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Old 08-30-2012, 06:34 PM
 
202 posts, read 427,531 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
Heart is just giving a realistic view of her experience in Missoula as a warning to people who may be considering moving there. It might prevent people from moving in and changing the "way of life" so it could be a good thing for some of you.

What is that saying? Oh..."you can't fix stupid."

What do I mean by it? If you take a uneducated risk, then the results may turn out unexpected. Makes sense to me. How can you expect anything with out looking into it first. Well everything said I feel is spot on. All the things said are part of my plan. Visit one coming up soon. Research is ongoing. I am yet to be swayed away. I will say Missoula is not my only choice. It is up there however.

I am not looking to be a rich man made in Missoula, but to make smart choices in employment, even self employment, and well...its a college town, so be something that will benefit from it.

I never have visited Berkley, so I have no idea....but being from "Back East." Hate is a common emotion. Bring it. Can't be any worse than what I deal with daily here.

Maybe Montanagriz and me and the wife can meet up for some first hand education when we visit, lol.

Last edited by gfunkerror; 08-30-2012 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: publik edukatons
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Old 09-02-2012, 07:16 PM
 
Location: Western North Carolina
5,242 posts, read 8,302,118 times
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I lived in Stevensville and worked in Missoula for a couple of years.

I don't think there is anything about Heart's comments that are not true.

The cost of living there vs. the jobs availability and what they pay is kind of a shocker if someone who is contemplating a move out there does not know the realities of that. Better to know beforehand in order to make and informed decision, this is after all primarily a relocation website. I wish I had known.
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:23 PM
 
34 posts, read 80,258 times
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For relocation purposes, this site has been very helpful. It is good to get many viewpoints. Thanks again for all the help people gave on the thread I started asking specifics about Missoula.

We did not come up here "because" of Missoula or Montana, but because of the job opportunity. So we had an income to work with from the git go. It was knowing what was possible with that income that helped. In addition, we were new to Montana, but not new to the geographic location per se, having lived in Washington, Idaho, and Oregon.

This is a run-of-thought-off-the-top-of-my-lopsided-head observation, based on all of two weeks here, so take it for what it's worth, which isn't much. However, these are first impressions and I really need some time to get to know the area better:

It is a small town. It may be the second largest in Montana but at heart, small town to me. If you like urban areas, it isn't that. I grew up outside of a town much smaller than this, so it's not new. Just not recent for me.

Due to the fires all around, haven't had much opportunity to enjoy the view. Haze and smoke thick enough sometimes that it's hard to see the surrounding hillsides. Would have to ask if this is normal for summer?!

Speaking of hillsides, if you need a flat expanse to gaze upon, at least in one direction, this doesn't seem to be it. Where we were before kind of same, in a way, but area surrouned by higher elevations larger.

Loved the farmer's market. Local grown apples of different varieties. Hard to come out of that place not buying more but we have to get all set up to take advantage of it.

Much cooler than where we were but if you need a house cooled to 76 degrees to be comfortable, better check into air conditioning. Second stories can be a bit warm. The person who prefers ice land got the downstairs, so all is well.

There is not a traffic problem in Missoula- it's a STREET problem. As a newcomer, but someone who grew up in places where the roads followed the cow trails, this is something else. I've been told by several that the town was founded by two families with, shall we say, different and conflicting ideas of how the streets should be laid out. You can't get lost in Missoula, it's only so big. But you can't get FROM HERE TO THERE. Never mind the N/S and diagonal streets meeting or not meeting at odd places- it's that unless you know the area, you don't know that you need to veer north for two blocks or come in the back way or.... There are concrete barriers in the roads and honestly, they didn't go out of their way to mark the streets. The sign may exist on one side of the street but not on the other, so if you're not looking the right way.... My biggest critique of the town would be that they could cut down on accidents, make commerce easier (IF they want) by bulldozing the current intersections and making them more straightforward. I'm not into changing the town except for that one issue. Just when you think you can get from A to Z via N, nope, street is blocked just before where you need to be.

It is expensive. When SO was in the recruiting phase of negotiaions, one site was sent showing Missoula was SLIGHTLY less expensive- except I'd pulled up three others showing the opposite. IMHO, it IS expensive, just as others are saying.

Housing is nuts. We knew this coming in, we did our homework, but it's still kind of a shock. Rents are way high for what you get. Montanamom did a great job of explaining where not to be to avoid the college kid atmosphere. BUT, I'd say that they are all over and we did not get away from it, even though not near to campus. If you live in any complex, I bet you're likely to find it. Remember, if you have limitations on where you can live, like you have pets, your options for renting go way, way down.

I was not prepared for the main areas of Missoula, where commerce and homes exist side-by-side. It's like zoning is relatively new here.

I've seen more motor bikes here than any place else I've been.

Have never seen such a lack of dedicated left turn signals before- and they are needed! Maybe like most places, traffic control is way, way behind the need. I do not miss the drivers who have to pass at least two cars each block, race you to a turn lane from behind, and run the red light three cars worth. (And no, we are not from CA) Even when the traffic here is heavy, it's not totally irrational, at least from an outsiders perspecive. Fix the dedicated left-turn issue, and things would flow better, I think.

All in all, we have done pretty well so far. Small town is not new to us, just not new recently. Haven't shopped at a Rousaur's in a long time. Enjoying having Darigold and Nalley's brands back on the shelves, enjoying not seeing bling and heels all the time, and yes, although I warned about those who need 76 degrees, enjoying the temps too!
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Old 09-04-2012, 12:06 PM
 
11 posts, read 14,464 times
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I went to college in Missoula and then some - was there almost 10 years - not to mention going there throughout my childhood. I love Missoula. That being said, I agree with everything you have to say Heart, and I would not want to raise a family there. Hell I would love to have a vaca home in Missoula - but I would never live there again. Missoula is a great college town, but it severely lacks catering to the needs of young professionals - because there really aren't any in great number. I still have a lot of friends that live in Missoula that were born and raised in the area, have college degrees, and are constantly in financial trouble not even able to make it on one job. It is fun to be broke in college - not so much after. I moved to CO and was amazed of all the middle class college graduates doing well, buying homes and thriving - and my Missoula friends work their buts off to live in the same slum overpriced apartments they lived in during college. If you don't come to Missoula with money or have money from your family it is a very hard road, and to me the Missoula scene lost its luster when I was no longer in school. I feel your pain.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:00 PM
 
Location: Approximately 50 miles from Missoula MT/38 yrs full time after 4 yrs part time
2,309 posts, read 3,529,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by briebo1 View Post
I went to college in Missoula and then some - was there almost 10 years - ........X>X>X>I moved to CO and was amazed of all the middle class college graduates doing well, buying homes and thriving - and my Missoula friends work their buts off to live in the same slum overpriced apartments they lived in during college.X<X<X<.......
I agree with a portion of some of the statements in your post................HOWEVER,...to compare job opportunities (and other economic positive aspects of living in Ft Collins, CO vs Missoula, MT....is absolutely luidcrous!!!............I am extremely familiar with not only these two cities but with both states, having lived in CO for over 16 years (had a daughter go to college at CSU) and MT for 33 years!. Plus, due to job requirements, I traveled both states (as well as several others in the Rocky Mountain West) extensively for almost 40 years of my 80 years, earning a very satisfying living and thriving to a very high degree!

To sunstaniate my choice of the word "luidcrous",...I offer the following:

Major recognized companies in Ft Collins area:
...Hewlett Packard; Intel; AMD; Agilent; Avago Technology; Kodak; National Semi Conductor; LSI; Beckman Coulter; Water Pic; Anheuser-Busch; Advanced Energy; McKee Medical; Woodward Governor and Pelco Corp.; plus approx another (50) employers that employ more than 500 employees each and then add in the combined total employment (15,000) for CSU, Pouder Valley School Sys; PV H.S.; & the City of Ft Collins; combined with the fact that the current estimater of the population of Ft Collins is almost 150,000 (just in the city alone).........way more than DOUBLE the pop of Missoula.........................I think the point is made that Missoula and (area) is not even close to being in the same "opportunity-class" as is Ft Collins, CO.

When assumptions, exerations and "subjective" opinions are put-out-there as fact..........it bothers me.

When one considers that approx 80% of Colorado's population of 5, 200,000 live on the front range from Ft Collins down to Pueblo....................it even more vividly illustrates the situation related to job and career opportunities in CO vs MT.
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Old 10-14-2012, 04:04 AM
 
15 posts, read 32,651 times
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Couple points to add here. Montana has the potential to be a tech center. The model is to look at what Right Now and Zoot have done in Bozeman and to replicate that throughout the rest of the state. We were at a function a few weeks ago and someone mentioned that Right Now added approx. 100 jobs after the Oracle deal. All those jobs were based in Bozeman and all were 100k and up in salary. Those same jobs in CA or NY would be 150-200k. But 100k in Bozeman is a solid salary and it’s a win/win for employees, the community and the companies. We need to see a lot more of this in Montana.

Have to agree with the OP’s point about home construction costs across the state. With the economy being what it is, foreclosures still an issue, new housing starts at a modest rate, & a glut of homes still available on the market, contractors have no business still charging $130 to $150 square foot for very modest home options. There needs to be a square foot correction just as there has been in just about every other part of the country.
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Old 10-14-2012, 07:33 AM
 
634 posts, read 1,385,930 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post

I agree with a portion of some of the statements in your post................HOWEVER,...to compare job opportunities (and other economic positive aspects of living in Ft Collins, CO vs Missoula, MT....is absolutely luidcrous!!!............
Quote:
Originally Posted by Montana Griz View Post
When assumptions, exerations and "subjective" opinions are put-out-there as fact..........it bothers me.
I personally didn't read briebo1's post as a direct comparison of the 2 cities, rather more of a sharing of personal experiences. I reread the post like 5 times, and see very little of briebo1 arguing his/her info "as fact".

Other posts in this very thread are full of subjective opinions; I personally value when people who have lived in locations share their experiences and opinions, even if (and epecially when) they differ from others. It provides more info to those considering relocation.

Please read the words "personally" as my opinion; I'm not putting anything out there are fact.
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Old 10-14-2012, 02:03 PM
 
Location: Brendansport, Sagitta IV
7,751 posts, read 13,176,090 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MT Independent View Post
Have to agree with the OP’s point about home construction costs across the state. With the economy being what it is, foreclosures still an issue, new housing starts at a modest rate, & a glut of homes still available on the market, contractors have no business still charging $130 to $150 square foot for very modest home options. There needs to be a square foot correction just as there has been in just about every other part of the country.
That's a very interesting point -- if contractors are still charging square-foot rates from the market peak, how do they expect people with current-level incomes to buy them?

My sister ran into that when building her little retirement house outside of Bozeman... contractors demandiing fancy California prices for simple Montana work. After a few repeats of that and not a reasonable bid in sight, she and her husband (who has contracting experience) built it themselves.
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Old 10-16-2012, 10:16 AM
 
34 posts, read 80,258 times
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More observations. And I post this because we are new to the area so hopefully, have some perspective and yes, its always subjective.

I've lived in rainy parts of WA state and I have to say, those gray clouds here do settle right down on the valley, obscuring the surrounding foot hills a bit. Well, I guess elevation may have something to do with that. I am used to gray but usually, with a little more height from the ground. So when people talk about the gray here, they are not kidding. However, the coulds are moving on now so it might depend on how many consecutive days you can have them.

I think electric bills are higher here. Maybe I'm used to cheap electricity, so its relative. What I don't understand is why, when the furnace is natural gas, it's been piped into the building, the hot water heater RIGHT NEXT TO THE FURNACE is electric?! I'm thankfull the furnace is not electric (We rent right now) but why in sam hill would you not also make the water heater gas too? I've been told the gas ones are not more expensive. Ditto for the dryer and I am not a fan of gas dryers- BUT- every penny counts these days and gas is supposed to be cheaper. Same for ranges. Obviously this alternative source of power, that is generally cheaper than electric, REMAINS UNUSED HERE for some of the most, "Oh, duh," stuff. And they do it in the newer homes too. What gives with that? Now, I'm not a fan of gas ranges and ovens, especially ovens. But if you have a cheaper power source, why wouldn't you offer that as an incentive to buyers when you build a new house?

We are paying, for SOME things, on average one to two dollars more for specific items up here than where we were. But, at times we find some sales on vegetables and, say, one cut of meat priced more than we're used to seeing, but hamburger less. (At the same chain store) On all though, still concur that it costs more to live up here. I think gasoline is five to ten cents a gallon more too, although that may be the going price now where we used to be, haven't checked that.

However, this is just our own experience. YMMV. Wouldn't change the opportunity to get out of where we were and this was where the job was, anyway.

Did, however, get used to having more stores and places to just window shop around. So people from more urban areas, if used to just getting out and looking around at shops and malls, and aren't into nature in a big way, will find Missoula frustrating. Some people have shopping as a hobby and that's one hobby that won't fly here, even if you have the money.

At first, registering the car looks cheap enough, if you're just looking at the state site. But there's this thing where counties get to add on...... But, you can do a permanent registration, which as someone who keeps a car a long time, is not a bad idea. I'm just wondering what it would cost to register a new car, I'm guessing that is pretty steep.

Everyone here will have a different opinion on whether you will be in trouble with your car/tires come winter, or not. I have not had snow tires since the late 70's, just all seasons, and have done fine. I think we'll just wait and see how it goes. Really, it's 50/50 on, "Yikes, you'll be stranded if you don't have snow tires!," to, "Meh, fine most of the time and the other times, no one needs to be on the road." If you're out in the hills, I can see it. Down in the bowl, you're not dealing with inclines so much. I do, however, note that there are not that many small cars here, percentage-wise, pickup trucks galore, and Suburu seems to have quite the market here.....

Here's hoping the recent rain is enough to stop the fires. Since I grew up on acreage, we were always clearing and burning for more pasture. When I walked out the door, after the first few drops a bit ago, I remembered the smell of "wet" smoke and knew the fires were not out yet....

On edit:
We've looked around a little at homes for sale in Missoula. If I were looking to build, I'd want to make sure that someone was around to make sure all the i's got dotted and t's crossed just the way you want them, and not what they are "used" to doing. That goes for most construction but I'm seeing things here I'm not used to seeing....left out- so if you build, make sure it's done the way you want. I'm not saying that's a problem only here- we've built in another state and had to literally be there all the time to make sure it was done as we spec'd it.

Last edited by DueToJob; 10-16-2012 at 10:23 AM.. Reason: Home building
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Old 10-16-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 37,715,855 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DueToJob View Post
- snip -

At first, registering the car looks cheap enough, if you're just looking at the state site. But there's this thing where counties get to add on...... But, you can do a permanent registration, which as someone who keeps a car a long time, is not a bad idea. I'm just wondering what it would cost to register a new car, I'm guessing that is pretty steep.

- snip -
Not sure if you are aware, but you can not get permanent registration on new cars or pickups. You can get permanent on ATV and motorcycle, but cars and pickups have to be a certain age first (15 years old????).
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