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Old 09-13-2012, 05:58 PM
34 posts, read 83,211 times
Reputation: 27


...you had a second chance.

I don't want to start a thread that bashes anyone's choices or preferences. That is not what I want to have happen. I want some information about where people would live in Missoula, if they had a second chance- and why- or, why their first choice is still working for them.

Everyone has their differences and it's in finding out about the area and community that helps us figure out where we might buy here. We'll be renting at least a year before we do anything, to see which way the winds blows. But it's becoming pretty obvious that to get the living accomodations we want, we'll have to buy. Because as I said on another thread, the renting situation in this town is nuts. Upside down. We're so gun shy of the job market that even considering it makes me anxious. But if things look good, we could be more comfortable and spend less, if we buy. Oiye, there's that word again!

I want to learn about Missoula from the people who have been here, seen it, done it, and have a perspective on things.

Also, does anyone really get up those hills in the winter in the south hill area?

So please, no bashing. I'd like to learn about things that you can't find out just by driving by or from a realtor.
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Old 09-15-2012, 01:29 PM
297 posts, read 732,643 times
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Hi, DueToJob, I know I talked a lot about Missoula neighborhoods on your other thread where you were talking about the possibilities of moving. So I'll probably repeat myself somewhat. I/We have lived in three separate and distinct neighborhoods in good ol' Mizzoo and I'll give you my two cents' worth of each, hopefully without any bashing.

The University Neighborhood -- Pluses: some wonderful big old houses, if you like that kind of home. I'm an old house nut so I loved it. History. Lots of pretty big trees, really lovely in the fall. Negatives: the cost, the cost, the cost. We couldn't afford to buy there now. Noise from rentals and frat houses. Traffic and parking problems.

South Hills -- Pluses: more affordable. Negatives: cookie-cutter boring houses, low/no walkability to stores, etc. (yes, people drive those hills in the winter constantly -- if you live there, you have to!), potential drainage problems, higher radon levels than on the valley floor. We lived up there for a year and a half and it never felt right to us, which I know is unhelpfully vague.

Lewis & Clark, where we live now -- Pluses: more affordable, great walkability to just about anything we need except for the Reserve Street corridor, solid post-WWII houses. Negatives: sometimes the noise from the fairgrounds.

If I had a million dollars I'd probably buy in the University area again, but would be very careful about living near large rentals and frat houses. But I don't have a million dollars and we like L&C just fine. Target Range has always seemed nice too, but it's not part of the city so services such as the fire department are different.

Good luck. You're the best judge of what you need and want, so living here for a year and renting first is a really good idea.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:52 PM
Location: Alaska
173 posts, read 343,068 times
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Right next to Bonner Park---that's the best location in town, in my humble opinion.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:53 AM
34 posts, read 83,211 times
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Thanks MontanaGyrl and Iv2hoop. I've sort of got my toe in the University District a couple times and although the atmosphere is nice, with the homes and trees, after our experience not being in the UD and still having the "college" thing in the complex, I'll pass. And I an NOT saying that they are all like that.
But the ones a couple doors down with all their trucks, 2-cycle loud motorbikes, and traffic all through the night...pass. But I've become curious when I see new construction on the apartment/townhouse thing, goind up willy-nilly anywhere, if that isn't specifically to cater to university students. Is there that much shortage of on-campus housing or is it just cooler, for many, to live off campus? When I was a poor college student eons ago, I lived on-campus. The cost was about the same for both then, but campus was- much closer to classes (full time student) and work, in this case; and someone else fixed the meals so I didn't have to spend time shopping and cooking- time I didn't have. Our student lives with us but that's to cut down on cost, since he will be going to school where we live.

We are trying to get familiar with the area but like I said, just driving around and talking to an agent now and then doesn't really tell you about the area. Stopped at a couple open houses and one thing I really appreciate is that not one agent went into selling overdrive. Where we lived before, they wouldn't let you out of a house unless they had all your contact information and maybe that of your relatives and then would call you up. So big for the agents here. (By the way, it was the same at car dealerships where we were, agents standing outside would pounce on you even if you were just there to pick someone up who had let their car off for service) Maybe that's just the way it is in Montana and I find it a breath of fresh air.

We toured the lower Rattlesnake, Grant Creek, the 3rd-Clements- South Ave loop, Mullan Rd, and Upper Miller Creek Rd. I've gone into East Missoula a bit and think that's out. Need to get into Franklin to the Fort and Lewis and Clark more.

Having grown up 18 miles from the nearest town you could do any shopping, things like within walking distance are not essential for us. Although we've appreciated it from time to time. We like quiet and a decent commute- which does not always mean the shortest route. Besides, for us, even if we had to drive across town it would be no more than we had done before, even living in town. Depends on the size of the town. But Reserve....yeah, that plugs up quite a bit.

OK, I have to ask this- why, with all this land around, in the new construction do they build homes within feet of each other? Here's a development kinda out in open land, and the homes are all scrunched together.

Ah, yes, must ask this one. We live in an area bounded by Broadway, Russell, Reserve, and 3rd. Even at night I hear traffic noise, and we're not right next to those streets, fyi. I don't know if it's them or the freeway but kinda surprised. Does noise just carry better across the valley?

In areas where you are on your own well, and there are lots of wells, any problems with the water tables lowering? We were out Mullan Rd and looking at a house in an area where all the homes had their own wells in what I would consider a suburban density. Normally, I'd expect community water as we've seen in some other areas. And although I'm told it doesn't flood out there, looking at the ground with ditches and damp spots, even now, I'd wonder about water issues.

Enough for now, appreciate the feedback.
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Old 09-19-2012, 06:38 PM
Location: Spots Wyoming
18,696 posts, read 39,051,669 times
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Originally Posted by DueToJob View Post
- snip -

OK, I have to ask this- why, with all this land around, in the new construction do they build homes within feet of each other? Here's a development kinda out in open land, and the homes are all scrunched together.

-snip -
Look at it this way. A developer pays an astronomical amount of money for a parcel of land. He wants to get his maximum return. He doesn't own all the rest of the land you see, just his small corner of the land. He puts the most lots on there so he can get the most money. If he is a complete developer and also designs and builds the homes, he's going to again, maximize his investment. He's going to design the biggest home that he can make the most money on, that will just fit on those lots. Then he's going to advertise that they are low maintenance. By low maintenance, he really means there is no yard to mow.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:37 AM
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Regarding house density, each county has a planning board with standards and maps of areas with planned densities. Most have tried to move toward building houses in clusters with common green space. Past developments with lots not large enough to be productive agriculturally but too large to maintain as yard have resulted in large weed patches.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:54 PM
297 posts, read 732,643 times
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To try to answer some of your questions:

There is not enough on-campus housing for all the students, and most upperclassmen prefer, I think, to live off-campus to have more freedom. Freshmen are required to live on campus although they can get an exemption if family is nearby or whatever.

Glad the real estate agents and car dealerships haven't pounced on you. :-) Pushy does NOT go over well here and I think many sales-type people realize that.

The Rattlesnake and Grant Creek are nice, but keep in mind that should there be an emergency such as a fire, there's only one way in and out of those neighborhoods by car. East Missoula, as you probably saw, is largely a dump (no offense to anyone there who keeps their place up nicely, but the trashy trailers and junk cars visible from I-90 always make me think of being mooned by a really ugly redneck!).

Others are correct about the homes crammed into new developments -- the developers are trying to make the most $$$$$ they can with the space they have to work with. I would never buy a place where you could literally reach out your window and touch the house next door. That's just me.

Noise does carry in the valley because the sound waves bounce off the mountains, and I'm not pulling your leg. As you can see, Missoula is kind of in a "bowl" in that we're pretty much surrounded by mountains on all sides. I thought noise was much worse living up in South Hills.

When you're on your own well (not an issue in the city limits), yes, water tables can change. The area north of the Wye (Highway 93 north of I-90, as you're heading towards Evaro Hill, Arlee, etc.) has been, in the past, notorious for having iffy wells. I don't know the current situation with water but that is otherwise a very nice area.
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:42 PM
34 posts, read 83,211 times
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Interesting that the sound might be more in the South Hills. Good to know that it's pervasive in the area. Won't make a judgement just based on that.

I hear you about ingress and egress re: Rattlesnake and Grant Creek. SO mentioned that about the Rattlesnake area, but not Grant Creek- he liked Grant Creek although we didn't get too far up the road. Go figure, bothered him in the Rattlesnake but not GC.

Oh, duh.... ...yeah, of course they're going to cram every building they can in the space they have. Forgot what era I was in, I guess.

I know about lots and mowing. When we had 5 acres and the horse was on a diet, we had to mow and not just because of weeds- we had field mice. If you didn't keep the grass down and especially around the buildings.... I presume the same is true here.

Tried to tour a bit past Lewis & Clark on South St. Lesson learned, never try to go across town on South St. The map doesn't show the detours squiggling here and there....
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