Moving to Wyoming
So, you’re thinking about moving to Wyoming. Whether it’s a job transfer or seeking the fabled Jackalope, there are a few important things that you need to consider before you make that move. Don’t think that you can just get up and move as you can in most places, there are a couple of things you need to be aware of. Weather, housing, and employment, are three of the items I will cover here.
The weather here can be unpredictable, no matter what time of the year it is. MAKE SURE you check the weather when making your plans. I got married to wife number two in September of 2000. We got married in Boone County, Arkansas. Temperature was 100 degrees. It was the only place that I could find that you can still legally marry your sister. (Just kidding). She was living in Oklahoma and I was living in California. We did a little long distance dating, and then got married. We went to Florida for our honeymoon, where it was 100 degree plus, then came back to Oklahoma, where it was also 100 degrees, to move her out to California where I was living at the time.
We loaded up the truck, picked up my new step sons in Kansas, 100 degrees, saw my folks in Colorado, again, 100 degrees, and proceeded to California via Wyoming. We got as far as Laramie where it was snowing hard. It was NOT 100 degrees anymore.
The roads going west were closed as a result of all the snow. There was a line of trucks parked end to end alongside of the freeway, reaching for a couple of miles, waiting for the freeway to open. Nobody was going anywhere. Little did we know at the time, that the freeway would be closed for four days. To make matters worse, none of us were dressed for this kind of weather. We high-tailed it back to Cheyenne, and found a motel. Fifteen minutes after arriving at the motel, all the rooms were filled. It turns out, there were no more vacancies in any hotel or motel in the entire area of Cheyenne and Laramie. They were all filled up.
There were a lot of people stranded without a place to stay, as a result of that storm. We were snowed in pretty good, and we lived in that motel for four days. For four long days, I sat on the bed with two little boys, watching “Blues Clues” on TV. It was a long four days. CHECK THE WEATHER. This was mid-September, remember? CHECK THE WEATHER.
In the past, I never worried too much about having to find a place to live. That all changed when I finally did move to Wyoming. In the past, if I wanted a new place to live, all I had to do was apply at some apartments, or look in the newspaper, or even just drive around looking for rental properties. When I finally moved to Wyoming in April 2002, we pulled into Lander, with a trailer loaded down with all our worldly possessions. It was still early in the morning when we arrived, and we pulled in to have some breakfast and to begin our search for a place to rent. There was not a single listing in the newspaper for rental properties. I do mean there was nothing. This was not a good sign, and a bit confusing. How could there be no listings for rental properties? I was not expecting to see a lot of listings, but I was expecting to see something.
We drove around town, talked to realtors, apartment managers, and just people off the street. There was not a single place in the entire town to rent. We were stunned. We did eventually get a lucky break, and we were able to rent a motel room by the week, which we promptly did. They only had one vacancy left when we arrived. We felt that we were lucky to even get that one. For weeks afterward, I sat on the bed with two little boys watching reruns of “Blues Clues” on TV. I am really not very fond of this show anymore.
After about six weeks of living in the motel, we finally found a home to move into. We found a house on the edge of town. I should say that, it was my boss that found us a place to move into. She introduced me to a client of hers who had a rental. We agreed upon a price and worked out the deposit with a hand shake, signed a contract and we were in. That was a good day.
There is a lot of business that gets done here, with little more than a handshake. I find this very refreshing, after having lived in California. In other places where I have lived, if you wanted to rent a place, not only would you have to sign a contract, you also have to do a credit check and pay first month’s rent, last month’s rent and a security/cleaning deposit. In some cases, you would even have to qualify. What I mean by that, is the rental agency might only have one opening, but would take in fifteen applicants and pick the one with the best history, credit rating, and whatever other criteria they deemed important. It has, at times, been harder to rent a place, than to get a job. Here in Wyoming, even in the 21st century, a handshake and your word still means a great deal.
I thought that finding a place to live would be the least of my problems, I was wrong, this proved to be a challenge. If you are considering moving here, do everything possible to find a place to live first. To this day, I still get a lot of emails from people looking for a place to live. It seems that finding a job was the easy part. Good luck to you.
If you are serious about working, you can find a job here. Wyoming has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the U.S. It was around 4.9 in 2012. The national average was 7.8. This according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I had a job waiting for me when I arrived in Wyoming. That was good, I was able to go right to work. There are a lot of opportunities here, in the great state of Wyoming. You just need to do your homework. I am not going to spend a lot of time on this topic. If you are serious about working here, you will find a job.
Listed to the right in the sidebar are a number of resources, that will help you in your research of what’s available in Wyoming.