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Old 07-01-2009, 09:25 AM
 
19 posts, read 55,899 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
BTW I've lived in such minimal circumstances, and did so for many years. My priorities were elsewhere, and making do with very little didn't seem like a bad thing at the time. And life was a lot simpler when I didn't have to plan for a mortgage and property tax and insurance and repairs and all the other baggage of a more-typical lifestyle.
I did too when much younger, and again a few times in the past 10 years. I enjoy living out of suitcase alone or with one or two boxes, plus a computer and x-c skis. It's hard to find the right sized and designed place to do it, though. Plus, there's social needs and obligations that fit so well.
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Old 07-03-2009, 01:37 AM
 
Location: Blue Cloud, Helena, MT
70 posts, read 103,758 times
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Thank God I don't live in town and have too pay things like electric bills when the 1,800 watt solar generator is backup and the 3500 watts and batteries on the house do well, even in the winter. We use wood for heat and I spend lots of time with a chainsaw and chopping wood. No way in hell do I want to be running out of wood when I'm snowed out this winter -it happens sometimes. We also have our own water well with no sodium fluoride or other chemicals in the water and it tastes great! My only bills are a cell phone, my share of property tax, gas, propane, insurance, clothes, and food I can't produce. Things I don't pay for: electricity, Internet (hijack wifi with old disknetwork satellite for fifty miles), and rent.
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Old 07-17-2009, 08:02 AM
 
19 posts, read 55,899 times
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Montana Business Quarterly summer 2009 issues reports (via research) that Gallatin County was the worst of in Montana in terms of affordable housing in 2007 (most recent data). Researcher says that median-income family buying a house would have to spend high proportion of their income for housing. That's even with the drop in the market, since incomes have come down as well. As for renters, "that's pretty unambiguous. It's a bad situation."

So, unless you want to chop wood way of out town somewhere...
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:21 PM
 
Location: Bozeman
3 posts, read 6,771 times
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Default Bozeman cost of living

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinD69 View Post
Purchase prices of homes are still too high. Property values are still too high. Jobs are still few and far between. I dont see where the bubble is done yet, I believe we still have another year to a year and a half before the prices become reasonable. I look thru the paper on a regular basis and am looking for the prices to get down to where they were 5 years ago before the bubble got out of hand. A home around here that is renting for 1300 should be at about 800 and an apartment that is currently at 500 should be no more than 300 and I dont see this happening yet.
I think you hit it on the head, I agree that purchase prices of house in Bozeman are completely out of control. I have lived and worked in Bozeman for 5 years now and things have just gotten worse over the years. Now before I get torn apart for 'not being a native' take it easy, because I have lived in this state for 20 years. Anyone who thinks that housing is reasonable, do a little research...a 2 plus bedroom house in Bozeman (not three forks) but bozeman easily sells for 200,000 plus....that same home somewhere else would go for half that, if not less. Anyone here that actually has to work for a living, has and will continue to have a hard time affording a house. Which also lends to what Robind69 said...the jobs here are few and far between, and the jobs that pay well are slim to none.
If you are moving here for a job that you already have....great, you'll probably love it, if you're moving here with money (Bozeman is snob central) then you'll fit right in, but if you're moving here for a change of scenery, and to LOOK for a job....I wouldn't suggest it.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:33 PM
 
19 posts, read 55,899 times
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I'll agree with your last statement there, notoriousdjv. It does strike me that the university is a mixed blessing. Largest employer and big draw for those who want to be in a university town, while the U plays a big role in setting and maintaining rock bottom wages for the region, and a de facto role in maintaining inflated housing prices, owned and rented, as well as property taxes.
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Old 10-05-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,842 posts, read 13,473,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romath View Post
I'll agree with your last statement there, notoriousdjv. It does strike me that the university is a mixed blessing. Largest employer and big draw for those who want to be in a university town, while the U plays a big role in setting and maintaining rock bottom wages for the region, and a de facto role in maintaining inflated housing prices, owned and rented, as well as property taxes.
It wasn't that way when I lived in Bozeman... housing costs were on a par with Great Falls, and my sister tells me that service jobs (usually entry-level, low-skill positions) in Bozeman currently pay more than they do in California. ($10/hr vs min.wage) So I don't think it's the U to blame, or it would have been that way all the way back, and it's not so.

People talk about how GROWTH is "good", but forget growth demands inflation of land prices, since you've got more people competing for the same square footage (they ain't makin' any more land!) and ultimately EVERYTHING is priced based on the cost of the land under it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:55 PM
 
19 posts, read 55,899 times
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First off, your sister notwithstanding, Montana is a low wage state, one of the lowest in the country. It's common for working class Montanans to talk about working two, three or four jobs to get by. It's not in the ballpark with California, tho there are local variations depending on needs and the availability of labor (even MacDo has been known in some places to offer $12/hr if the labor market demands). At least two of the three current candidates for MSU President decried the abysmally low faculty and researcher wages here and said it couldn't compete without doing something about it. That's a big chunk of the local work force.

The University is the largest employer in town and private businesses use students for as much as they can get away with (especially given seasonal fluctuations in business). Thus, University *student* wages do provide a reference point for the market. The state minimum wage just turned about $7.50. University minimum wage since July for non-student union jobs is $8.50, up from $8.25 last year. That's for range of positions, including, as I know from personal experience, ones that require facility with computers and a variety of applications, as well as some intellectual judgement. The town is now heavily populated with national chains, most of which pay under $10 to start (and have lots of college and even high school students). By and large, one needs to hit jobs that require a specific skill set and lots of experience to get in the $10+ range. The bit of local industry comes to mind. Another is administrative assistant jobs, which seem to pay $10-15 to start, depending on how much accounting/bookkeeping is required, how wide ranging the duties are, and how many people one is responsible for. Compare that with $15-$25 in the Twin Cities, which itself is not a high wage market.

What inflation of the housing market has meant is that the *spread* between wages and housing costs has increased.

Last edited by romath; 10-06-2009 at 03:02 PM..
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Old 10-07-2009, 12:17 PM
 
15 posts, read 27,078 times
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I've moved to Bozeman from the Great Falls area. I don't know what people are complaining about in the Bozeman area. Food (Town & Country & Food Coop) and gas (.06 less per gal, last time I checked) are cheaper than in Great Falls, the 2 bdrm apartment I have rents for the same amount in Great Falls and now that I'm living here, I can take the time to find something cheaper for next year's lease, which is easy to do because it's a college town with lots of rentals. And the jobs I'm qualified for (college student in the sciences) start at $9-$10 per hour instead of minimum wage. And there are at least twice as many jobs advertised daily in Bozeman as in Great Falls. As long as you aren't in the construction trades you'll do OK; I think you'd even do OK in the construction trades if you were an excellent, dependable craftsperson - that's always in demand.
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Old 10-07-2009, 07:58 PM
 
Location: Macao
16,092 posts, read 38,581,439 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by electric_lady View Post
I have some friends who have offered me a room in their rented house for $275 a month. Even if I make $9, I would be able to afford this and all my food and gas. This, to me, seems cheap. Especially compared with other desireable mountain cities. Not to mention being a college town - in Ann Arbor, Mich. for example, I'd be looking at at least $600 for my own room, not making any more money than in Montana.
So, I guess I'm wondering why is the cost of living considered to be so high in Bozeman?
Is food and gas really THAT much more expensive than the average American city? I know it's somewhat remote, but, can anyone give me an idea here? Are we talking like $5 for milk or something? What gives?
Having grown up in Michigan, where I always made minimum wage - $3.35/hour (1986-1992) at the time...I've found it much easier than most other people to make a move and land on my feet.

You have the same approach/attitude! I was amazed when I lived in NYC and people make $25/hour as college students in their parttime jobs. Now I can really understand why people from the Coasts have such a hard time 'picking up and leaving' unless they have the huge house equity, etc. on and on.

Cost of living wise....I was working at Yellowstone National Park just south of Bozeman one summer...and seemed very compareable price-wise to everything back in Michigan - speaking of groceries, foods, basic consumer type stuff, etc.
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Old 10-08-2009, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in time.
519 posts, read 1,282,933 times
Reputation: 281
Ok I posted on another thread but found this one after, of course.
Just wondering if anyone would know if 85 to 115,000 yearly income would be suficiant for an income here? We are gonna rent for awhile. We have 2 kids and 2 dogs this could be a potentialy good career for my husband, so any input would be great. Thanks.
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