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Old 01-04-2015, 11:13 PM
 
4 posts, read 3,655 times
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My boyfriend and I are looking to move to Alaska during the summer of 2016. We both have been doing a lot of research as far as the job market, home sales and the overall area. From what I have gathered, Alaska is expensive with a high cost of living, but with a relative pay scale. We are both from North Jersey which is also known for its high cost of living and I have found both areas to be comparable in price so I am not too worried about the high expenses.

Our current plan is to drive to AK in May 2016, stopping at small campgrounds along the way to save some cash on hotels. We both hope to have a job secured prior to our arrival so we can have a smooth and easy transition. Our selected area is still too be determined, but we have been looking near Wasilla, Eagle Rock, Anchor Point and Kodiak. We would both love a remote (far enough, but not too far away) cabin with views of the mountains. We have also been looking into a Greenhouse/Garden to produce our own fruits and vegetables. What is entailed with doing such an operation on our property?

We plan to purchase a small 2 bedroom home for around $200,000. Our goal is to have approximately 50K in savings between the two of us before leaving. This will cover all travel expenses, down payment, immediate necessities and emergency funds. Ultimately, we would like to fit all necessities in our Jeep during our drive and purchase a fully furnished home in AK. If a furnished home is not an option, we plan to purchase furniture and home essentials upon arrival as well as an additional car. Does anyone know what the average cost is to ship furniture from NJ to AK? Or from AK to NJ?

We will both be 27 at the time of arrival and anticipate staying in AK for approximately 3 years before selling our home and moving back to the East Coast.

Is 50K a reasonable savings to keep us afloat initially, especially considering we plan to be homeowners? My boyfriend is considering applying for the Alaskan State Troopers, while I currently work in Public Relations/Communication which I would like to continue while in Alaska. Is PR a large job market in AK? How selective are the AK Troopers in their hiring process? Any tips or 'must know' information anyone can supply would be very appreicated!

Thanks!!
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:27 PM
 
Location: Back and Beyond
2,605 posts, read 2,395,972 times
Reputation: 5937
You plan on buying a house only to sell it within three years and return to New Jersery? I don't get it, do you plan on making a profit or something? Why don't you just rent at first? You have never been here but want to buy a house and have 4 completely different areas on where at? Do some more research and plan a trip at first in 2015, then you will be able to make a more educated decision.
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Old 01-04-2015, 11:28 PM
 
20,422 posts, read 26,544,024 times
Reputation: 13114
Quote:
Originally Posted by mq45 View Post



We will both be 27 at the time of arrival and anticipate staying in AK for approximately 3 years before selling our home and moving back to the East Coast.
!
Why? What's your goal? If it's to walk away from Alaska with a significant sum of cash, those days have been gone for decades. There's not a lot left to take.

Getting into the Troopers isn't an easy process at all.

Quote:
Is PR a large job market in AK?
No.

Growing your own vegetables in a greenhouse during winter will eat up that 50K pretty fast.

Quote:
Alaska is expensive with a high cost of living, but with a relative pay scale.
Not true. Again, the big-money days are gone; the carpetbaggers picked the place clean in the pipeline and timber days. Even big oil took its toys elsewhere.
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Old 01-05-2015, 12:53 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,692,548 times
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Met make some good points and for some things to think about.

I thought about camping along the way and realized a good nights sleep was paramount. If you are trying to save a little money, skip a night at the hotel sleep in a rest area for a few hours and then keep on going. You'll need 3 to MAYBE 4 nights at a hotel that way. You have two drivers, so technically if you leave in the summer you could just drive straight through. I don't recommend that in the winter and the one stretch from Ft. Neson to Watson Lake should be done in the day time. (too many animals along that route)

Getting a job as a trooper means being assigned to somewhere besides Anchorage - since Anchorage has their own PD... Anchorage is the low cost area of this expensive state too.

I won't dash your hopes as you are on the right track saving up money to move, but you still need money replacement lined up when you get here. I do think you need to research a little more and get your idea of what to expect in line. I had an idea of what it was like to live here after visiting and I still had to readjust my expectations.

Visiting is a good idea too - in order to get that Trooper job your boyfriend will need to come up here at least once anyways.
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Old 01-05-2015, 02:50 PM
 
Location: Interior Alaska
1,941 posts, read 1,688,007 times
Reputation: 1426
No need for me to post anything when you can simply re-read Met's above post. I recommend re-reading it bunches of times just for good measure.
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Old 01-05-2015, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,557 posts, read 3,928,913 times
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New Troopers are posted in Palmer, Fairbanks or Soldotna.
Duty Stations
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:04 PM
 
20,422 posts, read 26,544,024 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKStafford View Post
New Troopers are posted in Palmer, Fairbanks or Soldotna.
Duty Stations
For the first 12 months for field training. They're mostly sent elsewhere after that.
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Old 01-05-2015, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
6,906 posts, read 11,692,577 times
Reputation: 5572
Quote:
Originally Posted by Metlakatla View Post
For the first 12 months for field training. They're mostly sent elsewhere after that.
It's changed a lot. Since rural posts are put out to bid, per the union contract, many new troopers end up doing more time in the larger posts. I've got a buddy that started out in Fairbanks and then transfered to Palmer. In his 10 years with the Troopers he hasn't had a rural posting yet. Others try to bid on rural posts as soon as they are off of probabtion.
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Alaska
195 posts, read 182,470 times
Reputation: 314
I'm wondering why you'd buy a house in AK if you only plan to live here for three years? I realize that the rental market can be tough. However, I don't think I'd ever blow 50K on something that was only temporary. Honestly, if you were renting you could move here on an 1/8 of that savings and be fine (granted you had jobs lined up ahead of time). Make sure you have jobs lined up before moving. Jobs aren't as easy to come by as many people would like to believe. Seriously, this is probably one of the biggest reasons I see/hear people complaining about living here. They move without jobs, blow their savings, and are completely stuck.

As far as the drive, I'd say that it is fantastic. Camping along the way is a fun way to save money and have some cool experiences. We did 50/50 camping when we drove it last. There are some really fun camping spots in some cool remote places. There were also some spots that were so overrun with wildlife that we chose to sleep at an overpriced hotel instead. Another fun way to travel to AK is to take the ferry. It might be pricier, but it is lots of fun and gives you a chance to walk around in some neat towns. The ferry is much less stressful IMO.

Gardening/growing food is possible. We have a garden and have many friends with chickens in the SE…but the SE is very different than other parts of the state. Only a very small portion of our food comes from our garden. The growing season is very short. I wouldn't count on it to sustain you by any means. It's a great hobby though!

Just a few things to think about!
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:09 PM
 
20,422 posts, read 26,544,024 times
Reputation: 13114
Quote:
Originally Posted by stiffnecked View Post
It's changed a lot. Since rural posts are put out to bid, per the union contract, many new troopers end up doing more time in the larger posts. I've got a buddy that started out in Fairbanks and then transfered to Palmer. In his 10 years with the Troopers he hasn't had a rural posting yet. Others try to bid on rural posts as soon as they are off of probabtion.
Seems like the troopers on the island were always just putting in their time until they could transfer out to somewhere more populated. I had the impression it was because most of the wives weren't happy there.
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