December 2018
Believe in Better:
In November, special guests got an opportunity to meet with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps Volunteers working on Self-Help Habitat for Humanity Homes at Mountain View Meadows. In attendance were Habitat for Humanity board members, field representatives for U.S. Senator Steve Daines, U.S. House Member Greg Gianforte and Mountain View Meadows developer Mark Runkle and Director of Design Rebecca Ryland. The 12 AmeriCorps Volunteers, headed by team leader Alex Schwartz, originated from 10 different states. Ranging in age from 18-24, they began work on the project November 14 and were onsite through December 15. The team assisted the Helena Area Habitat for Humanity with installing siding, flooring, trim, base boards, windows and doors in the hopes of progressing the five "Self-Help" homes under construction at Mountain View Meadows towards a speedy completion. All five of the homes must be finished before any of the new owners can move in. The AmeriCorps NCCC program has five major focus areas including energy conservation, environmental stewardship, infrastructure improvement, urban and rural development, and natural and other disaster response and recovery. Based out of Sacramento, this is the team's first project in a 10-month program. Schwartz, who earned his degree in Business Management this past May from the University of Delaware says he joined AmeriCorps to continue earlier experiences he gained from participating in community service. "The NCCC program offered an incredible way for me to give to local communities while participating in a wide variety of service opportunities in a variety of locations," explained Schwartz adding that the experience allowed him the chance to grow as a person, develop leadership skills, work as a team and live independently. The biggest challenge with his team at Mountain View Meadows was to quickly learn about house construction and meet all the expectations set forth by Site Supervisor Mark Leland who is the building guru for Helena Area Habitat. "I can confidently say that we have all learned so much and have been largely successful in completing all the tasks on the worksite," said Schwartz. The team heads next to California to assist with wildfire relief efforts where Schwartz looks forward to learning and growing while doing good things for communities in need. His team has certainly left Helena a better place and moved five families much closer to their dream of home ownership.
Building a Better Community:
A new volunteer organization founded by an 11-year-old Helena girl is helping to provide joy to elderly people in nursing and retirement homes. Ella Jodoin started the group "Helping Hearts" several months ago. Its purpose is to simply make elderly people happy by reading to them, playing games, performing tunes, and sometimes just listening.  "I think senior citizens have a lot to say and a lot to teach us," said Ella. After doing her own research, Ella discovered about 15 percent of Helena's community is over the age of 65, and those folks fill about 15 retirement homes around town. "It feels really great to know that when you've left that place, you've made a difference and that you really helped that day," said Ella. Volunteers of Helping Hearts learn about the residents and hope that they can be a bright spot in someone's day, that they can make a difference! To learn more or sign up as a volunteer, contact Ella at helpingheartshelena@gmail.com or visit their website at helpingheartshelena.com . Ella is a great example that age makes no difference in making a difference in your community. Thank you, Ella for playing such a significant role in building a better community for people of all ages.  
On Topic
According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, a sharp drop in interest rates drove total mortgage application volume up 1.6 percent last week from the previous week. The drop is encouraging for buyers hoping to work their way into the market as the average contract interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 4.96%.
Without context, buyers are hesitant to purchase a new home when rates are going up as seen in September. Yet interest rates remain historically low compared to an average of 8.05% less than a decade ago. Over the past 45 years, interest rates on the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage have ranged from as high as 18.63% in 1981 to as low as 3.31% in 2012. Based on data compiled by Freddie Mac, between 2015 and 2017, 60% of mortgage holders paid rates between 3.00% and 4.90%, considerably lower than buyers in times past.
The most common topic of conversation for potential home buyers and sellers going into the new year is about rising interest rates," said Devon Thorsby, Real Estate Editor for U.S. News & World Report. "Mortgage rates are at their highest mark since 2011, and while higher interest rates are a sign of a good economy - especially paired with historically low unemployment rates - the change has many consumers hesitating about jumping into the housing market."  Last week's rate drop, however, the largest single-week decline in over a year, spurred many potential home buyers to reconsider.
"Buyers are usually scarce in December, when the supply for homes for sale is lean and the idea of moving in winter is not particularly appealing in much of the nation," said Real Estate Reporter Diana Olick in a Dec. 12 article for CNBC. "December may be a slow month traditionally for the housing market, but this year may be an outlier, because more supply is coming on the market and buyers who were priced out last spring amid heavy competition are now seeing an opportunity." Pair opportunity with a drop in interest rates and 2018 has the potential to close out the year with a continued uptick in mortgage applications.
Benefits and Updates:
1. CHRISTMAS/HOLIDAY DECORATING CONTEST: If you haven't checked out all the beautifully decorated homes in your neighborhood, now is the time to take a drive. Expect after the mild weather this past weekend to see even more homes lit up for the holidays. In the spirit of the season, we encourage residents to dress up their homes in their holiday best by sponsoring our annual Christmas/Holiday Decorating Contest. Judging takes lights, color, special effects, style, tradition, fun and originality into account... and considers what's changed on your home from last year. Judging will start December 23 and run through December 27 so be sure to keep your lights on after dark till 9:30 PM as much as possible. If you are out of town next week for the holidays, email Rryland@mvmeadows.com and we'll check out your home this week. Prizes include a Grand Prize of $200; 1st-3rd prizes of $100, $75 & $50 respectively; and four $25 Honorable Mention Gift Cards to Bert & Ernie's/Sommeliers.
2. AVOID SALT ON SIDEWALKS AND DRIVEWAYS: Just a reminder that salt damages concrete. Even if you don't use salt on your driveway, damage can occur from salt dripping off snow and ice from your tires and the underbelly of your car. Check with someone in the know at your local hardware store for products that help keep you safe on ice without damaging surfaces.
New Homes F or Sale: 
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. 
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 you to move in before Christmas! Call 406-431-7680 for a private tour any day of the week. $339,900. MLS# 1303182. 

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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! Move in before Christmas and experience the holidays 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 at only $409,900! MLS#303180. Contact Anna Havranek at KellerWilliams at 406-438-1141 for a private showing. 

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Craftsman Village at Mountain View Meadows
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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2862 Alexis  Avenue: "THE COACH HOUSE".  If you're looking for a 3-car garage that comes standard, then this nearly 1500 S.F. single-story plan is for you!  The Coach House features granite countertops, soft-close cabinets, laminate flooring and all your essential kitchen appliances.  Your new home includes free front yard and rear carriage lane (alley) landscaping. Stop by the Information & Sales office at 431 S. Alice St. to review the plan. If you hurry, there is still time to choose paint colors on this brand new home currently under construction priced at only $269,900.

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215 Bella View: "THE BARRISTER". Foundation in on this popular 3BD/2BA 2-story floorplan. Located across from Mountain View Park, The Barrister features all the upscale finishes you've come to expect in a Sierra Custom Home including granite countertops, soft-close cabinets and tiled master shower. For additional information call Dawn Purvis, 406-439-6380, or visit the Mountain View Meadows Info and Sales Center at 431 S. Alice St.

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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 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 call 406-449-0800. 

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2838 Alexis  Avenue: "THE SENATOR". With over 1900 S.F., this luxurious single-story Sierra Custom Home with a covered side patio and inviting front porch gives you the lifestyle you've always wanted. You'll enjoy waking up on a quiet street and taking leisurely walks to Mountain View Park, less than a block away. Currently under construction, now is the time to buy this home and look forward to a new year living in comfort and style. $339,900. MLS# 303222.

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2896 Stacia: "THE PRIMROSE". A brand new 3BD/2BA Garden Home with main floor ensuite just underway! 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. $269,900.

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2850, 2852, 2860, 2862 & 2864 Runkle Parkway: FIVE  NEW CONDOS with amazing mountain views! Three 1635 S.F. and one 1660 S.F. single-story condos (one with a contract pending) and one 1812 S.F. two-story. Single-story condos feature 2 or 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, tray ceilings, great room, separate dining, attached 2-car garage, front porch and rear, private, outdoor living space. All this for only $289,900! The 3BD/2.5BA two-story condo features a spacious main floor great room, an upstairs loft/TV room, front porch and an attached 2-car garage for $259,900. Stop by now to take a look at the floor plans and claim your condo before they're all gone!

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2839, 2841, 2845 & 2847 Twilight Avenue: New 1219 S.F. duplex condos just getting 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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The Uplands at Mountain View Meadows
366 Elouise Cobell: "THE WHITEFISH".  Beautiful new home well underway 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! $329,900.

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340 Elouise Cobell: "THE TARGHEE". This new 3BD/2BA home is getting framed! 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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379 Elouise Cobell: "THE ELK PARK". New construction! This 3BD/2BA home is one of the best new plans available in The Uplands neighborhood. With a look and feel that exceeds its 1900 S. F. floorplan, you'll fall in love with The Elk Park's tall 9' ceilings, vaulted great room and master bedroom and luxury master ensuite boasting two walk-in closets, double vanity, soaking tub, tiled shower, private water closet and natural light. The kitchen features granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, an island bar, pantry and separate dining area while a gas fireplace sets off the great room.  You'll enjoy both the distant mountain views and city lights from your covered front porch and have plenty of privacy for BBQ's and entertaining on your covered rear patio. And wait till you see the huge storage closets in the bonus room over the garage! The Elk Park comes complete with air conditioning and gas hookup for those who wish to upgrade to a gas range. For a private tour, visit the MVM Information & Sales Center at 431 S. Alice St.  $319,900. MLS# 303181.

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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
Thanksgiving is often eclipsed by the winter holidays so it is exceptionally important to give this special fall holiday it's due! We hope all of you had an opportunity to share time with family and friends on Thanksgiving and were able to take lots of photos to remember the day. And without further ado, we are happy to announce Alex Morgan and Family as the "Best in Our Neighborhood" winner of the Thanksgiving/Fall interior Home Photo Contest! The Morgans live at 2746 Ryland in the Antelope Trace neighborhood. We believe their photo symbolized the value of thanks, the spirit of giving and the love of family. Congratulations!
Welcome to the
Kyle & Emily Davis
Are settling into their beautiful new home by Weatherall Builders. 

Brian Kessler
Is getting ready to move into his stunning recently completed Craftsman Garden Home. 

Congrat ulations! 
And Welcome to the Neighborhood!
Fun & Fitness: 
Did you know that singing burns calories? And standing and singing burns nearly a 1/3 more calories than sitting. And walking and singing even more! There is some debate as to whether singing in the cold is even better for burning calories -- although shivering in the cold burns about 100 calories in 15 minutes -- but, then, who wants to shiver in the cold while singing? Cold weather and singing instantly brings to mind "Caroling" and what better time of year to sing in the cold than Christmas?
What was once an annual tradition for most communities, caroling has fallen to the wayside. Perhaps today is a great day to plan ahead for 2019 to gather with family and friends to serenade neighbors during the holiday season and burn a few calories as you have fun singing.

" As with all activities, calories burned singing depend on the weight of the person doing the singing, as well as body position and associated other activities," says Magda Healey in an article on Livestrong.com. "A person weighing 150 pounds will burn approximately 100 calories singing for an hour while sitting down, and a 200-pound individual will burn about 140 calories. Stand up to belt out those tunes and the calories burned increase to 140 for somebody weighing 150 pounds and 180 for a 200-pound person. If you move while singing extra calories will be burned, depending on the intensity of the movement."
So, it follows if you move while singing, such as in caroling from door to door, even more calories melt away in the midst of holiday fun. It's not too late to take a stroll around your neighborhood and sing a song or two on your neighbor's porch. It's an old tradition that could stand revival. But, if you get called inside for hot cocoa to warm you from the cold, remember, you'll need to sing another two hours to burn up the 194 calories in that 12 oz. cup of hot chocolate.
  Mark &  Rebecca
Like many of you, our home has been teeming with activity the past two weeks as we draw closer to Christmas. We held our company party on December 8th and Habitat for Humanity held its party in our home on the 14th . I so enjoy seeing the crew and staff and their significant others outside of Mountain View Meadows for our annual party. The builders come, too, and some of the contractors who work so hard to make our community grow. I admit, preparing for the party is tons of work and I couldn't do it without Danielle and Mark pitching in to help but no matter how big the task, it's always rewarded with a good time. Our guests have learned that when they arrive at 6:30 I'll  still be in my robe finishing cooking and cleaning up the mess. Shortly after, I slip out and change quickly into something more presentable and join the others as if I hadn't just overcooked the beef or spilled a jar of pickle juice on the floor. No matter how tense I was just moments before, the smiling faces and kind words of those in the room melt away the stress and it's not long before I am laughing along with everyone else. This year we got a double helping of good times when Jacob Kuntz, Executive Director of the Helena Area Habitat for Humanity asked to hold their Christmas Party at our home. It wasn't nearly as much work since they did the food prep  and kitchen clean-up after. I just had to set up and decorate and manage the bar. I can't tell you how delightful it was to see Jacob belting out Karaoke Christmas and rock and roll tunes -- burning calories -- singing solo and along with the occasional confident guest and the lively and rambunctious AmeriCorps volunteers. Only a few of the 50 or so guests had trouble getting to our place (we live a mile back a dirt road) but unfortunately one car load that slipped off the road was quite put out and  turned around and went home after Mark pulled them out of the ditch. We're so used to the road it didn't occur to us that anyone would have trouble but should Habitat choose to party at our house again next year, we promise to be better prepared with sand on those icy spots. We are very fortunate to have been surrounded this holiday season with so many people who give so much to our community. We want to take this time to thank our staff and crew, our builders and contractors, their subs and vendors along with all the people at Habitat who work hard to make Mountain View Meadows a better place to live. And we want to wish all of our residents who turn our houses into homes the very best of the holiday season and the happiest New Year.
Realtors, Landscapers & Builders Make the Season Bright
Smiling faces lift our holiday spirits
Another year to celebrate!
Rockin' around the Christmas Tree. . . or taking a break?!
Habitat guests enjoy the 12 Dips of Christmas (with chips!)
Jacob Kuntz entertains with heart and soul
AmeriCorps Volunteers Party to Karaoke