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Old 11-05-2012, 08:57 PM
 
Location: Moore, OK
56 posts, read 88,407 times
Reputation: 31

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We are planing to move from Oklahoma City (Moore) to Colorado Springs within the next 6 months. We have two elementary school aged children, and would obviously like to get them in a good school system. I would appreciate any replies from anyone else who has lived in Oklahoma and could give me a heads up on some differences (housing, weather, COL, etc). We reside in Moore, which has a good school system and excellent housing values (1200 sf house that we paid $80k for) and would like to live in a similar area.

Thanks
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
641 posts, read 1,955,374 times
Reputation: 423
I've never lived in OKC, but just moved my parents from Lawton, OK to CO Springs, so I've been to Lawton many many times over the last 12 years or so. If that helps?

We don't have the severe heat and humidity as OK. Colorado Springs rarely gets temps over 100, while I've known that to be the norm in OK during the summer. My folks routinely saw 104-108 in the summers and the summers are long. We get short periods of "hot" weather, but not bad comparitively speaking... many homes in CO don't even have air conditioning. We occassionally get tornados, out toward the Eastern plains, and an occassional freak tornado in the city areas, but we do get hail storms.

Obviously, the snow can be very different here than in OK.

I think one big difference, though is housing. I love the houses in OK. A lot of brick, ranch style homes, and your buck goes a lot farther for houses in OK. I've seen a lot of great houses in OK, with awesome custom features, and unfortunately, the same money won't get you the same kinds of properties here.

I wish they built them the same here, as in OK, but they don't. The lot sizes are much smaller as well. Not that the properties are bad, just different. I don't know that $80K would get you into anything here. While getting my parents settled, they were looking for something in the 2000sf range, and the houses we found were all in the $180 range at the low end. You can find a home for $160 and below, but those were usually old and were definitely fixer uppers.

I don't know about OKC, but compared to Lawton, the cost of living is higher in CO Springs....maybe 10-15%...guessing. Definitely take a drive down and scout out the area. Grab some of the real estate mags at the grocery stores and look at housing prices online.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-06-2012, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Fountain
69 posts, read 106,555 times
Reputation: 53
Terytee brought up a lot of good points. I've also never lived in OK.

There are a TON of posts on this forum about schools; this is one of my "backbone" posts that I referred to often:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/color...springs-s.html

I'd say you might want to look first at Falcon or Fountain for more bang for your buck. I think generally speaking that the houses are going to be more expensive on the west side of the Springs. I'll let Sonic pipe up about Widefield

I live in Fountain, we rent a 4 bedroom house for $1200/mo. I have two schoolaged kids, one in elementary and one in middle school. I like both schools, the teachers and the staff. I like the afterschool opportunities and the bus that will bring them home if they stay after school for tutoriing or clubs.

Colorado Springs Real Estate - Official MLS Listings - PPAR.com is a great local real estate site, for both rentals and purchases.

Good luck! You've come to the right place with your questions.
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Old 11-06-2012, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,764 posts, read 6,277,070 times
Reputation: 17594
Yep, I'm the one always singin' the praises of Security-Widefield.

Fact is, coming from anywhere in OK, the cost of housing here is going to put your jaw on the floor. You need to brace yourself for that. It's not as bad here as it is in say California or the East Coast in places, but it's far more expensive than OK. If you see a home for less than 100K here, expect it to be not in liveable condition, a major project to fix. You can find acceptable but small homes for under 200K. You can get a very nice home under 250K if you know where to look. Which brings me to Security Widefield. The hot trendy housing market where people are crazy to live is north and west. There is a vague impression that anything else is higher crime or just not as good. I don't hold with that. First of all, I've lived in bigger cities where there are real "bad" neighborhoods and CoS doesn't have one of those. At all. And if it did, it would be the southeast side of the springs that is yet to the north of Security Widefield (and not connected by a lot of through streets and through traffic, so the "bad" doesn't really spread much down to us.)

Streets like Chelton & Fountain should be avoided. Do not confuse the street Fountain with the town of Fountain or the street of Fontaine. They're not the same thing.

As for school districts--D12 & D20 are considered among the best, but good housing in those districts can be expensive. D11--has some great schools and some you need to avoid. Coronado and its feeder schools has a good reputation. But that is also west side and some of those homes are pricey. D8--Fountain, good district w/good reputation, possibly good deals on housing as it's underrated like Security/Widefield is. D3--Widefield, my kids go here. It's not touted as among "the best" however we are very happy with it. And you get more bang for your buck in housing in Security-Widefield because its an underrated area. D2--Harrison, just to the north of us...I have always been told "avoid at all costs." Probably the only district you'll really hear that about.

I gotta say though, you need to drive around some of these areas and see them to get a feel for em. It's very common to see an apartment complex that looks like it's probably inhabited by the more undesirable kind of neighbors...and drive 3 blocks down the road and see quiet tree lined streets and nice looking homes. The area where I work, up near the intersection of Union & Palmer Park, is totally like that.
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Moore, OK
56 posts, read 88,407 times
Reputation: 31
Thanks for the tips! I realize that my dollar isn't going to go as far as it does in OK. Im nearing 40, and the only two area I have ever lived (OK and TX) are extremely cheap with regards to COL; so I realize it's going to be somewhat of a "jaw-dropper" with regard to the housing market.

I have actually been eyeing the Fountain and Security-Widefield areas, as it appears you get a little bit more bang for your buck there. Are those areas suburbs of CoS? Are they like most suburbs, whereas there really isn't a bad side of town or bad areas? I know this is CoS thread, but any opinions on south in the Pueblo area? Ive read some rough things about that area, but housing is much cheaper...
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Old 11-06-2012, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Colorado
9,764 posts, read 6,277,070 times
Reputation: 17594
I do not know about Pueblo...but I'm sure someone here will have some insight for you.

As for Security/Widefield, I would personally judge by size and age of homes. Generally speaking, the nicest areas are going to be the houses with 3BR minimum, more if the basement is finished, and a 2 car garage, built no earlier than the 90's. If you look at a map of the central part of Sec/WF you'll see an intersection of Grinnell and Bradley, all around there is bigger and nicer and newer, and the community center and library are great for the kids. But there is one home for sale on Modell, the listing has pics of a walkout basement and one of those bench nooks in the kitchen, do NOT consider it, I saw it and recent tenants have wrecked the inside. It's a short sale...try to avoid those, and repo's if you can. Also, if you follow Powers until it curves around and becomes Mesa Ridge Pkwy, there are nice areas down there behind the Safeway (I think that's more "Fountain" than Sec./WF.) There are large areas south of the street Fontaine and directly off of Security and Main which are older and have smaller ranch homes with one car or no garage. Now, I would not prefer to live there. Not only are we talking smaller older homes and lower incomes, but I know a lot of soldiers live there so you do see the occasional domestic dispute or noisy drama taking place. BUT...I know a lot of people who DO live in those areas who have lived there for years and love their neighborhoods. It's very blue collar, very non-pretentious. You'll hear a lot of "we don't even lock our doors at night" but you'll also hear a lot of "we own guns." (But that is sort of a Colorado thing too, we've got a lot of guns n' dogs folks here.) There was a "crime" issue just the other day that illustrates the sort of thing we've got down in Sec./WF. A domestic dispute in a young couple, some guy was hitting his wife. Cops were called and the guy ran off down the street. Someone said he was armed, so all local schools were "secured" (no alarm to students, but parents were notified by email--no one was allowed in or out of those school grounds.) The police found their man within the hour and the lockdowns were lifted. No shots fired. So, it's not like we've got gangs, we just have rare interpersonal disputes that the cops deal with and I think that can happen anywhere. I do very strongly believe that Sec./WF cops are more on their game and plentiful than in CoS proper. That happened over on Security Blvd & Crawford...I can't imagine it happening over on the other side of the community center by Grinnell...it is that much nicer over there. Super quiet and clean.

As for the question of whether it's a suburb. Functionally I'd say yes. It is its own "town" and has resisted attempts by CoS to incorporate it.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Fountain
69 posts, read 106,555 times
Reputation: 53
I've looked at homes in Pueblo West; definitely more elbow room than most of Security/Widefiled or Fountain. The amenities aren't too far either. But my husband commutes to Fort Carson and he decided that was a bit too much of a trek for him.

Fountain and Security/Widefield spill right into Co Springs. There's isn't much of a division. Fountain's zip is 80717 and generally, Fountain is south of Mesa Ridge Prkwy. Sonic mentioned the houses there near the Safeway; that's Cross Creek, newer and nice. Small lots, close to everything. They have a really nice park/playground/soccer field. South of Cross Creek (south of C&S) is the Heritage sub. Still a nice area. Bunch of brand new homes going in off Araia/ Willowdale. Think that little area is known as Tuscany Ridge. On the east side of Link Road, off Falling Star are the Little Ranches of Fountain. Lots are .50 acres +, homes a lil older but you have some elbow room and that area is up a little ridge, so a lot of the homes have a nice mountain view.

Generally anything west of Fountain Mesa Road is older. In Fountain proper there are some homes from the 1800's, some little shops, a diner, gas station, the Splash Pad and a YMCA. There is another brand new development off Jimmy Camp Road in Cumberland Greens but those homes are approx $250k +.

Definitely let us know if you want some more in depth area coverage.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:04 PM
 
5,007 posts, read 6,688,060 times
Reputation: 4517
Oh another thing - OK gets ice storms - CO doesn't, at least it is very rare. I mean this kind of stuff where the rain freezes on the wires, etc.: http://www.almanac.com/sites/new.alm...blog-AO(2).jpg Instead, we're more likely to get actual snow.
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Old 12-11-2012, 01:33 PM
 
34 posts, read 54,535 times
Reputation: 29
Sonic

Are there areas in Security/Widefield to avoid?

Did some street level search via google and looks like most homes are trailers with chain link fencing. An area I chose at random was Widefield Drive..... never would I consider this as a move to location....
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: Fountain
69 posts, read 106,555 times
Reputation: 53
The nicest part of Sec/WF is closer to the community center and library. Sounds like you were looking at the west side, closer to 85/87 and the train tracks.
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