Home / News / Finding A New Home With A Family

Finding A New Home With A Family

Dedrick is a husband and father who currently works as a chemical engineer in Bismarck, North Dakota.  Living and working in a place that suits his family�s needs is high on his list of priorities in life. While considering where to relocate to, Dedrick decided to embark on the journey of trailer life temporarily while exploring life in the town where a new career opportunity was located. He started out by working remotely in his trailer in Carlsbad, New Mexico to ensure that the town and job would be a good fit long term before making the move with his family. Since he was offered a job in the middle of the school year and his wife is a teacher, it was better for his family to move at the end of the school year anyways. So, he packed up his belongings and set out to evaluate the company and town on his own. He ultimately decided it wasn't a good fit and ended up moving to Bismarck, North Dakota after a smooth interview and an intuitive feeling that it was the right choice. Lucky for us, he was generous enough to share some of his experiences and insight! 

Interview with Dedrick

The following is a lightly edited transcript of a phone interview conducted by Newsletter Manager, Emma Butterfield, as she sat with a kombucha in hand in her studio apartment in Downtown, Portland OR. What was the experience of being in a travel trailer like? The ups, the downs? Do you have any tips for those who may be confined to small living quarters currently or who intend to spend time living in an RV in the future? 

Dedrick: You really need to consider what you�re going to need to keep with you and downsize according to the amount of space you will have. One example of this is downsizing with electronics. In a trailer or other temporarily living establishment, it may not be practical to have a desktop. Acquiring a laptop if you don�t already have one may be a smart move. Do research on what the trailer parks are like in the area that you�re going to be in because some have more amenities than others. What you�re looking for may depend on how long you�re going to be there and if you will be living solo or with other family members. This also may have an effect on what type of trailer park you need. Ideally, you will want to find a trailer park that has reasonable laundry facilities. 

Make sure you maintain your water heater well because RV water heaters need more regular maintenance than home water heaters. This includes completing necessary tasks such as flushing out sediment regularly. Another pointer is to make an effort to get to know the other people in the trailer park because chances are you will be away from the most important people in your life. 

 What are some methods you found to be useful when looking for a job in a new town? Was there anything else in particular that drew you to Bismarck besides your new job? 

Dedrick: As a chemical engineer, most of my job hunting included talking with recruiters who saw my information on LinkedIn. I used the BestPlaces website to evaluate whether or not locations where job opportunities existed were going to work out well for my family. I also researched school districts where certain jobs were located to see if those districts would be a good fit for my family. Once I picked a location, I had to think about my wife, who is a special education teacher, finding a job in that location. The idea behind living in a temporary housing situation before moving more permanently was that I could talk to people who lived there to get a feel for whether or not the town would be a good fit for my family and I. 

As for what drew me to Bismarck other than my job, I spent four years in Kansas prior to moving and the mindset of residents in general was somewhat similar to Bismarck. They were considerate and interested in each other, which was a major positive point for me. My impression of Bismarck has always been positive ever since visiting for the interview and moving there before my family. I have always just had a feeling that my family would be happy there. This and the fact that I had a very smooth interview led to me feeling deep down that it would be a great place to work and bring my family. From this experience, I learned that it's very important to trust your gut and intuition if it's telling you that a place is or isn't going to be a good fit.

During these unprecedented times, the importance of affordable nutrition has become even clearer to many. Does your food dollar stretch as far in Bismarck as where you previously lived? 

Dedrick: Carlsbad had 120,000 people living in a region built for 50,000 so prices had been driven up due to this. Luckily, my food dollar stretches a little bit further in Bismarck than where I previously lived. This being said, food is probably more expensive in Bismarck than in some other places such as Kansas, where it was substantially more affordable.  

 Is there anything else that you would like to share or any other tips you have for our members? 

Dedrick: If anything I�d really just like to share a compliment I have for BestPlaces: I used BestPlaces with my earlier move and found it to be so useful that I kept coming back. I have tried using other websites for moving research but feel as though their information is not as complete nor easy to understand. Due to my satisfaction with the site, I recommended it to my brother who may have to move due to the situation that the pandemic has caused. Additionally, I really enjoyed receiving a personal response from Bertrand after reaching out about an inquiry I had. 

The Highlight Reel

  • When deciding where to live with a family, spending some time scoping out a town in a temporary living establishment can be a unique but effective approach.
  • If you do choose to spend time living in a trailer park, prioritize finding a park that has laundry facilities and other amenities.
  • When evaluating a new town that a job offer exists in, using the BestPlaces website to figure out important aspects of a town such as cost of living, schools, and climate is a smart move.
  • If you have children, consider researching school districts where a job offer exists to get a feel for whether or not they would be a good fit for your family.
  • Even if you are not able to temporarily live in a town, consider visiting to talk to the locals to find more out about the town, taking into consideration the needs and wants of your family in comparison with the town's offerings.
  • Don't hesitate to trust your gut instinct and intuition about a towns suitability for you and your family.
  • Think about how far your food dollar will stretch in a given town before moving there.

What is your annual income?


Includes Cost of Living compares for child care, utilities, transportation, health, taxes, housing for home owners vs renters, weather, insurance premiums and so much more.

Try Now