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Old 06-03-2015, 03:55 PM
718 posts, read 840,623 times
Reputation: 1235


We are uprooting to live by family in Kalispell. This is possible because I am bringing my own job (Internet-based). I can't eat the scenery. Based on previous time spent in Kalispell and my own research, I think Bigfork would suit our family better. It is a smaller town with smaller schools that have good scores. My thinking was if I have this ability to live near Kalispell (assuming reliable Internet), then why not be picky?

One of my wife's relatives in Kalispell, however, said Bigfork people were rich and snooty. Her words carry a lot of weight and now my wife is concerned we will be surrounded by snooty rich folk and their designer dogs and BMW SUVs. I know statistically the median incomes in both towns are very close, with Bigfork a bit higher. My income will be higher than either and I am neither rich nor snooty. I look forward to fishing, hiking, and sensible gun laws. The people I have contacted in Bigfork thus far were personable and helpful. None has asked what college my 7-yo is going to or what country I am spending summer vacation in.

I am curious to hear from locals in Bigfork and the Flathead about this, and any other pros or cons I might have missed. We will be out there to scout around in late June.

I would also ask where would you go in the Flathead if you a) had to live there, b) had two school-aged children who prefer smaller schools, c) needed high speed Internet access, d) could afford to lease a 3BR place, and d) wanted to live no further than about 30 minutes from Kalispell?

Last edited by mrwumpus; 06-03-2015 at 04:09 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:45 PM
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I don't know how to even respond about the snooty comment- except that its absurd. That would be like saying everyone in columbia falls is a meth head, or Kalispell is only for the uneducated with bad dental hygiene. Im sorry you are related to someone like that, and am greatly concerned that i live in the same city as someone with that mentality. You cant fix stupid, i guess. Bigfork is a great place with great people- just like every town in montana.It sounds like you would fit in perfect in Bigfork. Anywhere in the flathead is within 30 minutes of Kalispell, and probably less. You could find a 3 BR home in any town in the flathead, although whitefish is generally more expensive. Columbia Falls is nice, as well as Bigfork. I would choose Whitefish or Bigfork as a first choice for schools and a place to raise a family. High speed Internet is everywhere.
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Old 06-03-2015, 04:52 PM
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I do not live in Big Fork, but I've always like the town a lot. We are in the Flathead at least 4 times a year totaling about 10 weeks. If I had to live in town near Kalispell, that would be my choice.

All of the lake area gets overcast & gray through most of the winter, so I personally would not choose it for year round living.

As far as snooty, Montanans of the snootiest variety are not small blips on the national snooty scale. I would not be concerned.

I can not speak to quality of schools there. If Montessori grade schools are available, that would be my suggestion for young children.

Enjoy your new adventure.
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Old 06-03-2015, 05:42 PM
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Thanks, my wife is still open to Bigfork and the fact is, we need to just get there and see with our ears and eyes.

I did rule out Whitefish simply due to it having the highest cost...I heard it was something of a ski mecca, and in my experience skiing is one of the more expensive hobbies that would attract more money as a resort and lifestyle destination. I am more of a snowman building, innertube riding type of snow person. I also want to try snowball skeet shooting with a shotgun (sober of course).

The one thing I am worried about is how my body and soul will respond to the extended periods of gray skies. I guess I won't know until I know, at which point I'll just have to deal with it.

I appreciate forums like this where I can get insider tips about what to look out for, and where.
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Old 06-04-2015, 07:48 PM
4,110 posts, read 3,447,161 times
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It's a good idea to take mega vitamin D in winter months-- even if living in sunny parts of Montana.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:53 PM
718 posts, read 840,623 times
Reputation: 1235
Thanks for the good tip on vitamins.

I'm discovering that Bigfork is quite popular in the summer and rentals are hard to find.
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