Cost of living -

7 Things to Know and do When Moving to Montana

Montana is a concealed wonder located in the north of the continental US, where locals have a lot of opportunity to explore the beautiful state. The wilderness, beauty, and solitude are things that draw many people to live in Montana. In Montana, you will be able to experience a blend of city and mountain living.

So, if you are considering moving to Montana, there are numerous things you need to know and prepare for, like their cost of living or simply how to notify the state of Montana of your address change. Here are 7 things you need to know before moving to Montana.

Moving to Montana: Everything to know and do

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1. First steps before moving to Montana

Find a reliable moving company, truck rental or moving container

For your move to Montana, you will need to hire a reliable moving company or take on the move yourself. To find the best moving company in Montana, look for helpful reviews, a professional-looking website, and years of experience.

Planning a move to Montana? Take a look at our selection of:

Finding a job 

As of September 2023, Montana had an unemployment rate of 2.7%, which is the highest from 2.3% in April 2023.

Jobs that are often in high demand are anesthesiologist, dentist, pharmacist, and financial managers.

Finding a job in Montana is easier if you search online for job openings. Popular websites for this include LinkedIn, Indeed, and SimplyHired.

US Bureau of Labor Statistics (Oct 2023)

Getting there 

Below are some travel options to get to Montana from different parts of the country include:

Flying: Flying is the most convenient way to move to Montana. Book a flight from your departure city to Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, depending on your destination within Montana.

Train: You can also take the train with Amtrak as an alternative. 

Bus: If you want another way to travel, Montana cities have bus services like Greyhound, and Flixbus, that can get you there.

If you are flying and require assistance with moving your belongings, you can explore options provided by reputable moving companies.

Must dos before your arrival 

Moving to Montana may be exciting and will challenge you in many ways. By knowing these things beforehand, you will be better prepared for your new life in the city.

  • If you are moving to Montana permanently, and you receive a lot of mail (excluding packages), you may want to sign up with USPS’s mail forwarding service. Mail forwarding allows your mail to be redirected to the right address for a given period of time. The fee for regular mail forwarding is only a little over a dollar for 6 months. If you want to extend the service, you will have to pay around $20 for 6 months more. You can begin your mail forwarding process by signing up on USPS’s website or directly at your local Post Office.
  • Moving to a new place is an opportunity to start afresh. If you’re moving to Montana, selling or donating the items you won’t need will go a long way in making your move easier. You can sell your old household items and personal possessions, and anything that will not be useful. Pick out the items that will not be useful for you in Montana, then decide if you want to sell them on websites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace or donate them to a non-profit organization.

2. Upon your arrival in Montana

Must dos right upon your arrival

  • Get familiar with your neighborhood, and make sure to take note of the important emergency numbers.
  • If you roam around the city for work or just simply checking on it, it would be great to purchase a daily pass to save money.
  • Locate the essential facilities like the nearest hospital, police station, and fire department for your safety and in case of emergency.

In Montana, you can either get around with your car or you can choose to travel in buses that run on a fixed route. While there are limited public transit options available in Montana, the city of Billings does have a good bus system that is known as MET Transit.

Exchanging your driver’s license

If you have recently moved to Montana, you will be required to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license within 60 days of moving. You must visit your local MT MVD office in person and surrender your previous driver’s license. To get a list of all the documents required, you can visit the applying for a New License in Montana page. 

Register your vehicle

If you’ve brought your out-of-state vehicle with you to Montana, you’ll need to have it registered in Montana within 60 days of your move. To do this, you’ll need to visit your local MT MVD office in person with all the required documents.

Change your address

Along with mail forwarding, you will also have to update your new address with the concerned authorities in Montana, like DMV. You can register to vote by mail or in person at county elections offices.

Changing your address with your employer, bank, doctor, insurer, and service providers so that you can avoid any complications further down the road.

Setting up a bank account 

Obtaining a bank account in Montana is a straightforward process. You only need to present a copy of your valid state or government-issued ID, such as a driver’s license or passport. The bank with most branches in Montana for easy access is First Interstate Bank . Montana’s residents has access to a whopping 43 offices of First Interstate Bank in the state.

Getting health insurance

Getting health insurance is an excellent way to get peace of mind when it comes to your health. With health insurance, you will not have to worry about spending a ton of money in case of a health-related emergency. The state of Montana proposes a website to help you with your health insurance search. Simply choose Montana as your state and create an account.

Type of healthcare

Cost

Employer-sponsored health insurance

$101.58

Non-employer-sponsored health insurance

$539.00

Gym

$45.00

Numbeo (Oct 2023) & EHealthInsurance (Oct 2023)

3. Best places to live in Montana

Best places to live in Montana

If you are a couple, you might want to consider living in East Helena as it has affordable housing, good job opportunities, and it is a safe place to live in. 

If you are a family, you might want to consider Bozeman. Bozeman has some top-grade schools, great transport options, amenities, and health facilities. 

If you are single, you should consider moving to Billings. It’s a great place for millennials who are in search of job opportunities. It is also an ideal place for people who like to explore and are social.

Setting up home services 

Setting up essential home services like electricity, water, gas, and internet in Montana is a straightforward process. 

Should you rent or buy?

The average Montana home value is $453,567, went down by 0.40% from 2022. Montana’s price per square foot to buy an apartment outside the center is $195.00.

Finding an apartment for rent in Montana is easy, utilize websites like Zillow, Apartmentguide, and Apartments.com. When seeking a house, these websites—Zillow, Realtor, and Century21—will assist you in your search for a home in Montana.

Cost of rent in Montana

Area/Neighborhood

1-bed apartment

3-bed apartment

Billings (Outside of Center)

$933.33

$2,000.00

Cost of buying a property in Montana

Area/Neighborhood

Average home price 

Billings

$453,567

Numbeo (Oct 2023)Zillow (Oct 2023)

Consider getting home insurance

Getting a property insurance plan is a great idea when you move to Montana as homeowners face many challenges throughout the year. Winters can bring various difficulties such as frozen pipes, snow, and ice dams. In summer, hail and thunderstorms can damage your home. Brush fires are an added challenge that may occur without a warning and damage your property.

4. Cost of living in Montana

Category

Monthly cost

1 bed apt rent outside city center

$933.33

Groceries

Numbeo’s grocery list ($60.41 multiplied by 4)

$241.64

Utilities

Electricity, heating, cooling, water, garbage

$128.88

Internet with 60 Mbps

$67.50

Transit pass

$28.00

Entertainment 

Meal, taxi, movie

$93.37

Gym membership 

$45.00

Total

$1,537.72

Numbeo (Oct 2023)

5. The weather in Montana

On average, there are 189 sunny days per year in Montana.

The highest temperature in Summers is around 84 degrees and the Winter low in January is 12 degrees.

Montana averages 15 inches of rain every year.

6. What to do as a local in Montana

Montana is famous for being an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts. Some outdoor activities you can enjoy are hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, camping, canoeing, and skiing.

Go visit the Glacier National Park and you will enjoy the breathtaking views. 

At The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, you can see rare species like grizzlies and wolves up close. 

Some common grocery stores in Montana are: Heritage Food Store, Albertsons, and WinCo Foods

The two most popular big chain stores are Big Lots and Shipton’s Big R Stores.

Must-visit food places in Montana are Loula’s and River City Grill.

Visit the popular cities in Montana: Billings, Missoula, and Great Falls.

7. Fun facts about Montana

  • Fun Fact #1: Montana is the fourth-largest state in the U.S.
  • Fun Fact #2: Montana is a Spanish word for mountain.
  • Fun Fact #3: The world’s shortest river is in Montana.

Conclusion

Montana has beautiful mountains, lakes, and open spaces, which are perfect for people who love outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, camping, and skiing. It’s not very crowded, so everyone can enjoy a peaceful environment. Plus, there’s no sales tax on things you buy, which can help locals save money.

While moving to Montana has its pros and cons, checking the cost of living is essential to making sure you will live comfortably in this city and call it home. It’s a good idea to research specific neighborhoods within the state and consider your priorities to determine if Montana is the right fit for you and your family.

Need a trusted moving company for the area? Discover the 5 best movers in Montana.

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Selina Cifelli

The author

Selina is a motivated marketing intern with a keen interest in developing engaging content related to moving experiences and city life. With a passion for fashion and traveling, she brings a fresh perspective to our readers. Her talent for crafting innovative written material effectively positions MovingWaldo as a trusted resource for hassle-free and efficient moves.

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