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Old 03-21-2012, 04:24 AM
 
1 posts, read 4,540 times
Reputation: 10

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Moving for the 1st time, and kind of nervous about what to expect..So hopefully someone here can help reassure me.
Moving May1st.. Been doing alot of research on these places but can't decide.
Can't wait to get out of Midwest. Love the city but love the SmallTown feel too. I want to feel connected to people and hate the deserted, rundown, abandoned buildings, ghost town feeling of Indianapolis.
I grew up in a small farmtown, and moved to Indy after college, but it's not my cup of tea there either.
Like the Idea of a coast, and or beach town, like
Virginia Beach area sounds good, about like Willmington NC, or Myrtle Beach, but problem is I've heard it's boring, trailer parkish, and unkept. Basically Midwest but on the coast.

So I've come to the conclusion that Col. Springs might be perfect, but I've nver been there. Cost of living is avg., beautiful mountains, hiking trails for my dogs, 4 seasons, not too humid,
BUT.. is the elevation going to make it harder for me to breathe..at around 5-7k feet, after living at 700 feet my entire 30 years.
I'm leaning more toward CS or another type smaller town, as opposed to a suburb of Denver for example, I can't stand cookie cutter homes, and strip malls. But it has to be affordable. Rent for a 1bdrm apt. around 500-600 or less and allow my med. sized 2 dogs.
Also, how are the people?? Friendly, reserved? Social.. DO they get out, or is it locked up and empty like Indiana. I want to get as far away from the Midwest type atmosphere as possible. And far away from Corn or Farm Communities and cars up on cement blocks in yards.
Want to be around alot of people who are active and social and there is nightlife. (I'm single) Also how is the religion? Values etc. I want to be around progressive people. I've lived in these backwards, bible thumping, farming communities, my whole life, and don't want anything to do with this type.
Thanks in adv., I've been doing alot of research on numbers etc. but there's nothing like hearing a first hand opinion from a living breathing human being!
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Old 03-21-2012, 06:31 AM
 
4,989 posts, read 6,657,219 times
Reputation: 4475
Well, people say that Colorado Springs isn't known for its night life, and some people claim it is religiously conservative. I think it depends on what you expect. Colo. Spgs. will never have the night life of a big city like Denver. I do think you can get an apt for that price, but not necessarily a very good one or in a very good neighborhood. If you are healthy, the altitude is unlikely to cause much problem, but if you run marathons or something, you might not want to sign up for one here until you've had time to train here. I think if possible you should visit before moving to see if it is really what you want.
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Old 03-21-2012, 08:36 AM
 
590 posts, read 2,003,651 times
Reputation: 417
It sounds like Denver, or a West Coast city would be your best bet. Colorado Springs is independent of Denver, but at the same time, if you could pick up all the land it sits on, and put it in the Denver metro area it would fit in just fine. There are plenty of cookie cutter homes and strip malls everywhere. The downtown area is small and Colorado Springs is not really known for night life. You can minimize your exposure to the strip malls by moving to Old Colorado City or the downtown area. Colorado is where the Grain Plains meet the Rockies. The major cities are on The Front Range (the I-25 corridor). There is definitely a Midwestern influence on the Front Range. Some of the bars in town even tout their "midwestern style". Culvers is here with their cheese curds. Plus there are plenty of people from the Midwest here. But they mostly leave the humidity and concrete blocks back home. The downtown is not as busy as in a major city, but people are always out doing things. Not everyone is active, but many are. The altitude is unlikely to bother you, but it could. It has different effects on everyone. You may find chap stick to help and others have reported their heels crack when they first move. It goes away. Something else that may bother you is the overall dryness. Its not lush greenery like it would be in the Southeast. The grass is brown much of the year unless you water it. The soil is sandy. And it doesn't rain very often. You may actually come to miss the rain eventually.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:29 AM
 
841 posts, read 1,246,340 times
Reputation: 603
I have lived here for over ten years and my lips chap very badly, and I constantly have to moisturize everything, especially my feet... that's something that I hadn't heard anyone not have to do anymore after living here- it's just a fact of life that here you need to have lip moisturizer constantly, and you need to moisturize quite a bit almost every day. I have about five different moisturizers in my classroom for my students, and I have to replenish it about once a year or so.

Yesterday we put water in the teakettle just to make steam!

Otherwise most of md's post I agree with- you're not going to really evade any cookie cutter homes or strip malls by moving to Colorado Springs. Let's face it, not many *growing* communities exist now that don't have cookie cutter homes. Look at this site and see how many people want new homes or houses less than 10 years old. And then you can argue that there are large swaths of Colorado Springs that have cookie cutter homes. Just they were cookie cutter in the 40s and 50s and now have had enough renovations that they look different... but I digress!

As Carrera says often, this area is a live and let live... so you'll find plenty of churches with the bible thumping people... but it's not in your face.
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Old 03-21-2012, 12:01 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,133,158 times
Reputation: 766
medguy: First, no place is perfect. You'll be faced with compromises wherever you decide to go. Having just moved about 18 months ago from VA, I'm familiar with Va Beach, Myrtle Beach and Wilmington. They're all typical beach towns, particularly Myrtle Beach, full of tourists in the summer, putt putt golf courses and other tourist traps. You'll also have hurricanes (particularly in the Wilmington area, due to its unique geography and to a somewhat lesser, but still significant degree, Myrtle Beach. Va Beach has also been hit hard the last few years). My mantra for moving out of that part of the country is: No humidity, no bugs, no traffic. No regrets leaving that entire area. One of our regular posters is now living in the Va Beach area and can't wait to get back to COS. If I were looking for a coastal town to settle, I'd go to the West Coast. If you want a big city on the coast: San Diego is still my choice (I'm biased, I grew up there), but bring a boatload of cash, as housing is still very expensive (hint: the farther east from the beach, the more reasonable the costs). If you can get past the housing cost, you can live there fairly inexpensively. If you're looking for more of a small town beach environment that's more affordable, check out the Oregon (Newport, Florence, Lincoln City) or the Washington coast. A little town I love is Port Townsend, in Washington.

As for COS, your observations are pretty much accurate. It is definitely a politically conservative city and county. To some degree it's socially conservative, as well, but my impression is that it's pretty much a live and let live community. If you're looking for a politically/social progressive area, check out Boulder (again, bring lots of cash; it's quite a bit more expensive to live there than COS). Elevation shouldn't be a problem if you're healthy, but you'll need to acclimate. The first few days here you'll be out of breath walking up a couple of flights of stairs. But you'll be fine in a few weeks. If you have respiratory problems, you might check with your doctor first.

My experience is that people here are very friendly, as least compared to the East Coast. Lots of social outlets/groups, with emphasis on outdoor activities (running, biking and hiking clubs, etc.). However, COS is not a night life area (at least that's the rep; my days of hanging out in clubs are long since over). But, Denver's just up the road. Plenty of nightlife there.

This is a very religious area; loads of churches of all persuasions. Focus on the Family is headquartered here, and there are more than a few mega churches, if that's what what you're looking for. On the other end of the spectrum, the Unitarians are well established downtown.

As md21722 posted, you may be somewhat surprised that this area is so dry. COS is in what they describe as high or alpine desert. It's very dry and we don't get much rain. Unless you pour loads of water on lawns, the area stays pretty brown. The beauty here can be best described as rugged, as opposed to pastoral, so if you're looking for a lot of green rolling hills, etc., you won't find them here.

Others can post on rental costs, but my impression is your budget is a bit low, even for a 1 bdroom apt, particularly if you're looking for a place allowing two dogs.

Most folks on the forum, including me, highly recommend that you visit the area first, before committing. Do some touristy stuff, but concentrate on identifying the neighborhoods you'd be most interested in actually living.

Hope this helps.
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Old 03-21-2012, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,476,002 times
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We have plenty of cookie cutter housing and strip malls.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: East Colorado Springs
57 posts, read 107,554 times
Reputation: 21
I moved from Michigan a couple years ago and the altitude change was not that big of a deal. Your body might take a little while to produce the extra red blood cells you need, but after a week or two it shouldn't be an issue at all. Just don't try to hike Pikes Peak your first day here!

I would agree with the other posters that COS is a pretty conservative city, but for the most part is abides by the live and let live motto. There will be crazy conservatives and crazy liberals pretty much anywhere you go, and I have not had any problems in the Springs since I moved here.

There are a couple apartment finder organizations in the Springs, and I would recommend getting in touch with one of them to help find a place. They keep a close eye on what complexes have availability and know which ones are decent to live in. We used Apartments Etc and they found us a great place that was in our price range.

Everyone else has pretty much hit the nail on the head as far as nightlife, so I don't need to go into that. At least if you move to CO you won't have to miss Peyton Manning!

Brian
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:20 AM
Status: "Goodbye fall ... hello winter" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Manitou Springs
919 posts, read 1,026,124 times
Reputation: 805
"Also, how are the people?? Friendly, reserved? Social"

All of the above - like anywhere else, there's a variety here, that's what makes America the country it is. You'll not find perfection no matter where you end up. However, in the Pikes Peak region, you'll find perfection in the surroundings we live in - the mountains, the plains, and spots like Garden of the Gods. There's not much not to love about the Pikes Peak Region, and if you do a forum search you'll find all kinds of posts that already address your questions and concerns.

Bottom line, it will be whatever you make of it, wherever you end up. But heads up, trying to find a rent that allow pets isn't so easy to do ... it's not impossible, but having pets does make that search more difficult. And speaking of your dogs - we have a really great dog park here that they will love.

If you want to avoid cookie cutter - look to the westside, Old Colorado City, or Manitou Springs.

Last edited by mtngigi; 03-23-2012 at 09:21 AM.. Reason: added info
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Old 03-29-2012, 07:40 PM
 
704 posts, read 1,435,803 times
Reputation: 627
I think Colorado Springs and Denver both have a lot of similarities with Indianapolis. There is an entirely different emphasis on the outdoors along the Front Range which you really don't have at all in Indy, but all three cities are sort of family-oriented, cookie-cutter, etc. Colorado Springs is much more conservative than Indy, by the way. And it's also the least urban and city-ish among the three.

I'll also point out that the midwest and specifically Indiana are not at all really "trailer park-ish." I lived in Warsaw/Winona Lake which was as nice as many or even most small towns we have in Colorado. And Indy itself is actually a very attractive city that is growing, and also attracting businesses and even young people. Governor Daniels has done a lot for that state, and you're going to find that Indy is a tremendous city for a place that size. If anything, the Front Range is every bit as much midwestern as it is western, and if you're expecting a dramatic 180-degree turn from Indy, you might be disappointed, unless you learn to really love the mountains (which many people do).

I'll finally point out that I know a lot of Hoosiers (and my Ohio-born wife), who love Colorado. I don't know what that says about Colorado, but it tells me that it's a scenic alternative to the midwest, without being too different from home.
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:29 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,138,756 times
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OP, everything about your post says you should be looking to Boulder or Fort Collins over the Springs (well, minus the $500-600 rent, that's pretty low for almost any city west of the Mississippi).

Have you done much research on the springs to come to your conclusions? I feel like just 15 mins. and you'd probably come across something about the conservatism of the town or the sprawling developments and strip malls.

I've lived in both Fort Collins and the Springs, and had a lot of the same desires in a town you have, and hands down the Fort was better for them. More dog friendly, more outdoorsy (though Co. Springs is much more scenic), younger, hipper, more nightlife, better restaurants, more progressive.

I would warn you that personally I think CO only really has two seasons (summer and winter). I grew up in Northern OH, and that had more like 4 seasons compared to the Front Range. There is very little fall, it will just go from 80 to 30 and snow almost overnight. But the winters are very, VERY mild compared to the midwest.

My roommate in the Springs is from Indiana, and he is still in the Springs, and has lived there for 12 years now.

What do you do for work, and does that play into this decision?
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