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Old 01-09-2014, 09:16 PM
 
2,147 posts, read 4,329,776 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Last stop View Post
Moved here from 2000 miles away over 6 months ago and am posting this as not a slam to Missoula but as advise to those who may be considering the same type move. We love it here and remain happy we selected Missoula BUT come with your eyes open and do the research ahead of time.

Pros:
Outdoors: It is beautiful with an amazing quality of life. If you enjoy the outdoors and want a great place to raise a family to pull them away from being inside all the time, it is wonderful. If you are looking to get more in tune or back in tune with nature - fantastic location!

Weather: The winters are considered more mild here than most parts of Montana. This year was exceptional with record snow falls and winter is still here ranging from about mid Nov to mid May. That said, the area is well equipped to handle the snow with great equipment and services. 0 school days cancelled where our kids attend. We have adopted from others "if you can't handle the winters here, you don't deserve the Springs." I just keep wondering where the Springs are.

Schools: relatively small class rooms and kids are challenged. (some cons here also listed below.)

Traffic: almost none expect on Reserve St during busy hours. If you are from a big city it is 0.

Size: not too small and not too large with everything you need found locally. Far removed from the big city life if you are burned out.

Clean: it is a fairly clean town where people take pride in their homes, the environment, and surroundings. That said, you can find trashy neighborhoods in every town.

Location: 120 miles from Glacier National Park and about 240 miles from Yellowstone. If you love parks and the outdoors, you will never wonder or debate where to go for weekends or vacations. (If you love the ocean , sunbathing, and being on the beach ... you will fly to get there from here.)

Cons:

Economy: while some might say this represents the nation as a whole, it does not as I have lived in 5 different states in the last 5 yrs. Do not come here without a job if you must work. If you have an industrial background, forget it. Most people work 2-3 jobs to get by and the median salary here is one of the lowest in the nation. You will struggle to save the money you need to because of the cost of living not matching the income abilities. I still do not know where most people work that live here. It is boasted as a technical job area with the university, medical jobs, software, etc... but spend time here and you will wonder where all the average blue collar families work? It is not a manufacturing friendly town. 2 major operations closed within the last 2 years that hurt the tax base badly causing layoffs in public sectors including the school systems. You will hear in the same sentence, "it is so terrible the plants closed here and thousands of people lost jobs, BUT we are glad those dirty smoke stacks went away." The dirty smoke stacks mentioned were simply steam and water evaporation.

Travel: If you need to fly for personal or business, the local airport is not cost effective and very limited. Often I drive 3.5 hrs to Spokane for most flights.

Food: groceries and high for what you find. Area is very green and if you are into organics (and have the money) you will be happy. If not, you will find Walmart to be your favorite stop but higher than national average. Sure you are reading no sales tax and thinking this is great ... prices make up for whatever savings you assume from no sales tax.

Different: again not a slam but if you are new to the west / Montana, etc.. you will struggle to make friends quickly. You will make quicker relations with those relating with you that moved here from somewhere else than locals. Montana is a huge state with less than 1M people and frankly, they like it that way. It's somewhat of a hippie town with bumper stickers proclaiming to "Keep Missoula Weird." Kinda artsy / fartsy like Austin, TX.

Housing: there should be no reason (including land cost) for it to cost $125-$150 dollars sf to buy or build a house here, but it does. Property taxes are lower than most states but consider a house costing $100K more than you think it should and you would be happy to pay $1500-2000 / yr more on property taxes and see that money go to improve the roads and public schools as well as economic development (which btw is almost non-existent.)

Schools (again): our kids are getting a good education and the attention needed from smaller classrooms. If you are a teacher looking for a job, warning! As mentioned layoffs and cutbacks are taking place in most systems due to the economy and industrial pull outs. The schools are fairly poor and it shows big time in academics for elementary and junior high schools. Simply, there is not enough local funding or state funding without the industry here to cover. Montana is one of the 2 states with balanced budgets. This is great but at what cost?

Focal Points: follow the locals news online through the media markets, twitter, and other sources. More crime than you would expect for this area, more focus on medical marijuana, big rigs on the highways, somebody cut a tree down, how can we open another casino or pawn shop, and so on compared to core issues of how can we create more jobs, improve the economy, bring industry to the area, support existing industry so they do not leave, and so on. If you want to get involved and have a voice - good luck as the reception to outsiders is not very good.

Neutrals:

Diversity - depending on your history and preferences this can go either way. But check the ethnicity numbers of the area if you have concerns.

Church: again depending on your background but do not expect the Bible belt with lots of Baptists. You can find a Bible following churches anywhere in the country and will need to do your homework to find a fit for your family here.

Food: descent but you will not be blown away. Again due to the economic issues, fast food and chains are the most popular.

Most say if you do not like here - leave. Easier said than done and again it's not a matter of being down on Missoula or not liking the area. As with most cities there are Pros and Cons and I listed a few from our experience of not being from the area. I hope some find this helpful that need to ask the same questions.
Great post. One side point: Although the smoke stacks may have been only steam/water, Missoula is located in a valley and has a considerable inversion layer in the winter, creating breathing issues for some and air quality warnings at times, for others. It is one factor for the 'cloudy winters' [the inversion that traps all smog/industrial pollution from nearby]. So it was not just a case of 'that's not pretty'. I know this post is older, so I am just adding the detail for future researchers. I agree with most of your post, however. Thanks for taking the time to write a detailed post; it's very helpful to folks researching here on CD.
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:45 PM
 
159 posts, read 373,241 times
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If you are considering Missoula, expect to walk outside and be greeted by a bad smell throughout the city and have a bad taste in your mouth and coughing while hiking up M Hill and then lookout over the city to see smog everywhere.
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Old 01-18-2014, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Valley of the Sun
1,348 posts, read 1,099,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlestick View Post
If you are considering Missoula, expect to walk outside and be greeted by a bad smell throughout the city and have a bad taste in your mouth and coughing while hiking up M Hill and then lookout over the city to see smog everywhere.
Except for a few weeks of air inversion in the winter, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Compared to most US cities, Missoula is still very clean and one of the greatest cities around. "Clean" outdoor activities in every direction. Not many other places where you can find that.
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Old 03-24-2014, 04:52 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,870 times
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Default Questions

I have been considering moving to missoula in about a year but reading this post gives me some major concerns maybe I could get a little guidance here?
1. I'm at CPA with mostly governmental auditing experience. Are there any jobs out there for me? And will they pay what a CPA is worth?
2. There's a lot of talk about housing being expensive but I've looked at some real estate listings and it appears you can get a decent 4-5 bedroom single family home for between 250,000 and 350,000. Is this delusional? I'm from Colorado and where I live currently that amount of money will get you a 1,200 sq ft condo.
3. Food. What's a gallon of milk cost for example? Here it's nearly $4 a gallon for the cheapest brand.

Any thoughts from anyone local would be appreciated. I want to make a good decision about where I move. I want to live somewhere that cost of living isn't as outrageous as it is where I currently live but I need to near mountains because very active in hiking and snowboarding and my boyfriend is very into hunting.
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Old 03-24-2014, 05:32 PM
 
4,641 posts, read 3,967,018 times
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Firms tend to underpay staff. Check with Missoula CPA firms. You might be better off working internal control or internal auditing at University there.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:51 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,571,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ajs777 View Post
3. Food. What's a gallon of milk cost for example? Here it's nearly $4 a gallon for the cheapest brand.
I do most of my shopping at Costco (Bozeman but it can't be that different from Missoula), so that's what my prices are from: I think milk is about $2.50/gallon right now (I usually buy half-and-half so haven't paid attention). Eggs are about $3.65 for 2 dozen. Butter is about $2/lb but fluctuates a lot. Regular gasoline was $3.09 a week or so ago, which was up from $2.91 a couple weeks before. Dog food starts at about $20/50 lbs. Pork starts at about $1.98/lb, beef starts about a dollar higher for cheaper cuts. Apples are around $1.50/lb. but varieties can be higher or lower. Cheese is about $2.50/lb. for basic bulk cheddar. I can't think of anything else, which should tell you how my grocery trips go.


PS. Quick realty search, Missoula area
I see some pretty nice houses in the $250k range.
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Old 05-12-2014, 10:50 PM
 
2,031 posts, read 2,131,081 times
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for some of us more common folks in the universe, 250k for a home is way too much, seems to me that more liberal the city, the higher the price of the real estate, all over the USA....it seems, why this is, I have no idea...
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Old 05-12-2014, 11:53 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,571,634 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrider434 View Post
for some of us more common folks in the universe, 250k for a home is way too much, seems to me that more liberal the city, the higher the price of the real estate, all over the USA....it seems, why this is, I have no idea...
Good observation. As to explaining why... galloping regulation and taxes are a good start.
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Old 05-13-2014, 12:00 AM
GLS
 
1,985 posts, read 4,837,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by starrider434 View Post
for some of us more common folks in the universe, 250k for a home is way too much, seems to me that more liberal the city, the higher the price of the real estate, all over the USA....it seems, why this is, I have no idea...

Ok, you stumped me. I can't think of a "conservative city". What does occur to me is that there are conservative "towns" and liberal "cities". Prices of most things, including homes are a function of supply & demand. In a "city" too many people are competing for goods & services. The harder they compete, the more their fellow citizens become adversaries. In an effort to gain the advantage, they look to a "higher power", i.e. government. More regulations, more taxes, more fees, more assessments...........
more government dependency.....more entitlement programs to assuage the guilt of the powerful. The result is "liberalism" as a philosophy linked to population density.

Sorry if I got carried away. Just my opinion. Of course my idea of a "Happy Meal" is a bottle of vodka, two Xanax, and a cookie.
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Old 12-08-2014, 02:43 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
239 posts, read 1,184,294 times
Reputation: 304
Default Three years later...

Thanks, Last Stop, for this post. Really gave me a lot of information about Missoula and what life might be like if we do decide to move there.

I'm wondering if thing have changed in the time since you posted this. Perhaps the economy has improved?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Last stop View Post
Moved here from 2000 miles away over 6 months ago and am posting this as not a slam to Missoula but as advise to those who may be considering the same type move. We love it here and remain happy we selected Missoula BUT come with your eyes open and do the research ahead of time.

Pros:
Outdoors: It is beautiful with an amazing quality of life. If you enjoy the outdoors and want a great place to raise a family to pull them away from being inside all the time, it is wonderful. If you are looking to get more in tune or back in tune with nature - fantastic location!

Last edited by ElkHunter; 12-08-2014 at 07:52 PM.. Reason: fixed quote marks
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