Recent statistics on median home prices in Gallatin County show home prices steadily increasing. For the average home buyer, the dream of owning a home in our area is becoming more difficult to attain every day.

A couple of years ago, I was looking to purchase a home. I'm am not rich by any means, which made the process more difficult. If I wanted to try to buy a home in Bozeman, I'd have to qualify for a pretty hefty mortgage loan. I'd see a home that I really liked, and realize it was out of my price range soon after.

I looked at a lot of different homes within the three months I was searching, before finally deciding to put an offer on a home in Manhattan. It wasn't ideal at the time, but my perspective has changed quite a bit after living in the small town of Manhattan for over two years.

At first, I wasn't excited about having to commute to Bozeman everyday for work. To be honest, I was a little bummed about not being able to afford a house in Bozeman.

Two years later, I couldn't be happier about my decision. Manhattan is a truly special place. It may be growing, but it still has that small town charm. Every spring, I get to watch a pair of Red-tailed Hawks nest in the tree across the street from my house. I've witnessed  fledglings (baby hawks) learn to fly every year since buying my home.

There isn't a lot of traffic. In fact, the only time you'll sit in traffic is when a train is going by. There's just something about the simplicity of living in a small town that's hard to beat. I have developed some great relationships with my neighbors and other people that live in the Manhattan community.

Small town life may not be for everyone, but I couldn't be happier with my decision to buy a home in Manhattan.