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Old 05-28-2009, 11:10 AM
 
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Hi everyone!
We are 80% sure we are going to be transferred for my husband's job to Anchorage. He will be working dowtown. So where do families live? I am sure all over, but I mean family oriented neighborhoods where most moms stay at home with their kids and the kids play outside together. I have 2 small boys, one going to Kindergarten and the other preschool. I currently live in the Seattle area and I am used to cold dark days , but I am sure it doesn't compare.

Are there lots of indoor activities for kids in Anchorage? I haven't been up there yet, but we are traveling as a fmily in a few weeks. Are there malls, shopping, museums, any type of zoo? I know I sound naive, I just have no clue and I am trying to get as educated as I can on the area.

What local grocey stores do you have? Any Costcos, Wal-Marts, Targets, etc?

As for housing... we will rent before we buy, but want to rent in a neighborhood in which we will buy. We can afford up to 4k a month in rent.

I appreciate any advice! Thanks again!
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Old 05-28-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Dangling from a mooses antlers
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If you can afford 4K a month for rent you can live wherever you want. Anchorage has all the major chain stores that Seattle does Costco, Target, WalMart, etc. You say it's cold and dark in Seattle? That's where we go to vacation to get out of the cold and dark here in Ketchikan. Maybe we just come on the right days.

Your best bet for checking prices on rentals is Craigslist. My daughter found a very nice 3 bedroom single family house out in Eagle River for $1800 a month plus utilities.
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:04 PM
 
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Thanks so much. Well we lived 25 miles east of Seattle right by Snoqualmie PAss so we didn't get as much sun as the city of Seattle. Eagle River, ok. Is that a city, town or suburb? I appreciate the info! Even though we can afford that for rent, i don't want to pay it if I don't have to.

When people move to AK, do they ship there stuff or do most sell and buy when they get there? Does everyone nees 4wd? Again, naive here.

Thanks again!~
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Old 05-28-2009, 12:26 PM
 
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I agree with stiffnecked that $4k a month in rent is way more than sufficient. I'd say that $1800 - $2,500 a month (plus utilities) would be typical for the average single family home

I think most people ship thier stuff. A lot, of course, depends on who is paying. People who are paying their own way are much more liukely to sell everything and buy afresh when they arrive here. There are probably half a dozen different furniture stores in the area.

4wd is not necessary, unless you live on the hillside, although a lot of people feel more comfortable with it.

There are not really any "suburbs" of anchorage. There are neighborhoods within Anchorage. You'll hear people mention places like Hillside, Muldoon, Jewel Lake, Midtown, South Anchorage, etc. They are all parts of Anchorage. Eagle River on the other hand is a small bedroom community located about 15 miles outside of Anchorage. There is also "the Valley," which is two smaller towns (Palmer and Wasilla) located a little further out (about 40 miles from Anchorage).

If you want to get a good idea about the make up of Anchorage, and the different neighborhoods, here is the link to an interesting document. Its based on the last census, so the information is a little dated, but still fairly accurate. NeighborhoodSourcebook (http://www.muni.org/oecd/neighborhoodsourcebook.cfm - broken link)

Bottom line is that Anchorage is a typical medium size city. It has all the amenities of a city its size. Most folks love it. The main thing that people don't like is the darkness, the isolation (it is expensive to travel "outside), and the weather (primarily, the cool summers and/or the length of winter). Things people love are the safe communities (all though some would differ), abundance of outdoor activities, and the last Frontier Spirit. Its generally a place that people either love or hate.

Hope this helps.
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:20 PM
 
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Thanks for the link and all the valuable info. I like to be close to services but not too close..if that's makes sense.

Company will be moving us and that sure helps. I am glad that rent is less than we may have thought.

In terms of safety, I imagine you mean crime. I fully expect to respect nature and her animals. We live in Snoqualmie, Wa and have black bears in our yard all the time. We love the outdoors! We are excited to camp, fish, hike, etc. Are there children's museums and such?

So in regards to no real suburbs, are there areas that stand out more as" where most families with small kids live"? I'd rather get the info from locals as opposed to relocation real estate people who do not always have my best interest at heart.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:07 PM
 
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You'll get different "opinions" about where people live. The document in the link I forwarded actually gives you statistical data on where people with families live. The top areas are Elmendorf, Ft. Richardson (both are military bases), Eagle River, Hillside, Chugiak, and Oceanview. Given the amount of rent that you're willing to pay, I think either Hillside or Eagle River are two of your best choices, although you will find families all over town. Those are also going to be the areas with the highest rents. Eagle River, as I mentioned is to the North of the city and about fifteen miles outside. Hillside is in the southern part of town. The commute to midtown is probably comparable (South Anchorage is probably a little closer). Personally, I think the neighborhoods are comparable.

The document lists everyone who lives in zip code 99516 as "Hillside." There is actually probably a bit of a difference. You can live in "South Anchorage and still be very accessible to town, stores, etc. If you move up on "the hill" (mountains that border the entire east side of Anchorage), there will not be many stores and you have the added burden of accessibility (especially in the winter).

To be honest, nothing in Anchorage is really that far out though. You'll notice that the longest average commute time from anywhere in the city is less than 25 minutes (and that is in rush hour). Most places its quite a bit less.

The crime rate is fairly low. I know some will tell you that we have one of the highest crime rates per capita, but that is because there are so few people in Alaska. Naturally, crime is higher in some areas than others. I think Mt View, Fairview, and Spenard are the areas with the highest crime rates. There is no where in Anchorage that I would feel unsafe.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:11 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Anchorage is about the same size as Spokane with similar services.

Anchorage Museum www.anchoragemuseum.org

Alaska Zoo www.alaskazoo.org

Imaginarium www.imaginarium.org
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmills View Post
You'll get different "opinions" about where people live. The document in the link I forwarded actually gives you statistical data on where people with families live. The top areas are Elmendorf, Ft. Richardson (both are military bases), Eagle River, Hillside, Chugiak, and Oceanview. Given the amount of rent that you're willing to pay, I think either Hillside or Eagle River are two of your best choices, although you will find families all over town. Those are also going to be the areas with the highest rents. Eagle River, as I mentioned is to the North of the city and about fifteen miles outside. Hillside is in the southern part of town. The commute to midtown is probably comparable (South Anchorage is probably a little closer). Personally, I think the neighborhoods are comparable.

The document lists everyone who lives in zip code 99516 as "Hillside." There is actually probably a bit of a difference. You can live in "South Anchorage and still be very accessible to town, stores, etc. If you move up on "the hill" (mountains that border the entire east side of Anchorage), there will not be many stores and you have the added burden of accessibility (especially in the winter).

To be honest, nothing in Anchorage is really that far out though. You'll notice that the longest average commute time from anywhere in the city is less than 25 minutes (and that is in rush hour). Most places its quite a bit less.

The crime rate is fairly low. I know some will tell you that we have one of the highest crime rates per capita, but that is because there are so few people in Alaska. Naturally, crime is higher in some areas than others. I think Mt View, Fairview, and Spenard are the areas with the highest crime rates. There is no where in Anchorage that I would feel unsafe.


Thank you for all of your info.
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Chilkoot View Post
Anchorage is about the same size as Spokane with similar services.

Anchorage Museum www.anchoragemuseum.org

Alaska Zoo www.alaskazoo.org

Imaginarium www.imaginarium.org
Thanks a bunch. Just trying to get everything researched so I am not "lost" when we get there to drive around. I want to see how the kids like it too.
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Old 05-28-2009, 03:19 PM
 
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When in Anchorage, if the mountains are on your right, you're driving north. If you head towards them that's east. North-South main streets are Muldoon, A (and C) streets, Seward Highway (and Old Seward Highway) through Anchorage, Arctic, and sometimes Spenard. Spenard also runs East-West sometimes because it's more crooked than a dog's hind leg. East-West main streets - 4th and 5th Avenues, 15th, Northern Lights (west after about the New Seward Highway), Benson (east), 36th, Tudor, Dimond, O'Malley, Huffman.

Basic driving - be safer than the other idiots. I'm an idiot, so that's okay for me to say. But there are a bunch of us on the road. Shopping- Biggest Mall- Dimond. Next is 5th Ave Mall, there's an overblown strip mall at Sears and another on the east side of town (too far for me to drive - it would take 15-20 minutes for me to get there, and I may as well start driving out of town!). At least 3 WalMarts in Anchorage (there may be more, but I haven't gone looking). At least 6 Carr's (Safeway) in Anchorage. At least 3 Fred Meyers (combination grocery and department store).
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