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Old 11-19-2007, 02:11 PM
 
3 posts, read 8,439 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello, I've been browsing these forums for a few days now and everyone seems so nice so I figured I'd finally ask a few questions. My fiance and I are considering a move to Fargo next summer. We currently live in southeast Michigan, and the economy and job market is not good. We are attracted to Fargo by the lower cost of living, low unemployment rate, safety, and NDSU among other things. Now a few questions..

I noticed housing was about half the price than around here, how is the price on renter's insurance and auto insurance? Cable and Internet?
I enjoy ice skating and skiing-are these avaible close to Fargo? What about swimmable lakes/rivers? (for boating or water skiing?)
How are gas prices and grocery prices near Fargo?
Is there a need for teachers? (in Michigan it's nearly impossible to get a teaching job in public schools)
What are popular activites nearby?

Thanks for any help. We are planning on visiting in May (I'm hoping to run the half marathon) and see the city for ourselves before we make the final desicion.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:48 AM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,818 posts, read 10,170,756 times
Reputation: 3616
Quote:
Originally Posted by ljames6 View Post
Hello, I've been browsing these forums for a few days now and everyone seems so nice so I figured I'd finally ask a few questions. My fiance and I are considering a move to Fargo next summer. We currently live in southeast Michigan, and the economy and job market is not good. We are attracted to Fargo by the lower cost of living, low unemployment rate, safety, and NDSU among other things. Now a few questions..

I noticed housing was about half the price than around here, how is the price on renter's insurance and auto insurance? Cable and Internet?
I enjoy ice skating and skiing-are these avaible close to Fargo? What about swimmable lakes/rivers? (for boating or water skiing?)
How are gas prices and grocery prices near Fargo?
Is there a need for teachers? (in Michigan it's nearly impossible to get a teaching job in public schools)
What are popular activites nearby?

Thanks for any help. We are planning on visiting in May (I'm hoping to run the half marathon) and see the city for ourselves before we make the final desicion.
Hi

I live about 70 miles north of Fargo and have visisted frequently but never lived there. I can answer some of your questions....but there are posters who live or have lived in Fargo that can provide more specifics I am sure.

Fargo metro area has a pop of around 180,000....Fargo itself is almost built out except for the far south and southwestern areas...with West Fargo (a separate city) now getting most of the growth in residential housing as well as parts of Moorhead MN. Fargo is a nice place with just about every type of shopping/food you could want. Fargo housing has always been a bit cheaper price-wise in comparison to Grand Forks...at least buying. As for rents I would assume they are comparable as many of the rental companies in Fargo also rent in Grand Forks.

Cable One is the main cable provider in town...with Xcel for gas/electric. Some apartments provide free heat. I would get an apartment with garage facilities or even better undergound parking as scrapping your car windshield gets old just as it does in Michigan.

For expenses....I lived in the northwest metro area of Detroit (Northville-Novi) for a number of years (early to mid 90s) and though that was a long time ago...I would say grocery prices and basic prices for internet/cable/phone are comparable. Gas prices recently tend to be slighly above the national average....though Fargo always seems to have the lowest prices in North Dakota due to more competition. I pay $42/mo for basic cable package and $34/mo for high speed cable internet and about $25/mo for local and long distance phone service through the cable provider.

Here is a link for the Fargo Park district. But as in Grand Forks many parks will set up outside skating and ice hockey rinks for use once it gets cold enough. There aren't any swimmable rivers/lakes right in the immediate area....but about 45 minutes east toward Detroit Lakes and Fergus Falls is prime lake country with many many lakes with swimming beaches. Boating and fishing and going to the lake cabins are very popular during the summer months.....with hunting also popular during the fall. Cross country skiiing is available in good snow years....but otherwise nearest real skiing is quite a distance away. There is a resort or two in the Minnesota arrowhead north of Duluth and two smaller ski areas in far northern ND along the Manitoba border. Otherwise head west to Montana.

Fargo Park District - Fargo, North Dakota

I dont have any idea for renters insurance....but since it is a smaller metro area and less crime than metro Detroit area I would guess a bit less. Car insurance is very highly dependent on company and type of car....so hard to measure. Again being in a less crime area and smaller metro I would assume car insurance is less. We have a 2007 Odyssey and pay $56/mo....but we have other cars with State Farm and house and no accidents.

As for teachers...the issue with North Dakota and teachers is talked about a lot as pay is much lower than Minnesota next door (at least for starting out). But I do know that many rural school districts have trouble recruiting new teachers (esp math/science) mainly because pay is less than new teachers can get in larger districts or out of state.

I hope this helps some...

Dan
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Old 11-23-2007, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Fargo
37 posts, read 149,324 times
Reputation: 30
Hi
I live in Fargo, I moved back here about 4.5 years ago from Denver.
I'm not sure about renters Insurance but Auto Insurance is about half of what we were paying in Denver. Gas today is about $3.00 we didn't see a big difference Grocery prices. If you run in the marathon you should get a good feel for Fargo, a lot of people that run in the marathon give Fargo a thumbs up for their hospitality. My wife is from Denver and she loves it here.
She is going to graduate this spring in Elementary Ed, we hear stories about teaching jobs being hard to get. Fargo and West Fargo are going to all day Kindergarden next year so they say that will open a number of jobs.
Let me know if you have any othe questions.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:41 PM
 
1 posts, read 3,310 times
Reputation: 10
Default Educator

Well Fargo/Moorhead is very nice. Yes home prices are reasonable. Renters insurance was reasonable too. I used to rent a 3 bedroom apartment and insurance was under $50.00 a month. I think internet and cable are decent. The issue is the lack of competition for cable one.

As far as teaching jobs go, they are difficult to come by. I have a bachelor's degree in elementary education and have been a childcare director for a large childcare center in town for 5 years however have not been able to get a teaching job. I have applied for numerous positions. I have been told the only way to get your foot in the door is to substitute teach or work as a paraprofessional first. This may be doable for some. I have also heard that for each elementary position open there are over 300 applicants, so that makes it tough.

That is the only negative I see about this area for me.
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Old 05-28-2008, 02:42 PM
 
23 posts, read 97,804 times
Reputation: 30
Hi James!

I've lived in Fargo nearly my entire life and I would be happy to answer some of your questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ljames6 View Post
I noticed housing was about half the price than around here, how is the price on renter's insurance and auto insurance? Cable and Internet?
A house can go anywhere from $80,000 and up depending on what you are looking for. If you decide to live outside of town and commute in, I can say that the home costs will be reduces and taxes less depending on the location. An example is a friend recently purchased a 20 year old 1114sq foot home with 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom with garage in south fargo for $119,000 just a few weeks ago. Average home prices are $130-$140,000 range.

Apartment living depends on the apartment complex. I live in a complex just off of 45th street and 9th Ave South. Security building, Garage, Off-street parking (numbered Apartment assigned parking-slots), ALL utilities free (Electricity is not normally included in most apartment rentals in Fargo...just a fair warning. I just got lucky.), 2 bedroom, one bathroom...fairly large apartment. $510 a month. I usually have a roommate to share costs (though I can manage on my own).

Now IT being my chosen profession, I am very confident in the internet choices available for you here like CableOne, Quest DSL, and I-29.Net (wireless Internet Provider). I can tell you that CableOne is your overall "anywhere in town" provider for internet. QuestDSL has a waiting list in some areas because of full 'loops' (they can't service any more customer in that area due to the limitations of their equipment) and there are points in town you will not be able to receive because you are too far away from the main trunk or the repeaters. I-29.NET hits all of Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, however their speeds are (at maximum) 256K for your download, and half that for your up.

Check The Low Cost of GoMoorhead.com (http://gomoorhead.com/lowcost.php - broken link) for a comparison of all the local internet providers, their speeds and cost. (Note: GoMoorhead only services Moorhead, MN residents, so you can ignore their costs in that guide). All Rates are Non-Bundled, Non-Introductory Rates...if you bundle your phone and/or TV packages you can get better rates. Currently I pay $89/month for second-teir Internet/Cable.

Renter's Insurance ($60,000 worth...I have a LOT of computers...I'm in IT) is about $30 a month. My Auto is fairly cheap as well for full coverage on a Mid-Sized semi-luxury auto, running about $40 a month.


Quote:
I enjoy ice skating and skiing-are these avaible close to Fargo? What about swimmable lakes/rivers? (for boating or water skiing?)
Ok, that is the fun part! Ice Skating, well you have a few spots in the winter to choose from. First, you have the West Fargo Arena. Often used for hockey and such, they also have it open to the public during certain hours and it's a REALLY nice building. I often go there on my saturdays or sundays. There is the "Dik eEast" and "Dik eWest" to not only sled for kids and adults reliving their youth, but also they build ice rinks that are open to the public. There is also a skating park built at the "Dik eWest" open to the public with no charge to use.

For Skiing, you would need to head west (down hill skiing I mean). I'm not a skiier so you would need to research that one on your own

However, I can tell you for your swimming, you have 5 public pools in the area, one is heated (the L.E. Burger elementary school pool. Open to the public...I go there when I can. Not many kids there and often is quieter), with the rest out in the open air and not heated. You have the Island Park pool (most well-known), the Fargo North High School pool, the Fargo South High School Pool, and the West Fargo Public Pool.

If you want to swim at the lakes, right over the border you have a mind-boggling number of choices. Minnesota is known as The Land of 10,000 Lakes, but the official count of lakes is approximately 11,842. Minnesota's shoreline from its lakes and rivers provide more shoreline than California, Florida and Hawaii combined so that is very promising. Detroit lakes is the most common stop for Boating, Water Skiing, Swimming, or just hanging out in the summer. It's about 45 minutes east of Fargo on old Highway 10 (btw this highway also serves as Main Avenue for Fargo and Moorhead), but it's only one lake out of the many available. If you are willing to travel, there are many nice lakes with-in 1-2 hours driving time.

Rivers, well you don't normally swim in any of the local rivers since they are either too shallow or to turbulant (like no-one in their right mind would go into the red river if they want to stay alive...to fast with a heavy undertow)

However the Ottertail river in Minnesota is PERFECT for tubing. I don't know if you have ever done that but the river is literally shallow enough that you could stand up and it wouldn't go over your hips in places, so people will take inner-tubes and float down the river. Often they tie multiple tube together to keep everyone in their party together, and bring coolers of beer or Soda with them. It is VERY peaceful and relaxing. Locals call it "tubing down the Ottertail", "tubing", or "floating down the river" depending on who you speak with.

Quote:
How are gas prices and grocery prices near Fargo?
Gas right now is $3.79 a Gallon for regular, and $4.00 for Premium (as I look down the road at the local C-Store's sign).

Grocery Prices are so-so. Loaf of cheap white bread is $1.20, and 2% Milk is $3.40 a Gallon (I went shopping three nights ago) if that gives you an idea. Quite a bit of locally grown produce available.

Quote:
Is there a need for teachers? (in Michigan it's nearly impossible to get a teaching job in public schools)
You could live in Fargo, and teach in West Fargo. You need to remember though that teacher Salaries are a BIG ISSUE in this area.

Fargo Public Schools is a pain to get into from the local gossip I hear. Low to Mid $30,000 range is what you would be looking at. (info found from here Elementary Teacher Salaries in Fargo, ND | SimplyHired )

They are hiring for the 2008-2009 season though. Check this out if interested. https://secure.jobdig.com/jobs/North...6738.html?rs=2

Quote:
What are popular activites nearby?
Wow..that's pretty general. What activites are you interested in? You can find anything from the Plains Art Gallery to Swing Dancing to Trap or Skeet shooting. Honestly, the best place to look is Things to Do

I know that you probably stopped out on May 17th or around that time for the Marathon, but I hope this information also helps.
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