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Old 11-08-2007, 02:26 PM
 
9 posts, read 31,640 times
Reputation: 11

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First off, let me thank anyone in advance for their information- I certainly appreciate any insight one can provide. I am taking a job in Helena, MT and also relocating as you might imagine, from CA. I have been to MT many times and finally decided that retiring from CA just isn't worth the wait. I've found a position which pays adequately for the area- so money isn't much a of a concern. Now for my berrage of questions:

Internet:
What are the internet services like, in and around Helena (I'm an IT guy so this is VERY important):
3Mb/down / 768k up- average around these parts?
Can faster speeds be had?
What does the local cable provide in terms of speed? 3-6MB?
Is the local cable laggy or unreliable?
How about the telco provided DSL?

Homes / Areas:
I've been looking at homes and I've noticed that the average seems to be 150k-ish for a decent 3brd+ home. I am looking for something with at least 3-5 acres 3brd+ 2bath+ what are the best areas around Helena for this kinda of price / acreage?

Any cities / suburbs that should be specifically avoided? Downtown Helena?

What is considered the "best" place to live near Helena?

Transportation:
Are the roads pretty well maintained? Specifically does one have to have a 4x4 truck to transverse most roads in deep winter?

Thanks again!!!

Last edited by movingtomontana; 11-08-2007 at 02:47 PM..
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Old 11-08-2007, 04:04 PM
 
989 posts, read 2,300,052 times
Reputation: 595
The price range you noted for homes seems very low to me. I might be wrong but I would have guessed a home with what you are looking for would be closer to $250k. Doesn't matter, you are from California, you can afford it.

The roads are good. We do have a lot of dirt roads here in Montana but a four-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary. A reliable front wheel drive vehicle is adequate.

You will want to get those California plate off your car as soon as you can. People here are not all that fond of California folks.
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:34 PM
 
9 posts, read 31,640 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AQHA View Post
The price range you noted for homes seems very low to me. I might be wrong but I would have guessed a home with what you are looking for would be closer to $250k. Doesn't matter, you are from California, you can afford it.

The roads are good. We do have a lot of dirt roads here in Montana but a four-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary. A reliable front wheel drive vehicle is adequate.

You will want to get those California plate off your car as soon as you can. People here are not all that fond of California folks.
Thanks for the info! and I understand their sentiment- I'm not too fond of Californian's either
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Old 11-08-2007, 07:43 PM
 
989 posts, read 2,300,052 times
Reputation: 595
Quote:
Originally Posted by movingtomontana View Post
Thanks for the info! and I understand their sentiment- I'm not too fond of Californian's either
ah, most of it is just done in fun. You wont have any problems. The people here are very nice folks.

My work keeps me away from home more than I like but Helena is home and I love it.
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Old 11-08-2007, 08:22 PM
 
1,055 posts, read 2,598,640 times
Reputation: 529
Bresnan advertises d/l speeds to 8 Megabits but I can never seem to get them over 3. But still, very good considering this is Montana.

My favourite areas around Helena are the towns south of Helena along I-15. They're tucked away in the mountains and very pretty IMO. I'm thinking Montana City, Jefferson City, and Clancy. Also like Unionville, about 2-3 miles west of Helena. The Helena valley is also nice - I just prefer living in the mountains with the trees and such. Most of the upper-middle class residents live in the valley as that's the area with the nicest homes.
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Old 11-09-2007, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Larkspur, CO
189 posts, read 534,190 times
Reputation: 68
moving,

I have Bresnan at home and my bandwidth is usually around 4 mbps at best. Slows down a little at peak periods of course, but that's the nature of using a cable ISP. Qwest also offers DSL service in town at somewhat slower speeds, but is pretty reliable too. Things really depend on how far away from the C.O. you get. If you get too far into the "boonies" you'll be limited to using a P2P wireless ISP or something like Verizon. But at least you have choices.

I agree with AQUA in that you're probably going to find prices more in the $250K range for what you're looking for. Things in the $150K range and going to be fixers or modulars and not what you might have in mind.

Looking at Realtor.com should give you a good idea on what's available. Things are slower this time of year, so you might be able to get a bargain. Honestly, renting for six months, then getting a feel for what areas you like would be your best bet. A lot more homes come on the market in March/April and would give you better choices.

The most desirable areas in-town are the Upper East & Upper West. The map search on Realtor.com will show you where these areas are. Out of town, there are areas in the Valley (where I'm at), Montana City and Clancy that are the most sought after.

At far as accessability goes, if you're up in the mountains where the roads are rougher and the snow doesn't melt because of being in the shade or a north face, you'll probably want a 4x4 vehicle. A lot of people here have Subaru's that seem to handle snowy roads just fine. We really don't get that much snow here on the eastern side of the divide, so I wouldn't lose any sleep about mobility.

I'm in the IT field too, so feel free to hit me up with any other questions you might have about the job market and Helena in general.
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:03 PM
 
9 posts, read 31,640 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMTman View Post
Bresnan advertises d/l speeds to 8 Megabits but I can never seem to get them over 3. But still, very good considering this is Montana.

My favourite areas around Helena are the towns south of Helena along I-15. They're tucked away in the mountains and very pretty IMO. I'm thinking Montana City, Jefferson City, and Clancy. Also like Unionville, about 2-3 miles west of Helena. The Helena valley is also nice - I just prefer living in the mountains with the trees and such. Most of the upper-middle class residents live in the valley as that's the area with the nicest homes.
Great input, thanks for the internet info and recommended towns!
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:06 PM
 
9 posts, read 31,640 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mthawki View Post
moving,

I have Bresnan at home and my bandwidth is usually around 4 mbps at best. Slows down a little at peak periods of course, but that's the nature of using a cable ISP. Qwest also offers DSL service in town at somewhat slower speeds, but is pretty reliable too. Things really depend on how far away from the C.O. you get. If you get too far into the "boonies" you'll be limited to using a P2P wireless ISP or something like Verizon. But at least you have choices.

I agree with AQUA in that you're probably going to find prices more in the $250K range for what you're looking for. Things in the $150K range and going to be fixers or modulars and not what you might have in mind.

Looking at Realtor.com should give you a good idea on what's available. Things are slower this time of year, so you might be able to get a bargain. Honestly, renting for six months, then getting a feel for what areas you like would be your best bet. A lot more homes come on the market in March/April and would give you better choices.

The most desirable areas in-town are the Upper East & Upper West. The map search on Realtor.com will show you where these areas are. Out of town, there are areas in the Valley (where I'm at), Montana City and Clancy that are the most sought after.

At far as accessability goes, if you're up in the mountains where the roads are rougher and the snow doesn't melt because of being in the shade or a north face, you'll probably want a 4x4 vehicle. A lot of people here have Subaru's that seem to handle snowy roads just fine. We really don't get that much snow here on the eastern side of the divide, so I wouldn't lose any sleep about mobility.

I'm in the IT field too, so feel free to hit me up with any other questions you might have about the job market and Helena in general.
Wow, some great info as well, thank you very much! Certainly alays most my mobility fears.

Good to find a fellow IT guy up their, it seems we are a rare, and somewhat less demanded resource. I'll be sure bug you when the need arises- thanks!

Everyones input is much appreciated!
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:59 AM
 
Location: Larkspur, CO
189 posts, read 534,190 times
Reputation: 68
There are actually quite a few IT folks up here. With the State/Fed government and a lot of private sector people, you'd be surprised at how many of us there are.
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Old 12-03-2007, 12:43 PM
 
508 posts, read 556,332 times
Reputation: 192
Can't help you much with the internet q's. I still have dial-up (getting around to high speed....someday)

There are areas I would avoid here. Helena is kinda strange in that there is not really a good side or bad side of town. I would stay away from streets named after trees (sounds weird but true) and yeah, avoid downtown. My favorite subdivisions are Sunhaven, Treasure State and Ten Mile but I have a kid so they appeal to me that way. MT City and Clancy are nice places too. People have been avoiding the valley and East Helena due to some issues they are having (sewer and water). MThawki said it best with suggesting you rent a bit before buying. But make sure you find a good rental too. Some of the ones I have been in here were terrible.

And the Subaru bit was right on as well. We just got a Sub and it handles pretty nice on ice. But if you just take your time and plan ahead more with driving you should be fine. Shift into neutral when you start to slide or come up to a spot you know will be slick and it really helps. I am not sure why but when you cut the power from the engine it makes it easier for the brakes to work.

Well good luck with your move!
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