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Old 05-02-2012, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
40 posts, read 58,807 times
Reputation: 51

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I have been reading all the great information everyone has been sharing and I would like your suggestions to make the move to ANC/Mat-Su easier.

Alittle about me. I am an Attorney in California and I hopefully will be moving in August to ANC or Mat/Su. (Before you start hating me let me tell you there are NO law schools in AK, so all AK attorneys have to study in the lower 48 and then move (back) up there. After multiple interviews the State has been courting me to move up and use the experience I have from CA to benefit AK. I have visited multiple times and one of my best friends grew up in Healy. So she gives me the true lowdown about AK. ) So it is time to sell the house and pack everything up to move.

Any help on moving would be great. Ship the 1998 honda 2DR or sell and buy a used car there? Everything would easily fit in a 20' container, but I am not attched to too much. So cost of shipping vs. furnishing the house up there? Also anything else, from clothing I will need to buy to getting used fishing equip is helpful to which fishing charter is the best.

My concern is that I have to study for the AK Bar, move, and start the job all at the same time. So anything to help make the adventure alittle easier at the start is appreciated. This is your chance to help give the advice you had wished that someone had given you. And I promise to pay it forward.

So from newbies to old sourdoughs, let me know what a new guy needs to know to survive this great adventure. And after I get settled in, maybe we'll meet at the Spenard Roadhouse for the beer and reindeer sausage happy hour special on me. (Told ya I had been up a couple times) Or maybe a homebrew about the firepit in the backyard. Whatever is better. Thanks.

And let the adventure begin.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
868 posts, read 1,419,072 times
Reputation: 627
Hello. I moved up here a little over a year and a half ago, from Missouri.

Unless you have particularly costly furniture, or family heirlooms with great sentimental value, I would probably pass on shipping it up. Of course, I moved from the Midwest, and you don't have nearly as far to ship your items, so you may want to look into it. Same goes for the car. You will be okay in many, if not most, parts of Anchorage without 4WD, but there are some neighborhoods where it is almost essential.

The clothing you need will be determined largely by your outdoor hobbies. Anchorage isn't Barrow - standard winter gear will work just fine for every day office wear. I needed to upgrade my footwear a little bit, but that's mostly because I do a lot of walking. You will want waterproof boots for break-up; it gets sloppy.

August is a good time to move, if you plan to rent short-term while you hunt for a house or apartment. The seasonal workers and tourists start clearing out in late summer/early fall, and the rates go down around that time, and some places, eager to keep those rooms filled, will give you a discount if you stay for multiple weeks.

Are you planning to buy or rent, and do you have any target neighborhoods?
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
40 posts, read 58,807 times
Reputation: 51
Default Thanks in advance...

LittleJazzyP,

Thanks for the great info. I am leaning on buying a 4wd beater once I get there, but at first I plan to stay in the city. I am a hiker/backpacker so I think I will manage the 1st winter well and adapt my purchases. Breakup seems to be a nsaty adventure.

I am planning to rent, via Craigslist for the first year or so. In ANC I read it is best to stay away from Mountain View, Hill view, and Muldoon. In Mat-Su, I have not heard any particular place to avoid.

How is/did you adjustment to AK go?
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:57 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
868 posts, read 1,419,072 times
Reputation: 627
The first winter was hard. This last one, in spite of our record snowfall, has been easier. I think I am starting to acclimate the the temperatures, although I still dislike truly extreme cold. There is also the fact that snow never fails to delight me.

Mountainview, Fairview, and Muldoon. I don't know as much about the Valley, as I am unwilling to make a commute like that (also unable to, as Anchorage did take my car out of commission. It's not dead, but it needs more help than I can give it. Be sure you have a plug-in, wherever you go.) I haven't heard of Hillview, although I could be wrong. Hillside is nice, from what I understand, but it is also one of those places you will need that 4WD. They get more snow there than we do in town, and higher winds, too. Moose Whisperer can tell you all about that, should he join in here. I live in Spenard, which lots of folks also consider to be a sketchy neighborhood, but I like it. It's convenient and cheap.

Watch out when you are searching on Craigslist. There are legitimate rentals, but there are also a lot of scams, and you will be particularly vulnerable to them if you are still out of state. I would really suggest staying at a reputable hotel or B&B for your first couple of weeks, so you can see for yourself how good some of those fabulous deals really are.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
868 posts, read 1,419,072 times
Reputation: 627
Also, please do not read the squabbles that get posted here sometimes. Most of us are sane. Honest.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:15 PM
 
Location: Palmer
58 posts, read 128,270 times
Reputation: 51
I moved to the Matsu area last August. My method was to give all my furniture away (I have a kid in college who has a very nice apartment), and just take what I could in my car. I did ship 4 boxes for a total of about $160. Cheap furniture is abundant on Craigslist, partly because there are so many military families moving in and out. For smaller stuff (even lots of large items) check Amazon, too. They deliver for free.

I don't have a block heater yet, and I don't really think they're a requirement for anc/matsu. I never had my car fail to start, even when I lived in a place with no garage. There's nowhere to plug in at work, anyway. The one thing not having a heater prevented me from doing was driving up to Fairbanks to see auroras and ice sculpture. I just wasn't confident that there wouldn't be a sudden cold snap that would put my car out of commission.

I don't know about regular 2 wheel drive cars, but I've been fine with a Toyota Corolla, which is front wheel drive. I have never regretted getting high quality studded snow tires (Hakkapellitta brand)

And don't worry too much about the "stay out of Alaska" few. My field, too, is mostly transplants or people who left and came back. I've never actually met anyone in real life who had that attitude--the people I've met here (including 99% of the people on the board here) are extremely helpful and friendly to newcomers.
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Old 05-03-2012, 08:48 AM
 
Location: Anchorage, AK
868 posts, read 1,419,072 times
Reputation: 627
Quote:
Originally Posted by tasha998 View Post
I moved to the Matsu area last August. My method was to give all my furniture away (I have a kid in college who has a very nice apartment), and just take what I could in my car. I did ship 4 boxes for a total of about $160. Cheap furniture is abundant on Craigslist, partly because there are so many military families moving in and out. For smaller stuff (even lots of large items) check Amazon, too. They deliver for free.

I don't have a block heater yet, and I don't really think they're a requirement for anc/matsu. I never had my car fail to start, even when I lived in a place with no garage. There's nowhere to plug in at work, anyway. The one thing not having a heater prevented me from doing was driving up to Fairbanks to see auroras and ice sculpture. I just wasn't confident that there wouldn't be a sudden cold snap that would put my car out of commission.

I don't know about regular 2 wheel drive cars, but I've been fine with a Toyota Corolla, which is front wheel drive. I have never regretted getting high quality studded snow tires (Hakkapellitta brand)

And don't worry too much about the "stay out of Alaska" few. My field, too, is mostly transplants or people who left and came back. I've never actually met anyone in real life who had that attitude--the people I've met here (including 99% of the people on the board here) are extremely helpful and friendly to newcomers.
I second that. They're what I put on my car (rear-wheel drive, even), and they are *awesome!*

I can't agree about the block heater, though. We sometimes have more extended periods of extreme cold than we did this past winter, and it's better to have one and not need it than need one and not have. I believe they also make batteries for colder climates, and perhaps that would have been enough to keep my car running, but one way or another, I should have been better prepared for winter, other than those wonderful tires.
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Old 05-03-2012, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,793 posts, read 5,585,082 times
Reputation: 2528
The block heaters make it a little easier on the engine to start in cold weather and over time is a benefit, with less wear & tear on an engine. So in South Central you can get away without having one, but you might have some expensive repairs down the road.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:40 PM
 
Location: 112 Ocean Avenue
5,706 posts, read 9,596,012 times
Reputation: 8932
Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleJazzyP View Post
I live in Spenard, which lots of folks also consider to be a sketchy neighborhood, but I like it. It's convenient and cheap.
Google took me for a ride in and around Spenard. It looks like a nice area to me. People were waving to/at me & holding signs that read Spenard isn't Anchorage, thank God.

If you want to see a sketchy neighborhood, come visit me and the fixer upper I just purchased. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_TxTSe7SJnP...roit-house.jpg
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:57 PM
 
Location: Bay Area
40 posts, read 58,807 times
Reputation: 51
Default hahahahah

Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleJazzyP View Post
Also, please do not read the squabbles that get posted here sometimes. Most of us are sane. Honest.
I did notice that between here and the comments online of the ANchorage Daily News that is great advice...hahaha
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