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Old 07-01-2013, 11:53 AM
Location: Silicon Valley, CA
20 posts, read 49,008 times
Reputation: 19


My wife, kids and I took our vacation that included Missoula, Glacier NP and Yellowstone. We loved it! Part of the reason for the trip was to scout out some areas and get a feel for things. We spent a few days in Missoula: hit the farmers markets, hiked the "M", did some shopping, looked at some schools and generally had a great time. I was already convinced, but my wife and kids are now fully on board. We are looking in the Frenchtown - Missoula - Lolo/Florence areas. We were underwhelmed by Frenchtown, but they have good schools.

We were fortunate to run into some very helpful people including a school principal who had just retired and a guy that plays in the local adult hockey league . They had some very good information and were very friendly.

We still don't have all of the details worked out yet with my work, I would keep my job but go remote. We are hoping to firm some of that up as soon as possible to maybe get the kids in school this year.

The real estate market seems really slow in the area. Houses on the market for a long time. A few of the people we talked with said that their experience was that people underbid substantially and were buying houses well below the listing prices. Does anyone else have experience with this recently? It is the exact opposite here at the moment with multiple overbids. One of our options is to rent for a year, then buy. However, there isn't much rental inventory, it seems rather pricey and few are suitable for our dogs and chickens.

Thanks everyone for the previous answers and help along the way. Hopefully things will come together quickly so we can get the kids in school.
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Old 07-09-2013, 11:01 PM
281 posts, read 728,309 times
Reputation: 299
I moved up over six years ago to be near family. The one thing I have noticed about every town up and down the Bitterroot valley, including Missoula and areas in the Flathead are the staggering amounts of empty houses that have been sitting up for sale. I could point out dozens of houses that have sat empty with for sale signs on them since I have lived here. I have seen tract houses built, in anticipation of people coming, that sat empty for three years until they opened them up for rental property because no one is buying.

And then some people do come up, buy a house, and leave in a year or two. They either can't afford the expenses, or can't handle the winter. The costs are high and the wages are low. My husband and I have lost a great deal of money living up here and will have to go in a year or so. It's a beautiful, beautiful area, but you can't live on scenery alone.

If I could, I'd live in the Bitterroot valley (NOT Missoula, don't like it there a bit) for the rest of my life.
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Old 07-12-2013, 10:16 AM
4,672 posts, read 3,983,141 times
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I would suggest nailing down the areas with excellent internet service and then go from there. Public schools are generalyy very good anywhere in Montana. There are some excellent private schools also. My understanding is that it is better deal to buy existing rather than build in the Missoula area in other parts of state the opposite has been true.
In Montana, as in anywhere, the key to financial security is living below your means. I have seen many people set themselves up for disaster by under estimating expenses in Montana. Some of the posters here can advise you with that.
Welcome and good luck.
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