How To Buy Land In Montana | askBAMLand

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Are you considering purchasing land in Montana? If you’re unsure of how to navigate the land-buying process, let’s walk you through the process.

To buy land, you first need to understand Montana’s land market. You’ll then identify your land requirements and get your finances in order. Once you've determined your budget and preferences, you can browse and locate available properties or land listings online or through a real estate agent.

Acquiring land in Montana is a great investment opportunity, but it can be daunting for first-time buyers. But with years of experience helping buyers find their dream property in Montana, I can guide you through the entire process, from finding the perfect plot of land to negotiating the best deal. With my help, you can rest assured that you're making a sound investment in Montana's beautiful and diverse landscape.

Key Takeaways

  • Determine your intended purpose for the land before beginning your search.
  • Montana is a great place if you’re looking for a nature retreat, a place to build a home or a commercial property.
  • Consider the location and accessibility of the land.
  • Understand the tax implications of owning land in Montana.
  • Work with a reputable real estate agent with experience in buying land in Montana.

Table of Contents

How to Buy Land in Montana

Whether you're looking for a place to build your dream home, start a ranch, or simply invest in property, Montana offers a wealth of opportunities. Here are general steps that you can follow to make the process smoother:

1. Understand Montana Land Market

Before you start looking for Montana land, it’s important to understand the state's land market. Montana is known as "Big Sky Country," and its land is highly sought after for its natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities. The state has a diverse range of land, including residential, agricultural, and recreational properties.

If you intend to invest in Montana real estate, it’s worth noting that land values and property taxes vary widely across the state, depending on the location, weather conditions, and other factors. Based on various online listings, the average price of land in Montana is around $2,500 per acre, but it can range from less than $1,000 to over $10,000 per acre.

Eastern Montana tends to have lower land prices than the western half of the state, which is closer to popular tourist destinations like Glacier National Park.

2. Identifying Your Land Requirements

The next step is to determine your goals and purpose for buying land in Montana. You need to decide what you want to use the land for. For example, do you need rural land for ranching, farming, or hunting? Or perhaps you need a town or semi-urban land for building a home for your family?

Land in Montana is diverse, with the state's western half being mountainous and the eastern half being more rural. You need to determine what kind of land suits your needs and interests.

Before you purchase land, consider location, size, terrain, access, and utilities. Also, research zoning regulations and land-use restrictions in the areas you're interested in to ensure that your plans for the land are feasible.

Types of Land Available in Montana

Montana is known for its vast and diverse landscapes, offering a wide variety of land types for potential buyers. Here are some of the most common types of land available in Montana:

Hunting land Montana is a popular destination for hunters, with a wide range of big game species available, including elk, deer, antelope, and moose.
Land for resource extraction purposes (Oil, Coal, and Timber) This treasure state is home to significant natural resources.
If you're interested in buying land for resource extraction purposes, you'll want to consider factors such as the location and accessibility of the resources and any legal or regulatory restrictions on extraction.
Land for agricultural purposes Montana has a long history of agriculture, with many properties suitable for growing crops such as wheat, barley, and hay.
Land for specialty crops Montana is also home to a growing number of specialty crop operations, including vineyards, orchards, and organic farms.
Land for livestock purposes Montana is also home to a thriving livestock industry, with many ranches and farms producing beef, dairy, and other livestock products.
Land for water resources Water is a valuable resource in Montana, and many properties have access to rivers, streams, lakes, or underground aquifers.

3. Financing Options and Budgeting

Once you have identified your land requirements, you need to consider financing options and budgeting. There are many financing options available for purchasing land, such as loans, mortgages, and seller financing.

You need to determine how much money you can afford to pay upfront and how much you can afford to pay annually. You also need to consider the cost of taxes, utilities, and other expenses.

4. Research and Locate Land Listings

The next step is to research and locate land listings. You can search for Montana land for sale online, in newspapers, or through a real estate agent. If you’re unsure of where to find land for sale, here are some of the best places to start your search:

Online Real Estate Marketplaces

Online real estate marketplaces like LandWatch, LandSearch, and Zillow are great places to start your search for land in Montana. These websites have a wide range of listings from all over the state, and you can easily filter your search based on location, price, and other criteria.

Local Real Estate Agents

Local real estate agents can also be a great resource when searching for land in Montana. They can access listings that may not be available online and provide valuable insights into the local real estate market and its future. Some of the top cities to find real estate agents include Missoula, Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman, Butte, Billings, and Kalispell.

Classified Ads

Classified ads in local newspapers and online forums can also be a good source of land listings. Many landowners and real estate agents still use these traditional methods to advertise their properties, so it's worth checking them out.

Just be sure to exercise caution when dealing with individual sellers, and always do your due diligence before making an offer.

Government Auctions

Finally, if you're looking for a bargain, you may want to check out government auctions. The Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) regularly auctions off land that has been forfeited to the state for non-payment of taxes.

5. Engage With a Realtor or Real Estate Professional

If you are not familiar with the Montana land market, it is recommended that you engage with a realtor or real estate professional.

They can help you navigate the land market, identify suitable properties, negotiate prices, and assist with the closing process. A realtor can also provide you with valuable information about the local market, zoning laws, and other legal considerations.

6. Understand Legal Considerations

Before purchasing land, you must understand the legal considerations. You need to be aware of the zoning laws, building codes, and other regulations that may affect your land use.

It’s important to consult with a lawyer or legal professional to ensure that you understand the legal implications of your land purchase.

7. Conduct a Title Search and Title Insurance

A title search is necessary to ensure that the seller has the right to sell the property and that there are no liens or encumbrances on the land.

Title insurance protects you from any unforeseen issues that may arise after the purchase. You should conduct a title search and purchase title insurance to protect your investment.

8. Navigate the Closing Process

The final step is to navigate the closing process. This involves signing legal documents, paying closing costs, and transferring ownership of the land.

You need to ensure that all legal requirements are met before closing the deal. Once the closing process is complete, you can take possession of your Montana land and enjoy the benefits of your investment.

Why Buy Land in Montana?

If you're looking to invest in land, Montana might be the perfect place for you. Here are a few reasons why you should consider buying land in Montana:


Montana is a recreational paradise with rocky mountains and outstanding parks. With its vast wilderness areas and abundant wildlife, it's no wonder that Montana is a popular destination for hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

The state boasts over 30 million acres of public land, including Glacier National Park, attracting millions of visitors annually.


Montana's tourism industry is thriving. In 2019, the state welcomed over 13 million visitors who spent over $3.7 billion.

The tourism industry provides jobs and supports local businesses, making it an important part of Montana's economy.

Affordable Land

Montana's land prices are relatively affordable compared to other states in the West. While prices vary depending on location, you can still find land for sale in Montana at a reasonable price.

Low Taxes

Montana has some of the lowest taxes in the country. The state has no sales tax, and property taxes are relatively low. Montana's low taxes are a good reason to consider buying a property if you're looking to invest in land.


Brittany Melling

Brittany Melling

Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.

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