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Old 02-27-2009, 11:07 AM
3 posts, read 32,430 times
Reputation: 10


The more I'm researching Fargo, ND the more it looks like a fantastic place:

-Low enough population density -> low traffic, pollution

-Ridiculously low house prices and cost of living

-Slower, less crazy pace of life

-Big enough a city to have everything you need.

And at the same time job opportunities seem to be available even for folks like me, who can work computers but not farm machinery.

The only downsides I found are:

-Cold. Can't be THAT bad, unless you are from a place that doesn't ever see snow.

-Higher taxes. A non-zero state income tax and higher property taxes in Fargo are certainly a downside, but should be offset by much lower mortgage payments.

-Flooding. It seems to make a lot of headlines, but USGS doesn't seem to think most areas in Fargo are a huge flooding risk, so flood insurance isn't too expensive, right? How bad is it really?

-Not a huge city, so not many fancy things like clubs/pro sports teams/etc. Really don't care, personally.

And that's all I could find after weeks of looking.

I have to say it sounds far too good to be true, because if it were people would be flocking there from all the huge, overpriced, overcrowded mega-cities. So unless ND has a bif fence around it to keep people out, there's got to be a catch I'm not seeing. What is it?
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Old 02-27-2009, 01:05 PM
Location: Southern California native, last 20 yrs in Milwaukee Wisc.
1,142 posts, read 3,317,399 times
Reputation: 1512
I think you are under-estimating how cold it is, how long it lasts, the wind, flatness, and distance to any larger metro area. For those reasons the vast majority of people would *not* like Fargo, even with the low crime, traffic, and housing costs.
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Old 02-27-2009, 07:59 PM
Location: Fargo, ND
7 posts, read 22,707 times
Reputation: 17
mrkool is exactly right. I was born and raised here, all in all I love it here. It helps having Minneapolis a short 4hr drive away. I think the biggest bonus is having an abundance of lakes within a 40 min drive into MN.
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Old 02-28-2009, 07:59 AM
Location: Rehoboth Beach, Dela_where
177 posts, read 591,389 times
Reputation: 116
Originally Posted by mrkool View Post
even with the low crime
Come on, we all know why there is low crime in ND!

Just take a wild, wild guess!
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Old 02-28-2009, 10:56 AM
3 posts, read 32,430 times
Reputation: 10
I was thinking if I could handle Chicago-like winter, I'd be able to adjust to ND. Could you give me a sense of what the ND cold is like without me visiting? I want to try and figure out if I'd cut it. I understand the concept of layers, getting a faceful of cold every time you go from the house to the car three months a year, and therefore spending 95% of time either in the heated house, or heated workplace, or heated car during winter. In ND, I imagine the cold would be more extreme and be 4 months instead of 3.

Can you also elaborate why flatness and distance to larger metro areas are a problem for most people?
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Old 02-28-2009, 03:48 PM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
137 posts, read 382,766 times
Reputation: 122
I love the cold and I think it's refreshing so I'm a little biased. Most people in cold winter cities drive everywhere and only spend small amounts of time outside anyways so it's not a big deal. People will be in warm buildings the vast majority of the time. If you can handle Chicago you can handle Fargo. There might be numerical differences in the average winter temperatures between Fargo and some other cold places like Chicago but once it gets down to those really cold temps you don't really notice the difference. I've been to many cold cities in the Winter like Chicago, NYC, Cleveland, etc and the cold didn't 'feel' much different from ND.
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Old 02-28-2009, 04:37 PM
Location: El Cajon, CA
643 posts, read 1,194,827 times
Reputation: 282
Originally Posted by RehobothBeachDela_where View Post
Come on, we all know why there is low crime in ND!

Just take a wild, wild guess!
Cause its cold?
cause its white???
cause I said so???
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Old 03-01-2009, 12:49 PM
Location: Moorhead, MN
8 posts, read 51,342 times
Reputation: 23
I have lived in the Fargo-Moorhead area for about three years. I like it much better than the smaller town in which I grew up. It has its positives and negatives.
One thing I don't like about Fargo is that there is very little cultural and ethnic diversity. The police department is also really bad with racial profiling.
Other than that, I think it's really great. There are a few weeks in the winter when I say to myself, "I'm moving south right after college." But once March rolls around, I always change my mind. The winters are harsh, but summer and autumn are really nice. I would like to stay here if I can find a job after graduating.
The public school system seems to have pretty good results; I heard a statistic that ND's students consistently score higher than average on national standardized tests.
Politically, Fargo is more liberal than the rest of ND, but that's really not saying much. You can find your niche no matter what your political convictions are.
I haven't lived here long enough to experience serious flooding. The only advice I can think of is to avoid living near the river.
Also, we have a pretty decent music scene. We're a big enough community to attract a few big names once in a while. We also have a great symphony orchestra. It's not the Chicago Symphony, but it's excellent for a city this size.
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Old 03-02-2009, 03:15 PM
Location: Fargo, ND
45 posts, read 135,704 times
Reputation: 121
I live in Fargo. Been here nine years and am now retired. I grew up in Buffalo, NY, so I find winters here much less snowy much drier and subject to extreme cold snaps. During those cold snaps we can experience bitter, bitter double digit below zero temps with high winds. Ouch!

Generally the buildings here are built to withstand all that nasty cold stuff, and all sensible people have plug in engine block heater for their cars so that they will start easier in temps below zero. It's usually a Dec-March grind to deal with it all, but it does keep the riff-raff from settling or stay here very long. This winter has been gawd-awful with more snow than usual. Last winter was less taxing with less snow and relatively milder temps.

Like the climate in all places, you have to come spend at least one full year to find out if it suits you or not or if you handle it. No amount of explaining will substitute for that. Everyone is different.
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Old 03-02-2009, 04:45 PM
Location: Fargo ND
9 posts, read 64,881 times
Reputation: 29
Default Fargo-What's the catch?

Generally, people do not flock to ND because most of the country cannot find ND on the map. Many of those that can, have very distorted ideas of life here. If you live here, you get used to the jokes.
Fargo is a good sized city with a lot to offer. We have thousands of students attending North Dakota State University, Moorhead State University and Concordia College. So, there are a lot of oppportunities there. And the cost of attending there is more reasonable than a lot of other places.
We do have only a small percentage of people of color and international flavor. But, this is expanding, and there are plenty of cultural activities. Our Native American population is small. You will find most people of Scandinavian, and Germans from Russia descent as well as of the Catholic and Lutheran religions. But you can find every nationality and mixes, and every religion or non-religion.
One reason we do not have an influx of people is that, even though the US has a very mobile population, people tend to stay with what is known. North
Dakota is too far outside of many people's comfort zone.
Weather is a huge factor. Our Winters are long, can be very cold, snowy and stormy. It is a huge incovenience more than anything. Being able to afford a Winter get-a-way helps a lot. Summer is hot. Spring and Fall are short. In Fargo, there is almost always wind. We like to complain about the weather, no matter what it is, because it is easy to find agreement with anybody about it. And it is fairly true that if you do not like the weather of the day, wait a day or 2, and it will change, often quickly and often dramatically.
We have lots of job opportunities in Fargo, but you must remember that ND is primarily an Agricultural State.
Those who can appreciate the flat, open, minimal tree landscape, for what it is, fertile and hospitable to farming, and feel that mountain scenery is over-rated, will find a great deal of beauty in the changing landscape as crops grow and mature to harvest.
A week-end trip across the state will take you to different scenery than the Red River Valley. The Badlands offer a unique sight.
Like anywhere one might choose to live and work, there are good points and bad points. People find a niche with a group or neighborhood of similar interests and spend their time with those who enjoy similar activities. There is something for everyone who takes a little bit of effort to look around and find it.
Most people who live here are here by choice. Those that are not happy here, leave. So, those who stay, do so for many reasons. No catch. Come visit and check it out. If you move here, welcome. LD
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