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Old 08-12-2013, 05:10 AM
 
14 posts, read 39,327 times
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We are moving from Montana and trying to decide where is best for us. Husband's new job says we can live in any of those cities and we have taken two trips so far to look at houses and I come to you feeling very overwhelmed! We like houses in all three and are finding it challenging to decide where we want to settle down and hopefully not move for a good long time (or ever!) Would appreciate any input.

A little background: We are a multi-racial couple. I am Southeast Asian and moved here a few years ago, my husband is white and grew up in the mid-west. He is politically conservative, i am middling so with a good dash of 'crunchiness' when it comes to raising our toddler. Neither of us were raised as church-goers and we are open to finding a church that will suit us in the future.

Where do you think we best fit in?

I have read very good things about LDS members from this thread which has eased my worries somewhat about moving here - simply because I didn't want my son feeling excluded in activities as he grows up. I don't mind any lack of cultural/racial diversity having lived in Montana and been very happy here. Have never felt a touch of racial bias or anything of the sort.

We are looking for a place with good schools, non-religion affiliated mom's group (I know there is one in IF but I couldn't find info on it for Blackfoot or Pocatello), a touch of religious diversity perhaps? Maybe I'm looking for another Helena/Great Falls or close to it.
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Old 08-12-2013, 02:01 PM
 
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Pocatello and Idaho Falls are both great communities, I must admit, I know nothing about Blackfoot other than the fact that they host the Eastern Idaho State Fair. I recently returned to Idaho Falls after spending fifteen years in Southern California and I attended college in Pocatello.

Pluses for Idaho Falls: 1. Bigger airport with more flights/carriers. 2. Slightly stronger economy. 3. Closer to Yellowstone, Jackson, Montana and Central Idaho 4. Parks and Greenbelt 5. Minor League Baseball and soon Hockey. 6. A better mall, though dated. 6. Beautiful downtown

Negatives for Idaho Falls: 1. Colder (shouldn't be problem coming from MT.) 2. Traffic lights, the town is not built around the freeway. 3. Relatively flat (such as Great Falls) 4. Lacking in diversity but is improving. 5. No University 6. Windmills, windmills and more windmills.

Pluses for Pocatello: 1. Closer to Boise and Salt Lake City 2. Idaho State University 3. More diversity (less LDS) 4. Economy though not quite as strong, is not as heavily dependent on the INL and agriculture. 4. Costco and Dick's Sporting Goods 5. Warmer climate. 6. More varied terrain. 7. City layout is better with two freeways.

Negatives for Pocatello: 1. Brush fires 2. Lack of flights 3. City has more of a blue collar feel but is changing. 4. Air quality is sometimes a problem in winter.

I am a little bias since I was raised in Idaho Falls. If it were me, I would probably live in Idaho Falls, somewhere on the south side or possibly Rigby if you'd like a more rural setting. I have family members that both work for the INL in Idaho Falls; it is actually faster to get to work from Rigby than Ammon due to all the traffic lights going East to West. Pocatello is great too, it really comes down to personal taste. I haven't tried Thai food in either city just yet and haven't seen anywhere that serves Pho.

One last thing, Idaho Falls, is set to grow, and just my opinion, this growth will be fairly rapid as more people flee states such as California and compare housing prices. If you like new shopping centers, parks and schools, IF will be a good place for the foreseeable future. Pocatello is growing as well but not so rapidly, is a more stabile population. I hope I have helped with your questions.

Last edited by ShrimpandPotatoes; 08-12-2013 at 03:18 PM..
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Old 08-12-2013, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,991 posts, read 18,272,303 times
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Blackfoot is quite a lot smaller than either I.F. or Poky.
I don't hink you will have any racial problems at all in any of them. While all have large white majorities, all have increasing numbers of minorities, and we all seem to get along well. We have a pretty good number of Japanese-Americans who have lived in this area for many decades, so most folks will probably assume you are Japanese. I expect once people who learn where you came from will ask curious questions but won't be hostile at all.

Both I.F. and Poky have some folks from India living here. We also have a native American population; the Shoshone/Bannock tribes are both native to this area. Our largest minority here is Hispanic- mostly Mexican-Americans who have worked the crops here forever.
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Old 08-14-2013, 08:20 PM
 
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Blackfoot, while nice and quaint is nothing like IF or Poky. First, it is much smaller, and reminds me more of a small midwestern farming town. Second, and I don't mean to be insensitive here, everything from the infrastructure to the shopping options, to the small town "everyone knows everyone" mentality, seems a little underwhelming to me. I understand some like this, so I won't make any further judgement. Just isn't for me.
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:24 AM
 
8,440 posts, read 12,234,081 times
Reputation: 6280
Quote:
Originally Posted by DidiH View Post
We are moving from Montana and trying to decide where is best for us. Husband's new job says we can live in any of those cities and we have taken two trips so far to look at houses and I come to you feeling very overwhelmed! We like houses in all three and are finding it challenging to decide where we want to settle down and hopefully not move for a good long time (or ever!) Would appreciate any input.

A little background: We are a multi-racial couple. I am Southeast Asian and moved here a few years ago, my husband is white and grew up in the mid-west. He is politically conservative, i am middling so with a good dash of 'crunchiness' when it comes to raising our toddler. Neither of us were raised as church-goers and we are open to finding a church that will suit us in the future.

Where do you think we best fit in?

I have read very good things about LDS members from this thread which has eased my worries somewhat about moving here - simply because I didn't want my son feeling excluded in activities as he grows up. I don't mind any lack of cultural/racial diversity having lived in Montana and been very happy here. Have never felt a touch of racial bias or anything of the sort.

We are looking for a place with good schools, non-religion affiliated mom's group (I know there is one in IF but I couldn't find info on it for Blackfoot or Pocatello), a touch of religious diversity perhaps? Maybe I'm looking for another Helena/Great Falls or close to it.
DidiH,

First welcome to the forum!

I had to read your beginning intro info again. About 5-6 years ago a very nice and VERY PREGNANT Southeast Asian lady posed a similar question. She and her husband were moving from Seattle to Idaho Falls. To the best of my knowledge has continued to feel at home in Bonneville County with the addition of their first child ( bi-racial). Additionally, since that CDF reader relocated a female MD who attended SHANGHAI Second Medical University before coming to the U.S. for her residency and fellowship, opened a private practice in Idaho Falls. Given how she continues to expanded her practice, I'm guessing she feels comfortable in Idaho Falls.

I don't think race is that big of a deal to 98%+ people compared to decades ago. Regardless where you might move some people are jerks to everyone. Your real estate agent should only be showing you properties s/he thinks would work. If something feels off, ASK Questions.

As usual, BanjoMike has shared good information.

Shrimpandpotatoes and pw72 both have experience living in Idaho Falls and Pocatello. Pw72 has lived in both cities more recently. I believe pw72 has a good understanding of an outsider moving to eastern ID. Shrimpandpotatoes (S& P) adds the perspective of someone moving back to the area. I agree with some of S&P's assessments but not all.

I don't think any one city is right for everyone. However, factors like city amenities, school options, animals your family might wish to have, commute times, leisure activities etc. all are factors that can make a house become a new home.

You are relatively close compared to many moving cross country. Any chance you could visit again and stay in a hotel 1 day in each city so you could really focus on the pluses and minuses of each location?
If not and you want to be sure what city feels the most like home,, there is always the option of renting a house for a short time or staying at an Extended Stay hotel like the Candlewood in Idaho Falls.

There is religious diversity in each city. More than 60 different churches in Idaho Falls. The various churches will work together for Unity, Food Banks, Thanksgiving and Christmas baskets etc. Additionally, with the amount of different support groups, many are held at various churches welcome all with no religious agenda.

The Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) a thriving success of INLworking with ISU, BSU and the U. of Idaho faculty in Idaho Falls. Ph.D students are opting for living in Idaho Falls. ISU and the U. of I. have branches in Idaho Falls along with Eastern Idaho Technical College. Then there are the private universities establishing very specialized needed training/ degrees. CAES, INL, and spinoffs attract scientists from around the world.

Idaho Falls has a sister city in Japan. There's info about that along the Greenbelt and the City of Idaho Falls website.

I did read you are more comfortable with LDS now from reading posts. That's good as BYU-Idaho in Rexburg has many more students than ISU -Pocatello. ISU-Idaho Falls has about 3K students and will be growing given the demand for general education. The students in Rexburg add to the area's diversity, since they come from all states and several countries.

If you want to watch ISU football games in person and live in a college town, then Pocatello is your place. Some prefer living in a college town.

Education is a big deal as the eastern ID corridor continues energy development working on energy alternatives. I think BAE has four US universities as designated "partners," plus additional post docs and fellows from several universities.

All that being written, I somehow took your school question to be for younger children in high school or younger children. Without a doubt District # 93 (Bonneville County outside the Idaho Falls City limits) is growing the fastest. That was just on the news - something like 6 new elementary schools built the last 7 years. Ammon's population being larger than Blackfoot. D # 93 will be building a new high school due to the growth.

District # 91 (Idaho Falls) seems stable in population. D # 91 has had a a fair amount of students score perfectly on college entrance exam and a currently has a student on a Rhodes Scholarship and a Fulbright recipien.

I'd contact the districts and get specific details. There are also a number of private schools growing in Idaho Falls. I can't address Pocatello schools questions because I don't know the answers.

This is the IF link :
Idaho Falls School District 91 ................ just change 91 with 93 or 25 to check the districts.

There are several charter schools too.

I don't agree with S&P's belief Pocatello is more "stable." I'll be very interested to read S&P's data to support that conclusion. Pocatello's current development compared to Idaho Falls, the MSA and $ spent in Bonneville County vs. Bannock County, let alone latest census data don't support that position. S&P must have access to additional info. which will benefit all of us.

I'm hoping S&P plans to open a restaurant in Idaho Falls with all the specialty dishes missing. BYU-IDAHO students like to eat food many ate while on missions. That always adds to the choices when BYU-I students help support or start restaurants with different cuisines.

Blackfoot, I don't find appealing. It would probably be the most racially diverse with Native Americans frequenting from nearby Fort Hall. However, the small town feel can absolutely feel more intrusive. Like pw72, Blackfoot wouldn't be for me.

I do agree with S&P that traffic takes longer in Idaho Falls than it use to given Bonneville County being over 100K and Idaho Falls being the economic, retail, medical hub for ~ 300K people.It's interesting to meet tourists from around the world. I also agree Pocatello has some freeway that is much easier - it's straight road through town with exits to one way streets.


Hopefully, something here helps. If you've found houses in all 3 locations you must be reasonable in your expectations. I still believe people feel when they are home.

Good luck packing and getting moved.

MSR

Last edited by Mtn. States Resident; 08-15-2013 at 05:39 AM..
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Old 08-18-2013, 02:05 AM
 
14 posts, read 39,327 times
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Thank you all so much for all your input, especially taking the time to write so much Mtn. States Resident (all the school info too!) and ShrimpandPotatoes (the pros and cons list was really helpful) !! Also thank you for the welcome, it's very much appreciated.

Apologies for taking so long to reply. We moved everything into a trailer that goes into storage yesterday and as of right now I am writing from our hotel room in IF and doing our fourth weekend of viewing houses.

We liked a house in Blackfoot, but upon second viewing paled in comparison to our dream house that we found today - in IF! But then we decided to finish our viewing and went to the Highland area of Pocatello and oh my the mountains and the hilliness, so pretty and reminds me of Helena. But the houses for the most part need update (or are way above our budget). How I wish I could transport our dream house into the area! Decisions, decisions. Right now I am at a loss. Tomorrow we will meander though Pocatello some more I think, having done a fair bit of driving around IF today around and in downtown. ShrimpandPotatoes, you're right it is rather Great Falls-ish.

Pw72, it's funny how living in Shelby MT for a year pop 3000 and I didn't feel like it was everyone knows everyone, though I'm sure it was. Only one grocery store but I didn't see too many faces more than once. I didn't mind being in a small town with everything was nearby but then 'everything' was limited - and the closest city was 1.5 hours away - not such the case in Blackfoot at least. Being from a crowded Asian city of 2 million (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) I will say it was a bit of a culture shock!

On a side note, my husband starts work on Monday and the fellow in Blackfoot who agreed to rent to us (and our two big dogs!) on a month-to-month basis decided not to answer his phone today while we were in town - or call us back. So that would be my immediate concern. I go back to Helena for a week to finish packing the last of stuff that was to go with us instead of into storage - with the thought that we'd have a place to put it since we'd have a short-term house instead of a hotel room. So, hopefully we find something soon, like oh tomorrow if we were to be so lucky. It is a good idea as you say Mtn. States Resident to spend some time in each city before deciding.

Sorry for the meandering, it's 2am and I'm here alternating between doing some work while everyone sleeps.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:19 PM
 
Location: Old Mother Idaho
26,991 posts, read 18,272,303 times
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Best of luck, Didi!

If the guy in Blackfoot doesn't pan out, I wouldn't worry too much; there are lots of landlords who will rent for a month or two to folks in your circumstances.

Just try to stay as light as possible. It may be a good idea to get a storage unit here as soon as you've found a rental, so you can gradually move everything down from Montana. A unit here will sure take a lot of headaches away once you've found your house!

One thing I learned was to never keep my stuff in a storage unit any longer than absolutely necessary. When I moved to Montana the first time, 20 years ago, I was there for 2 years, but I left a bunch of junk in a unit for another 7 years after I moved back. I moved all the necessary stuff out right away, and then just put off moving and sorting through the rest. BAD idea! Even though the unit didn't cost much, I sure wasted a lot of money needlessly!

My sis was worse. She moved across town and didn't get around to clearing out her storage unit for 10 years. By then, she had replaced much of the stuff that had been forgotten, stored away.
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Old 08-18-2013, 10:05 PM
 
8,440 posts, read 12,234,081 times
Reputation: 6280
Quote:
Originally Posted by DidiH View Post
Thank you all so much for all your input, especially taking the time to write so much Mtn. States Resident (all the school info too!) and ShrimpandPotatoes (the pros and cons list was really helpful) !! Also thank you for the welcome, it's very much appreciated.

Apologies for taking so long to reply. We moved everything into a trailer that goes into storage yesterday and as of right now I am writing from our hotel room in IF and doing our fourth weekend of viewing houses.

We liked a house in Blackfoot, but upon second viewing paled in comparison to our dream house that we found today - in IF! But then we decided to finish our viewing and went to the Highland area of Pocatello and oh my the mountains and the hilliness, so pretty and reminds me of Helena. But the houses for the most part need update (or are way above our budget). How I wish I could transport our dream house into the area! Decisions, decisions. Right now I am at a loss. Tomorrow we will meander though Pocatello some more I think, having done a fair bit of driving around IF today around and in downtown. ShrimpandPotatoes, you're right it is rather Great Falls-ish.

Pw72, it's funny how living in Shelby MT for a year pop 3000 and I didn't feel like it was everyone knows everyone, though I'm sure it was. Only one grocery store but I didn't see too many faces more than once. I didn't mind being in a small town with everything was nearby but then 'everything' was limited - and the closest city was 1.5 hours away - not such the case in Blackfoot at least. Being from a crowded Asian city of 2 million (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) I will say it was a bit of a culture shock!

On a side note, my husband starts work on Monday and the fellow in Blackfoot who agreed to rent to us (and our two big dogs!) on a month-to-month basis decided not to answer his phone today while we were in town - or call us back. So that would be my immediate concern. I go back to Helena for a week to finish packing the last of stuff that was to go with us instead of into storage - with the thought that we'd have a place to put it since we'd have a short-term house instead of a hotel room. So, hopefully we find something soon, like oh tomorrow if we were to be so lucky. It is a good idea as you say Mtn. States Resident to spend some time in each city before deciding.

Sorry for the meandering, it's 2am and I'm here alternating between doing some work while everyone sleeps.
Didi,

Maybe going back to Montana to pack will help you make your decision. Maybe Blackfoot will be the perfect spot for you. I'd sure opt for renting briefly and having more time of what feels like home to you, if you have that option still.

Think of what you'll miss most about MT and what would make you feel most like home in ID. It sounds like your husband is flexible and that's great.


Banjo, the storage stories were funny. I hope Didi doesn't experience the same "forgetfulness."

Wishing you the best of luck Didi.

MSR
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