in Montana increased by 39% — the fourth-largest increase, by percentage, of any state over that time period.

“It’s insanity,” said Kelly Martin, a real estate agent at Windermere’s downtown Bozeman office. “Half the homes in Bozeman are well over a million and that’s definitely the out-of-staters coming in and paying cashPeople born and raised in Montana, it’s almost like they’re completely priced out.”

And, undoubtedly, many Californians are bringing their cosmopolitan mindsets along with them. From a July 2021 article at titled “Californians are arriving in Montana in droves. But they’re not welcome”:

Lauren Craigie and her boyfriend, who moved to Bozeman in April 2020 and both work in tech, don’t say they moved from California when people ask. They mention the states where they grew up — Connecticut and Ohio respectively —  and they changed their licenses right away. “Part of me is annoyed that [locals] even care. Why are they special for just being born here? Because I’ve lived in so many different places, I don’t feel like a Californian. That was just part of my life,” Craigie said. “I think I’m still navigating the best way to handle that conversation.”

At least she gets that people like her are driving up significant economic angst for locals:

“There’s a ton of anti-California sentiment in the area, especially from the all-cash buyers coming in… I do feel awful that if I do buy a home I’m taking it from like a teacher or a firefighter and some people can’t afford to live here anymore,” Craigie said. “I feel like I’m contributing to the problem, but I kind of felt that way in San Francisco too.”

Business Insider last September profiled a California executive who bought a house in Billings without ever setting foot in it:

After 43 years in California, [Krikor] Jansezian said bought his $719,000 four-bedroom, new-build house after only a FaceTime tour with the realtor as there were so few homes on the market.

“The first time I walked through the house was in March, and I was already in escrow,” Jansezian said. “And it didn’t matter, because it was a beautiful home.”

“For $719,000 in California, you can maybe get a one-bedroom condo,” he added.

Montana even comes with that expertist stamp of approval so important to upper-income California hipsters:

In July, Billings topped The Wall Street Journal’s Emerging Housing Markets Index, a rank of the areas where homebuyers can expect both a strong return on their investment, and a high quality of life.

Are Californians going to bring their politics too? Of course they are. Read between the lines in the July 2021 piece. Heck, read the lines themselves: They DO want to change the state:

As with most moves, there are trade offs for those migrating from the Bay Area. [Sasha] Vermel said she misses great restaurants, particularly Mexican food. But she loves that there are dozens of kids on her street the same age as her children and she doesn’t have to worry about them exploring the neighborhood on their own. What she misses most is the diversity in the Bay Area — the state of Montana is 88% white.

Lance Trebesch, CEO of Eventgroove, said diversity seems like it’s actually gotten slightly better since he moved to Bozeman 17 years ago from the Bay Area, but he believes the city and state still have a long way to go. Hopefully, the growing tech community, coupled with an emerging remote workforce, should help.

There’s nothing quite like being lectured to by the media organs of a failed leftist urban wasteland as the survivors of the Kool-Aid compound experience stumble into your nest to foul things up all over again.

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