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Building permits increase for multi-family units in Missoula

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The city of Missoula has issued more than 1,100 building permits so far this year and residents hope it will even out rent prices. New Missoula residents Carly and Greg Hill moved to the Garden City for law school with the hope of finding affordable housing. "We had come up from Salt Lake two or three times before and looked at apartments around Missoula," Greg Hill said. "And they were just a lot more expensive here than in Salt Lake." Missoula has seen a steady population increase of about 5,000 people a year since 2010. Some Missoulians say it's hard to find an affordable place to rent. "We were going to be paying $1,500 for a one bedroom and we need at least two bedrooms because we have our son, and that just doesn't work when you have a family of three," Carly Hill said. The Hill family found many vacant places to rent but struggled to find a place with adequate space and an affordable base rent. Greg Hill said they eventually decided to buy a place instead. ''We decided it would be more economical just to buy because we could get a lower mortgage payment for the same amount of real estate," Carly Hill said. When initially looking for a place, Greg and Carly Hill were surprised to find prices higher than Salt Lake City, a place notorious for higher price tags. Now, they look at their new home as an investment. "Even though we are only going to be here a few years we can sell this place and kind of get our money back but rent will be cheaper," Greg Hill said. As for others moving to Missoula in the near future, Greg and Carly Hill recommend looking at as many places as possible, because there are a lot of options.

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