I sit beside the fire and think of all that I have seen...of yellow leaves and gossamer in autumns that there were, with morning mist and silver sun and wind upon my hair. J.R.R. Tolkien

Dear Friends and Clients,

November is a reflective month for me (also a month of cooking and eating great food). This is one of my favorite Norman Rockwell paintings that makes me pause and gives me hope. I wanted to share it with you. Wherever this newsletter finds you, I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, good wishes and let you know that I am forever grateful for you, dear friend, dear client.

I have a few statistics for you from our market over the past year (from October '22 to October '23). Median sales are up 1.4%. Homes for sale are up 36.7%. Price per square foot is up 3.7%. New listings are down 9.8%. Bottom Line: We need listings.

On that note: I have some questions for you. Are you ready to down size or up size? Is it time to build your dream home? Is it time to sell and move into town or buy or build in the woods? Our inventory still remains a bit tight and once a property goes on the market, it doesn't stay long!

Give me a text or call and let me know your needs and wants. Whatever your real estate goals, I can help. I'll listen to you, and together, we'll set expectations based on current market conditions. Remember, not every buyer is looking for a mortgage and many buyers are looking for a safe and stable place to put their money. This is a time for bold thinking.

I am known for walking all the way with my clients, giving them the benefit of my knowledge and experience and I never let them slip. Times may have changed in real estate, but my experience and knowledge will guide you in the right direction. I will help you meet your needs and we'll have some fun, too! We can and will do it--together. Call me, we'll make it happen. 

As ever, Denise

Activities Around the  Flathead
What's Happening in Bigfork

THANKSGIVING - Tasty and Inspirational Ideas

If you are a turkey denier, here are some creative and tasty options.

For those who think sides are the best part of Thanksgiving, try these.

Stumped for an offering of gratitude at the table? Here are some ideas.

FEATURED BUSINESS - SakeTome in Bigfork and Missoula

This is what my son, Drake Doepke, says about his two sushi restaurants in Bigfork and Missoula.

"My world wide experience led to opening SakeTome in Bigfork and it was met with great success. Busy Bigfork summers and slower winters led to opening an additional location in Missoula. With sustainability and creativity at the top of SakeTome’s priorities, a reverence for the ocean is of utmost importance. We are trying to be as sustainable as possible, so we search out products from all over the world that share that same mindset. Japan, New Zealand, Iceland, Alaska, Maine, Scandinavia, and more. In line with sustainability, we try to use as much local produce as possible. Our micro-greens are grown specifically for us, right here in Missoula.”

Along with sustainability, SakeTome values a healthy community and a place that people come to meet and be in a creative and fun environment. Visit either location open year ‘round. For information and menu selections, click here


September marked the 5th month in a row of year-over-year rent declines with prices decreasing 0.7 %, according to realtor.com®

Despite the myriad of obstacles in their way, first- time buyers purchasing homes are up from 26% last year to 32% this year.



Bigfork is a community built on volunteerism. The Bigfork Elves exemplify this each year on the Saturday before Thanksgiving when they deck the town with over 10,000 feet of garland and lights. Elves of all ages and experience met this past weekend at the Bigfork Inn at 8am for warm drinks and sweet treats before heading off to adorn the village. 

For more than 40 years volunteers of all ages have gathered in Bigfork with family and friends to partake in this beautiful tradition. All that is needed are warm clothes, gloves, and a touch of Christmas spirit. We hope you will become a future elf!

Come and visit the village and enjoy the spirit they have created.

Touch of Christmas Concert Dec. 2nd 7:30 pm

Ring in the holiday season with all your holiday favorites played on multiple instruments.

Parade of Lights December 2nd 6-8 pm

Bring the kids and family out to visit local businesses, grab a hot drink and enjoy!


Flathead Land Trust, Trust for Public Land and Montana Land Reliance open the Harrell Forest Community Trails just outside of Bigfork.

Above normal temperatures and below average precipitation is projected for Western Montana from El Nino climate pattern-1st time in 4 years.

The Crown of the Continent, Glacier National Park, is a breathtaking wilderness of rugged peaks, ancient forests, and some 700 lakes.

Shop Small Saturday!

Visit your favorite stores in Bigfork and find incredible deals for everyone on your list!



"I wish Denise Lang was on the listing side of every transaction!" -Dave J.


16919 Montana Hwy. 83, Bigfork

MLS #30015552 $1,496,800

This waterfront property offers breathtaking, unobstructed views of the tranquil waters of Swan Lake with 241 level feet providing a daily dose of natural beauty right at your doorstep. Imagine the possibilities with easy access to wherever your dreams take you. The gentle sounds of lapping waves and the call of over 200 species of birds, including 23 different waterfowl provide a peaceful backdrop to a life of serenity. The west facing lot offers fabulous Montana sunsets. Close to the amenities of the village of Bigfork where dining, Bigfork Summer Playhouse, world class art galleries await. If looking for an expansive lifestyle then a short drive to Whitefish, Whitefish Mountain Resort, Kalispell, and Glacier Park is within your reach!


123 Barron Way, Kalispell

MLS #30012289 $450,000


318 Old Sawyer Way, Bigfork

$535,000 MLS #300147900

CERI says... Reflections on sleeping with your humans.

I am a creature of comforts and I have never understood why some 4-leggeds prefer to sleep in some tiny bed on the cold floor rather than snuggle up in fancy sheets next to our humans.

However, in my research, I have found that there are definitely some reasons why bed sharing can be detrimental to some of my species.

Leigh Siegfried is an experienced dog trainer based in Philadelphia. He is an award-winning owner of the dog training organization, "Opportunity Barks," and has worked with over 10,000 dogs and their owners. He told "Newsweek" that any animal with a social need is likely to favor bedtime cuddles with their owner. Dogs are high on that list of animals because they are one of the most socially dependent species due to their pack nature.

When asked if letting us sleep with our humans is always a good thing, he replied, "No, it can be dysfunctional, and it can undermine some dogs' confidence in being left alone or worse still, lead to them developing separation anxiety."

Read here to find out if your 4-legged should or should not sleep with you. In the meantime, I'll be enjoying bedtime snuggles with my humans!

DENISE'S COOKING CORNER - Double Apple Walnut Bread

Apples are plentiful at this time in the Flathead Valley. This Double Apple Walnut Bread is perfect for fall. It's packed with fruit and walnuts and can be served warm or cold for breakfast, snack, or dessert.




1 cup sweetened or unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 cup peeled, cored, and finely diced apple

1/2 cup chopped walnuts


Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9x5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper, if desired. Combine applesauce, 1/2 cup of sugar, brown sugar, eggs, oil, yogurt, and vanilla in a bowl. Whisk to blend. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a separate bowl. Make a well and add the applesauce mixture. Stir until combined. Fold in diced apples and walnuts. Scrape batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar. 

Bake on the center oven rack for 50 to 55 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Turn the bread out of the pan and cool thoroughly before slicing. 

DENISE'S READING CORNER - The Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club

by Marlena de Blasi

The true story of the Umbrian Thursday Night Supper Club...

Every month on a Thursday evening, a group of four Italian rural women gather in a derelict stone house in the hills above Italy’s Orvieto. There, along with their friend, Marlena, they cook, sit down to a beautiful supper, drink their beloved local wines, and talk.

The women, aged between 52 and 80, have lived full lives as wives, mothers, daughters, sisters and lovers. They have endured heartache, loss, poverty, love, friends, and food. As they gather, prepare and cook their supper, they speak of childhood, family, aging, sexuality, the Mafia, religion, life and death.

I loved the juxtaposition of preparing the food with the stories they tell. The stories are tender, violent and some are tragic but surrounded by the safety of food and friendship, they freely recount each of their experiences. Their past is full of lovers, aging, abandonment, mafia grudges and family feuds. Amid all these stories is a backdrop of ingredients and recipes whose secrets have been passed down through the generations. Around this table, these five friends share their raw and true lives.

I enjoyed this book, however some may find it a difficult read. The recipes are quite detailed and there are some graphic Mafia violent descriptions. This is definitely not an Under the Tuscan Sun read!


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