The Best Places to Live in Montana

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The towns of Whitefish, Billings, and King Arthur Park are some of the best places to live in Montana. Access to beautiful scenery, excellent schools, and growing housing markets make these places excellent choices if you are looking for a place to build a home.
Montana has a lot to offer with great access to outdoor recreation, excellent education and healthcare, lots of employment opportunities, and low property taxes. But choosing a place to build a home can be a challenge.
That’s why home and car insurance app Jerry has compiled three excellent options to help with that decision. We have done the leg work to present the best places in the state to raise a family and buy a home. 
Let's take a closer look.
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Our criteria: what makes a good place to live?

There are a lot of factors to consider when looking for a place to live. After all, everyone has different preferences, from proximity to natural spaces to quality schooling to access to community spaces. Everyone will have different priorities, and every town will have its own appeal.
To help with your research, we have highlighted three towns in Montana that we think make great places to call home: Whitefish, Billings, and King Arthur Park. In order to narrow our list from the 159 incorporated towns to just three, we have prioritized the following criteria:
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • Cost of living
  • Quality of schools 
  • Crime rates
  • Healthcare
  • Average commute times
  • FEMA risk index ratings 
Using these statistics, we present our choice for the best town in each of the following categories: best place to raise a family, most affordable place to live, and the best place to buy a new home.

The best place for families to live in Montana

There are a number of things to consider when deciding on a town to raise a family. At the top of that list is the quality of education, crime rates, and ability to find a community. Keeping that in mind we have put this town at the top of the list.

Whitefish

A river in winter surrounded by snowy banks and snow-covered evergreen trees with mountains in the distance in Whitefish Montana.
Location: Flathead County
Population: 8,713
Median household income: $48,813
Median home price: $614,100
With a relatively small population, Whitefish has about 1500 students enrolled in four schools from kindergarten through grade 12. That said, Whitefish schools are some of the best in the state
US News ranks Whitefish Highschool at number two in the state, and it consistently ranks in the top 10% for graduation rate. If you want an alternative high school experience, Whitefish Independent School shares a building and offers non-traditional education for grades 10-12.
Whitefish also offers a safe community to raise a family. It is one of the safest towns in the state, with a violent crime rate of 188 per 100,000 residents, less than half the average in Montana and less than half of the national average. Property crime is also about half that of the national average.
Perhaps the biggest draw to Whitefish is the access to natural spaces. Whitefish’s close proximity to Big Mountain makes it a hotspot for snow sports. As well, nearby Glacier National Park and Flathead National Forest offer a lifetime of exploration. In town, you get a relaxed, sparse atmosphere with a suburban touch. Since it is a tourist destination, there are plenty of restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and other amenities in town, but you need more amenities or a bigger town vibe, Kalispell is just 16 miles south.

The most affordable place to live in Montana

While Whitefish offers a wonderful place to raise a family, it is on the expensive side of town options in Montana. Affordability is at the top of the priority list for some people when looking for a place to call home. We have looked at two main factors, the overall cost of living and average commute times, to decide on this town as the most affordable in the state. 

Billings

About 11 Canadian geese swimming in lake Josephine with 18 goslings swimming in a line between three across the lake. Photo taken at Lake Josephine at Riverfront Park Billings, Montana
Location: Yellowstone County
Population: 106,000
Median household income: $49,265
Median home price: $185,900
Billings is the largest town in Montana, and one of the most affordable places to live as well. Average home prices are some of the cheapest in the state and are well below the national average.
Additionally, you don’t have to sacrifice community or access to amenities for affordable living. As the biggest city, Billings is a hub for cultural spaces and maintains access to beautiful natural areas, like Big Horn Canyon and Lake Elmo State Park.
At just 17 minutes, commute times in Billings are also well below the national average of 27 minutes, so you can spend less money on gas and put it towards the things you love.

Best place to buy a house in Montana

Housing prices are important when considering where to buy a house, but they aren't the only thing. The climate can have a big impact on where you put down your roots, so we compared both housing markets and the FEMA risk index to decide on this town as the best place to buy a house.

King Arthur Park

Location: Gallatin County
Population: 1,686
Median household income: $81,976
Median home price: $251,900
King Arthur Park is a growing community just outside Bozeman in Gallatin County. The population has more than doubled over the last 10 years and, as you would expect from a growing community, housing prices have steadily increased. That said, average housing costs are still around the state average, making King Arthur Park a worthy investment.
In terms of FEMA scores, King Arthur Park’s 5.91 is well below the national score of 10.60, and it still beats the Montana average of 6.83. This means that King Arthur Park has a very low risk of damage from a natural disaster or severe weather event. That is great news, not only for your peace of mind but also for your homeowners insurance premiums.

How to find the best homeowners and car insurance in Montana

Montana’s low FEMA scores are a good place to start on the road to affordable homeowners insurance, but there are two main ways that you can get your premiums even lower: comparing policies and bundling with your car insurance.
Jerry can help you do both! With the Jerry app, you can compare policies from the top providers in seconds, and see what bundling options are available for you. All you have to do is answer a few questions, and you can save hundreds of dollars per year on your home and auto insurance policies.
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