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Old 09-13-2007, 11:11 PM
Location: Sacramento, Ca
2 posts, read 13,625 times
Reputation: 11


Hello! I am currently looking at relocating to Butte within the next 6 months or so and would like to gather some general information about the area. If anyone can help me out with the following, I would really appreciate it . A little about me: I currently live in Sacramento, CA and I'm looking to move to the "country". I'm looking for a new "adventure" in life, and I think this will do the trick After doing some research, I think that Butte might be a good fit for me.

1. Utility costs? Now, I'm from California where it doesn't get too cold so the heating bills are not too expensive, but I'm sure they are much higher in Butte due to the freezing winters. How much is the norm to pay for utilities on a house? I've also heard that you have to hook up your car to a heater to keep it from freezing overnight, someone please explain

2. Renting? After looking at many rentals available, it looks like finding something for about $400 a month is not hard to do, although this may be in a bad area (of course, from a cali girls perspective I can't imagine a small MT town having any shady areas compared to here ). Also, it looks like finding a house for about 80K that is a fixer is fairly easy. So why not just buy instead of rent? With prices like that, i can't imagine renting.

3. Good/Bad Areas of town? I was told that the "flats"are nice...where is this located and are there any other areas that may be good.....or that I should stay away from?

4. Jobs? I'm not particular. Admin, retail, waitress jobs will be fine for now as long as I make enough to pay the bills and have some fun. After looking at help wanted ads it looks like there are more than enough positions open that will pay enough. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

Sorry for all the questions, I would just like to gather as much info as possible about Butte. I plan to take a trip up in Oct/Nov to check it out. Thanks in advance to anyone that can help me
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:14 AM
75 posts, read 520,534 times
Reputation: 42
Hi Stony,

First of all, let me say it gets cold in Butte, thats COLD with a capitol "C". If you own or rent a modern house or apartment, thats one thing. But, if you are renting a 100 year old house thats another. Expect to pay several hundred dollars a month for utilities when it gets cold. And it WILL get cold.

If you park your car outside, overnight during these cold spells the temperature can fall to -20 degrees F. Thats cold enough to freeze the radiator and make the oil as thick as salt water taffy. You need what's called a "block heater" to keep the engine warm on cold winter nights.

Renting vs. buying: As anywhere else, you get what you pay for. Butte is an old mining town, with a rich history. Parts of the town are modern and rents there are higher. If you are willing to rent or buy a 75-100 year old house, you are going to find things cheaper. Older house, think higher utilities in the winter.

Every town has its good and bad areas. "Uptown Butte" is the older section of town, lots of history here. Older homes and buildings. Great if you like that kind of stuff. ( I do.)
Newer homes on "The Flats". Perhaps more modern, but less character. I don't live in Butte, but visit often, and have never felt threatened in any part of town.

Jobs: Service jobs and "Wall Mart" type work can be found, but don't expect much over minimum wage to start.

Like what you hear so far? I happen to love Butte. It is one of the most historic places in the west. If you like history, you'll love Butte.

The real test will be your trip in Oct/ Nov. Expect cold weather. Your California "cold weather " gear will probably not be enough.

If you have lived in Sacramento all your life, be prepared for "culture shock".

But, you sound like an adventurous person. Enjoy the experience and learn.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-14-2007, 04:12 PM
Location: Santa Barbara, CA
1,153 posts, read 4,540,119 times
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The flats are much nicer than uptown.

But yes, Butte averages more days below freezing (about 250) than any other large town (10,000+) in America. And yes, that includes Fairbanks, Alaska
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:06 PM
Location: Sacramento, Ca
2 posts, read 13,625 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks for the info guys! It is greatly appreciated. I knew it was VERY cold in Butte, but I had no idea it was that cold. I am basically looking for a small town, anywhere with a population under 40,000 but with enough jobs and housing for me to find something reasonable. I read somewhere that Butte is much colder than areas about 20 miles away due to the fact that it sits in a valley. Do you have any other suggestions for small towns? After looking at Bozeman, I think it's a little too commercial for me. I'm really trying to get away from that and go for something more "rugged"? Anaconda and Dillon seem like nice areas as well. I looked into jobs in Dillon and it looks as though they have more than enough to get me something to start with.

My other option would be to move to Butte, then move to something smaller if I find it is too cold or too large. That may be the safe route to go for now
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Old 09-14-2007, 07:33 PM
Location: Kingman - Anaconda
1,552 posts, read 6,443,616 times
Reputation: 746
Just take a look at the weather.gov site and type in 59701 or 59711 for anaconda I have been seeing 30 deg mornings there already. Last Sunday they actually had the Snow word in the forecast but it never materialized.
Expect long winters and quick spring/summers.

Sounds like Home Depot is coming and they usually pay pretty well but usually part time work. 3 bears might be a possibility as well.
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Old 09-14-2007, 08:18 PM
75 posts, read 520,534 times
Reputation: 42

Anaconda and Dillion are both good choices. Dillon has a college so it tends to have more activities.

Anaconda is also a nice area. Lots of history there as well.

Try to check out both on your visit to the treasure state.

Good Luck
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:08 PM
5 posts, read 21,809 times
Reputation: 10
Butte is VERY cold. I am from NJ and I am still not adjusting.
Butte does have a lot of character though. However unless you are a CNA do not expect to find a good job very quick. It is hard to find a job in Butte. The people are nice here, but I have noticed some of them really don't like Californians. I dont really know why though.

Butte is nice, but I would suggest maybe going somewhere a bit bigger. Maybe Gallatin Gateway, Three Forks, Four Corners, Belgrade? All of those places are near Bozeman which is bigger but nothing compared to CA.

Butte is on its own. You are going to need to drive about an hour to get anywhere (but no traffic) if you like to do things other than hiking, hunting, skiing, etc. There is not much to do here besides the bar and gambling scene though we do have a few big festivals a year.

Butte has a college, but it isn't a college town.
I would definitly suggest somewhere outside of Bozeman. It's rugged but now 10 years behind the rest of the world like Butte.
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Old 12-01-2008, 09:13 PM
5 posts, read 21,809 times
Reputation: 10
Oh, and the flats are....flat. Uptown is all hills and weird streets and (beautiful) historic buildings. Walkerville is right above the flats but...not very nice IMO. Butte is small enough though that you're better off living on the flats because the uptown stuff is 2 minutes away.

There are a few nicer neighborhoods (The West Side, By the Country Club, etc) and a few not so nice neighborhoods (Silverbow Homes area, a few of the streets by the highschool).

My utilities run 75$ a month. But I live in a small 2 bedroom (modern). I haven't had to plug in my car yet, but I did have to scrape windows today and have already had snow.
I say you are better off buying a newer home or renting a newer home for like 650 a month. The 400$ stuff is usually older and therefore like everyone said more expensive.
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Old 05-05-2009, 08:48 AM
Location: MT
155 posts, read 711,929 times
Reputation: 139
It's people like you that give Butte a bad rap.... I lived there for 5 years. Loved it... had great times. It is not as bad as you make it seem. Yeah it is not all glamorous like Bozo or GF and it has it's rough edges, but really you can have tons of fun there. Just my two cents and everyone is entiled their opinion.
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Old 05-05-2009, 12:54 PM
5 posts, read 21,809 times
Reputation: 10
Butte is no where near as bad as ScorpioIris is making it out to be.
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