When people are looking for advice online before they move to Montana, most Montanans aren't known for their pleasant and helpful tidbits of wisdom. Before anyone helpful can chime in, there has usually been a torrent of snarky and unhelpful comments made. "Things to know about moving to Montana? We'll never tell!" Ha, ha.

This time, folks were actually commenting with realistic, polite advice and suggestions. Even though the content wasn't all that positive because bursting someone's bubble isn't positive...the delivery and chosen words were polite! Such a rarity these days! Here's what was asked in a Move to Montana online group recently:

"My husband and I are seriously considering relocating from Florida to Montana! I understand it’s a drastic difference from Florida, but that’s why we want to move.
We have a 6 month old and 2 doggos. We are considering outside Helena or Whitefish area. We want to pick somewhere where my husband could find a good trade job. He’s been a climber at a tree company for the past 2 years but is good at a lot of things. Irrigation, mechanically inclined, etc. Also, we are not really big city people and would love to live in a small town as long as his job would be something that could support a household. Any info or advice on the area would be very greatly appreciated!"

Anyone who's lived in Montana for a while can come up with half a dozen things to say about this oh-so-common question. But for once, folks came to the table and left almost all of the snarky attitude behind. Here's a sampling of the (actually helpful) responses the OP got:

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  • "Whitefish is one of the most expensive towns in Montana. Also one of the only towns with a sales tax. Very beautiful, but very expensive."
  • "Have you considered smaller towns farther east? You'll find cheaper home prices and high demand for trade jobs."
  • "Know that if you'll be renting in any decent town, having the dogs will make it hard to find a place. Landlords hardly rent to pet owners at all anymore in Montana."
  • "I do agree the home prices are really high in the area. Condos are more affordable but still pretty high. They would he comparable to buying a condo In Destin"
  • "I’ve heard there’s some jobs at Calumet Refinery in Great Falls."
  • "Lots of need for workers up here in Flathead county. No climbing trees in the winter I would imagine, although those companies still work to an extent to clear up trees downed in storms. There is work year round in the trades for sure. I’m just not sure how the pay would be. Whitefish has grown in population quite a bit, but still “small”. It is, however, expensive to buy or rent there as it’s a resort town so you may want to pick surrounding areas."
  • "My husband and I just moved to western Montana. What we have found - don’t underestimate the lack of housing and just how expensive it will be. Salary is much less in Montana compared to Florida and many other areas of the country. Generally speaking western Montana $$$$, Central $$$, Eastern $$. Something else to note is that most rentals we investigated didn’t allow dogs even ESA; if they did you pay high deposits, and a monthly fee for each pet."

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