Wyoming a good place to live?

Wyoming a good place to live?

Posted in the Wyoming Forum

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United States

#1 Nov 11, 2006
Hi folks. I want some honest opinions if you don't mind. More and more lately I have been thinking of moving to Wyoming. I love the country life and think you all live in a very beautiful state.
But what is it like to live there? Would it be a good move?
Cheyenne Visitor

United States

#2 Nov 12, 2006
I visited Cheyenne and took a look around. I wasn't impressed.

There is a lot of older housing, and much of the newer housing -- in my opinion -- is of poor construction quality and poor design/layout. For example, I saw attached condos without firewalls separating them.

They have a water problem -- many houses have to have sump pumps -- and the city is subject to flash floods and even tornados.

Gas and electric rates are high.

As to other areas in the state, I don't know. However, I personally wouldn't want to live any closer to Yellowstone than Cheyenne. A lot of quakes. They've been small (1 or 2ish on the Richter scale) for years, but who knows?

I'm uncertain about the Air force base. There's base contaminated ground water. I don't know what to make of the missiles situation.

I did like the people, and the air quality is excellent even with an oil refinery in the city.

Polson, MT

#3 Nov 12, 2006
Hi Tammy, I was born in Brooklyn, Kings County Memorial, but grew up in Cheyenne and have spent most of my life in Wyoming. Let me put to rest of few of the concerns from Cheyenne Visitor.
True there are several older houses, which New York has as well, since our city is over 130 years old. But the new construction follows strict construction guidelines implemented by the federal government.
The cost of living and cost of housing is significantly cheaper than that of New York. The average cost of a 3 bedroom home is $157000. Our crime rate is one of the lowest in the nation with larceny being the biggest problem and murders averaging 1 per 50000 people (Cheyenne population 63000. you do the math).
True the utilities rates are high. It amazes me we have the highest export of coal in North America but our rates are so high. Thanks to the Power company and their Texas influence.
I am not sure what the water problem issue is, other than the rationing in the summer for conservation. And in the history of Cheyenne only one tornado has caused damage, July 16 1979. Same is true with the flood. Only one has hit our city, August 1 1985. And never have I experienced an earthquake.
Don’t worry about the Air Force base. Once again I have never heard of contaminated ground water and the missile, well they’re in silo’s throughout the state as well as in Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. They claim with the missile reduction act they are reducing the number of ICBM missiles. We once were the largest SAC base (sorry Strategic Air Command) in the US.
Cheyenne is a very friendly community. 80 miles from the Snowy Range Mountains, 40 minutes from Fort Collins CO and 100 miles from Denver CO, and all its culture.
Now for the negative aspects. Wyoming has a high meth problem, as well as a large rate of alcoholism. The wind blows an average 350 days per year (I don’t remember 15 days the wind doesn’t blow) but it keeps our air quality high.
Hope this eliminates some of your concerns. We welcome anyone but try and keep our little piece of paradise to ourselves.

Westland, MI

#4 Nov 13, 2006
Hey Dan.... Thanks for the help. Good information to know. I am from one of the few remaining rural areas of Michigan, and to put it simply, many people are leaving the state due to the lack of jobs and high cost of living. I have heard that some Wyoming based companies are recruiting Michiganians and am thinking of that move.

But don't worry - I really am a country girl and appreciate and love the solitude and peace and quiet of the country life.
Tammy G

Memphis, TN

#5 Nov 13, 2006
Hey Tammy I too am a Michiganian and I am seriously thinking the same way you are. I was born and raised here in Michigan,beautiful state but it's too bad our economy is the way it is. It is too difficult to make a living here anymore. Any info you could give me on any of the companies in Wyoming hiring us Michiganians would be greatly appreciated. Also any info on housing that you may have or anyone whom reads this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a bunch!!!!!
Cheyenne Visitor

Astoria, NY

#6 Nov 13, 2006
I'd say Dan's reply was very fair, but it doesn't put to rest my concerns.
I didn't mention crime; because, although that's a major concern of mine, I don't know what to make of the meth problem. According to the news, the jail in Cheyenne has seen meth users who are professionals with masters degrees. From what I see, the meth problem is prevalent and is spreading to all groups and cities. It's a growing problem.
I didn't pay a lot of attention to jobs, because I'm retired. But I noticed the the salary levels were low. That accounts for the lower cost of living in my opinion. The high utility rates do increase the cost of living though. I read that Cheyenne got a 43.5% increase in gas rates this winter! I think that's a big problem for working families in Cheyenne.
I mentioned before that I don't know what to make of the missile situation. My thinking is that if they're ever used, we're all toast. So maybe living next to missiles isn't any worse than living elsewhere.
I mentioned earthquakes -- not, that I know of, in Cheyenne -- but in and around Yellowstone. I like terra firma under my feet, so I wouldn't stray far from Cheyenne if I lived in Wyoming. I read that an early explorer wrote in his diary that native indians in Wyoming would never go anywhere near Yellowstone because of the frequent quakes. I'm with the natives when it comes to that.
As to contaminated ground water, Cheyenne is on the EPA's list. To quote from the EPA, "Past activities left contamination at the [Air Force] Base and at some adjacent private residences. Among the contaminants detected on the Base are solvents and a variety of fuels." They're doing cleanup. Problems with a lot of rain and Cheyenne's water plant caused "stinky" air, but I don't think that's routine.
As a New Yorker, I've watched the quality of New York's water decline. So water quality is high on my list of concerns. Likewise with air quality.
Home construction quality and quality materials, as well as functional and pleasing floor plans, are in the eyes of the beholder. I looked at a lot of homes. I was really very disappointed. It was my major Cheyenne disappointment. That's why I'm not living in Cheyenne now.
In New York we've had fire walls since long before my time. Here's a quote from the Cheyenne news that confirms my observation while I was there, "Investigators on scene believe the fire started in a common chimney that is shared by the two apartments. According to residents there are no fire walls between the homes." Fireplaces in Cheyenne homes are very common. To mention another turn off for me. I saw several places with outside wooden stairs to get to apartments on a higher floor instead of halls with stairs or elevators inside the building. I imagined myself walking up those stairs in the rain or snow, and that was enough to cause me to lose all interest in those places. I could go on. I couldn't fine any place to live that I really liked. Every place I looked at had a "major" problem in my view.
I didn't mention radon gas. There are remediation methods. But any Cheyenne newbie should be aware there may be radon gas in their home.
I mentioned before that I don't know what to make of the missile situation. My thinking is that if they're ever used, we're all toast. So maybe living next to them isn't any worse than otherwise.
It's true that there haven't been many tornados or flash floods, but when they hit in the past they were "very" bad.
Don't get me wrong. Even with my concerns, I like Cheyenne. I just don't think it's a paradise. I might even like Cheyenne more than New York if I move there, and I might still move there. I'm not sure. New York, in my opinion, is far from a paradise.
A lot of people I know are moving to North Carolina. I understand, there are a lot of jobs there. However, it's to hot there for my taste, and I'm not looking for a job. I'm in search of cooler climes like Wyoming.
So Bell NC

United States

#8 Nov 13, 2006
I sure hope that Wyoming is a good place to live. My family and I are moving there soon. My husband is already there and the rest of us will go when our home sales in NORTH CAROLINA. Yeah, it does get hot here, but I was born and raised here and it is awesome. I don't agree with the statement about a lot of jobs here. My husband couldn't get one around here and so that is why we are moving to Wyoming. Around Mountain View area. Having a real hard time finding a place to live. A lot of the homes there are pretty old and run down. Where are the new communities?
So Bell NC

United States

#9 Nov 13, 2006
Oh Yeah, I think that Wyoming is one of the most beautiful states. And of course NORTH CAROLINA!!!
former queens new yorker

United States

#10 Nov 14, 2006
im in evanston wy for 30 yrs spent 20 in ny ny..best move i ever made..one think con ed in ny has the HIGHEST RATES FOR ELECTRIC IN THE US.and the snow avereage is higher in ny and upstate then wyoming because its a desert like area for the low land.the cost of living is much lower then ny much much much..we have the 51st LOWEST ELEC RATES here due to wind turbines coal and hydro.
same walmarts as ny same grocery chains as california..only clear skys no crime..and no more agravaded bronchitis with clear dry air without the big carbon chunks of airline exhaust from laquardia airport.
former queens new yorker

United States

#11 Nov 14, 2006
well the wallmarts in wyoming and south dakota start at 13.89 ...the wages in the oil fields and support start at 75,000..mcdonalds in rawlins wy is 14oo an hr..and a fire concern about common chimneys is not a reason not to change ones life for the better.rather burn gas then rats .
oh also no bugs in wyoming..no cocharoaches ,no fleas..too dry..no bugs at all..not even ants..
former queens new yorker

United States

#12 Nov 14, 2006
oh and before someone says well there are flys i see them on horses..flys are parasitic hybrids..they form from decay and dead animals.
not as many as new york because we dont have murders at a rate 600 percent more then us.

Laramie, WY

#13 Nov 14, 2006
Here's my take on Wyoming. I've lived here all my life, but travel extensively for my work. Wyoming moves much slower than everywhere else, especially compared to back East. What I mean is that people are much more laid back. Except on the Interstates where we hall ass with a speed limit of 75 and plenty of wide open spaces to travel through.

I've never known anybody who had any problems with earthquakes up near Yellowstone. The air is clean, so is the water. The sky is clear 300+ days a year (meaning no clouds). There is never any smog. Sometimes in the summer during fire season (remember it is very dry here) there air can get somewhat polluted from forest fires burning near by, but I've never know anybody to have problems with that either. The air is very dry and anybody moving here will need to keep a healthy supply of moisturizers around. Most of the altitudes are much higher also so that is a change for many moving from sea-level.

Wyoming is absolutely beautiful. It is true that many of the most rural areas are difficult to locate newer housing in. It is also true the even the urban (ok, towns bigger than 20000 people) have also got their fair share of older housing, but there is new stuff going up all the time, and building here is comparably cheaper that many of the major areas of the country. The prices of housing in the "urban" areas are over-inflated when compared to the average income however.

I know what it costs my brother to live in NY NY, I pay 1/2 as much for my fully restored and completely renovated 6 bedroom carpenter style house than he pays for his 10 by 40 one bedroom apartment in Manhattan. And I'm talking all expenses related to the house. He pays more to park his car and for a storage unit than I pay for my mortgage.

You have to travel for decent shopping and for cultural events. The state is very large and geographically very different depending on where you want to be. Open plains, desert (cold desert), mountains, forests, and all of it beautiful, some of it is the most spectacular scenery you will ever see in your life. Outdoor adventure abounds. If you love long summers, this isn't the place for you. There are parts of the state that are definitely more mild, but summer is still from June through August no matter where you are.

Jobs all depends on the field, the level of income desired, and the location in the state. It can be great, it can be horrible. Our educational system is excellent.

Overall Wyoming is a great place to live, especially if you don't want to live in a city-type environment. I personally get very bored with it, and probably contribute to our high drinking rate, but for many it is the perfect place to live. I've never once worried about raising my kids here even though I know they will leave as soon as they can for better jobs in high-tech industries.
former queens new yorker

Boise, ID

#14 Nov 14, 2006
oh heres something that will get everyone to come to wyoming..did i forget to tell everyone that with all the gas and coal taxes and new drilling that there is a surplus in the state govt.20,000 dollars for each wyomingite?we have repealed the tax on food..a total property tax credit next year..lic plates will go to 5 dollars next year..and they are deciding how to get us our 20,000 dollars each and counting to us without changing the constitution like alaska had to do..
Darcy in New hampshire

New London, NH

#15 Nov 16, 2006
my husband I are seriously thinking of moving toward gillette wy. he's a welder and we have heard that welders can make a great living there. we also have three children (twins 8 and 10 yr old son) so the schools are very important to us too so any one with some info for us would be greatly appreciated.
thanks from new hampshire!!!

Polson, MT

#16 Nov 16, 2006
Hold on….lets clear the fog from the illusions. Bugs, yes we have them. Flies, mosquitoes, bees, wasps, hornets, ants (plenty of them), beetles, boxelders etc. etc. etc. True the state has an excess of mineral royalties but false they are not giving the residents those royalties. True about the tax on grocery items false about the license plates. Our yearly auto registration is based on the make, model and year of vehicle. It reduces each year as the auto depreciates. True about the higher wages in the oil fields and mines, not sure about the Walmart wages but false about the $14/hr at McDonalds. I have a friend whose daughter works at McD’s and she makes $9/hour.
Tammy, I had heard the same about Wyo companies recruiting families from Michigan and other Midwest states. A lot of those companies are in and around Gillette which exports the most coal in the US. Not a bad community. I spent two years there. Tight community with 20000 people although they are130 miles from any larger city. 130 mile to Casper and 150 miles to Rapid City, but only 40 miles from Devils tower and 90 miles to the Black Hills. One downfall of Gillette is the lack of housing and the higher than average rent housing costs. Sorry Darcy
Darcy the school system in Gillette is second to none. Until these last elections the coal mines were required to donate monies into the Campbell County school district. Now that money is being distributed throughout the states school districts. Good schools though with an average ratio of 20 students per teacher. The schools also have many new technologies because of the coal mine money, i.e. a planetarium at the Jr. High, state of the art computer labs in all schools. Each neighborhood has a family park as required by the city ordinance. Oh yeah and Sleep Hollow subdivision is the only subdivision without apartments. Lack of good restaurants and shopping is a negative.
Todd’s account of Wyoming is accurate except summers in the northeast (Gillette, Wright, Sundance) will last from May to mid October with average temps in July-August around 90-95 degrees. The humidity has also elevated in Gillette because of the Methane gas lines and the water being extracted from it. The rest of the state averages 15-20% humidity. Oh and have I mentioned the wind? Today traveling from Casper to Laramie the wind was 45 MPH gusting to 65.

Polson, MT

#17 Nov 16, 2006
So Bell, Mountain Home? My wife has a friend from Mt Home and you usually don't here people moving there, mostly away from there. Not a bad place just not much to offer. Does your husband work on the pipelines?

Polson, MT

#18 Nov 16, 2006
oops thought I was in MT again, mean Mt View not Mt Home
So Bell NC

United States

#19 Nov 17, 2006
Hi Dan,

We are moving to Mt View because my husband took a job with Union Telephone. I have heard that it is a great company to work for. He's been there for about 2 weeks and loves it. We do like small towns, people are so much more laid back than in cities. People in the cities seem to busy. I like a place to call home that is small and everyone knows everyone (sometimes). That is where I live now in North Carolina, Population is about 2500 and I'm out in the country. Gonna miss it here, but we want to move to Wyoming, have been for about 6 years now, since my husband got out of the military.

New London, NH

#20 Nov 17, 2006
thanks for the info will be in touch soon. dan your info was great about schools.

Polson, MT

#21 Nov 17, 2006
Hi So Bell,

I was near Mt View last week traveling back from Evanston. Bad trip once the snow started falling. Anyway. If you are looking for laid back, friendly people than Wyoming is the place to be. Imagine only 500000 people in the whole state and a whole lot of wide open spaces. We have more antelope in the state than we do people. Good luck to your family and welcome to our state.

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