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Old 01-24-2014, 02:52 PM
 
9 posts, read 16,844 times
Reputation: 33

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Hi all,
I'm currently living in a hellish existence on the east coast and hate everyday of it. I grew up in the southeast on a lot of land; hunting, fishing, etc. I went away to college, then joined the military. Life has bounced me all over globe but I'm nearing the age where I've had it with subdivisions, terrible commutes, over-reaching politicians, HOAs, and all the other crap that comes with living in a heavily populated area.

I've been to Montana five times over the course of my travels and I've come to the conclusion that Montana is likely my "promised land."

I'm not a rancher and have no desire to be one. But I do work and my work could easily transfer to MT. I like to hunt, fish, and grow a small garden. I like staying out of other people's business and I love other people staying out of mine. I just want a quiet place with a few acres where I can live my life. I don't need Starbucks but I like having having internet service.

My wife has always known that MT is where I want to live. She's been and agrees that the state seems perfect. However she has two concerns...Snow and career.
We both realize snow is a fact of life in MT. But does it cripple the area? My wife has a small car and she's concerned about driving in snow. She hates snow and would prefer to live somewhere tropical but she agrees that spring and summer in MT is beautiful. We're both pretty outdoorsy type people.
The other thing is career. Her career has been child social services primarily. She is the person who supervises supervised visits. Lately she's shifted into working for an after care program at a private school. She likes working around children.
We've talked about me finding work in MT. What I do isn't as plentiful there but I believe I've seen some jobs that I believe I would have a decent shot at.
But I don't know how she would fare. Any comments about snow and career opportunities would be appreciated. My wife typically works in more populated areas. An ideal location would be a commute to a populated area but living out away from the city. I guess that's probably what everyone wants though.
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Old 01-24-2014, 04:12 PM
 
629 posts, read 1,439,046 times
Reputation: 1098
It looks like you'd be coming from Maryland so you'd obviously be dealing with quite a bit more winter weather and snow than you're used to.

I can't speak to your wife's specific career field, but your bigger cities (Missoula, Billings, Bozeman, Helena) will obviously offer more opportunities in almost everything. The tradeoff is that your little slice of X acres of heaven comes at a higher price than it does in some of the smaller towns.

I know that's all pretty generic, so the only real advice I have is if you do give it a shot I'd encourage renting for a year before you buy anything. That way you'll know if you and your wife can find sustainable careers instead of short-term jobs. Plus, it sounds like she'd prefer to move south, not north, and I think every man on the board will agree that a happy wife makes for a happy life. Some people just don't like long cold winters and that's what she'd have to deal with. It's a lot less expensive to head back if you're just renting than it is if you've sunk costs into a purchase and will be on the hook for a 6% sales commission to unload the thing you just bought 9 months ago.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:27 PM
 
4,641 posts, read 3,962,883 times
Reputation: 9712
mt.gov/jobs. This is central clearinghouse for jobs.
Snow in winter is not the dealbreaker that North winter wind is. Seek places that are out of the wind.
Good luck.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:12 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,365 posts, read 2,722,641 times
Reputation: 1160
I know that your wife will take a large pay cut moving here. My sister-in-law works in social services and only makes roughly 30-35kyr. I have heard that Maryland state employees are highly paid so I'm assuming that translates to about 60k.

As far as work goes, expect that it will pay a lot less in Montana than it would on the East Coast. Some of that is economy based (people can't afford to pay high scale), some of it is competition because other people will work for less money (eg. contractor that busted in CA, moved to Bozeman or Missoula and is now intentionally underbidding jobs to have some money coming in, goes until they bust again). If the small town you move to may already has someone doing that work, you'll go hungry because "Fred" has been doing it for years and that's the way it's always been. Small towns in Montana outside of Richland, Gallatin, Carbon, Flathead and Lewis & Clark aren't really growing in population. At least enough to support new businesses.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 36,358,044 times
Reputation: 2147483647
Sorry, I couldn't get Historyfan's link to equate to anything. I have this link, and I think it might be what historyfan wanted. If not, Historyfan can give it another shot. Montana Job Service Office Directory


I know that you have heard it over and over, but I can't emphasize it enough that Montana has a lower unemployment rate that most states, but it simply doesn't equate to lots of jobs available. It just means that a lot of folks are working, and a large percentage of them are working 2 or maybe 3 jobs in order to survive. I say survive, because the typical job just doesn't pay enough to really, "Make it". It's more of a "I'll hold this job, just so I can continue to live here." It doesn't equate to a new car every 4 or 5 years, or the house of your dreams, but it does equate to piece of mind and that of your spouse. Like the old saying, if Momma's not happy, ain't nobody going to be happy. Take a look through the job services and see what is available and whether you have a good shot in your field. Also realize that in the smaller towns, jobs don't get posted in the paper, or at the employment office, but rather from stool to stool at the local watering hole - word of mouth.

You won't find hunting and fishing and camping and hiking, any better, anywhere, cept maybe Wyoming.

I think the hardest thing for people to realize is what most consider, the big city. It's hard to understand that when people want to live close to a big city, that city, is more of a town, and you'd be lucky if it's 40k population. And then, "Close" is an hours drive. Of course, because towns are so remote, that town of 40k will have more ammenities than a town of a half million on the East Coast. It probably won't have the diversity, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. By that, I don't mean the people, but the goods. You might not have 40 different stores to picking your shopping, you will have 2 or 3 stores in Montana that carry the same goods, if not more, than 40 stores back on the coast.

Good luck on whatever you decide.
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:23 PM
 
4,641 posts, read 3,962,883 times
Reputation: 9712
My mistake-
jobs.mt.gov/jobs
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:51 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
7,663 posts, read 8,950,244 times
Reputation: 10938
Quote:
Originally Posted by P0g0p0P3 View Post
Hi all,
I'm currently living in a hellish existence on the east coast and hate everyday of it. I grew up in the southeast on a lot of land; hunting, fishing, etc. I went away to college, then joined the military. Life has bounced me all over globe but I'm nearing the age where I've had it with subdivisions, terrible commutes, over-reaching politicians, HOAs, and all the other crap that comes with living in a heavily populated area.

I've been to Montana five times over the course of my travels and I've come to the conclusion that Montana is likely my "promised land."

I'm not a rancher and have no desire to be one. But I do work and my work could easily transfer to MT. I like to hunt, fish, and grow a small garden. I like staying out of other people's business and I love other people staying out of mine. I just want a quiet place with a few acres where I can live my life. I don't need Starbucks but I like having having internet service.

My wife has always known that MT is where I want to live. She's been and agrees that the state seems perfect. However she has two concerns...Snow and career.
We both realize snow is a fact of life in MT. But does it cripple the area? My wife has a small car and she's concerned about driving in snow. She hates snow and would prefer to live somewhere tropical but she agrees that spring and summer in MT is beautiful. We're both pretty outdoorsy type people.
The other thing is career. Her career has been child social services primarily. She is the person who supervises supervised visits. Lately she's shifted into working for an after care program at a private school. She likes working around children.
We've talked about me finding work in MT. What I do isn't as plentiful there but I believe I've seen some jobs that I believe I would have a decent shot at.
But I don't know how she would fare. Any comments about snow and career opportunities would be appreciated. My wife typically works in more populated areas. An ideal location would be a commute to a populated area but living out away from the city. I guess that's probably what everyone wants though.
I grew up in Montana and saw many people who thought Montana was their "promised land" and many did not last long. The main reason they don't last long is they do not realize that Montana has low wages, the pretty parts have a high cost of living, and the pretty mountains don't pay the bills. Make sure you do your homework before you decide to come out. You're on the right track by doing some homework on this site.

To answer your question about snow, it can get severe but you learn how to adapt.
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:21 AM
 
5 posts, read 10,025 times
Reputation: 10
As long as you have tire Chains for the Front of your 4x4 vehicle, the snow isn't a problem, the problem is having to wear a warm coat and coveralls that get in your way. ;-) pretty much any place in MT is fine as long as it's in the western Half of the state. The East side gets Very cold and Windy.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Back at home in western Washington!
1,500 posts, read 3,927,759 times
Reputation: 3226
Good lord man!? Chains? I can't imagine the damage chains would do trying to get to the grocery store down I-90...

Quite frankly, I would say almost anything front wheel drive with snow tires will get you almost anywhere you need to go in the winter.
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Old 01-29-2014, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Brew City
4,111 posts, read 2,440,365 times
Reputation: 5445
Different cities in Montana receive different amounts of snow. Here in Helena, we don't get much. It's snowing today and it's only the 4-5 time this winter that I can think of. The mountains have snow, just not in town. Butte and Bozeman get a lot more snow. I'm not as familiar with the snow levels in Missoula or Kalispell. Billings is pretty mild as well.

Plenty of people drive small cars. But if you have a small car, you're probably better off living in town.

Like others have said, wages are low in Montana and the real estate is high comparatively. Any time you start talking acerage just outside of town you'd better start digging dip into your pockets.

I'd imagine your wife would be able to find a job because that's a high turnover career, correct?

As for your last statement, yes. That's what every transplant wants. What we in Montana consider to be a reasonable distance to a larger town may not be reasonable to you. We're used to driving a lot.
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