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Old 11-27-2011, 08:19 PM
727 posts, read 1,134,823 times
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Kathleen - We moved to CS about a year ago and bought a house in the Old North End neighborhood (ONEN). The boundaries are roughly the north side of Colorado College on the south, Penrose Hospital on the North, Wahsatch Ave on the east, and Monument Valley Park on the West. These aren't exact, but they're pretty close. Within these boundaries is the Old North End historic district, which is sort of the core neighborhood, but ONEN encompasses a few more blocks on either side, except to the south. The main difference is that there are some architectural review requirements you need to meet if you intend to do major renovations to the historic homes. Check ONEN homeowners association website. The HOA is voluntary (costs us about $35/year if I remember correctly) and compared to some we've been associated with in historic areas, pretty easy to deal with. They do a lot of good things in the community. Not the least bit onerous. The historic homes were built during the gold rush era (late 19th century into the 1920's or so). Some are true mansions originally owned by the miners who struck it rich. Others are more more modest craftsman bungalows and Victorians built by lawyers, doctors and business owners whose investments turned out well during that era. Today, there are more than a few doctors and lawyers, as well as Colorado College faculty members. There are a lot of other just plain folks, as well. We're semi-retired from the DC area, and bought a mid-century ranch style home that had been added onto, near Penrose hospital (my wife continues to remind me that when "the big one" hits, I can just walk to the ER). Prices in the neighborhood vary widely. Some homes go for more than a million, while other, more modest bungalows start in the mid-200's, but usually at that price point, require some updating/renovation. Just for comparison purposes, there's a very nice updated 1920's era one story bungalow w/finished basement on the 2000 block of Wood Avenue currently on the market for 430K. It's been up for about three months, with an original price of $450K. Probably can be had for less. Another poster (Holly) may be able to provide add'l information, as she just bought in the neighborhood. There are 2-3 North/South arteries that run directly through this neighborhood (Nevada Ave, Cascade Ave and Wahsatch Ave). Cascade and particularly Nevada have more traffic and are noisier than the side streets and the two other N/S streets (Wood and Tejon). Both of Wood and Tejon, along with the cross or side streets are wonderful (quiet, mature trees, wide streets, little traffic). The whole area is great for walking, and, you border a large city park (Monument Valley). There's another area directly to the west of Wood Ave, not sure what it's called but the the main street running through it is Culebra. That area is composed of mostly 1960's era ranch style homes and other more traditional styles, along with some unique arts and crafts, Spanish, and even a sprinkling of Frank Lloyd Wright style contemporaries. Very nice established area, that I'm pretty sure is within what's considered ONEN.

As for rentals, not much here. There are a few houses for sale. Check Realtor.com or PPAR.com.

IMO, and I admit I'm biased, if you're looking for an older downtown established neighborhood, ONEN is your best bet (there are other downtown neighborhoods that are fine, but we like this one best). When we came to town on our house hunting trip, we walked all through the neighborhood, and were charmed by it. That's all it took for us. We were sold, and we were lucky to find a house that met our needs (and our budget). Haven't regretted our decision one bit.

As for budgeting, if you're bringing NYC incomes to COS, and you're telecommuting (!), I don't think you'll have any budget concerns.

Hope this answers some of your questions.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:42 AM
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
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Originally Posted by kathleenintransit View Post
Actually, that is one of the things that concerns me. I'm very used to a mix of people. I lived in LA for 10 years and now New York for 15 years. I can't imagine being in a city that is largely white. I'm sure I'd get used to it though, we do tend to adapt. :-)

What I meant by my comment is that it was an opportunity for me as a kid to find out what it feels like to be the odd person out. To be the only white kid in my class. To understand what it feels like not to be included. Those are experiences that, while not pleasant, do tend to teach you a lot.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:53 AM
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Carrera--Thanks for the insights. Sounds like the historic area would be out of our price range unless we found something in need of some work, and we would want to rent at first anyway, to have a chance to get acclimated before we would buy. Yes, I definitely think bringing our NY salaries would be a plus, we couldn't move unless we could do that! And our goal is to get out of debt and be able to afford a house, put money away for retirement and generally have some breathing room.

The neighborhood sounds wonderful, I hope that when/if we would be ready to buy, we could find something there. I completely LOVE the bungalow style house and that period of architecture, especially around the 10s and 20s, is my favorite.

I can't wait to come visit and see all this for myself! Thanks so much for the information.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:41 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
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Definitely, come out and take a look for yourselves and get a feel for the place. I don't think you'll have any problems with the cost of living.

After living in Manhattan, though, I think you'll find this area kinda' dull. I just came back from a vacation trip to Manhattan and just loved all the sights and sounds. There's so much to see and do....and all the fantastic food!!

It's much much slower out here...not that it's a bad thing....but I think the lifestyle change will be the biggest factor for you....not necessarily the cost.

Good luck to you!!
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:19 PM
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Old North End is really awesome, to repeat Carrera! I love it We just bought there, a house that was really move-in ready, but to bring it to its awesomeness, requires a bit of work.

To give some comparison, I moved from a house in ONEN to another house in ONEN... we sold our first house for 239K, which was a house at 1200sf living space (basement was about 900, but un-finishable), and bought our next one (quite a bit larger) for 370K. There's a wide range of stuff- Patty Jewett is in the ONEN area, and has a lot of great bungalows and super Craftsman style homes.

Steele Elementary in D11 is fantastic elementary school, as is Stratton. Another great school is Scott! (what is it with the S schools?)

Academy 20 overall has really great schools as well. Many of them have immersion languages so you can almost pick the area to move into depending on what language you want your kid to learn.
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:25 PM
Location: Colorado
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Check Rentals.com, plug in Colorado Springs, and then narrow it down by zipcode etc. I think the area everyone's talking about--Old North End--is pretty much all in 80907, yes? It's one of the zones I've been scoping out. You have a HUMONGOUS advantage going away from NYC with a NYC paycheck, that's just awesomesauce. I have no idea what monthly rent you're hoping for, or if you want a big house or an apartment (some of the apartment complexes in Colorado Springs have some sweet amenities)...but all this talk made me think of this listing:

Rental Property: Colorado Springs, CO 80907 - 4 Bedrooms & 2 Bathrooms for $1,800 - Rentals.com (http://www.rentals.com/Colorado/Colorado-Springs/r1275808/ - broken link)

Now that rent is way out of my price range. But it's also way less than what you're paying in NYC. Also I'm surprised no one has mentioned Manitou...because if it weren't for trying to get my kid specifically into middle school orchestra class, I'd be looking to move there. Looks like a cool town to me. Lots of neat shops, artsy stuff, and a sort of gateway it looks like, to outdoorsy mountain adventuring.

I'm not a local (yet...should be there in 3 weeks!) but I've done absurd amounts of research. In addition to padmapper.com and rentals.com I also like hotpads.com for searching the Springs area rental market.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:44 PM
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Sonic - ONEN is in zip 80907, but that zip incorporates a larger area than than just North End. Agree with your recommendation for Manitou. We looked there as well, but couldn't find anything in our price range we liked. Liked the vibe, but it had a few downsides as well (at least for us). In Manitou proper, we didn't care for the tiny lots (and tiny houses) perched on cramped, narrow streets with virtually no parking. We liked the Crystal Hills area (just outside the main Manitou downtown, but just couldn't find what we were looking for in our price range. We found that Manitou, in general, has more expensive housing for what you get than in CS. There are some beautiful homes on the hills overlooking Manitou, but they were way beyond what we could afford. Also, we were a bit concerned that downtown Manitou is clogged with tourists in the summer.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:56 PM
Location: Colorado
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I've had a few moments of interest in Old Colorado City also, but I'm afraid that was just too hit or miss for my liking. It is highly probable that I will select and pay deposit on a home I haven't even seen yet, just for the peace of mind, knowing I'll have someplace to go besides a hotel when I arrive...and OCC seems to have nasty spots and some nice all mashed together. I wouldn't feel comfortable renting for a year there without scoping it out in person first. But I do hear that there are some neat older homes tucked up in there, and if that's what the OP is looking for, and they have time to scout it out, might be worth considering...?
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Old 12-08-2011, 12:28 PM
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I'm a single middle age man from the Midwest buying a house in or near COS. What "suburbs" am I better suited to. I hear of cars in the city getting tickets for not being in a garage! Heaven knows what else is considered intolerable.

I'll listen to any useful information.
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Old 12-08-2011, 02:51 PM
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Rick - Give us some idea of what you're looking for. Older, established 'burb? New construction? Close in to downtown or cabin in the woods, or something in between? Budget? Etc. etc. As for your comment about being ticketed for not being in a garage, I haven't seen any evidence of that, unless it's some draconian HOA rule in some neighborhood (Woodmor, maybe? I've heard they frown on leaving your garage door open). I live in a downtown neighborhood and park two cars on the street all the time. Never had a problem.
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