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Old 06-22-2007, 06:59 AM
12 posts, read 64,296 times
Reputation: 17


Hi everyone! We're looking at moving to Billings MT. We're currently in Tennessee. Can you all give me a little info on the area? I have a family of 4. My children are, boy 4yrs, girl 6yrs. I am a stay at home, homeschooling mom. Is homeschooling common there? How are the public schools? Lots of parks, bookstores with StoryTime, Libaries, Bowling, Skating, Swimming, Sports, and Dance?? Dance is very important to us. We stay very busy with activities, and I just would like to know if there is alot to do in the area with kids. Also where is a good area to live in Billings? How is the housing market? Here houses are cheap. We paid 120.000 for a 2700 sqft house that is 30yrs old. How will that compare there? Any info will help greatly! Thanks, Danyelle
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Old 06-23-2007, 04:58 PM
138 posts, read 419,538 times
Reputation: 73
Where are you coming from in TN? It is hard to tell you about the costs of homes due to not knowing enough about how you live. You need to compare the type of community that you live in now- how nice is your home? Compare crime in your type of community to different areas in Billings. That will be one way to say if you can buy a house for the same amount of money for the same type of neighborhood that you are in now. A CPA and a bar waitress would not typically live in the same neighborhood. Post/send some pics of the neighborhood that you are in now- then it is easier to look in a comparative neighborhood. What is the town you are in now- that gives info so you can get on a site to compare crime. Pretty much Billings falls into the national average in crime statistics except theft- that is sky high in Billings. Rape is also higher. Robbery and assault are lower in Billings. There is a site- area connect that can compare towns/cities. In general, neighborhoods that are more Native American will have more crime than the anglo population- Billings is very high in NA people, as it borders the Crow rez. You can find a house for $120,000 in Billings, but it will be about 1,300sf, 2 bedroom, in a poor to average area. If you are wanting a 'nicer' home, in a nicer area, then you will spend at least $200,000 for a home of same sf. It all depends on what quality of neighborhood you want. As for having things to do, there are some nice stores- books, clothing- the nicer stores are not the chain stores. There is an average size mall with the typical 'mall stores'. Again, it depends on how large/type of area you are coming from to compare the stores, things to do, in general, the quality of life in Billings. I live a very 'medium' life- I am an RN, and for myself I would not be able to find a home for less than $200-250,000. That is nothing fancy, just a 2 bedroom, about 1500sf in a safe neighborhood- one that I would be comfortable walking the dog in the evening. Tell more about what you want to compare apples with apples. What have you found by looking on the net for houses? We don't know if you are a 'TN Redneck', or a medium classed family. Tell more I can tell you that the west end of town is where the new neighborhoods are being built- both business and housing. The majority of the businesses that were all over town are going to the west end. There are 2 hospitals in the north/east area of town- housing around there would be $200-300,000 for a 1200-1500sf home built in the 1940-1960-70's. The area directly west of the hospitals is nice, older homes. Many are $400,000 or more. I see 1500 sf homes being built in the new west end for about $200,000-230,000 for a middle income. I don't think you will find any new homes for less unless they are the type where they are all the same, tract ,tiny lots or condos. Ilike Billings- it is sort of a mess right now, because the city is trying to catch up with the growing population- more, repaving roads, new neighborhoods, new business areas. Tell more, or pm me, and I can give you a better idea. When are you planning to move- I assume you are being transferred or already have a job.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:02 PM
4 posts, read 49,297 times
Reputation: 14
Default Billings is a great place to raise a family

DC53 summed up the current state of Billings pretty well I think. I have lived here most of my life and Billings is a great place to live and raise a family. My husband agrees who is originally from Seattle. As far as crime goes, the Heights and the far West End have the least. The Heights is closer to more activities such as the library, hiking and biking trails, the larger parks, museums, art gallery, etc. However, the West End is far closer to major shopping. I grew up in the West End and loved it. I live in the Heights now and love seeing more wildlife. There is also skiing in Red Lodge about an hour from here and lots of hiking, fishing, camping, etc. not far away.

Public education is good although not as good as 30 years ago when I was in school (is it anywhere?) My kids are grown and got good educations on the West End through middle school. In high school they were bussed closer to downtown to Senior High. Will James Middle School and West High School on the West End have reputations for having the best education. However, they have also been well known since my days as having all the rich, stuck up kids. They do have more than their fair share of weathy students due to their location but I prefer to call them 'preppy'. Both my kids were glad they didn't go to West High because they got to meet a wider variety of kids (African-American, Mexican-American, and Native American). They felt kids at Senior High were more tolerant and understanding of eachother than at the more affluent West High due the diversity of cultures and income levels. I don't know much about the schools in the Heights but my neighbors like them. This is where I would live if I was raising a family now.

You are welcome to contact me if you would like further information.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:11 PM
4 posts, read 49,297 times
Reputation: 14
Default Homeschooling, Activities, and Housing


I forgot to address some of your other questions:

Yes, there are a lot of dedicated homeschoolers here in Billings. You'll get a lot of support if you continue to homeschool.

I don't know about bookstores with StoryTime, but we have a very good public library, Barnes & Noble and others, bowling, roller and ice skating (indoors because it doesn't stay cold enough outdoors), swimming, sports galore for kids and adults, and yes... dance schools.

I'm living in a 2,800 sq. ft. 30-year old house and it's worth about $190,000 in the Heights right now. If only you could bring your Tennessee house with you and one for me too! (If it makes you feel better, houses in Seattle cost 2-3 times that much.) Do a search on the internet, a bunch of real estate companies have websites that you can check prices on.

Take care.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:11 AM
Location: LEAVING CD
22,952 posts, read 22,468,425 times
Reputation: 15488
Default Question?

Not to pry but why would you leave TN for MT? We are leaving MT for TN as soon as our house sells and heading for the Knoxville area (not in town).
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Old 06-29-2007, 05:39 PM
Location: kalispell mt
43 posts, read 124,405 times
Reputation: 22
I just moved to kailspell mt 3 wks ago from south alabama with a wife and 2 and 8 yr old this was by far the best thing we have ever done the people in montana are great and dont let people scare you with how hign stuff is there is little differance in here and the south the only way they will get me out of here is in a black bag
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Old 08-12-2007, 10:01 AM
1 posts, read 10,890 times
Reputation: 10
Default relocating to billings

hi were going to relocate to billings i wondered if any one knows how jefferson and monroe st are whats the neiborhood like thinking about buying a condo any help would be greatly appreciated it almost seems like have to move to roundup to get an affordable house
thanks melvin
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Old 08-13-2007, 12:13 AM
1,872 posts, read 3,567,142 times
Reputation: 942
Default Area of Town

Personally, I would not buy a home on the South side of Billings, where Jefferson & Monroe are. The South side is notorious for being the "bad' side of town, higher crime rate, etc. I personally don't know many people in that area of town so I'm not judging them. What I'm looking at is the value of your home for the future. You would get into a home there for a lower price but resale would be more difficult as it is not a desireable part of town to live in. My husband has been in law enforcement for many years and does say that the south side is rougher than most parts of town and that the north side (E. of 27th St.) is getting rougher, too.

There are pros & cons to the other sides of town. Heights is nice, but transportation is poor because of only one way out & in to the city.....if you are commuting at rush hour a.m. or p.m. plan on extra time, and especially lots of accidents holding you up in the winter. West End is also nice, but has a different kind of traffic, lots of stop & go at stop lights as there is a lot of retail in that area of town.

Personally, I have lived in different parts of Billings and am now in Laurel and would probably never leave here. I like the smaller town feelings, the community support of the people & businesses, the schools, etc. There are some nice neighborhoods, both older and new. Close to run to Billings for shopping, medical, entertainment, etc. Others would say the same about other close small towns such as Shephard, Huntley, etc. I like Laurel because it's a bit bigger than those towns & closer to things in Billings. I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions!!!
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:16 AM
2 posts, read 13,842 times
Reputation: 12
Oh Danyelle, don't do this to your family. I think the other posters must be real estate agents or the like because thier information is tremendously optomistic. Billings is hell on Earth. The Heights area is plagued with the stench of the water /sewage treatment facility and the south side is enveloped in oil refinery waste. A realtor told me the water is undrinkable. You can see plumes of coal dust wafting through the parks (Coulson, Mystic, South) on breezy days. The culture here is possibly the least diverse culture in the nation! Really, check the stats. I've lived in five states because of my work, and Montana has, by far, the weakest educational system. For example, my third grader is still reviewing things he learned in first grade at a Wyoming charter school. These are completely backward people. In southern Wyoming, we (my family of 5) felt like we 'd gone back in time 20 years compared to our home in Indiana. When we moved to Billings, we felt 40 years behind. There is NO money for things like upgrades, jobs-- anything new. The people here are provincial. They are shamelessly racist. I was amazed when I moved from a college town with well respected minority bussiness persons, leaders and proffesors. Here in Billings the minorities stand on street corners, near bars, work in fast food spots, etc. Women are definitely second class citizens. I wish I had time to share my examples of sexism and racism-- check into it statistically before moving. You WILL be appaulled at the high housing prices. My neighbor just moved back to Billings after a 10 year stay in Seattle. According to her, our homes are comparable to those she saw, and eventually bought in Seattle. Compare the similar-priced homes of Billings and Seattle with the low wages here and you will understand why people do not have disposable income for cultural activities (like dance). You will not get nearly the value of a similar TN home. There is a large homeschooling crowd here-- largely religious fanatics rather than the "quallity education" crowd you might be used to. Dance? Forget it. Do not bring your children here!
Sincerely, Getting out as soon as possible.
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Old 08-15-2007, 06:51 PM
1,872 posts, read 3,567,142 times
Reputation: 942
Wow!!!....is all I can say about "wow"'s above post. This person is totally off base. He or she must really have some problems to have such a negative attitude. First of all, I am not a real estate agent or even close! Billings is definitely not hell on earth. The comments about the pollution are very wrong. Sure, there are times when the winds blow odors through, but it's nothing like the pollution in "cities". With the exception of the smoke that has drifted from wildfires lately, the skies are usually clear. As for the culture, it's my opinion that the people of Billings are very open to all races, economic statuses, etc. Has "wow" ever heard about "NOT IN OUR TOWN"? If you haven't, do some research. Also, have you heard about the recent work done by volunteers to build a home for a family through the TV show "Extreme Makeover"? What a wonderful community! I take MAJOR offense at the comment about education. I am a teacher and am very proud of it. I have seen major growth in children in the area, and in fact, there was a story on TV tonight about Montana students' ACT scores being above average and rising as we speak. Teachers in Montana are not paid a lot, be we are very dedicated to our children. I am teaching in a brand new, state of the art school. I have lived in both Wyoming and Montana and have raised children in Wyoming. It is my opinion that both have good school systems. "Wow"'s comparison to education between the states is unrealistic and unfair. Where in Wyoming was this charter school? As a woman, I am ashamed of the comment about women being second class citizens. Again, way off base. As for comparing home prices in Seattle and Billings, that is ridiculous. I also have friends in Seattle, and prices there are MUCH higher. Check out the real estate listings. I do not know a lot of home schoolers, but those I do know are not religious fanatics. As a public school teacher, of course I prefer the public schools, but I certainly don't berate a parent's choice for home schooling. There are many dance schools in Billings, as well as a Children's Theater, community theater, martial arts facilities, music teachers and other "arts" offerings for children and adults, as well as many opportunities for both to be involved in the sports arena. Please talk to more people before considering any posts here.....both those who are life-long or long-time residents as well as those who have moved to Billings from other areas or countries (yes, we do have people who immigrated from other countries, and they are very welcome here! Many are business owners, so "wow" is wrong again). As for the last sentence posted by "wow" I say "the sooner the better!!!!". Billings doesn't need such negative Nellie's in our community! If he/she doesn't like it here so be it. Many of us do!!!! Danyelle, you and your family are welcome here.
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