SUNDANCE, Wyo. (KOTA TV) – There’s now a relocation service available just for Republicans.
“Welcome to Wyoming” road sign when you cross over state lines on Interstate 90. (KOTA TV)
It’s called Conservative Move and was started by former lawmaker/law enforcement Paul Chabot. He and his wife got tired of California life and decided to move to Texas.
“It’s like leaving a really bad relationship. When you get out of that and you move to say a Texas, a Florida, the Dakotas, Wyoming, etc, you look back and say, ‘my God, why did I tolerate that abuse for so long? Why was I in that relationship? Life is so much better.’ There really are greener pastures,” said Chabot.
He said things started changing in California over the last few years when Democrats took over super-majority within the state house. His family took a look at various conservative-leaning states across the country and landed in Texas in January of 2017.
After a while, they found neighbors, store employees, even their mailman moved to Texas from California for the same reason. That’s when his real estate business was started.
“So today, Conservative Move has about 250 agents across the country working in about 40 different states, helping families sell their home in a blue state like California, New York, Illinois and then buying in a red state,” said Chabot.
It’s now in its third year of operation, and it’s helped thousands of families get to where they want to go.
“We do a lot more than just the real estate relocation business. We encourage them if they have kids to look at school district ratings, to look at the various crime maps, even to go as far as registered sex offenders online. It’s all about helping families feel safe about where they’re gonna raise their kids,” said Chabot.
Take Wyoming for example. More people are heading there and realtors are running out of homes to sell. The most popular type of people heading there is law enforcement retirees.
“They’re typically wanting to move to the middle of nowhere, like someplace with no neighbors. They don’t wanna look out their window and see people. They’re sick of people,” said The Property Shop Owner and Broker April Poley.
Poley recently joined forces with Conservative Move. She believes those moving from a blue state to a red one don’t feel like their voices are being heard and are tired of fighting to fit in.
“Coming up here, it’s almost like everyone they meet is an instant friend sort of because they have so much in common with them. They’re shocked by how nice we are up here compared to where they’re coming where people are suspicious of you, and they’re just kind of shocked by kind of the live and let live attitude up here,” said Poley.
There are a few reasons why people are choosing to live in Wyoming over other Republican-led states.
“They like our gun laws, that you can conceal carry without a permit. There’s no gun registration, they like that. The freedom of religion. The taxes. The fact that we don’t have a state income tax. We don’t have a corporate tax. We have pretty low sale tax, especially when you compare it to someplace like Chicago where I think its 11 or 12%,” said Poley.
This Wyoming realtor thinks working with people who are like-minded in the housing industry is important.
“I feel like you can trust them more if you have stuff in common, especially if you know their core values are the same. They’re not just trying to sell you a house. They’re helping you move to a place that will fit your lifestyle and how are they going to do that if they don’t understand your lifestyle because they don’t agree with it,” said Poley.
According to Chabot, his company doesn’t do advertising because they can’t keep up with high demand. Most of the people looking at moving are middle-class families with younger children. He thinks it’s a warning call to state legislators in these red states to pay attention and talk with those moving in from blue states to see what challenges they faced.
There was some legislation in Pierre supporting this type of movement. Senate Resolution 602 would invite responsible gun owners from Virginia to relocate in South Dakota. It was introduced by Senator John Wiik from District 4. It was killed in the Senate State Affairs Committee.