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April 2019
Believe in Better:
GROWTH POLICY
At a recent community luncheon with local Commissioners hosted by the Helena Area Chamber of Commerce, representatives from Lewis & Clark County reached out for input on a coming plan to zone the Helena valley.  A 2017 amendment to the County growth policy addressed the Fort Harrison area, as well as rural, transitional and urban growth areas in the Helena valley. With zoning now part of the policy discussion for the Helena valley, the County plans to hold work sessions and public meetings in the coming months to gather comments and ideas from the community. Further information along with the "A,B,Z's of Zoning" will be provided on the Lewis and Clark County website. "We plan to employ the same collaborative and thoughtful process to zoning of the Helena valley that we did when updating the latest version of the growth policy," said County Commissioner Andy Hunthausen. "Zoning can be an excellent tool for guiding growth, and done well, can protect property rights of land owners, while providing predictability and efficiency to land use and subdivision. We want to grow into a community that we can all look back and be proud of".
 
The City of Helena 2011 Growth Policy created a clear vision of the areas adjacent to the city which would be best served by annexation to Helena, providing opportunities for housing and commercial development while protecting agricultural, recreational, water and other natural resources. The residential and business community Mountain View Meadows, located in the southeast corner of Helena, could have remained in the county when development began there in 2004. However, it appeared to developer Mark Runkle that the residents that would eventually own homes at Mountain View Meadows would be better served with City infrastructure and services. As a proponent of complete streets and the connectivity sidewalks and trails provide in creating accessibility for people of all ages and abilities, Runkle chose to invest in the City of Helena. Through the phasing process, as each new area of Mountain View Meadows develops, the approved infrastructure and the developed lots, parks and open spaces are annexed into the City of Helena. To date, along with all the inherent infrastructure, over 220 single-family homes and condos, a 5.2 acre fully-developed park, and commercial acreage that includes the new home of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Montana have been annexed into Helena with more residential and business lots being developed each year. Over time, Runkle looks forward to residents walking to work, restaurants and entertainment as the business and commercial neighborhood continues to develop. "Even though Lewis & Clark County had no zoning which would have made development much cheaper had we remained in the county, it was clear to me that Mountain View Meadows belonged in the City. We saw Helena as the center for economic growth where most of the residents throughout the county work and play. We wanted to be part of building and sustaining the economic vitality of Helena, adding to the tax base rather than contributing to unmanaged growth. We were very excited to hear at the luncheon that Lewis & Clark County is taking steps forward to better manage growth for the benefit of the greater community."
Building a Better Community:
ACTIVE LIVING WAYFINDING SYSTEM
The Healthy Communities Coalition in Helena/Lewis & Clark County set about brainstorming ways to prevent chronic disease through increasing access to opportunities for physical activities and healthy food. The result: The Greater Helena Area Active Living Wayfinding System. The design for this inclusive signage system funded by grants from the American Planning Association and the National Association of Chronic Disease came together with input from over 1500 people in the community. Coordinated by Lewis and Clark Public Health Representative Karen Lane, Laura Erikson with L & C Community Development and Allison Mouch, a planner and member of the American Planning Association, the Coalition implemented a demonstration project with signage installations at seven trailheads and kiosk maps, directional signs at Centennial and Memorial Parks and mile markers along trails with destinations like community gardens. The signs were designed with high contrast blue and orange to make it easier for people with low vision to read a sign; also, the pine cone medallion along trails are a recognizable cue for following the trail. Height of signage was considered to ensure accessibility for people who use wheel chairs. "We've learned a lot about the barriers faced by people in our environment," said Lane. "We have gone beyond minimum ADA requirements and have a design that is truly inclusive and fits better with the lived experience of people with disabilities." On April 2-3, a free training will be held in Helena that invites concerned citizens and those working in the fields of health, planning, public works, economic development, schools, housing, transit, etc. to learn the fundamentals of walkability and what it takes to create connected, inclusive and healthy communities that are safe for all ages and abilities. To register go to https://www.lccountymt.gov/index.php?id=2919 or contact Gayle Sheldon at 406-457-8913. To learn more about the Active Living Wayfinding System and how your neighborhood or business might benefit from inclusive signage, contact Sarah Sandau at ssandau@lccountymt.gov or visit lccountymt.gov and click on the Active Living Wayfinding System image to be directed to a 20-minute interview with Lane and Erikson on Helena Civic Television (HCTV).
On Topic
A 15-YEAR FIXED-RATE MORTGAGE VS 30-YEAR
"The Key to financial freedom is to be debt free," says Amy Unger in her article Money Matters on wfmz.com. "For most people, a home is the biggest investment they'll ever make, and with it comes the biggest debt they'll ever face: a mortgage. The sooner you can destroy that debt, the sooner you will become financially free."
 
Although a 30-year fixed mortgage remains the most popular, a 15-year fixed-mortgage typically comes with a lower interest rate and you will pay significantly less in interest over the course of the loan. You'll also reach mortgage-debt freedom in half the time. So why not go the 15-year mortgage route?
 
The online mortgage marketplace, The Lenders Network, compares 15-year vs 30-year fixed-rate mortgage loans to help you decide which one is best for you.
 
  • A 15-year mortgage means a lower interest rate but a higher mortgage payment. A 30-year mortgage means a higher interest rate but a lower mortgage payment.
  • You will qualify for a higher loan amount with a 30-year fixed rate.
  • Your debt-to-income ratio will be higher with a 15-year mortgage because the monthly mortgage payment is higher. You won't qualify for as large of a loan.
  • If you hold a 30-year fixed-rate loan until its final pay-off date, you'll end up paying a lot of interest. Example: a $200,000 30-year mortgage at 4.13%, if you take the full 30 years to pay, you'll pay more than $140,000 in interest.
  • If you hold a 15-year fixed-rate loan until its final pay-off date, you'll save tens of thousands of dollars in interest. Example: on a $200,000 15-year mortgage at 3.2%, you'll pay only $52,000 in interest.
  • With a 30-year fixed-rate loan of $200,000 at an interest rate of 4.10% your monthly payment, not including taxes and insurance, will come out to about $966 a month. If you borrow that same $200,000 with an interest rate of 3.20% in the form of a 15-year fixed-rate loan, your monthly payment, again not including taxes or insurance, would jump to about $1,400.
  • A 15-year fixed rate loan builds equity quicker, but since the payment is higher than on a 30-year, you will have less "extra" cash each month.
  • A 30-year mortgage makes more sense if monthly cash flow is your biggest concern, or you earn commissions and your income varies. Because this loan type comes with the lowest monthly payment, it will also leave you with more money in your budget each month.
  • With a 30-year mortgage, you can always pay down the principle balance faster by paying extra each month. However, you are not locked into that higher mortgage payment. On a $160,000 loan the mortgage payment would be roughly $850 per month. By paying an additional $415 each month you will pay off your mortgage in just 15 years. This is a great option, if you can afford the extra $415 per month. But if something happens that month and you can't pay it, you pay just $850.
  • How long will you live in the home? This can make a big difference. If you plan on living in your home for a short period of time - say eight years or less - then a 30-year loan might make the most sense. You'll benefit from the lower monthly payments, and you won't have to pay as much interest because you'll be selling your home long before your loan's pay-off date.
  • If you plan on living in your home 15 years or more, you might as well shave tens of thousands of dollars off the amount of interest you'll pay while living there by choosing a 15-year mortgage.
 
The experts at The Lenders Network encourage buyers to meet with a mortgage lender to determine your housing goals and help you calculate which loan type makes the most sense for you. However, If the 30-year fixed rate mortgage is the only option, there are ways to still pay off the loan quicker while you save on interest and build up equity.
 
"It's called bi-weekly payments," says Unger. "You pay half your regular payment every two weeks, rather than a full one every month. Result? You make one extra payment annually. Just that one tactic can pay a 30-year mortgage off in 22 years, and save thousands in interest." And one last tip says Unger, no matter which loan you choose: rounding up. "If your payment is $950 a month, for example, you'll probably consider it to be a grand anyway, so why not make the payment $1000? Just make sure the extra goes toward principal."
Benefits and Updates:
MOUNTAIN VIEW MEADOWS
1. CONDO HOA ANNUAL MEETING: The date is set! If you currently live in a condo or are moving into a condo soon, be sure to attend the meeting May 7th at 7:00 pm. Location is to be determined. Additional information along with an agenda and budget will be emailed to you by the end of April.
 
2. PET WASTE STATIONS: This spring we'll be placing pet waste stations with "doggy" bags along the Fun & Fitness Trail between the Aspen Park neighborhood and Mountain View Park. This will make it easier to clean up after your dogs when taking them out to do their duty.
 
3. PARKING ON CONCRETE SURFACES ONLY: This is a reminder vehicle parking (aside from on-street parking) is only permitted on concrete driveways and extended concrete parking pads. With all the snow, it is understandable that some of you have been parking in gravel mulch areas. However, with the snow melting, please check to see that your vehicles are parked completely on a concrete surface. If you need additional parking surface, you may want to consider widening your driveway or, if approved for your neighborhood, installing an extended concrete parking pad. Email Rebecca at Rryland@mvmeadows.com for additional information.
New Homes F or Sale: 
PLANS TO BUILD AND BUILD TO SUIT
A choice of new homes to meet your lifestyle and budget are ready for move-in at Mountain View Meadows with more under construction. MVM now has a number of home sites that are eligible for 0% down loans. Visit our Information & Sales Office at 431 S. Alice Street to tour our right-now homes, view plans to build and check out lot maps. Realtors are always welcome . Have your own plan? Give us a call at 406-449-0800 to arrange a meeting. The availability of new homes and lots is subject to change so check back often. Below is a listing of some of the new homes ready for move-in or currently under construction. 
The Uplands at Mountain View Meadows
340 Elouise Cobell: "THE TARGHEE". This new 3BD/2BA home is well underway! With 1769 S.F., this Sierra Custom Home  includes laminate flooring, granite countertops, soft-close cabinets, gas range and fireplace, gorgeous master suite, and a mud room leading to an attached 2-car garage. For more information, stop by the Mountain View Meadows Info & Sales Office at 431 S. Alice St. $319,900. MLS# 21814522.

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366 Elouise Cobell: "THE WHITEFISH".  Beautiful new home nearly finished is in easy walking distance to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Headquarters. Impressive front entry and large covered rear patio for outdoor living set this home apart. Built by family owned Grewett Construction, known for their rustic wood finishes and exceptional craftsmanship, this new 3BD/3BA floorplan includes an open vaulted great room with gas fireplace, vaulted master ensuite, study, huge walk-in pantry and spacious laundry room/owner's entry off an oversized 2-car garage. Better keep a close eye on this one or you'll miss a great opportunity to own this awesome 1975 S.F. executive-style home! $339,900.

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Antelope Trace at Mountain View Meadows
2789 Favor Loop: "THE WISE". Until you see it, you won't believe the upscale feel of this 2414 S.F. 3 or 4 bedroom/2.5 bath home. It has it all--- front door sidelites, open 2-story floor to ceiling entryway with chandelier, main floor master suite, luxury bath, air conditioning, fireplace, granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, soft-close cabinets, separate dining room and front and rear covered porches. Just two blocks from Mountain View Park, this brand new home is completely landscaped and ready for move-in! Call 406-431-7680 for a private tour any day of the week. $339,900. MLS# 1303182. 

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Craftsman Village at Mountain View Meadows
2868 Alexis Avenue: "THE TOWN HALL". A classic design that never goes out of style, this 4-square craftsman home features 3BD/2.5BA, a gas fireplace, granite countertops, soft-close cabinets, a downstairs office, an upstairs TV room, an attached 2-car garage, a concrete patio and a beautiful front porch. With 1914 S.F. and lots of storage, you'll have all the room you need for personal space or for a growing family. "The Town Hall" is located just one block from Mountain View Park and priced at only $299,900. For additional information please call 406-449-0800. 

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215 Bella View: "THE BARRISTER". This popular 4BD/3BA 2-story floorplan located across from Mountain View Park, features all the upscale finishes you've come to expect in a Sierra Custom Home. Granite countertops, soft-close cabinets and tiled master shower will bathe you in comfort. For additional information call Dawn Purvis, 406-439-6380, or visit the Mountain View Meadows Info and Sales Center at 431 S. Alice St. $309,900.

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275 Bella View: "THE MINER". A floorplan with room to grow. 1826 Finished Square Feet with an additional unfinished basement makes this 3432 S.F. home currently under construction perfect for the growing family or just because you want the extra space! Located across the street from the best neighborhood park in Helena, Sierra Custom Homes builds exceptional value into their homes with granite countertops throughout, beautiful master suites and stainless steel appliances. This 3BD/2BA Miner features a stunning wrap around porch and attractive craftsman details and includes an UG water system, free front yard landscaping, and an attached 2-car garage. For additional information contact Dawn Purvis, Century 21, at 406-439-6380. MLS# 301685. $345,960.

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2896 Stacia: "THE PRIMROSE". A brand new 3BD/2BA Garden Home with main floor ensuite. This 1526 S.F. two-story home features granite countertops, soft-close cabinets, laminate flooring, kitchen appliances and an attached 2-car garage. Side yard fence included plus free front yard and rear carriage lane landscaping! Easy walking distance to Mountain View Park. For additional information, please stop by the MVM Information & Sales Center at 431 S. Alice St. or call Dawn Purvis, Century 21,  at 406-439-6380. MLS# 21814840. $269,500.

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2850 & 2852 Runkle Parkway: NEW CONDO with amazing mountain views! 1660 S.F. single-story condo features 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, tray ceilings, great room, separate dining, attached 2-car garage, front porch and rear, private, outdoor living space. Stop by now to take a look and claim this beautiful contemporary condo before its gone! Priced at $294,900.

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2845 & 2847 Twilight Avenue: New 1219 S.F. duplex condos well underway -- Absolutely perfect for the "downsizer" or the "first time" home buyer! Condo features 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, a pocket desk, an attached 2-car garage and a covered outdoor living space. Design amenities include granite countertops, soft-close cabinets, water-resistant laminate flooring, tiled laundry and entry, and carpeted bedrooms. Electric range, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher and garbage disposal included! Monthly condo fee is currently $120 and pays for sidewalk snow removal, mowing and landscaping care as well as exterior building insurance and maintenance. Priced at just $239,900. Call now! 406-449-0800.

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Aspen Park at Mountain View Meadows
2930 Big Timber Loop: "THE OPEN RANGE". Contract with contingency fell out on this NEW UPSCALE CONTEMPORARY CRAFTSMAN HOME with 2748 totally finished S.F. Fortunately, their loss opens the door to you! Experience the new year in comfort, warmth and exceptional style. This home features a vaulted living room, corner fireplace, raised breakfast bar, walk-in pantry, den/office, wood floors, doors and trim, granite countertops, knotty-alder soft-close cabinets, "subway" tile backsplash, separate dining, and a gorgeous master suite with double vanity, tiled shower and soaker tub. The home includes an owner's entry with bench and cubby hole shelves and central air with three separate zones. An over sized garage, stone and timber exterior features, a concrete tile roof with a 75 year warranty, HardiePlank siding, a beautiful front porch entry and a huge covered outdoor living space are among the many amenities that set this home apart. Drop by the Information & Sales Center at 431 S. Alice Street to check out the new construction on this 3 or 4BD/ 2.5BA home -- an unbeatable value! MLS#1303180. Contact Anna Havranek at KellerWilliams at 406-438-1141 for a private showing.   

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Mountain View Meadows | 406-449-0800 | Info@MVMeadows.com  | http://www.MVMeadows.com
431 S. Alice Street
Helena, MT 59601
In This Issue
The Best in Our
Neighborhood: 
HOA WINNERS
If you missed the annual Single-Family HOA meeting, you missed sharing an evening getting to know some of your neighbors and your HOA officers. Your officers put in lots of hours this year developing a fair and reasonable means to address Covenant issues and it was an opportunity for you to make your voice heard; about that and anything else you found important. Throughout the 90-minute meeting we drew names for $25 gift cards to Bert & Ernie's with five lucky winners. But they weren't the only winners. Everyone in the community will benefit from your neighbors who signed-up to serve on volunteer committees. These included Felicia Head, Cathy Cullen, Corey Fox, Danny Compton, and Jodi Stoner Granberg. John Schmidt threw his name in the hat to be considered as a candidate to serve as HOA Vice President. We know that some of you wanted to attend but had other obligations. Hopefully you will join us next year. In the meantime, many thanks to the 50 or so residents in attendance for taking the time to visit and comment on HOA business. 
Winners of the five $25 Gift Cards:  Corey & Tina Fox, Felicia Head, Lindsay Gehring, Tony Stanfel and Jodi Stoner Granberg. 
Welcome to the
Neighborhood
Karen Cantrell
Is getting settled into her beautiful new Sierra Custom Home directly  across from Mountain View Park. 

Kathy Bischoff
Has recently moved into her wonderful brand new condo by Weatherall Builders. Enjoy your gorgeous views of the Elk Horns!

Lee & Kristi Paulsen
Are getting ready to move into their cozy single-level home by Casteel Construction.

Mary Buck
Is closing soon on her lovely 2-story craftsman condo.


Congrat ulations! 
And Welcome to the Neighborhood!
 
Fun & Fitness: 
GO FLY A KITE
How many of you knew that flying a kite can burn 100 calories in 12 minutes? So that means you can burn a whopping 500 calories in just one hour. Really? Yes, purports a blog post on www.sports-fitness.co.uk .
 
Believe it or not, flying a kite actually provides benefits as an exercise activity. You can burn more calories spending an afternoon flying kites than you might expect. From trekking to a good spot to fly your kite to the way that it works out your core muscles, it's an excellent way to have fun while getting fit.
 
Kite flying targets your core, abs and arm muscles as well as the muscles in your back. Holding a kite steady in the wind requires strength. The wind provides resistance much like lifting weights. When flying your kite for fitness, avoid standing still. And give your kite a running start to provide you with a cardio workout as well. A healthy spring breeze accompanied with strong gusts of wind will make for a hardy workout.
 
If you haven't flown a kite before, you might want to start with a simple kite kit before tackling ones that require more skill and greater arm strength to control. And avoid the windier days until you get the hang of it. However, the more time you spend working with your kite, the more likely you'll feel better about trying a more complicated kite and possibly even developing skills that make kite flying more challenging. Looping the kite through the sky is a great way to impress your friends while working out your body at the same time. Now that's how you make exercise fun.
From 
  Mark &  Rebecca
NEW TO LEARN
Whether it's as simple as adapting to a new computer or keeping up on the latest recommendations for boulevard trees or finding the best way to address ice dams on roofs, there is always something new to learn when developing at Mountain View Meadows. Our annual Single-Family HOA meeting provided an opportunity for us to hear directly from members so that we can better address concerns and better serve our growing community. We don't have all the answers. We don't always know all the questions. But we do make it our goal to work towards solutions. The big snows this winter and the current run offs provided ample opportunity to learn to address issues that haven't popped up before. When he learned that run-off was affecting a resident's landscaping, Mark immediately jumped on his tractor and headed down to divert the flow away from the lot. He'll still need to figure out the best way to remove the dirt that ran onto the landscaping with the melting snow, but that's part of the job. Updating covenants as we learn more about the needs and concerns of our residents is another part. Our recent Amendment to the Mandatory Covenants came after seeking feedback from residents and learning first-hand what covenants needed more attention and what needed less and which ones just needed clarification to avoid confusion. As we head into the busy construction season, we continue to surround ourselves with professionals both in the office and in the field and in the greater building community that lend their expertise to the process. By working together and listening to others, we learn something new every day that we hope translates into a better experience for the people who live and work at Mountain View Meadows.
Waiting for the Annual Single-Family HOA meeting to begin. 
HOA Officers and Board lead off the meeting. Left to right; Danielle Prebil-Starkey, HOA Administrative Assistant; Rebecca Ryland, Director of Design; Mark Runkle, Board Chair, Managing Member; Dave Gates, President; Joe Cullen, Treasurer; Mike Head, Communications Officer; Don Uhrig, Secretary; (Jeff Rhoa, Vice President, retiring, missing from photo).