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Ever been to Driggs, Idaho?

7703 Views 107 Replies 26 Participants Last post by  tetonadam
I have a phone interview tomorrow for a job in Driggs Idaho.

I am not looking for a change, this was an unexpected contact from someone from an industry I left in 2015 due to a non compete which has expired.

It's a pretty attractive offer, the likes of which I wont see without relocating and maybe not even then.

Any idea what the boating is like around Driggs?
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Ecoregion Plant Natural landscape Natural environment Larch

I live on the north end of Alta, Wy, up against the Forest, in Teton Valley, about 9 miles out of Driggs. Lived in Alta, or on the Jackson side way out in the Forest, most of my life. It's an incredible area for folks who love the outdoors. It's easy to make a living, and it's possible to live here, as I have, and ignore politics. Teton Valley, particularly the north end where I live, is centrally located to access some mighty interesting parts of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.
Housing is the big problem, though. And winter's are five months, no lie. I've already plowed twice and have a foot of snow in the pasture.
Photo of my place up on South Leigh. I can throw a rock from my porch into Idaho.
Cloud Plant Sky Atmosphere Natural landscape
 

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I drove thru Driggs about 6 years ago after having been away from SE Idaho for 15-20 years and was shocked at the changes wrought on what had previously been just another small Idaho town of no significance. The huge "my private Idaho" mega ranches and other apparent spill-over from the Jackson Hole valley was not what I had expected to see after so many years.
If you continue down the main road to the west of Driggs and/or to the NNW you'll run into other small Idaho towns that haven't changed too much over the years and where I'd imagine house/land prices are more reasonable. Winters don't seem as long or as harsh as they were when I was growing up and there is so much to explore all over that part of Idaho and nearby WY, MT, etc. If you have the opportunity I'd say why not?
You are correct. You just need to get beyond commuting distance to the Jackson side and things settle down. Out north of Felt, or thereabouts.
As for the place going to hell, well, I built my first house around here in 1980. And I love it here more than ever. But I don't get into town much.
 

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Like anything…the cost of living is higher, but so are the wages. $50-$100/hr for experienced carpenters isn’t unheard of. I’m getting around $600/lineal foot for furniture grade cabinets. $600/uppers, $600 lowers, $1500/full height. Uninstalled (another $150/ft). I’m making around $200/hr on milling trim packages, after expenses. And it’s quality work. No MDF in this town! The work in Jackson is really nutty. I have two friends working on $55 million and $65 million homes! One has a 10,000square foot BASEMENT! The water table is so highly, the slab is almost six feet thick. Just the concrete work was $20 mil.
Just to interject a little perspective. I inspect houses for real estate deals all over the region. My wife is a broker. I get to see properties that run the gamut from single wides to mansions. There are affordable properties on the market, especially on the Idaho side of the line. If you're willing to work on a run down place you can get a bargain. My last move over here I did just that- my wife found a place with a lot of serious problems, we got a good deal, and I spent the last year working my butt off fixing it up. Worked for us.
And, prices on the low end in Idaho are softening: mortgage rates went up and a lot of working folks passed on the high prices. The people I talk to who know real estate here expect a downward trend in prices this next year.
As Montet 202 pointed out, you can make good money here. Guys with trade skills can do really well. Work a 4 day week, gross $2K, ski 3 days, repeat. Most contractors will accommodate "powder days".
 

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C’mon man. 600,000$ for a fixer upper is affordable? A bargain? Where did you move from?
I've experiences that, here. Have worked on homes for very wealthy people. Some of the nicest folks I've met. Was out to work on a house I'd finished for a couple- their 3rd home, on a golf course- one Saturday morning. Mr. Homeowner was on one of my 12' step ladders adjusting the limits on his brand new custom garage door openers.
I told him he didn't need to do that, I'd call the installer, have them to come do it!
"Naw, I don't mind, I like this sort of thing."

The people who make juuust enough to drive a(leased) Mercedes SUV and live in a house on "the right" side of town.... THOSE people will cause you far more grief...
My experience as a contractor has been that it is only people who have money who will hire you, and pay you.
 

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Getting off topic, here. But that's what Buzzards do.

You may not be able to read this(paywall) but it's entertaining. Was sent to me by an attorney friend who married a carpenter.

This is indeed behind a paywall. Too bad. I'd love to know what those soft-handed chicken-necked city boys have to say about the trades.
 

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Well shit.

I live in a 1000 sq ft mill house that was built in 1948 with a 100 amp electric panel and no garage. Shit I don't even have eaves on the roof. But my mortgage is almost paid off, and I did it on a lowly public employee salary. I am grateful for everything I have. I am so much better off than probably 95% of every human on the planet. I even have a bunch of boats and even more paddles. I feel really guilty even for buying a "new" eleven year old RAV4 from a friend who's moving overseas and am still keeping the 25 year old Tacoma I bought new in 1997.

I lived in northern Utah for several years in the '90s. I used to travel through Driggs routinely. I always enjoyed it and never figured it would be "gentrified." I have great memories of taking pictures of friends standing on the flatbed with the giant potato advertising the drive-in theater. Is that still there? I haven't been through there in a possum's age.


Let's go boat!
The tater truck is still there. But the Spud drive in screen blew over late last winter in a horrendous windstorm, after surviving from the forties.
Owners were gonna rebuild it immediately based on the old plans. County had other ideas. Guess they'll rebuild it next summer.
 

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And this is not the one percent, it’s the ten percent. Years ago I did some repairs in a home at the mouth of La Plata canyon. Dude was some stockbroker hedge fund kinda guy that owned jets, plural. The contractor told me that his propane bill was 2k/month due to poor design (two story windows all across the the north side) and hydronic snow melt for driveways and sidewalks. This is 15 years ago when propane was less then a buck a gallon. Thus dude is not the one percent.
I still remember doing interior trim on a place along the river in Jackson, where I first saw radiant heat being installed in a driveway.
I was awestruck.
 

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Kept getting this “most expensive home in Utah “ on my feed so I just searched for Jackson. Don’t know how old the Vedic is but it’s probably more now. Fuck it must be nice to have fancy stuff!!
Teton County passed a "law" some years ago which capped the size of a home at 10,000 sq. ft. A rich guy took them to Court because he was gonna feel cramped in that small a house and built bigger. This went on for some years, and a few million tax dollars. Rich guy lost, and had to make his house a little smaller.
Sometimes, living around here, I think I'm taking crazy pills. Then, I go elk hunting, or ski the backcountry, and feel somewhat better.
 

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Can you imagine how much Pinchecharlie’s posted house costs to heat, have the windows cleaned etc etc. I guess a good portion of upkeep/maintainence $ should come to local folks so that’s a good but the mega/trophy home just seems sooo not sustainable.
ever bang a tennis pro when you where young? Yeah me neither
No. But I DID bang a rodeo queen. AND a ski racer.
Still do.
 
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