Sought advice before here and it served me well when I first began considering a move...This time, it is a little more real as I am looking to advance professionally while also keeping some of what I enjoy about where I currently live (Maine - the hunting, rural feel). When in North Dakota this fall on a pheasant hunting excursion, the state had the look and feel of everything I had expected when thinking about the landscape - small cities scattered amongst seemingly endless open country. In short, I loved it. Also appealing is the 30+ hours closer proximity to a variety of areas with better and longer hunting seasons and slightly better winters than currently enjoyed here certainly helped.
Putting aside all the non-essential reasons now, the realist in me also knows more goes into it. Livability, ability to make a living, housing/rentals, all factor in. Right now I am career-driven with no intent to settle down for the short-term future (at least 2-3 years) and plan to keep that, especially since this move would be a change requiring some acclimation. With that in mind, I'd like to hear some of the pros/cons of living in Minot, Bismarck, Grand Forks both from a "realist" perspective (the livability, housing market, work) in addition to the "hunter" perspective. Obviously my final location would depend on a job offer and where that would take me, but there are prospective employers I am reaching out to that are located in each of these cities and would like some background before travelling out and exploring them myself to avoid wasting time. (I have been to Minot, although only for a day and on our trip never directly went into Bismarck, just skirted edges of it.)
During my job search have also been digging around into the real estate markets, right now though it looks like a two-year commitment to this at minimum, and as much as I hate renting it may be the better option during this time as I don't want to lock myself in and be unable to chance course if it turns out I truly don't enjoy it. If I stay after that time, then a better understanding of the area and what I am looking for and could afford would lead to a much safer purchase.
Help is appreciated gang, thanks in advance to anyone who does. If you feel more comfortable with PM'ing me, then feel free to do so.