DON'T. From a person who is not a realtor who has lived over there for six years in the past - don't. The housing is VERY expensive because Californians like you and Washingtonians come over, scoop up an expensive house, jack up the taxes for the neighbors, who are no longer Montanans because they've all been run out, live there two or three months out of the year, and then leave with their expensive, over-priced home on the market because they can't stand Montana winters. The smog in Missoula is also horrible in the winter. You're usually "socked in" under a cloud of stinky air that sits in the sky and stinks for months. There are no jobs, and for people with Master's degrees, there's $10/hour jobs waiting for them when they graduate from the college. The traffic is absolutely the worst because there are so many people per square inch. The city streets are a huge, conglomerated mess with traffic lined up for hours at certain times of the day. I don't know where people are living, as there are so many people in that small college town, that they must be two or three families to a residence. Move there if you like people who have long, shaggy beards and don't shave their armpits (women), don't change their clothes and wear "Burks" with socks all year long, and hang out on street corners holding signs saying "Will work for beer." Also, the town is chock full of environmentalists, most of whom come from rich families back East that don't know squat about Montana or its environment, who come in and chain themselves to trees (called tree huggers appropriately enough) and try to make their little difference in the environmental situation of Montana. They are doing more harm than good, ask anyone. Did I mention the crime? Oh, and don't forget the recent investigation into the high number of rapes at the college there.
Do us all a favor...stay in California. Find some other peaceful state to go and wreck. Missoula has had way too much of its share.