Monday, Nov. 27th, 2023

5 Fun Things to Do in Montana

If you are planning a family vacation, consider touring Montana. It has attractive sceneries and wide-open spaces, making it a perfect destination for outdoor lovers. It is also home to the world’s oldest park, the Yellowstone National Park, which features awe-striking mountain ranges, super volcanoes, waterfalls, geysers, and rivers. Read on for five fun things to do in Montana for an enjoyable and memorable vacation.

Explore Yellowstone National Park

If you are an outdoor lover, you should definitely tour Yellowstone National Park. The park was established in 1872 and is Montana’s most famous attraction. Yellowstone is primarily located in Wyoming and Idaho, and only three percent of the park is in Montana. Schedule a tour of the region to see the national park’s famous attractions, including  Grand Prismatic Spring, Old Faithful, Hayden Valley, Mammoth Hot Springs, the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Lake, and Lamar Valley.

Be sure to schedule white water rafting trips in Yellowstone for a unique experience in Montana. Other fun activities in Yellowstone National Park include hiking, camping, horseback riding, skiing, kayaking, and fishing.

Hike Glacier National Park

Hiking Glacier National Park is one of the best and fun things to do in Montana. Glacier National Park has more than 700 trails and is known as the hiker’s paradise. As you walk through the trails, you will enjoy the scenic views of serene lakes, glacier-carved valleys, alpine meadows, and pristine forests. You also get to watch wildlife up close in Glacier National Park. Some common animals in the park include grizzly bears, elk, and goats. If you enjoy boating, you could book a boat ride across Lake McDonald.

Go wildlife viewing

If animal viewing is on your travel bucket list, consider touring one of the United States’ oldest wildlife refuges, the National Bison Range. The National Bison Range is located in Moiese and covers approximately 18500 acres. It is home to various wild animals, including white-tailed deer, mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, and pronghorn antelope. If you are a birdwatcher, pack up your binoculars to enjoy viewing over 200 bird species, including hawks, geese, meadowlarks, eagles, and bluebirds, to mention a few.

Drive the Hi-Line

Take your family on a road trip by driving the Hi-Line. As you go on your road trip, you will enjoy the incredible views of historic shops and homes, reservoirs, distillers and breweries, volcanic peaks, and beautiful rivers. Be sure to check local towns for accommodation options, especially when planning a long drive.

Soak in Montana’s hot springs

Montana is home to various hot springs. Be sure to enjoy a relaxing soak in one of the hot springs. A perfect option is the Quinns Hot Spring resort located seventy miles northeast of Missoula. While here, you could stay in one of the cabins as you enjoy the region’s exceptional views. Other famous hot springs in Montana include Elkhorn Hot Springs, Bozeman Hot Springs, Chico Hot Springs, and Norris Hot Springs, to mention a few.


Montana is a perfect choice if you are looking for a destination with beautiful national parks, stunning vistas, and plenty of outdoor activities. Add the above fun activities to your itinerary for an unforgettable vacation. 

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Saturday, Nov. 25th, 2023

Judge’s order halts wolf trapping and snaring season in most of Montana

HELENA – Wolf trapping and snaring in Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks administrative regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and in Hill, Blaine, and Phillips counties won’t start until Jan. 1 and will run through Feb. 15, according to a federal court injunction issued Tuesday evening.  In areas in eastern Montana outside FWP administrative regions 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5, and Hill, Blaine, and Phillips counties the order does not apply, and the wolf trapping and snaring season will start November 27 and run through March 15 as described in the 2023 wolf regulations.    

The wolf hunting season, separate from trapping and snaring, remains in place and is open through March 15 as described in the 2023 wolf regulations. Wolf harvest quotas are still in place for FWP regions and can be tracked via the Wolf Harvest Dashboard.  

FWP and the Fish and Wildlife commission have worked diligently to assemble and implement sound science-based management for wolves and grizzly bears, including the wolf regulations impacted by this ruling. The recovered status of grizzly bears in the Northern Continental Divide and Yellowstone ecosystems is testimony to this effort. The State of Montana has appealed the ruling.  FWP staff will continue to track the denning status of grizzly bears in case an appeal is successful, and the injunction is overturned.   

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Wednesday, Nov. 22nd, 2023

17th Annual Huffing For Stuffing Race Set for Thanksgiving Morning

BOZEMAN – HRDC’s annual Huffing For Stuffing race is slated to begin with a Kids Run at 8:00 am on Thursday, Nov. 23 which will be followed by 5K and 10K races, and a 5K fun run. A virtual 5K run/walk option is also available.

On this unique holiday dedicated to celebrating the harvest bounty while expressing gratitude for one’s abundance, race participants from across the region join HRDC in its mission to help ensure no one goes to bed hungry. The friendly competition also provides a platform for HRDC to discuss the prevalence of food insecurity in our community with all race proceeds supporting a variety of efforts to combat hunger across Gallatin Valley and beyond.

While it may be difficult for some to imagine the increased demand for help with groceries and food, it is closely tied with Southwest Montana’s rapid population growth and the accompanying affordable housing crisis. Last year, nearly two million pounds of food were distributed to area residents and partners with approximately 5,334 individuals served each month.“None of these services would be possible without the depth of support we receive from the community. Our Huffing For Stuffing race is a major fundraising tool for us,” said Jill Holder, HRDC’s Food and Nutrition Director. “In fact, Huffing For Stuffing has provided over half a million dollars directed to feeding people since its inception in 2007.”

Holder continued, “And we really look forward to getting together with so many of our friends and community members for this race. Whether they are running, walking, volunteering or simply cheering on the pack, it is always such a nice way to start the holiday weekend knowing we’ve all come out to make a difference for others in need.”

The race is held every Thanksgiving morning at the iconic Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Montana and there is an event for almost everyone. Race registration continues through 7:00 pm on November 22nd at the Gallatin Valley Fair Grounds. Details are available at

Community members who are unable to take part in the event, but who still wish to contribute to this important cause, can do so by donating directly to A donation goal of $25,000 has been set for this year’s race and every donation amount makes a difference whether it is $25 that supports one evening of mobile food service or $100 that can be used to purchase 100 lbs. of fresh produce.

For more information about HRDC’s efforts to alleviate hunger, or to learn about any of the other 47 services HRDC provides, please visit

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Tuesday, Nov. 21st, 2023

Bozeman Health’s B2 UrgentCare at Big Sky Resort Reopens for Ski Season

— Bozeman Health is pleased to share that B2 UrgentCare at Big Sky Resort has reopened for the winter season, coinciding with the resort’s opening on November 22. Bozeman Health is committed to providing convenient access to care for residents and visitors alike.

Located in the ski patrol building, B2 UrgentCare is staffed by a team of advanced practice clinicians, nurses and patient care technicians who provide fast, professional and convenient health care at the resort.

B2 UrgentCare is equipped with x-ray capabilities and other diagnostics, allowing for quick and accurate results. Patients can expect to receive prompt, compassionate care for a variety of medical issues, including minor fractures and sprains, cuts and lacerations, infections and lab work. All ages are welcome, and the walk-in format allows for flexibility and convenience. The hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

B2 UrgentCare is open seasonly and is the only urgent care facility in Big Sky. This option complements Big Sky Medical Center, which is a critical access hospital located in the meadow providing year-round emergency and primary care.

Chris Darnell, Big Sky Medical Center administrator says, “We are honored to provide medical care for the Big Sky community for both full time residents and those visiting to enjoy the great outdoors. Whether we see you at B2 UrgentCare or Big Sky Medical Center, we are here for your health care needs.”

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One Valley Community Foundation Facilitates $1.15 Million Gift for Local Nonprofit in Partnership with Local Fundholders Michael and Andrea Manship

Gallatin County, MT - One Valley Community Foundation has achieved a significant milestone in its ongoing commitment to connecting people who care to causes that matter to ensure all can thrive in Gallatin County. Through a strategic partnership with One Valley donor-advised fund holders Michael and Andrea Manship, the Foundation recently facilitated a $1.15 million gift to the local nonprofit Help Center, Inc.

"One Valley Community Foundation has been instrumental in helping shape our giving in Gallatin County. The staff, particularly their President and CEO Bridget Wilkinson, has pointed us in the right direction to groups and projects that align with our priorities and values – and which we weren't always aware of. The foundation has also served as a thought partner in helping us discern the best use of our charitable dollars locally," said Andrea Manship.

The Manships are long-time supporters and donor-advised fundholders at One Valley Community Foundation. When Wilkinson learned about Help Center, Inc.'s campaign to address their insufficient facilities and sustain their expanding programs, given their shared values, the Manship family appeared to be the ideal advocates for the organization. Thus began a partnership that would benefit Help Center, Inc. and the communities they serve. In addition to their matching gift to bolster the campaign, the Manship family made strategic investments to support capacity building that would prepare Help Center Inc. for its campaign and strengthen the organization for years to come.

This transformative contribution, facilitated by One Valley Community Foundation, highlights the power of strategic philanthropy and showcases One Valley's dedication to connecting people who care to the causes that matter most to them in their community.

"At One Valley, we are a conduit of resources, not a container. This gift is an example of how we can play a vital role as a philanthropic advisor to help connect donors to tangible needs that align with their values to make a greater impact with their giving at all levels," said Wilkinson. "We've been grateful for the opportunity to partner with fund holders like the Manship family, who care deeply about Gallatin County. One Valley Community Foundation remains committed to fostering collaborations that create lasting change in Gallatin County."

Help Center, Inc. is a Bozeman-based nonprofit organization serving Southwest Montana that provides crisis counseling, advocacy, information, outreach, and support to clientele in a safe, confidential environment. This 52-year-old organization, located in one of the nation's fastest- growing communities, has felt the unprecedented demand for its services. This need is close to the hearts of the Manship family and challenging to meet in their current facilities.

After months of preparation and work with a consultant funded by the Manship family, Help Center, Inc. announced their 'Answering the Call Campaign' last month. This campaign aims to fund the purchase of an existing mental health campus to be utilized to help meet critical mental health-related community needs and a space for all of their programs to thrive. This announcement was amplified by a generous $500,000 match grant by Michael and Andrea Manship through their fund at One Valley Community Foundation.

Mandy St. Aubyn, Help Center Inc.'s Development and Communications Coordinator, said, "We are extremely grateful to One Valley Community Foundation for connecting us with Andrea and Michael. One Valley's advocacy and work on behalf of nonprofits in Gallatin County are invaluable. They embody their mission by bringing together people and causes to benefit our whole community. Andrea and Michael's strong support of our campaign and mission has been inspirational. We look forward to a long partnership with the Manship family and One Valley Community Foundation."

To learn more about Answering the Call: The Campaign for Help Center, Inc., please visit

About One Valley Community Foundation

One Valley Community Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Southwest Montana that connects people who care to the issues that matter most to them in order to address the priorities and concerns of Gallatin County. One Valley does this by matching donors with causes they believe in, focusing financial resources to facilitate change, offering tools and opportunities to support other nonprofits, and acting as a community facilitator. One Valley hosts multiple community-wide initiatives, including Give Big Gallatin Valley, a 24-hour giving day that has raised over $14.3 million for local nonprofits, and the Gallatin County Regional Housing Coalition, a convening of diverse partners working to address local housing challenges. For more information, visit

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Monday, Nov. 20th, 2023

Papers from Montana-based author Thomas McGuane now available to public at MSU Library

Writer Thomas McGuane is greeted by guests at a reception to celebrate the donation of his materials to the Montana State University Library's Archives and Special Collections on Monday, Nov. 13, 2023 in Bozeman.
MSU photo by Colter Peterson.

— A collection of materials from the Montana-based writer Thomas McGuane is now available for the public to view at Montana State University’s Library.

The collection, which is available for researchers and members of the community to view and use in the MSU Library’s Archives and Special Collections, includes notes, drafts and manuscripts of his short fiction, novels, essays and screenplays written since the 1980s. The collection features both published and unpublished works, as well as correspondence with friends, family and publishers, including with the writer Jim Harrison.

“This is a major addition to our collections of regional writers, as well as an important component of our renowned trout and salmonid collections," said Jodi Allison-Bunnell, head of Archives and Special Collections. “The acquisition is the result of many years of effort from trout and salmonid librarian James Thull, and the availability is thanks to the efforts and skill of archivist Heather Mulliner.”

McGuane has written 10 novels, including the National Book Award-nominated “Ninety-Two in the Shade,” as well as six nonfiction essay collections and two short-story collections. McGuane is also a frequent contributor to The New Yorker magazine. His latest book is “Cloudbursts: Collected and New Stories.” His screenplays include “Rancho Deluxe” and “92 in the Shade.”

His work has won numerous awards, including the Rosenthal Award of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and it has been anthologized in the “Best American Stories,” “Best American Essays” and “Best American Sporting Essays” collections. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Doralyn Rossmann, dean of the library, honored McGuane earlier this week with the first-ever Award for Excellence in Service to the MSU Library. The award is given to recognize the advancement of scholarship and access to unique, quality materials. It is inspired by the philanthropy and advocacy of Bud Lilly, who founded the Trout and Salmonid Collection.

“It is fitting that (Lilly’s) friend, Tom McGuane, be the first recipient of this award,” Rossmann said. “While Tom has been a great advocate and supporter of our trout and salmonid initiative, the donation of his papers and materials will allow students and scholars to learn about the writing process, explore his writing style across multiple formats – from screen to short story to novel – and potentially inspire future generations of writers.” 

The MSU Library’s Archives and Special Collections has more than 800 collections, including ones related to Montana agriculture and ranching, Montana engineering and architecture, Montana history, MSU history, Native Americans in Montana, regional writers, trout and salmonids, and the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem. Appointments to research in the collections can be made at, and an exhibit on McGuane and his work is available during any of the library’s open hours through the end of the year.

Other recent donations to Archives and Special Collections include collections from Ivan Doig; filmmaker and writerJohn Heminway; artists Bob and Gennie DeWeese; noted wildlife researcher and conservationist Frank Cooper Craighead Jr.; Mike Clark, who served as head of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition; and the papers of conservationist Joe Gutkoski. More information is online at

Montana residents and MSU students, faculty and staff may borrow materials from the MSU Library, and the public is welcome to visit the library. To learn more, visit

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Sunday, Nov. 19th, 2023

Navigating the Holidays with Children on the Spectrum

The holidays can be a stressful time.  For individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder(ASD) it can be a very confusing time.  While every individual is different one of the diagnostic criteria for autism spectrum disorder is the following: “insistence on sameness, inflexible adherence to routines, or ritualized patterns or verbal nonverbal behavior (e.g., extreme distress at small changes, difficulties with transitions, rigid thinking patterns, greeting rituals, need to take same route or eat food every day)” (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). With all the changing routines (no school, holiday parties, decorations, new food, eating at a different time etc.) this can be overwhelming for those on the spectrum.  The following are recommendations on how to help individuals with autism during the holidays.  

Keep routines the same (as much as possible).  
o While it may not be possible to attend school during the holiday having the student wake up and eat at the same time would keep their routine similar.  
Limit sensory overload
o Some individuals demonstrate hypersensitivity toward sounds/lights or other stimulation.  Too much stimulation for these individuals can result in the individual becoming very upset often engaging in behaviors to get away from the stimulation.  This could be as simple as someone covering their ears or it could even be the person trying to leave or engaging in aggressive behavior.  
o Turning off the noise function on decorations or having the lights on steady instead of flickering can help.  
o Limiting the amount of decorations both inside and outside can help individuals not feel so overwhelmed.  
o Have a space that the individual can go to that is quite and calm.  
o While it might feel like it is helping staying with the individual and talking to them might be adding to the sensory input.  Stay if the person wants you to stay but remain quite until the person is calm and can talk to you.  
Limit the amount of activities that you do.  
o There are many different events during the holiday season.  Some individuals can get overwhelmed with too much stimulation (noise, people, activities etc).  By only going to a few holiday parties or activities this can help keep the individual from becoming overwhelmed.  
Decorate intentionally
o Some individuals who have difficulty with transitions may have a hard time with decorations especially if furniture is rearranged or removed to make space for the decorations like a Christmas tree.  Keeping the decorations minimal or only decorating a few rooms can help.  
o Setting a specific day for decorating and undecorating can help.  Telling the individual when the decorations are going to go up and when they are going to be taken down sets up a specific time.  
o Make an event for setting up decorations can help.  An example of this would be going out to get a Christmas tree and putting up the decorations then.  Another example would be on the day after thanksgiving we will turn on the Christmas music and decorate the house.
o As mentioned before limiting the amount of decorations will help by not creating a sensory overload for the individual.
Provide the same food options
o Some individuals extend their rigid patterns into food eating the same food every day.  The holidays are a time to eat and to eat different food that is not always available at other times of the year (like pumpkin spice everything).  While some individuals enjoy this it can be stressful for others.  Keep the same food options available.  If they want to try the new food great but having their preferred food gives them the structure of their routine.  
Talk about it
o Everyone does better when they know what is going to happen when and individuals with ASD are no different.  What take you or I one time to learn will take more repetitions before individuals with ASD will understand (they might even repeat it to you over and over)
Come up with a plan
o Even when you do everything you can sometimes things just don’t go as planned  Have a plan of action that the individual can do or say to you when things start getting too overwhelming for them.  This could be creating a quite space, asking to leave the area or asking for along time.

While this is not an exhaustive list it is important to remember that not everyone will respond to these recommendations in the same way.  Some individuals with autism might get upset when you talk to them about the changes but will do fine if the holiday decorations just appear.  Always ask what is best to help.  

If you know someone who might need extra support this holiday season or anytime throughout the year the staff at Spectrum Behavioral Services provides in home therapy to decrease problem behavior and increase desired behavior.  Please visit our website at


Tess Gelderloos, M.A., BCBA, LBA is the Owner, Provider and Clinical Director of ABA Services.

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Montana State students win $10,000 in entrepreneurial contest

BOZEMAN — Montana State University’s Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship awarded $10,000 to students who pitched their business ideas during the annual Big Idea Challenge

During the Nov. 8 contest, 12 finalists — a mix of individuals and small teams — presented their business ideas to a crowded room and participated in a Q&A with a panel of five judges that included Jake Jabs, an MSU alum, founder and CEO of American Furniture Warehouse and benefactor of the business college that bears his name. 

“Tonight featured new, innovative ideas that made sense,” Jabs told the crowd. “I like that you’re addressing current issues.” 

The student entrepreneurs were split into four categories — health and life science, social and climate impact, consumer products and services, and a general category. 

The finalists were selected from a pool of 49 applicants. Judges selected three finalists in each category to present at the event, which was held in Jabs Hall on the MSU campus. The competition was open to all MSU students and Gallatin College MSU students, regardless of major. 

The pitch competition helps students dial in their ideas and build their entrepreneurship skills while introducing them to a network of potential investors. 

Trevor Huffmaster, executive director of MSU’s Blackstone Launchpad, which hosted the event, said this year’s contest had the most applicants and was the best attended in its six-year history. 

“This has been one of the strongest groups yet, and we are really excited,” he said. 

After the contestants made their pitches, the judges deliberated while participants and attendees mingled over snacks and beverages. 

“You have no idea how close these were,” said Jackie Brookshire, who judged the event and is the president of American Furniture Warehouse. “It was really tough. There were a lot of close calls.” 

The other three judges were Ann Peterson, program director for the Montana Innovation Project; Kristen Beveridge, executive-level product design leader; and Mark Kozubal, co-founder and former CSO of Nature’s Fynd. 

Winners of each category took home a check for $1,250. Second place finishers earned $750, and $500 was awarded for third place. 

The winners for each category are listed below: 

General Category: 

  • FirstPlace: Zest Eco-Ropes — Kenzie ONeil and Nicole Matuszynski take recycled climbing ropes and turn them into belts and other items. 
  • Second Place: Artimis — Jesse Cook uses artificial intelligence to help businesses innovate and save money. 
  • Third Place: 1-Up Jewelry — Matthew Manning purchases old jewelry and refurbishes or alters it before selling it on commission at local businesses. 

Health and Life Science: 

  • First Place: Flexsense — Lexia Dauenhauer and Kaylan Wait designed a device to help people rehab their knees. 
  • Second Place: Get Home Safe Project — Andrew McClure and Jack Preedy are developing safety stations and a rapid test for fentanyl and date rape drugs. 
  • Third Place: H-Brace — Michael Schwarz is developing a brace to help rock climbers recover from a common finger injury. 

Social and Climate Impact: 

  • First Place: English Para Todos — Kass Thompson offers affordable and accessible English classes for adults in the Gallatin Valley. 
  • Second Place: Niitsitapi Campground — Taylee RidesAtTheDoor is developing a campground and a community center for people to learn Native traditions. 
  • Third Place: EcoFill — Melia Swirsky designed sustainable stations that allow consumers to refill bottles of household items, like laundry detergent and shampoo, at grocery stores. 

Consumer Products and Services: 

  • First Place: Montana Bachelorette Adventures — Kirsten Hansen operates a luxury trip planning service targeted to bachelorette parties. 
  • Second Place: Pack-Right — Hayden Rowland works with adventure travel companies to help guests find the proper gear. 
  • Third Place: Xove — Kaidan Staskowski is developing a dating app platform that performs background checks and ID verifications. 

The MSU Jake Jabs College of Business and Entrepreneurship offers four undergraduate options of study — accounting, finance, management and marketing — as well as five minors — accounting, business administration, entrepreneurship and small business management, finance and international business. The college also offers a master of professional accountancy degree, a master of science in innovation and management, and certificates in business and entrepreneurship. 

MSU’s Blackstone LaunchPad helps MSU students succeed in entrepreneurship and in their careers. Open to students and recent alumni in all majors, the campus-based LaunchPad provides mentoring, opportunities for participants to grow their networks and resources to help their businesses succeed. For more information, visit:

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FWP seeks comments on draft environmental assessment for proposed land acquisition at Missouri Headwaters State Park

THREE FORKS – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks is seeking comments on a draft environmental assessment for a proposed land acquisition at Missouri Headwaters State Park.

FWP has proposed to acquire 30 acres in fee title for permanent inclusion into the park. The Montana State Parks Foundation would purchase the property using funds provided by a grant from Montana’s Outdoor Legacy Foundation and the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Trust, then donate the property to FWP.

The acquisition would permanently secure and protect cultural, open space, and recreational resources on the property, which partially bisects the park. The property consists of a residential home and several historical outbuildings, as well as mixed riparian areas and other habitat. The property is currently owned by the Hart family.

The draft environmental assessment can be viewed online at

The public comment period will run for 14 days and will close at 5 p.m. on Nov. 30. Comments can be sent by email to or by mail to FWP’s Region 3 office: 1400 South, 19th Ave., Bozeman, MT 59718.

Missouri Headwaters State Park is about 5 miles northeast of Three Forks on Trident Road. For more information about the park, please visit or call 406-285-3610.

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Big Sky, Smaller Houses: Montana Housing Market Sees Largest Decline in Square Footage

Rising home prices coupled with inflated costs per square foot have significantly impacted the real estate market across the United States over the past five years. According to a recent report by, home buyers can now afford much less house for their money compared to just a half-decade ago.

The analysis looked at the median listing price per square foot data from 2018 to 2023 to determine how much less house a typical $500,000 budget can afford in each state. The results show that some states have been hit especially hard by the shrinking housing market.

Montana saw the biggest decrease as housing affordability dropped by over 50%. Here the median price per square foot doubled from $161 to $323 within five years. New York, Maine, Tennessee, and New Hampshire rounded out the top 5 states with the highest percentage of square feet lost over the 5-year period.

While the causes are complex, limited housing inventory, historically low mortgage rates, and an influx of out-of-state buyers migrating to certain regions =- all these factors have contributed to the leap in prices per square foot.

Today buyers have to settle for much smaller homes, forego extra space, and manage expectations compared to what their budgets could afford just a few years ago.

The data highlights how significantly and rapidly home prices can change.

While the housing market may eventually stabilize, the inflated prices per square foot have certainly made homeownership less attainable for many Americans in the short-term. Even a high budget of $500,000 no longer buys nearly as much house as it once did.

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