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Old 04-08-2011, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Undisclosed Bunker
268 posts, read 340,377 times
Reputation: 226

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My wife and I have recently been batting around the idea of relocating to SD. I was hoping for some feedback from this forum. Ill try to keep it short. OK- We were driven from the Central Coast of California in 2007 Due to the economy. I’m a self employed Finish Carpenter/Cabinet Maker. My wife is a college graduate with teaching credentials. She owned a day spa specializing in massage therapy up until 07.
We sold our home in CA. and have been here in Cedar Park TX. For 3 years now. The move has not exactly worked out as I was hoping. We had a large savings account when we moved here. It’s gone. I took a huge cut in pay moving here and competing with illegal’s. Now I rarely get 40 hours a week of work and they are cutting teachers left and right. So, we are in our early 40’s and starting over. There is not much keeping us here as we are renting/ mobile. Only low paying jobs. Native Texans hate CA. transplants by the way. Fortunately they are becoming out numbered.
Here’s the thing; My wife and I love the out doors. I love snow skiing! We were living near the Pacific ocean and only hours from Yosemite which was beautiful. I can live without the ocean but we both miss the mountains and TREES! Whenever we travel which by the way, it takes two days of driving to get out of TX. We just want to hug the trees. We realize the winters are long up there. I have never lived in snow country. For one thing I would have to store my beloved Harley Davidson all winter….but hey, I love snow mobiles. Oh, we have two kiddies, 8 and 11. Did I mention we are Caucasian. Any success stories?

Last edited by handog; 04-08-2011 at 10:20 AM.. Reason: title
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Old 04-08-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: overlooking the mighty MO
697 posts, read 1,087,816 times
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if your willing to work, you do just fine up here-- most schools are good --since you like to snowmobile look at the black hills --a good cabinent maker (that doesn't want your right gonad) is hard to find up here
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Old 04-08-2011, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Undisclosed Bunker
268 posts, read 340,377 times
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Thanks Old Man. Of course the biggest concern is making a living wage. Particularly construction in the winter. Do Carpenters stay busy or do they have another line of work for the winter? Anyone?
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Custer, SD
1,582 posts, read 2,649,196 times
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I can't answer the carpentry question, but I can't imagine you wouldn't find work. SD is on the low end of wages, but you can balance that with all the better things about living here. I relocated here nearly two years ago from north central Indiana. I wouldn't trade that decision for anything. My 10 year old (who was 8 at the time) couldn't be happier, either. If you want specifics answered about the northern Hills region, I would be happy to oblige!
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Old 04-08-2011, 02:30 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 35,410,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by handog View Post
Thanks Old Man. Of course the biggest concern is making a living wage. Particularly construction in the winter. Do Carpenters stay busy or do they have another line of work for the winter? Anyone?
My uncle was a Master Carpenter. He stayed busy year round in the Black Hills. He did everything from building a log cabin, to cabinets, all the ornamental wood in a couple of the churches, 3 or 4 bars, etc. If you are well rounded, you can stay busy, all year. But you have to be diverse. He would do rough carpentry in the summer because that's when everybody was building houses. He worked on pews one winter so he could deliver in the spring. Just have to plan it out and have customers willing to wait.

Once you get going and your name gets around, if you are good, you won't have enough hours in the day to do everything.

My uncle lived just outside of Hill City and kept busy for 20+ years.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Undisclosed Bunker
268 posts, read 340,377 times
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I can’t say I get excited about low wages but I’ll take that with a grain of salt. The wages in CA. were on the high end BUT the cost of living was also high. We never could get ahead. . Mainly I want to work, I don’t do well unemployed. I get depressed. The low unemployment numbers are what caught my attention in S.D. Perhaps R.C. The Black Hills area looks beautiful.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:20 PM
 
Location: S.Dak
19,013 posts, read 8,694,604 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElkHunter View Post
My uncle was a Master Carpenter. He stayed busy year round in the Black Hills. He did everything from building a log cabin, to cabinets, all the ornamental wood in a couple of the churches, 3 or 4 bars, etc. If you are well rounded, you can stay busy, all year. But you have to be diverse. He would do rough carpentry in the summer because that's when everybody was building houses. He worked on pews one winter so he could deliver in the spring. Just have to plan it out and have customers willing to wait.

Once you get going and your name gets around, if you are good, you won't have enough hours in the day to do everything.

My uncle lived just outside of Hill City and kept busy for 20+ years.
Agreed.
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Old 04-09-2011, 04:35 PM
 
Location: The Black Hills, South Dakota
412 posts, read 802,441 times
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Wages are very low compared to California. But the cost of living is also low. If you want hills and trees, the Black Hills area is for you. You would probably like Rapid City (particularly the west side, which is more densely treed... east side is more open) or Spearfish. The rest of South Dakota is mostly prairie.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:32 PM
 
Location: Spearfish, SD
19 posts, read 28,188 times
Reputation: 49
Hi there handog - we relocated here in Sept. of last year, from central Oregon. It has been an adventure - we are in our early 50's & starting over! We have lived in snow country most of our lives & truly the winter here did not seem bad to us at all, I would be interested in the opinions of some long timers, though! Wages are a bit lower than Oregon, but the jobs are much more plentiful. Hubby is working excavation (again) and it was a little sporadic through the winter, needless to say. But I have managed to find several part time jobs that are not too low paying - better than minimum wage, at least & am getting more hours than I want!
We decided on the Hills area (though I grew up east river) as hubby loves to ski - Terry Peak is only a 15 minute drive from Spearfish! We are glad we chose Spearfish over Rapid City, it's just our cup of tea here! Hiking, fishing, lots of natural beauty - a great place to ride your motorcycle, too! We don't have one right now, but we plan to make that right soon! But, we saw people riding clear into November last year & have seen plenty out already this spring, as our weather has been pretty good (on occasion) this spring.
No regrets, but starting over IS difficult at any age! Sounds as though we are in the same situation having no savings left, but it's a great place to be, the people here are unlike any others I have ever met - kind, helpful, generous, for the most part.
We will look forward to hearing about your journey, good luck in your decisions! Let us know if we can be of any assistance, friend!
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Old 04-12-2011, 08:43 AM
 
Location: Undisclosed Bunker
268 posts, read 340,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasnthru View Post
Hi there handog - we relocated here in Sept. of last year, from central Oregon. It has been an adventure - we are in our early 50's & starting over! We have lived in snow country most of our lives & truly the winter here did not seem bad to us at all, I would be interested in the opinions of some long timers, though! Wages are a bit lower than Oregon, but the jobs are much more plentiful. Hubby is working excavation (again) and it was a little sporadic through the winter, needless to say. But I have managed to find several part time jobs that are not too low paying - better than minimum wage, at least & am getting more hours than I want!
We decided on the Hills area (though I grew up east river) as hubby loves to ski - Terry Peak is only a 15 minute drive from Spearfish! We are glad we chose Spearfish over Rapid City, it's just our cup of tea here! Hiking, fishing, lots of natural beauty - a great place to ride your motorcycle, too! We don't have one right now, but we plan to make that right soon! But, we saw people riding clear into November last year & have seen plenty out already this spring, as our weather has been pretty good (on occasion) this spring.
No regrets, but starting over IS difficult at any age! Sounds as though we are in the same situation having no savings left, but it's a great place to be, the people here are unlike any others I have ever met - kind, helpful, generous, for the most part.
We will look forward to hearing about your journey, good luck in your decisions! Let us know if we can be of any assistance, friend!
Sounds like my kind of place! You must fit right in with the nice people there.
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