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Bozeman man using cardboard sign begging people to sell him a home settling into new house

“Every time a young, new family needs to buy a house, it’s not sustainable to go hold a sign on the street... essentially begging.”
Posted at 9:11 AM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 11:11:00-04

BOZEMAN — A lot has changed in the last few months for Sean and Jessica Hawksford, a young married couple expecting their first baby.

We met with the first-time home buyers earlier this winter who couldn’t seem to get a break navigating Bozeman’s tight housing inventory.

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In February, Sean hit the streets with a cardboard sign, begging for someone to sell him and his pregnant wife at home.

After gaining national attention, Sean quickly learned his family’s struggle was felt across the country.

“It was easy living in Bozeman to see the way that everything has changed and be like this is a Bozeman problem. But as this has kinda swept the national headlines, we’re realizing this is a national problem. This is a huge problem affecting people everywhere,” said Sean Hawksford.

The Hawksfords said the process was beyond frustrating until suddenly, a homeowner whose family had recently experienced tragedy and loss reached out to the young family insisting they buy his single-family home.

“He really pursued us which was really bizarre after us pursuing so many houses for so long and running ourselves ragged just trying to find a place to live,” said Sean.

“It was just shockingly unbelievable that these emails coming from him were like no, I want you to come look at this house. I want to sell this house to you.”

“This house is more than we could have afforded and he was generous and very benevolent towards us and that’s how we ended up here,” said Jessica Hawksford.

The Hawksfords said it was the emotional connection they made with the homeowner that landed them a house.

And both agree: a cardboard sign is not practical for trying to buy a house.

“Every time a young, new family needs to buy a house, it’s not sustainable to go hold a sign on the street or to go send 100 letters to people and follow-up and essentially begging,” said Sean.

The Hawksfords acknowledged their situation is unique and they say they hope that the housing inventory improves across Gallatin County soon.