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Thread: Fbks vs. North Pole

  1. #1
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Default Fbks vs. North Pole

    Moving to Fbks from Nome. Looking at real estate. Will be working at the airport. Leaning toward living in Fbks proper, west part likely. What's better about NP? Schools? 12 yr old daughter will be going into 7th grade next year.
    Thanks for any info.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    I've lived in both North Pole and here in Fairbanks. The main advantage I can see to living in North Pole is that the real estate has been generally a little cheaper. The obvious disadvantage is the commute. I don't like the Richardson as there are too many very bad drivers moving very quickly. Of course those who commute to Anchorage would have very little sympathy for commuters from North Pole when it comes to traffic.

    I live on the West side of Chena Ridge now (Cripple Creek) Real estate isn't priced too bad on this side of the ridge. The Fairbanks side of Chena Ridge tends to be a little pricier. I also work at the airport and it takes me fifteen minutes to get to work from here where it took me 20 minutes from North Pole. I was actually at 12 mile Richardson, living on Bradley Skyranch which is a bit closer to Fairbanks than North Pole proper. I enjoy the drive from this side much more.

    One disadvantage up here is that drilling wells is very hit and miss and and most up here, myself included, have holding tanks and haul our water. I haven't found that to be too much of a problem. Unfortunately, more folks in North Pole are doing that now also, since ground water contamination from the sulfulane spill from the refinery has become an issue in part of the North Pole area.

    We homeschool (two boys 10 and 11), so there are probably others on the this list with more first hand experience with their kids in the local schools. My wife did work a bit with the schools before we had kids, however and said she'd never send our kids to North Pole Middle School. She said Randy Smith, on the W. side of Fairbanks would be better, in her opinion. Again, not first hand informatioin, so others could have vastly different experiences and opinions.

    Good luck and please let me know if there's anything I can do to help on this end...Louis
    Louis Knapp

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    I forgot to mention: one HUGE advantage of living up here in the hills can be seen in the dead of winter when there's a temperature inversion.
    Louis Knapp

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    I am in North Pole area and wish I was in Fairbanks. North Pole is cheaper but I would say there are questionable areas off badger road that I wish we were not close to. That is where the boss set up shop. Hills are nice as Louis said, Ice fog is bad in the winter down here.

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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Hey Louis, I been somewhat concentrating on Chena Ridge. Little pricey but good area. Also looking down in Univ. West.
    Also leaning toward Randy Smith Mid school area, tho my good friend whose wife is a teacher says Ryan is OK. Definately want the kid at West Valley for HS.
    Been looking at internet Real Estate this afternoon. Most everything in NP for sale is WAY over near Chena Lakes. Long drive for an airport worker.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
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    Curious why you are convinced West Valley is the place to go for High School? I have 2 daughters a Lathrop and they have both done well. From what I understand Lathrop offers more of the advanced classes for kids to get ahead. The girls both went to Tanana for middle school and they did quite well there as well. Chena ridge is a distance to travel from everything to include basic shopping. I wouldn't rule out the rest of the areas like Farmers Loop and the hills above it, if you stick to the University end of the road it is an easy commute to the airport.

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    Speaking of High Schools, What about Hutch? We were thinking of sending our boys there as I've talked to a couple folks there who thought that was a good school.

    Any luck on the house hunting martentrapper? I did see small house with a for sale sign on it on Chena Ridge Road at the lower (North) end....Louis
    Louis Knapp

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    Premium Member denalihunter's Avatar
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    I've lived in Fairbanks, North Pole, and went to high school at Lathrop (many years ago!). I would go to the hills for sure. If I was ever to move back, I would get out Chena Hot Springs Road aways, or I would go down the parks about 10 to 20 miles out. For sure, your best bet would be to get up on a hill somewhere. You can see 20 to 30 degree temperature differences by doing that, making it more enjoyable and more affordable to heat. It's a big deal. If you go West toward Chena Pump and in the hills, you can still only be 15 minutes from work. Good luck on your move! Claude
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    Member martentrapper's Avatar
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    Still looking. Kinda stuck waiting to close on the house in Nome before I am ready to make offers on something in Fbks. My best friend lives on Chena Ridge and his daughter is the exact same age as mine. Plus I have an almost free parking spot at Chena Marine Airstrip for my plane. With that and working at airport I really like the chena ridge area, plus some of the property is high enough to get above ice fog. Attactive pricing in Univ. west, but that is down low.
    However, we also want to do some serious gardening. Haven't been impressed with the dirt on the ridge. Could always buy/haul dirt to deal with that maybe.
    After living in a place where driving to anywhere was 5 minutes at most (I mean in town, stores, work, school) I'm not excited about living 20 miles out of town. That distance at 50 below isn't in my game plan. I can see the advantages of altitude and quiet, but hoping to get something no more than a 20 minute drive to work. Gonna be farther to schools and probably work for the sig. other.
    I am for sure not that well informed on Fbks middle school. So my comments are based on info from a small selection of friends. Have a friend that works at Randy Smith and the size of the school is to my liking. Was in there in end of April and liked what I saw. My kid will do better in a smaller school I think. Have considered the charter school off Dale Rd. I know parenting is just as important as the school.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

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    We are into gardening also. I should use "we" lightly, it's mostly my wife doing the work while I'm at my job. It's a little more of a struggle than it was at North Pole, but we're making a go of it. Hauling water isn't ideal in that regard either, but I just have to haul a little more water in the summer. There are other places besides the Ridge area where people have holding tanks, but coming from the airport up to the ridge I go right by the Water Wagon on the way home, which is convenient. If one doesn't have the means to haul water it can be delivered, but for considerably more money. Every location is a trade off, I suppose. If gardening was all we cared about we'd be living somewhere south of the Mason-Dixon line....no thanks!

    Some friends of ours have a son at the Watershed school on Dale road . They seem to like it. If you hadn't heard already, there is a waiting list to get in so you might want to check on that early if you're leaning in that direction.
    http://www.thewatershedschool.com/

    Louis
    Louis Knapp

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKpegleg View Post
    I am in North Pole area and wish I was in Fairbanks. North Pole is cheaper but I would say there are questionable areas off badger road that I wish we were not close to. That is where the boss set up shop. Hills are nice as Louis said, Ice fog is bad in the winter down here.
    It's probably going to get a little cheaper in North Pole over the next year or two...

  12. #12
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    You'll find a slew of houses for sale northwest of the refinery. An acquaintance recently got stuck with a tainted well after he purchased a home without a full disclosure of the issue..

    http://dec.alaska.gov/spar/csp/sites...efinery/qa.htm
    I am serious... and don't call me Shirley.

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