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Old 10-14-2015, 04:31 PM
 
64 posts, read 128,081 times
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Hi there!

So my boyfriend and I are planning on moving to Montana within the year and I was hoping to gain some insight from all of you. We currently live in the city (Austin), but the both of us have lived in more rural settings (from a ranch in the hill country of Texas, to a farming hamlet in upstate ny, to a small working farm in south east Asia) and have longed to return to them since leaving them behind.

However, because of work, we must live within reasonable driving distance to a hospital with an ER (my boyfriend currently works as an EMT in a level one trauma center here in Austin). We are both in our twenties and won't be buying, just renting for the time being. We love being outdoors and while I currently teach pre-k, I would love to gain some experience working on farms and ranches if ever the opportunity were to present itself to me. While we don't want to live in the city- living close to one wouldn't be upsetting at all to either of us.

Again- not looking for specifics, just a general idea of what life in Montana for two transplants in their twenties who love to be outside and desire/crave snow and long winters, as well as a future in farming might be like from those who would know. Where would you suggest we look? What's the atmosphere in those places?

Thanks!
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:03 PM
 
113 posts, read 119,121 times
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Whatever you do, make sure you secure employment first. Montana wages are probably less than in Texas, with a higher cost of living. If you are looking for ranch work, I'd search the Montana job service website. Local Job Service Offices at montanajobs.mt.gov

I'm sure others will have better advice, but I'd think you would want to look at living closer to Bozeman or Billings for the type of work your looking for.

Good luck!
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:43 AM
 
347 posts, read 331,705 times
Reputation: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by 406FIRE309 View Post
Whatever you do, make sure you secure employment first. Montana wages are probably less than in Texas, with a higher cost of living. If you are looking for ranch work, I'd search the Montana job service website. Local Job Service Offices at montanajobs.mt.gov

I'm sure others will have better advice, but I'd think you would want to look at living closer to Bozeman or Billings for the type of work your looking for.

Good luck!
I definitely agree with the part about securing employment first but there's no way any place in Montana has a higher cost of living than Austin, Texas. Austin is one of the most, happening, upcoming, and popular places in the country!

I'm not understanding why many people on here constantly talk about Montana's higher cost of living. If you're talking about housing, specifically, yeah, places like Bozeman, Kalispell, and Whitefish are through the roof....but rural areas are very cheap. Then again, no one wants to live in the rural areas. It's the Bozemans and Kalispells where everyone is flocking to.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:05 AM
 
4,612 posts, read 3,932,985 times
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Huh? Consult cost of living indexes. Texas has a lower cost of living than Montana. Austin COL will be about 10% less than Bozeman.
Here is one. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/austin

That said, you will thrive here as outdoor oriented people.

EMT personnel will make more in areas with larger population--Missoula, Kalispell, Bozeman/Belgrade, Billings. Ag opportunities will be statewide. Ag is MT's biggest industry. Secure the EMT job first. Good luck.
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Old 10-15-2015, 12:24 PM
 
64 posts, read 128,081 times
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Austin really is a wonderful city and we do enjoy how much there is to do for the two of us here- but, honestly, we need snow in our lives. The both of us always joke about how perfect living in Texas would be for us if only it had snow and (actual) mountains. And even with the amount of nature we have in the hill country, we absolutely desire more.

For sure he would be securing his EMT position before any move is made for us, but I'm trying to do as much studying about the areas around where he can work (Great falls, billings, bozeman, kalispell, missoula, butte) as I can before we begin to make any real moves.

Between he and I, he is the one with actual experience on a ranch. I have worked on a vineyard, but would love to work on a farm and learn so much more (as there is a ton I don't know) about handling animals and equipment. Texas, believe it or not, doesn't offer as many opportunities to work within that industry and some would assume.

As far as affordable is concerned- I was hoping to stay somewhere below $1300 a month for rent, without having to live in an apartment (we have large dogs).

Thanks again for the responses- all of this has been helpful already!
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:03 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
4,877 posts, read 5,745,002 times
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Bozeman and Missoula would be the closest match to what you're used to in Austin as they're both college towns with a lot of the hipster culture, but at the same time, they're the most expensive areas in the state to live.

Butte, Helena, Great Falls and Billings have a lower cost of living and Billings is one of the best regions for medical jobs, but don't have the hipster culture as prevelently, more laid back and fewer concerts, art museums, quaint shops than Bozeman or Missoula.

Kalispell is a smaller area for medical jobs, high cost of living, and breathtakingly gorgeous area.

You might consider putting some boots on the ground here and spending a little time checking out the areas as they are very diverse in topography and the people that live there.

Finding a place that accepts large dogs to rent could be a problem as well.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-2015, 01:18 PM
 
662 posts, read 934,302 times
Reputation: 824
Quote:
Originally Posted by MTSilvertip View Post
Bozeman and Missoula would be the closest match to what you're used to in Austin as they're both college towns with a lot of the hipster culture, but at the same time, they're the most expensive areas in the state to live.

Butte, Helena, Great Falls and Billings have a lower cost of living and Billings is one of the best regions for medical jobs, but don't have the hipster culture as prevelently, more laid back and fewer concerts, art museums, quaint shops than Bozeman or Missoula.

Kalispell is a smaller area for medical jobs, high cost of living, and breathtakingly gorgeous area.

You might consider putting some boots on the ground here and spending a little time checking out the areas as they are very diverse in topography and the people that live there.

Finding a place that accepts large dogs to rent could be a problem as well.

Good Luck!

I second this post entirely. Each observation and recommendation is accurate.
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Old 10-15-2015, 03:32 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
822 posts, read 570,579 times
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I'd like to piggyback on the dogs. It is VERY hard to find a rental that will accept pets. For some reason MT is one of the most pet unfriedly rental markets I have ever seen. You will have to do some serious searching to find a rental, so I would start in one of the bigger towns. As mentioned Missoula, Billings, Butte, Bozeman, Great Falls. There are plenty of skilled labor jobs in MT, so your partner shouldn't have any trouble finding an EMT job. Remember, if you guys ever change your mind and want to live here long term you can then move into a more rural area after you are here. It is actually cheaper to buy in most of MT than it is to rent. Here in Helena you can find older 2 bed homes starting at 85,000.00.
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Old 10-15-2015, 06:15 PM
 
347 posts, read 331,705 times
Reputation: 581
Quote:
Originally Posted by historyfan View Post
Huh? Consult cost of living indexes. Texas has a lower cost of living than Montana. Austin COL will be about 10% less than Bozeman.
Here is one. https://www.expatistan.com/cost-of-living/austin

That said, you will thrive here as outdoor oriented people.

EMT personnel will make more in areas with larger population--Missoula, Kalispell, Bozeman/Belgrade, Billings. Ag opportunities will be statewide. Ag is MT's biggest industry. Secure the EMT job first. Good luck.
WOW, if Bozeman is more expensive than Austin, that shows just how out of control Bozeman has become. That being said, and I guess I could be wrong, but Austin has to be more expensive than where I live. Keep in mind, I don't live in one of the trendy spots in Montana. I live in the sticks. LOL.
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Old 10-18-2015, 09:00 AM
 
64 posts, read 128,081 times
Reputation: 32
Texas is cheaper to live in than many other states, but its also a giant state with many small and far away cities/towns being lumped into that figure. When you isolate the places in Texas that have a lot of industry and are more feasible to live within because of this (the cities like Austin, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, etc) you begin to see just how expensive it can be to live here. The way its setup in Texas isn't like most other states, to live somewhere thats actually affordable outside of the city doesn't mean that the commute is going to be common and that's because things are way more spread out here and once you do enter into any of these major cities, the traffic is awful. Austin and Houston are perfect examples. The small areas surrounding Austin aren't even that cheap, to be honest. Throw into that fray the 35+ mile commute to the city from most of these places, plus the countless hours a week you sit in traffic once you do get to the city, and what you're left with is the realization that living here just isn't as easy/affordable as most people outside of the state seem to think.

It's actually really hard to live anywhere rural while working in any of these major cities for these reasons. And the job market in the more rural areas are virtually non-existent, even if you're looking to work in the AG industry. Its certainly very disheartening for people like me who grew up in this state, love this state, but are being squeezed out by how expensive it has become to live within it.
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