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Thread: I am relocating to Anchorage area soon, Need Advice!

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    Default I am relocating to Anchorage area soon, Need Advice!

    Hello All, I am coming from the lower 48 and my wife has been offered a job in Anchorage. I have visited Alaska and I am excited to go, but have some questions that maybe you folks could help me with. We are not sure where exactly we want to live. The plan is to probably rent for a year so we can get the lay of the land before buying. We have looked at some of the surrounding areas that by our standards don't seem very far but I am not naive enough to think that Alaska is anything like what I am used too. I have an 11 year old girl and a furry 4 legged son that goes with me nearly everywhere so I am looking for family oriented places and good schools. Would Wasilla be to far for a daily commute into Anchorage? Would winter make this not feasible? Other areas? I don't say this to brag but just so you know what we are working with my wife makes a 130k salary and I am a Registered Nurse and Paramedic so finding work is usually not a problem for me. Any ideas on areas would be a HUGE help!

    P.S Any input on how to get involved and embrace the Alaska lifestyle would make you my friend for life. We love the outdoors. Im not much of a fisherman (but love to learn). We are firearms enthusiasts but its been years since I have hunted (also want to pick it back up)

    Thanks Everyone!

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    You could look at all the towns to include Wasilla for a commute back to Anchorage but keep in mind that fuel is on the rise all over the USA. Right now itís in the area of 4.10 per gal so your fuel bill could get quit high once it goes to 5.00 a gal. Winter driving is not much different here than most of the lower 48 states that have real winters. If you are used to the city then Anchorage will fit your needs but Wasilla is more of a country atmosphere or it once was.
    You are right on the job part RN or Paramedics there is always a demand for but you will find most of your work in Anchorage for that.
    Relocation time? What time of the year?
    That is a good idea to rent while and get a feel for the area and look for a home that will fit your familyís needs.
    I really canít give you much on the schools but I am sure someone on here can.
    Good luck

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

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    It looks like June. They want her now but she has to wrap up a project at her current job. I can only imagine what moving during winter would entail. I live in N.C so we get some snow but it quickly just turns to ice.

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    With her Salary you will be able to afford to live in pretty much any area you desire...My advice would be to rent (like you said) in Eagle River, Chugiak, Peters Creek area.
    It is outside of Anchorage, but not near as far as Palmer / Wasilla (AKA the valley). After 1 winter of commuting, you and the wife will know wheter you can handle the commute or not and then make you decision on wheter to remain in that area, move further out to the valley, or move closer in to the city...
    I am not going to say there is no bad schools here, but I don't think any of them are all that bad.
    FWIW, I live in the Valley-commute to the base here (JBER) - and kids are/were in colony school district.

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. How do u feel about living in Anchorage proper? At least for the first year that is. Im having a hard time locating many rentals on the web. Are there any local listings or agents that I should try and contact?

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    My wife and I were in a similar situation as you. We lived in Anchorage for one year and than moved to Wasilla. Anchorage housing is very expensive. We bought a small house out here and spend less per month on housing than the crappy townhouse we rented in ANC. Finding rentals before we moved up proved to be extremly difficult. I think you should try to make a week long trip up here to secure housing before you make the move. We lived in a motel for the first week looking for housing and had to settle on the first available place. I don't think landlords are interested in talking until you are physically in state.

    We are both nurses my wife is an RN and I am LPN. There should be plenty of opportunity for you. I think any of the hospitals are great places to work. I don't know about Mat-Su regional but I know an RT that works there and he likes it.

    Finding success in fishing or hunting is a bit of a sharp learning curve. Basically, it boils down to what your expectations and drive are. This is a huge state with complex regulations that vary by area. Start reading the reg book online now (lol)! I am still a cheechako but my wife and I are learning fast.

    Good luck on your move,

    Brian Sexton

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'll second the Eagle River recommendation, but that's where I live, so perhaps I'm a bit biased. It's a good mix between access to Anchorage (10 miles), good outdoors opportunities (lots of hiking out your back door and a couple of fishing/hunting opportunities if you're willing to work for them), good schools, and much more of a small town feel than Anchorage. Wasilla and Palmer would work, but why spend 2 hours a day driving when you could spend 15 minutes each way instead?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonR View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone. How do u feel about living in Anchorage proper? At least for the first year that is. Im having a hard time locating many rentals on the web. Are there any local listings or agents that I should try and contact?
    Hi Jason,
    I absolutely despise living in Anchorage, and I'm only here to finish college....that's it. Lived out at Big Lake (outside of Wasilla) for about a year before I joined this forum and didn't care for that either. I would wake up a 4:00 AM in the morning and just lay there in bed half asleep partly waking to take a sip of coffee and then closing my eyes again. Eventually after about a half an hour of alternating between sleep and a couple cups of coffee......I would finally pull out of my drowsiness and hit the highway to make the drive in with some of the most disgustingly putrid people you could ever be on the highway with in the dead of winter. Not my type of life. South Anchorage has been pretty chill but still not cuttin it for me. I decided that after coming back out of the bush in the end of this August........my lady n I are going to try and rent a cabin down in Girdwood and only commute together to Anchorage 2 or three times a week for class.......and that's it. As soon as my degrees are done........my Alaska doesnt involve a lame city with a lame job and only short breaks from the rat race. My AK's gotta be remote. Good luck with your move!

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    Hey Jason,,,,,,,,,, If u are used to a city kind of life I would plan on in Anchorage the first yr. Eagle River area is ok too But... I would just concentrate on getting my shiit together first, job wise. Have a easy or No commute to worry about. Gas will be expensive. You wont have to worry about drive time, accidents, etc. Keep your basic life simple till u get your feet under u. Explore outward as u get comfy. It wont take u long and u will be comfortable with your surroundings and can make decisions based on what u learned while comfy. I think anyone in Anchorage could put up with it, being new and all for one year. I've moved alot and always thought that taking care of the immediate responsibilities (work and family) made it easiest to explore and plan for other options. My two cents..... Cod

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    Jason

    "4 legged son" that's funny.

    If you think you might find a place to rent in Anc. stay away from the north side of town. Also I would shy away from a large apartment complex and try to find a house on a cul de sac or backed up to some woods.

    If you are going to get out you'll need a back up gun. My 1st pick would be a S&W 460 staying away from too long of a barrel. 2nd for a general purpose in the woods hiking, fishing and not hunting perse a 12 ga. shotgun extended feed with barrel no longer than the feed,and possibly a folding stock.

    Have fun and good luck---Kevin
    Are we talking about goals or are we talking about dreams? AkKevin The one and only

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    Jason,

    I raised my family in Anchorage (lived in Eagle River for a while at first). It's been good to us; everything we do during our normal work week is here. Plus we are centrally-located for fishing trips north or south out of town.

    Give me a shout when you hit town. We'd be happy to meet you and welcome you to Alaska. I will be overseas for a bit in June, but give a call and let's get together.

    Congratulations on starting this next big chapter of your life! What an exciting time.

    -Mike
    LOST CREEK COMPANY: Specializing in Alaska hunt consultation and planning for do-it-yourself hunts, fully outfitted hunts, and guided hunts.
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    You might try one of the property management companies, like Jack White or Coldwell Bankers. (Better check those names, it is still early)

    Anchorage is real close to Alaska and SOME of the people act like Alaskans. I currently live here now, but have lived all over the state. My work is here, as am I.
    Live life and love it
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    I would second on the advance trip up for a week to do a look see before you show up. It will answer a good bit of doubts or questions you may have. When we moved up I a few years back I had been overseas and found a couple house that looked good to us so the wife took a flight up for a week to look at the houses and when i got back to the states a month later we drove up in Jan with the big trailer and bought the house. We did spend about 10 days in a motel and they cut us a great deal but still it was a pretty good chunk of change out of the pocket. In June you will be seeing the summer prices on a hotel which could mount up in a hurry.
    It might even be a bit easier dealing with a rental doing a face to face versus doing it over the phone.

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

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    June will be a great time to move with nice weather and lots of daylight for the full Alaska affect. I'm on board with these other gents who suggest making a pilot run before hand ( much like the ooligan do that time of year) to check things out and secure some housing. It may be harder to find a decent rental than it would to just buy a place. Like Brian suggests, Eagle River is a great place to live if you will be working in Anchorage everyday. The Eagle River commute is easy since the highway is lighted and three lanes all the way. The Valley commute is a huge waste of time and very expensive in the long run. The University/Medical District of Anchorage could be an good option since it will probably be close to both of your future employers. Your could buy a condo in the U/Med district for now and buy a house later. Then, use the condo as a rental. I recommend making a visit first to look things over and secure a place. It will make the move that much easier.

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    My family has lived in Anchorage since my oldest was born, (13 years ago).We live in South Anchorage near the golf course / zoo. We are in an older neighborhood and enjoy living here. It is not like being in a city but we are only a few minutes away from the Dimond Mall, Costco, and Samís Club area.

    We have four kids in Anchorage Schools, which for the most part are good unless you have a child that has some learning disability then ASD is a nightmare.

    Anchorage has a lot of great things for a family to do and you are in a central area to get to great outdoor activities.

    I grew up in a small town, less than 500 people, and have lived in remote Alaska, 16 years in Barrow and 2 in the village of Wainwright. I am not generally a fan of big cities but depending where you live in Anchorage it can be a great place to live and raise a family.

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    Default Thanks Mike

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Strahan View Post
    Jason,

    I raised my family in Anchorage (lived in Eagle River for a while at first). It's been good to us; everything we do during our normal work week is here. Plus we are centrally-located for fishing trips north or south out of town.

    Give me a shout when you hit town. We'd be happy to meet you and welcome you to Alaska. I will be overseas for a bit in June, but give a call and let's get together.

    Congratulations on starting this next big chapter of your life! What an exciting time.

    -Mike
    Tried to send you a p.m but it wouldn't let me. Guess I don't have sufficient privledges yet? Anywho, I appreciate the offer and will definitely look you up. So much to do.... So little time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AkKevin View Post
    Jason

    "4 legged son" that's funny.

    If you think you might find a place to rent in Anc. stay away from the north side of town. Also I would shy away from a large apartment complex and try to find a house on a cul de sac or backed up to some woods.

    If you are going to get out you'll need a back up gun. My 1st pick would be a S&W 460 staying away from too long of a barrel. 2nd for a general purpose in the woods hiking, fishing and not hunting perse a 12 ga. shotgun extended feed with barrel no longer than the feed,and possibly a folding stock.

    Have fun and good luck---Kevin
    Yeah he doesn't have any clue he isn't human and I don't have the heart to tell him. Thanks for the advice everyone. Its definitely been a big help.

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    Member Derby06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JasonR View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone. How do u feel about living in Anchorage proper? At least for the first year that is. Im having a hard time locating many rentals on the web. Are there any local listings or agents that I should try and contact?
    I see no issue with anchorage proper...Avoid Muldoon area as well as government hill area. I have always heard they are not the better parts of town...Plenty of agents and I say search the internet sites and go with the one that has someting that you are interested in..
    Reading the replies, I think you can see there are varying yet very spirited opinions on living in Anchorage vs Eagle River vs the valley... There are pro's and con's to both and it is your preference...
    Valley home costs are much cheaper...but fuel, miles/wear and tear on vehicle, and time spent commuting have many say it makes it equal or even more expensive in the long run. Others disagree or don't care because the commute is their 'unwind' time and they like a lil more room in the valley.
    There is no right answer...Its what you want.

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