This place is beautiful, as put perfectly below, Missoula has a big heart. Most of the people you will find here as kind as the place itself... The town is booming with culture, art, and life! We have our champions of the grid iron in the U of M Grizzlies for those die hard sports fans... Two beautiful rivers running right through town for any angler. A metropolitan feel, with the opportunity to cover yourself in nature only minutes away. Snow Bowl, our local ski area may not be a giant resort, but if you ski to be a skier then you have yourself a mountain with plenty of vertical feet.
Im not speaking as a realtor, I am speaking as Brandy Snider's 23 year old son/assistant Barett Snider... All 23 years of my life have spent here, working and learning. Speaking from the point of view of someone that has traveled around the world, parts of the country, and definitely a large portion of our lovely state, it doesn't get much better than Missoula.
If your a have a problem with being a responsible, hard working adult that enjoys beautiful mountain scenery with a splash of river and lake lifestyle... then Missoula isn't the right place.
It doesn't matter where your from... People like to talk about Montanans disliking Californians but it doesn't amount to where your from, it amounts to how you act. Montanans don't like stupid people, and they are born and live all over this great country. I would be ignorant to tell you to stay in California and keep your money there... Economics escape a large portion of us apparently.
Last best place... perhaps just the best place.
Just my opinions
Hope you decide to at least visit!
There is lots of night life that suit the University crowd, with museums, live theatre, music and performances in the park. Additionally the University has brought some really big names in entertainment to the Adams Center.
The average price of a home right now is $200,000+ with a wide range of possibilities on either side of that figure.
Missoula area has experienced a boom/bust with out of state money, driving the price of real estate out of sight and now falling to realistic levels. Normal turn around for California/Texas/Washington people is about 5 years. It isnt so much the cold.... but how quickly winter returns. Check USDA website on "agriculture growing months"... its only 5 months in Montana. The out of staters are funny when they walk away/foreclose on their oversize/overprice home that no local person can afford.
Locals are hostile and jealous of out of state money.... a big reason why they tell you to stay away.
There is a local saying when new people ariive, "I hope you brought your job with you".
Women not from here get tired of lack of shopping but the girls make do by having once a month 3 day shopping trips to Seattle or Salt Lake. Men love the outdoor sports and I love the high dry air. UMontana is fine old university and has a good influence on the community.
Crime is increasing with meth but not like Oregon yet. The tweakers are afraid of a lot of cowboys around here who will shoot their *** if they trespass. The good news is that the welfare system sucks because Montana has a balanced budget amendment. So.... the "free lunch" isnt much here. People unemployed get the idea that there's more "free" in california and with a beach view.... they're gone.
Montana is the "last best place" and the quality of life is excellent. However, money is scarce and you'll be forced to downsize.
Do us all a favor...stay in California. Find some other peaceful state to go and wreck. Missoula has had way too much of its share.