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Old 03-06-2016, 12:31 PM
 
Location: Skyrim
6 posts, read 5,664 times
Reputation: 11

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Hi.

I'm curious about the towns in Alaska that are not connected to the road system. Specifically places like Bethel, Nome, Kotzebue, Point Hope and Barrow.

My question about these towns is regarding living situations and housing. The impression I get is that essentially the only people able to find housing in these places are either Natives, those who have housing as part of their employment contract (nurses, teachers, etc)...and no one else.

Is that assessment accurate?

For example - what if someone decided that they were going to up and move to Barrow, Alaska and then make a living on their savings...allowing them to not worry about employment. Could they do this? Would they be able to find housing? How does that whole scenario work?

And what about other places? Nome, Point Hope, Kotzebue, etc. If a person had the money in savings to make a living indefinitely - could they find housing? Would that housing be financially viable (ie an apt that in Fairbanks would rent for $1,000 USD...how much would it be in Barrow or Nome? I realize it's all theoretical...I'm mostly asking if the cost would make 'sense' or if it would be something like $10,000.00 USD a month.)

Also - what would be an average monthly rent for housing in these towns? Not 'high end' housing but just plain old 'housing.'

Just curious. The impression I get is that essentially no one can up and move to a place like Barrow or Point Hope. Even if they had enough money to make a living indefinitely anywhere else in the USA...they'd be unable to do the same in coastal arctic towns around Alaska...if only because housing is simply not available.

Thanks to anyone for sharing any info.
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Old 03-06-2016, 01:51 PM
 
Location: sitka, Alaska
196 posts, read 201,788 times
Reputation: 180
I live in Sitka which is not on any road system. Boat or plane is the only ways in or out. Its not like living in Presque Isle! Decent rentals run about 1000/mth. As to your question about the more northern towns--you have to hear it from the horses mouth cause I can't answer for them. Its been more than ten years since I lived up in the interior.
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Old 03-07-2016, 12:47 AM
 
1,531 posts, read 879,860 times
Reputation: 1121
So you are mainly talking about hubs. Hubs are a little easier to find a home in than a smaller village. Doesn't mean you are going to be able to find suitable housing but you should be able to find something. Heck you might even be able to buy.
Many hubs don't offer teacher housing. I know that Dillingham (not listed by you), Bethel, and Nome don't.
I'm in Dillingham and the hospital here does have a compound by rental rates are the same as in town.
If someone was to move to a hub in rural Alaska they would have a better time finding a house than a smaller native village. Our previous village only had teacher housing for rent. There were no houses that were in live in conditions for rent.
My question about your scenario is why would someone want to retire somewhere where milk costs $10 plus a gallon?
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:41 AM
 
4,718 posts, read 8,231,949 times
Reputation: 2138
I can answer your last question Haolejohn - Because they can.

I've thought about being able to just pick up and rent a different place in the world for a year at a time once my kids are out of school on their own. My only issue is health care.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:18 AM
 
Location: Type 0.7 Kardashev
10,579 posts, read 5,914,239 times
Reputation: 37085
Quote:
Originally Posted by Haolejohn View Post
So you are mainly talking about hubs. Hubs are a little easier to find a home in than a smaller village. Doesn't mean you are going to be able to find suitable housing but you should be able to find something. Heck you might even be able to buy.
Many hubs don't offer teacher housing. I know that Dillingham (not listed by you), Bethel, and Nome don't.
I'm in Dillingham and the hospital here does have a compound by rental rates are the same as in town.
If someone was to move to a hub in rural Alaska they would have a better time finding a house than a smaller native village. Our previous village only had teacher housing for rent. There were no houses that were in live in conditions for rent.
My question about your scenario is why would someone want to retire somewhere where milk costs $10 plus a gallon?
Why wouldn't they?

Maybe they can't afford it. Sure. But then, that applies to every retirement destination - some won't be able to afford it while some will. And as for other places one might retire - well, there's always someplace cheaper still, right? But people work and save so, hopefully, they can retire where they want to retire, not where they have to retire.
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Old 03-07-2016, 10:51 AM
 
Location: Skyrim
6 posts, read 5,664 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
Why wouldn't they?

Maybe they can't afford it. Sure. But then, that applies to every retirement destination - some won't be able to afford it while some will. And as for other places one might retire - well, there's always someplace cheaper still, right? But people work and save so, hopefully, they can retire where they want to retire, not where they have to retire.
Same reaction I had.

People are different...which is almost too cliche to point out without cringing. However, one anomaly in it all is Alaska. For whatever reason when it comes to places like rural Alaska there seems to be an almost universal inability to comprehend that not everyone imagines life in northern Alaska as punishment tantamount to slaving away in a Stalin-era gulag.

(Skip the following unless you're interested. I'm just sharing my dreams about Alaska/the Arctic and hoping maybe someone could point me to some info that might help me make it all a reality. Thanks!!)

Personally I've been drawn to rural/isolated essentially wilderness communities with nearly uninhabitable climatology for every second of my life that I've been evolved enough to remember. It's kind of lucky for me...namely because life in a place like Fairbanks/Barrow/Yellowknife/Iqaluit/Churchill isn't just a dream - it's basically the thing I want the absolute most out of my life, lol. It's honestly on par with what I imagine the other more normal spectrum of society would feel towards winning the lottery. Lucky because unlike the reality for everyone else...the odds of moving to Fairbanks/arctic Alaska aren't just astronomically more probable than getting a winning lottery number - they're also hinged on personal effort and hard work as opposed to wearing a four leaf clover and praying for luck.

My lifes dream has always been to live in an arctic location in either northern Alaska or northern Canada. I love the cold. I love how remote it all is...while still having a sense of community. I've visited several such villages... and they only deepened (exponentially) my obsession and excitement about someday living that life.

Only downside is that I'll likely never get to truly live in the arctic. Not so much because of money or career - but because of what I mentioned here already. It would appear as though housing is a nearly insurmountable obstacle to overcome. I still spend countless hours trying to research it all in the hopes that I'll stumble across some way to make it possible for me to move to some place like Barrow, Kotzebue, Inuvik, Iqaluit, etc...but haven't made much progress.

Beyond that I can at least fall back on a compromise...such as living in Fairbanks, Alaska. It's not absolutely perfect...but it's still nearly as exciting to me as I imagine winning the lottery is to other people.

If anyone has any information that could help me make these dreams a reality - let me know.

Some more details...short of living in Barrow, etc, my other dream would be to make a living for example in Tok, Alaska...maybe Chicken or Eagle, Alaska...etc. Also Dawson City, Yellowknife, Labrador City, etc.

Thanks for any help.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:10 AM
 
1,531 posts, read 879,860 times
Reputation: 1121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dakster View Post
I can answer your last question Haolejohn - Because they can.

I've thought about being able to just pick up and rent a different place in the world for a year at a time once my kids are out of school on their own. My only issue is health care.
I get that b/c they can, and I can totally support doing what you want, when you want, but I'd still ask someone why, before they did something they'd completely regret.
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Old 03-07-2016, 11:46 AM
 
1,531 posts, read 879,860 times
Reputation: 1121
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unsettomati View Post
Why wouldn't they?

Maybe they can't afford it. Sure. But then, that applies to every retirement destination - some won't be able to afford it while some will. And as for other places one might retire - well, there's always someplace cheaper still, right? But people work and save so, hopefully, they can retire where they want to retire, not where they have to retire.
I suppose when I think of retirement, I think of peace. Having lived in a village for the last 4 years, the bush life isn't really for people of retirement age. No matter how much money you have, money can't buy everything.

Nothing wrong with asking why. The OP may have a warped sense of romantic living with the wild, and they may just want to be left alone. Without asking why...one will never know.
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Old 03-07-2016, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Kenai Peninsula, AK
6,483 posts, read 13,108,561 times
Reputation: 2734
There's plenty of unique and interesting towns in Alaska where you actually can find housing. Seldovia comes to mind immediately. Not quite as remote as Kotzebue, but still a gateway to the wild Kachemak Bay and Lake Clark and Katmai parks.
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Old 03-07-2016, 02:20 PM
 
1,531 posts, read 879,860 times
Reputation: 1121
Quote:
Originally Posted by William81 View Post
Same reaction I had.

People are different...which is almost too cliche to point out without cringing. However, one anomaly in it all is Alaska. For whatever reason when it comes to places like rural Alaska there seems to be an almost universal inability to comprehend that not everyone imagines life in northern Alaska as punishment tantamount to slaving away in a Stalin-era gulag.

(Skip the following unless you're interested. I'm just sharing my dreams about Alaska/the Arctic and hoping maybe someone could point me to some info that might help me make it all a reality. Thanks!!)

Personally I've been drawn to rural/isolated essentially wilderness communities with nearly uninhabitable climatology for every second of my life that I've been evolved enough to remember. It's kind of lucky for me...namely because life in a place like Fairbanks/Barrow/Yellowknife/Iqaluit/Churchill isn't just a dream - it's basically the thing I want the absolute most out of my life, lol. It's honestly on par with what I imagine the other more normal spectrum of society would feel towards winning the lottery. Lucky because unlike the reality for everyone else...the odds of moving to Fairbanks/arctic Alaska aren't just astronomically more probable than getting a winning lottery number - they're also hinged on personal effort and hard work as opposed to wearing a four leaf clover and praying for luck.

My lifes dream has always been to live in an arctic location in either northern Alaska or northern Canada. I love the cold. I love how remote it all is...while still having a sense of community. I've visited several such villages... and they only deepened (exponentially) my obsession and excitement about someday living that life.

Only downside is that I'll likely never get to truly live in the arctic. Not so much because of money or career - but because of what I mentioned here already. It would appear as though housing is a nearly insurmountable obstacle to overcome. I still spend countless hours trying to research it all in the hopes that I'll stumble across some way to make it possible for me to move to some place like Barrow, Kotzebue, Inuvik, Iqaluit, etc...but haven't made much progress.

Beyond that I can at least fall back on a compromise...such as living in Fairbanks, Alaska. It's not absolutely perfect...but it's still nearly as exciting to me as I imagine winning the lottery is to other people.

If anyone has any information that could help me make these dreams a reality - let me know.

Some more details...short of living in Barrow, etc, my other dream would be to make a living for example in Tok, Alaska...maybe Chicken or Eagle, Alaska...etc. Also Dawson City, Yellowknife, Labrador City, etc.

Thanks for any help.
Now you are talking...

If money isn't an object, why not just move? I believe all these places you mentioned have hotels, so fork over the money to stay until you find permanent housing.

If money isn't an option , then you might not be satisfied with the housing. I would look into real estate lots in the areas, I am sure you should be able to buy something, or even build.
The COL will be a lot higher than what you are used to more than likely and healthcare will be terrible (there may be exceptions, but my experience with healthcare in the bush isn't positive).
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