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Old 02-20-2014, 10:12 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,829 times
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Hello All!
My family and I will eventually be moving from VA to Colorado. We have lived in VA most of our lives and are ready to go west! Everything about the state already appeals to us and our family however I'm just beginning my "nitty-gritty" research on the state and the different areas to live/work/raise a family. I've been looking into Colorado Springs, but it seems like it might be a little too populated for us... Were looking for an area to move outside of the city, near or in the mountains preferrably so we will be gauranteed to get lots of snow! Although we dont want to be more than an hour away from a major city, so we could commute to work if needed. We will have 1 child in elementary school, 2 older teens, & 1 young adult, so any area needs to be family friendly. Were looking for an area where all of our children can prosper! (community colleges and/or universities, good K-12 schools, job availability) Any information anyone can give would be great! This will probably be the first of many questions I have!
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,154 posts, read 9,443,336 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSINES28 View Post
Hello All!
My family and I will eventually be moving from VA to Colorado. We have lived in VA most of our lives and are ready to go west! Everything about the state already appeals to us and our family however I'm just beginning my "nitty-gritty" research on the state and the different areas to live/work/raise a family. I've been looking into Colorado Springs, but it seems like it might be a little too populated for us... Were looking for an area to move outside of the city, near or in the mountains preferrably so we will be gauranteed to get lots of snow! Although we dont want to be more than an hour away from a major city, so we could commute to work if needed. We will have 1 child in elementary school, 2 older teens, & 1 young adult, so any area needs to be family friendly. Were looking for an area where all of our children can prosper! (community colleges and/or universities, good K-12 schools, job availability) Any information anyone can give would be great! This will probably be the first of many questions I have!
A few points you're gonna get pressed for right out of the gate:

1) What's your price range? Foothills properties are very pricy.
2) What type of job(s) will you be looking for?
3) An hour commute from the foothills in good road conditions can easily become 3 or 4 hours in snow & ski traffic.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:35 AM
 
4 posts, read 5,829 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluescreen73 View Post
A few points you're gonna get pressed for right out of the gate:

1) What's your price range? Foothills properties are very pricy.
2) What type of job(s) will you be looking for?
3) An hour commute from the foothills in good road conditions can easily become 3 or 4 hours in snow & ski traffic.

*We would be looking to rent at first until we became familiar with the area.... Price range for rent would be $1500 or less preferrably to start.
*My fiance is a licensed electrician and I am a drafter/estimator. We both have credentials so if we move to an area where the job market is pretty good, we shouldn't have too much trouble finding employment (we hope not anyway!)
*The 3-4 hour commute does not sound appealing AT ALL! LOL maybe we should think about living a little closer to the city? Are there rural areas that are right outside the city, maybe 15-20 miles? Where we live now it is pretty rural, but we are still only about 12 miles from the major interstate.... We really just aren't interested in moving into a neighborhood, we would like 2-3 acres of land and to not live right on top of our neighbors!
Thanks for any suggestions!
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,454 posts, read 2,081,271 times
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Woodland Park, Black Forest, Larkspur maybe?
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:47 PM
 
794 posts, read 1,493,013 times
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An electrician may well find a job almost anywhere - note that I did not say "will find" - but your occupation is very likely going to require a location along the front range: Ft. Collins, Loveland, Denver, Colorado Springs, maybe Pueblo.

As far as a place where your children can "prosper", you are looking at a lateral move, at best. Educational and employment opportunities are statistically no better in Colorado than in Virginia. And living costs are going to be generally higher in Colorado.

It is much harder to live near, but not in a big city than it is in Virginia. Colorado does not have the kind of small, satellite communities you find back east and throughout the midwest. Denver once had several, but they have all been swallowed up into one massive metro area. So, you might look at Littleton or Centennial, or Broomfield - and you probably should - but you will find they are more like just a part of Denver than some suburban city.

The information above about commute times and severe weather is quite apposite. However, this is much more serious in some areas than others. Commuting from Monument into Colorado Springs is not at all the same as commuting from Fountain. You will want to ask locals plenty of questions about any commute you are considering.

You request for "lots of snow" needs qualification. It is difficult to get outsiders to understand this, but Colorado as a whole is near-desert. Most of the state is bare, brown, and dry much of the winter. Those places that reliably get lots of snow are easy to find: they all have ski resorts. I am at 8600' and seldom have snow cover more than 50 days a year (at a guess). Often a three inch snowfall will be gone by noon the next day.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,734 posts, read 6,273,073 times
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Also keep in mind that the horror of living in a community where everyone is "on top of one another" is not so bad here as it is in VA. People (in my personal opinion) are friendly, openminded for the most part, live and let live, respectful, and not nosy. Having neighbors isn't that bad here. The whole "rent for a year" plan is excellent, you may find after doing that, that living in a neighborhood might not be that bad. I had this hate for what I call "cubicle housing" where no matter the size and quality of the homes, it's a development where there is little space between houses and most of the houses look fairly alike. Square grid plots and privacy fences. But I found a house in such a neighborhood where I don't feel like my neighbors are an intrusion on my reality. And having neighborhood amenities like a community center and library for our kids has been great, compared to being out in the country where there wasn't as much for them to do.

$1500 is a great rent-range and you should find options all over the place for that. I'd advise in your searches to set your range at $1100 or $1200 to a max of $1500...that way you'll only see places of reasonably good quality.

You know, we've got tons of people here who used to live in VA and nearby areas. I'm one. So welcome! You'll love it here! Comparative cost of living depends on what part of VA you compare to. It's not horribly expensive here, I don't think. Some parts of VA have better schools (I hear Fairfax has great ones!) but certainly not all (not Richmond, again from what I hear from friends "back home.") What impresses you in a school district? Innovativeness? Arts and music programs? Test scores? Diversity? Different schools and districts here perform better in different areas.

Getting lots of snow (as has been mentioned) is no guarantee unless you're way up in the mountains, and then it can be a real pain to get anywhere to go to work. In other parts, you'll see snow now and again, but rarely lots and rarely will it stick around more than a day or 2. On the bright side that means the roads are usually not too bad. Enjoying the mountains need not mean living in them though, for what it's worth. Those of us out on the plains have a better view of them from slightly further away, than you get right up in their midst. And one can always plan trips to ski or snowboard if that is your thing. Just a thought.

EDIT: It's also worth mentioning that many areas that are "in the mountains" are more forested. Here, that can be a very bad thing, as wildfires are a potential threat every year. I'm sure you heard about Waldo Canyon and Black Forest...I like living on the plains because it feels safer to me. For many folks that risk is worth it, but I think one should keep it in mind...
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,734 posts, read 6,273,073 times
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LOL I think I found it!! Look at this:

WOODMEN VALLEY Ranch Home @ base of Blodgett Peak Home - Rentals
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Old 02-23-2014, 07:42 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 4,704,040 times
Reputation: 5358
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrby View Post
As far as a place where your children can "prosper", you are looking at a lateral move, at best. Educational and employment opportunities are statistically no better in Colorado than in Virginia. And living costs are going to be generally higher in Colorado.
Colorado could still help their children with things like outdoor activities and staying in shape. The health statistics for comparison from Colorado to Virginia favor Colorado by a pretty huge margin. I'll grant the rest of the points
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:21 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 558,067 times
Reputation: 351
WRT cost of living, it really depends on what part of VA they're moving from. Northern VA? Colorado is hands-down cheaper. WRT schools, again, it depends very much on where exactly they're moving from. MD is top of the pile for schools, overall, but our particular district was mediocre, at best.

To the OP, we just moved here from Southern MD. We couldn't be happier. Good luck.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:09 AM
 
Location: Pikes Peak Region
482 posts, read 928,390 times
Reputation: 804
If you're serious about Colorado Springs for employment and commuting from a mountain community, definitely look into Teller County. Woodland Park, Florissant and Divide are all good choices, the commute isn't usually too bad, even in winter, unless you hit construction. With your price range you'll find a decent place on some acreage up there. It's roughly 2,000 to 3,000 feet higher than the Springs and definitely in the mountains. Within an hour commute to the Springs, one way, closer in Woodland Park than Divide or Florissant. I lived in various parts of Teller County for years and loved it.

Check out The Mountain Jackpot News | News with an Altitude – Established 1989 and Local news, information and sports from the communities of Woodland Park, Colorado and surrounding areas | Pikes Peak Courier for classified ads and rentals. Both papers are printed out of Woodland Park.
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