U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Montana
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-27-2015, 10:00 AM
 
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
10 posts, read 7,418 times
Reputation: 10

Advertisements

My family and I are seriously considering relocating to Montana from Panama City Beach, FL next Spring/Summer (May/June). We are looking at a couple other places but I've really got my heart set on Montana. I've been trying to so some research on my own about the different areas of Montana, but figured the best information will come from those that live there. We are looking at several areas of Montanta (Helena, Billings, Bozeman, Missoula etc.. )

I do bookeeping and so of course, that is my main priority when moving is finding work, and of couse housing. We will be renting at first to make sure that we like the area, and gives us time to get up there and look around.

Where in your opinion would be the more ideal place to go? I've been looking at Bozeman and Billings the most. Bozeman seems to have more of a job market, yet more expensive.

I have two high school age children, and so the school system is important as my son is special needs.

We would like to be in a home vs an apartment, and living on the outskirts of town is okay too, as long as the commute wouldn't be too bad, especially during winter.

Any information y'all could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you !
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-27-2015, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,893 posts, read 5,773,603 times
Reputation: 8269
Welcome to the Montana Boards sthrnalmond.

To answer some of your questions, most of the schools in Montana are above standards for public schools, the private schools for the most part are outstanding.

Bozeman is beautiful, but VERY expensive to live in. If you go outside of town to say Manhattan, you are not far from Bozeman, but avoid a lot of the issues and costs associated with living in Bozeman proper. Even Three Forks isn't a bad place, and only about 25 miles to commute.
(In Montana, anything less than an hour is close by as we don't have the traffic you're used to, so 25 miles is about a 20 minute commute).
Bozeman does get a lot of snow, but the commute would be on interstate 90 which is well maintained.

Billings does have the most opportunity and greatest selection of amenities, I would concentrate on either the Heights or West End for the best neighborhoods. There are several small communities near Billings that have some very nice places to live. Laurel, Belfry, Park City, Shepherd are all within easy commute.

Billings doesn't get as much snow or cold as Bozeman, and Billings has 3 high schools,(one is private), Bozeman only has one. I went through the high school in Bozeman and it was a very good education at that time, although that was a few years ago.

Helena would be a good choice for you as well as there are a lot of jobs for accountants and bookkeepers through the state, and while state doesn't pay well, it does have benefits like full health coverage, sick days, vacation days, paid holidays and a pension.

Helena has 2 good high schools, and several small towns close by, Townsend, East Helena, Boulder, Clancy, and a couple of really small towns, Jefferson City and Winston that may or may not have rentals, but are nice places to live.

There aren't a lot of what would be considered "bad" places in Montana, mostly the difference is climate and cost. Montana has several different micro-climate environments, so depending on what you want, it could really influance your choice.

Good Luck
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2015, 10:31 AM
 
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
10 posts, read 7,418 times
Reputation: 10
Thank you! I'm going to check into some of these smaller towns. Cost is important, espeically moving 2700 miles across the country, but the climate doesn't make much difference to me. My family (beings from Florida)... the more snow the better lol but that's the kids talking. We lived in TN before and had snow, but it wasn't much.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2015, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,579,627 times
Reputation: 2952
I'd say if you find the job you want, you can probably find the home to rent somewhere in the reasonable-commute area, and remember you're not married to the first rental you find. The worst school in Montana is still going to be above average, the best outstanding. Snow varies so much even within a small area... east side of Bozeman can be utterly buried yet the west side, still in town, might have none! but generally higher altitude or closer to mountains, or east side of a mountain, means more snow, even in the microclimates (which can be really tiny areas).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2015, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,842 posts, read 15,456,008 times
Reputation: 12109
Billings would be a great place to start your adventure. There is rental stock in a variety of types and jobs are as plentiful than they are in Bozeman. The schools in Billings are fine, and the amenities are all there.

Bozeman literally has zero vacancy rate right now. Housing is reaaaally tight and getting more expensive every day. I work with most of the banks in Billings and Bozeman, and from the bankers in Bozeman are telling me is frightening. Most homes are only on the market for a couple days and then they are snatched up. I'd steer clear right now, especially during a frenzy like this.

Billings is sort of a 'steady as she goes' market, so finding something will be easier, less expensive and from there you can explore other areas of Montana and move in a couple years. Just my .02!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2015, 01:41 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,579,627 times
Reputation: 2952
Doesn't look like zero vacancy to me, at least not on rentals... in fact, since last I looked around Bozeman, the price range on rentals has come down a bit:

bozeman apartments / housing rentals - craigslist

Not much in lower-end for-sales right now, tho plenty of pricey ones. Well, maybe more than it seemed on first glance:

http://bozeman.craigslist.org/search...&sort=priceasc

I'd take realtors and bankers with a grain of salt. Saying there's nothing available is their way of stampeding buyers into the first thing they see, and why do realtors do that? because things are slow and they need buyers now.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2015, 02:12 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,842 posts, read 15,456,008 times
Reputation: 12109
Survey finds Bozeman's rental vacancy rate is

Been about the same for 2 years. There are units coming on line soon, but most everything is leased out. Bankers tend to discuss their views on market matters with me very candidly. 5 years ago there was an estimated 7-10 year supply of unsold lots that were platted. They are all gone now. I went to Big Sky last weekend for a conference and the topic of the day on Thursday (from an economist) was Gallatin County. It's baaaaaccckk....

The number of commercial establishments opened from the Interstate to 4 corners has exploded since I first arrived. It's like night and day.

Good luck finding a home or rental at a reasonable price. The market in Gallatin has exploded.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-27-2015, 03:15 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,540 posts, read 12,579,627 times
Reputation: 2952
If such a survey were expanded beyond Bozeman... I expect you'd find that the healthier the local economy, the fewer rental vacancies there are, because demand meets supply. A big cue that a town is economically dead is large numbers of vacant rental properties.

Also, it looks to me like their survey methodology doesn't include much beyond apartments, which is less relevant when a good chunk of the rental market is single-family dwellings, often not inside city limits.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2015, 09:57 AM
 
Location: Panama City Beach, FL
10 posts, read 7,418 times
Reputation: 10
Well I got some good news yesterday, I will be working remote so thankfully work will not be an issue for where we will live. I still want to be where business is flourished because I do hope to expand into the local area and eventually branch out on my own. I'm leaning towards Bozeman and Billings right now.... I know Bozeman is a higher cost of living from the research I've done thus far (at least housing), but it's such a beautiful place and I do weddings on the side. I would think (yes I am assuming) that with Bozeman there would be more weddings?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-29-2015, 02:45 PM
 
Location: Lost in Montana *recalculating*...
11,842 posts, read 15,456,008 times
Reputation: 12109
No, not necessarily. Bozeman is a college town, whereas Billings is a professional / work town.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Montana
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:34 PM.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top