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Old 08-22-2012, 04:33 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,137 times
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Default Young family wants to move to Kalispel from S florida

We are a young family with 3 children. We cant stand living in s florida so we decided to move. We want to raise our kids in more conservative, family oriented place. We love outdoors and nature and want our kids to experience it as well. My husband is a general contractor with tons of experience and an outstanding resume/ qualifications. What are the chances of him finding a job there? Can we survive on one income? How are the winters ? Thank you so much for all your help!
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Old 08-22-2012, 07:36 PM
 
Location: A Very Naughtytown In Northwestern Montanifornia U.S.A.
1,089 posts, read 689,158 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agaj View Post
We are a young family with 3 children. We cant stand living in s florida so we decided to move. We want to raise our kids in more conservative, family oriented place. We love outdoors and nature and want our kids to experience it as well. My husband is a general contractor with tons of experience and an outstanding resume/ qualifications. What are the chances of him finding a job there? Can we survive on one income? How are the winters ? Thank you so much for all your help!
Hi and welcome. The same questions are asked here over and over. You may need to be more specific about areas. Winters vary greatly etc. Read some older posts and perhaps ask more specific questions and you may get better answers, this was the best that I can do. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-22-2012, 08:07 PM
 
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We are thinking about Whitefish/ Kalispell area. Thank you.
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Old 08-22-2012, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
2,661 posts, read 1,993,515 times
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Whitefish is a very touristy area, while very pretty, I'm not sure it would meet your requirements as a wholesome family place.

Kalispell would be better for jobs, but the housing industry in Montana is not really healthy at this time.

That area of Montana is very expensive to live in. There are a lot of other areas that offer much of the same atributes for scenery, but are far cheaper to live in.

As to nature, you don't have to go far to find that here, good places to hike or camp or whatever abound all over the state.

Most of the employment opportunities right now are centered in the oilfields at the eastern edge of the state, and a lot of people have moved from the west to the east for jobs, or their families live in the west while the wage earner spends their workweek in a man camp in the fields to make a living. The pay in the oilfields is really good, if you can stand the seperation, it could work for you.

Places like Lewistown in Central Montana are very pretty with a good climate and lots of outdoor opportunities, it is pretty conservative, but many times cheaper than living in the tourist areas around Flathead Lake.

I'm not really an expert on the situation west of the divide, and there are others on this board who are much more knowledgeable about it, so they may have information I don't, but if you have questions about anywhere east of the divide I might be able to help.

Good Luck
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:36 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
4,440 posts, read 7,045,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agaj View Post
We are a young family with 3 children. We cant stand living in s florida so we decided to move. We want to raise our kids in more conservative, family oriented place. We love outdoors and nature and want our kids to experience it as well. My husband is a general contractor with tons of experience and an outstanding resume/ qualifications. What are the chances of him finding a job there? Can we survive on one income? How are the winters ? Thank you so much for all your help!
Housing and general contracting is extremely tough. A lot of skilled labor from that area is now working 350-400 miles east in the oil patch.

Winters? It would be extreme compared to S. Florida, lol. Be prepared for lack of sunshine, short, cold days and plenty of precipitation in the winter months.

It is a nice place, and it is certainly a wildlife paradise- but lack of jobs is a very real and persistent problem there. Good luck.
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:25 AM
 
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The Whitefish/Kalispell area is an area with an elevated cost of living (primarily cost of housing) compared to the wages that can be expected. With Glacier Nat'l Park, Flathead Lake and the ski resort it has attracted a lot of second homeowners or out of state homeowners so that pushes prices up.

The area was probably ground zero in Montana during the housing boom (I can't think of anywhere else that experienced it more) so we had lots of people moving in who were builders and general contractors. While some of them are still here, many are now working out in the oil patch as mentioned so even with a great resume and qualifications that says something about the job market for GCs up here. It doesn't mean it'd be impossible for him to find a job, but the construction market up here is not exactly booming.

Quote:
How are the winters ?
If you need to ask...... Just kidding. Have you lived up north somewhere before or have you always lived in Florida? If you haven't really experienced a Montana winter you should probably take a trip out for a week or so during the middle of winter and see how you can handle it. Try to spend that week as a local (since a week skiing on the slopes and having hot cocoa at the ski lodge is nothing like actually living in an area).

Some people do make it on one income, but they're in the minority and even then they're not exactly living well (i.e. bills easily paid, saving for retirement, saving for kids educations and still money left over after all that).

It can be done but it's unlikely to be easy. I'd recommend that you first come out during the middle of winter and spend some time here to see if you can handle it. If that doesn't phase you, make sure you have 6-9 months of living expenses saved up before you come out and give it a shot. Rent for the first 6-12 months when you get out here so if it doesn't work out you don't end up stuck with a house. Good luck!
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Old 08-23-2012, 07:54 AM
 
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I suggest looking at Helena or Billings. One thing you may not have considered is the major outlay of new clothes. A majority of clothing I wore in Florida is not even warm enough for summer in Montana. New bedding, flannel sheets, comforters. Boots, gloves, coats...
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Old 08-23-2012, 10:09 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
3,441 posts, read 2,863,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agaj View Post
We are a young family with 3 children. We cant stand living in s florida so we decided to move. We want to raise our kids in more conservative, family oriented place. We love outdoors and nature and want our kids to experience it as well. My husband is a general contractor with tons of experience and an outstanding resume/ qualifications. What are the chances of him finding a job there? Can we survive on one income? How are the winters ? Thank you so much for all your help!
I don't know what the chances are of finding a contractor job there, but I would not bet on surviving on one income. Kalispell is an expensive place to live and the wages in Montana are low across the board. The part of Montana you are looking at is not welcoming to outsiders. I would recommend looking at Billings instead. I think it's a bit cheaper but wages are not high there either. Winters are also generally more mild in Billings than Kalispell.
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Old 08-23-2012, 01:29 PM
 
6 posts, read 4,137 times
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Thank you so much everyone! What is the deal with those oil patches? Where is that and how much do they pay? Those winters are scaring us a little.. I have lived in Europe before ( near Baltic sea) and my husband lived 3 years in New Hampshire, where winters are pretty bad also. Is there a lot of sunshine during winters and how long do they last?
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Old 08-23-2012, 02:35 PM
 
18,870 posts, read 14,242,342 times
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Oil fields now in Eastern Montana, and North Dakota, the pay is good, but most folks don't take their families, no housing available, men just go work, and visit their families.

What is a "bad" winter? That is such a qualitative judgement, I can't tell you the answer to that...it snows alot here, but lots of folks do okay. I did not mind it much.
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