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Old 08-06-2013, 04:31 PM
 
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Is Montana an expensive place to live? What is it like there?

Last edited by tranquildoe; 08-06-2013 at 04:56 PM..
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:20 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
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In the resort areas it is very expensive. Resort areas include Bozeman, Helena, Missoula, Hamilton and Kalispell. Basically, it is the western half of the state excluding the cities of Butte and Anaconda. Kalispell and Bozeman have very similar cost of living to Southern California with real estate being unaffordable for 99% of people living on the local economy. Missoula has killed off the manufacturing sector outside of the breweries and the average job is some version of sales (either B to B or retail) or medical. Bozeman has a "growing high tech sector" but my relatives report the local job numbers are smaller than such IT backwaters as Spokane and Boise. There are telecommuters or commuters to CA that live in these towns that drive up the price of just about everything.

Billings has the most varied economy and a reasonable cost of living. I would call it the soup-to-nuts hub for Eastern Montana and Northern Wyoming. The topography to the east of Billings has no mountains and is largely a high plateau with rolling hills prairie area. The oil zone is around Sidney with very high cost of living but if you work in the energy industry, wages are high enough to make it worth the trouble. The majority of the oil play and positions are in ND, not MT.

Native Montanans are often libertarians that are fine with letting people have fire arms at all times. This dates back to when Montana was a territory and is pretty ingraned into the culture. That doesn't mean killing and shooting humans is common, actually it is not. Native Montanans are very respectful of both people and firearms most of the time. Hunting and fishing are common topics of conversation as are dealing with the eco-weanies who largely move in from out of state. Winters are cold and snowy. Summers are hot and dry.

That's my 2 cents. I'm sure there are others who can expand further.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:31 PM
 
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The western parts of Montana are snowy. The far eastern parts of Montana have a lot of snow.


However, Billings through Columbus are in the so called Snow Shadow of Montana, and have little snow compared to the Western part. It is dry snow, and you don't have to shovel. Just get out a good quality leaf blower, and blow walks, and driveways clear when it does snow. Most of the winter may be cold, but you will see the ground most of the winter as snow that does come does not stay very long.

Also that is the area, with the jobs that pay decent. Lower cost of living, and much lower home prices than the western part.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:41 PM
 
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Montana is just a small town. It is very rural. There are more cows than people. You can see the stars at night and blue sky during the day. You can hear the birds and see wildlife every day. It's not bad at all.
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Old 08-06-2013, 11:21 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Flyincat2k summed it up well, once again. Although I will add that Anaconda is expensive if you decide to live around Georgetown Lake.
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Old 08-07-2013, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Kingman - Anaconda
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I have to agree as well. Anaconda has a Albertsons and Safeway for Groceries plus the Dairy Queen but we don't always get the option to make a run into Butte for supplies. So we have to bite the bullet and pay slightly higher for shopping locally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
Flyincat2k summed it up well, once again. Although I will add that Anaconda is expensive if you decide to live around Georgetown Lake.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:12 AM
 
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Expensive is relative. It is a not a cheap place to live although some people live very modestly.
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Old 08-07-2013, 12:46 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
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Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Expensive is relative. It is a not a cheap place to live although some people live very modestly.
Expensive isn't that relative. If you can't make ends meet you probably don't want to live somewhere where that is going to be a struggle.
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Old 08-07-2013, 02:04 PM
 
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Purchasing a house in Montana compared to anywhere in So Cal...not expensive. Purchasing a house in Montana compared to non urban Texas...expensive.
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Old 08-08-2013, 11:54 AM
 
Location: Montana
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It's not an expensive place to live if you compare the west or the east coast. If you can get a decent job, that isn't McDonalds or Walmart. I'm on the fence about health care though. I actually think medical services are higher than average here. Tiny stint at a hospital in Helena (which missed the diagnosis at first), was like $2,000 for some pills and temperature read. Can't get in touch with the local billing office, they source it half way across the country. Plus there are very limited services for special needs kids. Met a lady recently who was sick of driving from Helena to Billings to Missoula to Great Falls for her son. My son isn't quite as dependent on special services, but we are noticing a big lacking in them here. So even if you don't have to worry about that - you never know what kind of medical issues your body will come up with. I don't think there are enough options in the medical arena, which means travel to find adequate care. Which can be expensive.
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