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Old 04-03-2016, 11:12 PM
4 posts, read 14,743 times
Reputation: 19


I am a retired United States Marine and my wife is an accountant. We are looking at relocating up to the Missoula/BV area to live out our golden years. We both love the outdoors and are avid fly fishers, RVer's, and hikers. We have visited Missoula and Hamilton during the winter months and enjoyed the fantastic winter scenery. We would likely look for work in the northern BV or Missoula and commute to town. I was born and raised in the wheat fields and cattle pastures of Kansas, and my wife is a country girl from the central valley of Cali, where milk cows and almond orchards are the rule. One of our major concerns seems to be the common theme we see in the forum about the "hatred" for people from California. Yes we currently live in southern California, since for the last 15 years I have been stationed at Camp Pendleton. We want to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and slow down our lives. However we don't want to come where we are not welcome. I would appreciate gaining some true incite into the attitudes of folks in the area before we make this major decision. Thanks in advance for your replies...
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:35 PM
4 posts, read 14,743 times
Reputation: 19
I see this has been viewed 23 times with no replies. I have thick skin and welcome honest opinions or experiences. Thanks
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Old 04-05-2016, 01:15 AM
6,405 posts, read 10,719,791 times
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Don't worry Rick, absence of comments isn't a sign of disapproval. It's just that this forum has been mighty quiet lately. Sometimes people don't get around to responding until the weekend. And the Missoula subforum just doesn't get much traffic. I saw your post by accident.

We have retirement property on the Idaho-Montana border (if you look at the map, it is where Highway 200 leaves MT and enters Idaho by Lake Pend Oreille. Beautiful country, nice people on both sides of the border. My point is that we're also in SoCal, awaiting the day when we can retire, and every summer we go up to our place and recapture our sanity...we've been making those trips for 12 years, and owned property up there since 2008, and we have yet to encounter any hostilities because of our CA plates. Of course some people may make faces at us behind our backs ...but so far everybody's been friendly--much more so than your average SoCal neighbor.

The one thing that Montanans (and Idahoans) don't appreciate is hearing that things were much better in CA, or that you have great ideas how to "improve" the neighborhood! The "hatred" that you see on some threads is mostly due to the fact that before the recession a lot of MT land was bought up by wealthy Californians (and people from elsewhere, too), which drove prices up, and changed entire regions, and not for the better. So there's still a considerable amount of bitterness about that. But for one thing, what happens in a C-D forum doesn't necessarily reflect what conditions are really like; at least in North Idaho there are plenty of Idahoans who are well-adjusted ex-Californians, and for another, people in the rural NW tend to get judged based on their behavior, not where they're from. If you're friendly, and a good neighbor, you'll probably fit right in. In some areas newcomers will never truly be accepted, but the BV doesn't seem to be like that.

I assume you meant that you're considering moving to the BV and commute to Missoula?

Thank you for your service!
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:19 AM
Location: Washington State
344 posts, read 260,967 times
Reputation: 1050
agree with the above post. Most of the hatred is a result of actions taken by people moving from California rather than the simple presence of a Californian. As said before, real estate is higher than it used to be, and the Missoula area has become a little bit of an experiment in liberal ideologies and progressive suggestions. Some successful, some not so much. Otherwise; if you have some cash for retirement, move in and enjoy.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:21 PM
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CFF and sylentvoyce Thanks for the insight. correct live in the Florence/Stevensville area and work in Missoula. I understand what you are saying about Cali folks trying to impress there ideas on others to make things "better". If it was so great where they were I wonder why they left? We are just trying to get out of the traffic and hubbub, and have four seasons.
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Old 04-06-2016, 11:27 AM
Location: Fort Benton, MT
876 posts, read 838,076 times
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Missoula is a college town. It is also one of the socially liberal strongholds in the state, with Kalispell and Bozeman being the other 2. Because of this, allot of long time residents avoid those areas like the plague and have fun talking bad about them during casual conversation. There are pluses and minuses to any place. My family and I are originally from Florida. We have been here just about 2 years. Since Missoula has some stores my wife loves, we have been there at least a dozen times. From my experience.

1. Missoula has lots of college age kids from all over the country hanging out due to the University. Like most college kids they run the gamut of society. You will see lots of gay and lesbian couples doing stuff that couples do. The traffic is bad for Montana standards, also due to the horrible street layout. Because of the University, real estate prices are inflated in town due to the large rental market. This doesn't make Missoula bad. But when you are raised in a town of 300 in rural Montana, and come to Missoula it is a culture shock. People have blamed this on CA, FL, but in reality it is from the University.

2. Due to the college kids, Missoula has a hipster scene. So there are businesses that cater to it. They have concerts, poetry readings, lots of people screaming about environmental issues. A bunch of idiots blocked a train track to protest coal, for example. It gets news coverage and the more traditional residents feel embarrassed about it.

I don't think you will have any problems, because you should be used to this coming from California. Montana has largely missed out of the social justice warriors who have overwhelmed states like FL, CA, CO, WA, NY, etc. The longtime residents don't want them here, and will sometimes blame people who don't have anything to do with it.
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Old 04-06-2016, 07:42 PM
160 posts, read 266,189 times
Reputation: 186
Kalispell, a liberal stronghold???

Not in this lifetime.
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Old 04-06-2016, 08:18 PM
6,074 posts, read 5,970,420 times
Reputation: 4021
sounds like good zone to look at. If you get serious about a property, time the commute when it would happen. In winter there will be times it is slower due to weather / visibility or wrecks. Lolo might make sense if you want a shorter commute or like to run in and out of town several times a day on the weekend or on weeknights.

Last edited by NW Crow; 04-06-2016 at 08:28 PM..
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Old 04-07-2016, 06:56 PM
5,402 posts, read 5,344,517 times
Reputation: 11959
Experienced CPAs are always sought in Missoula.
If tax is her field, she could likely do fine in Hamilton or the Bitterroot Valley hanging out a shingle. It might take a year to get a client base built up, but just know that going in.

Hipster, Missoula?

Most people in Montana are nice and darn polite. Jerks live everywhere. I wouldn't be concerned about negativity.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:59 AM
1,179 posts, read 2,048,179 times
Reputation: 1325
Semper Devil, Yut kill!

I would take the traffic into consideration heading in and out of Missoula every day from the BV. 93 turns into a parking lot at the south end of town, and that's in the winter time.

But you're on the right track, Missoula is a fairly friendly town. I spend 1-2 weeks a month there for work. A friend of mine that lives there recently relocated to Frenchtown from Lolo because the drive in and out every day was pretty bad. He works on the north end of Reserve (hwy 93) and he's cut his commute time by 2/3rds.

Have you also checked out North Idaho? Lots of lakes, rivers and streams. We have lower taxes than Montana, and WA has no state income tax. Flathead area is also real nice.
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