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Juneau vs Anchorage?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

We are moving to Alaska and have the option of choosing an office in Juneau or Anchorage. Any input?

I am a SAHM with two little girls, 3 and 15 months. We would be going to Alaska for at least three years, but would eventually be moving back. We would be buying a home, and I just saw one post talking about how bad the market is in Juneau, why? How about Anchorage?

Excited about a very big change for us, and I appreciate any suggestions or experiences you chould share!

post #2 of 13
How Alaskan do you want to be? : ) I can only speak from the Anchorage side of things. I visited Juneau briefly, and it is beautiful. It is a small town with some neat history and a quaint downtown built into the mountain range as where it meets the water. There are beautiful beaches (not anywhere you could really swim or anything), glaciers, and (tends to be) lots of rain. There are several traditional grocery stores. The biggest downfall that I would see would be that you can't get in or out of Juneau except by boat (usually Ferry to other small coastal cities) or plane.

Anchorage, on the other hand, is huge, holding half the state's population. It too is built between the mountains and ocean, but on a wide plane. There are just about every kind of store you could want, many school options (bilingual, montessori, etc.), tons of parks, and you can drive out of town in any direction to easily explore the state further. There are definitely many more options of everything in Anchorage, but you do loose a little of the "Alaskan feel" when living in such a thriving metropolis. However, I live here because my husband's job is here, and I appreciate more the options of things to do and people to meet with my toddler.

I would also think it benificial to be able to get around the state. Visit Fairbanks and Seward and Homer by car. They are all so different and interesting. Of course, I've never been to Sitka and Skagway and other little towns on the water system, and that would be pretty neat too.
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks... DH is leaning towards Juneau. I'm thinking Anchorage may fit us better. He says Anchorage is quite a bit colder than Juneau, do you agree?
post #4 of 13
Anchorage will be cold than Juneau in the winter but Juneau with have by far more precipitation than Anchorage. It rains a lot in Juneau year round where as yes, it is cold in the winter in Anchorage but in the summer it can get nice and warm. If you are a gardener, gardening can be challenging in Juneau due to all the rain.
post #5 of 13
I've never been to Juneau.

I like this saying....

Anchorage is Okay, at least you can get to Alaska from here.

Good Luck with your decision.
post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by ritz1 View Post
Thanks... DH is leaning towards Juneau. I'm thinking Anchorage may fit us better. He says Anchorage is quite a bit colder than Juneau, do you agree?
I have lived in the Interior for 11 years, and now live in Anchorage. Anchorage is not cold in the winter. Last year the coldest day was -12.
post #7 of 13
it really depends on your priorities. Juneau is small and secluded and can be rustic despite being the capital. Anchorage is a city with malls and shopping and everything you could want in a city. I would pick anchorage in a heartbeat - wilderness is so close but you'll have all the comforts of a metropolitan area.
I only lived there for 2 1/2 years but would do it again in a heartbeat. Like you, we moved for DH work, but only temporarily.
post #8 of 13
I'm a Juneau girl, but I have spent a lot of time in Anchorage as well. Anchorage is fine if you want to shop or see a touring show or drive somewhere.

It's true that Juneau is small, but it is also a much more connected community. We have more arts organizations per capita than most of the world (symphony, professional theatre, dance, opera, etc). The average drive from one place to another here is less than 20 minutes. The air quality is excellent, public transportation is usable, the libraries are open when you need them.

Juneau does have downsides. The housing market can be tight. It rains a lot. It takes a plane or a boat to get out. Still, I like it here.
post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all of the responses! We've requested Anchorage. less for climate reasons, after researching it, Chicago was colder last year than Anchorage LOL! The office would be better for DH's work, and I really like the idea of being able to access for of Alaska but still have the metropolitan comforts.

I'm going to put another thread, but we are now moving to Anchorage! any real estate tips?!
post #10 of 13
Good for you for making a decision! I found this thread a little late to help you out, but I did want to put in my 2 cents anyway.. I used to live in Southeast and now live in Anchorage, and I really think that Juneau is colder, but in a different way than just temp.. many days in winter you would get soaked and the wind would kick up and that would just CHILL TO THE BONE.. Anchorage is snowy in winter, and the temp can drop but it is a fluffy winter instead of wet.. and the housing market in Juneau is tight because the city is pretty much built on a mountain and the capital is there, so the politicians are always trying to find a place to be.. If I had family that lived there, I might be happy living there, but with little connections that I have there now, I wouldn't uproot my family to move there..

Housing in Anchorage...
Any homes in the $200,000 range get snapped up pretty quickly.. houses in the higher brackets- you will get more options to choose from imo..

you will get more input in your endeavors if you chime in on the "ongoing Alaskan mama chat" threads..

here's june


Good luck!
post #11 of 13
to buy? If you can swing it, homes in the $250,000 range are decent and plentiful. Anything under that and you might not get a good home.
I can suggest a great neighborhood if you are interested. Not sure what the prices are this year but last year, they were stable.

rent? Watch out for Midtown!! If you find a spot, let us know and we can scout it out for you.
post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 
We will be buying, and I think our range is 250-350, but it would be great to be at the lower end of that range. especially because we have to sell our house in Chicago, and the market has really gone down here.

We will probably be moving Oct/Nov. it will be another month or so before I get the details. And then we have a house hunting trip we are able to take. I'm going to become a huge lurker here in the meantime though!!
post #13 of 13
i love Juneau and would move back in a heart beat. Beautiful, friendly, smallish community. DH thinks its too big, Ha! All a matter of perspective. I honestly would live there over Anchorage any day!
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