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Old 08-22-2012, 12:37 PM
 
463 posts, read 315,891 times
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MTSilvertip- Thanks for the recommendations. Been getting way too much use out of Google Earth and the like, they will probably start sending me a bill soon! I will be looking at all the places mentioned. we plan to spend a couple of weeks out there in the spring, should be able to narrow it down some, I hope.


Wyoeagle- Not a big fan of the chain stores(other than the one that writes us a check every two weeks), but the area is beautiful. We will be cruising through there and checking it out, for sure.
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:15 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
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Quote:
Originally Posted by countryboy73 View Post
MTSilvertip- Thanks for the recommendations. Been getting way too much use out of Google Earth and the like, they will probably start sending me a bill soon! I will be looking at all the places mentioned. we plan to spend a couple of weeks out there in the spring, should be able to narrow it down some, I hope.


Wyoeagle- Not a big fan of the chain stores(other than the one that writes us a check every two weeks), but the area is beautiful. We will be cruising through there and checking it out, for sure.
I don't recommend Bozeman at all for a place to live. From your descriptions you probably wouldn't be too fond of it. I just meant that in Livingston you will have the small town lifestyle but if you need to shop Bozeman will have what you need. 25 miles is a very short distance to drive by Montana standards to shop. Livingston is actually where a lot of the scenes from "A River Runs Through It" were filmed.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:49 PM
 
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Have no fear, we won't be locating in any city, epecially one like Bozeman. On the edge of a small town, perhaps, but our lifestyle and future plans require more space than a city lot. We like to grow our own groceries, and will be having a few horses, as well. So hopefully the right acreage on the outskirts of one of those towns the size of the town I grew up in(400 people) will turn up when we need it. Not looking to build a big log mansion on the side of some unspoiled mountain and spend all our time in microbreweries and ethnic restaurants, nor are we looking to be drugstore cowboys. Just looking to find a community that shares the same rural American values we espouse and become a (hopefully)valued part of it. Livingston(actually the country around it) is one of several places under consideration. From my research it appears more and more like even Livingston may be more "cosmopolitan" than we are looking for, but of course we won't know until our boots hit the ground out there. Once we decide we like an area, and get transferred out there, we still do not plan to buy right away. Likely we'll rent for six months to a year in order to fully understand the local economy and systems, then set about finding the right property for our way of living. Its a plan, anyway.
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Old 08-22-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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There is a lot of good ground in the Paradise Valley south of Livingston, I know because my family has lived in that area since the 1870's.

I don't think it would meet your requirement for conservative people though, lots of movie stars like Peter Fonda bought ground there, and of course then came the hangers-on, so now there are a lot of McMansions and latte sippers there.
The price of land went through the roof too.

Anything within 30 miles or so of Bozeman, Missoula or Kalispell will be high priced, especially since a lot of that land has been carved into 5/10/20 acre "ranchettes".

In Montana, "pretty" means expensive because that is where everybody wants to be.

Depending on what you want and want to do, you may have to do some searching to find an affordible piece of ground within reasonable commuting distance of your wife's work.

Good Luck
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Old 08-23-2012, 12:41 AM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,915 posts, read 7,683,769 times
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Originally Posted by countryboy73 View Post
Have no fear, we won't be locating in any city, epecially one like Bozeman. Not looking to build a big log mansion on the side of some unspoiled mountain and spend all our time in microbreweries and ethnic restaurants, nor are we looking to be drugstore cowboys.
Hey I like the microbrews! It's beer made in Montana- not like that Bud crap now owned by a foreign corporation!

Buy AMERICAN! Lol.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:27 AM
 
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Haha! I am more of a whiskey man, never liked beer. Of course, if one is to drink beer, I suppose American made beer would be the ticket! I don't even drink whiskey that often, but it is good once in a while, especially when the bones are hurting....

MTSilvertip, I was afraid the situation in Paradise Valley and surrounding areas was as you mention. Notiiced a lot of fancy homes, big ranches owned by famous people, and the like. NOT our kind of neighbors, at least most of them. From here, Beaverhead county looks interesting, as does Jefferson and Broadwater counties. We are looking at the more rural(I know, it's Montana) counties that neighbor counties where the cities are located. Reasoning: In my experience, those counties have lower taxes, less government and regulation at all levels(on average), less people(but more of the kind we enjoy being around), and just fit us better. To me, most of Montana is pretty, even the eastern plains(I grew up in Hale, MO, a little town of 400 in the farm country of NW MO). But we are looking more to the mountains for the cooler(according to the data) climate and the outdoor opportunities available. Don't even want to live in the mountains, necessarily, just close enough to reap the benefits of cooler weather, and be close for all the activities they offer. We have learned to DESPISE the heat and humidity, having lived in Ft. Worth, TX and the Ozarks, where it does not even really cool down at night, so we are ready for real winters and moderate, even short, summers. Everything else is negotiable, other than reasonable proximity to a Walmart.
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Old 08-23-2012, 11:28 AM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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This is where I have to put in a plug for Wyoming. At least we have Wyoming Whiskey .
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Old 08-24-2012, 05:14 PM
 
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There is a problem in what you are looking for. Those small towns of 400 or so people, are not near Wal-Mart stores. They are much more remote.

As others have told you, property within a reasonable commute for your wife from a Wal-Mart store is fairly expensive. We live 30 miles from a Wal-Mart and the town is 2,000 people. Our house is a modern home on 5 acres with barn, and is worth $350,000.

Montana, is well restricted to what you can do with property with zoning regulations, permits for water use and wells often with restrictions on amount of water you can use and what you can use it for, property deed restrictions, etc. It is not a state, where you can do what ever you want, especially in areas within commuting distance of a Wal-Mart.

Many country subdivisions, are just 1 home on a large building lot. Many even zone out several horses probably limited to 2 or less.

When parcels of land are broken down into smaller units like you want, they are not always zoned ag or agriculture which you want to be sure you have. You can find a lot of 20 acre parcels (with and without homes) as an example that are only zoned to be big building lots with no animals, etc. Good parcels of land, flat and usable for your type of use, is expensive except in remote areas. Zoning may allow animals, but deed restrictions on the property may not. The problem is, many cheaper properties do not have wells with the water capacity to handle a large garden, or your well permit may limit the amount of water you can use, eliminating garden use, etc. The cheaper properties, will very often have a cistern and you have to buy water and haul it to your home for house use etc., and is too expensive for water to be hauled for a garden. Especially in years like we are going through. You see pickups all over the small towns, with big plastic tanks on the back to haul water to their homes.

Since Montana has become popular land has gone through the roof in price.

Compared to California the type of property you want, Montana is cheap. Compared to a lot of the country it is expensive. Especially on the Western part of the state near a Wal-Mart Store for your wife to work.

I spent 30 years as a commercial and farm/ranch real estate broker, so understand the problems you may face if you move to Montana. There is a saying, when you move to Montana and want a country life bring money and the more the merrier. A 300 to 400 acre ranch as an example with a home, barns, and fenced will run from $1,000,000 to $3,000,000 and up depending on the property, improvements, location etc. When a developer breaks this down to 10 or 20 acre parcels, he will have expensive costs for surveys, fees, carrying costs, etc. He will have high sales costs, etc., far above what non developers understand. He will want to make a substantial profit, or why do it in the first place. He will place deed restrictions on the property, that will attract city dwellers that want a country place, many of which will be second homes. Often these deed restrictions, will eliminate several horses.

From your posts, I get the impression you think Montana as a last frontier, where people can do what they want with their land and live Free. Not True. Where the people are rugged individuals. Not true. Those days have been long gone from Montana. My fathers father, was born on a ranch in the Deer Lodge Valley in 1862. He grew up into the Montana Cattle Wars. He became a fast draw, straight shooting gun fighter to protect their and other ranches holdings. Those days are long gone, and Montana has become quite civilized as my grandfather told me back in the 40s. That is even more true today, over 60 years later.

I am trying to give you a real picture of Montana, to help you make decisions.
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Old 08-24-2012, 08:06 PM
 
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Check out Havre, MT. Wal-Mart has a SuperCenter there- conservative area, ample opportunities for outdoor rec.- mix of high plains, Milk River bottoms, and the Bearpaws, outliers of the Rockies. Railroad is advertising for help and Sanjel is looking for drivers and mechanics. Drilling activity is picking up in the region.
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Old 08-24-2012, 09:11 PM
 
3,775 posts, read 4,326,170 times
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Originally Posted by countryboy73 View Post
But we are looking more to the mountains for the cooler(according to the data) climate and the outdoor opportunities available. Don't even want to live in the mountains, necessarily, just close enough to reap the benefits of cooler weather, and be close for all the activities they offer. We have learned to DESPISE the heat and humidity, having lived in Ft. Worth, TX and the Ozarks, where it does not even really cool down at night, so we are ready for real winters and moderate, even short, summers. Everything else is negotiable, other than reasonable proximity to a Walmart.

What is "reasonable proximity" to you and your wife? If you're willing to put up with 40-60 minutes (in good weather), you might look into the little W MT communities along the Clark Fork River on Highway 200. There is a Wal-Mart in Ponderay, ID, within 25 minutes' drive of the MT border, about 40 minutes from Noxon, MT, and about an hour's drive from Trout Creek; those are small communities with tall, wooded mountains on either side of the CF Valley (the Cabinets and the Bitterroots). Thompson Falls is probably too much of a commute, but it's a very charming town. The valley itself is broad in many places, with ranches and farms, and the climate along the river has the reputation of being somewhat milder than elsewhere in NWMT because of all the reservoirs. And a home base in Trout Creek would give you access to all kinds of outdoor activities. Not to mention the fact that the area is absolutely stunning...and not a lot of McMansions.

Monty's suggestion of Polson is also worth looking at. Your wife could probably even commute to Wal-Mart from other towns on Highway 200 such as Plains. Right, Monty?
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