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Old 06-08-2011, 10:55 AM
 
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I will be moving to the Bozeman/Livingston/Three Forks area over the next couple of months, and am interested in opinions on the areas mentioned above. I will be working from home, and we homeschool our children, so those factors don't apply.

I think I have a good grasp of what is available by living near Bozeman (more/closer amenities, etc.), but my question is what is gained/lost by living one of the surrounding communities, within say, a 30-45 minute commute to Bozeman. Do those that live outside of Bozeman find themselves commuting often to BZ to get what they need? Does it become a burden and a pain?

I know this is a very personal question that depends if you are comfortable in small-town living, but your thoughts and experiences are appreciated.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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I was raised on a ranch between Livingston and Bozeman, and to be honest, I preferred living 30 minutes from either town.

We went to town, (either one) when we needed groceries or parts, but we didn't do a lot of recreational shopping or attend a lot of concerts or whatever, so it certainly wasn't a hardship for us. We would go for 2 or 3 weeks between trips sometimes.

The outlying areas around Bozeman (Livingston, Belgrade, Manhattan, Three Forks, Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway, Amsterdam,) have some ameneties available such as groceries, restaraunts, parts stores, hardware, lumber, so you only have to go to Bozeman for things that aren't readilly available in the smaller towns, (like a Wal-Mart).

If you live outside of any town in that area, having some supplies on hand is a good idea as snow can cut off road travel sometimes, so having some food and heat on hand is a good idea.
Floods can also knock out bridges or cover roads so if you come out here, be aware that you have to be more self sufficent than you do in more urban areas.

Good Luck
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Old 06-09-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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One benefit you would see in the smaller towns is cost of living. Bozeman is very expensive to live, the smaller towns around it would be more affordable.

Of the two towns you mentioned, Livingston would probably have more shopping & activities available locally. Last time I was in Three Forks they didn't have a lot - but you can still get the basics there so if you plan well you wouldn't have to be driving to Bozeman very often.

Bozeman pass separates Bozeman from Livingston, and it gets a lot of snow in the winter (fall and spring, too). When you drive it, you'll notice the gates on the side of the freeway. This is because it's not unusual for the pass to be closed due to heavy snows for a few hours to maybe even up to a whole day or so at a time. Three Forks to Bozeman will generally be easier drive in the winter than the drive from Bozeman to Livingston.
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Old 06-09-2011, 05:27 PM
 
Location: SW Montana
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We live about 30 minutes from Bozeman, and go in once every week or two for groceries and a few other odds and ends. We plan our trips, especially with gas eating on $4/gallon this year; the old Subaru gets over 30 running around, so a trip in isn't bad. Lots of times Belgrade has what we need and that's much closer.

Other than that, we don't have much to go in for except for "have-tos" like electrical/plumbing etc. emergencies. However, several of our neighbors are different stories; sometimes when I'm working in my shop during the day I'll see them make several trips all the same direction. In fact, the folks we bought this place from years ago said they were moving in close proximity to Bozeman because between them and the kids they were eating over $1000 of gas a month - that's well over ten years ago. Both had jobs there and were involved in several activities.

I think you kind of learn to build a stash of food, repairs, etc. to feed off of so you don't wind up running around all the time. If you have an interest in attending lots of stuff for entertainment, etc. then of course closer is better.
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo403 View Post
Bozeman pass separates Bozeman from Livingston, and it gets a lot of snow in the winter (fall and spring, too). When you drive it, you'll notice the gates on the side of the freeway. This is because it's not unusual for the pass to be closed due to heavy snows for a few hours to maybe even up to a whole day or so at a time.
I never once saw the pass closed due to snow, when I was doing the trip to Livingston once or twice a week during the heavy snow years in the 1970s... but I remember the gates being put in near Livingston because of the wind. Sometimes they'd be closed in high summer, cuz 100mph is enough to blow an 18-wheeler clean off the high spots. Methinks that stretch of interstate was laid out without consulting any locals.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
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Livingston - very windy (too windy for me) dangerous on highway at times
Bozeman - snow in winter deeper than Belgrade or Three Forks out in the valley
Three Forks - small, but milder winters than Livingston or Bozeman

I can recommend for your home schooled kids a great music program, the Home School Chorus, directed by Suzanne Gorder. suzannegorder.com It would be more convenient to get together for group activities with other home schooled kids if you were close to or in Bozeman, but there are people home schooling in both the towns and rural areas.
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Old 06-15-2011, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
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Regarding living expenses in Bozeman, I am actually seeing a lot of rentals open around town, so if you look hard enough for them, affordable places are here.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:16 PM
 
Location: SW Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by happiness is View Post
Regarding living expenses in Bozeman, I am actually seeing a lot of rentals open around town, so if you look hard enough for them, affordable places are here.
Thanks for the info H I. We are seeing plenty of rentals on line and many are new construction homes.

Heading your way very soon.
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:35 AM
 
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Thanks for the info on the chorus/piano...we will definitely check that out.

I was looking online yesterday and I also found quite a few rentals available. Not sure if the flooding there is going to change that or not.

Thanks for all the info...really appreciate it.
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Old 06-16-2011, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Bozeman, Montana
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Flooding in Bozeman is not a problem, only a few places near the creek have gotten high water. Out of town near rivers deal more with flooding.

I just checked on rentals today for a friend, and there is a two bedroom house in Bozeman for rent at 410 N 19th for $675.
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