Saturday, April 2, 2011


I used to be a realtor, in Texas.  Before that, I always seemed to involved somehow in real estate in other states.  So I surf Multiple Listings for fun to see what's happening whereever I am.  Montana offers spectacular land you can't find anywhere else.

Northwest Montana is beyond gorgeous.  I live in a river valley between two mountain ranges.  I look out the windows and see snow-topped mountains most of the year.  And when you walk outside, the air is more fun to breathe than anywhere you have ever been.  It's clean.  No pollution.  Which makes for bluer skies and a whiter moon. 

Real estate people are different up here.  Most of them come from generations of people of the land.  Going back to the days of homesteading, log cabins, and indians.  If they have a listing on land for sale, they probably know everyone who has ever lived on it, every tree and bush, some of which they may have planted themselves.  There is nothing about the land they don't know, and there is no person on the land they can't give you the history for.  They know where the deer are, and the elk, and probably the cougars and bears. 

When you meet them, they look like normal, attractive people.  They are a lot more.  Some of them are ex-loggers or teachers, some are also ranchers.  They are part of the culture up here that seems to shine with honesty and integrity.  A very rare thing in the real estate game, I can tell you. (Most people don't lock their doors.  If anyone suspicious-looking were to show up, a kind neighbor with a shotgun would arrive to ask polite questions.) 

One day there was a little house in little town listed for sale.  I am currently renting the most wonderful log cabin, which I never wanted to leave.  But renting carries with it certain risks, and my head told me,
"Go buy that little house."  So I went through all the motions, drove my dear realtor crazy looking for signs of mold (weren't any) and got approved by the lender for a loan.

Then everyone at the loan broker got the flu and I could find anyone alive on phone or email.  This went on for days.  During which time I began to wonder of Someone was trying to tell me something.  Every time I thought of leaving this cabin, which I have put my heart and soul into, I would start to cry.  A classic battle between head and heart. 

Well, I finally got up the nerve to tell me long-suffering realtor that I was going to chicken out, and not buy the place.  She could not have been kinder or more understanding.  I don't thing she was grinding her teeth, but I wouldn't have blamed her.

I wouldn't have missed the experience with Montana realtors for anything.  They are a very special breed, and know more about this land than I can even imagine.  I can't say enough about them.

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