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Old 01-28-2010, 06:25 PM
76 posts, read 146,127 times
Reputation: 28


Hello everyone,
my husband and me are moving to Anchorage around August/September ( no exact date yet, just the time frame the Army gave us ) and naturally I have a million questions.... The most pressing one is my pets. I have 2 dogs ( 50 and 5 lbs ) and 2 cats. From the research I have done so far it seems that Anchorage, Eagle River and Wasilla are anything BUT pet-friendly :-(
Any ideas where I could look for a house to rent or should we just cut our losses and expect that we have to buy a house? ( We don't mind buying, but we rather rent first and get a feel for the whole area before buying ). The location doesn't matter so much, since we are both expecting a commute. I am a Medical Assistant and I am sure I will only find work in Anchorage itself.
Another issue we have is our cars, being the young couple without kids that we are, we both drive 2 little sport cars that my husband is planning on selling before we leave. He wants to get himself a used truck for the time we are there and a little used SUV for me ( according to him a tank would be great due to my driving *lol* ) How realistic is that? Are there small dealerships around with good prices or are we going to be paying an arm and a leg for used cars??? BTW my husband is 100 % refusing to drive, so we will be flying in and then renting a car until he finds something.

I also have a question about the college there. We are expecting 2+ deployments in the 3+ years we will be there, so I am thinking about going back to school and getting my RN. How hard is it to get accepted in the nursing program? Is it the only nursing program around? I didn't see another online, so....
Oh and myabe the most pressing question, that will be hard to understand is how friendly are people around there? I have had so many issues here in Oklahoma. I am full-blooded German and moved to the US 3 years ago and constantly face racial jokes and comments here. I also have problems finding friends, because young women my age here don't understand why I want to finish school first before having children .( for better understanding, I am 24 and a lot of people have actually told me that I will be too old to have kids soon and should get started immediately!!! )
So are there young, modern minded women living in Anchorage or will I be an outcast again?
I think that is it right now for questions, but I am sure I will come up with plenty more :-) Thank you everybody in advance for the answers....
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:04 AM
Location: Anchorage
4,061 posts, read 9,401,757 times
Reputation: 2350
I wish I could answer your questions but I don't know very much about most of them. We do have Alaska Pacific University but I don't know if they have a nursing program. It is hard to find landlords who accept large dogs or more tthan one pet, you can do a search on this forum because it has been asked before. I can say that there are many people in Anchorage from different countries and cultures, and many young couples wait to have children. I think in that regard you will like living in Anchorage.
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Old 01-29-2010, 11:29 AM
Location: Wasilla, AK
2,771 posts, read 5,083,618 times
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I think you'll like living in Alaska. We have such a mix of nationalities that you being German won't matter...
I know for a while the hospital here in the Valley (Wasilla/Palmer) was hiring like crazy. And Providence is building another building next door. So, you might look at the Valley. I've got several friends with pets who are renting right now.
To get an idea of vehicle prices, you might take a look at Craig's List. I'm pretty sure each of the major car dealerships have websites too. But, in general, vehicles are more expensive here due to the cost of shipping.
Read through some of the threads on this forum, and you'll get a better idea of what life here is like.
Good luck!
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:07 PM
Location: Anchorage
376 posts, read 783,934 times
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I moved up here in October of 2009. I am a nurse here in Alaska. I actually work for the State of Alaska Public Health. I have talked with a few people that are currently applying to the University of Alaska Anchorage and was told there is about a 1 1/2 year waiting list. You could probably get some of the prerequisites though without going to the nursing program yet. That might help.

Some rentals will accept animals, but you may have to pay an extra deposit and/or a little more rent each month. I have neighbors that have a couple of big dogs. You just have to find out. If you go onto Craigslist, you may find some rentals. Also, look for Anchorage Daily News on the web and they have listings too. As far as some jobs, you might look on Work Force Alaska and see if there is anything you could do for now. That is one sight that I know of. Don't rent vehicles at the airport. They are usually a little higher. I rented one in town. It was cheaper to rent by the month than by the week. There are several car dealers here. You shouldn't have a problem buying a vehicle. I couldn't tell you prices though since I haven't bought any up here. I had my pickup shipped up here from Colorado.

Hey, don't worry about not having kids right away. One of the gals that is a member of a group I hang out with is 39 and just had her first baby! I have found people to be very friendly here. More so than what I had in a few places I have lived before.

There are a lot of people that have lived here longer than I have with a lot of knowledge about Anchorage that can help you with information. Just continue to do research.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:09 PM
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For a starter apartment while you are looking, Weidner rents to folks with pets.
Weidner Apartments - Anchorage

Best of luck with your move! Anchorage area is beautiful.
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:15 PM
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
8,685 posts, read 15,833,484 times
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My DIL (son army) (grandgirls dual citizenship) had the babies and then went to school in TX, got her degree, moved to MN, then back to El Paso, then now in MN again. She found a company in MN, where she could work from home (MN to TX). I know that my girl (DIL) is very proud of her degree, as is her family of her I think the schooling/education system is so different in Germany that Americans need to know that to understand the importance to you. If you are anticipating deployments while there, by all means do your schooling to stay occupied and busy. You should do fine

And if you are anything like her with her animals, you will have your guys for sure
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:44 AM
Location: Anchorage, AK
73 posts, read 272,267 times
Reputation: 61
Hello Sava,

You are right about it being hard to find a place that allows pets, especially so many! I have noticed that you will have an easier time finding a place that allows pets in the Valley (Palmer/Wasilla). If you search on Craigslist and click the dogs/cats button, you will see that most of them are in Palmer/Wasilla.
Also, it may make it easier for you to find a place if you have pet references that you can give to a prospective landlord.
Someone else mentioned renting from Weidner.... but I have heard BAD things about them and you may want to stay away from them if you can help it!

As someone previously posted, there's a hostpital out in the Valley where you might be able to get a job so that you don't have to commute to Anchorage. Personally I wouldn't want to do the commute....too many idiot drivers out there!

About schooling....UAA does have a nursing program, but the waiting list is REALLY long. The demand for the program is greater than their capacity to accept students....they really need to expand it! Also, like someone said earlier, what people do is apply for the program and then just take their general classes while they wait to be accepted to the nursing program. But since there are so many applicants, it is very competative and you will want to get really good grades!

About the cars. If you are going to live in the Valley and commute into Anchorage/Fort Rich then you will want a car that will do good in the snow. I live in Anchorage and have a tiny Ford Escort with studded tires and I get around great! But if I were commuting I personally would want a bigger car.
I'm not sure on the prices because I haven't bough a new car in MANY years.

I don't think that you will have a problem fitting in here. And there shouldn't be a problem with your age/no kids. I'm 29 and don't have kids yet and I don't get pressured about it.....except maybe from my family a little bit. Generally people around here are friendly (in my experience) but there's always an exception to the rule.

Good luck on your move!
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Old 01-31-2010, 01:23 PM
3,763 posts, read 8,330,992 times
Reputation: 4056
We rented from Weidner when we first moved to Anchorage years ago & did OK with them for 4 years before we bought. They kept jacking up the rent so they are not the optimum situation. But they rent by the month or 6 mo. & take pets with deposits. We could not find anyone else at the time in Anchorage who would take 3 pets.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:46 PM
76 posts, read 146,127 times
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Thanks for all the answers so far, I really appreciate it. I know I have a lot of pets, but they are my babies and I would never give them up, so I guess we just have to bite the bullet... We kind of got them all by accident, too....
I have a friend who is moving there in a few days and she told me that the housing office on FT Richardson told her they had lots of 2 bdr houses open and you can put in a request early, however we'd like to avoid living on post, since we would be losing so much money.... I have seen a few 2 bdr houses for rent for half of my hubby's BAH and we also looked at some 2 bdr houses for sale and the mortgage would be low enough for his BAH to cover it and all utilities... But who knows. That might be our only option at first and we still have a lot of time, for all I know we will move to TX tomorrow, because the Army says so *lol*
So is there only one college in Anchorage? Is their any other schools with maybe other medical programs? I already have all my pre-requs done, so waiting 1.5 years is insane *lol* I might as well just do a 1 year LPN program real quick and then go through the Central TX College and get my RN online in 1 year and work full-time while doing that. It would be the exact same time frame.
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Old 01-31-2010, 06:32 PM
Location: Anchorage, AK
73 posts, read 272,267 times
Reputation: 61
Jacking up the rent is one of the many compliants I've heard about Weidner. One of the others is that they charge a LARGE pet deposit (which they don't always refund) and they charge extra in a monthly amount also. But I guess if they are the only ones renting to people with pets then they can charge more.

Sava another place to look for places to rent if you are in the military is: www.ahrn.com and I know that Fort Rich has a housing program that helps people find housing off base. But since I'm not military I don't know the phone number.

UAA isn't the only college here, but I beleive it is the only one with a nursing program. Here's a link to UAA's nursing site: University of Alaska School of Nursing maybe you could email them and find out what the waiting list looks like and how the program works.
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