Laramie or Jackson/surrounding (Casper, Gillette: real estate, crime, new home)
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Our small family --husband, wife, child of 2 --is considering a move to WY. The cost of living where we are currently living (in another state which will remain nameless) is too much. We have narrowed it down a bit and have come up with Laramie or the areas surrounding Jackson. Any help or opinions that anyone could offer would be helpful. To be honest, we've only ever driven through before!
A few considerations:
1. We are not independently wealthy and currently have one spouse employed as an educator in the local school system. This will probably be the case when we move as well. Pay estimates for position in WY are about 49K;
2. Husband was laid off from outdoor retail job at the end of 2008. Would like to get back into the field;
3. Obviously with a small child, we'd like a decent school system and safe environment. We saw something about meth use in another posting. Is this an issue in these areas? How's crime?;
4. We will be selling our home where we currently live and should be able to come up with a little over $200K when we eventually look to buy another home;
5. We enjoy being in the outdoors, particularly in the mountains.
Sorry to be throwing around numbers (a little tacky), but we'd love some honest opinions about what our chances are in WY. Thank you in advance!
The money that you are talking about should do quite well in Laramie or one of the small towns around there. Plus you'll have the benefits of the mountains. However, that money will only make a down payment in Jackson. Jackson tends to be a bit expensive. Scratch that. Jackson tends to be way over priced.
You'll find that the school systems in Wyoming tend to be very good. Other then personal conflicts with individuals, I can't remember anybody saying anything bad about the schools. The schools where I live are outstanding. My BIL was an educator in Laramie and he said that the schools there were fantastic. Don't know anything about Jackson area.
The school system in Wyoming tends to get moneys a little easier then school system in other places. The state has done a really good job of making sure that education doesn't suffer. Sure, there will be a school here or there that's struggling, but it's normally due to a local problem.
Laramie tends to be more liberal then most of the state but most college towns are that way.
Meth is a problem if only one person is using. I'm not sure what the numbers are in Laramie but a lot depends on their reporting criteria. Some places report it more so they can get more state funding for law enforcement. Some places don't report it cause it would hurt their tourist trade. So wait and see what people from Laramie say, don't just look at the numbers.
Look through the picture thread. There are lots of pictures of Laramie, along with other places throughout the state.
You might do well to visit, even if only for a few days. Would be best to visit in summer and again in winter. Trouble is, time constraints. Most people deciding to move can't afford to wait a year and visit several times before making a decision.
There are lots of threads on Casper that you might want to browse through if you haven't already.
Welcome to the forum. Hope you get the information you need and want. Ask away.
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Yeah, I figured Jackson itself was WAY out of our price range but that maybe there was some outlying area that might be a possibility. Truth be told, we're leaning more towards Laramie but thought we'd check on the Jackson thing since we were posting anyway!
Teton County(Jackson) has some of the most expensive housing costs in the country.
From the City-Data Jackson, Wy Demo page:
Mean prices in 2007: All housing units: $505,650; Detached houses: $619,614.
To be completely fair, the quality/value of the "mean" home in Teton County is probably higher than in other counties too. I've read that Teton County residents are the wealthiest in the nation. It stands to reason then, they probably have the biggest and nicest homes, so that $619,614.00 home in Jackson doesn't compare to the mean-priced-home in Gillette, which was $221,923.00 the same year. It would be nice if they gave the average cost per sq. ft. You could relate to that a little better.
To be completely fair, the quality/value of the "mean" home in Teton County is probably higher than in other counties too. I've read that Teton County residents are the wealthiest in the nation.
Not really....according to the Jackson Demo page of City-Data, estimated median household income in 2007: $64,548 (it was $47,757 in 2000). That's why I left after 17 years and many others live over Teton Pass or down the canyon in Star Valley. Home prices are way out of whack in relationship to income. It's due to the many multi-million dollar mcmansions built for wealthy out of staters.
Not really....according to the Jackson Demo page of City-Data, estimated median household income in 2007: $64,548 (it was $47,757 in 2000)....
But check out counties. This is from Wikipedia: "20 highest-income counties by average per capita income (2009)"
1 Teton County, Wyoming $132,728
Originally Posted by MRVphotog
... Home prices are way out of whack in relationship to income. It's due to the many multi-million dollar mcmansions built for wealthy out of staters.
That's what I was attempting to point out. If you don't need a McMansion, will a 12-1500 sq. ft starter home cost $600,000+? Because the "mean" residential home cost in Gillette will get you a decent tract home -- nothing fancy.
I'm a little late joining this thread but Laramie Real Estate is much less expensive. If you have $200K down - you could actually pay a house off. One thing about real estate here - unless you are buying a brand new home be prepared to do some updating!! Laramie doesn't have a big chain home improvement store (Home Depot, Lowes) so older homes tend to be 'original'. We bought a house built in 1983 house and seriously...nothing had been changed since 1983 - just a little heads up.
There are nice newer homes in the area and prices vary from $90/sq foot to $160/sq foot. It just depends. A lot of homes have full finished basements, too.
As for crime here - it's mostly college prank type stuff. (I learned this from a local police officer). There is meth here but it's not taking over like in other parts of the state.
The schools here are AMAZING!!!!! I have 2 kiddos in Junior High and I can't praise the schools enough. The teachers seem genuinely happy to teach and the administration is very fair. My interactions with teachers has been soooo good.
Best wishes on your upcoming life changes! God Bless!
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