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Old 03-01-2009, 08:35 AM
 
Location: MO
2 posts, read 13,626 times
Reputation: 10

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Hello all. I currently reside in central MO.
I'm interviewing for a position in Billings. Our family consists of my wife and I, 8 y/o son and a very large cat!

Our plan is a home with 5-10 acres outside of Billings.
We are generally conservative, love the outdoors (son is an expert fisherman), but would also like the availability of shopping and restaurants.

My wife is concerned about the weather. She enjoys warmer weather, but I WILL NOT MISS the 90-100* days with 90% humidity all summer in MO!!

Some ques:

How's the housing market?
Job market for 'executive management' (my wife).
Weather? (my wife is concerned with the 'cold').
Is Billings 'dry and flat' (treeless) compared with the rest of MT?
How's the hunting here?
Schools for my son?
Shopping and restaurants?

Any and all info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 03-01-2009, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,874 posts, read 9,474,273 times
Reputation: 14072
The housing market at the present time isn't great, lots of places for sale, and not much action. Prices are staying fairly high, but values aren't. It will be shearest luck to find a 5 to 10 acre place close to Billings for any kind of decent price. Depending on location, type/size/age of house and outbuildings, etc. the price can be anywhere from $200 K to half a million. The biggest problem will be water. Some areas will require that you have a cistern for all your household water. Either the available water table is WAY too deep to be economically feasible to drill to, or it is alkali water, or both. Water delivery services are available, or you can haul your own.
I have no idea about "executive management", such jobs are WAY out of my league!
Weather can range from 100 plus in the summer, to anywhere between 30 above to 30 below in the winter. Below zero temps usually only last for a few days, then it will get back up to merely freezing. Snow usually doesn't last, either, it may snow 6 inches or so, then warm up and melt it all. the humidity is usually pretty low.
Billings is right on the Yellowstone River, and there are some trees around. It isn't forested like the mountains, but there ARE trees. the land is rolling, some hills and coulees, mountains fairly close.
There are mule Deer, white tail deer, elk and bear in the mountains, antelope on the plains, etc. The trick is to find a place to hunt. Many local farmers and ranchers have learned to be very leery of hunters that are not known to them. Slob hunters have given them plenty of reason! It can be difficult to find land on which to hunt. It is up to YOU to know exactly where you are, so you do NOT EVER trespass on private land without permission.
Your son's school will depend on where you find a place. He may wind up going to one of the smaller towns near Billings instead of a Billings school.
There are the usual shopping opportunities, Walmart, Kmart, Shopko, Costco, Herbergers, Penneys, Sears, Sportsmans Warehouse, etc. If you are retired military and have exchange and commissary privileges, Malmstrom AFB is about 240 miles away. We have the usual fast food joints, plus Outback Steak house, Texas Roadhouse, HuHot Mongolian Grill, Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Fudruckers, pizza places, Subway, Johnny Carino's, Famous Daves BBQ, oriental restaurants (chinese, Thai, etc.), some local restaurants that are quite good, Perkins, Denny's, mexican, Tex/Mex, just about anything you want.
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Old 03-02-2009, 05:35 AM
 
Location: MO
2 posts, read 13,626 times
Reputation: 10
Thanks for the reply.

I'll have to check into the water situation. That doesn't sound good
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Old 03-06-2009, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Billings, MT
9,874 posts, read 9,474,273 times
Reputation: 14072
Quote:
Originally Posted by radjxf View Post
Thanks for the reply.

I'll have to check into the water situation. That doesn't sound good
Remember, "it depends". We have a "mini-farm" about 5 miles out of town, with a very good well. Not far away, people have a cistern.
If you end up on a place with a cistern, you learn water conservation real quick!
There are at least two water delivery services locally, and many people have the plastic water tanks in the bed of their pickups or on a trailer to haul water. The Billings City Water Department have two water stations that I know of where the tanks can be filled. I don't know what it costs.
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Old 03-07-2009, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Osage Beach, MO
1 posts, read 6,630 times
Reputation: 10
Thumbs up Billings, MT--Tell Me About It?

[quote=radjxf;7680641]Hello all. I currently reside in central MO.
I'm interviewing for a position in Billings. Our family consists of my wife and I, 8 y/o son and a very large cat!

I had to post to this thread, my husband and I currently reside in central MO also and are hoping to relocate to Montana in the next year or so. I've heard that Billings is the current thriving locale in Montana, but that was prior to recent economic happenings.

I wish you good luck with your interview in Billings...

Diane
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Old 04-30-2011, 07:39 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,270 times
Reputation: 10
I'm new at this so bear with me.
I too am looking at Billings in 2011. What are roads in/out Billings from Oct to Apr? What are the 2 WalMart's like, bakery, decent selections, auto repairs, etc; thx any other info for a senior would be appreciated.
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:57 PM
 
213 posts, read 647,880 times
Reputation: 180
I don't live in Billings, so I can't get into a lot of detail regarding schools, housing or jobs, but here are my impressions from someone who generally visits a few times a year...

Billings is a bit drier and flatter than western Montana, but IMO (and I'm a mountain lover at heart) it has plenty of character and the scenery isn't bad at all. Billings has the "Rimrocks" which are actually quite stunning. I've taken a drive out along the rims that goes north of town and loops back toward the west, and I thought the rocky landscape was actually very beautiful. There are also some beautiful areas south of Laurel, as you start to head toward the mountains. These are rural areas with a lot of properties like you described, but as I'm not a local I wouldn't know about the cost or water issues others have mentioned. North of Laurel (I hope I have my directions right) there seem to be more small farms and it's flatter, but also a pretty area. South of the city as you head on an old highway to Hardin it seems to become rolling hill country with not a lot out there. Bottom line is, there's a lot of varying landscape in the area and probably everyone could find something that's appealing. It has the best shopping and restaurant options in the whole state, so you should be able to find everything you need.

Billings is the biggest city in Montana and has a pretty big business base, so it will be one of the better places in Montana to find jobs in executive management. However, it still won't have the job base of the bigger out of state metro areas, and if you're new to the area and not "networked-in" you should be prepared that she won't find something right away. If it's anything like Missoula (where I live) jobs at that level are relatively scarce and have a lot of competition both from locals and out of staters (or former Montanans) wanting to come here. The pay may also be disappointing compared to some other areas of the US.

If your wife loves warm weather it may be an adjustment. Billings does have hot and sunny summers, but like everywhere in Montana, they are pretty short!
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:09 PM
 
9,862 posts, read 9,952,362 times
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Billings has only a 5.4% unemployment level. Before the recession, Billings had the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at just over 2%.

Information on any school in the nation can be found at GreatSchools - Public and Private School Ratings, Reviews and Parent Community which will allow you to find how the experts rate the schools. You will find they rate very high in most of Montana.

Within a 15 mile area from Laurel to Billings, there are 3 super Walmarts.

Billings sits on an Interstate Highway. In the winter there can be some ice and snow (plowed) at times but not for any period of time. There is a good selection of shopping in Billings, as it is the major shopping center for hundreds of square miles.

Great medical facilities and hospitals, as they are the major medical for the Dakotas, Wyoming (northern half), Montana, and Southern Canada near Montana.

The cost of living, compared between where you are and where you want to move to, can tell you the standard of living you can expect compared between the two cities based on any salary differential. Cost of Living Wizard | Salary.com (http://tinyurl.com/45qqhl9 - broken link)
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