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Thread: Best Places to Live near Anchorage - With Kids

  1. #1
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    Default Best Places to Live near Anchorage - With Kids

    I know there have been similar threads, but all a bit outdated.
    I currently live on Kodiak with my wife and 3 young boys. Not immediate, but we may look to relocate to Anchorage in around 2 years time for my wife's professional advancement.
    The need is for her to work in Anch itself.
    We would like to buy land and build our own place.
    I know it won't be anything like Kodiak, but what are best surrounding areas that are commuteable (40mins), good for boys (they will be 11, 7 and 6 when we move), good schools, good outdoors access (for Dad!) and reasonable land prices.
    I know that is a big list, but some pointers so I can start the research would be helpful.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member fullbush's Avatar
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    You can buy my house w/ 5acres in Wasilla. 45 min from downtown Anchorage. Your own moose reserve, the little Su., Wasilla Warriors, 10 min from palins house what more could you want?

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    I would have suggested "Girdwood" up till the point where you said Reasonable priced Land.

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    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    What is reasonably priced land these days? Everything I have looked at for building on near a road is over priced swamp or seriously over priced "dry" ground. At one parcel the only dry ground was the 40 feet next to the road. The rest of it was suitable for duck hunting once I removed a few trees.

    The Valley is about all that fits in to what you are looking for.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    You are looking at the valley to achieve the things you want for anything near a "reasonable" price. I left Wasilla due to the increasing congestion and the long commute in order to get out to reasonable sized lots.

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    i myself have a very similar question, i've been reading alot of the threads on the whole sight and there seems to be alot of unrest regarding the way the goverment are wanting to change alaskan way fuel price increases and so on i live in england and i'am thinking seriously of somewhere to move to to find a better was of live and future for my daughter you wouldnt belive the state of this country i dont see theres a future for the little angle.
    we're a outdoors family hunting, fishing, horse riding, camping and we race pigeons ect if we where to move to alaska where would be the best area to move too ?????? i've been looking for weeks to find out about racing pigeons in alaska i know theres at least two clubs but carnt find any info if anyone can shed any light on it it would be much appriciated.
    also some info on cost of living and genaral way of live would be great its a big step moving to the other side of the world but something i think i need to do any info would be a great help atb sam

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Bird/Indian is a good option. The schools in Wasilla are "questionable" (nothing personal to the Wasilla folks). All of the lots are at least 2.5 acres. Access to Anchorage is easy. There are 4-wheeler trails right off the road that allow access to pretty country. You are as close to lift accessible skiing as you are to groceries.

    Or...you could buy my house in Eagle River so I could move back out there.
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    Member JOAT's Avatar
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    I would have said Soldotna/Kenai outskirts... until you said the job had to be "in" Anchorage.

    You're either going to be close to Anchorage or you're going to have all your other requirments (schools, access, reasonalble pricing, etc). You'll never find both without considerable compromise.

    IMHO
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phish Finder View Post
    Bird/Indian is a good option. The schools in Wasilla are "questionable" (nothing personal to the Wasilla folks). All of the lots are at least 2.5 acres. Access to Anchorage is easy. There are 4-wheeler trails right off the road that allow access to pretty country. You are as close to lift accessible skiing as you are to groceries.

    Or...you could buy my house in Eagle River so I could move back out there.
    I'm looking to buy PhishFinder, are you seriously selling? I like in ER too, and love it.

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    Eagle River has good schools, easy access to the outdoors, and a short commute to Anchorage.

    Land prices however, are not cheap. I looked at 10 acres (no house/cabin/yurt) for $250,000! Ouch.

    I'd suggest Palmer/Wasilla, as it's still close enough to Anchorage and land is far cheaper.

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuel E Fishin Sea View Post
    I'm looking to buy PhishFinder, are you seriously selling? I like in ER too, and love it.
    I'm absolutely serious. Eagle River is great for some folks. My neighbors all love it. I'd sell tomorrow.
    ><((((>.`..`.. ><((((>`..`.><((((>

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    Hello-
    I grew up in Eagle River and loved it there. As an adult I saw the pricing of housing balloon and the area become more crowded with people. Your budget may help you determine where to look. A decent size home on a small lot in Anchorage or Eagle River will be a minimum of about $300k. You may find some bigger lots in Chugiak for this price range as well. If you're looking for land to build on and don't mind a commute you may want to consider Wasilla or Palmer. There are lots of developed neighborhoods with big lots of an acre plus starting around $180 for the older homes and up for newer. Without as much traffic you can still feel safe about your kids playing in the neighborhood and riding bikes. The only drawback is the commute. It takes 2 hours from the day with your family and is something to be considered. It is a wonderful place to live if you can stand the commute.

  13. #13
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    After having lived in Eagle River for 13 years, we're planning on moving to Anchorage this year. Our kids are 11, 14 and 16, and we spend so much time driving into Anchorage for activities, we might as well live here. When we moved to Eagle River, homes were 10% less than Anchorage, that disparity has now disapeared, and it seems in certain price ranges Anchorage homes are slightly less expensive than Eagle River.

    I'd say put a serious value on your time, and figure the cost of gas for your vehicle, as well as wear and tear. To me, it's cheaper to live in Anchorage based on fuel savings, and my time is priceless.

    If you can afford to live on the hillside, you can have incredible hiking and x-country skiing minutes from your house, good schools, and great views. Not to mention at least for us, all of the areas we like to recreate in are South of Anchorage.

    There still are some lots available to build on in Anhorage, but they are expensive and pretty far back in the hillside, so to me that looses the advantage of being in town.

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    If your wife is willing to commute, I would live in the Valley. If your interested is being able to drive your ATV's and snowgo's from your house, stay away from Palmer City Limits. Anyplace else, its an ATV/Snowgo friendly community. Colony School District is a great school and there is also a Career Tech H/S where a student can learn a trade http://www.matsuk12.us/cte/site/default.asp. Students that attend there want to be there. Its an awesome school that is run like a professional bussiness. The good thing about this school is your children can attend from any location for the most part that you live in the valley. PM me if your interested in specifics. Home and property prices are still pretty reasonable. You can be at Sportsmans warehouse one minute and 15-30 minutes later, in a decent hunting, fishing location. The valley is growing so move as far out as your wife is willing to commute.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chico99645 View Post
    If your wife is willing to commute, I would live in the Valley. If your interested is being able to drive your ATV's and snowgo's from your house, stay away from Palmer City Limits. Anyplace else, its an ATV/Snowgo friendly community. Colony School District is a great school and there is also a Career Tech H/S where a student can learn a trade http://www.matsuk12.us/cte/site/default.asp. Students that attend there want to be there. Its an awesome school that is run like a professional bussiness. The good thing about this school is your children can attend from any location for the most part that you live in the valley. PM me if your interested in specifics. Home and property prices are still pretty reasonable. You can be at Sportsmans warehouse one minute and 15-30 minutes later, in a decent hunting, fishing location. The valley is growing so move as far out as your wife is willing to commute.
    I agree completely the valley is an excellent choice. Plenty of room for the kiddies to roam yet not to far shopping. People are friendly and take pride in being from the valley. I think it is a great place to raise a family.

  16. #16
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I grew up in Wasilla, went to Wasilla middle then jumped to Colony for 8th-12th, needless to say I was surprised how much I was behind when I made the transition! I was actually in Colony High School before they ever had a senior class and even met my wife on the school bus. We have since lived in TX, and FL and when our kids hit school age we moved back home. We lived up KGB when we first moved back up and actually liked Goose Bay elementary but the commute was BRUTAL and I was not thrilled w/ the middle school options.

    Wasilla is too crowded now compared to when I was a kid. Back in the day we had Carrs, Safeway, Lamonts and Payless drugs. B&J's went under as did Outdoors and more leaving Chimo's as the only long term sporting goods store. I used to ride my dirtbike in to Carrs to pick up odds and ends for mom and never got bothered since there wasn't even a police dept there till 93. I left Wasilla in 2008 and won't live there again. We moved to Palmer near Colony and are not likely to leave until the kids are done w/ school. Commute from that area is a breeze compared to pretty much anywhere else in the valley. It was a bit of a pain on bad roads when we moved in but the Trunk road straightening project will fix that. We have 3bears just minutes away and can run to Palmer for odds and ends. Palmer today reminds me of Wasilla when I was little except that they get mad if you drive a dirtbike to Carrs I have no problem at all running my wheeler up to 3 bears though.

    My wife will be going back to work after three years of school this fall. (FYI Mat-Su Community College is right near Colony as well) and she may get stuck commuting. We will put up w/ it for a few years but if both of us end up having to commute permanently we will no doubt begin to look for other options. I hate commuting but it is probably economical for just one person w/ a beater car. For a couple to both commute the cost on family time is getting too steep. I had a pretty manageable schedule working 4 tens from 6-4pm. Having an "odd" schedule like that is great because you beat the rush hour traffic, 8-5 mon-fri would be the definition of misery. That is especially true since the base lets out at 430pm. You NEED to be coasting down eagle river hill by 430pm, if you can do that then you are nearly always home free.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    lotsa land up in bear valley in anchorage 1/2 acre lots 20-30k not bad, check it out. good area to live.
    Semper Fi!

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Wasilla is too crowded now , Palmer today reminds me of Wasilla when I was little.

    aint that the truth! i would never think of living in wasilla! its like a extension of muldoon.
    Semper Fi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    aint that the truth! i would never think of living in wasilla! its like a extension of muldoon.
    So where exactly is Meth-Su Alaska Greyhorne3?

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    i live on the right side of the valley, the left is to crowded with dummies, houses on top of each other, i dont like to look out my window adn see 10 other houses, i do that when im in my anchorage house.
    Semper Fi!

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