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Old 03-06-2014, 06:40 PM
 
Location: Pikes Peak Region
482 posts, read 930,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MF001 View Post

Littlekw, thank you also for additional information. What does crime is "sporadic but nothing to fear" mean? Could you elaborate on that a little please? Where I live in Northern Virginia now is EXTREMELY safe despite relatively high density and proximity to DC/the Beltway. My family has gotten very used to this kind of safety. Many of my neighbors don't lock their doors and young women jog alone at night in my neighborhood (I know that's not advisable even in very safe areas, but that's what other folks do). I don't expect to find that kind of safety everywhere, but I'd like to be able to gauge just how much higher the prevalence of crime, especially violent crime, is in Colorado Springs, so I can make an informed decision.
I apologize, that was vague. I've lived in most neighborhoods in the Springs and petty crime has happened in the worst and the best. In Briargate, a neighbor got stabbed but that's rare, outside the fringe or high-crime areas. When I lived in the Broadmoor area some cars were vandalized, but the kids doing it were caught quickly. I've also lived in the "worst" areas and have seen no crime, petty or otherwise.

My 74 year old mother has no problem taking her late night and early morning walks in 95% of Colorado Springs. It's a safe city, but it's not a rich city with a lot of police presence or the resources to do it. It's nothing to fear, even the criminals don't target those that don't make themselves targets. In the nicest neighborhoods, nothing will happen. If you leave your car unlocked at the Southgate Shopping Center, it's unlikely anything will happen but lock your car doors; because it might. It's not an insular city, in terms of crime, but violent crime is usually geographically isolated and more often than not, drug related.

Coming from affluent NoVa it may be a bit of a culture shock, but the mentality of the Springs is "I won't bother you if you don't bother me." To some, that translates to stand-offish but to most is still comes across as friendly. :-) I don't mean to scare you off, in any way. From the sounds of the type of lifestyle you're looking for, Colorado Springs will suit you splendidly. It's an amazingly nice place that is terribly underrated. Shooting, hunting, fishing, etc. are phenomenal in this area. And the wildlife is nothing to fear, nor the crime. Bugs are rare, other than moths, rattlesnakes are few and far between, as are mountain lions in town. Our neighborhood bear is more interested in your trash receptacle than it is you. :-)

Last edited by Littlekw; 03-06-2014 at 07:09 PM..
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Old 03-06-2014, 07:42 PM
 
842 posts, read 1,250,999 times
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I was really annoyed the other day when I was trying to cross Nevada at Caramillo. There had to have been *at least* ten cars I had to wait for. Some times the traffic sucks downtown.

:P


In all seriousness I do get annoyed with some Springs traffic, but I find that more when I venture out to the north east quadrant, and even still I think it's cause I'm not used to the traffic patterns.
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Old 03-07-2014, 12:38 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,136,222 times
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MF001 - As a NoVA expat, I know the Oakton and the other areas you cited quite well. With the housing price range you listed, you'll be able to duplicate the lifestyle you currently have quite easily. The neighborhoods I listed in my earlier post (and those the Mike added) are the more affluent areas of town and have very low crime, if any. Kissing Camels is a gated community (with security guards), as are some of the other developments in the upper Broadmoor area. If you have upwards of a $650K to $1M to spend, you won't have any trouble whatsoever finding a beautiful home in a safe and secure neighborhood in Colorado Springs.
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Old 03-07-2014, 05:31 PM
 
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Sonic_Spork, those bear videos are hilarious. Many thanks for the laughter. As for venomous snakes, I've never run into one in Northern Virginia, even in the woods. Infinity of Lyme disease-bearing ticks, yes, but I think copperheads are not that common. Besides, aren't those much less venomous than rattlesnakes? There are folks in West Virginia (in the hill country that they call mountains) who catch copperheads and they get bitten all the time. WV has had no fatality from copperheads in decades.

Carrera32, thanks again. I know with a good budget I can afford a super safe area. BUT, I'm not one of the folks who like to be turtled up in a gated community with guards. One thing I currently like about NoVA is that, in much of western Fairfax and Loudoun, families, women and children can be out and about very safely at nights, with nary a worry. I just want to make sure that my family would be able to do that in much of Colorado Springs. We don't want to be just locked up behind gates and walls after dark.
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Old 03-07-2014, 06:06 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,136,222 times
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MF001 - I didn't mean to imply that the gated communities are your only option, only that they're available in your price range. You'll be fine regardless in the neighborhoods we've identified. For older homes closer to the center core, I'd include ONEN (where I live) and the adjacent Culebra neighborhood as well.
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Old 03-07-2014, 10:06 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 558,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MF001 View Post
Sonic_Spork, those bear videos are hilarious. Many thanks for the laughter. As for venomous snakes, I've never run into one in Northern Virginia, even in the woods. Infinity of Lyme disease-bearing ticks, yes, but I think copperheads are not that common. Besides, aren't those much less venomous than rattlesnakes? There are folks in West Virginia (in the hill country that they call mountains) who catch copperheads and they get bitten all the time. WV has had no fatality from copperheads in decades.

Carrera32, thanks again. I know with a good budget I can afford a super safe area. BUT, I'm not one of the folks who like to be turtled up in a gated community with guards. One thing I currently like about NoVA is that, in much of western Fairfax and Loudoun, families, women and children can be out and about very safely at nights, with nary a worry. I just want to make sure that my family would be able to do that in much of Colorado Springs. We don't want to be just locked up behind gates and walls after dark.
I go places all the time after dark. We walk to other houses in the neighborhood for social visits, sometimes with my husband, sometimes my kids and I. The neighborhood looks out for each other - one time there was a car parked that nobody recognized, it was all over the facebook group and somebody went out and asked the fellow his business.

I've been to the grocery store, Target, Lowes, and places like that after dark, with no issues. We've walked to restaurants downtown after dark, usually as a whole family, but I've never felt threatened. Yeah, there are bums downtown. The worst I've had happen was that in a fit of goodwill I gave one my second cannoli. That was good cannoli, too.

There are break-ins and such occasionally, but mostly when I hear about it it's somebody who didn't lock their windows, or left their big giant dog door unsecured, or something of the like. I think we've had one break in in the neighborhood since we moved in in October - somebody broke into a garage. But that seems rare.

As for copperheads, if you're in the woods in that area, you're at risk. We saw three in our tenure in Southern MD. I think the rattlesnake thing is a little like that - you'll see them occasionally, but it's not a huge infestation.
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Old 03-08-2014, 02:25 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 558,749 times
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We're in Greyhawk, in NorthGate. Below your price range, but Flying Horse is a nice neighborhood next door with a wider variety of prices.

Also, you'll certainly find someplace safe and that meets your criteria with your budget. What I'd suggest, is when you get here, to spend a lot of time in prospective neighborhoods, at all times of day. We chose ours because I drove through in the evenings, everybody waved at me driving by, there were kids running around at all hours, and it seemed to be a great place for kids to play. Other neighborhoods looked great on paper, but on a Saturday afternoon or Wednesday evening I never saw kids out running from house to house. If you don't have a dog, get one, everybody in Springs has one. Then walk around the neighborhoods of interest with your dog, during the day, after dark, at all times, and see how you feel.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 03-08-2014 at 05:28 PM.. Reason: Merged 2:1
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Old 03-08-2014, 07:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
18,993 posts, read 8,906,249 times
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LittleKW has outlined the fire situation fairly well. I will just add that no, this has not been an historic problem. The drought is a major factor. But having lived in an area which in 2 years led to the possibility of evacuation, I'm not that thrilled with living here (in fact, by next year at this time I hope to be elsewhere, and although the fire situation is not "THE" reason, it has contributed to my decision). And the scary part is that there are many days when the winds here are horrendous...and if we ever have the right (well, actually wrong) combination of fire plus wind, I hate to think what could happen.

Driving to Denver to "do stuff" is not a problem, but it gets old rather quickly. From downtown Colorado Springs to downtown Denver is 69 miles. It's not that it's an unpleasant drive, but after you've done it a few times there's nothing that appealing about it. And in rush hour, from Castle Rock to downtown Denver is almost as bad as the Beltway. And BTW, there's isn't 10% as much stuff to do in Denver as there is the D.C. metro area...so be ready for a little culture shock.

In terms of weather, the problem here seems to be wind. But the ice storms you got used to in NOVA don't generally happen here. The snow is usually light and fluffy, not wet and hard to shovel (but they do a lousy job here clearing the roads, at least compared to NOVA). My 4 winters here have been relatively light...in fact I wish we had more snow. Summers are generally pleasant (other than the wind), with air conditioning almost not needed (note..."almost").

I don't see any negatives about the military presence here. This year I've enjoyed going to the Air Force Academy basketball games (though the stadium is usually about 1/3 empty). Of course, if there were drastic cutbacks at the bases here, COS would be in deep crap economically. The economic base here is not very diverse.

LittleKW mentioned diversity. The military provides what diversity we have, but it is nothing like NOVA. Frankly, I miss the diversity.

People here brag about the low taxes (unless they're from somewhere like Arizona), and it's true...much lower taxes. And because of that a school system that on its best day cannot compare to FCPS. In NOVA, things like trash collection were included in your tax bill; here you pay a private company. If you loved the type of parks you have in NOVA, you will be disappointed here; here the parks are mostly "open space" areas that are relatively undeveloped. So that just depends on what your family's recreational preferences are.

Rattlesnakes? Well, I hear they're hear, but I do some hiking and have yet to see them. Cockroaches, no. Bugs in general, mostly no.

Road system better than NOVA (except they don't clear the snow off the roads very well).

I may be 64, but I'm bored here. That's not to say that there are not lots of nice things about COS, but you may be let down a bit in compared to NOVA.
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Old 03-11-2014, 07:55 PM
 
45 posts, read 83,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteRJ View Post
There are break-ins and such occasionally, but mostly when I hear about it it's somebody who didn't lock their windows, or left their big giant dog door unsecured, or something of the like. I think we've had one break in in the neighborhood since we moved in in October - somebody broke into a garage. But that seems rare.
"Occasional... break-ins." What's "occasional"? My family is not coming from Chicago or LA. In my present neighborhood, there was ONE petty theft in the past several years. Someone walked into a garage (the door was up), stole a tool and then left. Several of my neighbors forget to lock their doors even at nights (I've had one neighbor call me and ask me to walk into his house, grab something for him on my way to church where he was). So are you saying that it's not a good idea to leave windows open in CS? You can't sleep with open windows during warm nights?

It's not that I am terrified of petty crime or mean to belabor this point, but I'd like to get an accurate sense of the comparative crime picture. Is there anyone here who is familiar with Oakton and nearby areas of Fairfax and Loudoun? If so, could that person be able to give an overall comparative assessment of crime and safety?
Quote:
Originally Posted by phetaroi View Post
LittleKW mentioned diversity. The military provides what diversity we have, but it is nothing like NOVA. Frankly, I miss the diversity.
Well, some people would say that Northern Virginia has "good kind" of diversity.

Oakton, for example, is about 75% white, 14% Asian, 10% Hispanic and 6% black. It seems mixed up. But put another way, nearly 90% of people are white or Asian. In other ways, it's not that diverse. For example, the median family income is around $200,000 a year and the median detached home value is around $1 million. Education level is very high (70% with college degrees and 35% with graduate degrees). It's an affluent area to be sure, but hardly the most affluent (areas like Great Falls and McLean have even higher median incomes and even more expensive homes). Still, people are almost uniformly affluent and well-educated. In other words, it doesn't have much economic or educational diversity.

Would it be correct to assume that Colorado Springs is not like this? Is it accurate to say that 3/4 of the city is overwhelmingly white and the Latino population is concentrated heavily in the SE?

Also, I should expect there to be fewer Asian restaurants there, right? What about seafood? I lived in the Midwest before, so both for distribution and cultural reasons, I know not to expect seafood paradise in the middle of the country, but what is it like?

Thank you everyone again for all the information. You all have been very helpful.
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Old 03-11-2014, 08:32 PM
 
Location: Pikes Peak Region
482 posts, read 930,052 times
Reputation: 804
Colorado Springs has affluent areas but it's not an affluent city. It's hard to compare to what you're used to. Broadmoor is money, but a mile and a half down the road is South Nevada, which is a higher-crime area. It's part of the diversity of the Springs. You'll pass through the worse neighborhoods almost no matter where you live, just to get to shopping and dining. But even the worse parts are safe enough to drive through with your windows down.

In terms of racial diversity, it is primarily white but it's not a segregated city, by any means. In fact, the Gazette had an article recently that showed Colorado Springs to be one of the most integrated cities in the Rocky Mountain West. I can't seem to find the link for it now. There are a plethora of Asian reataurants from the neighborhood Chinese joint to sushi and pho. You'll have choices, for sure. Seafood here will be a disappointment compared to NoVa. It's limited and not near as fresh, no matter how you look at it.

I don't really pay attention to census data on diversity in the Springs. It's a transient city, especially the military and it's hard to nail down what percentage of races live here. It's not as educated as your used to, to be sure. The northern Front Range has the southern beat on that.

It's not as safe statistically as you're used to. Occasional break-ins do happen. In more affluent neighborhoods, they're rare but not non-existent. I've lived in the higher-crime areas in the past and slept with my windows open. And left my door unlocked. Nothing ever happened, but it doesn't mean it won't. I've lived in Peregrine and had my bicycle stolen. That's honestly the worst of it. I see plenty of women and elderly biking and walking all parts of the city and have no qualms doing so.

Colorado Springs is a safe city but it doesn't have the means (funding) to have a huge police presence that you may be used to. It helps to get to know your neighbors.Everywhere I've lived that has been the best crime deterrant, neighbors looking out for each other. It's one of the best aspects of living here.
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