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Old 01-20-2012, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Montana
27 posts, read 26,251 times
Reputation: 20

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Hi, my name is Brandy and my husband and I are planning to move our family to Montana. I want to give you a little information about us so you can get a sense of the type of people we are first. We currently live in southern Georgia. We are "country". We love to fish, hunt, etc. We have lived here our entire lives and are looking for a change. We do not live a "city life" and have no intentions of ever trying to. I am a "landscape junky". I absolutely love being surrounded by land, trees, and water instead of houses and businesses. My father travels all around the west to hunt and from the pictures he brings back, Montana appears to be beautiful. We have applied for several jobs throughout the State and have a few interviews scheduled for the upcoming weeks but just in case the jobs do not pan out, I wanted to ask about what you think the best places are. I want to move to a County that has good schools, low crime rate, decent amount of jobs, and a decent cost of living. I am not so naive to think that I can get all of those but I can always dream, right? I would appreciate any and all opinions. Thanks you guys!
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:57 AM
 
1,078 posts, read 2,288,610 times
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Welcome-Where have you applied for jobs? Missoula, Bozeman and Kalispell are nice. I think Kalispell has more of what you are looking for. The plus side is that there are so many smaller towns within reasonable driving distance to Kalispell that offer a lot more in the line of scenery, water/creeks/lakes ect...There is excellent hunting and fishing over there too. The recreation seems like it never ends over there and the weather is on the warmer side as the Flathead Valley actually has its own climate. I'm at the top of the Rockies and as I type, it's snowing hard on top of the three feet of snow we got yesterday and last night. Love Montana weather! Getting off work early and heading out to snowmobile and sled with the kids.
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Old 01-20-2012, 09:13 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,297 posts, read 3,342,689 times
Reputation: 4829
Quote:
Originally Posted by brandyterrence View Post
Hi, my name is Brandy and my husband I want to move to a County [in Montana] that has good schools, low crime rate, decent amount of jobs, and a decent cost of living.
........Let me mention 'just a few' points of information that may be of interest to you:

.....In general, the overall "cost-of -living" for you will be approx 12% "higher" in Montana than where you are from in GA. (Pike County)

.....Unless you are familiar with Montana, there are 'major, major" differences in these two locations that may be far greater than you might imagine!!

......the "overall employment situation" in Montana is (IMHO) far worse than the published figures would indicate...some counties are as high as 19% unemployment.

.......and as you probably have imagined........the 5 to 6 month long winter can be somewhat of a shock to folks that have not experienced a "real Montana Winter".

I suggest you really do "your homework" regarding all aspects of a major move of this nature.

(NOTE: I am familiar with your area in GA and feel somewhat qualified to voice these opinions.)

Good Luck.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,742 posts, read 9,037,388 times
Reputation: 11138
Quote:
I want to move to a County that has good schools, low crime rate, decent amount of jobs, and a decent cost of living. I am not so naive to think that I can get all of those but I can always dream, right? I would appreciate any and all opinions. Thanks you guys
The western side of the state is generally considered more enticing since it does have the mountains and the scenery people think of think of when they think of Montana. Schools in Montana have much of the same woes as others in the nation, they are not funded well. As far as jobs go, there are plenty of minimum wage jobs around and even the few professional ones generally pay less than the national average and cost of living does not keep up with it. Unless you are on a reservation the crime rate is generally pretty low. The next question is what size town do you want? There are plenty of little towns and very few big ones.

Last edited by ElkHunter; 01-20-2012 at 10:51 PM.. Reason: fix quote marks
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:57 PM
 
18,852 posts, read 31,727,414 times
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You will need a new wardrobe, clothes from Georgia are not even warm enough for a Montana summer. Trust me on this. Cuddle duds, snow boots, jeans, flannel shirts, wool socks, Carharrt's jacket, Elmer Fudd hat, gloves. For summer, long sleeve cotton shirts, there are some warmer days, but it can be cool here in the summer too.
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Old 01-20-2012, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,861 posts, read 15,511,577 times
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You may be in for massive climate shock. I mince no words here- I lived in WV and the summers were hot and humid, and the winters usually had humid snow and ice.

I found MT a welcome change. Winters are cold, but not humid, and I can deal with snow, and it's a light western snow, but COLD.

You're from southern GA- that is warm or hot, with virtually no cold, and 40 degrees in GA is not cold.

Are you sure you want to move from GA to MT? That's about as big a damn change in climate, food culture etc, as you can get.
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Old 01-21-2012, 05:12 PM
 
8,978 posts, read 8,112,623 times
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In Montana, you can have an unemployment rate of under 5% to over 20% depending on the area of the state. In South Eastern Montana, we have a low unemployment rate under 5%, with Billings the 20th lowest unemployment rate in the nation. Some Indian Reservation areas have a high unemployment rate. The North East section of the state, has a very low unemployment rate due to the fast growing energy businesses, and are importing people from other states to fill the need for well paid oil field workers.

The Western areas of the state are not doing as well, but the state unemployment rate is quite a little below national average at about 7%.

There are some well paid, and some low paid jobs available around the state. I know of some high paid jobs, that they cannot even find people to fill.
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Old 01-23-2012, 09:13 AM
 
11 posts, read 27,000 times
Reputation: 38
Hey Brandy,

Not sure why all the other answers you're getting on the forum are doom and gloom. Yes, Montana is experiencing economic woes just like the rest of the country but overall we are doing much better than most states. I think you'll find most schools acceptable in Montana including the ones in very, very small towns. The state is large and areas of the state can differ vastly.

Of course, where you end up will likely depend on where you find an available job. Just remember that Montana has one of the lowest median income of all states and cost of living is adjusted for this although there are pocket of higher cost of living in the state.

Eastern Montana tends to be flat and cold. However, towns near the North Dakota border are experiencing an oil boom. I don't think this is what you're looking for. This will not be your scenic Montana.

Billings is the big city with 150k people in the area and probably your best shot at a good job. It's not scenic in Billings but you are about an hour away from some Red Lodge and the Beartooth pass which is breathtaking! If you were willing to commute you could look at living in Columbus, MT, Joliet, Mt and/or Absarokee, MT but this would be about a 30 minute to 1 hour commute. Billings has a low cost of living and the population at whole tends to be hardworking families. There is more crime in Billings, but it's generally located south of the railroad tracks and downtown. There is a controversial halfway house in Billings that has brought more crime to the area. If you consider Billings, just be wary of the parts of town you look to for housing. The local newspaper has an online crime map that's helpful.

Missoula and Bozeman are both college towns. They come with a higher cost of living and rowdiness. Both are scenic areas, but it may be harder to find work and your dollar won't go as far in these areas. Crime is lower than in Billings, but you get a lot of outsiders coming in for college. Also Missoula and Bozeman tend to be very liberal. The state of Montana recently legalized marijuana and you will witness marijuana use as most of the card carriers in the state tend to be college kids. You will also encounter a stuck-up attitude in these towns every now and again but if you want to be close to scenic areas and outdoors while having a good chance at finding a job, Missoula and Bozeman are good choices.

Great Falls is another large "city" in Montana. It has a hard working community but is very windy and not very scenic. Butte, is the fifth largest "city" at just around 36k residents and is more or less in the mountains. However, the town is sort of run down and there is a large pit in town full of mine tailings. It's very close to some beautiful outdoor areas and cost of living is low. Butte is sort of the town everyone makes fun of in Montana though and it doesn't help that it's one letter away from "butt". Butte also tends to have some higher crime, but it also has a very good engineering school. Helena is the sixth largest "city" and is the state capital. It's a nice town and you may be able to find a government based job there.

Just to recap, your best shot at jobs will be in one of the six largest towns: Billings, Great Falls, Missoula, Bozeman, Butte, Helena.

When it comes to scenic it's usually at the sacrifice of available jobs in Montana. There are some gorgeous resort areas like Big Sky and Whitefish but they are very high cost of living. When it comes to other scenic areas pretty much any tiny town near mountains won't disappoint. You'll find extremely friendly people and close knit communities with zero crime. However, it's extremely difficult to find work in these small towns unless you're a rancher or farmer.

Best of luck in your search!
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Montana
27 posts, read 26,251 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
........Let me mention 'just a few' points of information that may be of interest to you:

.....In general, the overall "cost-of -living" for you will be approx 12% "higher" in Montana than where you are from in GA. (Pike County)

.....Unless you are familiar with Montana, there are 'major, major" differences in these two locations that may be far greater than you might imagine!!

......the "overall employment situation" in Montana is (IMHO) far worse than the published figures would indicate...some counties are as high as 19% unemployment.

.......and as you probably have imagined........the 5 to 6 month long winter can be somewhat of a shock to folks that have not experienced a "real Montana Winter".

I suggest you really do "your homework" regarding all aspects of a major move of this nature.

(NOTE: I am familiar with your area in GA and feel somewhat qualified to voice these opinions.)

Good Luck.
Okay, well I don't mean to sound "rude" or anything but I have done nothing but "my homework" on this. I am not a stranger to "harsh" weather. I have "lived" here my entire life but I have been able to leave the state a time or two. I have done the research (imagine that) on all the questions that I asked on here but I wanted first hand opinions. Thanks for the information, no matter how you chose to deliver it.
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Old 02-04-2012, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Montana
27 posts, read 26,251 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
The western side of the state is generally considered more enticing since it does have the mountains and the scenery people think of think of when they think of Montana. Schools in Montana have much of the same woes as others in the nation, they are not funded well. As far as jobs go, there are plenty of minimum wage jobs around and even the few professional ones generally pay less than the national average and cost of living does not keep up with it. Unless you are on a reservation the crime rate is generally pretty low. The next question is what size town do you want? There are plenty of little towns and very few big ones.
I prefer the smaller towns!
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