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Old 07-18-2006, 10:11 PM
2 posts, read 70,374 times
Reputation: 17


My family is considering relocating from Kentucky to North Dakota. We have never been to ND but we were attracted to the state because it has very low crime, good public schools, low unemployment.

My wife, son and I are planning to visit ND in October and we plan to fly into Fargo and drive west on I-94 all the way across the state just to see what is there.

We are interested in moving to Bismarck or Fargo. Can any one give us some insight into these places?

We live in Bowling Green Kentucky currently, but this place has mostly a low skill job economy, higher violent crime rate than you might expect (slightly less than NYC according to FBI crime stats) and the schools here have never been even average. Also, this town recently has a huge influx of low skill/wage people. I don't think this city can thrive on the growing low wage tax base. One good thing about KY; however, is the climate. No extreme hot or cold temps. I tend to like the cold more than the heat.

Detailed insight into Bismarck, Fargo areas would be appreciated. Also, what are the chances of me finding a job there. I have 10 years of automotive manufacturing experience, mostly in Quality Engineering. We cannot wait until October for our visit to North Dakota !
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Old 07-19-2006, 09:14 AM
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,081,168 times
Reputation: 3454
Hi there...

I was born and raised in Madisonville, KY (about 60 miles or so west-northwest of you) and had a two family members go to WKU. I always welcomed winter as a kid (I love cold and snow) and did not like the long hot and very humid summers we have down there. I was fortunate enough to have a job related move to Grand Forks (about 70 miles north of Fargo up I-29) in 1998. I visited the area two years prior. I like the cold and flat plains so I am in heaven up here. But we do get all 4 season....spring and fall are short but our summers are usually nice...though lots of mosquitos (except this year as it has been very dry). Of the three cities....Bismarck is the warmest and driest of the three, with Bismarck having hotter summers and more frequent warmups in the winter, than Fargo or Grand Forks.

About Fargo and Bismarck....both are growing cities...in an area where overall rural population has been slowly declining. Lots of shopping, businesses, etc in both cities (as well as in Grand Forks and Minot too). Fargo is larger, with its entire metro area (including West Fargo and Moorhead MN) about a pop of 150,000....and Bismarck-Mandan having a pop of about 80,000 +/-.

Both cities are clean and have good public schools and new housing construction. Fargo is in the Red River Valley and is flat (same as Grand Forks) and we have typically very cold winters with frequent light snows and blowing snow...cold meaning average highs in January from zero to 15 above and lows 10 below to 30 below. But conditons are variable, and some winters have only very short cold periods....much even the warmest winter up here is much colder than winters in Bowling Green. Once it snows the snow is on the ground in Fargo area for the balance of the winter season (Dec 1-Mar 15) so snowmobiling and ice fishing are things a lot of people do in the Red River valley and northwest Minnesota. Now in Bismarck....they warm up to 32 or higher much more frequently (we call that area from Bismarck to Dickinson the banana belt) and snow cover is much less there...but they can get very cold too, but just less times.

Check out both cities....I would imagine job wise you can easily find a job in both cities as unemployment in both are less than 2 percent....and housing generally starting around $150,000 for a new 3-4 BR home...though of course it varies by size. Older homes are cheaper than that with 10-30 year homes 1500-2000 sq ft seem to run around 130,000 +/-....of course there are large homes too up to 500,000 but that is on the high end. Crime in both is very low...but of course things happen everywherre.

Bismarck is more hilly than Fargo, which has no hills, and Bismarck is closer to the badlands of Medora ND while Fargo is 3 hour drive from Minneapolis.

Good luck with your search...weather in October is usually nice...though can vary...with cooler and cloudier weather in the mid to late part of the month with our first freeze usually in early October. So leaves will have changed by then but not off the trees yet. What trees there are usually planted, not a whole lot of natural trees out there.

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Old 07-22-2006, 05:58 PM
2 posts, read 70,374 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks for your insight into ND.

I went to High School in Hopkinsville KY and I played many games in the Madisonville HS gym.

We didn't attend Western Ky Univ. but we sometimes go to watch b-ball games there.

My wife and I are very serious about relocating to North Dakota and your post is very helpful to us. I think the first step is to visit ND and look at your state first hand.

We are looking for an all around better place and my research has pointed me to ND. KY is nice, but high unemployment is chronic in many parts of the state and the places that manage to get their unemployment % below 5% typically rely on low skill jobs to get the % down. This causes towns like Bowling Green to explode in pop. (51,000 currently) with a lot of people that don't have the income to contribute to the tax base to support the city.

I understand crime can occur anywhere, but Fargo and Bismarck have exceptionally low crime rates. Bowling Green struggles in the violent crime stats category (murder, rape robberies, assault). We even had $5 million embezzled from the city by our own Treasurer. He was busted by the FBI last year.
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Old 07-22-2006, 10:48 PM
33 posts, read 380,091 times
Reputation: 52
Default Good Luck

Good luck where you are living. All stores and even shopping malls in North Dakota all open at 12Noon Sundays. I don't know why? Anybody know why in North Dakota all stores and even shopping malls are opening at 12Noon on Sunday?
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Old 07-23-2006, 04:16 PM
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,731 posts, read 9,081,168 times
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It is called "blue laws". Prior to 1992....no shopping was done on sunday....there were exceptions like food...but for clothes, and general mall stuff all of those stores were closed on Sunday. This was done to benefit the many small town merchants who wanted a day off with family. With competition from neighboring states and more national retailers coming in....a law was passed to allow shopping on Sunday but only if the shops open after Noon.
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Old 07-25-2006, 12:51 PM
33 posts, read 368,348 times
Reputation: 41
North Dakota is very bad to live in. North Dakota is extremly cold.If you move to North Dakota you will have to realise your moving to one of the smallest states in the United States by population. The only decent city in North Dakota is Fargo, North Dakota and Bismarck,North Dakota with an 80,000+ population and 40,000+ population in my opintion. And still have extremly cold and snowy winters.And not to many good hotels like great cities have such Las Vegas,New York,and Los Angeles. Sorry North Dakotans just telling you what I think.
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Old 08-08-2006, 01:20 PM
2 posts, read 36,690 times
Reputation: 18
Bowling green,

Like every state, North Dakota has good things and bad things about it. I always loved Fargo as a place to live, but I was raised in the state ... so, it's like home to me. I will be returning to Fargo this month. If you want a North Dakota native who is willing to give you the latest scoop (on Fargo), I would be happy to fill you in on anything you want to know.

I have lived in several states, and I can tell you from experience that getting factual, unbiased information is not easy to come by. For as much as I like Fargo, I would be honest about it's shortcomings. There is nothing worse than moving to a State, only to discover that you've been misinformed ... or worse, important details have been conveniently left out. It's not so much about asking questions, but rather, asking the RIGHT questions.
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:52 PM
1 posts, read 35,165 times
Reputation: 19
First of all North Dakota is a great place to grow up and live. (coming from 2 seventeen year olds) We were both born here in bismarck and still live here with our families.

the people here are great. Everyone is nice, inviting, and honest. For instance one time i set my purse down when i was at the mall and when i finally realized where i had put it a half and hour later i went back there and it was in the exact same place as i set it. Nobody would take it because we care about each other and have all been there. Also, everyone here is extremely hardworking. We know how to get things done efficiently. We're not afraid of using a little elbow grease to get the job done.

Most people leave most of there doors unlocked during the day when they are home and usually only lock them when they leave or at night. We all know our neighbors and their families and trust them.

We both go to school at Bismarck High School. It gives us many opportunites to succeed. All the staff and teachers are great and willing to help. We are one of the top five states in the nation for gratuation rate. (85%)We have alot of sports, clubs, and music organizations. Most people are involved in something.

The weather is not that bad. We get all four seasons and are beautiful. Winter is always good for snowmobiling, sledding, ice skating, etc. Summers can get pretty hot up here, too. July was full of 100 degree weather. Great for going out on one of our lakes or rivers with your jet ski. Hunting and Fishing here is great. People come here from all over to hunt and fish.

Jobs are everywhere here in Bismarck. We are rapidly growing and there are new businesses on every corner. We might not be metropolitean, but we are proud of where we came from. We don't drive horse drawn carriages and all live on a farm. We're no NYC with our high crime, or California with our major earthquakes and pollution problems and we're not a threat for terrorists.

People make things up about North Dakota because they don't know anything about us. Most people that we know that have moved here, have nothing bad to say about living here. It's a great place to live and grow up. We wouldn't want to grow up any other place. Hopefully our input has been helpful. good luck with everything....katie and sarah
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Old 08-15-2006, 03:00 PM
2 posts, read 37,505 times
Reputation: 14
I live in a small town (less than 300 population) near Minot, and work in Minot, ND. It is a very clean, respectful place. Everyone cares, the services industry could not be better. Generally, in North Dakota, living is very peaceful where people genuinely care about their neighbors. Minot has none of the big city attitude, but all the amenities.

There is a large shopping mall, SuperWalMart, the cleanest supermarkets I have ever seen, State University, Very well run private and public school systems, and huge opportunity for employment.

Current constructing in the area: New coal to energy plants, biodiesel plants, all looking to hire new employees. The construction industry is booming. Employers cannot find enough qualified employees. It is definetly a job-hunters market here. Telemarketers and Telephone Service Agencies are paying $11.00 per hour to start with no experience. Some fast food places are paying over $11.00 per hour as well.

I have lived in many other states as an adult, including California, Oregon, Montana, Washington & Kansas (I worked the construction trade for many years). Other than Montana (where I was raised and remain biased to), North Dakota is the best place to raise children that I know, and Minot is the least stressful city in North Dakota. Good luck with the move.
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Old 09-15-2006, 01:19 PM
Location: San Diego, California
21 posts, read 138,151 times
Reputation: 16
Originally Posted by Brenda R View Post
Telemarketers and Telephone Service Agencies are paying $11.00 per hour to start with no experience. Some fast food places are paying over $11.00 per hour as well.
I'm really curious about this statement. Why do kids working at mcdonalds get paid $11.00? I assumed that the cost of living would be low in ND. I live in San Diego, CA, I do office work, and I'm the LAN Admin, I make $12.53/hr. Our cost of living is really high here...the people at the fast food resturaunts here make min wage, which is $6.75 (to go up to 8/hr next year).
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