I want to move to Alaska!

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McKenzie

AOL

#1 Nov 13, 2007
Hello,
My husband and I are considering moving to Alaska. We currently live in Southern California. Both of us are miserable here! long for a slower passe life! A community where you know your neighbors! My husband is kind of a jack of all trades! He wants to get his Airframe and Powerplant Certification. So he could work on air planes. I'm currently an office manager for a small construction company and I'm toying with getting my AA in accounting. We are not sure what areas we should be looking at! We like small downs but we are going to start trying to have our first child and school and hospitals are all a consideration for me! If anyone has any insight I would be so grateful!
Alaskan First

Juneau, AK

#2 Nov 15, 2007
Being that we have more small aircraft per capita than the rest of the world and your skills in office work, I bet you would have no problem finding opportunity in the Matanuska Valley, an hour north of Anchorage, everyone does not know everyone however after living here for a while you run into your neighbors and get to know more than enough people to end up knowing someone who knows someone you also know.
KodiakBear

Tacoma, WA

#3 Nov 21, 2007
Hello,My husband and I are considering moving to Alaska. We currently live in Southern California. Both of us are miserable here!...

Just how big are you on hospitals and schools...
Most school bonds are turned down in the Matsu Valley areas...the mayor was voted out for suggesting a 1% sales tax...and there is one hospital in the area...near Palmer...down the road from Wasilla. Totally different from what you know in Southern California. I suggest you visit the area/s and go to a few job interviews before coming to the Anchorage/Wasilla/Palmer area.

Other than the Anchorage area the wind chill factors get to 50 below F degrees! Might want to think about the chill factor and having a new born in such conditions, too. If hospitals are a priority than you just have Anchorage area to select a job and to live in. And, possible Fairbanks, but the weather again in Fairbanks has the chill factors...believe me!

Your husband does sound like he would really fit in with the Alaskans as far as airframe and airplanes...and you with accounting. But, you really need to come to look about in the Anchorage area before making a split from nice, sunny, yippy Southern California to come to a backland like Alaska. I got a hunch your hubbi is really going to like it...you just got to straighten out your thinking about hospitals and schools because it ain't going to be the same as Southern California.
If you are into having your yet to be young'ins have a cultural experience, then there are some national known grade schools trying out second languages in grade schools in the Anchorage area. IE- have your child learn Russian and English while in grade school! And, try to keep yourself as healthy as possible so you don't need those expensive hospitals...which those Providence Hospitals in the area will take your possessions if you can't pay the bill.
Alaskan First

Juneau, AK

#4 Nov 21, 2007
KodiakBear wrote:
Hello,My husband and I are considering moving to Alaska. We currently live in Southern California. Both of us are miserable here!...
Just how big are you on hospitals and schools...
Most school bonds are turned down in the Matsu Valley areas...the mayor was voted out for suggesting a 1% sales tax...and there is one hospital in the area...near Palmer...down the road from Wasilla. Totally different from what you know in Southern California. I suggest you visit the area/s and go to a few job interviews before coming to the Anchorage/Wasilla/Palmer area.
Other than the Anchorage area the wind chill factors get to 50 below F degrees! Might want to think about the chill factor and having a new born in such conditions, too. If hospitals are a priority than you just have Anchorage area to select a job and to live in. And, possible Fairbanks, but the weather again in Fairbanks has the chill factors...believe me!
Your husband does sound like he would really fit in with the Alaskans as far as airframe and airplanes...and you with accounting. But, you really need to come to look about in the Anchorage area before making a split from nice, sunny, yippy Southern California to come to a backland like Alaska. I got a hunch your hubbi is really going to like it...you just got to straighten out your thinking about hospitals and schools because it ain't going to be the same as Southern California.
If you are into having your yet to be young'ins have a cultural experience, then there are some national known grade schools trying out second languages in grade schools in the Anchorage area. IE- have your child learn Russian and English while in grade school! And, try to keep yourself as healthy as possible so you don't need those expensive hospitals...which those Providence Hospitals in the area will take your possessions if you can't pay the bill.
While it's true we have one hospital near Palmer, we also have AIC, Mat Su BHS, Sunshine and other smaller medical facilities.
Alaskan First

Juneau, AK

#5 Nov 21, 2007
Oh, one more thing, I've been here my whole life and it hardly gets to -50 wind chill, in fact right now the snow is melting, it's raining and the wind chill factor is not at all cold at 40 plus miles per hour, 60mph for higher elevations. I just called time and temp for Palmer and its 41. And to say most school bonds are turned down is mis leading. We have new schools going up all the time, Knik, Shaw and even a career center are just an example. Are you in Tacoma or AK? You seem to fail or perhaps ignore these things, have you been out to Wasilla High lately? Perhaps you should take a drive to see the first in many upgrades to that school.

While we may only have one hospital we have a smaller out patient service centers throughout the valley, Anchorage is not the only option to find quality health care for babies.
KodiaBear

Tacoma, WA

#6 Nov 28, 2007
One should realize the weather conditions if moving to the Palmer or Matsu areas. Per the national NOAA:
"The weather in the Anchorage/Matsu sub-region varies quite a bit between those communities located near or on the water and those communities further inland.
The inland communities (Palmer, Skwentna, Wasilla, and Willow) have extreme temperatures during the winter months, ranging from -30 to 5F in January."

http://www.afsc.noaa.gov/Publications/AFSC-TM...

In Palmer the past week the average wind speed was 15 mph. See the official weather chart:
http://aprfc.arh.noaa.gov/data/snow/wxgraph.p...

With a wind speed of 15 mph, and when the temp gets to -30F gives a wind chill resulting temp of -58.
See the chart:
http://www.quintanna.com/mtnsports/hcpaddlers...

I realize this does not happen often, but a person needs to realize it does happen.
..........
I don't want to scare anyone to coming to Alaska, just know the conditions. And, yes, I agree that some educational pushes are underway such as the governor's plea for high school students thinking of dropping out of high school to give her a personal office phone call, etc.; but the facts remain Alaska has a lot way to go to compare at a national level in education for our kids in Alaska. Especially, in my opinion, in the way of elementary schools! The recent (few)passed bonds in the past few years, despite some being passed, still left the Palmer area few of decent elementary schools. I guess it all has to do with who controls the money (Wasilla or Palmer), not how the wording of the bond issue was stated for the voters.
Alaskan First

Juneau, AK

#7 Nov 28, 2007
Like I said, I've lived in Wasilla my whole life, was born here and I can say it hardley dips to -50 or -30. Since you're researching this stuff why don't you tell me when was the last time it got that cold here. Don't confuse us with Fairbanks, that's when cars freeze.

And to dog on our schools, why we have plenty of private schools if the public education system is not up to your standards. Your right, Wasilla and Palmer don't control the money, the Matanuska Susitna Borough does.
KodiakBear

Tacoma, WA

#8 Nov 29, 2007
Alaskan First wrote:
Like I said, I've lived in Wasilla my whole life, was born here and I can say it hardley dips to -50 or -30. Since you're researching this stuff why don't you tell me when was the last time it got that cold here. Don't confuse us with Fairbanks, that's when cars freeze.
And to dog on our schools, why we have plenty of private schools if the public education system is not up to your standards. Your right, Wasilla and Palmer don't control the money, the Matanuska Susitna Borough does.
The Mat-Su Valley winds will kill anyone not respecting them. If one doubts them...then so be it. To ignor them is stupidity, and to deny they exist is making yourself a liar.

I have given above the average temperatures in Jan. in the Mat-Su valley of being 5 to -30F, then you add in the wind chill factor by using a wind chill chart.(I also gave a link to a wind chill chart.)

If you lived in the area and never experienced the wind chill factor, then I can only say you are either a liar or you slept thru the winter winds or you work in the real estate business which encourages everyone to come to live there and real estate agents never lie (as they will tell you).

I remembered the 1989 Iditaroid race, so I referenced a newspaper article of the race:
'IDITAROD "89 THE FIRST DAY IS A TOUGH ONE'; Anchorage Daily News, March 5, 1989;
Article:... But some predict a fast race. Martin Buser of Big Lake pulled away from his truck with this farewell to his baby son, Nikolai: "I'll see you in 10 days. The high winds that whipped through Anchorage and the MatSu Valley for two days were expected to remain strong, with gusts to 50 mph. The National Weather Service forecast a (minus)-70 windchill along the Alaska Range.
Former Yukon Quest International champ Bill Cotter had a sled that looked perfect for windy conditions. Instead of a sled bag with a zipper on top, Cotter had a black and red bulletshaped compartment with a removable panel.

And, for any doubters, I asked a librarian if she knew what date that the schools closed due to the winds blowing thru the Mat-Su valley hard:
"Most Mat-Su schools stay closed for second day in a row"; Anchorage Daily News, January 9th, 2004, page B2;
" High winds led to the closure of schools in the Mat-Su Borough for the second day Thursday, though by midday the ferocity of the gales whipping down the Matanuska River Valley was starting to subside. Winds gusting up to 90 mph plagued Mat-Su residents Wednesday"

So...to answer your question I gave you a couple of dates to look into. Just a few dates, but rememberable to me and most others above the age of 21 (or an 'old fart like myself).

It is the wind chill factor that I say to one to stay away from the Mat-Su Valley area, unless they are prepared to face it. Live in the Anchorage area instead. For the lady above asking about where to stay in Alaska, I still say the Anchorage area is best for her...stay away from Mat-Su Valley...the wind chill will kill one or a small baby unless you are totally prepared.
McKenzie

AOL

#9 Dec 3, 2007
Thanks so much for your advise! Were going to keep looking into moving to alaska! It looks like a place that the two of us will be very happy in! A few questions:

-I have heard that your heating is paid during the winter?

-Would you raise a family in Alaska?

-Which citys do you recomend?

-There is no state tax, but is there city taxes?
KodiaBear

Tacoma, WA

#10 Dec 4, 2007
McKenzie wrote:
Thanks so much for your advise!...A few questions:
Answers-
Heating is not paid during the winter. Unless, it comes with the rent...and unlikely that is the case. However, there are some apartment type complexes that may provide gas heat, but you will pay the price, too.

It sounds that you two may be destined for Alaska, whether you like it or not. Meaning, you may end up returning to California, but your memories will stay with you forever. I will assure you that!

When you look at the fact that Anchorage residents really made out a big deal that one lonely Dairy Queen came to Anchorage, well your picks of cities may be limited. Drive anywhere in sunny California and you may find not only fast food places, Dairy Queeens, Taco Bells, etc., but I will assure you that the time will hit you hard when you actually want to make your own sandwiches when traveling in Alaska vs. stopping and purchasing something to eat!

You need to travel to Alaska first to really understand it. Travel to Anchorage, or Juneau (if you can tolerate a lot of rain). Eagle River is a small town outside Anchorage. Visit it- you may find it fits you. It is hip on grills, Safeway, Fred Meyer, etc stores, yet it is far enough outside of Anchorage that you may enjoy the real outdoors! And, it has bears, but rarely do bears bother people, people need to tie down their garbage cans since they roam to the cites and unfortunately all too often are killed because of this.

It you do travel to Anchorage you should try to fit in a rail (train) trip. Very economical and totally enjoyable!
Talk is cheap in Alaska. The best way possibly for your husband to find work in Alaska is to beat the bush and talk to various mechanic and plane shops. But, talk is cheap! They may gladly state a job will be had, but then you move and the wages might be reduced...hence, check your source. I wouldn't actually call Anchorage the wild west, but sometimes people attempt to circumvent ethics. But, once you develop neighbor friends and organization friends, they are nothing like anything that you might expect in the "lower 48" as Alaskans call you folks.
There is no state sales tax, and no state income tax (yet). Sometimes the politicians talk about an income tax, but I don't see it in the near future. There are some cities with a 1 - 3% sales tax. Real estate taxes are about the same as in the lower 48. Anchorage home prices compare slightly lower than Seattle's homes. And, currently it is a buyers' market in Anchorage. So, if you decide to buy than take your time and
get the price and home that you want. Much of the homes in Alaska are funded (by mortgages) by the
AHFC (Alaska Housing Finance Corp.)...try to find a bank (most do) that uses the AHFC financing.
You will have less trouble with scam deals that way. If you go through a straight mortgage company you may get scammed with come-ons like "great interest" deals, etc. Don't fall for it! Stick with the generally large bank institutions in Alaska that finance thru AHFC. And, if you come to Alaska one of the scams that real estate agents have in Alaska is that you sign that regardless as to who you purchase thru that you will owe them a commission. They don't have this scam in the lower 48...so really read the fine print with anything that has to do with a real estate agent. I would sign anything unless it is
to make an offer on a home thru an "Earnst Money Agreement", else don't sign any papers just because a real estate agent charms you off your feet...you will get stung hard if you walk in and say you have just moved from California and want to start a family and are just dying to look at homes...what bait you will be not only to the real estate scammers, but for the others connected with them...ie- home inspectors, etc.
Some simple advice for you - take your time looking for a job and home. If it sounds too good it probably is!
KodiaBear

Tacoma, WA

#11 Dec 4, 2007
McKenzie wrote:
Thanks so much for your advise!...A few questions:
Answers-
Heating is not paid during the winter. Unless, it comes with the rent...and unlikely that is the case. However, there are some apartment type complexes that may provide gas heat, but you will pay the price, too.

It sounds that you two may be destined for Alaska, whether you like it or not. Meaning, you may end up returning to California, but your memories will stay with you forever. I will assure you that!

When you look at the fact that Anchorage residents really made out a big deal that one lonely Dairy Queen came to Anchorage, well your picks of cities may be limited. Drive anywhere in sunny California and you may find not only fast food places, Dairy Queeens, Taco Bells, etc., but I will assure you that the time will hit you hard when you actually want to make your own sandwiches when traveling in Alaska vs. stopping and purchasing something to eat!

You need to travel to Alaska first to really understand it. Travel to Anchorage, or Juneau (if you can tolerate a lot of rain). Eagle River is a small town outside Anchorage. Visit it- you may find it fits you. It is hip on grills, Safeway, Fred Meyer, etc stores, yet it is far enough outside of Anchorage that you may enjoy the real outdoors! And, it has bears, but rarely do bears bother people, people need to tie down their garbage cans since they roam to the cites and unfortunately all too often are killed because of this.

It you do travel to Anchorage you should try to fit in a rail (train) trip. Very economical and totally enjoyable!
Talk is cheap in Alaska. The best way possibly for your husband to find work in Alaska is to beat the bush and talk to various mechanic and plane shops. But, talk is cheap! They may gladly state a job will be had, but then you move and the wages might be reduced...hence, check your source. I wouldn't actually call Anchorage the wild west, but sometimes people attempt to circumvent ethics. But, once you develop neighbor friends and organization friends, they are nothing like anything that you might expect in the "lower 48" as Alaskans call you folks.
There is no state sales tax, and no state income tax (yet). Sometimes the politicians talk about an income tax, but I don't see it in the near future. There are some cities with a 1 - 3% sales tax. Real estate taxes are about the same as in the lower 48. Anchorage home prices compare slightly lower than Seattle's homes. And, currently it is a buyers' market in Anchorage. So, if you decide to buy than take your time and
get the price and home that you want. Much of the homes in Alaska are funded (by mortgages) by the
AHFC (Alaska Housing Finance Corp.)...try to find a bank (most do) that uses the AHFC financing.
You will have less trouble with scam deals that way. If you go through a straight mortgage company you may get scammed with come-ons like "great interest" deals, etc. Don't fall for it! Stick with the generally large bank institutions in Alaska that finance thru AHFC. And, if you come to Alaska one of the scams that real estate agents have in Alaska is that you sign that regardless as to who you purchase thru that you will owe them a commission. They don't have this scam in the lower 48...so really read the fine print with anything that has to do with a real estate agent. I would sign anything unless it is
to make an offer on a home thru an "Earnst Money Agreement", else don't sign any papers just because a real estate agent charms you off your feet...you will get stung hard if you walk in and say you have just moved from California and want to start a family and are just dying to look at homes...what bait you will be not only to the real estate scammers, but for the others connected with them...ie- home inspectors, etc.
Some simple advice for you - take your time looking for a job and home. If it sounds too good it probably is!
KodiaBear

Tacoma, WA

#12 Dec 4, 2007
Sorry about those posts..it had to do with the time delayin posting to the site. Alaskan time isn't always the fastest to post. Another thing about Alaska...it's not like the lower 48, so take it in stride.
(Read the last post...better spelling.)
Noemi

Belleview, FL

#13 Jan 2, 2008
I am also considering in moving to Alaska but I also have questions, Like how would I go about finding a job and the school for my son and also an apartment would be nice if anyone can get back to me on this I would be grateful
email is emigirl6363@yahoo.com

thank you
Noemi

Belleview, FL

#14 Jan 2, 2008
Also if someone does ever get back to me how much is a dozen eggs someone told my husband $20.00 is that true and a gallon of is $15.00
AlaskanBelle77

Petersburg, AK

#15 Jan 3, 2008
Are you FREAKIN kidding me????? OMG. Here is an idea for ya, go to www.toostupidtolive.com and you will find your answer.
Don't ask questions like that. You can let them ping around the empty space in your head silently all you want, but don't vocalize it or post it. Because then everyone KNOWS how stupid you are.
Seriously though, to get real answers, go to a website and read. Such as:
www.city-data.com
http://www.alaska.com/
A gallon of milk I bought last week cost me 3.75 and a dozen eggs was 1.98
SQWERLLY

Potsdam, NY

#16 Jan 3, 2008
I WOULDN T GO AS FAR AS SAYING ITS A STUPID QUESTION. I WENT TO ALASKA A MONTH AGO AND ATE AT ARESTURANT IN GIRTWOOD ABOUT 50 MIN SOUTH OF ANCHORAGE.....ON THEMENU IT SAID 2 EGGS 7 DOLLARS.
DIRECTLY IN ANCHORAGE THOUGH THE PRICE OF GOODS IN THE GROCERY STORES WERE VERY COMPARABLE TO OURS HERE IN NY
AlaskanNative

Miami, FL

#17 Jan 3, 2008
$20 for a dozen eggs ... maybe $10/dz in one of the villages somewhere where there's not that frequent of scheduled airlines. My husband was stuck in one place for a while for his job - and the store ran out of almost everything. The store was in a private residence.

I have traveled through most of Alaska. Did you know that in Gambell and Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island - there is nearly a whole aisle of cake mixes? They like to celebrate birthdays there.

In Anchorage prices are comparable to most big cities in the 'lower 48'(one of my favorite phrases).

The biggest expense that should be factored in to your equation - is that you need to budget in a trip 'outside' at least once a year, preferably in the winter when it's dark and cold here. Stay here all summer - it's beautiful.
plumper

AOL

#18 Jan 8, 2008
My wife and i are looking to stay in Alaska for one year .We will be 55 and 54 years old and in fairly good shape.We would like to make this a working vacation and would like some input on the best way to plan a year in Alaska.We both grew up in Eau Claire Wis.and lived the last 32 years in mn.We are outdoors type people as we are hunters icefisher people and 4/wheeling.I am a plumber by trade and my wife works for Gander Mountian.I would like to buy a 24' trailer and fix it up as a camper for us to live in for a year.Would like any info to help me do this.
sandy

Woodbridge, VA

#19 Jan 11, 2008
Hi, I am from VA, mostly small town outside DC. My husband and I are going to move to AK this summer. I have read many forums about moving there. Okay I understand it gets cold....DAMN cold, okay it can get cold here too. My husband is an avid hunter so he knows all to well about clothing for cold (if theres a frost and below 30 he's in pig heaven cuz he knows huntin's gonna be good)glad to know gun laws there...as much as the city slickers in DC want to change us, we Virginians also have an open carry law as well as concealed (THANK GOD)My question is (or more then 1) where to live...I think FAIRBANKS WOULD BE A LITTLE TOO COLD FOR ME...schools...read a few things there..is home schooling an option? My boys 5&8 are into atv and motorcyle racing (my husbands doin lol) what about shootin laws...how much land do you need to have to legally shoot/hunt on your own property? we are also into water..fishing & boating, are the waters for boating as rough as some shows portray...I don't want to say $$ isn't a factor, but we are selling our house (prices have skyrocketed so nows the time to sell and have very good equity...what about opening some kind of small business there..any chance of success, my husband is a plumber and gunsmith (mechanic, etc) I myself would love to do taxidermy...okay so now I hear anchorage (outskirts..which is where I was looking) sounds too big city crap for us...I just want to live close enough to drive to a department store 40 miles or so aint bad)..I read that builing a log cabin might be a way for housing but I think that would take too long...now I hear about realtor scams...geez can you trust no one...and I don't mean Alaskans..I mean in general...we don't want or need a lot of people just a few select friends and friendly people to be around...if I get one more mom hasselin me about my diesal excursion (terrible for ozone and gas guzzler I'll scream)so we just want people like us...enjoyin nature and doin our thing (cuz we all know that eatin deer aint right..puhleez) oh yea what about hunting seasons, what you can and can't shoot...etc OH and 1 last thing...my father(70) who is recovering from recent cancer surgery (1 year ago) will be moving with us...short of anchorage, are there ample medical facilities...or do you have to go long distances....sorry for picking alot of subjects...but better forewarned ...anything would be appreciated thanks
MovingSoon77

Petersburg, AK

#20 Jan 13, 2008
I think the Southeast is your best bet. Best for boating/fishing because we are inside. Anywhere between Juneau to Sitka would be the places to look first. Lots of land to choose from. Fairly mild weather (think Northwest coast like Seattle). So it rains alot, but does get cold in the winter, but not so cold you can't be prepared. Lots of snowmobiling, ATV, my husband has done it all. Fishing and hunting are awesome. You can find more and better info on areas if you do a search for the chamber of commerce for each of the following areas that I think you would be pretty happy in:
Juneau, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Sitka
Also, I think most of the local realtors in those areas are all pretty upfront people and trustworthy. Cabin building isn't as difficult as you would imagine. A friend of ours had his up and liveable in a summer. There are a few cabin companies in Alaska and Canada that have a good rep here for being good homes with an option of sending guys to help with the build. Good luck!

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