It’s hard to know the exact moment when something evolves from being an anomaly to gaining “trend” status, and even more difficult to determine why, suddenly, something is so in-the-moment-wanted. This is especially true when it involves cows and real estate. Cows?
I personally know the allure of cows. I owned Walnut Creek Ranch, in Louisburg, Kansas, where I raised 3-Day Event horses, and decided I wanted cows. I explained to my ranch manager, J.O., that I particularly liked black and white spotted cows. “You’ve got to milk those,” he scoffed, “and I sure as heck am not getting up every morning and doing that.” I wanted pretty cows wandering around in the fields as a form of moveable art. Perhaps today’s Bozeman buyers share this wish.
Wanting cows in an urban or semi-rural environment is a switch from the home buyer focusing on granite counter tops and a Viking range. For a while the rage was hot tubs, then his and her walk-in closets, home theaters, and recently outside entertaining areas with fire pits. There’s always been the horse enthusiasts seeking a horse property. Many clients, when viewing parcels of land in excess of 10 acres, will ask if they can have horses whether they have ever owned a horse before. They want the freedom and option. But, cows? What is fueling this?
Moving to Montana definitely involves an element of romantisicm. And adventure. The image of the wild west has been shaped in lore and movies. Montana is arguably the last frontier, known for big ranches, cattle drives, and the images of cowboys clustered beside a campfire as huge juicy steaks are cooking over the open flame. One doesn’t think of dairy cows and cheese– we leave that to Vermont and Wisconsin.
It is important, if you are in the process of seeking property, that you are realistic in your “want” list of requirements. If you want to live close to the city of Bozeman, live water is difficult to locate and will definitely drive the property’s price up. Views, privacy, and high-end finishes are readily available, while covenants allowing cows are quite limited. You need acreage for cows. They are herd animals and require large grazing pastures, which is not within the intended use for subdivision parcels of land close to town. While the City of Bozeman has passed ordinances allowing backyard chickens, cows are still taboo. It is possible to change subdivision covenants if one is persistent and able to rally support within the subdivision since changes generally require a majority vote. It’s been known to happen but is far from a given.
Which brings up another possible reason for folks wanting cows—because they are an increasingly rare animal for the average property owner to have in their backyard and are therefore a precious commodity, a conversation piece, and somewhat of a folly.
Platinum Properties is always happy to help buyers locate their ideal property. It’s just a bit more of a challenge when we’re told that cows are part of the deal.