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Old 03-12-2009, 07:23 AM
 
11 posts, read 18,726 times
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Question new to forum, doing research on moving to Montana,please help

Background for questions:
We are a family of 5, two older adults in their 50's and three children ages 2,4 and 8.We have some questions for the people who live or did live in Montana.We are a family which our grandparents were farmers and small ranchers in SC. We are a family made through adoption so we are racially mixed. We are wanting to make a life for our children on a small 20 to 50 acre farm or ranch. Things that are important to us are rich land with water, close to the mountains, good health care, good schools and a community where we can become a active part of and that will accept our diverse family. My husband was in the military 29 years and would like for a military base to be within 200 miles.We know what hard work is and are not afraid of it.
We are moving because where we live the crime rate is 4th in the nation, gangs are moving in and it is becoming wall to wall with people.We are looking for a slower pace and room to grow getting back to our roots of farming.
Questions:
1) What area of Montana would you advise.(no large cities please)
2) What are the housing markets like for smaller farms, are the markets having repositions there too like in our area of the US or are the farms in the millions of dollars?
3) Are there racial problems in areas we should avoid? Please remember we are from the deep south and that is why I ask and it is not ment to affend anyone in Montana.
4) How is the land for growing, is the soil rich?
Please help and give us any information you can.Personal experences are the best teachers and we welcome yours.GOD Bless and thank you.
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Old 03-12-2009, 09:43 AM
 
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Just wanted everyone to know we are not some high flutin rich city people.We are just country folks wanting to find a new safe home to raise our children in a good community. We will be selling our land here apx 50 ac to move to a new home.
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Old 03-12-2009, 11:48 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
3,170 posts, read 1,909,870 times
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Get a Montana map, and set a divider to the map scale for 200 miles. draw a circle at that radius around Great Falls (Malmstrom AFB). Get a South Dakota map and do the same around Rapid City (Ellsworth AFB). Then, do the same with a Wyoming map, around Cheyenne (F.E. Warren AFB).
If you wish, you could do the same around Ogden, Utah (Hill AFB) and Spokane, Washington (Fairchild AFB). Those are the military bases in the area. then contact realtors within those circles to get the available listings of places that meet your other specifications.
With some shopping around you can find places in the 20 to 50 acre range for less than a million dollars. I haven't been looking, but I have seen some ads for 20 acres with no or older buildings for 30 to 150K. Then again, there is a place right down the road that is less than 3 acres, but has a fantastic huge shop and a nice house, that is 375K! all you can do is search the multipls listing services in the selected areas, or contact a realtor to dothe search for you.
I think racial problems are rare, but then I have never encountered any, being as I am white. I just don't know much about the issue.
The land can vary from rocky to excellent to gumbo (our name for sticky mud) to bentonite (another mud, but slimy). Water is the biggest issue. There are many irrigation districts around the state, and some folks do "dry land" farming, just plant and hope it rains enough. winter wheat does well with that method. Corn and sugar beats, and alfalfa are mostly irrigated. around Great Falls there are HUGE wheat fields! Here around Billings it is mostly corn (sweet and silage) and sugar beets.
There are several Hutterite colonies around the state that grow excellent produce. There are, I think, three colonies that come to the Billing Farmer's Market every weekend all summer long.
Just be yourselves, endeavor to fit into the community, and don't expect the community to change to fit your desires, and there shouldn't be any problems.
Welcome!
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Old 03-12-2009, 03:31 PM
 
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We would never expect a community to change to fit us! We are joining their community.I do feel like some new people have cause problems for your state(reading this form is inlighting) but just remember not all people are the same.Thank you for the information you gave me.
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Old 03-12-2009, 04:21 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
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I would agree with Red's suggestion at looking for the post first if that is a priority. If you find such a thing in Montana then come on back to the forum and we can give you more information based on your selection. Montana is a very very large state, with many many climate conditions, soil types, agriculture, amenities, schools, the list goes on and on. 40 acres where I live is pretty much where the farm house sits. The farms and ranches are thousands of acres.
That said you will find people who do not subscribe to the politically correct. You will hear the n words as well as others. You will need to visit in many seasons and often before you make the type of life changing move you are thinking about. Good luck.
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Old 03-12-2009, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
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Just out of curiousity, why would you want to be close to a post? I would think you'd want to be closer to a VA. That would change the whole demographics of where to look.

Really can't save much on a base as far as the commisary or PX. Can shop around and find just as good of deals. Plus the VA is going to have all of the latest info on Schools (Further education and such) if that's what your looking for.
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Old 03-12-2009, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
3,170 posts, read 1,909,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
Just out of curiousity, why would you want to be close to a post? I would think you'd want to be closer to a VA. That would change the whole demographics of where to look.

Really can't save much on a base as far as the commisary or PX. Can shop around and find just as good of deals. Plus the VA is going to have all of the latest info on Schools (Further education and such) if that's what your looking for.
As a military retiree who uses the base Famcamp at Malmstrom a few times a year (we havekids and grandkids in Griffels), and who shops at AAFES and the commissary, I disagree. Yes, you have to be careful, sometimes Albertsons or Walmart will have better buys, but usually we can save in the 30% range by utilizing the base facilities.
The Famcamp, with full hookups, is about half the price of KOA.
The Air Force Inn is about half the price of a Motel 6, if we don't want to take the camper.
Yes, base privileges ARE worth being close to a base! I am 240 miles away, and I still utilize the base when I can!
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:01 AM
 
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Thank you all for the information.My husband likes the idea of a base just in case it is needed for health care and for food savings.We are big fans of case lot sales at bases where we save lots of money on food buys over the general public. These sales only happen about 4 times a year in our area. The health care issue is because we have a handycaped son and health care for him is important. Again thank you for the information.Maybe we should look toward Pa instead of the North West area. Ill see what kind of response we get from that area.
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Old 03-13-2009, 09:47 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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In the case of healthcare, the VA hospital is in Helena at Fort Harrison. That is a Montana National Guard Base. There is a smaller VA Clinic in Miles City. One thing you might try to get your mind around before coming here is that nothing is close, we drive 100 miles each way for parts for farm equipment.

The towns are usually 30 to 60 miles apart, 200 miles isn't that big of a deal.

If you are looking for folks more used to racial diversity, Great Falls or Missoula are probably your best bets as they have the largest minority populations.

Montana has a large veteran population, about 14% the last statistic I remember seeing. Many are in the less populated regions in the eastern plains. They can live as they wish and nobody cares. However, the populations are pretty much northern european decendents, Germans, Swedes, Lots of Norwegians, some Scotts and Irish. Unless you are near a reservation, you won't see too many people with darker skin than a "farmer tan". Just a point that if your kids are of another race there will be some alienation for them as they will stand out in the crowd.

Miles City in the eastern part of the state is on the edge of the oil patch, so there are workers of all colors and creeds there, but kids.....

If you want richer soil for planting, our soil isn't nearly as deep as the Carolinas, our climate isn't as temperate, the growing season is far shorter.

West of the continental divide has better soil, water, and more temperate climate, it would probably be less of a climate shock. The land is more expensive there, but the Flathead, Bitterroot and Seeley Swan are within 200 miles of Malmstrom AFB, and not too distant from Helena VA and the AFB in Spokane. Kind of a central location.

It is more populated and trendy than the areas east of the divide, but would probably suit your requirements stated, more racially diverse, more temperate weather, decent schools, and some of the prettiest areas in the state.

Just my opinion.

There is a lot of information including pictures from around the state on the state website, www.mt.gov.
Do your research, make a vacation trip and take a look around before you dive into the deep end of the pool.
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Old 03-14-2009, 07:04 AM
 
Location: NW Montana
6,259 posts, read 8,421,515 times
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Good post,
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