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Old 08-24-2009, 05:47 PM
 
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My husband and I are seriously considering moving to the Bozeman/Livingston area. We currently live in a rural MO town of about 3,500 people, where I was raised, but my husband, who is originally from Utah, can't handle the humidity/ticks/chiggers/lack of mountains anymore...so we are looking for a small town (Livingston???)that is in the mountains, isn't insanely expensive, and is good for raising children. It also needs to be close (30-40 min) to a larger city with a decent economy. My husband is in construction and can do pretty much anything in that regard (tile, concrete, roofing, framing, whatever...he built our house from the ground up). So my question is, is there a good construction industry in Bozeman? What would the commute be like in the winter? Is Livingston a safe town? We have two small children and obviously want them to be in a safe area (although we are now living in a town that is widely known for its production of meth). I've never lived in the mountains, but I'm not afraid of the cold...would Livingston be a good fit for us? Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 08-24-2009, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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What's your idea of affordable? Livingston is better than Bozeman in that regard, but not by much.

From what I hear the construction industry is down there too (I grew up in MT but have been in SoCal for 25 years, so I'm not up on firsthand) but probably still stronger than the rest of the state. Your husband sounds handy enough that he could be real flexible and work just about any handiman or repair job as well as regular construction.

I went over the pass between Bozeman and Livingston literally hundreds of times in the winter, and only once was the road (a nice wide 4-lane, here's a picture) what I'd call bad, mainly for black ice. Livingston gets LOTS of wind and the freeway can blow shut, but you can go thru town -- streets can be icy down there, and often likewise in parts of Bozeman. But you get used to it.

Here's some historic road photos (links to the Livingston pics are broken, tho)
http://www.mdt.mt.gov/photogallery/photolist.shtml

Here's the Beartooth pass in winter -- not too far south of Livingston!
http://www.mdt.mt.gov/photogallery/i...ooth/plow2.gif

Most of MT is pretty durn safe for kids, with good schools. I don't think that would be much of a concern if you're in any area that has a job market at all.

Last edited by Reziac; 08-24-2009 at 07:23 PM..
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Old 08-24-2009, 08:40 PM
 
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Thanks for the pics! The pass certainly looks manageable, but wow that's some serious snowfall there! That would be a bit of an adjustment for me, but I can handle it I'm tough Anyway, as for what my idea of affordable is, we're planning on renting rather than buying and we were thinking that 600-700 dollars would be doable for a two bedroom house. I was curious what utilities run there. We're used to paying a fair amount, our rural co-op usually runs us around 200 a month, while my mother who lives in town and buys electricity from a different company pays half that. For anyone that lives there currently, what do water, elec., etc. cost? Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:01 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 38,317,282 times
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Kristin,

Don't know if you've looked here. Some of the data is a year or so old but it might give you some better insight.

Bozeman Livingston

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristin_09 View Post
My husband and I are seriously considering moving to the Bozeman/Livingston area. We currently live in a rural MO town of about 3,500 people, where I was raised, but my husband, who is originally from Utah, can't handle the humidity/ticks/chiggers/lack of mountains anymore...so we are looking for a small town (Livingston???)that is in the mountains, isn't insanely expensive, and is good for raising children. It also needs to be close (30-40 min) to a larger city with a decent economy. My husband is in construction and can do pretty much anything in that regard (tile, concrete, roofing, framing, whatever...he built our house from the ground up). So my question is, is there a good construction industry in Bozeman? What would the commute be like in the winter? Is Livingston a safe town? We have two small children and obviously want them to be in a safe area (although we are now living in a town that is widely known for its production of meth). I've never lived in the mountains, but I'm not afraid of the cold...would Livingston be a good fit for us? Any thoughts are appreciated!
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Old 08-24-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
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Livingston newspaper classifieds for rentals
The Livingston Enterprise·Livingston, Montana

Bozeman newspaper classifieds for rentals
Bozeman Montana Classified ads online (http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/admarket/rentals/ - broken link)

Looks like Livingston rentals are about half to 2/3rds what similar units are in Bozeman.

BTW don't let an old neighbourhood scare you off -- some of the most lovely houses in both cities are in the very oldest parts of town. (At least, lovely by MY definition -- nice big yard, mature trees, garden space, old-fashioned and unique houses with individual character. I loathe tract houses and "townhouses", especially the newer ones!) Livingston even has some genuine brownstone style houses.
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Old 08-24-2009, 11:21 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kristin_09 View Post
Thanks for the pics! The pass certainly looks manageable, but wow that's some serious snowfall there! That would be a bit of an adjustment for me, but I can handle it I'm tough Anyway, as for what my idea of affordable is, we're planning on renting rather than buying and we were thinking that 600-700 dollars would be doable for a two bedroom house. I was curious what utilities run there. We're used to paying a fair amount, our rural co-op usually runs us around 200 a month, while my mother who lives in town and buys electricity from a different company pays half that. For anyone that lives there currently, what do water, elec., etc. cost? Thanks for your help!
It is a big state! Have you considered other areas? Do you both need jobs?
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Old 08-25-2009, 08:14 AM
 
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We have considered other areas, actually other areas of the west as a whole. My husband grew up in Utah and wants to get back to the mountains, but I'm Missouri-raised and NOT interested in desert life. There are areas in Utah that are mountainous and not desert, but they are way too heavily populated. On the flip side, we can't be anywhere too rural because we have to earn a living. The area we live in now is extremely rural and work here is very, very difficult to come by. There are fifty applicants for literally every job, from gas station cashier to nurses to teachers...that's why through internet research I've hit upon the idea of working in Bozeman and living in Livingston--it's has gorgeous non-desert mountains, Livingston seems somewhat affordable, and Bozeman would almost certainly have construction and remodel work going on. With that said, I'm open to suggestions. Oh, and no, I don't work outside the home, so employment for me is not an issue.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
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Kristen,
Please be aware, I lived in the Livingston area for nearly 30 years. Once the railroad left a serious drug culture developed. There are only 2 classes in Livingston anymore, The well off and those who either telecomute to work or work in Bozeman as one class, and the lower class with a lot of alcohol and drugs.
Don't let the boutiques and quiche atmosphere on main street fool you. Livingston has serious problems. I left after a gunfight on my front lawn one night between dealers. And I lived in a better part of town.

My brother works construction in Bozeman and it is dead right now. Many contractors have gone bankrupt. The trend isn't showing any sign of change either.
I have friends in other trades such as roofing and they spend their weeks working far from home and coming home only on the weekends. They have to travel where the work is.

I would reccomend you check out other towns. Helena isn't doing too bad right now as it is the seat of government so that is where the money is. A large government employee base cushions the swings of the economy.

Lewistown isn't doing too bad as far as I know and is a spectacular place for views.

Miles City is a long way from the Mountains, but the economy is doing better with the oil patch and they have been building there as there is a housing shortage for the oilfield workers.

I don't want to burst any bubbles, but Montana is a rural state, the same problems you named with a lot of competiton for available jobs exists here too.

Please research before you lock onto a place and visit prior to moving. Montana leads the nation in the number of people with multiple jobs as we don't pay well here.

It is a wonderful place to live, and most areas are great for raising children. I would just like you to know what you are getting into before you make your decision.
If you can have a job lined up before you move, that would be the best situation you could have. Houses you can find, jobs are tougher.

Good Luck.
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Old 08-25-2009, 09:29 AM
 
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I agree with MT Silvertip, very good assessments of Lston. Living in Bozeman, I know that the construction employment is waaaay down right now, a few years ago it was great.
Utilities are pretty high in the winter, but much cheaper than the east coast, you get good prices and we use natural gas here.
It is a great place to live, but it's small and you have to be tough, think on your feet be creative when it comes to employment.
It's great for kids, in fact that's why we moved here, for the quality of life.
Best of luck to you and your family!
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Old 08-25-2009, 10:47 AM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,819 posts, read 13,424,683 times
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Historical Information and Photos
Links to the Livingston storm photos are now fixed.
Not sure but I think this is near the gate west of town (there is a gate on the interstate for when it's closed due to high winds -- 100mph is not unusual at the top of the hill).
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