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Old 03-25-2011, 09:56 PM
 
5 posts, read 12,748 times
Reputation: 12

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Here's what we are looking for:

-Lots of open space and beautiful views
-Outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, etc.)
-Reasonable distance from a medium to large city
-Family oriented, small-town atmosphere
-Good public education system
-Good place to raise young children
-Slower paced lifestyle- not hectic!
-Safe city

My sisters and I have often talked of moving to Montana. We have a close family, so we want to be in the same general area. All of us feel it would be good to raise our kids away from these massive cities and pollution- we want them to enjoy being kids! I would appreciate any suggestions or cities/towns that you can think of. I've already looked into Hamilton and Manhatten, and like them both. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated! I realize these qualifications fit many places in Montana, but just firsthand opinions or ideas are awesome! Thanks!
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Porkland, OR
25 posts, read 59,457 times
Reputation: 47
I grew up in Missoula, and it pretty much fits the bill for everything you mentioned, except reasonable distance to a medium or large city (unless Spokane, WA counts; it's about 200 miles away). But in Missoula, you'll probably find that don't need a big city; it has about every urban amenity a person could want, even though it does have a very small-town feel. But in general, I'd highly recommend it. I feel incredibly lucky to have grown up there.

Possible down sides:
- it's gotten a lot more expensive lately
- there aren't a lot of jobs there
- it's pretty dreary from November to April




Other possible choices are Bozeman, Hamilton (which you mentioned), maybe even Helena or Kalispell. Manhattan? Hmmm... that seemed like kind of a dump to me, but maybe it's gotten better in the past couple years.
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Old 03-26-2011, 05:27 PM
 
213 posts, read 596,365 times
Reputation: 180
Corvallis and Stevensville are both in the same general area as Hamilton, and both are considered excellent school districts.
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Old 03-26-2011, 10:37 PM
 
152 posts, read 290,021 times
Reputation: 108
Beware the inversion it holds in the pollution and we burn a lot of wood in Montana.

Missoula has the inversion.
Is not a family oriented town.
Is crowded by Montana standards.
Much smaller yards and more expensive for what you get.
The people are nice, but you really need summer there.
It really isn't as much of a change from Seattle or Portland as you are looking for.

What type of weather do you want, and why do you think Montana is the place?
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Old 03-29-2011, 12:42 PM
 
1,078 posts, read 2,281,297 times
Reputation: 1037
Missoula is a college/enviormentalist/party town-Maybe look at eastern Montana. Keep in mind what you are looking for is the same that everyone else is looking for when scoping out Montana. With this being said, you may find what you are looking for but it will soon change when everyone else wanting the same thing move's in. There are some very nice small town's on the eastern side that a person can still enjoy the type's of recreation you are looking for.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:27 PM
 
3,794 posts, read 3,987,784 times
Reputation: 2566
A comparison of Manhattan, Hamilton, Stevensville / Corvallis, Montana City / Jefferson City (south of Helena), Laurel (west of Billings), Kalispell. Lewistown (east of Great Falls) and Big Timber (east of Bozeman) on average housing costs, economy and crime.

All small economies in those towns themselves except Kalispell so commuting may be a prominent option or necessity.


Manhattan- high housing costs, relatively decent economy, low crime

Hamilton- moderately low housing costs, weak economy, above average crime

Stevensville / Corvallis- moderate housing costs, moderate economy, average crime

Montana City / Jefferson City (south of Helena), high housing costs, good economy, low crime

Laurel (west of Billings)- moderate high housing costs, relatively decent economy, average crime

Kalispell- moderate to higher housing costs, average for today economy, above average crime

Lewistown (east of Great Falls)- low housing costs, relatively decent economy, low property crime / a bit above average violent crime

Big Timber (east of Bozeman): moderate low housing costs, relatively decent economy, low crime

Last edited by NW Crow; 03-29-2011 at 09:37 PM..
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:55 PM
 
213 posts, read 596,365 times
Reputation: 180
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
A comparison of Manhattan, Hamilton, Stevensville / Corvallis, Montana City / Jefferson City (south of Helena), Laurel (west of Billings), Kalispell. Lewistown (east of Great Falls) and Big Timber (east of Bozeman) on average housing costs, economy and crime.

All small economies in those towns themselves except Kalispell so commuting may be a prominent option or necessity.


Manhattan- high housing costs, relatively decent economy, low crime

Hamilton- moderately low housing costs, weak economy, above average crime

Stevensville / Corvallis- moderate housing costs, moderate economy, average crime

Montana City / Jefferson City (south of Helena), high housing costs, good economy, low crime

Laurel (west of Billings)- moderate high housing costs, relatively decent economy, average crime

Kalispell- moderate to higher housing costs, average for today economy, above average crime

Lewistown (east of Great Falls)- low housing costs, relatively decent economy, low property crime / a bit above average violent crime

Big Timber (east of Bozeman): moderate low housing costs, relatively decent economy, low crime
I'm curious where you're getting you're informaion, and what "average" refers to. Average for what? Montana, the nation? And, for your crime stats - what types of crime? You've specified in a few, but are we talking petty crime, violent crime, drugs, or a mixture? Without a definition, this can be misleading.

Take Hamilton, for example, which you have listed as "above average crime." Hamilton is hardly a hot bed of violence or criminal activity. I think most people coming from larger metro areas would consider it a safe and sleepy little town - population less than 5000. A lot of these towns are even smaller. In a population that size, one domestic homicide or a couple of juveniles on a weekend car theft spree can greatly skew a yearly average, without having any real impact on the overall feeling of safety and security that residents enjoy. In towns this small, it's important to look at trends over several years, and not just one year's worth of stats.

I would say that all of these towns (even Kalispell, despite the number of homicides in the area over that past few years), would seem peaceful and safe to most any larger city dwellers. The possible crime exception might be drugs, because like many rural agricultural states, Montana has a meth problem.
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:24 PM
 
3,794 posts, read 3,987,784 times
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I got the information from a "competitor's site" which can't or shouldn't be mentioned according to practice here. They got the stats from government sources. The information could be pulled from city-data stats and I think it would probably look about the same as often the same government sources were used. Average is average for the nation.

For economy, I looked at unemployment and average income level and did a rough blend to make a single statement.

I blended the reported violent and property crime stats for simplicity. But ,yes, the mix matters and I probably gave a bit more weight to violent crime. Hamilton ranks were I stated using the quick method I used. In one case I broke them out because they were the most different from each other of the cities checked. The stats are based per 1000 of population so a modest number of crimes in a small city can produce a rate per 1000 that might rank high even against bigger cities where crime expectations are higher and often are higher. Yes, rates fluctuate over time and probably especially for smaller towns, so that is a useful detail for you to highlight.

I was attempting to give a simple but perhaps useful summary as a starting point. Anyone is welcome to research ratings themselves or some can even assess their own ratings from personal experience. Of course many homes are not average priced homes, falling above or below in price. There is not one average economy, but a different one for people in different fields and at different levels and with different education & skill. Crime with depend on neighborhood and behavior and luck and is not experienced at an average rate by all either.

Last edited by NW Crow; 03-30-2011 at 03:36 PM..
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Old 04-23-2011, 05:12 PM
 
Location: West Yellowstone
28 posts, read 62,832 times
Reputation: 19
Default Move!!

We live in West Yellowstone 90 miles from Bozeman boardering Yellowstone is great!
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Old 04-25-2011, 06:13 AM
 
Location: Upper Midwest
1,877 posts, read 3,711,791 times
Reputation: 1884
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattleblue77 View Post
Here's what we are looking for:

-Lots of open space and beautiful views
-Outdoor activities (skiing, hiking, etc.)
-Reasonable distance from a medium to large city
-Family oriented, small-town atmosphere
-Good public education system
-Good place to raise young children
-Slower paced lifestyle- not hectic!
-Safe city

My sisters and I have often talked of moving to Montana. We have a close family, so we want to be in the same general area. All of us feel it would be good to raise our kids away from these massive cities and pollution- we want them to enjoy being kids! I would appreciate any suggestions or cities/towns that you can think of. I've already looked into Hamilton and Manhatten, and like them both. Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated! I realize these qualifications fit many places in Montana, but just firsthand opinions or ideas are awesome! Thanks!
I don't know why people speak of Montana as if by moving there, they're getting away from the problems of the world, lol... I think it's less laidback from where I love now, in Northwestern Wisconsin. People aren't as stir-crazy here. They can live the small town life, but get away to the city once in a while. It's definitely more warm and "Hi, how ya doin?" Out there, it's "grrr" to everyone. Passive-aggressiveness. (Toe over to aggressive.)

But I'd recommend Helena because it's locale is sort of central to most of the major cities. Missoula, Bozeman, Butte, and Great Falls. You could choose to live in Helena or East Helena. Once I was there and kids crossing the street on some sort of field trip and a few just randomly waved to me. Wasn't used to that kind of friendliness living up in Great Falls.
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