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Old 09-16-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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I would appreciate any information on the town and the area. Thanks.
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Old 09-17-2007, 06:15 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
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Can you be a little more specific about what you'd like to know?
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:23 AM
 
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Default Looking to relocate to Columbia Falls

Thanks for the reply.

Specifically, I would ask how much house can 300K buy there?

How is the town from an educational perspective? Is there a decent size library, how many schools are there and where is the closest college or university?

Would you consider the town friendly?

What is the major industry there and largest employer?

I can see from historical weather that the months of December-April are pretty cold and snowy. If you have lived there, how much of a spike in your utility bill do you get and is your home gas heated primarily?

Any information like this above would be very helpful. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-17-2007, 10:23 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
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I can answer most everything you need about c-falls let's do it by item so I don't ramble.
1.If you look a nmar.com you will see a variety of homes and I just looked, it showed 117 listings from 0-300k. I just pulled one that was a 4bdrm 2ba 2000-2500 sqft for 189k. Montana cities are kind of interesting and different (depending on where you're at now) in that houses that are listed in the city may not be directly in the city limits but may be in the county right around the city limits. Personally I would rather live in the county area for tax reasons (about half what city tax is) as well as less government intrusion and if you step up in price to the 300-435k range you could end up with a very nice house on a few acres. C-Falls is situated to end up being the "bedroom" community for Whitefish and for people who don't want the bigger city living of Kalispell.
2. Librarys in the flathead as a whole are not the greatest, yet.... Kalispell just had an article in the paper today about moving from their cramped building to a new bigger facility. C-Falls does have one but it is small. You are about 13 miles from Flathead Valley Community College which is expanding as I write this. They have several new programs and IMO are quite the facility.
The city schools are ok, there is two elementary schools, one 4 year old jr high and the high school. One of the elementary schools,jr high and high school are all within walking distance of each other and school pride runs pretty high. There is quite the rivalry between Whitefish and C-Falls when it comes to sports. The high school has been state champs for speech and debate for the last 5 years and has many sports championships. School events are heavly attended and supported, even by those without kids in school.

3.Would I consider it friendly? Yes, Pretty much like anywhere in MT, it takes some time for people to get to know you, they are for the most part VERY family oriented, tending to spend the majority of their free time with the family hunting,fishing,skiing etc. If you're into outdoor sports there is no better place than this!!!!! Religion is big here but not shoved down your throat. The biggest piece of advice I could give anyone moving to MT is forget how they did it where you came from.
What I mean by that is people here are tired of hearing "we did it this way back in xxx" and after a couple of times hearing that they will turn off from you. They have their own way of doing things in MT and don't appreciate people moving here telling them to change it or how dumb or outdated it may seem (even if it is) you have to, I guess grin and bear it since you choose to live here. If you have kids, get involved and you will find everything will be fine, if you don't have kids then there are PLENTY of things to do with others. Most people here are not pretentious, they don't have a lot of flashy stuff or houses and just want to live the simple easy life. It's not uncommon to find it impossible to find repair or construction people during the hunting season since everyone just takes off to go.... This could also happen if we got a big snow hit on the mountain.

4. The largest employer in C-Falls is Plum Creek Lumber and C-Falls Aluminum Co. They are the two top paying jobs in this city as well. Most people who don't work there commute to Whitefish or Kalispell which is a WHOPPING 13-15 miles away, which is why C-Falls is set to grow a little bit. They are developing in both places but C-Falls is staying the small city so far. Traffic in town is 6 cars at a stop light, but gets a little worse during the height of summer tourist season.

5. Winter heat, we have had gas forced air, all electric and a mix of gas and electric. Our most (very) recent was electric with a gas fireplace for backup heat and most here have some sort of backup like we do or a wood/pellet stove in case of power failure which is not common or if it happens doesn't last long. We had ours on year round load level so our bill stays the same 12 months out of the year and runs about $140 a month for the 2600 sqft house which means lights and everything. I like it better because it doesn't have the price fluctuations like the gas industry does and is way more efficient. I've paid way more to run a house in other states!

All in all not a bad place, it's nice because you have access to everything you need but don't have to put up with the crowds and traffic of city living. There are NO gangs here, no drive by shootings, no bank robbers or real holdups (knock wood) and kids can go pretty much anywhere safely. You could walk down the street at 4am and IF you see someone they're probably going to or coming from work but we don't have muggings or anything like that. Most all crime is printed in the paper as well as all court proceedings for everyone to see so people tend to stay away from that as everyone will see. There are the normal crimes as anywhere else, just not a lot of them except DUI which is kind of prevelant here.
If you need anything else, let me know and I'll do my best.....

Last edited by jimj; 09-17-2007 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 09-17-2007, 07:52 PM
 
3 posts, read 9,781 times
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Default Thanks Jim

Thanks for all the information. It was VERY helpful.

The one remaining question I have was your comment on religion. When you say it is big, which denomination would you say is the largest there?

Thanks again.
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Old 09-18-2007, 12:44 AM
 
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I don't know where you live, but I spent most of my life in major US cities, and I must add a different perspective to the excellent commentary. Columbia Falls is a very tiny town and Kalispell is a very small city. By Montana standards they might not be so tiny, but for anyone who has lived in major metropolitan areas, these are very small.

I just spent a month in Kalispell and its appeal to me is that it is a small town. Columbia Falls is appealing as a place to live because it is closer to the mountains, but when you go shopping, you need to go to Kalispell.
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Old 09-18-2007, 06:28 AM
 
Location: LEAVING CD
22,973 posts, read 25,035,816 times
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We have all the churches, I don't know that any one is the leader in membership. As for this town being small compared to most US cities, this is true and that's the draw, smaller city= less congestion,crime etc. As for having to drive to Kalispell to shop, only when shopping for clothes or major items. We have 2 grocery chain stores, auto,hardware and building materiel stores. Besides, Kalispell is ONLY 13 miles away. Far enough not to affect C-Falls but close enough it's no big deal to drive until you've lived here a while, then you will hear yourself saying (like everyone else) "I have to drive all the waaay to town?"
It's kind of funny, you come from a place where a 60 mile one way commute is considered the norm, or sitting in traffic for a couple of hours is expected to a place where pretty much everything you need for day to day living is 2-15 miles away (or less) and after living here for a while complain about having to go all the way to town and plan your whole day around the trip...... We swore we would never act like that but after a couple of years there we were.......
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