Real estate bubbling 

On a quiet street in the Missoula University Area Historic District, just a couple of blocks east of Hellgate High School, sits a little slice of domicile heaven: a fully-restored 19th-century three-story Queen Anne Classic home situated on a half-acre lot at the corner of Eddy and Hilda avenues and bordered by a decorative wrought-iron fence.

If you’re interested in hanging your hat here, it’ll cost you $1.15 million for the key to unlock the gate.

The historic Sid J. Coffee residence is up for sale; the asking price is one of the highest ever asked in the Missoula area, and almost certainly the highest ever sought in a central Missoula neighborhood. The current owners purchased the house in 2000 for $340,000 and put a considerable amount of work into period restoration. Now they’re hoping to sell it for more than three times what they paid.

The house has been on the market for a little over a month, and real estate agent Tim McGill, of Prudential Montana Real Estate, is hopeful that Missoula’s booming housing market is ready for a $1 million-plus downtown home.

“The owners and myself believe our target market is probably out-of-state buyers,” McGill said earlier this week as he prepared to show the home to about 200 area Realtors. “We’re seeing the $1 million threshold being broken more and more.”

According to McGill, there are currently nine $1 million-plus homes on the market in the Missoula valley. The most expensive is a $1.7 million home on a 3.5-acre lot on Blue Mountain Road. But unlike the Coffee home, nearly all the other seven-figure homes are in outlying areas and boast large lots or waterfront views.

McGill says Missoula’s thriving local health-care industry, good schools and great location are drawing big-spending health-care professionals.

“Sure it’s expensive. Absolutely,” admits McGill. “We’re pushing the envelope with that market. It’s not going to be an easy sell, but we think we’ll get it done in a timely fashion.”

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