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Thread: Getting "Established" in AK

  1. #1
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    Default Getting "Established" in AK

    Hello everybody,

    I am separating from the Navy and flying to Anchorage in March with my girlfriend. We are selling anything that we can't fit in a piece of luggage since we dont have enough stuff that would justify the cost of renting a truck or trailer. Ill be going to school at UAA starting in May.

    The major challenges that we immediately foresee is trying to get work, an apartment, and vehicles. Tough to land an apartment without a source of income, buying/registering/insuring a vehicle without a legitimate AK address, getting a job without our own mode of transportation and the cycle repeats. You see where I'm going with this.

    I will still be active duty for about 2 weeks upon our arrival so I will try to utilize all resources available for me to help make transition as smooth as I can.

    If anyone went up to Anchorage under similar circumstances and would care to tell of their experience and anything they learned from it or would do differently we would very much appreciate it.

    Thanks

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    I don't want to sound negative, but you better bring a lot of money. Rent, deposit, food, car, etc is going to cost several thousand $$.

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    No need to apologize, we saved and budgeted. I dont want reveal our financial position on here but we're not coming up with empty bank accounts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachinistMate View Post
    No need to apologize, we saved and budgeted. I dont want reveal our financial position on here but we're not coming up with empty bank accounts.
    I moved to Hawaii under similar situation to you. It was 7 months after I eas'd. But no job. Just $2k saved up, but I did have a place to stay until I secured a job(stayed for 2 months before I moved out on my own).

    If you are going to UAA, then look at something close to campus. Wouldn't need a car. There is public transportation in Anchorage. Not best, but it'd save you expenses. I'm assuming you've been here before? If not, May can still be cold. Two Mays ago, w still had the yukon frozen solid in late May.

    When my family (I'm the dad) moved up here, our move cost us $10k. I live in the bush though and I bought 3 months of groceries (and three plane tickets). I had a job (you are going to school, and I assume using the new GI bill) and didn't have to make 1st and last months rent deposits on our house since we were renting from the school district that was offering us a job.

    Are you doing FT student? May would be short semester? Those are tough. Don't use your GI Bill unless you are a FT student.

    Id skip the vehicle and buy a bike or use public transportation. Find a student friendly job. After you get yourself established, then get the vehicle but I think a college student could survive around anchorage without a vehicle. You will just need to stay near campus for everything.

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    Buy a car/truck in L48 and drive. You'll save $5-10k on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    Buy a car/truck in L48 and drive. You'll save $5-10k on it.
    Thats if you buy a new car. A used car less of a saving. The cost of driving up for two people outweigh the cost of two plane tickets.

    Id if pay cash for a car. A beater. Used. Paid for.

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    Yeah I guess that's for new mostly. But it would equally apply to a lot of newer-used cars and especially trucks, no?

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    That's alot of info! Are you going to stay reserves? What about billeting? You don't have a car? Hmm. That's exactly how I came up in the army, no car but I had post housing.. What kind of work can you do? What about the spouse?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    Yeah I guess that's for new mostly. But it would equally apply to a lot of newer-used cars and especially trucks, no?
    We have a car down south and we haven't brought it up yet. I really don't want to pay for storage. Winter time we just ret an I usually pay about $20 a day total for a car in the winter. Summer is totally different. But I don't need a vehicle in the village.

    Anyways newer used cars the price is better down south. But what I'm looking at buying the cost to drive it up makes the cost te same. But we are in a get out of debt kick.

  10. #10
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    A lot of good "moving to Alaska" info here.

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/alaska/

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    That's alot of info! Are you going to stay reserves? What about billeting? You don't have a car? Hmm. That's exactly how I came up in the army, no car but I had post housing.. What kind of work can you do? What about the spouse?
    I'm still on the fence about transitioning to the reserves, the health insurance and a few extra bucks in the bank each month would be nice but I just don't know.

    We have cars right now where we're at (Virginia) but we couldn't justify the cost when we we were able to score really cheap plane tickets and we don't have any possessions worth trucking/trailering. So we're going to sell them before we leave. We've budgeted to rent a car for two weeks. We'll reevaluate our situation after that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
    I moved to Hawaii under similar situation to you. It was 7 months after I eas'd. But no job. Just $2k saved up, but I did have a place to stay until I secured a job(stayed for 2 months before I moved out on my own).

    If you are going to UAA, then look at something close to campus. Wouldn't need a car. There is public transportation in Anchorage. Not best, but it'd save you expenses. I'm assuming you've been here before? If not, May can still be cold. Two Mays ago, w still had the yukon frozen solid in late May.

    When my family (I'm the dad) moved up here, our move cost us $10k. I live in the bush though and I bought 3 months of groceries (and three plane tickets). I had a job (you are going to school, and I assume using the new GI bill) and didn't have to make 1st and last months rent deposits on our house since we were renting from the school district that was offering us a job.

    Are you doing FT student? May would be short semester? Those are tough. Don't use your GI Bill unless you are a FT student.

    Id skip the vehicle and buy a bike or use public transportation. Find a student friendly job. After you get yourself established, then get the vehicle but I think a college student could survive around anchorage without a vehicle. You will just need to stay near campus for everything.
    Yeah I'll be going full time so I can get the housing allowance. The school has a veteran work study program that hopefully I can utilize if I need to. My girl has a BS in science with an environmental concentration so she's trying to score some work in the area of environmental evaluating/consulting.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by MachinistMate View Post
    My girl has a BS in science with an environmental concentration so she's trying to score some work in the area of environmental evaluating/consulting.
    There is a large number of firms up here from multinational down to one guy working out of his truck. Native corp 8A subsidiaries have many contracts with government agencies. They tend to go through cycles where their management implodes due to board actions. They are not a bad way to get into AK work.

    We don't really follow CERCLA up here outside the DOD. That tends to really mess with newcomers. If she has a lot of field experience she can easily get a job in the spring when the season is ramping up. Winter work is slow, and at times nothing from February till June.

    Some firms specialize in NEPA work. Soul sucking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MachinistMate View Post
    I'm still on the fence about transitioning to the reserves, the health insurance and a few extra bucks in the bank each month would be nice but I just don't know.

    We have cars right now where we're at (Virginia) but we couldn't justify the cost when we we were able to score really cheap plane tickets and we don't have any possessions worth trucking/trailering. So we're going to sell them before we leave. We've budgeted to rent a car for two weeks. We'll reevaluate our situation after that.
    Anchorage is a tough town without a vehicle so renting is great. Used cars seem to go for a premium around here. The reserves is a PIA for sure, but it is a little bit extra to help out. As far as jobs go, her with a biology degree, there is jobs they just may take some time to get into. Nothing is to quick around here. The North slope is the busiest in the winter, and there could be some opportunities there. That's worth checking out. And becauce your just ets'ing you might be able to find a GS job on ft rich or Elmendorf.

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    Machinistmate,
    I live in Louisville, KY during the winter but live in Anchorage from late March thru September. I'll be driving up to Anchorage during the last week of March in my Ford Super Duty F250 Power Stroke, pulling a near-empty 24' cargo trailer. If I can help, let me know.
    Jerry
    jwatkins@customcpu.com
    Smile...God loves you!

    (My post-count is totally inaccurate because the system doesn't count posts in the Swap & Sell Forum, but you can trust me anyway.)

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by MachinistMate View Post
    I'm still on the fence about transitioning to the reserves, the health insurance and a few extra bucks in the bank each month would be nice but I just don't know.

    We have cars right now where we're at (Virginia) but we couldn't justify the cost when we we were able to score really cheap plane tickets and we don't have any possessions worth trucking/trailering. So we're going to sell them before we leave. We've budgeted to rent a car for two weeks. We'll reevaluate our situation after that.
    Not sure when you want to come up in May, but understand that rental costs go up in May, from like $20 a day to over $100 per day.

    Car, don't waste your money on a rental. Maybe for one or two days. Get yourself a beater car. I did it when I moved to Hawaii (as a civilian) and drove it for 2 1/2 years. Sold it for half what I spent on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shayno View Post
    Anchorage is a tough town without a vehicle so renting is great. Used cars seem to go for a premium around here. The reserves is a PIA for sure, but it is a little bit extra to help out. As far as jobs go, her with a biology degree, there is jobs they just may take some time to get into. Nothing is to quick around here. The North slope is the busiest in the winter, and there could be some opportunities there. That's worth checking out. And becauce your just ets'ing you might be able to find a GS job on ft rich or Elmendorf.
    I disagree here. It is time consuming. But if you grab a place in a central location and don't mind public transportation or stretching the legs, a car isn't needed. Granted...you would be extremely limited in what you can do outside the city, but great way to get yourself settled on a budget.

    One year, our family came in for Christmas Break. We did our normal shopping routine (our three times a year shopping runs) with two small kids (2 1/2 and 5 month old) and spent three days riding public transportation while doing errands...lol

    We are a little bit crazy.

  18. #18
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    I bet most people that move Anchorage in order to move to Alaska don't want to be stuck in Anchorage without a car.

  19. #19
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    I just moved here 2 months ago, and i would say a car is pretty important. Like Yukon Cornelius said, the price for a renal can vary, sometimes significantly. I can pm you the name of a guy who helped me out with a rental, he was much more reasonable compared to the major companies. Good luck! :-)

    Morgan

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike h View Post
    I bet most people that move Anchorage in order to move to Alaska don't want to be stuck in Anchorage without a car.
    True that. But considering that they already own two cars but are willing to sell those cars. That they are moving here with just the clothes on their back, going without a car could be an option.

    The only way, I'd do it without a car is if I stayed near campus and near my work place. Anchorage is one of the best pedestrian cities I have ever been too. Way better than any city down south IMO.

    Ultimately it all comes down to priorities and funding. Heck I have been here almost three years and still don't have a car in Alaska. The money I have spent on rental cars is about the cost of a cheap beater.

    He's young. He's adventurous.

    What say you machinistmate?

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