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Old 01-20-2016, 06:49 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721

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thats great, all parts of that. From the pride, to the fact it passed. Personally i dont want to depend on others, i want to write my own story, all my successes and failures my own. so how are people surviving below the poverty line, from posts on this thread it sounds like the COL would be insane, but the income is to low.

i have heard the saying here that Montana is beautiful, but you cant eat scenery, but with all these posts i would think everyone would be moving out.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:01 PM
 
Location: Montana
1,752 posts, read 1,644,062 times
Reputation: 5951
OP, I am moving to Noxon, MT in about a month.


It is in Sanders County and is the poorest county in the state according to MSN. As I said, I am bringing a pension with me, so I have no real idea about work opportunities - but they didn't look promising to this college educated senior manager... My son was checking the help wanted adds on my last visit, and there were a few jobs listed at $12-$15 per hour (or $25-$31K annually), and I suspect there may be better positions for skilled workers locally, route sales, or government county/LEO positions in Thompson Falls.


The town (Noxon) is smaller than you are looking for, but Sandpoint ID is about 45 minutes away and has a decent (but not great) economy, with a fairly wide range of jobs/opportunities (as compared to Troy, Noxon, Trout Creek, Libby, Thompson Falls, Plains, etc. etc.).


There is a small medical clinic in Noxon that does limited services 3-5 days a week, with a regional hospital in Bonners Ferry (with aeromedical support), and a decent hospital and VA facilities in Sandpoint. Spokane is about 2-2 1/2 hours away, and is the largest city in the region.


Trout Creek is about 20-25 minutes further south east from Noxon, and as you move south east, your major town and medical facilities quickly move towards Missoula rather than the Idaho Panhandle.


The Noxon area is sort of a Heidelberg GE meets Bavaria GE (without the cities!), and the Clark Fork river moderates the extremes in both summer and winter (micro climate with temperatures that are similar to the state of CT with a lower humidity level).

Housing in the area runs the gamut, but you can get a decent place with some acreage for the low 100's if you look locally and aren't trying to get waterfront. You can pay a LOT more too.


The online stuff listed is priced for the out of state buyers - I cut my land cost in 1/2 by physically going to the area, and checking local papers, billboards etc.


Hope this is helpful info.
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:47 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721
you cant get smaller for me. For me smaller is better. As have stated in previous posts, the only thing holding me back is diabeties for the most part, as i need to afford insulin and be near healthcare. Other than that idc if im the only person for miles in any direction. Yaak, noxon, ect would all be great towns in my opinion.

im adding noxon to the list.

If anyone read my previous posts, you would realize i consider northern Maine to urban (presque isle is 10k, caribou about 8k, Allagash is 243 which is great). You would also realize that i pride myself on self-sustianability, my dream is to be able to support most or all of my needs, or atleast as most as i can.

(p.s. i have a google earth with all locations im looking at marked off, hospitals ect, i have trout creek marked off, must of missed noxon).

as well, i have never cared about waterfront, i dont want to be in a desert, but i dont need a view, what i like is woods, thick woods.

P.S. I have noticed the areas im looking at in all states Idaho, Montana, and Maine, jobs tend to be 12-15 an hour, with the exception that in maine they seem to be closer to the $12, but the COL is dirt cheap as it doesnt have the allure inland of the rockies, the coast is another matter, but again, idc about being close to water, and i HATE the ocean.
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Old 01-21-2016, 12:52 PM
 
Location: East Helena, MT
823 posts, read 576,676 times
Reputation: 2253
I'm going to go back a bit to the beginning of the post. I will tell you about my family. I earn 60k a year. We have 4 children 10, 8, 4, and 3 years old. Due to this my wife can't work because childcare would be over 1,000 a month. We fall under the poverty line for a family of 6. We are renting a condo for 900 a month, and we do fine. We don't need any government assistance. We have an old SUV that a maintain the heck out of. We are saving money right now to buy a place in East Helena. There are older 4 bed houses in the 150 to 180 range that are on the market that we could easily afford. However there are 2 bed houses in the 100 range. So to answer your first question, people can find affordable places to live here. The condo we are in doesn't have gas heat, so we use space heaters. Our average electric in 110 a month. In the summer it is 70 a month as we don't have AC. Our biggest expense is groceries, as you can imagine. Now we live in the capitol, so there are some very expensive parts of town. However there are older parts as well that balance it all out.


I have two suggestions for you that are more east of where you are looking. Lincoln, MT is in a small valley surrounded by national forest land. A river runs right through it and it is stunning. Because it is remote you can find good homes for low prices. The drive from Helena is amazing and you are an hour away from Helena, Missoula, and Great Falls. We looked at a house in Lincoln that had an apple tree in the yard. There were at least 10 mule deer in the back yard.


The other is Townsend, which is a small ag. community right at the bottom of Canyon Ferry Lake. Great hunting nearby, great fishing, and low real estate prices. It is about 30 mins from Helena, plus it has it's own medical clinic.
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:47 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721
lincoln is by no means to far east, townsend might be. Ill keep the lincoln area on the list. Now on Wiki it lists almost all of these towns as having tiny areas, for instance townsend is 1.8 sq miles, do people sell land outside these townships with homes, or what?
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Old 01-21-2016, 01:51 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721
i also thought the federal poverty line was roughly 32k, does montana have its own system?
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:24 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721
i will say the area around lincoln seems beutifal to me, looks mostrly forested/hilly (not mountainous), with some flater land. Espicially rthe scapegoat wilderness area. Now when i research i hear alot about the Yaak, im assuming that is a bad location due to jobs, and hospitals?
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Old 01-21-2016, 03:33 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721
i also notice online most of the counties in that area are abouit normal COL, some are being staterd 3-4% higher. However, in previous sources i have noticed they are highly innacurate foir adjusting with inflation, being years bwehind.
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Old 01-21-2016, 05:44 PM
 
Location: MA/ME (the way life should not be / the way it should be)
1,267 posts, read 976,014 times
Reputation: 721
and looking online at lincoln jobs, there seems to be a decent amount of tech based jobs, mostly in databases, and systems. for a town of its size this seems odd, is Lincoln some form of Tech hub or something for the area?

(these are IN lincoln, not a nearby city, but within the towns borders, which is what makes it odd compared to other small towns)
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Old 01-21-2016, 06:32 PM
 
5,792 posts, read 9,254,296 times
Reputation: 5988
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheKezarWoodsman View Post
i will say the area around lincoln seems beutifal to me, looks mostrly forested/hilly (not mountainous), with some flater land. Espicially rthe scapegoat wilderness area. Now when i research i hear alot about the Yaak, im assuming that is a bad location due to jobs, and hospitals?
For the longest time the Yaak was so remote it was almost legendary. The term is "Up the Yaak"! I've heard that it, too, had been "discovered," and property values aren't as cheap as they used to be, but after the recession I can't imagine it being gentrified. It's grizzly territory. Our friends have seen wolves there. We haven't had time to explore it yet; we're saving it for a weekend trip.

But there is no "there" there, in terms of jobs and hospitals. There's barely a town. Yaak River Mercantile, and the famous Dirty Shame Saloon, according to Google Maps. 248 inhabitants, acc. to C-D, about the same size as Noxon and Heron. The Yaak is evocative because you have deep woods and a wild river, and it's as far NW as you can go in Montana. The nearest hospital is probably the one in Bonner's Ferry about 1 1/2 hour away. Com to think of it, Libby may be a little closer. There are a few medical centers there.

Just checked: You can get to Libby from the Yaak directly via NF68 and Pipe Creek Road in an hour (weather permitting). Can't tell you if the road is paved.
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