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Old 06-30-2012, 07:20 PM
 
297 posts, read 733,219 times
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I'm sorry I can't help you about rentals, since I haven't rented in decades. Briefly checking Google reviews, it doesn't sound like anyone likes any rental company. Maybe only the pissed off people write Google reviews; I really don't know.

I do think you're smart to think of renting first, instead of buying, when you move to a place you don't know. Yes, it might mean another move if you decide to buy but oh well. Best of luck!
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:06 PM
 
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First, I hope for all concerned that these fires die out, like, yesterday. I grew up where they'd burn slash from logging and had one get away close enough to home.

Thanks for all the replies to this thread. It helps to know certain things, although I never did find out from the site if the water company flouridates its water- I hope not. Scary that Carlyle might end up owning it. Privitizing water is not my idea of a good thing. People should own water- not for-profit companies.

Have been looking at real estate and still don't know what route we'd go if the job comes through. Renting first is the most logical. I've been told that if the price per foot is good, that buying might make some sense. Problem is, the smaller the square feet, the more the price per foot seems to be. Geez, some of the best sq/ft prices are McMansion-sized homes- not exactly my cup of tea.

I do have a question though, since the area has quite a bit of non-flat to it. Don't mind that a bit but where I grew up and where I've lived it's been sometimes quite wet. So you don't build on a flood plain, don't locate near a river bank because the darn things do change course over time and flood insurance is going to become impossible to get. (I've seen one property mentioning flood insurance)

Generally, I also would not locate at the bottom of a hill, with or without homes above me, because you're at the spot where all the run off is going to end up. Is that a problem in the area? Since a lot of these homes have basements I'd assume not but figure it's good to ask.

How's the wind in the area? Sometimes, the weather can be OK but the wind mitigates sitting outside on the deck.

Thanks again for answering my questions.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:34 PM
 
297 posts, read 733,219 times
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Some short answers -- Missoula's water is not fluoridated.

It's not particularly windy here. Sure, there are some winds and occasional windstorms, but it's not like living in Livingston, Montana, where the wind blows pretty much all the time and hard. However, there are a couple of spots in the valley that are windier than others. Right in Hellgate Canyon can be windy, and in fact, when you say "Hellgate winds," everybody knows what you mean. Very brisk in the winter. If you're on the very top of a hill you may get more wind too.

I mentioned the water/runoff issue in another post but it's generally not a problem. Some houses have sump pumps in their basements if it is a problem. I would not buy a place at the very base of a hill both because of runoff and because of the possibility of the ground slumping. Again, not really a problem but a **possibility**. Some idiotic developers have carved up hillsides and then built houses right at the bases of the cutbanks. One little earthquake and that stuff is shifting, I'd bet on it. (Disclaimer: I am not a geologist nor do I play one on TV.)
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:15 PM
 
Location: State of General Disarray
836 posts, read 1,373,442 times
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I recently moved back to Missoula after being gone just over a year and missing it every single day.

Thought I'd chime in to give you an idea on costs. We rent a 3-bedroom house in the Lewis and Clark neighborhood (ten-minute bike ride from UM) with a nice but smallish yard with ample garden space. Homes in the neighborhood seem to rent for about $1000 give or take a couple hundred, and similar homes for sale are priced around $250k. Ours is $900/month and is pet-friendly. It was difficult to find a place that accepted pets, but we eventually went through Garden City Property Management, which has been voted the "best" rental co. several years in a row by the readers of the Missoula Independent. Monthly utilities (water, gas, electric and internet) are currently running about $100 but I expect we'll at least double that when it gets cold.

The Craigslist site for Missoula will give you a good idea of rentals, and I find trulia.com a good source for real estate info.

Hope this helps! Best of luck to you.
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Old 07-06-2012, 10:06 AM
 
297 posts, read 733,219 times
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Yay, strudel42, another vote for our simple yet wonderful Lewis and Clark neighborhood!

Be very, very careful of rentals advertised on Craigslist. Sure, there are some legit ones but also lots of scams. Online rental scams proliferate in Missoula
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:01 PM
 
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Thanks for all the input. I may seem to be getting the cart ahead of the horse. It all depends on the next step but if it happens, it will happen fast and I'd like to know as much in advance as possible.

I have been looking some in the Lewis and Clark area, but mostly south of the University. Thanks for the info on a Property Management company. I'd rather go through a good company than an individual owner- just think that layer is extra protection for both. I've still not found out what the extra addendums to the rent agreements is all about. Why would you have to sign an addendum? Trying not to be too close or too far from the University, since we have a college student who would be commuting. If the busses run relatively on schedule, and serve the area, that might be an option too. Most rentals I've found that meet the criteria and don't cost a fortune seem to be in the north. Seems I'm hearing that's not necessarily the most desirable part of town. If you get out in the western side, does it get difficult to get into town in the winter? How far out do they plow the roads? One place we lived, they didn't plow the roads until a school bus ended up the ditch, then they decided it was time to plow.

Agree the developers do some questionable things. In western Washington, I've seen them carve up the sides of the hills, then put homes at the top near those edges. Hello? It RAINS there- a lot! And people buy them- well, maybe people from out of state buy them.

How often does the electricity go out in the area? I've lived places where we had to have a generator because it went out so often, (Had a well) and others where the winds and storm were more fierce but we hardly ever had to fire up the generator. Living in town it's usually not an issue.

And if the house is heated by gas, does that usually include the hot water? What about dryers- is the hook up generally electric or gas in the area? I'm not moving a dryer I can't use.

Got a look at pictures from the farmer's market and it would be very nice to have produce that actually had taste again.
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:37 PM
 
Location: State of General Disarray
836 posts, read 1,373,442 times
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Yep, with Craigslist, if it looks too good to be true... it is. I didn't expect to like Lewis and Clark, but I do! Quiet neighborhood, nice homes with spacious yards, and everyone seems to have a garden. Nearly perfect. We previously lived in the Slant Streets and we liked that location, with closer access to the river and downtown, but again it was noisier and we had more college-student neighbors. Life is good over here in L & C.

Our water heater is gas and our dryer is electric. I haven't come across a gas dryer (or gas range) in the handful of places we've lived in town but I'm sure they exist somewhere.

The North Side is considered less desirable, yes, but not exactly a "bad" neighborhood. Personally I wouldn't want to live up there for the proximity to the interstate and railroad tracks -- too much noise. But I do sometimes see nice-looking older homes come up for sale or rent over there at reasonable prices, so IMO, if noise isn't an issue for you, it's worth checking out.

I also am not sure on the addendum thing. I don't recall ever signing anything other than a conventional lease, except of course with a pet, and then there is an added pet agreement involved.

Can't speak to living on the outskirts of town, but I know that even in the city, Missoula winter plowing is hit or miss. Usually miss. Our old street got positively glacial in the winter from snow piling up and people driving on it. Didn't see pavement 'til the spring thaw.
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Old 07-22-2012, 08:55 AM
 
34 posts, read 83,256 times
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Well, we're at what I'd call a "make or break" point. We'll see what happens.

Franklin to the Fort- what is that area like? I'm seeing a few potential rentals there. And why is it called Franklin to the Fort? For all the looking I've done, I've not seen an explanation of that one.

Also seeing some possibles in the Lewis and Clark neighborhood, so knowing that's an OK place is helpful.

For the life of me, I've never seen so many rentals with "no pets." Kinda assuming that's because of the student population. Then, even if they do accept pets, you have to pay an extra deposit-no problem with that at all- but then some want extra money per month on top of that.

Since we can't change the timing of this move, if it happens, do rentals get really, really tight with the university about to begin fall semester/quarter, or if it's on the market now, will it generally still be there in a few weeks?

Thanks for all the help!
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Old 07-24-2012, 10:55 AM
 
34 posts, read 83,256 times
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Sorry to add this short question, could not get back in to edit previous post, too late.

Anyone know anything about ADEA Property Management? They seem to handle a lot of rentals.

Thanks. Please PM if not appropriate to respond on the blog.
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:47 PM
 
297 posts, read 733,219 times
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Franklin to the Fort neighborhood is called that because it stretches from an area that encompasses Franklin Street west to roughly the Fort Missoula area. It doesn't include the old Fort area because that's actually in a neighborhood called Target Range. It's confusing. Target Range is called that because back in the day when Fort Missoula was an active Army post, they used a natural land form as a ... you guessed it... target range. Target Range neighborhood is or can be nice, but it's not part of the city and so you have different regulations, fire department coverage, etc.

I'm sorry I have no info about ADEA Property Management. I think the predominance of "no pets" regulations for rentals is because so many people have abused the privilege in the past with numerous cats, lots of large dogs, and so forth. Yes, rentals get scarce when UM starts up in the fall.

P.S. Web page for the Franklin to the Fort neighborhood: Missoula, MT - Official Website - Franklin to Fort You'll see another odd name on the neighborhoods list, Moose Can Gully. That's what it's really called, but it's short for Moose Canyon Gully. Why they would be redundant with both "canyon" and "gully" is beyond me.
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