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Thread: moving at the end of May

  1. #1

    Default moving at the end of May

    My girlfriend and I are planning on making the move to Alaska with our dog and cat at the end of May. As of now, our plans are to drive my 2002 Tacoma up to Washington, hop on the ferry, and then get off at Haines.

    We have always wanted to check out Haines. We'll then drive up to Anchorage, and we were thinking about looking for a place to rent in Seward or right outside of Seward, bear creek maybe?

    What are the chances that we can find a place to rent before or right when we get there? We don't really care what kind of place it is, as long as it is somewhat affordable and allows cats and dogs.

    Any additional input would be greatly appreciated. I will probably have more questions as the time gets closer.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    When my wife and I moved to AK we had a really hard time finding someone to rent to us before we where here. Part of that was due to the fact that Anchorage is sort of a "sellers" market in the rental area. We just moved up and stayed at the Motel 6 for a week while looked for a place to live. I can't comment on Seward but I would think that there is a fairly large seasonal population that rents places just for the summer. Will you be working in Seward?

    Good luck it is an adventure.

  3. #3

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    no jobs as of yet.. We are pretty much just going for it and hoping for the best!

  4. #4
    Member Hayduke's Avatar
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    What is your trade? I don't know what kind of jobs Seward offers during the winter. I am sure there are jobs during the Summer but I would think winter work might be tough to come by. The Anchorage area offers a lot more opportunity to work but if I could I would much rather be living in Seward!

  5. #5

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    I have a list of many trades. I am experienced in building custom homes and have a hobby of doing woodcarving. I have all my own tools and can do tile work, siding, framing, finish work, etc. Here is a picture of some stuff I like to carve as a hobby:
    179839_1835768620274_1422234873_32121919_2692054_n.jpg180556_1835769300291_1422234873_32121924_5404808_n.jpg
    If I could find some galleries to put my stuff in, that would help a little bit with the finances on the side.
    I have experience Serving/ Bussing tables also(definitely my least favorite)
    My girlfriend is a massage therapist. We are hoping there will be some type of that work there as well.

    In the winter time we are planning on making the move to Girdwood. I have worked on ski patrol for 6 seasons now and would love to get a job patrolling at Alyeska. Seward is more attractive in the summer to us because it seems like there is more of a summer scene there. We are also both way into fishing as well..

    Thank you for your input!

  6. #6
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It's been just shy of 14 years since we moved up. We arrived at the end of April, and were able to find a place to rent within a few days of arriving in Wasilla. We had friends to stay with for a few days while we got settled.

    I have no clue what the housing situation is in Seward, but considering the economy isn't exploding, I'd imagine it shouldn't be too hard to find a place to rent. I'd look on Craigslist to see what's listed, there should be something available.

    Not to dash your dreams, but you'll probably have a hard time getting on the Alyeska ski patrol. That's a very competitive gig. That said, I've always held that anyone who is willing to work hard, show up on time and show up sober will be able to prosper in Alaska. But you do need to allow some time to get going and a couple years to get adjusted to Alaska, make connections, and find the best fit for you. Winter in Girdwood and summer in Seward would be a great way to go, here's hoping you figure a way to make it work for you. Just be willing to be a bit flexible in what job you're willing to do and where you might have to live.

  7. #7

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    As others have said, Seward is a very seasonal place, and it is not a cheap place to rent. It is hard, though, to find a place willing to rent for less than a 1-year lease. Most renters aren't looking to rent to seasonal people knowing that there won't be any new people showing up in the fall/winter to fill the vacancy when they leave. You might be able to talk someone into a 9-month lease, but that is a gamble. I have done that once before and it wasn't a walk in the park. Finding a place that will also allow pets is going to further complicate things. Being that Seward is only 2 hours from Anchorage, you might find it a lot easier to get a place in Anchorage to start with. It will be cheaper, closer to more things that will help you get situated up here and still within fairly easy reach of Seward and closer to Girdwood if/when that move happens.

    Make sure to get the vet checkup for your pets before driving them into/through Canada. They require a recent vet record, but I can't recall if it was within 30 or 90 days).

  8. #8

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    ok.. so now we are thinking that it might be more cost effective and better to just move to where we plan on being for the winter, that way we wont have to move from Seward to Girdwood after we get there..

    that being said, i would assume that it should be relatively easy to find a place to rent since the ski season would be winding down. What is Girdwood like in the spring/ summer? Are there viable fishing options? Is it a "tourist destination"? I'm open to doing any kind of work there is, just so I can get settled and acquainted. What kind of jobs could one expect to find there?

  9. #9
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I think you'll find rental rates in Girdwood will be pretty steep.

    As far as fishing, you're 45 minutes closer to the Kenai, Seward etc than Anchorage, so plenty of fishing options, but you'll have to drive 1-2 hours to get to it.

    There should be some possibilities of summer jobs for the tourist industry in Girdwood.

  10. #10
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    Codester

    Wife and I moved here just over a year ago and sounds like we did just what you are describing. Through the minimum in a little trailer and drove up in Feb. I can attest to the difficulties in finding a decent place to rent with pets. Don't know what your price range is, but I was shocked at the rental market compared to lower 48. If you do not already, make Alaskalist and Craigslist your best friend. Check it several times a day, you will find that the good ones go quickly. Also, this sounds dumb, but create a renters profile that describes you, your girlfiend, your pets, your autos, your work and your hobbies. When a place comes up that you like, get it to the landlord quickly. We had to settle for a place less desirable for the first six months and took 2.5 months to find a beter place after that. My suggestion, find a six mont lease. Takes a bit to determine where and what you really like. Seward is seasonal!!!! We had the same idea, we wanted to live there, but were not willing to take the few low paying jobs offered through the winter, and you are competing with the locals for those as well. Girdwood is very nice, but for comparison, think of Tahoe! Rent is a bit higher, it is touristy and it is a 45 minute commute to Anchorage. This is were you will find most of your employement opportunity. Local fishing in Girdwood is also seasonal. You have Bird Creek and a few others that get a fall salmon run which are close. Other than that, you are a bit closer to Whittier, Seward and the Kenai than us weekend wariiors in Anchorage. Check the border regs, pets, passports, on hand cash and weapons were the order of the day as we passed through. No handguns! Didn't see that one and was a bit of a mess. Anyways, good luck in your endevours. Alaskans are the best and most have been very helpful. Seems like most have made the same or very similar steps to get here.

    TGJ

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TGJ View Post
    Codester

    Wife and I moved here just over a year ago and sounds like we did just what you are describing. Through the minimum in a little trailer and drove up in Feb. I can attest to the difficulties in finding a decent place to rent with pets. Don't know what your price range is, but I was shocked at the rental market compared to lower 48. If you do not already, make Alaskalist and Craigslist your best friend. Check it several times a day, you will find that the good ones go quickly. Also, this sounds dumb, but create a renters profile that describes you, your girlfiend, your pets, your autos, your work and your hobbies. When a place comes up that you like, get it to the landlord quickly. We had to settle for a place less desirable for the first six months and took 2.5 months to find a beter place after that. My suggestion, find a six mont lease. Takes a bit to determine where and what you really like. Seward is seasonal!!!! We had the same idea, we wanted to live there, but were not willing to take the few low paying jobs offered through the winter, and you are competing with the locals for those as well. Girdwood is very nice, but for comparison, think of Tahoe! Rent is a bit higher, it is touristy and it is a 45 minute commute to Anchorage. This is were you will find most of your employement opportunity. Local fishing in Girdwood is also seasonal. You have Bird Creek and a few others that get a fall salmon run which are close. Other than that, you are a bit closer to Whittier, Seward and the Kenai than us weekend wariiors in Anchorage. Check the border regs, pets, passports, on hand cash and weapons were the order of the day as we passed through. No handguns! Didn't see that one and was a bit of a mess. Anyways, good luck in your endevours. Alaskans are the best and most have been very helpful. Seems like most have made the same or very similar steps to get here.

    TGJ
    Good information there.

    I think the regulations have recently (within the last year or so) changed somewhat with regards to transporting of firearms. There is some information here: http://cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/travel-voyage/kwte-qatf-eng.html If you look down to the "firearms" section. It appears that there is a way to apply for a permit to transport restricted and prohibited firearms, including handguns, through Canada as long as you have the permit ahead of time, but I haven't done it myself to know how well it works. It definitely would be something to look into if you were going to be transporting any kind of firearm through. When looking for that, I saw one story about a guy who tried to transport a handgun through without declaring it (1 year prison sentence). Not a good thing.

  12. #12

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    Right now it is difficult to figure out where we want to move. So far the attractive places are Girdwood, Seward, Haines or Anchorage. I can't stand living in a city, so Anchorage is unattractive for that reason. But it is attractive because rent is cheaper and there is likely to be more opportunity for work.

    The problem is, we want to be living in Girdwood by the time the mountain opens. So if we were to get a 6 month lease, my fear is we would be moving to Girdwood a little too late. What are the chances of getting a month-to-month lease on the outskirts/ suburb of Anchorage, so we would be able to move to Girdwood in October/ November sometime? Are there places on the outskirts of Anchorage that are more rural and less "city like"?

    We are excited about the move, but also nervous about traveling up there with the pets and no house to move into and no jobs lined up.

  13. #13
    Member skybust's Avatar
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    Look at Wasilla area you could live in Big lake and then drive into Wasilla for work. There are jobs in wasilla they arent all the highest paying jobs but if a person wonts to work it can be done. Dont know if you would be interested but look into the department of corrections they seem to be always hiring and the biggest prison in the state is in Seward they work a week on and a week off hope this helps

  14. #14
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codester View Post
    Are there places on the outskirts of Anchorage that are more rural and less "city like"?
    On the Girdwood end of town there are Indian and Bird Creek which are rural town sites along the highway in two of the canyons that are buildable in without being a mountain goat to get to a home site. The rentals in these two areas go from tarps strung between birch trees to a couple grand a month. I have known two people over the years that rented a cabin in Indian and worked a job in Anchorage. Both cabins were wet but also required two jobs in the $15/hr range to pay the rent. There are a couple of multi-family houses in Indian.

  15. #15
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    We made the trip in Jan 08 from CO but for the most part had a house waiting to move into with in 10 days. You will have a tough time finding a place that will accept pets....
    Most want a year lease because they don't want it empty in the winter.
    Work versus where you live, well gas is already 3.90 pgal and itís going to get way worse before summer. I understand wanting to live in the country versus the city but there is always a trade off.
    Expect and plan to have a SEVERAL grad in your pocket before you make the trip you will need it once you get here. You are moving up when the prices are going for winter rates to tourist rates on everything from housing to renting a hotel.
    There is always a job that needs to be filled but keep in mind a lot of those summer jobs are just that SUMMER Jobs.
    Firearms in Canada, they will not give you much grief as long as you donít have pistols or assault type firearms. Rifles, shotguns are fine and all you have to do is give them length, cal, SN, and pay a small fee and you are on your way. They may inspect you veh and want to see your firearms but for the most part that is it. Pets have to have a vet check before coming in Ö
    Check Craigslist and Alaska List to get some sort of idea on prices to prepare yourself for the trip.
    Good luck


    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  16. #16

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    I have been watching craigslist closely for the past month or so and it appears that rent is pretty much equal to what I am paying here in the eastern sierra of California. So that doesn't bother me too much.
    More and more, I am thinking that it will be easiest to start out in Girdwood. Right around the time we are moving up should be right around the time the ski resort is wrapping up and people will be moving out. I have been looking at this place called the Creekside at Alyeska. They offer rates that are affordable to us, allow pets, and it is within walking distance of a lot of amenities. Does anybody have any inside info on this place?
    Another advantage is that since my girlfriend is a massage therapist, she could work at the spa right there. As long as there are any piddly little jobs, I think I can get by. I am used to living in a tourist fed town and seasonal work. I feel I could do just about anything in the summertime, but my ultimate goal for the winter would be to get on ski patrol. If not that, I could be an instructor or something hopefully to get my foot in the door.
    As for firearms, I don't have any. I will probably purchase some once I get up there, so that's not going to be an issue. Thanks for the insight though!

    Thank you all for your advice and time!
    I appreciate every little bit of info you guys are giving me!

  17. #17
    Member AK Ray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codester View Post
    I could be an instructor or something hopefully to get my foot in the door.
    The ski school always needs instructors for the kids as well as race program coaches. They have a good core group, but always need filler once the mountain opens up.

  18. #18

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    Thanks for that suggestion.
    I would love to be a race team coach or free-ride team coach.
    I can also telemark very proficiently!

  19. #19
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    Good for you to want to live here and not be in Anchorage. you could ask the 100,000 people that drive into town every day for work how that's working out for them. Here is a idea for you. live where ever you want and don't worry about finding a job and just make one up for yourself. you say you can carve wood well this is a very tourist state and there is a big demand for good hand made craft. I know becouse Ive been doing it for more than 20 years here.There is a sat and sunday market in anchorage thru the summer. Contact Bill Webb for a space and set up there on the weekends and if you have the right stuff you can make enough to make it. not the easiest way to make a dollar but if you get to do what you like to do its well worth it. Remember to make something unique and not very big for travelers to carry and keep the price point as low as you can and still make a $$.I have been lucky in my arts and have made a good living doing what I want and living outside the city. I'm finally to a point in life I don't need the market or shows and just wholesale to many shops all over the state. Since you like the Girdwood, Seward area you might want to check out Hope. Buy land, build from pocket, live simple & enjoy your life. Good luck!

  20. #20

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    That sounds like great advice powerdrifter.
    I feel like I could definitely get by, by carving and then getting a job doing something else as well. We really like the looks of the Creekside at Alyeska in Girdwood to rent from. Seems like the price is comparable to what we are paying now. The main problem with that, is that I wouldn't have a place to carve. What are the chances I would be able to "rent out" somebody's shed to carve in?

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