Should I move to Montana/Wyoming?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I move to Montana/Wyoming?

    I am planning on moving next spring or summer from Washington to get a little closer to home (North Dakota). Right now I plan on going to Denver, but I also wouldn't mind a few places in Montana or Wyoming. Right now I live outside of Seattle and the cost of living is driving me out. I lived in Denver for a year and half and loved it and housing is about 1/2 of what it is here, but the last time I drove through Missoula I saw a sign for new houses for about a fourth of what they go for out here. So basically I need to be by mountains, as much as my wife doesn't like me to judge the decision on this, I need mountain biking/mountain recreation. I would have to be in a city of at least 30 to 40 thousand, the bigger the better for my limited job prospects. Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by epetes
    I am planning on moving next spring or summer from Washington to get a little closer to home (North Dakota). Right now I plan on going to Denver, but I also wouldn't mind a few places in Montana or Wyoming. Right now I live outside of Seattle and the cost of living is driving me out. I lived in Denver for a year and half and loved it and housing is about 1/2 of what it is here, but the last time I drove through Missoula I saw a sign for new houses for about a fourth of what they go for out here. So basically I need to be by mountains, as much as my wife doesn't like me to judge the decision on this, I need mountain biking/mountain recreation. I would have to be in a city of at least 30 to 40 thousand, the bigger the better for my limited job prospects. Any suggestions?

    Go for it. Just don't move to Boise.
    Ride the bike.

  3. #3
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    Nd?

    If you want any advice, there a TON of North Dakotan's out here in Boise! Just look at the weather map in January and you won't have to ask "why"!

    So where do you hail from? I am from Moorhead (Minnesota), but went to school in ND.
    BoiseBoy

  4. #4
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    Definitely check out Bozeman. It's on the smaller side of what you want, but there's lots of mountains and lots of mountain biking around here. Also, there is a huge demand for employees at almost all the businesses, I think the unemployment rate is under 3% now.

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    I went to high school in Bismarck, took at year of college at NDSU, ended up getting my degree from UND. After I posted this I looked at Missoula and it was a little bit more spendy than I was looking for, probably more expensive than Denver. Bozeman wouldn't be too bad. Billings had some really cheap properties. Idaho would still be a little bit too far. I probably wouldn't mind it but the wife wouldn't go for it.

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    Bozeman sucks, make sure to tell all your friends as well
    Bridger what tha $%^# Keep it almost a secret yo!

  7. #7
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    Boise

    Quote Originally Posted by epetes
    I went to high school in Bismarck, took at year of college at NDSU, ended up getting my degree from UND. After I posted this I looked at Missoula and it was a little bit more spendy than I was looking for, probably more expensive than Denver. Bozeman wouldn't be too bad. Billings had some really cheap properties. Idaho would still be a little bit too far. I probably wouldn't mind it but the wife wouldn't go for it.
    Sounds pretty cool. My girlfriend is from Bismarck. I too graduate from both UND and NDSU (Go Bison!)
    I have been in Boise for the past 4 years and absolutely love it. If the cost of housing is your only factor for moving then Boise may be a good choice. If outdoor environment is your deciding factor, then there is no better.
    A good friend of mine moved to Bozeman about a year ago and they like it, but loved Boise. Bozeman apparently gets very cold and they get significantly more snow than Boise. Boise is very mild and you are able to mountain bike essentially all year. If snow is your thing, than it is only a matter of less than an hour away.

    If you want more info, then you can just private message me.
    BoiseBoy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BoiseBoy
    Bozeman apparently gets very cold and they get significantly more snow than Boise.
    It was -10 on my ride to school last monday in Bozeman and there was 4 inches of snow on the ground in town. Not a good place to go if you want to ride bikes year round.

  9. #9
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    I was over in Butte, standing in toxic mud pits in -9 temps last week. Had to use a blow torch to thaw the tracks of the backhoe every morning. And then today it was something like 65 degrees during the ride to work. I love the unpredicitable weather.

    For the OP, what line of work are you in? There is something of a labor shortage in Bozeman partially because the construction boom is employing so many and can offer good wages. So other service oriented positions have a hard time competing for employees.

    Otherwise, there's not really a huge array of different types of jobs here compared to someplace like Seattle or Denver. There is also the "wilderness tax" for a lot of jobs (aka the pay is much lower compared to similar positions in other cities, presumably because we workers overlook the low wages in order to live near the mountains). I hear lots of complaining about housing prices here but I don't follow prices in other areas to have much of a perspective on that.

    Bike season, especially mtb season, is pretty short.

  10. #10
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    Bozeman, Butte, Helena. All have good mountains and great biking. Bozeman gets a lot more snow, if you like that sort of thing. Bozeman is much pricier, probably the highest prices in Montana. From Butte and Helena, you can bike from your front door into the hills, and the season is around 9 or 10 months. My thoughts are to find a good job and see where it leads you; it's hard to screw up a move to Montana unless your job market just doesn't exist.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by epetes
    After I posted this I looked at Missoula and it was a little bit more spendy than I was looking for, probably more expensive than Denver. Bozeman wouldn't be too bad. Billings had some really cheap properties.
    If you didn't like the prices in Missoula, you won't like Bozeman either. Bozeman is just as expensive as Seattle.

  12. #12
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    I moved from Grand Forks, ND to Boise, ID then onto Snoqualmie, WA. I liked the weather better in Boise, IMHO but both places are better then the Tundra of North Dakota.

    Boise is a days drive from Grand Forks, ND that was close enough for me. If you want to have the same great selection of trails that you have near Seattle, I'd go for Boise. Sun Valley has some fantastic riding and is only 2hrs away from Boise.

    I have buddies in Billings and sounds like the riding is pretty good there.

  13. #13
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    billings is a good start

    billings has the rims to ride on, good jumping and xc riding, plus Acton is very near, it has a make shift ride park, ladders and the such, plus the AB is only 60 miles away.

  14. #14
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    Hi,
    I grew up 50 miles north of Missoula on the reservation. Missoula is great, but it's getting expensive and it's hard to find work. Missoula's mountains are similar to Boise's mountains and the trail system (soils are similiar to Boise). Montana in general is beautiful. You can drive 30 miles north and hit the Mission Mountain range. It's unbelievable and filled with many old Indian Spirits that will guide you along. If you keep going you will hit Polson, Whitefish, and Kalispel which has it's own distinct flavor with lots of woods and skiing. However it's cold as hell! The year I moved to Boise, I was living in Kalispel, it was 50 degrees below zero with the wind chill. Missoula however, is only generally 10-15 degrees colder than Boise in the winter.
    The nice thing about Boise is it's warmer, and the mountains are close. McCall and Stanley are 2 hours away. It's getting crowded here and the housing market has gotten out of control. There are a lot of jobs and big corps (unlike Missoula). However, If you are looking for the same vibe as South Dakota, you will fit in better in Montana. Boise can be clicky and Missoula is really mellow. Good luck! .
    The Nun.

  15. #15
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    Missoula has had enough of the Washingtrons and Californicators. Please pick someplace that will make you feel more at home.

    Like Whitefish.

    or Bozeman.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmer0
    If you didn't like the prices in Missoula, you won't like Bozeman either. Bozeman is just as expensive as Seattle.
    Bozeman is Seattle, without the skyscrapers. Same attitudes. Same pretentious yuppies. Same scene, everyone on a cell phone all the time. Same expensive "boutique" shops where you can buy overpriced disposable crap.

    Now the Seattle and Portland people are moving to Missoula and trying to make Missoula just like Boze-Seattle. I say, go away morons. If you want "city amenities" and city arsewhole attitudes, move to a big city. Or just stay in Seattle.

  17. #17
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    If you had taken the time to read the original post you would have seen that I am from NORTH DAKOTA, hardly a state full of city attitudes. I plan on leaving Washington because it is too expensive and I don't really like it here. I have only lived here for under 2 years so that I could get job experience. Since you love people from Washington so much I think I might have to take a harder look at Missoula. Maybe I could drive to Missoula to take a look, while I was driving (my yuppy Jetta) I could get on my cell and call all of my city friends in Seattle (I know quite a few in Portland too) and tell them how awesome Missoula is.

    Thanks for all the info from everyone else. I am still looking around. I should have mentioned that I work in aviation maintenance so that is why I usually need to look at the bigger cities for a job.
    Last edited by formica; 11-17-2006 at 06:33 PM.

  18. #18
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    have you considered Spokane? Big enough to have some real aindustry, but still very much a small town feel. Between the base and two other airports, I'd think there'd be aircraft work. I know three folks who do that.

    It's much cheaper here than on the west side. Housing is still pretty much affordable ( I think the average is $170K) and well situated for just about any outdoor passion that you can have. We've got about 90 miles of mtb trails right in town, if you are a skier there's 5 resorts within 70 miles, whitewater and climbing.

    just a thought.

  19. #19
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    WOW! Why didn't I chime into this forum before, I'm obviously not as smart as the original poster. I'm in the D.C. area, and last May I was in Missoula, Kalispel, Yellowstone, and Portland for vacation. My girlfriend and I fell in love with Montana, Portland was more like at home, which is poo and we want to get away from that. The people we met around Missoula, and much of the Bitteroot including Flathead area were really cool, smart, and down to earth.

    I'm a blue collar kind of guy, I've been a Pro Mechanic for 8 years. My girlfriend is training to be a nurse, so we thought Missoula with its big hospital would be a good start. I'm open to other states like Idaho, it looked really pretty riding the train to Portland.

    You got any advice for me?

  20. #20
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    A mechanic and a nurse can pretty much go anywhere around here. The more thriving towns are crying for both. You have to ask yourself what your can afford for housing, because prices are all over the map. You also need to ask yourself how long you want to ride each year, some places have 12 months and others only have about 7. Once you settle on several possibilities, then really research them good.

  21. #21
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    The decision has more to do with the culture/people of the place than importance on how much I can ride. I've heard Missoula has a milder winter because its in a mountain valley. Extreme cold probably would scare the girlfriend. Affordability is up there on the list of course.

    Greg, your thought of Idaho? Or Missoula like cites? Oh, and I like Alcohol so Utah is out of the question.

  22. #22
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    Missoula has plenty of great drinking spots. Kalispel has that too. All around here is microbrewerys. Both are mild temps for Montana, but Missoula has a winter temp inversion situation(smog). Missoula has a stronger hippie culture. I'm over in Bozeman where the winter sports scene is slightly more prominent but it's colder and more expensive. Boise has us all beat for warmth and affordability, but not (in my opinion) for riding quality. Certainly, Boise is a lot bigger, with the benefits and drawbacks of that size.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Riding for Sanity
    The decision has more to do with the culture/people of the place than importance on how much I can ride. I've heard Missoula has a milder winter because its in a mountain valley. Extreme cold probably would scare the girlfriend. Affordability is up there on the list of course.

    Greg, your thought of Idaho? Or Missoula like cites? Oh, and I like Alcohol so Utah is out of the question.
    I moved to Missoula from northern New Mexico a couple years ago. As far as the the climate is concerned, I would say that Missoula winters are pretty mild.

    I would say that the drinking/bar scene is pretty good in Missoula. There are plenty of bars for a town this size and there are almost always quite a few people out. If you like art/music, there are quite a few small galleries, the college theatre is usually decent, and Missoula seems to get a few decent music acts/groups per year.

    Someone mentioned the expensive cost of living/general job shortage in Missoula earlier in the thread. The cost of living seems pretty reasonable to me, especially considering how fun/cool Missoula is. $225k will get you a pretty good house. Groceries are cheap and gas seems to be average. Based on my experience in Missoula the popular professions seem to be land development, construction management, health care, education (UM), and law (there are a lot of attorneys here).

  24. #24
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    Yes, Move.

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