neighborhood of South Central, Helena, Montana
Photo: Christine Brown
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South Central, Helena, Montana

The Neighborhood
Spanning the 10 blocks between downtown Helena and the Montana State Capitol building, South Central is attracting first-time home buyers who want to walk or bike to work and also live a few blocks from the hiking and mountain-biking trails of the Helena National Forest. The neighborhood has old-time appeal, with a corner market and well-maintained trails through a forested park, and approximately one-third of its homes are listed on the National Register. The sounds of hammers and drills are common here, as residents remove tattered aluminum siding, tack on additions, or erect picket fences in front of historic homes, most built between 1890 and 1920.

The Houses
South Central has everything from Queen Anne cottages with highly ornamented front porches to jaw-dropping Second Empires with mansard roofs and cupolas. There are also dozens of shotgun and bungalow homes.

The Prices
Houses range in price from $100,000 for a cottage or bungalow in need of care to more than $300,000 for a fully restored Queen Anne.

Why Buy Now?
South Central is seeing a lot of investment right now as people rediscover the joys (and fuel-cost savings) of living close to where they work. Helena offers property-tax breaks for those looking to restore National Register—listed homes.

Among the best for:
Outdoor Enthusiasts, First-Time Buyers, The Northwest
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