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Old 12-29-2012, 12:51 PM
 
3 posts, read 4,732 times
Reputation: 10

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After doing some research, I'm thinking of moving to Bismarck after I finish grad. school. I've lived in CT, MA, and CA in the past and found pros and cons for all these places. From what I've read about Bismarck:

Pros = good schools (I have an 8-yr. old.), friendly people (hopefully this is true since that would make it easier for a newcomer like me to make new friends), low unemployment

Cons = weather, high alcohol-abuse rate.

I know ND is remote and sparsely populated, and I'm fine with that, but what I'd like to know is:

1) Are there a lot of young adults (20s-30s) around there? CT has few people in this age bracket, and I didn't know that until I moved here. =/

2) Are people open-minded? I know diversity is lacking in ND, but I don't mind just as long as the people there aren't judgmental/racist. For ex. I am a young single mother (never-married). Do a lot of people look down upon that around there?

3) Are people spirited there (i.e. excited about life)? That is one thing I liked about CA, but in CT I feel like people are a bit blah in that area....like you can tell people around here that you killed a polar bear with your bare hands and they'll just say hm.... that's nice (if that. hah.).

4) There are a lot of trees there right? I'm not a big fan of flat bare lands but can deal with it.

Any insight to living there is welcome. =)
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: E ND & NW MN
4,818 posts, read 10,954,834 times
Reputation: 3631
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTZ6 View Post
After doing some research, I'm thinking of moving to Bismarck after I finish grad. school. I've lived in CT, MA, and CA in the past and found pros and cons for all these places. From what I've read about Bismarck:

Pros = good schools (I have an 8-yr. old.), friendly people (hopefully this is true since that would make it easier for a newcomer like me to make new friends), low unemployment

Cons = weather, high alcohol-abuse rate.

I know ND is remote and sparsely populated, and I'm fine with that, but what I'd like to know is:

1) Are there a lot of young adults (20s-30s) around there? CT has few people in this age bracket, and I didn't know that until I moved here. =/

2) Are people open-minded? I know diversity is lacking in ND, but I don't mind just as long as the people there aren't judgmental/racist. For ex. I am a young single mother (never-married). Do a lot of people look down upon that around there?

3) Are people spirited there (i.e. excited about life)? That is one thing I liked about CA, but in CT I feel like people are a bit blah in that area....like you can tell people around here that you killed a polar bear with your bare hands and they'll just say hm.... that's nice (if that. hah.).

4) There are a lot of trees there right? I'm not a big fan of flat bare lands but can deal with it.

Any insight to living there is welcome. =)

Hi....

I will take a stab... I live in the Grand Forks ND region to the northeast of Bismarck about 3 hours. I have relatives in central ND and have been out that way....and have lived in the region going on 15 years. Specifics of Bismarck I am lacking as I have never lived there....but in general I can give some of my thoughts....

Bismarck is a fast growing city and is the capital and also the largest city near the oil fields. Housing has been booming there along with commercial businesses. It has always been known more of a family type community as it lacks a large state university such as Univ of ND in Grand Forks and ND State in Fargo. Though it does have Bismarck State College which is growing fast. It also has St Mary's a catholic affiliated university.

It does attract those folks looking for work and good family life...it may not be great for young singles but great for those with kids, etc. I dont know the makeup of the 20s-30s but in any growing city there are going to be quite a bit there. Bismarck tends to be in the one of the warmer regions of the state yearround and has excellent outdoor recreational ammenties in the warmer season with the river nearby and various parks, etc.

ND schools and Bismarck in particular are very good....so no worries with public schooling. There is a third high school being built. Not sure of location. There is also a catholic school system.

The climate of the region is one of high variability from season to season, though extreme cold (below zero) doesnt last too long there compared to Fargo-Grand Forks. 90s are not uncommon in the summer with a 100 or so a few times a summer in most years. But when it gets that hot there the airmass is not too terribly humid. Not like Arizona dry....but not East coast humid either. Winters with the colder air can be quite dry in terms of in-house RH levels and dry skin. Overall expect more seasonal variety than in CT.

Snowfall is likely less than where you live....but being colder in many seasons it stays on the ground longer.

About the trees.... the area is in the prairie....somewhat hilly terrain about Bismarck due to the river and bluffs....but most natural trees are along the river...others planted. Around the Bismarck area outside of town...open prairie with farmland and tall-short grass. Great for wide open sky and summer thunderstorm viewing.


I find folks in the region generally nice.....many natives may be a bit a bit quiet at first as the nature of our region is to leave people alone unless they need help/assistance. You wont find neighbors beating down the door to say hello, but if you ask for help with anything they will be there right away.

I find the people of the region wouldnt bat an eye about you being a single parent. You will be surprised that there is more diversity than you may think here.

Alcohol abuse here isnt any more or less than anywhere else and wouldnt be worried.

About home prices...due to high demand and still somewhat limited supply prices have gone up quite a bit in the last 5-10 yrs..... hard pressed to find much new in the 4BR/2BA home for blo 250k...(that is generalized)...
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Old 12-30-2012, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Michissippi
3,120 posts, read 8,032,896 times
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I think it's probably a great place to go from a job market perspective. It doesn't have a large four year college (less competition for entry-level jobs) and the economy is as good as you'll find anywhere in the country without going to Minot or Williston where the cost of housing has skyrocketed. I'm under the impression that housing is tight in Bismarck, but manageable.
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:03 AM
 
113 posts, read 230,356 times
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I moved to Bismarck over 6 months ago. Three months of this I camped or lived in my car on the weekends as I was working in the oil patch area and had housing provided during the week. Housing can be expensive. I lucked out and obtained a lease on a very nice house for $850 a month. I consider it a steal. Bismanonline.com is the website to look for housing. You might look into renting a room or sharing a house to reduce costs. I have two roomies and my housing cost to live here is $350 a month including utilities.
There's plenty of jobs, but the kicker is finding one that pays what you need to live on. Many employers scream they need workers but only some have raised the wages to help meet the housing costs. If you find the employment that will cover your expenses and put some away then a move here is well worth it. Many companies along with local and state government provide health insurance among other insurances, I find this to be the norm unlike what I was use to in Florida. A nice benefit!
I find this community very pleasing and open, nothing blah. Trees are in the cities and other areas but remember No-Dak is in the plains and trees are mostly left in rows for wind breaks as farming land is a great commodity. I thought the same at first but the change in terrain was welcomed.

Last edited by ThomasLong; 12-30-2012 at 08:26 AM..
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Old 01-03-2013, 05:25 PM
 
11 posts, read 26,316 times
Reputation: 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTZ6 View Post
After doing some research, I'm thinking of moving to Bismarck after I finish grad. school. I've lived in CT, MA, and CA in the past and found pros and cons for all these places. From what I've read about Bismarck:

Pros = good schools (I have an 8-yr. old.), friendly people (hopefully this is true since that would make it easier for a newcomer like me to make new friends), low unemployment

Cons = weather, high alcohol-abuse rate.

I know ND is remote and sparsely populated, and I'm fine with that, but what I'd like to know is:

1) Are there a lot of young adults (20s-30s) around there? CT has few people in this age bracket, and I didn't know that until I moved here. =/

2) Are people open-minded? I know diversity is lacking in ND, but I don't mind just as long as the people there aren't judgmental/racist. For ex. I am a young single mother (never-married). Do a lot of people look down upon that around there?

3) Are people spirited there (i.e. excited about life)? That is one thing I liked about CA, but in CT I feel like people are a bit blah in that area....like you can tell people around here that you killed a polar bear with your bare hands and they'll just say hm.... that's nice (if that. hah.).

4) There are a lot of trees there right? I'm not a big fan of flat bare lands but can deal with it.

Any insight to living there is welcome. =)
I am a 23 year old girl living here - and wanting to leave asap. Here is what I can tell you...

1) Young adults, yes. But young adults with degrees seem to get the heck out of here.
2) People are not open-minded. That is probably the number one reason why I want to leave. I have gotten called a "hippie" on more than one occasion because I prefer to walk everywhere and dress a tad bit more hipster-ish than my friends/people in the area.
3) I think people are generally happy here - spirited. I mean it depends who you're around but from my trip to NY people seem to have a lot more emotion.
4) There are 0 trees. Don't bank on trees because for some reason no one sees the need for them. They call Chicago the "windy city" but ND should be called the windy state. On the days when the wind is less than 10mph we all are amazed.

That was a lot of negativity, but then again I am young, have no children, and am not married. Honestly, I will probably end up coming back here. Yes, it's not good for me now, but when I have a family this is probably the place I would want them to grow up. It's safe to let your kids run around outside, walk home from school, go to daycare, etc. Your teenagers don't have that much to get into. So if I ever have a baby or two you'll probably find me back here just because of safety/family.
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Old 01-08-2013, 04:19 PM
 
764 posts, read 1,648,239 times
Reputation: 570
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTZ6 View Post
1) Are there a lot of young adults (20s-30s) around there? CT has few people in this age bracket, and I didn't know that until I moved here. =/

2) Are people open-minded? I know diversity is lacking in ND, but I don't mind just as long as the people there aren't judgmental/racist. For ex. I am a young single mother (never-married). Do a lot of people look down upon that around there?

3) Are people spirited there (i.e. excited about life)? That is one thing I liked about CA, but in CT I feel like people are a bit blah in that area....like you can tell people around here that you killed a polar bear with your bare hands and they'll just say hm.... that's nice (if that. hah.).

4) There are a lot of trees there right? I'm not a big fan of flat bare lands but can deal with it.

Any insight to living there is welcome. =)
I grew up in Fargo and just had a crew (from Dickinson and Bismark) down to Texas to watch the Bison play football. This is all generalization on my experience. #1. Yes, but folks from ND are not very engaging. They're friendly, but not overly so like southerns. Most don't do small talk (I'm saying this because we were tailgating before the NDSU/SHSU game and people are just content to be in their group and not say much. Heck, the group I went with only talked to people they were related to (???) My husband and I were striking up conversations with others - some of which went down in flames. #2 You can find some, but for the most part not really. My older relatives think 'diversity' includes Italians, Irish and other Catholics. But, they like their asian, greek, and indian food. Yes, there are more minorities in the larger cities, but there is definately subdued racism. I don't think being a single mother would be an issue - they aren't evangelical up there - more 'keep your business to yourself' lutherans. #3 Yes, in that they can be passionate about their hobbies, weekend activities, like to travel, etc. But, since they're pretty low key and are very reserved, you have to work hard to get anything out of them. I've never heard a boastful person from ND the way I've heard them in CA, DC, NY, ATL, etc. So, they might see your Polar Bear comment as boasting and not look at you favorably. #4 No - there few trees near the rivers and the lakes and where they've been planted in the neighborhoods, but it's pretty flat farmland for the most part. There are nice areas near Bottineau (Turtle Mtns.), but if you want trees you should try northern MN.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:18 AM
 
Location: north by nw
37 posts, read 63,746 times
Reputation: 38
Some singles, from what observed,mostly not. Alcohol? Yep, there is that!, and police enforcement is there but sparse. If the city keeps growing(all available lots sold out earlier this year for housing)then diversity will build.Though will say many of the persons arriving here are not oriented that way and so fit in well with the natives. Quality of life expectancy was rated low or lowest of all the states,this was from a survey given to the citizens in ND, sure what all that negative feedback comes from, since you wouldn't know it always by the day to day interchanges noted between persons. The new elected junior US senator is female, a democrat and yet won an improbable election against an onslaught of negativity, so there certainly is a mixed bag here. You'll find Bismarck has big plans, a new hospital may be started this year,(2 downtown).More pub eateries with that micro beer expression are landing every few months. Three Starbucks, and they are all busy, sunup to sundown. Some good local coffee shops also, and it is even somewhat fun on a summers eve to walk around town.Every Thursday if remember right , an outdoors market opens at around 10am right in downtown, streets are closed to allow people to freely wlk between vendors, lovely veggies and crafts. At night,We'll go to a few places on foot, then just walk home. Many people conceal carry, many. they have shown no compunction as one group found out in Williston to march right up and kick the offending party out of the immediate area(these guys were threatening a women in a Wal Mart pkng lot at dusk.)Understand three men rushed the perpetrators with guns drawn, guess the outcome, their departure was noted by many as "rushed". Would we stay long term? No, but it is livable to an extent.
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Old 01-09-2013, 03:29 AM
 
Location: north by nw
37 posts, read 63,746 times
Reputation: 38
If you decide to come,recommend, look for housing in the sections north of main st, and in Bismarck for the most part. The old trailer parks abound on the south end, fairly old looking 60's and 70's mobiles. As cold as it can be here, 3inch walls can be a bit frosty.

ps: we relocated from one of the most beautiful and walkable cities in the NW
Bothell,WA. This is not that, climate, soils, attitude towards the environment, was mostly left behind. In ND Industrial farming is the norm, the mentality is to kill everything, pump the top soil with liquid ammonia, which literally has the earth screaming out here and then kill everything again with deadly pesticide and herbicide concoctions, we just heard a repeat of this from a retired rancher at a diner last night. He felt so bad about how the ND countryside was treated, and he stated may be no coming back for the lands natural vitality.

Last edited by desertrrat; 01-09-2013 at 03:43 AM..
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:40 AM
 
5,261 posts, read 4,137,435 times
Reputation: 2264
Quote:
Originally Posted by RTZ6 View Post
After doing some research, I'm thinking of moving to Bismarck after I finish grad. school. I've lived in CT, MA, and CA in the past and found pros and cons for all these places. From what I've read about Bismarck:

Pros = good schools (I have an 8-yr. old.), friendly people (hopefully this is true since that would make it easier for a newcomer like me to make new friends), low unemployment

Cons = weather, high alcohol-abuse rate.

I know ND is remote and sparsely populated, and I'm fine with that, but what I'd like to know is:

1) Are there a lot of young adults (20s-30s) around there? CT has few people in this age bracket, and I didn't know that until I moved here. =/

2) Are people open-minded? I know diversity is lacking in ND, but I don't mind just as long as the people there aren't judgmental/racist. For ex. I am a young single mother (never-married). Do a lot of people look down upon that around there?

3) Are people spirited there (i.e. excited about life)? That is one thing I liked about CA, but in CT I feel like people are a bit blah in that area....like you can tell people around here that you killed a polar bear with your bare hands and they'll just say hm.... that's nice (if that. hah.).

4) There are a lot of trees there right? I'm not a big fan of flat bare lands but can deal with it.

Any insight to living there is welcome. =)
Based upon your needs, ND is probably not a good fit for you. No, the population is disproportionately older, not younger. No, people are not generally "open-minded," though it will be somewhat better in Bismarck than more rural areas. No, I would definitely not describe people as "spirited." No trees, except for the Turtle Mountains in the extreme north of the state and a patch in the northeast corner.

Based upon the criteria you've listed, a couple cities for you to consider in the Midwest that would be much better fits would be Duluth, Minnesota or Madison, Wisconsin. Duluth is about 90,000 and Madison is over 200,000. Open-minded, active people and you are close to the type of terrain you seem to want. I really would recommend checking out those two towns.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:31 AM
 
764 posts, read 1,648,239 times
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I would second Madison, although Duluth is quite beautiful and you can find more affordable housing across they way in Superior WI.
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