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Old 11-12-2018, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma
6,867 posts, read 6,197,101 times
Reputation: 6171

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coeur d'alene, ID seems like a good fit. It fits all the criteria and still has good access to Spokane. The lake is beautiful and comes right up to town.

More isolated but the combined communities of Pullman, WA- Moscow, ID would work and you get two major state universities which provide a lot of activities for a small area. Has all the outdoor stuff but you have to drive a half hour or so to get to a lot of it.

I think they are a bit more temperate in the winter than the Montana towns. Of the two Montana towns, I like the setting in Missoula better because it's absolutely stunning being nestled in the mountains where Bozeman is in a bit more wide open area. Bozeman gives you the Gallitan river and Yellowstone. Missoula gives you access to Glacier and the Bitterroot range as well as some nice lakes about 60 miles north.

Billings is a nice size city for that part of the world but it seems more like a typical oil town and lacks the charm of the other two. There are some nice mountains about an hour southwest. But Billings isn't horrible.

Never been to Rapid City but hear it's pretty nice and the Black Hills are right there.
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Old 11-12-2018, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Brew City
4,240 posts, read 2,514,792 times
Reputation: 5726
Quote:
Originally Posted by eddie gein View Post
People in Helena aren't going to like this.
I was reading through to see how long this would take. As a former Helenan, I don't like being associated with Billings .

Bozeman sounds like it might be a good fit. Depending on your real estate expectations. Helena could also work. If you want a cheaper, more blue collar town without going alllllll the way out to Billings, you can look at Butte. It takes a special person to appreciate Butte but maybe that's you, OP.
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Old 01-02-2019, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Tampa Area
178 posts, read 139,481 times
Reputation: 153
I have no interest in Butte.

I prefer the dry and sunny winters of the front range.
I grew up in a small town in Maine. It had only 10,000
people when I was young. It was a hub for all the small
towns within 50 miles so even 40 years ago with 10,000
people it had 2 major grocers, a movie cinema, bowling alley,
tennis courts, a tiny mall, sporting goods stores etc.

Today at 18,000 people it has a Super Walmart, Home Depot,
Lowes, movie cinema, and restaurants galore. But Maine is
very humid with mosquitoes the size of birds. Winters are
cold and damp.

I was hoping to find a small/clean/nice city on the Front Range of
Montana that was like a mini Fort Collins but i don't think it exists.
I may need to reconsider Colorado and live indoors during the summer.

Last edited by GulfCoastGuy; 01-02-2019 at 03:30 PM..
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
368 posts, read 399,153 times
Reputation: 461
Great Falls seems like it would meet most of your criteria.
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:17 PM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,053,448 times
Reputation: 3485
Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastGuy View Post
You are so right about elitist syndrome. It has happened to every nice area of the US. Seattle suburbs used to have $300,000 houses in 2000. Now these houses are 1.2 Million with $1,000 a month property taxes. The same thing has happened to Denver, Portland, etc. Everywhere houses are unaffordable. I was thinking a small city without a tech center like Bozeman would have affordable homes but I was wrong. I saw nothing having 1/2 Acre that I would want to live in within my budget of $400,000.

To make it worse, homes built after 2010 and sit on 1/2 Acre start at $470,000.
$500,000 buys you this boring cookie cutter home in Bozeman.


You have to spend $900,000 to get a non-cookie-cutter home that doesn't look like a cheap box.
In a smaller country city that more resembles a large town and limited employment, I can't understand
the pricing of homes there. $2,900 a month for Mortgage, Prop taxes, and Insurance. Add $500 for utilities and you are at $3,400 a month to live in a cheap looking cookie cutter box home. Who can afford that payment? And if they could, why are they paying so much for so little?

I guess Bozeman is out for me.
Whoa, check out that parking lot!
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Old 01-02-2019, 07:20 PM
 
5,859 posts, read 14,053,448 times
Reputation: 3485
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
Bozeman is nice but becoming a bit elitist in my opinion with many well-off folks from big cities moving in driving trendiness and increasing real estate costs. I would instead recommend Billings which is more "every day" and as state capital employs a lot more regular folk in a slightly less trendy yet still vibrant environment. While slightly larger than your population limit (around 110K) would feel it's necessary as unlike other towns of 50K for instance in other parts of the US, consider the next sizable town could be hours away which can feel very isolated after a time.
I believe you are thinking about Helena, not Billings.
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,090 posts, read 1,072,738 times
Reputation: 1941
Quote:
Originally Posted by GulfCoastGuy View Post
I have no interest in Butte.

I prefer the dry and sunny winters of the front range.
I grew up in a small town in Maine. It had only 10,000
people when I was young. It was a hub for all the small
towns within 50 miles so even 40 years ago with 10,000
people it had 2 major grocers, a movie cinema, bowling alley,
tennis courts, a tiny mall, sporting goods stores etc.

Today at 18,000 people it has a Super Walmart, Home Depot,
Lowes, movie cinema, and restaurants galore. But Maine is
very humid with mosquitoes the size of birds. Winters are
cold and damp.

I was hoping to find a small/clean/nice city on the Front Range of
Montana that was like a mini Fort Collins but i don't think it exists.
I may need to reconsider Colorado and live indoors during the summer.
Desirable cities in Colorado aren't significantly less expensive than Bozeman- and the Front Range can be pretty sprawly. Why not expand your search to ID, Eastern WA or OR, maybe NV or NM, or other cities in MT? There are more options available, and much of the inland parts of the Western coastal states have a Rocky Mountain feel. It's not a damp cold east of the Cascades. Also, you may want to look for towns with universities or colleges. In the isolated west, they tend to feel more "alive" and have more things going on.
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Old 01-03-2019, 12:02 AM
 
Location: New Mexico
6,583 posts, read 3,670,806 times
Reputation: 12390
Sheridan WY? About half the size of Bozeman but close to Buffalo and Big Horn so there are options close by. Pretty small but I love the Big Horn Mtns.
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Old 01-03-2019, 04:27 AM
 
Location: Yakima WA
4,403 posts, read 4,610,677 times
Reputation: 3848
Have you looked into Kalispell Montana?
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