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Thread: Temp/local economy/area....?

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    Member Snowy's Avatar
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    Default Temp/local economy/area....?

    So, we're shooting for next summer for our move to Alaska. After exhaustingly looking at every weather site, job site, and related topic, I'm bout brain dead, so I come to yall, seeking wisdom and enlightenment (well, ok, just some wisdom and information, I'm too far gone for enlightenment LOL!)

    My question (the first of many, ) would be whats a fairly even keeled area, weather wise. In my lookings, it seems the Juneau area is about the best bet. Nothing too extreme, hot or cold. (actually it seems GA is having worse weather then that area at the moment! ) But I'm lookin for some insider information on the area's in AK. Weather, local economy, stuff like that. And preferably a place where the snowfall would trump rainfall!

    So...what say yall?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
    And preferably a place where the snowfall would trump rainfall!

    Sounds like Thompson Pass or Summit Lake. Seriously, if you don't have to work there are lots of options, or if you are a Doctor or Registered Nurse there are lots of rural options. The reason everyone is packed into the cities is not because they love city life, but that is where the employment is. What type of employment are you looking for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AGL4now View Post
    Sounds like Thompson Pass or Summit Lake. Seriously, if you don't have to work there are lots of options, or if you are a Doctor or Registered Nurse there are lots of rural options. The reason everyone is packed into the cities is not because they love city life, but that is where the employment is. What type of employment are you looking for.
    I knew I was forgettin somethin!! I probably won't be working off the bat, but will be going into law enforcement or corrections bout a year or so after we get there (hopefully) One of us will hafta have a job...unfortunatly we're not idly (sp?) wealthy!

    Hubby, on the other hand, will have a job before we move (unless we win the lotto or something similar ) so we're checking out welding/heavy diesel mechanic/equipment mechanic type jobs and will start applying for them around summer time (this year)

    We'd prefer to live in a rural area. We're 40 miles from Atlanta right now, and the growth is awful Jam packed and we might as well live in Atl, yuk!

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    Member AKDoug's Avatar
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    Seward sounds like the place for you. Much better climate in my opinion than Juneau, but on the water so it's warm. There is a big state prison there and tons of diesel things to fix like boats and heavy equipment.

    There is also a prison being built outside of Wasilla and the area seems to be hiring cops every day. Growing town with a fairly mild (for Alaska) climate and lots of rural subdivisions that you can hide in.
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    If you are looking at law enforcement that really narrows your choices down considerably. There are only two types of LEOs up here state troopers and municiple police.

    The municiple police are in the main cities: Fairbanks, Anchorage, Palmer, Wasilla, Juneau. There are a few others but these are the main ones.

    If you go the trooper route they will likely tell you where you are going to live and your first post will likely be to a non-rural area. You then move about every 3-4 years to a different post (I have a friend that is a trooper).

    Rural area employment is going to be hit or miss. A lot of time positions are not even advertised and jobs are found and obtained just by old-fashioned word-of-mouth. I think every job my wife has had was never advertised - she just heard thru the grapevine that someone was looking to hire.

    I think that most urban areas go thru the formal process a little more, but given the state of the economy (AK is not near as bad as the lower-48) I think you are going to have a hard time finding employment if you are not even in the state yet. Employers are going to want to meet you and want you to be available to start work immediately (ie. not wait for you to move up). If you have not even moved to AK prior to applying, I don't think many employers are going to consider your applications positively.

    As far as inside info on specific areas, that is going to be hard unless you narrow your potential areas. "Rural" Alaska can have about a 1000 different variables to consider depending on the location you select because every area and community is different and has its own unique characteristics, most of which you can't really figure out and analyze until you actually live there.

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    Agreed with Doug. Take a serious look at Seward. You could also live in Moose Pass or right near Tern Lake if you want to be even more out of town (Seward's population is probably somewhere around 5,000, but I'm just guessing). There is a state prison that is always recruiting people, and likely lots of work for mechanics that know what they're doing. Very close to good hunting and fishing, great hiking, lots of recreation options.

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    Seward is great.......make that 4 votes for Seward. WOW, I had a wife from Stone Mountain, GA.

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    Thanks for all the info yall!!! Lookin into Seward....Also lookin more inland as well...

    Jobs will play a role. I'm profusely hoping Hubbs can land one, maybe even Me (Or at least an almost sure thing in writing) before we head out of here. It would help thing immensly, and give me some piece of mind with the kids. I've already figured out about what we need need for income up there, vs here, to get by, so that helps some.

    We'd planned to just come up in a truck and camper (nuttin gargantious (sp?) ) which cuts costs for housing, etc for a bit at least. Nothing big, as far as belongings...clothes, necessity papers, kitchen goods, kids toys, stuff like that...99% of the rest will be sold or given away. Traveling light has advantages

    Any other tips yall can give me, even this far out in the planning stages?

    Thanks!!!
    Nic

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    Snowy,
    Years ago in the mid-70's my wife and I moved to California. Since cars and trucks had a greater resale value in California then in Illinois, where we lived at the time, I purchased a used van to haul our gear and then sold it for a profit after we got to California. I wouldn't doubt that you could do the same thing moving to Alaska.
    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rockdoc View Post
    Snowy,
    Years ago in the mid-70's my wife and I moved to California. Since cars and trucks had a greater resale value in California then in Illinois, where we lived at the time, I purchased a used van to haul our gear and then sold it for a profit after we got to California. I wouldn't doubt that you could do the same thing moving to Alaska.
    Steve
    Not likely.

    Right now our used car lots are filled with new model trucks and cars and are not moving very fast. Alaskans are always looking for a deal, so unless you can find a sucker you will sell a rig for at or below blue book value. And even that may take months if not a year to sell.

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    Right now, we don't have a vehicle that'd sell up there much less make the drive! When we get a newer "(errr is 10 years old or so considered newer? LOL!) one...it'll be for keeps. Any older diesel holds value...and is worth more then the newer crappy ones...besides...new vehicles are expensive, yikes

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
    Thanks for all the info yall!!! Lookin into Seward....Also lookin more inland as well...
    The more inland you go, the colder (in winter) and drier it will get. Not necessarily bad places, but since you mentioned you wanted snow, you will be better off closer to the coast.

    In looking at Juneau, don't be fooled by the weather. Some of the worst weather (at least in my mind) you can have in a "winter" town is anything at or above freezing. It just makes things a mess. If you like the snow to melt every day or so, rain one day, snow/slush the next, then more rain, go for it. For me, once it snows, I want it to stay frozen. Much cleaner and you can actually do something on the snow (skiing, snowmachining, snowshoeing, etc...). 40 degrees in the winter sucks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    lots of rural subdivisions that you can hide in.
    that be an evil word to me

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowy View Post
    Thanks for all the info yall!!! Lookin into Seward....Also lookin more inland as well...

    Jobs will play a role. I'm profusely hoping Hubbs can land one, maybe even Me (Or at least an almost sure thing in writing) before we head out of here. It would help thing immensly, and give me some piece of mind with the kids. I've already figured out about what we need need for income up there, vs here, to get by, so that helps some.

    We'd planned to just come up in a truck and camper (nuttin gargantious (sp?) ) which cuts costs for housing, etc for a bit at least. Nothing big, as far as belongings...clothes, necessity papers, kitchen goods, kids toys, stuff like that...99% of the rest will be sold or given away. Traveling light has advantages

    Any other tips yall can give me, even this far out in the planning stages?

    Thanks!!!
    Nic
    What have you used as a basis of figuring out what you need for income in AK? The cost of living up here is pretty high, especially if you want to get out and access some of the great spots of the state. Not to disuade you, but you can make what folks in the lower 48 would consider an aweful lot of money, and find it doesn't go that far. But as a friend has said, the cost of living in Alaska is high because it's worth it.

    Definately travel light, we were fortunate to not have much when we moved up. A camper will be great as there are plenty of rest spots to just pull over and sleep vs. paying for a hotel. When we moved up 13 years ago, hotels in Canada weren't that expensive, those in Alaska are very expensive.

    I'm kinda partial to wether in SounthCentral (anchorage/matsu area) It doesn't get that cold, at least for too long, enough snow to enjoy winter, In Alaskan terms you're close to most of the state (close means you can drive there in a day) Housing is expensive, but the other items you'll purchase are as inexpensive as you'll find anywhere in the state.

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    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you will most likely looking at lots in subdivisions if you are going to work in a town and on the road system. Of course, most of the smallest ones are in the one acre lot size outside the cities. Anything over 5 acres within a drive of a decent place to work is going to cost real money....and you think 10 yr old trucks are expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian M View Post
    You could also live in Moose Pass or right near Tern Lake if you want to be even more out of town
    Brian, please stop telling people about Moose Pass. If everybody movees there then I will no longer want to.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    AK Ray,
    Before I moved to Kalifornia back in 1974 I purchased a 1969 Ford van with a blown engine for $100. I spent $300 on a low-mileage used engine which I installed myself, gave it some other repairs (brake job, cheap paint job to cover up the Maytag lettering) by the time I was done I had about $600 total invested and did the work over a 6 month period so it didn't seem like so much. I easily sold the van for $1000 in Kalifornia and I also saved the cost of renting a U-Haul one way. The point is I'm not suggesting they buy something almost new, years ago I sold cars for 3 years and I can tell you from experience, there's always a market for good running inexpensive older cars or trucks. BTW a friend in Anchorage recently totaled his 4WD Toyota and he ended up purchasing another in Washington state. Even after paying $1500 to have it shipped to Anchorage he still saved money over the local market.
    Steve
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    What have you used as a basis of figuring out what you need for income in AK? The cost of living up here is pretty high, especially if you want to get out and access some of the great spots of the state. Not to disuade you, but you can make what folks in the lower 48 would consider an aweful lot of money, and find it doesn't go that far. But as a friend has said, the cost of living in Alaska is high because it's worth it.

    Definately travel light, we were fortunate to not have much when we moved up. A camper will be great as there are plenty of rest spots to just pull over and sleep vs. paying for a hotel. When we moved up 13 years ago, hotels in Canada weren't that expensive, those in Alaska are very expensive.

    I'm kinda partial to wether in SounthCentral (anchorage/matsu area) It doesn't get that cold, at least for too long, enough snow to enjoy winter, In Alaskan terms you're close to most of the state (close means you can drive there in a day) Housing is expensive, but the other items you'll purchase are as inexpensive as you'll find anywhere in the state.
    I've used several different cost of living calculators on the internet, and plugged in the various pay rates we've lived on vs how its effected our financial state/quality. As in, we made x amount here, this is how the financials were like, and according to the COL calc, it equaled x amt of wages in AK. The good thing, is we'll be moving to AK competely debt free, with only vehicle insurance and cell phone costs (of course, food etc as well)

    yup, we aint got much to begin with, so, selling what little we have, and traveling light helps make the journey easier. Besides, I hate packing


    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but you will most likely looking at lots in subdivisions if you are going to work in a town and on the road system. Of course, most of the smallest ones are in the one acre lot size outside the cities. Anything over 5 acres within a drive of a decent place to work is going to cost real money....and you think 10 yr old trucks are expensive.
    No, I don't think 10yo trucks are expensive...I meant I always end up callin something about 10yo newer, until I think how old they really are

    Well, subdivisions still stink. We've managed to avoid em completely so far. Guess we'll see if we can keep up the streak when we get there! Either way, it'd be worth it just to be back up in AK

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    I just don't know how accurate the online cost of living calculators are. Just wanted to give you a heads up that costs in AK can add up quick and a dollar might not go as far as the calculator suggests. Not to mention you'll be buying things wouldn't have a use for down south, i.e. winter clothing, skis, snowshoes etc. But AK salaries are generally pretty good.

    As far as subdivisions, anytime land is broken up they call it a subdivision. They vary from houses an arms distance to the next, to 5 acre lots with horses, and everything in between.

    If you're looking for rural, you'll probably be happiest with the Matanuska/Sustina area, i.e. Palmer and Wasilla. Winters aren't too harsh and housing isn't too expensive.

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    Thanks Paul, I do appreciate the heads up Having as much information ahead of time helps out greatly!!!

    We're lookin into winter clothing now, actually. Checking out thermals/long underwear, boots, kids gear, stuff like that...so we have time to check for the best deals, instead of being cut short looking when we're already there and in the midst of winter.

    Searching the forum, I've also checked out equipment for vehicles, etc, and have a list going of what would be needed summer vs winter, etc.


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