Got two offers, one in Westminster, one here in Houston (Denver: transplants, crime)
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Got two offers, one in Westminster, one here in Houston
No, I'm not complaining about getting two great job offers at once. But they are both great and I'm having a hard time choosing.
One is here in Houston with a great, small PR firm that has some amazing clients in the aerospace industry as well as oil and gas and a few others. We've been in Houston 13 years and besides the heat, we love it. Friendly people, so much to do and the cost of living is so very low.
The second is with a well-established company in Westminster with full relo and amazing benefits. It's a great salary, too. The problem is there are 25-50 days of travel per year and I have a 4 year old. The subject matter isn't the most riveting, either, but it's still in my industry. They have offered to help my husband find a job, too.
The dilemma is that we have been here so long that it's hard to move. We have a lot of friends here and are used to the Houston. We lived in Co. Springs back in the late '90s and absolutely hated it. I'm from Texas and got snubbed by so many people plus that town is pretty ugly. Sorry if I offended anyone, but that's my opinion.
How have any recent transplants fared as far as fitting in, finding friends and the general atmosphere of the area. I'm not even concerned about housing at this point, really. I just want to know if it's worth it. We are considering Westminster, Superior, Louisville and Broomfield.
I've lived in Westminster for 7 years and this whole area is great. Lots of friendly people, lots to do, great weather, great schools. But--The cost of living here--especially housing--is a lot more expensive here than Texas. If your husband has a job there and you need both salaries, I would stay where you are. But, if you decide to come here, let us know what kind of house/neighborhood you would like so we can provide suggestions where you can look. Congrats on offers!
Thanks for the reply! We could make it fine on my salary, I think. It's around $100k. My husband has had a few bites, but no takers because he doesn't live there already. This job would remove that issue. It seems like a lovely area I just can't decide if the job is right for me in the long run. But, that's nothing anyone can help with here!
I've been looking in Broomfield and it seems like there are some nice homes around $350k. We would need a kid-friendly neighborhood with trees. Preferably 2500 sq ft or more (we are Texans, you know). Is that feasible in that area? Or would we be limited to undesireable parts of town?
Yes, that's very feasible in this entire area. You will however, not find super huge trees here--the area up here is mostly newer so the trees are smaller. Denver is a shortgrass steppe ecosystem so trees are not the norm for us, planted trees must be irrigated so we don't have a dense tree canopy here. It's not treeless by any stretch, but is much less so than areas of the country with more rainfall. Great mountain views though!
So a few neighborhood options up here:
Standard suburban (large lot, car required to get anywhere, only houses) neighborhoods: McKay Landing, The Broadlands, Redleaf, Anthem. All have good schools.
If you are looking for something different, have a gander at my neighborhood, Bradburn Village in Westminster. Is a super social, kid filled, walkable mixed-use neighborhood. Great schools. When I say super social I mean you will know all your neighbors and we have many neighborhood events. Houses in here all have porches, are in neotraditional styles (Farmhouse, Craftsman etc) have smaller yards, and are all in 5-15 minutes walking distance of many businesses, parks, and open space. Is not like anything else in this area. Also, 45 minutes to the airport and you can take the express bus there from our close park and ride if you don't want to drive (we do this all the time as I hate driving). Also, no one here would ever hold being from Texas against you (who does that? Can't believe the way people behave sometimes!)
This is a great place to live and raise kids. I'm not a fan of the Springs so understand when you say you didn't like it. The only similarity of this area to that is the beautiful mountain view! We also do not have the heat and humidity of Texas--our summers are awesome.
Just reading your original post..... my take is that you should stay put. That being said, sit down with your husband and come up with a pro's and con's list of each job and each location. Being that you don't hate Houston, what would be the compelling reason to move here? It sounds to me like the job there is a better job - as far as interest level.
Now what did you hate about Colorado Springs? Have you ever been to this area up here? When you say it was an ugly town, do you mean ugly as in the people/attitudes or physically ugly (because if that's the case you won't like it up here any better).
We moved here 13 years ago from Dallas - best move we ever made. But.... we were determined to move here - we always wanted to.
Really give a lot of thought to uprooting your family from a place it sounds like you really like. If you aren't that excited about the prospect of living here or the job here....and given that the cost of living is so much higher here (not just housing - don't forget - state income tax here as well) - I personally would think that to make the move it would be because of an overwhelming desire to live in Colorado - and it doesn't seem that you have that.
Our overwhelming desire is to live somewhere pretty. Houston rocks, but man is it ugly here. I guess we had intended to move back to Co eventually or we wouldn't have been looking in the first place.
The reality of moving is scary after being here for 13 years. We were determined to get jobs at NASA after the Air Force and both did very quickly. The decision to move then was very easy.
We lived in the Springs for four years and thought it was just plain ugly. Yes, the view is nice, but the city is not. It's very brown and full of ugly strip malls and generic neighborhoods. The more ecclectic neighborhoods weren't in the best areas back then, either. We also did not find the people friendly at all. And the amount of crime is disproportionate to the population.
But, our biggest dilemma is that my husband still works at NASA here in Houston. More layoffs are coming and with 18 years in the industry, there is nowhere for him to go here other than switching to oil and gas, medical or software. Colorado is booming with aerospace that isn't related to NASA. That is a huge appeal for us in the long run.
Change is just hard. But it is helpful to hear of the lovely neighborhoods with tons of family activities. We are a bit private, but social at the same time. Bradburn village sounds very appealing for that lifestyle.
Well, like I said, sit down and do a list of all the pro's and con's of each. May seem silly but might bring you some clarity.
By the way - it's pretty brown up here as well. We've always said that if we turn our backs to the mountains, we were back in Dallas.... we just never turn that direction
Our son is a senior in High school this year - aerospace has always been his dream. That is his plan. It's been in the news here a lot lately. There are a lot of tiny companies and big ones sprinkled throughout the area.
I don't like Springs for the same reasons, I think it's an ugly town--with the exception of the very expensive area around the Broadmoor hotel. There are parts of Denver that look like that too though (I consider most of the US suburbs to be pretty ugly frankly). Bradburn is an island of great design in traditional suburbia and is unusual in that way. Area surrounding us is pretty, but we do still have strip malls and big box stores (although I must say we have the nicest looking Walmart in the country in Broomfield on 120th if you can imagine such a thing).
I've never had a problem with privacy in here, but our yards are much smaller and the houses closer together than in standard suburbia which often freaks people out when they see it for the first time. That design is intentional, it's part of what makes a neighborhood walkable. Our surrounding neighbors drive their kids in here for Halloween because it's so much better suited for those on foot (and lots of people decorate a lot for it, Halloween is huge in here).
The design works great for kids because they can just go outside and play and other kids are often out, plus when they are older it's safe for them to go to parks by themselves, or ride bikes to get ice cream so the parents don't have to drive them for everything. They get a lot more freedom.
Just reading your original post..... my take is that you should stay put.
I have to agree with JKCoop here, judging from how you posted it sure doesn't sound like you want to move. Plus, if you didn't like Colorado Springs, I can't see you liking the Boulder outskirts any better. That being said, Texas ranks last or near last in a lot of 'quality of life' categories, from education, public services, through wages. You might want to do a comparison of what's important to you between the two states. I liked Austin, but hated the rest of Texas. I hope you've visited the area and spent some time looking around?
Yes, I came up for an interivew at the end of July. It was so pretty up there and after it rained, it smelled like air freshener, not gasoline. Ha! We also have a few friends who have left NASA to take jobs up there within the last six months. They are pretty happy overall. I'm pretty sure we would be happy either way, honestly. We may just flip a coin!
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