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Old 08-22-2010, 07:50 AM
Location: Cookeville, TN
5 posts, read 30,124 times
Reputation: 12


My family and I are considering moving to MT. Specifically Western MT in the mountains. We would rather live in a smaller town (less than 5K) in the mountains. At this point we would rather live outside town, rather than within the city limits. The main issues we would have would be access to good medical care, at most an hour to a good hospital. The other concern would be the weather. Are tornadoes an issue in MT? Winter we can handle, my wife is used to New England winters, and is looking forward to having real snow again. Right now we live in central TN, and their idea of snow is more than 1/2". Also, I had heard that the BLM has a lot of restrictions and covenants with landowners in MT. Is that the case, and if so, has anyone dealt with the BLM directly? Thank you all in advance for your help.
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:03 AM
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,878,095 times
Reputation: 3428
Hi and welcome to the forum
here is a really nice thread to get you started.
What is it like to live in Montana?

Maybe you can narrow it down a bit, do you need jobs?
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Old 08-22-2010, 08:24 AM
Location: Cookeville, TN
5 posts, read 30,124 times
Reputation: 12
Yes, I will need work. I have a background in computers, and there isn't much that I can't do with one. (Hope that doesn't come out wrong) However, I have also done a lot of sales, truck driving, etc. I am not afraid of hard work, unlike a lot of other people these days. My wife is disabled, but is looking to start taking some more college courses online. What we are ideally looking for is a place to get away from the "city life", and back to real communities. I love everything about the outdoors, from hunting and fishing to just sitting out on the porch and watching the sun come up. I have had enough of people either refusing to help someone they don't know, or wanting to know what is in it for them before they do. So I guess we are looking for a community to join. Not to change anything, but to get back to what is most important in life. Not sure if that really clarifies things, if not, let me know and I will see what I can do. Thanks for getting back to me so quick.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:10 AM
Location: NW Montana
6,258 posts, read 12,878,095 times
Reputation: 3428
You are welcome, maybe you want to start by looking in a larger area first for jobs,
good luck and keep posting.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:55 AM
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,327,556 times
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Some where, you've been misinformed about BLM land. BLM land is not land you purchase, build on and then worry about a convenants. It is goverment land that is open for all to use. Most is leased to ranchers for graze, but they can't build on it, at least not a permanent structure. Maybe a caving shed.

The restrictions that people mention on BLM land is how you can hunt, vehicles, etc.

At least that's the way BLM land works where I live. Somebody correct me if I'm wrong.

You'll find land in Western Montana very expensive. At least land that is close to good medical care. However, there are pockets of land that is available and you might find a deal. I wish you luck. And welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:27 PM
5,788 posts, read 9,238,573 times
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If you're having problems finding a suitable home in W MT for a reasonable price (and Elkhunter is right, land is expensive), try casting your net wider and include the eastern section of North Idaho. From Bonners Ferry to the MT line on Highway 2 you're within sight of the mountains of MT, and land is quite a bit cheaper. Moyie Springs is a nice little community on the Kootenai River, less than 30 minutes from Troy, MT, and less than an hour from the absolute remoteness of the Yaak, and property values are reasonable. Same great outdoor activities, same friendly people. And the scenery is awesome (except you can't eat it, of course, so the job comes first!).
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Old 08-23-2010, 11:16 PM
Location: western montana
214 posts, read 528,746 times
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When it comes to computers are you talking about the working man's computer, the PC, or mainframes? If you know about mainframes and their associated software issues you can find work in Missoula tending offers as a consultant with hospitals or small companies. There's good money in aquiring these contracts. When it comes to PC's there are several companies that deal with end users, which means you have to deal with the general public. They don't pay as well. They give you a funny looking car to drive around in. But you could live in a town an hour away from Missoula that wiuld fit your criteria. The rural hospitals in Montana have lots of 'guest' doctors that come up from the larger hospitals on a weekly basis, some are specialists. Don't know much about BLM land rites. I bet you'll be glad to get out of Tennessee. It's the land of the box stores.

Last edited by Jbechtel; 08-23-2010 at 11:41 PM..
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:37 AM
Location: Cookeville, TN
5 posts, read 30,124 times
Reputation: 12
Thanks for all your replies. As far as computers, I have dealt with the end users, all the way up to integrating systems and software for large companies. I got my start building custom computer systems and networks for small to mid size businesses. Graduated from there to network setup and security, web design, etc. The best case scenario would be to set up a shop of my own, but I don't know the market is for something like that in the area. Thanks for the advice on Idaho, I will look into that area as well. Thanks also for clearing up the BLM issue. Is Eminent Domain something else I should be concerned about?
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:56 AM
3 posts, read 9,617 times
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I'm not sure about the market for computer services in small-town Montana. Each might have an internet provider that might need some services, or there may be a market for web design for local business owners/artisans to market their goods/services. Being very familiar with some of the towns with 8-10,000 people, there isn't a huge market for computer services. However, it seems like technology fields have more possibilities for remote work, consulting, telecommuting, contract work. Maybe an option to consider, anyway...

The previous poster was correct regarding BLM- you won't be building a house on BLM land so that is a non-issue. In many places, parcels of land you will find for sale result from subdivision of large ranches, and covenants or restrictions will be specific to the subdivision. You'll just have to investigate what, if any, restrictions are in place before you buy. Some are reasonable, others are ridiculous. There are lots of plans in the works for new pipelines and transmission lines to move oil and power from new oilfields and wind farms to other places, and in some eastern Montana locations eminent domain has been an issue recently. I don't know what plans there are for the western part of the state, but I would check into any proposals for these in any areas where you are considering purchasing land.

You are not going to find top-notch medical care in most small towns. Much of rural Montana is classified as "medically underserved area". The best medical care will be found in the most populated areas, and as others have commented, land in those areas is expensive.

You are unlikely to see tornadoes in western Montana, so I wouldn't worry about that. Snow though is often measured in feet rather than inches in the West, and temperatures can spend more time on the negative than the positive side of zero at times. And winter is long. It isn't unusual for high mountains to start seeing snow in August (in fact it snowed in the mountains two nights ago), negative temps by Halloween, and relatively common to have snow continue through late May-early June. If you like winter recreation, you'll love it!
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