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Old 09-02-2011, 09:17 PM
 
21 posts, read 29,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happiness is View Post
I think it is hard for people who come from a location that is close to population areas to realize how few people there are in Montana and how sparsely we are spread out in the 4th largest state of the country. The sparse population makes a huge impact on what types of businesses are viable.
I am seeing that! We actually like that it's sparsely populated. It's why my husband really wants to move there. We will find something that will work.
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Old 09-03-2011, 09:06 AM
 
297 posts, read 666,814 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tenaciousrei View Post
Thanks happiness is and MontanaGryl! Your input has been a big help!
...
My education is in Interior Design/Merchandising. I get the feeling it would not be in big demand there! My husband mainly works with ebay so he would just expand that and work totally online.

Are there any indoor flea markets in Montana or a need for one? If there is we would think about opening one. ...
You are very welcome! There are interior designers in the bigger towns but not many, and I think most Montanans believe that they are just for rich transplants from California and New York. I think the poor economy has probably hit higher-end luxuries like hiring an interior designer pretty hard. Something related that I've heard is getting more popular though (no proof, just anecdotal) is people who can "stage" homes for a quicker sale. Not sure if any of that is what you were talking about.

As "happiness is" said, indoor flea markets and craft venues are mostly gone, partly due to the economy and partly IHMO due to a lot of people here wanting something for practically nothing. They look at crafts and think, "Huh. I could make that for 50 cents. No way I'm paying ten dollars for it." They can't actually make it as they don't have the skill, but they're stingy that way.

The University of Montana, here in Missoula, has several nice art and crafts fairs during the year, and also a great International Festival every spring.

Your attitude of taking things in stride is of course an excellent one, and one you'll need here. Heck, we all need it anywhere.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
4,922 posts, read 7,851,902 times
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Lived in Missoula/Bitteroot area for a couple of years. The real, living expense supporting, benefit paying jobs are few and far between. Most people living there successfully already have established jobs, are self-employed in a need-based business such as insurance, fencing, plumbing, or heating and air, are retired and receiving pension checks or social security checks, or are juggling several low-wage jobs to survive, or already have an accumulation of wealth. Then there are the students living in group housing or on campus at the University.

There are many artistic, crafty people and craft type venues there, but most of the "artists" have to work the "dreaded day jobs" to exist. If you have a successful online business, your situation may be different. It is NOT cheap to live in Montana, especially not in the Western part of the state, unless you can perhaps live with a group of people and share expenses. Not trying to be harsh, just honest.

The cost of housing, winter utilities, and gas to travel the long distances from place to place out there in Montana are the biggest expenses. Groceries are very high, and the growing season is very short.

It is definitely scenic, and secluded; but that comes with a high price tag. The cheapest way I saw to live out there, and how I managed it, is to be able to buy a mobile home for cash within one of the mobile home parks, and then just pay the lot rent. The older, cheaper ones are hard to find. Banks will NOT give you a loan on a mobile home out there without land, and land is extremely pricey. When I put my mobile home up for sale to move back here to the east coast, I had it sold to a cash buyer the first week, so if you found one, you would want to be in a position to grab it immediately.

If you like decorating, you may be able to esbablish some sort of business in that area, but remember that Interior Designers have degrees. A co-worker of mine ran into trouble a few years back because she was advertising her home business as "Interior Designs by......". Come to find out, unless you have a degree in Interior Design, you have to call yourself an "Interior Decorator." Just a tidbit I know from her experience.

Just some suggestions and observations. I didn't really appreciate Montana like I should have I guess. It was a little TOO secluded to me, but now some days I miss that. Best of luck!
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Old 09-04-2011, 04:14 PM
 
21 posts, read 29,356 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by montanamom View Post
Lived in Missoula/Bitteroot area for a couple of years. The real, living expense supporting, benefit paying jobs are few and far between. Most people living there successfully already have established jobs, are self-employed in a need-based business such as insurance, fencing, plumbing, or heating and air, are retired and receiving pension checks or social security checks, or are juggling several low-wage jobs to survive, or already have an accumulation of wealth. Then there are the students living in group housing or on campus at the University.

There are many artistic, crafty people and craft type venues there, but most of the "artists" have to work the "dreaded day jobs" to exist. If you have a successful online business, your situation may be different. It is NOT cheap to live in Montana, especially not in the Western part of the state, unless you can perhaps live with a group of people and share expenses. Not trying to be harsh, just honest.

The cost of housing, winter utilities, and gas to travel the long distances from place to place out there in Montana are the biggest expenses. Groceries are very high, and the growing season is very short.

It is definitely scenic, and secluded; but that comes with a high price tag. The cheapest way I saw to live out there, and how I managed it, is to be able to buy a mobile home for cash within one of the mobile home parks, and then just pay the lot rent. The older, cheaper ones are hard to find. Banks will NOT give you a loan on a mobile home out there without land, and land is extremely pricey. When I put my mobile home up for sale to move back here to the east coast, I had it sold to a cash buyer the first week, so if you found one, you would want to be in a position to grab it immediately.

If you like decorating, you may be able to esbablish some sort of business in that area, but remember that Interior Designers have degrees. A co-worker of mine ran into trouble a few years back because she was advertising her home business as "Interior Designs by......". Come to find out, unless you have a degree in Interior Design, you have to call yourself an "Interior Decorator." Just a tidbit I know from her experience.

Just some suggestions and observations. I didn't really appreciate Montana like I should have I guess. It was a little TOO secluded to me, but now some days I miss that. Best of luck!
Thanks Montanamom! I did know that about Interior Design/Decorator thing. I have college credits in Interior Design but not a degree at the moment. LOL, I probably will have it by time we get it together and get to Montana. I go by decorator at the moment when I work as one. Most of my business lately has been for my craft work. Interior Decorating is not something a lot of people want to spend money on right now.

After relaying all this to my husband he still has his heart set on Montana. LOL, he likes a challenge..plus while not wealthy we are doing pretty good. We can buckle down and save for a year or so and have money to get started there .

This is for anyone to answer: I am curious about the food cost. Here in the Kansas City KS/MO area we can get by on about $500 a month for five people, not including eating out and that without really budgeting. How is it there in Montana?
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Old 09-04-2011, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,566,857 times
Reputation: 655
Cost of Living comparison calculator

Above is a link where you can compare costs of specific items, like pizza, steak, etc. between two cities. Just enter Kansas City, MO, and Missoula or Bozeman, the only two Montana cities in their list. Bozeman has the highest prices in Montana to compare. Other towns in Montana will have lower prices than Bozeman.
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Old 09-04-2011, 07:31 PM
 
3,815 posts, read 4,003,285 times
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Would you consider work in the Coeur d'Alene / Spokane market and living outside of it? Outdoor recreation fairly nearby but a much bigger economic market. I'd think at least Spokane would have a longer growing season than MT.

A few links that might interest:

Islamic Center of Bozeman
Muslim in Montana - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle: News

Spokane Islamic Center (SIC) | Be Inspired, Live Islam!
(supposed to around 1,000 Muslims in the Spokane area)
IslamicValley - Spokane Islamic Center
(some resources in the Pulllman WA / Moscow ID area too)
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:20 AM
 
21 posts, read 29,356 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by happiness is View Post
Cost of Living comparison calculator

Above is a link where you can compare costs of specific items, like pizza, steak, etc. between two cities. Just enter Kansas City, MO, and Missoula or Bozeman, the only two Montana cities in their list. Bozeman has the highest prices in Montana to compare. Other towns in Montana will have lower prices than Bozeman.
Thanks! I played around with another cost of living calculator yesterday but the one you posted is much better. The cost of living is not too far off from Kansas City. That is really good to know.
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Old 09-05-2011, 09:22 AM
 
21 posts, read 29,356 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
Would you consider work in the Coeur d'Alene / Spokane market and living outside of it? Outdoor recreation fairly nearby but a much bigger economic market. I'd think at least Spokane would have a longer growing season than MT.

A few links that might interest:

Islamic Center of Bozeman
Muslim in Montana - The Bozeman Daily Chronicle: News

Spokane Islamic Center (SIC) | Be Inspired, Live Islam!
(supposed to around 1,000 Muslims in the Spokane area)
IslamicValley - Spokane Islamic Center
(some resources in the Pulllman WA / Moscow ID area too)
Thanks for the links! I will bring it up with my husband. He might go for it since it is still close to MT. He really has his heart set on Montana at this point.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:18 PM
 
21 posts, read 29,356 times
Reputation: 19
I jusr wanted to update! After an eventful couple of weeks (My husband got hit by a car when driving his motorcycle and had eye surgery in the past two weeks! He's ok though!) we are back to researching our move. We have narrowed it down to Bozeman or Helena thanks to the advice we found here. I'm more attracted to Helena at this point...

We are going to visit once in the winter and then come up with the kids in the spring/summer. We want to make the summer trip a long road trip. I'll probably have more questions later but any trip advice is welcome.

We told my family where we were thinking about moving and, to quote, "Why don't you move somewhere where we would want to visit?" My husband sees this as even more incentive to move to Montana. :|

I am not as concerned about fitting in as I was before. My husband will fit right in, my kids will adapt. I'm considered weird where ever I go so I will just have fun with it.

Anyway, I wanted to say thanks to everyone who posted for your help so far.
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Old 09-12-2011, 05:41 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
1,191 posts, read 2,566,857 times
Reputation: 655
Wishing a quick recovery to your husband, and good luck on the visit up here!

H.I.
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