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Old 03-05-2014, 07:27 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,454 posts, read 2,088,299 times
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I live on a 5 acre wooded lot about 12 miles east/northeast of Monument, on top of the Palmer Divide which is the ridge that runs east/west between Colorado Springs and Denver. We DO get more snow than in the Springs (7500 feet vs 6000). Often they will get rain when we get snow, due to the increased elevation, and the upslope from the Palmer Divide. The commute into Colorado Springs from here is really no problem most of the time. I used to work off Garden of the Gods Road, and it took me about 30 minutes from here. I would have to watch the weather and leave work early when it was starting to stick on the roads, cause it would usually be worse closer to home. And there were usually a few days in the winter when I just stayed home because there was no way I could get out.

There are some beautiful lots and developments outside of town. You usually will be on well water and septic, and will have to put up with a bit of a drive to things like groceries. And yes, the wildfire risk that we all ignored for years became a reality last year - a huge wake up call for those of us on wooded lots.
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:26 PM
 
45 posts, read 83,420 times
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By the way, is it not odd and a bit funny that the Cheyenne Mountain Nuclear Bunker, so prominently featured in doomsday movies (WarGames, especially), is just up the road from residential areas?
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Old 03-05-2014, 08:50 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,137,067 times
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Not so much. The facility was built well before the city started expanding...and it's buried inside a mountain. Aside from the antenna array on top of the mountain, you wouldn't even realize it's there.
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:20 AM
 
5,012 posts, read 6,705,322 times
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Well and the antenna array has little to do with what is inside the mountain. That is mostly a commercial antenna farm - for TV stations, phone, etc.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 559,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MF001 View Post
Thank you all for the answers.

Wow, that fire sounded horrible. It must been absolutely terrible for the folks who were affected by it. Is this something that can occur with regularity? What measures are in place to combat the possibility of this recurring?

The Denver-CS drive question is just for visits. I have friends in Denver area. NOT for commuting. Work will be in the middle of CS, so I can live SW or N.

My housing budget is about $650K-$1 million, but I'd really like to cut back from what I have in Oakton, VA (it's seven figures here). Income will be about the same or more there than here in VA, but I'd really like to cut back and live more modestly. I am looking to live in a less "competitive" area where people are more traditional and harmonious. I miss chatting with neighbors on the porch regularly. Also, I am itching to do more outdoor, mountain activities, so CS sounds great to me.

What about the other questions? Would anyone with knowledge of both CS and NoVA care to comment? Thanks again.
Many of your other posts talked about acreage out of town a bit, but it also sounds like you might be interested in an in-town location, with front porches and a neighborhood vibe. You might want to consider Old North End. For your budget, look north of Uintah, south of Penrose hospital, east of Monument Valley park, and probably west of Nevada. It's a lovely older neighborhood, chock full of front porches and friendly neighbors. With your budget, you should have no trouble finding a nice, renovated, and fairly large home. Think Alexandria/Arlington. I'd say a mix between Del Ray and the neighborhood with the Masonic Temple monument. Don't recall reading if you have kids, but Steele elementary is excellent.

We moved here from the La Plata, MD area, and my husband live in the Huntington Metro area of Alexandria for 15 years before that. We had 3 acres in the country, plus open space beyond that. We couldn't enjoy it because we came home with *literally* dozens of ticks each. The mosquitoes in Alexandria were killer. I hated the heat and humidity. My kids and I all had Lyme disease, and I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There are *fewer* cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Colorado than in Marland, believe it or now. We haven't seen a single tick here. We arrived here July-1, and didn't turn on the A/C all summer. We leave our doors and windows wide open, and except for a few annoying houseflies, have no bugs. Though we did have a bird fly in a couple of times... :-)

As for traffic? People here talk about it, and I just smile, nod, and say, "that's adorable". It takes me less time to drive to Denver than it did for me to drive into DC from La Plata. WAY less time if you compare rush hours.
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Old 03-06-2014, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 559,297 times
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Also, fire risk is much lower downtown. Your homeowners insurance will reflect that. We're in Northgate, and our insurance is lower than a similar house was on the west side.

I've heard people say that the Broadmoor area is the next to burn. I don't know about that, but if you have trees, you'd be wise to keep them trimmed back, get the dead branches gone, and plan your landscaping around fire prevention.
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Old 03-06-2014, 12:44 PM
 
45 posts, read 83,420 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteRJ View Post
Many of your other posts talked about acreage out of town a bit, but it also sounds like you might be interested in an in-town location, with front porches and a neighborhood vibe. You might want to consider Old North End. For your budget, look north of Uintah, south of Penrose hospital, east of Monument Valley park, and probably west of Nevada. It's a lovely older neighborhood, chock full of front porches and friendly neighbors. With your budget, you should have no trouble finding a nice, renovated, and fairly large home. Think Alexandria/Arlington. I'd say a mix between Del Ray and the neighborhood with the Masonic Temple monument. Don't recall reading if you have kids, but Steele elementary is excellent.
I do like the sound of that! I am not quite "Alexandria," but I do like Vienna a lot, which is walkable and has some nice older, but highly updated homes. I homeschool my small children, but a good school is nice for other reasons, including home value.

By the way, how good is the public school system there compared to Fairfax, which has the reputation of being one of the best, and possibly the best, public school system in the country?
Quote:
We moved here from the La Plata, MD area, and my husband live in the Huntington Metro area of Alexandria for 15 years before that. We had 3 acres in the country, plus open space beyond that. We couldn't enjoy it because we came home with *literally* dozens of ticks each. The mosquitoes in Alexandria were killer. I hated the heat and humidity. My kids and I all had Lyme disease, and I had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. There are *fewer* cases of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Colorado than in Marland, believe it or now. We haven't seen a single tick here. We arrived here July-1, and didn't turn on the A/C all summer. We leave our doors and windows wide open, and except for a few annoying houseflies, have no bugs. Though we did have a bird fly in a couple of times... :-)
That sounds excellent. When I first moved to Northern Virginia, I did a lot more outdoor stuff, but then it just became a huge hassle to remove ticks from myself, my spouse, dogs and children for hours. Plus, several of my friends and acquaintances got Lyme disease. Our pediatrician told us, "I'd rather deal with DEET than with Lyme."

On the other hand, I hear the Colorado Springs area is just inundated with rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. I even read a newspaper article recently (the news was from last year) about a man whose dog was snatched by a mountain lion and eaten while he took a stroll in the neighborhood. I am used to letting my kids and dogs run around in the woodsy (but fenced) backyard in Oakton, VA long after dusk sometimes. We get the occasional handful of deer and a fox or two. The closest bear sighting was several years ago in Loudoun County. I am a bit apprehensive about the venomous snakes and the very fast, large predator like a cougar, mostly for my kids and dogs.
Quote:
As for traffic? People here talk about it, and I just smile, nod, and say, "that's adorable". It takes me less time to drive to Denver than it did for me to drive into DC from La Plata. WAY less time if you compare rush hours.
Thankfully, my commute here in VA is only about 10-15 min. But lack of congestion in general would be fantastic.

Thank you for all the information.

Oh, yeah, one more question. There wouldn't be Verizon FIOS there, would there? Is it Comcast and Century Link only? I kinda got spoiled with 75 down/25 up high speed internet access here. While that's the maximum speed, I routinely get up to that and a little bit more sometimes, so I dread going back to cable/DSL/satellite.
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Old 03-06-2014, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,863 posts, read 6,319,078 times
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It's my personal belief that you're more likely to encounter a venemous copperhead snake in any part of VA than you are a rattlesnake here, especially in the more developed areas like ONEN. If I had the kind of money you have to plan a move with, I'd be looking for not just a nice house, but a really COOL house. Like, not a McMansion surrounded by identical McMansions, you know? I'd be looking for beauty and character. Something like this:

1952 Modern - Colorado Springs, Colorado - $499,000 - Old House Dreams

But of course I am not you and you are not me.

I think you're more likely to encounter rattlesnakes while on a hike into some rocky canyon or out onto the desert plains, not really as much in town. I have not seen one yet, but I lived out on the eastern fringes of the city in what you'd look at and think "rattlesnake country." I imagine that had I wandered out of my suburb and into the arid grasslands and cactus landscape, I might have seen them. I did hear that the HOA was suggesting people keep tumbleweeds and brush cleared to discourage them from hiding underneath of it! But that's just good policy anyways, for fire mitigation if nothing else.

I think you're more likely to see a bear or a mountain lion west of I-25 than east of it, but it's not unheard of elsewhere. Nor is it precisely common. I did, as a precaution, when I moved first to WA and then to CO, tell my sons what to do if they encountered a mountain lion. I don't think people here go about their lives worrying about it. And mountain lions are far more likely to take pets than people. Bears are more likely to get into trash than they are to attack or even threaten people. There is pretty funny video out there of a bear getting into a dumpster of a Colorado Springs restaurant:


Edelweiss Bear Take Out 1 - YouTube


BEAR STEALS 2 Restaurant Garbage Dumpster - HIGH QUALITY - YouTube
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 559,297 times
Reputation: 351
District 12 (Broadmoor/Cheyenne Mountain) is a fantastic small district, and District 20, on the north end of town is a great large district. Other districts in town are good, except 2, which you'll be avoiding anyway. D11 is more school by school, but I found the staff and administration to be very friendly and helpful when I dealt with them. So far, I've found D20 to be wonderful, and not just based on scores, which I think we all know are really just a reflection of the money of the parents.

Wildlife, it really depends on where you are. But we've yet to encounter anything more exciting than loads and loads of deer, even hiking around. Remember, those stories make the news because they're odd encounters.

Alas. No Fios. I was wishing for it too. I asked the Verizon guy at Costco and he had no idea what I was talking about. I hope we get some sort of fiber one of these days.
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Old 03-06-2014, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 559,297 times
Reputation: 351
Love that house, Sonic!

To the OP, I recall more houses in your price range in Old North End when I've looked before. Check recent sales. I'm sure more will be on the market as spring progresses.
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