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Old 02-23-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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I'm looking at a job promotion in Billings. I currently live in Northern Mn. Lived in Bismarck and Fargo for 35 years. Love the trees and lakes in Northern Mn, while I have met some very wonderful people, most others are not the same as in ND. Low work ethic, good percentage of population is on assistance and content with that in MN. Lots of run down properties. I Loved North Dakota for the quality of life, but the topography and wind sucks. If I could put Bismarck smack dab in the woods and lakes I would be in heaven. With that said, I have some questions about Billings. I just started doing some research into area and would appreciate your thoughts.

1. Snow and cold dont bother me. Is it windy in Billings? ND real bad with drifts. North MN, trees knock down the wind sheer, very manageable.
2. How is shopping? My wife will go nuts without shopping, we travel once a month to go an hour to do shopping. What major stores are there?
3. Any websites you would mention to check out?
4. How has the recession affected the area. Unemployment still around 13% here, double if not triple if you take in people who are comfortable collecting.
5. How far is Denver or next metro area?
6. Do we need to sell our jetski? Just got it last year.
7. Property taxes? North Dakota I had about 2500 in taxes and specials on a 150,000 house. State taxes were 2000 for the year. Minnesota I have 1000 in property, but 7000 in state taxes.
8. Home building going strong?
9. Lastly, how are schools? We have a 12 and 8 year old. ND schools were top notch, MN are a little behind that.

Thank you
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Old 02-23-2011, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Where the mountains touch the sky
6,504 posts, read 7,583,394 times
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Welcome to the Montana Boards Snowblind9, (good name by the way )

Billings is the largest town in Montana and has the best shopping opportunities in the state with most of the larger chain stores available and lots of smaller locally owned stores and shops.

Billings can get wind, but isn't as bad as further up the Yellowstone River. It is actually pretty temperate as far as Montana goes with warmer winters than a lot of the state, but it can get warm during the summer but not nearly the humidity you find in North Dakota or Mn. (Fewer mosquitos than the lakes areas too).

Yellowtail Dam isn't too far from Billings, and Deadmans Basin is to the north, both offer jetskiing opportunities so you wouldn't have to get rid of your ski if you didn't want to. The Yellowstone River runs right through town, and I know they have some boating but I am not familier with any specific regulations. The Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks department would have any rules about that and you could check with them.

You can check out some of the threads that have been done on this site and there is a lot of information including pictures about specifics in Billings.

As to schools, as far as I know, but I haven't had kids in those schools so this is just heresay, they are pretty good.

Denver is about 8 hours drive away if I remember right, Coeur D'Alane ID is about 6 hours west, Spokane Wash. is about an hour past CDA.

The economy in Billings is about as strong as anywhere if not a little better because of the refineries and the oil boom on the eastern border, but I don't know how the building industries are doing there.

I can't give you specifics on the property taxes in Billings, (again I don't live there), but you could probably check with the Yellowstone County Assesors office for help.
If you live in one of the outlying areas the taxes would be less. Plus we don't have a sales tax.

Hope that gives you a place to start. Good Luck
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Old 02-25-2011, 04:33 PM
 
158 posts, read 1,043,895 times
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anybody Else?
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Old 02-28-2011, 11:41 AM
CTC
 
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO/North Port,FL
666 posts, read 1,368,429 times
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no woods and try a search
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Old 02-28-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: NW Montana
451 posts, read 937,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowblind9 View Post
anybody Else?
Billings is a big city by Montana standards and a far drive from where I live in this State, further than from Bismark, ND to Minneapolis, MN. So I avoid it, because I'm not really all that fond of cities anymore and don't enjoy driving all that much.

Having said that, Billings does have its benefits:
The Billings area economy seems to be more robust and recovering more quickly than most other places in the State. And it probably has everything you are looking for except the big woods. That part of Montana is more of a great big open area. But it is near enough to mountains and forests and wild places to give you easy access.

I hope you get the chance to visit for at least a week before having to make your decision.

Good luck.


mg
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:34 PM
 
9,893 posts, read 10,401,180 times
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Unemployment rate under 5.5%, one of the lower ones in the country.

Schools: Go to GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community and you will find that Montana has a lot of excellent schools and you can compare they with others in any city or town you want to compare them with in the whole country. You will be able to even find the part of town you want to live in, if you want the best schools. You will note that some of them rate at the absolute top any can reach anywhere in the country.
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Old 03-21-2011, 07:12 AM
 
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I am a travelling nurse, originally from NW Iowa, and have been here in Billings for about a year now. Weather is much better than Iowa. My kids all still live in Iowa so I keep up with comparing their snowfall and rain to Billings. MUCH less snow here in Billings than Iowa, Temps are pretty similar, but low humidity in summer compared to Iowa. Wind is non-stop here it seems, but being from ND, it is probably better Housing has stayed VERY steady if not increasing slightly according to a realtor my boyfriend just recently talked to in regards to selling his house. Taxes for him I believe are 3800/yr, but his houses value is 400,000+. Remember, NO sales tax. Compared to Iowa and MN, good lakes here are hard to find, but we did go to Flathead lake last year and jet skiied there which was over a 5 hour drive. And shopping? Speaking from a womans viewpoint, it sucks compared to the midwest. Mall is ok with all the basics....but its VERY basic. Closest big city IS Denver which is a little over 8 hours. And just FYI....flights out of Billings are eXPENSIVE. To fly to Sioux City roundtrip before the prices went up are easily 600.person...BUT they do have direct flights to Minneapolis. Schools from what I hear from gals I work with are good for Montana standards, but I dont think they are comparable to midwest standards. Crime is VERY low here though. just remember.........its probably just as windy here as in ND, BUT NOT every day and Billings is in what is called the banana belt....pretty temperate climate for montana :-) OH, I almost forgot....Montana does NOT know what snow plows are in the city. They seriously ONLY plow main highways and streets....NO side streets are EVER plowed or sanded.... at one time this winter our street had to have at least 6 inches of PACKED snow and ice, if not more than that...took a very long time before we saw our street again and my boyfriend lives in a newer development with expensive house......VERY different from Iowa and Minnesota.
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Old 03-21-2011, 05:50 PM
 
Location: North Dakota
9,274 posts, read 11,789,271 times
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I can answer a few of your questions. We used to shop in Billings about once a month. They have quite a few major chain stores and Rimrock Mall is a big (by Montana standards) regional mall that services much of Eastern Montana and northern Wyoming. The winters tend to be more mild than many of the areas to the west and east, wind isn't as bad as the areas west and east. Billings is pretty much the "metro area" for that part of Montana and Wyoming. It is several hours to Denver. As far as water sports, schools, economy, building, property taxes, and unemployment rate, I can't answer those questions.
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Old 03-22-2011, 04:49 PM
 
158 posts, read 1,043,895 times
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Thank you so much for the answers so far.
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Old 03-24-2011, 12:01 PM
CTC
 
Location: Pagosa Springs, CO/North Port,FL
666 posts, read 1,368,429 times
Reputation: 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by WyoEagle View Post
It is several hours to Denver.
umm try between 8-9 hours to Denver
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