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January/February 2019
Believe in Better:
HELENA HOUSING 2018
Housing plays a key role in maintaining healthy cities. While home owners in cities typically pay higher taxes than those outside a city, the taxes improve quality of life for both residents and the general community. In Helena, garbage pickup and maintenance of city infrastructure such as sewer and water treatment facilities are included in the taxes. Tax money goes for police and fire protection and for community amenities such as parks and the Helena Civic Center. Throw in streets and city utility maintenance and it is easy to see why property taxes are so important to the health and well-being of a community and the citizens it serves. For the second year in a row, the gap between housing starts In Helena and housing starts outside Helena city limits has narrowed. But in 2018, with 160 homes built in Lewis & Clark County outside the city to 54 within the city, the lack of shared taxes to support shared assets used by people from inside and outside the city continues to put a strain on Helena's resources. Providing a diversity of quality home products and affordable housing helps draw new residents to Helena. Of the 54 new home starts in Helena in 2018, 35 were in the Mountain View Meadows community in the southeast corner of the city. Although prices have returned to normal after the economic downturn that nearly brought new home construction to a standstill, Mountain View Meadows strives to offer new homes that address the lifestyle needs of people searching for a home in Helena at a range of prices that meet most budgets. "We may be the only community in Helena still able to offer a new home under $250,000," said developer Mark Runkle. "We have a number of attractive plans under $300,000 with upscale finishes and major kitchen appliances as well as beautiful custom homes up to $600,000+ for those looking for that dream home on a large city lot." With its location just minutes from downtown Helena and St. Peter's Health and with the added benefit of being in the new East Helena High school district, Mountain View Meadows is worth a look for anyone searching for a quality new home in the City of Helena. And there is no better time than now to start that search as we continue to build towards a stronger and healthier community in 2019.
Building a Better Community:
YOUTHBUILD HELENA
Sometimes a kid just needs a break and a helping hand to develop the skills needed to succeed in life. The non-profit Career Training Institute founded in 1983, located at 347 North Last Chance Gulch, is currently recruiting high school dropouts to fill a limited number of openings for the YouthBuild program that does just that. YouthBuild provides out-of-school-youth ages 16-24 with an opportunity to improve academic skills, attain a high school equivalency diploma and enhance leadership talents through construction training and community service. YouthBuild students learn valuable life and employment skills and earn a stipend for participation along with the opportunity to earn several certificates and credentials. The goal is for participants to become gainfully employed, go on to college or become part of an apprenticeship program. YouthBuild joined Habitat for Humanity this past year to build a new home in the Craftsman Village neighborhood at Mountain View Meadows. This beautiful new home will be ready for move-in this spring. To learn more about the YouthBuild program, contact Sarah or Lisa at CTI, 406-443-0800.
On Topic
KEEP YOUR TAX AND INSURANCE PAYMENTS IN ESCROW OR GO IT ON YOUR OWN? 
It's not cheap to buy a home. Three of the biggest expenses include property taxes, homeowners insurance and, for some buyers, private mortgage insurance. Paying these bills requires coming up with $3,000-$10,000 or more a year on top of the mortgage depending on the value of your home and where it is located. When buying a home, an important consideration is whether you trust yourself to save the money to make these payments on your own or have your mortgage lender collect the money from you and make the payments for you.
 
As an informed homebuyer, you want to fully understand your choices. If you choose to have your lender collect the money, you will enter into what is known as an escrow agreement with your mortgage lender. Under an escrow arrangement, you'll send in extra dollars with your monthly mortgage payments. This extra money is deposited into the escrow account. When your property taxes or insurance bills are due, your lender will use your money in the account to pay the bills on your behalf.
 
"Say your property taxes for the year are estimated at $6,000," explains Rafter, "you'll pay $500 each month to cover these taxes, money that your lender will deposit into an escrow account. If your yearly homeowners insurance costs $1,200, you'll pay $100 each month, money that your lender again will deposit into your escrow account. This means that you are paying $600 extra each month to cover your property taxes and homeowners insurance."
 
The benefit of this? Mortgage lenders say that convenience tops the list. You don't do anything except contribute the necessary funds each month.
 
"There is peace of mind with escrow," said Doug Leever, mortgage sales manager with Tropical Financial Credit Union in Miramar, Fla. "There aren't any shocks. There's no, 'Whoops, we forgot to save and put that money aside.' You don't have people having to scramble, having to put the payment on their credit card or take it out of their savings."
 
So, what is the benefit of forgoing escrow and handling your property taxes and insurance bills on your own? It mostly comes down to interest. Homeowners don't earn interest on their money when it is in an escrow account. So if you are truly good at managing your finances, you maintain control of your own money. But do you have the discipline to save the money on your own?
 
"To make these payments on your own, you do have to be disciplined," said Staci Titsworth, regional sales manager for PNC Mortgage in Pittsburgh. "You have to make sure that you actually do set aside the money for your taxes and insurance. These are not small bills. You don't want to be surprised when the bills come. You don't want to be scrambling to come up with $6,000 at the last minute."
 
It all boils down to you.
 
"Do you already set aside enough money to cover your monthly payments? Or do you have to scramble each month to find the money to pay your credit-card bills, mortgage payments or utility bills?" said Rafter. "If you're not financially disciplined, an escrow arrangement probably makes more sense."
Benefits and Updates:
MOUNTAIN VIEW MEADOWS
1. SALT DAMAGES CONCRETE: We can't say it enough. 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 your concrete.
 
2. TAKE CARE REMOVING HOLIDAY DECORATIONS: Although covenants provide a timeline for removing holiday and seasonal decorations, your safety is of upmost importance. The weather has been more cooperative this year for removing yard decorations, but lights on homes can be tricky. Stay safe and know that no one will fault you for lights left on the exterior of your home in winter weather.

2.  SINGLE-FAMILY HOA DUES:  Just a reminder that letters regarding Single-Family Neighborhood HOA Dues and the HOA Annual Meeting will go out on or about February 1st. Annual Dues remain at $130 a year and will be due March 1st. 
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. 
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 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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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. $309,900.

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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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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. for a tour of this brand new home priced at only $269,900.

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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. $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. or call Dawn Purvis, Century 21,  at 406-439-6380. MLS# 21814840. $269,500.

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2850, 2852, 2860 & 2862 Runkle Parkway: FOUR  NEW CONDOS with amazing mountain views! Two 1635 S.F. and one 1660 S.F. single-story condos 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. 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. Stop by now to take a look and claim your condo before they're all gone! Prices start at $269,900.

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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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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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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! $339,900.

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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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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: 
HOLIDAY DECORATING CONTEST WINNERS
We couldn't have been more pleased that so many of you decorated your homes, yards and fences this year for the holiday season. Almost everyone in the Craftsman Village neighborhood had some decorations out. Antelope Trace was a close second. Aspen Park and The Uplands have some work to do to catch up, but those who did decorate really put on a show. Thank you for sharing the delights of the season and creating such a truly festive atmosphere for all to enjoy. And in case you missed the announcements and photos on Facebook of all the winning homes, below is the Grand Prize Winner. It was nearly impossible to choose any one home over another for runner-ups and honorable mentions, but we all agreed on the Grand Prize Winner as "the very best in our neighborhood!"
Grand Prize Winner!
Matt & Christie Cox
2772 Favor Loop
Welcome to the
Neighborhood
Colleen Avery
Has moved into her beautiful new single-story condo by Weatherall Builders. 

Alex & Carmen Schillinger
Are settling into their gorgeous recently completed Craftsman Carriage Home. 

Lou Antonick
Is getting ready to move in and enjoy the comfort of his brand new Craftsman Home steps from Mountain View Park.


Congrat ulations! 
And Welcome to the Neighborhood!
 
Fun & Fitness: 
LOSE A POUND A WEEK OF HOLIDAY FAT
According to Health.com, the average holiday weight gain is one pound. Not quite sure where that leaves those of us who saw three pounds added to the scales in January but, if a pound a week is what it takes than it's easy to multiply the weight by the number of weeks needed to put the numbers back where they started in November. To lose one pound in seven days, you'll need to eliminate a minimum of 500 calories each day. So to lose three pounds in three weeks, well, you get the picture.
 
An article on Health.com lists 32 ways to reverse holiday weight gain. These tips from trainers and nutritionists will help you work off at least 500 calories a day, if not more. We've selected our top eight to get you through the rest of the winter. These are all things you can do at home or by taking advantage of the parks, sidewalks and Fun & Fitness Trail at Mountain View Meadows.
 
1. Lighten up your coffee order: If you typically begin the day with a 16-ounce latte with 2% milk, Health's contributing nutrition editor Cynthia Sass, MPH, RD, recommends making the switch to a 12-ounce cup with coconut milk instead.
2. Dilute your OJ: Having a glass of orange juice in the morning is a great way to load up on vitamin C, which can help reduce the severity of cold symptoms. To continue reaping those benefits with fewer calories, pour four ounces into your cup instead of eight and replacing the lost juice with seltzer. This will save you 61 calories a day, or a little under 500 in a week.
3. Go dark: Sweet tooth? Sass says skip your afternoon pick-me-up of a handful of M&M's for two individually wrapped squares of dark chocolate. Do this five times a week and you'll cut 600 calories. By the way, dark chocolate boasts some serious health benefits, helping to keep your heart healthy and even boosting your mood.
4. Get fit with baby: If you have a little one, put her in the stroller for a walk around the neighborhood. A brisk 60-minute walk while pushing a stroller will burn 180 calories. Do this three times a week, and you'll work off more than 500 calories.
5. Don't just sit there: The average person burns 100 calories per hour sitting and 140 per hour standing. Make a point of being on your feet for at least two hours every day, and you could slash an extra 560 calories by the end of the week.
6. Rearrange a room or Clean your house: January is a great time to give your house a new look. One of the easiest ways to freshen things up is by rearranging the furniture. You might be surprised to learn that moving furniture is a great source of exercise, too; rearranging for 60 minutes can burn about 500 calories. Like your house the way it is? Then clean your house, but not all at once. Spend 30 minutes a day focusing on a specific task (such as thoroughly cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, dusting, or vacuuming). In four days, you'll have burned 500 calories.
7. Shovel snow: It's one of the more dreaded household tasks, but shoveling snow can burn nearly 500 calories (this will come as no surprise to anyone who's ever struggled to clear their driveway after a big storm).
8. Chair fitness: Certified personal trainer and ISSA director of wellness John Rowley recommends this full-body exercise that utilizes just one prop: a chair! To start, place the chair behind you as if you're about to take a seat, and do one jumping jack facing away from it. When you bring your feet back together, sit down upright in the chair. Stand and repeat 25 times. "This workout is so simple to do at home," Rowley says. Do it every day, and you'll burn 500 calories over the course of the week.

Don't see anything that works for you? Check out the other 24 at Health.com.
From 
  Mark &  Rebecca
GOOD SAMARITANS SAVE NEW YEAR
Typically every other year, Mark and I head to Ohio to see family and friends for New Year's. This year was something special. My sister, Kathy, who hasn't celebrated New Year's "forever" agreed to join us with other friends and family for a New Year's Eve celebration at a comedy club in Dayton, Ohio. Now all Mark and I had to do was get there in our nearly 20-year-old green ex-forestry truck that we decided to drive the 1800+ miles to Ohio. Starting out about 2:00 PM on Friday, December 28 th,  we made it to north of Billings before a terrible sound emanated from the front of the car. Mark had the emergency break adjusted before we left and he thought it had seized up but it seemed to break through. So with dark setting in, we continued north and across the remote 212 shortcut past Little Bighorn Battlefield to Belle Fourche, SD. About half-way across in pitch black and temperatures near zero, and only the occasional semi-truck sharing the lonely 2-hour stretch of road while I'm behind the wheel, that terrible sound returned. Then it stopped. We figured we best plow on. Once we reached Belle Fourche, Mark took over and drove the remaining way to Rapid City where we got a freezing cold motel room where the water never rose above lukewarm and the traffic noise on I-90 kept me awake most the night. We should have had the truck checked in the morning, especially when it didn't want to back out of the parking space. But we still believed it to be an emergency brake hanging up. So, when the sound stopped once again we pressed on to Wall Drug where we enjoyed their famous 5 cent coffee and cake donuts before heading back on the road. Eight miles from Murdo (a town of about 324 people) the journey came to a grinding (and I mean grinding) halt as the front right wheel nearly fell off as the bearings imploded. It was now 2:00 PM on a Saturday afternoon. With help from AAA, a passing tow truck driver and the highway patrol with numerous suggestions, we still came up dry. Everyone was either booked or closed. The tow truck driver took us to his house in Murdo where we picked up a trailer and headed back to load our truck. It looked like we would be stuck till at least Monday. In the meantime, Mark and I called every parts store, junk yard and repair shop in the area. Each person contacted suggested another person to call until Mark got a break from a man who had opened his four-bay shop to try to catch up on two months' worth of work. He would take a look. And he said he'd call his friend who owned a NAPA store that was closed, who would open up so we could get the part we needed. His shop was 60 miles away. And so we headed down the road with our truck in tow to Chamberlain where it was immediately pulled onto a lift. After confirming the issue, the mechanic took us for a ride to NAPA where the owner unlocked the door and with the part in hand we headed back to the shop. Well, actually, it wasn't the right part, it was for the left wheel; but a good mechanic can sometimes make the wrong part work, and he did. And with only five hours lost we were once again on the road. I was never once concerned about my missing New Year's. I knew that even if Mark and I had found ourselves in Murdo all week we would have a good time. I was upset only that my sister would miss her first night out celebrating New Year's Eve since her wonderful husband, Larry, passed away in 2007. From the State Highway patrolman to the Tow-truck driver, to the mechanic to the NAPA store owner, we have our good Samaritans to thank for saving our New Year's celebration with family and friends and especially the precious gift of all; sharing the ringing in of 2019 with my wonderful sister, Kathy.
A "selfie" with Kathy (far left) New Year's Eve. We made it with time to spare!