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Old 10-29-2013, 02:51 AM   #1
Zahnarzt OP
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Moving To Alaska



I am thinking about moving back to Alaska. I lived in Fairbanks from '94 - 98. Due to an ex and the absolute hatred of cold by my current wife, that area (the interior) won't be on the radar.
I didn't get to travel as often as I would have liked due to commitments, although I did visit Anchorage a few times. Too big for my taste but I might be persuaded if the situation was right.
Could anyone give me any suggestions for coastal or other areas that may placate my wife. I know it seems stupid, but I am trying to get a sense of the feel of a city. We are laid back, but professional. We like being able to be in touch with the land, but also having access to amenities such as theater and music events.
Employment shouldn't be an issue for me, but a city larger that 5k would be ideal.

Thoughts????
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:21 AM   #2
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Well, I'd like to start the replies on a positive note by saying that I was raised in Anchorage and still love it. I appreciate the amenities of the city but the outdoors is close by.

All your coastal communities are gonna be very damp and feel colder than the dry cold of Anchorage during the winter. I'd rather play outdoors in the snow rather than the rain. I think more people actually have more trouble with the long darkness of winter than they do the cold. IMO it helps if one is active in the outdoors and Anchorage has a wonderful bike trail system that's groomed for classic and skate skiing in the winter and is lighted as well. There are also a lot of places to ice skate for even more in-town fun, some even with burn barrels and unlimited free firewood.

Many people choose to live anywhere from 15 to 50mi north of Anchorage to be a bit removed from the city. I doubt I'll ever choose to be that kind of commuter. I live on the Chester Creek Greenbelt right on the bike trail (Lake Otis & E20th if you wanna look on a map). A block from my townhouse I'm able to walk in the woods during the summer and snowshoe in the winter w/o seeing another human. Here's a pic laden thread I did about my bicycle commute to work that I do year-round: http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=581712

You're welcome to pm me if you have questions or post up on here.

Good luck and have fun, Mark H.

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Old 10-29-2013, 06:45 AM   #3
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If you like to play in the snow, Girdwood (about 2000 year round residents) is a nice option to give you that small town feel, but only 45 minutes from all the amenities of Anchorage. Lots of fantastic hiking, biking, of course skiing (alpine and nordic) in the winter, and close to many great creeks and rivers, and Turnagain Pass. There are a handful of restaurants and pubs, post office and even a small grocery store that is very convenient.

Although there is lots of snow in winter, the temps tend to be fairly mild, and even in mid winter the snow can change to rain at times.

The downside is that being a ski resort town, real estate prices are pretty high. Expect to spend at least 300K to 450K for a decent single family home that is not a fixer upper. Decent small condos can be had for the mid 200's. I looked at houses in Girdwood for over two years. Everything in my price range needed quite a bit of updating. I finally settled on a town home which I rather like. No hassles like roof shoveling, snow removal, etc, and covered parking which is a huge bonus when the mountain sees over 800 inches of snow regularly.

It's quite a bit warmer and less windy than the Mat-Su valley, although tends to be more rainy. Can be a slight pain of an everyday commute during the winter if you work in the big city though, but many residents prefer the commute to actually living in the big city. However its a stunning valley nestled in the Chugach mountains and the scenery in the area and along the Turnagain arm never fails to impress.

You also have small communities like Indian and Bird Creek slightly closer to Anchorage but without amenities of any kind, so you pretty much have to go into Anchorage to do anything if you opt to live in those places.

Like Mark mentioned, a lot of folks live in the Mat-Su valley north of Anchorage and commute into the big city, although there are plenty of amenities in Wasilla, so you would rarely need to make the drive into Anchorage unless you wanted to.

If you want to be slightly more remote, there are nice communities on the Kenai peninsula worth checking out like Soldotna and Homer.

One thing to consider is that there are places in Anchorage that can give you the feeling of being a bit removed from the city as well, so it would be worthwhile to look around Anchorage and see if any areas would be to your liking.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:41 AM   #4
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OK...
Girdwood is on the list.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:53 AM   #5
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Just left after twenty years in Haines. Hands down the most beautiful place I have ever lived. My wife wanted to live in a little larger and not as polarized (good old boy v Green) town and I could not disagree. I still miss it. Mild Winters albeit still dark.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:11 PM   #6
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It's not coastal but the Mat-Su Valley is IMHO a great place to live. We also lived in Squarebanks (actually North Pole)from 91-98 when I was at Eielson and moved to Palmer in 98 and have never left. It is, like Girdwood, only 45 minutes from A-Town and you have MANY places to choose from to live within the valley. There is a plethora of outdoor activities right outside your door and within a short drive. Life, in Palmer anyways is a bit slower paced and more of what I am used to. I've never been a city person. I just like to visit and then come back out to where I am comfortable. That's just me. There are many places between the valley and Anchorage that are quite nice like Chugiak, and Peters Creek, they just don't have quite as many imenities as the valley but are even closer to the city. It really boils down to what you can afford and how far from Anchorage you want to be based on how often you will be heading in. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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Or eagle river.

It's nice to get away fom this concrete jungle sometimes.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskajeff View Post
It's not coastal but the Mat-Su Valley is IMHO a great place to live. We also lived in Squarebanks (actually North Pole)from 91-98 when I was at Eielson and moved to Palmer in 98 and have never left. It is, like Girdwood, only 45 minutes from A-Town and you have MANY places to choose from to live within the valley. There is a plethora of outdoor activities right outside your door and within a short drive. Life, in Palmer anyways is a bit slower paced and more of what I am used to. I've never been a city person. I just like to visit and then come back out to where I am comfortable. That's just me. There are many places between the valley and Anchorage that are quite nice like Chugiak, and Peters Creek, they just don't have quite as many imenities as the valley but are even closer to the city. It really boils down to what you can afford and how far from Anchorage you want to be based on how often you will be heading in. Good luck with your decision.

I also lived in North Pole, from 94-96 then moved into Fairbanks. I prefered the solitude of the country, but my ex and I thought we were going to be real-estate tycoons in the big city.

I had thought about Mat-Su area as I enjoy a nice garden. I just havent had time to expolore the area.

I talked with the wife last night and I think we are going to take a vacation/walk about next year in the summer to check out a few areas.
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Old 10-30-2013, 02:06 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by windypoint View Post
Just left after twenty years in Haines. Hands down the most beautiful place I have ever lived. My wife wanted to live in a little larger and not as polarized (good old boy v Green) town and I could not disagree. I still miss it. Mild Winters albeit still dark.

This is my dilemma in life. I was raised good-ole boy but see the ever increasing need to be wise in the use of our natural resources.
It makes for interesting conversations at family reunions.
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Old 10-30-2013, 03:41 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Zahnarzt View Post
... I think we are going to take a vacation/walk about next year in the summer to check out a few areas.
Do it in the winter... during a real cold & dark spell.
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Old 10-30-2013, 11:34 AM   #11
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You said Coastal, with THEATER and MUSIC... You just described Homer.
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Old 10-31-2013, 07:46 AM   #12
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You said Coastal, with THEATER and MUSIC... You just described Homer.
Not enough people in Homer for ya already?
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:06 PM   #13
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Plenty of visitors in the summer months.
Very few motorcyclists LIVE here.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:35 AM   #14
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Wife is stubborn

Thanks for the ideas!
I like Homer alot from what I have read, my wife on the otherhand is being a bit hard headed by not agreeing totaly
I won't be free of my current obligation for a few years regardless so I do have a bit of time to explore.
I think I will start with a cruise next summer and see where that goes.
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #15
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thinking about moving back to Alaska. I lived in Fairbanks from '94 - 98. Due to an ex and the absolute hatred of cold by my current wife, .........
.
. I see potential for a very unhappy wife.
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