Moving to Montana

As beautifully captured in classic movies like The Horse Whisperer and A River Runs Through It, Montana clearly earns the nickname Big Sky Country with its rural, rugged, and wide-open landscapes. It is a place of majestic mountains, valleys, plains, and rolling hills. But natural splendor isn’t the only thing it offers. Residents enjoy a multitude of benefits – no sales tax, low population density, and endless recreation, to name a few – that truly make Montana “The Last Best Place.”

Mulling over a move to Montana? We’re here to help. Great Guys Long Distance Movers has put together this convenient MT moving guide, separated into the following sections:

  1. Things to Consider Before Moving to MT
  2. Top Places to Live in the Mountain State
  3. Handy Interstate Moving Checklist
  4. Great Guys Montana Moving Services

When ready, we can connect you with fully vetted movers in a matter of minutes. It’s that simple!

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Living in Montana: What to Know Before Moving to Montana

Moving to The Treasure State? We’ve collected a wealth of information for you to consider about the fourth largest state (147,042 square miles) with the seventh smallest population (1.05 million).

Pros and Cons of Living in Montana

Pros: 

  • The great outdoors: Simply put, Montana is a state filled with natural beauty. It’s also an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise for hiking, fishing, hunting, camping, canoeing, and the list goes on.
  • Low rental costs: Though nearly two-thirds of Montanans own their homes, rent is particularly cheap here (see more details below in the “Housing Market” section).
  • No sales tax: Yes, you heard that right, no sales tax! As one of only a handful of states without it, you can enjoy shopping without having to worry about the added expense.
  • Low population density: Sick of traffic? Can’t stand how overcrowded your current community is? In Montana, say goodbye to congestion and hello to open spaces and no traffic.
  • Solid education: Home to schools like the University of Montana and Montana State University, you can get a great education here (especially in wildlife and agricultural studies).
  • Winter sports: This is a huge draw for tourists and residents alike. Offering 15+ world-class ski resorts, including Big Sky Resort, the state has to some of the best skiing in the country.
  • Friendly folks: Warm and welcoming, folks around these parts will strike a conversation with a stranger or offer a pleasant recognition while passing others in town.

Cons:

  • Challenging weather: From severe thunderstorms to frigid winter temperatures, Montanans need to have the right gear and survival kits handy at all times.
  • Self-reliance: If you’re moving to rural Montana, you should prepare for power outages that can last days. Of course, this may not be an issue for more self-reliant individuals.
  • Political divide: It’s the same as it is in most of the United States: urban areas lean liberal and rural areas lean conservative. If you bring up politics, be prepared for pushback.
  • Lack of public transportation: If you live in almost any part of Montana, you pretty much need to have access to a vehicle to get anywhere in the state. 
  • Wild animals: With the great outdoors comes dangerous wildlife: cougars, rattlesnakes, wolves, grizzly bears, and more. Be mindful and maybe carry some bear spray.
  • Droves of tourists: All this natural beauty attracts many visitors every year. If you live by a national park, keep in mind that you’re in a popular tourist area.
  • Weird laws: There are some pretty bizarre laws on the books. For example, an unwed female cannot fish alone. Also, it’s illegal to transport sheep in a truck without a chaperone.

Tax Rates

  • Property Tax: 0.84%. Montana’s effective real-estate tax rate is ranked #20 in the US.
  • Sales Tax: 0%. The state does not currently have a base state sales tax rate.
  • Income Tax: 1–6.9%. There is a progressive income tax system with seven brackets.

Housing Market

To Rent or Buy? Although about 66% of residents own their homes, it is still cheaper to rent than buy a house in Montana. The average rent is far below the national average.

  • Median Home Value: $239,300
  • Median Rental Expense: $624 (1BR), $792 (2BR)

Cheapest Places to Live in Montana:

  1. Chinook
  2. Scobey
  3. Wolf Point
  4. Colstrip
  5. Glasgow
  6. Townsend
  7. Deer Lodge
  8. Baker
  9. Conrad
  10. Hardin

Cost of Living

According to the Cost of Living in Montana by BestPlaces, Montana has a cost of living index of 102.8. This index is above the national average index of 100.

With the Family Budget Calculator, we can look at the average monthly costs in three Montana cities. We’ll use a family of four for our research (2 adults + 2 children).

Missoula Metro Area:

  1. Housing = $925
  2. Food = $751
  3. Childcare = $1,526
  4. Transportation = $1,160
  5. Healthcare = $1,258
  6. Other necessities = $676
  7. Taxes = $1,092
  8. Grand total = $7,389 per month or $88,673 per year

Helena (Capital of Montana):

  1. Housing = $889
  2. Food = $751
  3. Childcare = $1,333
  4. Transportation = $1,182
  5. Healthcare = $1,407
  6. Other necessities = $662
  7. Taxes = $1,069
  8. Grand total = $7,294 per month or $87,525 per year

Glasgow (Valley County):

  1. Housing = $697
  2. Food = $858
  3. Childcare = $1,119
  4. Transportation = $1,224
  5. Healthcare = $1,389
  6. Other necessities = $627
  7. Taxes = $970
  8. Grand total = $6,884 per month or $82,606 per year

Weather & Natural Disasters

Due to its large size and change in geography and altitude, Montana has varied climate. It is split into two distinct zones: a northern Pacific coastal climate (in the west) and a semiarid, continental climate (in the east). It can also be roughly divided into two regions: Western Montana and Eastern Montana. 

Many mountains and large valleys dominate the landscape of Western Montana. The western portion of the state sees cooler summers and milder winters. Eastern Montana, on the other hand, is filled with plains, badlands (dry terrain with lack of water and little to no vegetation), hills, and isolated mountains. The eastern portion of the state experiences warm summers and cold winters.

Climate Statistics:

  1. Average rainfall: 15 inches
  2. Average snowfall: 49 inches
  3. Sunshine: 189 sunny days
  4. Summer high: 84°F (July)
  5. Winter low: 12°F (January)

Montana is one of the Top 10 safest states from a natural disaster. However, this does not exclude it from potential future disasters (particularly floods).

Natural Disaster – Threats & Risks:

  1. Flooding
  2. Wildfires
  3. Earthquakes
  4. Hurricanes
  5. Tornadoes
  6. Winter Storms

Economy & Job Market

According to Economic Rankings by US News & World Report, Montana is currently ranked #22 in the nation. This ranking is based on three subcategories: business environment (#39), employment (#32), and growth (#15). Its GDP is $47.079 billion, and the median annual income is $29,428.

Top Industries:

  1. Agriculture
  2. Healthcare
  3. Retail
  4. Education
  5. Hospitality
  6. Construction
  7. Government
  8. Professional
  9. Other Services
  10. Manufacturing

Top Employers:

  1. St. Patrick Hospital & Health
  2. University of Montana
  3. Linnii Initiative
  4. Albertsons
  5. State of Montana
  6. Aageson Farm
  7. Washington Corporations
  8. Bozeman Health
  9. Glacier Bancorp, Inc.
  10. Community Medical Center
  11. Town Pump
  12. Billings Clinic
  13. Kalispell Regional Healthcare
  14. First Interstate BancSystem Inc.
  15. The Waggoners Trucking

Looking for work in Montana? Here are some handy resources:

  1. MontanaWorks page: MontanaWorks – Businesses and Job Seekers
  2. Job search: Indeed, LinkedIn, CollegeRecruiter, CareerBuilder
  3. Resume help: Monster, TopResume, ResumeRobin

Traffic and Transportation

Montana is a huge state. Without access to adequate transportation, it can be hard to get around the Treasure State. Fortunately, there are several transportation systems to help you make your way here.

Major Forms of Transportation:

  1. Roads (interstate and US highways)
  2. Air (including Great Falls International Airport)
  3. Rail (Amtrak for passengers, BNSF Railway for freight)
  4. Bus (intercity, local, and motorcoach/charter services)
  5. Car Rental (including Avis, Budget, Hertz, etc.)
  6. Personal vehicle
  7. Ridesharing (depends on location)

Built between 1956 and 1988, the state’s interstate highway system consists of nearly 1,190 miles of road (95% of which serve rural areas, the highest percentage in the country).

Primary Interstate Highways:

  1. Interstate 15: runs north-south through the state, starting on the Idaho border in Monida, passing through Butte, Helena, and Great Falls, before terminating at the Canadian border in Sweet Grass, MT.
  2. Interstate 90: From Couer d’Alene Idaho I-90 passes through Montana east-west, cutting through Missoula, Butte, Bozeman, Billings before diving down into Wyoming.
  3. Interstate 94: Starting in Billings, you can hop on I-94 to get to eastern destinations in North Dakota and beyond.
  4. Interstate 115: A short road that connects commuters on Interstate 15 with downtown Butte.
  5. Interstate 315: Another spur of I-15 that jogs through central Great Falls, connecting to Hwy 87 on the eastern side of the city. 
  6. Interstate 15 Business
  7. Interstate 90 Business
  8. Interstate 94 Business

According to Best and Worst States to Drive In by WalletHub, Montana traffic is ranked #36 overall in the United States. This score depends on four subcategories: cost of ownership & maintenance (#18), traffic & infrastructure (#1), safety (#50), and access to vehicles & maintenance (#43).

Things to Do

Tourist Destinations:

Big Sky Country is known for its wide-open, natural splendor and recreational activities.

  • Glacier National Park: At over one million acres in size, this is heaven on earth for many nature enthusiasts (and the state’s most popular destination, hands down).
  • Flathead Lake: As the largest lake in the western region of the United States, Flathead Lake boasts 200 square miles of water and 185 miles of pristine shoreline.
  • Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument: This top historical landmark honors the brutal battle between the Sioux and Cheyenne Native Americans and the US Calvary.
  • The Museum of the Rockies: If you love museums, you have to visit this one! It offers a planetarium and the nation’s largest dinosaur collection (including dinosaur eggs).
  • Big Sky Resort: Montana is famous for winter sports, and one of its biggest draws is this resort, with 5,750 acres and 4,350 feet of terrain suitable for all types of skiers and snowboarders.

Food & Drink:

Montana is a big state full of fantastic food:

  • Top All-You-Can-Eat: Pompey’s Grill (Three Forks)
  • Top Bar: Charlie B’s (Missoula)
  • Top Beer: Big Sky Brewing Company (Missoula)
  • Top Brunch: The Fieldhouse (Billings)
  • Top Burger: The Burger Dive (Billings)
  • Top Chocolate Shop: The Parrot Confectionery Store (Helena)
  • Top Coffee Shop: Black Coffee Roasting Co. (Missoula)
  • Top Doughnuts: Granny’s Gourmet Donuts (Bozeman)
  • Top Fried Chicken: Roost (Bozeman)
  • Top Food Truck: Cajun Phatty’s (Billings)

State Parks:

Want to explore the Land of the Shining Mountains’ picturesque outdoors? Check out these parks:

  • Bannack State Park: Containing over 60 structures from the 1800s, the town is extremely well-preserved and offers a step by in time. Locate in Dillon.
  • Giant Springs State Park: Along with its famous springs, the 4,600-acre park offers 20+ miles of hiking trails, fishing, hunting, biking, and more. It is in Great Falls.
  • Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park: Nestled in Whitehall, this is Montana’s most famous state park, home to limestone caverns and other geological marvels. 
  • Makoshika State Park: Spanning over 11,500 acres, this park in Glendive is a popular attraction for its fossilized dinosaur remains. 
  • Lone Pine State Park: Toted as “some of the greatest natural and cultural treasures on earth,” this Kalispell gem is a place where visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, boating, and fishing. 

Museums:

The list of museums in Montana is considerable. Here’s our Top 10 selection:

  • American Computer & Robotics: Devoted to the Information Age and computing.
  • Conrad Mansion: The Charles Conrad Family Estate, built in the 1890s.
  • Montana Historical Society Museum: Filled with galleries on Montana’s history. 
  • Aerial Fire Depot & Smokejumper Center: Exploration of firefighting wildfires.
  • Moss Mansion: Filled with exhibits, special events, and tours of a bygone era.
  • Miracle of America Museum: Biggest and most diverse museum in Montana.
  • World Museum of Mining: Located on a mine yard with 50+ structures to explore.
  • Range Riders Museum: Celebrating the rich history of eastern Montana.
  • Yellowstone Historic Center: Dedicated to the travel to and through Yellowstone.
  • Yellowstone Art Museum: Extensive collection of historical and contemporary art.

Cool & Unusual:

Looking for something unique to explore in Montana? Consider the following: 

  • The Berkeley Pit: Filled with 40 billion gallons of deadly water (including heavy metals and new microbial species), this former open-pit copper mine is a popular attraction of toxic waste.
  • Garnet, Montana: This is one of the most well-preserved gold rush towns in the United States. Visitors can travel back in time and explore the remaining two dozen or so buildings. 
  • Castle Town Ghost Town: Constructed in the late 1890s, this mining town used to be the home of Calamity Jane, the famous frontierswoman, and acquaintance of Wild Bill Hickok.
  • Garden of One Thousand Buddhas: This 750-foot circular Buddhist shrine sits on a Native American reservation and has been a global center for peace since 2000.
  • Ptarmigan Tunnel: Located in scenic Glacier National Park, this 200-foot long tunnel was cut through the mountainside for horses and tourists back in the 1930s.

Schools and Universities

According to Geographic Disparity: States with the Best (and Worst) Schools by USA Today, Montana is ranked #24 in the country. Along with the 15th highest public-school spending, fourth and eighth graders tend to have higher proficiency in reading and math compared to the national average. 

As for institutes of higher learning, Montana is home to several acclaimed colleges and universities, including the University of Montana and Montana State University. Agriculture is huge in Big Sky Country (with almost two-thirds of the state considered agricultural land), so it’s no surprise that Montana schools offer leading wildlife and agricultural programs.

Top MT Colleges:

  1. Montana State University (Bozeman)
  2. University of Montana (Missoula)
  3. Carroll College (Helena)
  4. Montana Technological University (Butte)
  5. The University of Montana – Western (Dillon) 
  6. Rocky Mountain College (Billings)
  7. Montana State University – Billings (Billings)
  8. Montana State University-Northern (Havre)
  9. Salish Kootenai College (Pablo)
  10. University of Providence (Great Falls)

Top MT Public School Districts:

  1. Hobson Public Schools (Hobson)
  2. Highwood K-12 (Highwood)
  3. Big Sky School District (Gallatin Gateway)
  4. Terry Public Schools (Terry)
  5. Frenchtown Public Schools (Frenchtown)
  6. Hamilton Public Schools (Hamilton)
  7. Missoula High School District (Missoula)
  8. Philipsburg Public Schools (Philipsburg)
  9. Geraldine Public Schools (Geraldine)
  10. Roberts Public Schools (Roberts)

How to Become a Montana Resident

For tax purposes (and to enjoy certain privileges like cheaper fishing & hunting licenses and in-state tuition), it pays to become an official resident of Montana.

To do so, you must show the state that you intend to live here permanently. First, you must move to Montana and establish domicile (buy a home or rent a place with a minimum 12-month lease). Next, obtain an MT driver’s license or ID card. Then, get employed in the state. After 180 days of living here and following these guidelines, the state will recognize you as an official resident.

Note: For in-state tuition purposes, a prospective student must live in Montana for a consecutive 12 months or longer before the term for which he or she is applying.

Moving to Montana DMV

Acquiring a new driver’s license:

After moving to the state, new residents have 60 days to apply for an MT driver’s license.

Steps to getting a new license:

  1. Establish Montana residency
  2. Schedule an appointment
  3. Visit Montana Driver License Station
  4. Bring proof of ID, MT residency, authorized presence in the US
  5. Pay the applicable license fee
  6. Pass the vision test
  7. Receive a temporary license
  8. Wait for new license to arrive by mail (2–4 weeks)

Vehicle registration:

New MT residents must title and register out-of-state vehicles within 60 days

First, obtain an MT driver’s license. Next, visit your local county treasurer office. Provide your out-of-state title, a current registration, identification, proof of liability insurance, and lien information (if applicable). If you purchased the vehicle from an auto dealer recently, the dealer would need to send required paperwork. Be prepared to fill out a Statement of Fact (if applicable) and pay applicable title and interest/lien filing fees. Finally, submit paperwork and payment. Your vehicle will be issued registration and license plates.

To qualify to vote, you must be:

  1. A citizen of the United States
  2. A legal Montana State resident
  3. 18 years or older on election day
  4. Registered to vote in your precinct
  5. Lived in the state for at least 30 days
  6. Not currently serving a felony sentence
  7. Not found to be of unsound mind by the court

Montana does not currently have online registration. You may register by mail (to the county election administrator) or in-person (at your local county election office). The state allows early voting and no-excuse absentee voting. Montana voters must present photo identification to vote.

*Note: A Montana felon has his or her rights immediately restored upon completion of sentence.

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Best Places to Live in Montana

Western Montana

Bozeman

Population: 46,600
Median Home Value: $438,200

We start our adventure in the city of Bozeman. As the overall #1 place to live in Montana, it’s easy to forget that the city is actually… well, a city. With its picturesque Rocky Mountains backdrop, you’ll be asking yourself twice about it. 

What makes Bozeman so special? Well, for starters, it’s just the right combo of college town and outdoor paradise. Home to the state’s #1 school, Montana State University, students here are treated to a top education while being surrounded by spectacular nature. The city also attracts many visitors and new residents with its recreational pursuits (including topnotch skiing, rafting, rock climbing, and hiking), amazing food, free public transportation, and a strong economy. 

Stellar amenities include the Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, Gallatin Valley Mall, and Bozeman-Deaconess Hospital. Additionally, Bozeman won the All-American City Award in 2001, reflecting its continued innovation (tech is big here) and strong community connections. On the downside, there is a lack of diversity. The cost of living is also higher compared to other parts of Montana.

  • Top public schools: Bozeman High School, Morning Star School, Longfellow School, Irving Elementary, School, and Sacajawea Middle School.
  • Top private schools: Heritage Christian School, Bozeman Summit School, Headwaters Academy, Highland Montessori School, and Learning Circle Montessori School.
  • Top colleges: Montana State University, Academy of Cosmetology – Montana, Health Works Institute, and Montana Bible College.

If you’re looking for a truly small-town feel with big-city amenities in the Land of Shining Mountains, Bozeman needs to be at the top of your list of places to live.

Four Corners

Population: 4,100
Median Home Value: $332,800

Next, we have the top place to raise a family in Big Sky Country. As the #1 suburb of Bozeman, this tiny town of over 4,000 is a tidy community perfect for putting down your roots and commuting. 82% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools are considered the best in the state.

Offering a close-knit feel, Four Corners is committed to being a happy, safe place. It also has several local businesses that keep everything going. With a median age of just 35 years, the population has loads of younger families. Of course, every place has its drawbacks. For Four Corners, it’s the same issue facing the city of Bozeman: there’s a lack of diversity (with 97% of the population being white).

Top public schools serving Four Corners include Bozeman High School, Monforton Elementary School, Chief Joseph Middle School, Meadowlark Elementary School, and Monforton Junior High School. Looking for private education? Consider Middle Creek Montessori. As for higher education, several options are a quick commute away (15 or so minutes) in the city of Bozeman.

Are you considering a move to the Bozeman area? Have a family? Want to live in a cozy community? If you answered ‘yes’ to all three questions, Four Corners might be the place you’ve been looking for.

Helena

Population: 31,400
Median Home Value: $258,200

Helena, ranked the fourth best place to live in the state, is located in Lewis and Clark County. As the state capital of Montana, Helena was recently ranked #5 among the best places to live in Montana by The Crazy Tourist. 54% of residents own their homes, and the public schools are above average.

With a population of less than 35,000, Helena offers the convenience of a city with the charm and comfort of a suburban neighborhood. House pricings are also quite reasonable (and are the lowest out of the five places we have listed here for western Montana). Helena also offers some of the best schools in Montana. Again, like every other part of this state, outdoor recreation is huge (including hiking, fishing, boating, and scenic train rides). With strong employment and business growth, the city is perfect for young professionals starting careers or looking for a change of scenery.

Are you looking for the best academics in Helena, MT? Top public schools are Jefferson Elementary School, Four Georgians Elementary School, C.R. Anderson Middle School, Smith School, and Hawthorne Elementary School. Top private schools are First Lutheran and Calvary Christian School. The city is also home to Carroll College and Helena College – University of Montana (two-year college). 

If you’re in the market for a small city that promotes healthy living through outdoor activities, Helena checks all those boxes.

Missoula 

Population: 74,400
Median Home Value: $308,400

Situated in Missoula County, we visit the city of Missoula. With an elevation of over 3,000 feet and a population of just under 75,000, Missoula is nestled perfectly in the Rockies. Just over half, or 53%, of residents are homeowners, and the public schools rank above average.

Often called cultural, artsy, and naturally outdoorsy, Missoula has widespread appeal. It is also an exceptionally pretty city. Home to the University of Montana, the city’s student body adds to its particular flavor. The area has a certain personality and uniqueness that you really can’t find anywhere else in the state. This distinctiveness is a big part of the reason why it consistently ranks as one of the Top 100 mid-sized cities to live in America. Also, coffee is huge here. If you like coffee, you’ll love living in Missoula.

  • Top public schools: Hellgate High School, Cold Springs School, Lewis & Clark School, Sentinel High School, and Washington Middle School. 
  • Top private schools: Loyola Sacred Heart High School, Valley Christian School, St. Joseph School, Missoula International School, and Sussex School. 
  • Top college: University of Montana.

Offering an amazing mix of amenities, atmosphere, activities, and scenic views, it’s easy to see why Missoulians fall in love with Missoula.

Whitefish

Population: 7,600
Median Home Value: $364,800

Last stop on our tour of western Montana, we have Whitefish. As the #1 place to live in Flathead County, the tiny city of Whitefish sits in the northwestern corner of the state. Some 58% of residents own their homes, and the public schools are highly rated.

As a tourist destination – it is home to renowned Whitefish Mountain Resort on Big Mountain – Whitefish is known as being an extremely friendly place to visit and live. It offers a nice mix of winter and summer activities. It also has a cool downtown with great little shops. The town hosts several annual events, including The Great Northwest Oktoberfest, Winter Carnival, and Huckleberry Days. 

Again, as with other places on our list, there is a significant lack of diversity (with over 98% of the population being white). Nonetheless, the locals are very welcoming.

Are you raising kids? For the top K–12 public education in the area, take a look at Whitefish Middle School, Whitefish High School, and L.A. Muldown School. Looking for private academics? Consider Whitefish Christian Academy. This Christian school offers a student-teacher ratio of 9:1.

If you’re in search of one of the hidden gems of Montana, Whitefish is a northwestern Montana community you should give serious consideration if you’re looking for simpler, healthier living.

Eastern Montana

Billings

Population: 110,000
Median Home Value: $240,100

As we move to the eastern portion of Montana, we find ourselves in Billings. As the largest city in the state, it is the healthcare and retail center for the area, including parts of South Dakota and North Dakota. Over half or 63% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools rate as above average.

Offering friendly vibes, tasty craft beer, and unlimited outdoor fun, Billings certainly fits the bill for active types, families, and retirees alike. Couple that with Western history and a thriving economy, and you can start to see why it’s a big draw. Plus, it’s proximate to Yellowstone National Park. The city also offers a very reasonable cost of living (with a median home value of about $240K).

  • Top public schools: Canyon Creek Junior High School, Alkali Creek School, Arrowhead School, Poly Drive School, and Elder Grove Junior High School. 
  • Top private schools: Billings Central Catholic High School, Billings Christian Schools, St. Francis Primary School, Trinity Lutheran School, and St. Francis Intermediate School. 
  • Top colleges: Rocky Mountain College, Bold Beauty Academy, Montana State University – Billings, and Montana State University – Billings College of Technology.

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or lover of all things nature (or both), Billings offers affordable housing prices and awe-inspiring natural splendor, as well as more potential for entertainment and social life compared to every other Montana city.

Lewistown

Population: 5,900
Median Home Value: $187,000

Lewistown, located in Fergus County, is currently the #2 place to buy a home (just behind Four Corners). Consistently ranked as one of the happiest places to live in the Treasure State, the town is located right in the middle of Montana. 63% of residents own their homes, and the public schools are above average.

As one of Montana’s happiest little towns, Lewistown is well suited for families, retirees, and even young professionals. The cost of living is low, and house pricings are even lower. A unique perk: planes from Lewiston Airport fly to Seattle, Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, and Minneapolis daily. 

Are you looking for the best K–12 schools serving Lewiston, MT? Top public schools include Lewis & Clark School, Garfield School, Lewistown Junior High School, Highland Park School, and Fergus High School.

Offering family-friendly living and authentic Western living, Lewistown is a great choice for those seeking the perfect rural hideaway in Big Sky Country.

Glasgow

Population: 3,400
Median Home Value: $119,800

Our final spot, but certainly not coming in last place, is Glasgow. The #1 place to retire in Montana, it was named after the city in Scotland. Due to its remote location, the locals affectionately call it “Middle of Nowhere.” Some 73% of residents are homeowners, and the public schools rate as above average.

Filled with farmland and rolling plains, Glasgow is also a place of nice homes and high salaries. It was recently named the top place to live in Montana by HomeSnacks, and though the Middle of Nowhere moniker is pretty accurate, the town’s low cost of living and housing prices have been attracting millennials. To boot, Glasgow Montana Airport offers flights to Billings in about an hour.

Top public schools include Glasgow High School, Glasgow Junior High School, and R.L. Irle School.

This northeastern town offers the perfect mix of quiet and affordable living, making it a great choice for retirees, families, and young professionals wanting to experience the natural wonder of Montana.

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How to Move to Montana

2-3 Months Before Moving Day

  • First, plan: To ensure a successful interstate move, give yourself ample time to prepare, plan, and execute. A general rule is to start planning two to three months before your desired moving date. This schedule will help to ensure a smooth transition to or away from Montana.
  • Book MT moving company: Start by researching and comparing several fully licensed and insured candidates. Make sure to hire ASAP. Booking early will help you lock in the best rates and availability. Want to enjoy an affordable, efficient move? Contact Great Guys today!
  • Notify important parties: Rent? Give your landlord a heads up early on. Advance notice will safeguard you from extra fees and protect your security deposit. Own? If you want to maximize the sale or rental of your property, contact a real estate agent. Don’t forget to tell family and friends, too.
  • Declutter: To save space and money, perform a purging process. Begin by taking inventory of your household, making a note of what each space contains. Once finished, begin sorting through your possessions. Label or place in piles the items you want to keep or discard.
  • Sell, donate, and recycle: Once you’ve sorted through everything, you can now begin to sell online, throw a yard sale, donate to a charity or thrift shop, or recycle unwanted items.
  • Tour your new community: If feasible, plan a trip to your future town or city. See what it has to offer. If this isn’t possible, subscribe to a local newsletter or newspaper to keep up to date.
  • Prep children: Moving can be extremely stressful for kids. Explain what’s going on. Try using playtime or a story. Also, try to maintain their normal routines during the moving process.

One Month to Go

  • Start packing: Packing on your own? Grab enough packing supplies: boxes, tape, packing peanuts, etc. Place heavier items at the bottom of boxes. Make sure fragile or valuable items are properly wrapped and padded. Need help? We can find you a cheap packing service ASAP.
  • Transfer medical records, etc.: To ensure a bump-free transition, transfer important records. These can include school transcripts, prescriptions, and medical records.
  • Change your address: Visit your local USPS office or go online to the USPS site. While you’re at it, update your info for online services, box subscriptions, and so on.
  • Handle Utilities and services: If possible, have your current utility providers turn off services the day after you move. Have new utilities and services active by the time you get to your new home.

Two Weeks Left

  • Service your vehicle: Driving to your new community? Make sure your ride is up to the task. Take it in for inspection and service (oil change, tire rotation, A/C check, and so on).
  • Book cleaning services: Want to have a great showing or make your landlord happy? Hire a professional cleaning crew. If doable, have them show up right after the movers finish loading the truck.
  • Schedule special transport: If you’re unable to take your furry friend with you directly, you can arrange special transportation. The same goes for any prized plants.
  • Throw a moving sale: Want to downsize and declutter even further? Take this opportunity to clear space, make a little extra pocket change, and catch up with your neighborhood.
  • Inquire about insurance coverage: Get a hold of your insurance company and movers to safeguard your possessions during the relocation process. Better safe than sorry.
  • Make arrangements for kids: No matter how prepared you are, you’ll be distracted on moving day. Protect little ones (children and pets). Schedule babysitting or pet care for the day.
  • Commemorate your move: Remember to take the time to connect and celebrate with loved ones. Plan a party, BBQ, group outing, or one-on-one time. You can spread your hangouts and meetups over a few days or weeks. Make the most of your farewells!

Moving Week

  • Finish packing: Okay, so at this point, you should be pretty close to packed up. Take this time to create an essentials box. Fill it with everything you’ll need for the first 24 to 48 hours at your new place: meds, prescriptions, clothes, bedding, toiletries, snacks, toys, and so on.
  • Confirm moving arrangements: Make sure you and the moving company are on the same page: double-check arrival time, contact numbers, and any other important details.
  • Confirm travel arrangements: Flying? Double-check flight times and luggage restrictions. Driving? Look over vehicle and double-check driving route and accommodations. 
  • Rest up: If doable, stay in the night before your scheduled move. Relax, eat well, hydrate, and get plenty of sleep. You’ll need to be fully charged for tomorrow’s activities.

Moving Day is Here

  • Be present when movers arrive: Take the time to answer any questions or give last-minute instructions in person.
  • Provide snacks: It’s always a nice gesture. Plus, it can boost morale. If you’re inclined, offer bottled water and a tasty, light snack to your moving crew.
  • Tour your old digs: Once the moving truck is loaded, perform one last walkthrough. Keep an eye out for any damages, messes, or items that might have gone unnoticed.
  • Enjoy yourself: Finally, don’t forget the journey is just as important as the destination. Have some fun writing the first pages of your new chapter.

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Quality Moving Services from Montana Movers

Great Guys Long Distance Movers offers reputable MT moving services at low prices.

Long Distance Moves

Who says a long-distance move has to be overwhelming? With the right help, you can actually enjoy the moving process. That’s where Great Guys comes in. Our network of interstate movers makes relocating to or from Montana a breeze. Request your free quotes today and experience the difference.

Intrastate & Local Moves

Moving to Missoula? Blazing your path to Billings? Wherever you are going, we’re here to help. We work with top movers that know Big Sky Country like no one else. Whether you’re moving to a mountain town or metropolitan area, we make it easy to hire knowledgable local moving services.

International Moves

Congrats on your overseas relocation. Now, the fun part. Filled with complicated paperwork, confusing customs, and more, a global move can get out of hand quickly. Fortunately, we can connect you with fully licensed international movers that can smoothly guide you to a successful transition.

Small Load Moves

You deserve the same convenience as larger households. From one-bedroom apartments to studios and college dorms, we can hook you up with a cheap and fast small load service near you. No more having to do it by yourself or hire a big, expensive moving company.

Furniture Shipments

Have a few fragile items that need special handling? Or an entire household filled with bulky sofas and appliances? Our furniture movers make easy work of any job. Let us know if you need a few extra sets of capable hands. Your back and sanity will thank you.

Piano Transport

Have to relocate your instrument to a new venue or home? From vintage organs to concert pianos, we have the right piano moving specialists for your particular needs. Attention to detail is the key to ensuring your cherished instrument arrives safely – something our pros take very seriously.

Art Shipping & Transport

From family heirlooms and collectibles to fine art, you shouldn’t have to rely on standard movers. All of our art shippers are fully vetted and highly specialized. From custom packaging to art installations, you can rest assured that your most prized pieces are in great hands.

Storage

Whether renovating, traveling, or between places, you probably need storage. Most of the moving companies we work with also provide short-term and long-term storage options. No matter the size of your haul, we can connect you with a safe, secure storage solution. Contact us today!

Last Minute & Short Notice Moves

Dealing with an unexpected move? We’re ready to lend a hand. This transition is a super stressful time, and you need a swift service on which you can count. If you’re being evicted, landed a new job, or procrastinated about packing, we can find you short notice movers in your area in no time.

Residential Moves

Moving into a new home? Congratulations! Whether this is your first time or tenth, the logistics of residential moving can be daunting. With one of our efficient and reliable household moving companies, you can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy this new chapter in your life.

Packing Services

Most of us would agree – packing isn’t fun. And it can be even less fun when work and life get in the way. If you don’t have the time, energy or capability to pack properly, you can always leave it to professional movers and packers. From partial packing to full-service packing, we’ve got you covered. 

Commercial and Office Moves

Relocating your office or expanding your business is an exciting time. It also requires top-tier professionals to ensure no downtime or disruptions. If you want your relocation to go off without a hitch, hire one of our premier commercial moving companies.  

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Need affordable, quality MT moving services? Request a free moving estimate today!

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