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Should I Move to Kalispell Montana?

Date: February 10, 2023

Should I move to Kalispell Montana? If this is on your mind, you are likely weighing the potential benefits and drawbacks of living in the new place. 

While every individual's circumstances are unique, there are some general factors that can help you determine whether a move to Kalispell is the right decision for you. This article will provide an outline of some key points to consider as you make this important decision.

Research the Area

Doing research
Research

Before making any major life changes, it is important to do your homework and research the area in which you are considering living. Here are a few key points to consider as you research Kalispell:

Kalispell is the largest city in Flathead County, with a population of around 23,000 people. According to the United States Census Bureau, the population is predominantly white, with smaller Hispanic, Native American, and Asian populations. The median age in Kalispell is 35.

1. Demographics

Kalispell has a median household income of $42,861 and a poverty rate of 15%. The largest occupations in the city are retail, healthcare, and construction. The city has a diverse economy, with most jobs in the healthcare and retail sectors. 

Kalispell also has a growing technology sector, with a number of software and hardware companies in the area. 

 2. Job market

Kalispell is home to a number of businesses, including healthcare, education, and retail. The unemployment rate in Kalispell is lower than the national average, and the job market is expected to grow in the coming years. 

However, it is still a good idea to research the specific job opportunities available in your field to ensure that you will be able to find employment if you move to the area.

Some of the major employers in the Kalispell area include Kalispell Regional Medical Center, Glacier Bank, Flathead Valley Community College, Whitefish Credit Union, and Walmart. 

The city also has a variety of retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses that offer employment opportunities. The tourism industry also plays a large role in the local economy, and there are a variety of jobs related to the hospitality industry.

 3. Cost of living

The cost of living in Kalispell is lower than the national average, particularly in terms of housing costs. However, it is still a good idea to research the specific cost of necessities like groceries, healthcare, and utilities to get a sense of what your budget will look like in Kalispell.

The median home price in Kalispell is $209,800, which is much lower than the national median of $248,857. The median rent is also lower than the national median, at $1,058 compared to $1,470. 

Groceries, healthcare, and utilities will also be lower than the national average. The median cost of a gallon of gas in Kalispell is $2.50, compared to the national average of $2.83. Overall, Kalispell is a great option for those looking to save on their cost of living.

 4. Recreational opportunities

A Snow-mobile
A Snow-mobile

Kalispell is located in the heart of Montana's Flathead Valley, which offers a range of outdoor recreational opportunities, including skiing, hiking, and fishing. The city also has a number of cultural events and attractions, such as the Hockaday Museum of Art and the Flathead Lake Symphony.

Kalispell is also a great starting point for exploring the rest of Montana and getting to know what Montana is known for. The nearby Glacier National Park is a popular destination for both locals and visitors, as well as the Bob Marshall Wilderness area and the Flathead National Forest. 

With its close proximity to Canada, Kalispell is also a great place for a road trip to take in the scenery and attractions of both countries.

 5. School system

If you have children or plan to have them in the future, it is important to research the school system in Kalispell. The Flathead Valley is home to a number of excellent schools, including private and public options.

The Flathead Valley is served by the Flathead County Public Schools system, which includes Flathead High School, Flathead Valley Community College, Flathead Valley Technical College, and a variety of elementary and middle schools. 

Private schools in the area include the Flathead Valley Christian School, Glacier Christian School, and St. Matthew Lutheran School. The Kalispell Public Schools system includes Kalispell Middle School, Kalispell High School, Kalispell Elementary School, and a number of other elementary, middle, and high schools. 

The Montana Office of Public Instruction provides parents with resources to compare school districts and evaluate their performance. The Montana Board of Public Education also provides a wealth of information about the state's educational system. Additionally, the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce can provide information about local schools.

 6. Climate

Kalispell experiences all four seasons, with cold winters and hot summers. The area gets an average of around 20 inches of snow per year, and the temperature can range from the low 20s in the winter to the high 80s in the summer.

Consider whether this climate aligns with your preferences and needs.

Consider Your Personal Circumstances

In addition to researching the area, it is important to consider your personal circumstances and how they might be impacted by a move to Kalispell. Here are a few key points to consider:

Job

If you are employed, think about whether it would be possible to transfer your job to Kalispell or whether you would need to find a new job in the area. Keep in mind that this may require additional training or education, and it may be more difficult to find a job in your field if it is not in high demand in Kalispell.

Support system

Friends: Should I move to Kalispell Montana?
Friends

Consider whether you have a support system in Kalispell, such as friends or family, and how being far from them might impact your decision to move.

If you do not have a support system in Kalispell, such as friends or family, it is important to consider how this could affect your decision to move. Being far from your family and friends can be difficult and can lead to loneliness and feelings of isolation. 

It is important to consider how you will build a new support system in Kalispell, such as joining a church, forming new friendships, or joining a local club or organization. Additionally, you may want to consider how often you will be able to visit your family and friends that are not in Kalispell and how you can stay connected with them.

Lifestyle

Think about your current lifestyle and whether it aligns with what Kalispell has to offer. For example, if you are an avid outdoors person, you may find that Kalispell's recreational opportunities are a major draw. 

On the other hand, if you prefer a more urban lifestyle, you may find that Kalispell's small-town feel is not a good fit for you.

Distance

If you are moving from a long distance away, consider the logistics of making such a long-distance move, including the cost of transporting your belongings, finding temporary housing, and the time and effort required to settle into a new place.

Additional Tips to consider

Here are a few additional points that you might consider as you decide whether to move to Kalispell, Montana:

  • Transportation: Consider whether you will have access to reliable transportation in Kalispell. If you don't own a car, think about whether there are public transportation options available or whether you will need to rely on rideshare services.
  • Healthcare: Research the healthcare options available in Kalispell, including hospitals, clinics, and doctors. Consider whether these options meet your healthcare needs and whether you have access to specialists if necessary.
  • Housing: Look into the housing options available in Kalispell, including apartments, houses, and condos. Consider factors like cost, location, and size to determine which option is the best fit for you.
  • Safety: Research the crime rate in Kalispell and consider whether you feel safe living in the area.
  • Culture: Consider whether Kalispell's culture and values align with your own. Think about the local community and whether you feel like you would fit in and be able to find activities and groups that interest you.

Weigh the Pros and Cons

A man taking notes
Weigh the Pros and Cons

Once you have gathered information about Kalispell and considered your personal circumstances, it is a good idea to make a list of the potential benefits and drawbacks of moving to the area. 

This can help you weigh the pros and cons and determine whether a move to Kalispell is a good fit for you. Some potential benefits of moving to Kalispell might include:

  • Lower cost of living, particularly in terms of housing
  • Access to recreational opportunities, such as skiing and hiking
  • A lower unemployment rate compared to the national average

Some potential drawbacks of moving to Kalispell might include:

  • Being far from friends and family
  • Difficulty finding a job in your field
  • A small-town feel that may not suit your preferences

Make a Decision

After considering the research you have done and weighing the pros and cons, it is time to make a decision about whether to move to Kalispell. If you decide to move, make a plan for how to make the transition, including finding a place to live, transferring or finding a new job, and making arrangements for any children or pets.

If you decide not to move, consider what other options might be available to you and start exploring them. No matter what you decide, it is important to take the time to carefully consider your options and make a decision that is right for you.

Conclusion

Moving to Kalispell, Montana can be a rewarding experience, but it is important to carefully consider the research you have done and your personal circumstances before making a decision. 

By weighing the pros and cons of living in Kalispell, you can determine whether it is the right fit for you. Whether you decide to move or stay put, it is important to make a plan and be prepared for the changes that come with any major life decision.

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