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Old 10-08-2013, 03:48 PM
 
5 posts, read 16,373 times
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my hubby and i are planning on transferring with tsa to kalispell. we live in myrtle beach sc and just getting burnt out with this tourist trap. can anyone give me more info on kalispell and the best places to live in or near kalispell. we have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren here so that will be the hard part but are willing to start living our lives now. we have always dreamed of living in montana. its just so beautiful there. any help would be appreciated.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:40 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,663 posts, read 8,952,951 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oceanbreezesue View Post
my hubby and i are planning on transferring with tsa to kalispell. we live in myrtle beach sc and just getting burnt out with this tourist trap. can anyone give me more info on kalispell and the best places to live in or near kalispell. we have 3 grown children and 2 grandchildren here so that will be the hard part but are willing to start living our lives now. we have always dreamed of living in montana. its just so beautiful there. any help would be appreciated.
Kalispell is pretty close to Glacier National Park so you won't get away from tourists. Western Montana is also not very welcoming of outsiders. I caution anyone who says they are moving to Montana because it's beautiful to do your homework carefully. The wages are lower than the national average and the cost of living is high.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:53 PM
 
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Hello Oceanbreezesue!
Here is my opinion or 2 cents (probably worth about 2 cents)
If you have good jobs and can tolerate the long winters then you should be fine. I personally don't mind the winters but I know some people who just hate them. I have read so many people say that Western Montana is not welcoming to outsiders and I honestly don't know what they are talking about. I am from California and I have NEVER experienced that! Some of our best friends are from Kalispell. You just need to be wise and weigh the pros and cons that are important to YOU not according to other people. I know that has got to be really hard leaving the grandkids so I know that will be on your cons list but I am sure they will love to come to visit you here. I do have to say there are a lot of tourists that come through Kalispell in the summer. It makes traffic a nightmare (according to Montana standards) but they are finally working on the completion of a bypass that should ease it up some. Overall though I love it! Good luck to you and God bless!
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:15 PM
 
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Thank you. We have good fed jobs at the airport. Transferring from myrtle beach to glacier international. Just trying to get a feel for the area so we know a little of what to expect. We want to rent a cabin when we get there. Don't want to live right in valley. We own a jeep so it won't be too hard to get around in winter. Any other info is welcome. Thank you
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Old 10-09-2013, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,883 posts, read 5,764,575 times
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Beautiful area, lots of good people in and around that area, many have good old fashioned values.
Won't be a huge change from what you are used to in SC, but Montana hospitality is a little different than Southern, we aren't nearly as open and talkative, we probably will seem reserved to you, but give it some time and I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how well you may fit in here,

Very conservative area, so if you like liberal politics, you may feel like an outsider and may find it harder to find like minded people.

Just take your time and do some exploring, both in travel around the area and socially. If you go to church, find one and you will meet some great people.
If you like to shoot, go to the gun ranges or sporting goods stores.
Same with fishing, people on the rivers and streams are usually great to talk to.

If you make the attempt to mingle and meet folks, you should find some friends quickly.

Now, be aware, the federal government is not well loved in that area, so I would tone down the TSA part, but if you talk kids and cooking and show a real interest in the place, and a desire to become part of the community, you should have no problems fitting in.

Be careful where you get your cabin, there are places a 4x4 just won't go all year round.

Have fun on your new adventure and welcome to the Montana Boards. Drop in on the Porch thread. Some good folks.
Not a lot of us, but it's definitely quality over quantity, just like the rest of the state

Good Luck
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:00 PM
 
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Thank you all for your help. It's a scary move but an adventure.
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Old 10-10-2013, 12:22 PM
 
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I would recommend visiting before you move, and that goes for any place, not just Montana. Visit in both summer and winter if you can. Good luck!
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Old 10-11-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Montana
37 posts, read 76,313 times
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I have a few things to ad that a lot of people seem to miss. Renting a cabin seems dreamy and nice but factors to consider include, does it have a pellet or wood burning stove? Which require fuel either wood or 40lb bags of pellets. Or a propane tank. I just had mine filled for a few hundred dollars, and will need to fill it again in another few months. The only thing my propane goes toward is hot water.

Not all 4x4 cars are the same. Most are only AWD which is worthless on hills or deep snow (nobody shoot me for saying that, I've owned two Subarus for 17 years). I have a 20 year old Bronco with MT tires on it year round because of mud during T-storms, snow and steep roads where I live. It has a low 4x4 gear that many SUVs do not offer. A would say a Jeep would come close, (a Rubicon even closer). If you don't want a 4x4, get a set of studded tires and stick them on now through end of May. (Montana has recorded snow every month of the year).

Wildlife. Learn how to handle your trash, although I've seen more bear damage in CA than MT, but still these aren't fluffy run of the mill black bears up here, they are 700 brown bears that will rearrange your body parts quite nicely. Learn about them, learn not to spook them (and carry bear spray and a firearm when you do spook them), be extra careful during certain parts of the year when they are most active. And you will have other critters that are pesky - from mice that get into everything, to porcupines (eating bark off the trees and killing them...).

Travel. Check some other threads about travel into Montana. None of it is fast and easy. There is no direct route into this place - from an air travel perspective.

Tourism. I live 30 mins from Helena, and even in this lesser advertised section on the tourist docket- we still are inundated with tourists. You can hate it all you want but for states like this, it is an important part of the economy. It's encouraged, promoted and necessary. Kalispell is a hot spot for tourism.

Food. If you like great beef, you are in the right spot. Some parts of the year, you may find decent fruits and vegetables, otherwise a plethora of shiny fruits and crips veggies are not common.

Cabin fever. Had my first bad dose last winter. Actually, when I say winter, I am talking about April. Much of the state has a long cold winter and short spring and fall, with a hot summer. Although maybe up north, you would have more moderate temps than the interior of MT. Still, I have to imagine Kalispell would be a huge shock from where you are coming from. Rent, don't buy.

Hospitals. Are you in good health? Don't need a bunch of specialists and trauma center next door? The two best rated hospitals (according to US News and World Report) are in Great Falls and Billings. Look those up on a map. I had a tear in the tendon of my foot this past winter. Helena's only hospital diagnosed it wrong. Now I have permanent damage. My daughter had a bad Kidney infection, the Helena ER missed, sent her home. She got worse. We came back and they admitted they screwed up. But they still weren't sure what to do about it. I screamed bloody murder to give her a strong antibiotic. She finally got better, after days of a 105 fever. Now, perhaps people can say nicer things about the Kalispell hospital but if you have complex health matters, I wouldn't bank on expert care.

I would say western Montana is more welcoming of outsiders than the other 2/3rds of the state. There are a lot of hard working, born and raised folks throughout Montana and they get sick of some outsiders with grand dreams. Hunting, fishing, ranching, is a way of life for many, and (we - some of us) are tired of incoming residents which suddenly groan and raise hell about guns or some lame environmental issue, the lack of a coffee shop on every corner. Montana is a good mix of left and right (in some areas), and I would recommend taking time to get a good feel for the people here, and understand the politics.

I am not trying to discourage you but 'dreaming of living in Montana' - is that based off a previous visit to this state, or a movie your saw or book you read? Or is it just some emotional lure? I would visit during winter and summer, rent and don't buy to make sure this is really what you can put up with. Not to trash Montana, I have merged my soul with it, but I have been the 'outsider' in other states before. It can be a very lonely, desolate feeling. It can make you rethink your dream.

So, don't bash me for being so negative! I lived in CA, and then NV (no, it's not all desert, we had -10 during the winter), and I visited MT many times before finally settling. I've spent a great deal of time in AZ, ID, WY, UT. I'm no city lover, neighbors are best from 20 acres away, and the only thing that scares me is any more influx of liberalism into this state.

Cheers.

Last edited by sagewitch; 10-11-2013 at 10:11 AM.. Reason: misspellings
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:06 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,365 posts, read 2,722,984 times
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According to Consumer Reports and my personal experiences, the only place to go in MT is Billings. They were the only place to cover all 33 procedures they used for their rankings (used the Medicaid/Medicare db for patient outcomes) so you can get just about everything there. A friend of mine in college had a very, very bad experience in Bozeman so I will never recommend it to anyone. First I've heard of Helena having bad health care.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Montana
37 posts, read 76,313 times
Reputation: 40
Sometimes I don't trust CR, but I would agree Montana is really lacking in good health care. Great Falls is definitively second to Billings as far as a hospital - even though it was the only other ranked hospital in the state according to US N&WR. I also met a mother recently who was moving to Spokane, WA. After having lived in Montana for a very long time with her child that had cerebral palsy, she said she was done. Services for him were mainly in Billings or she had to drive all over the state, (she lived in Helena). I have a son with special needs and I have found the same thing.
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