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Old 03-11-2014, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 558,749 times
Reputation: 351

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MF001 View Post
"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?
Heh. That was the exact question I asked, if you can sleep with your windows open. IIRC, the case under discussion was a window open on the first floor, in Old North End, in the part of it down closer to the college. I don't remember if it was night or day. Consensus was that everybody sleeps with their windows open. It sounds to me like you have slightly more of that sort of thing downtown. Don't get me wrong, Old North End is a great neighborhood, and I'd live there in a heartbeat. It's just the nature of being downtown. It's like how having any sort of commercial development in a neighborhood will make it look like the crime rate is higher, even though the neighborhood is just as safe.

When we first moved in (Northgate area), we accidentally left our doors unlocked all the time, front and back. We're better about it now, but never had any trouble.

Remember, you're comparing Colorado Springs, an entire metropolitan area, with a diverse set of neighborhoods, with Fairfax County, which is largely suburban and very wealthy. You're going to get a lot more for your money here, but you're also not going to live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, either. Questions about crime and "what it's like" are going the vary vastly by neighborhood. But if you're spending $500+, you're definitely not going to be living in a dumpy part of town.

Pull up some crime maps and compare. Compare neighborhoods, too. Don't compare downtown CoSprings to Oakton, or even Fairfax city.
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:29 PM
 
45 posts, read 83,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlotteRJ View Post
Heh. That was the exact question I asked, if you can sleep with your windows open. IIRC, the case under discussion was a window open on the first floor, in Old North End, in the part of it down closer to the college. I don't remember if it was night or day. Consensus was that everybody sleeps with their windows open. It sounds to me like you have slightly more of that sort of thing downtown. Don't get me wrong, Old North End is a great neighborhood, and I'd live there in a heartbeat. It's just the nature of being downtown. It's like how having any sort of commercial development in a neighborhood will make it look like the crime rate is higher, even though the neighborhood is just as safe.
You know, I did a Google maps tour of ONEN and I really liked what I saw. Mature tree-lined roads. People/kids doing stuff on streets (talking, jogging, playing). Very middle America c. 1950's feel (well, I wasn't alive then, but that's the view one gets from films and older folks). I also noticed that there is an active neighborhood association. Also, I saw a few homes for sale between $750K to $1.5M, but it appears that most homes (not for sale) are far below that. It looked like people of diverse economic backgrounds live there. I like that a lot.

My wife, on the other hand, really liked the Broadmoor Bluffs area near the Cheyenne Mountain Nuclear Bunker. She's much more into upper and upper middle class suburban. Also she doesn't like old homes like I do.
Quote:
Remember, you're comparing Colorado Springs, an entire metropolitan area, with a diverse set of neighborhoods, with Fairfax County, which is largely suburban and very wealthy. You're going to get a lot more for your money here, but you're also not going to live in one of the wealthiest counties in the country, either. Questions about crime and "what it's like" are going the vary vastly by neighborhood. But if you're spending $500+, you're definitely not going to be living in a dumpy part of town.

Pull up some crime maps and compare. Compare neighborhoods, too. Don't compare downtown CoSprings to Oakton, or even Fairfax city.
I understand that. Northern Virginia is very unusual in many ways. But as a comparison, is Fairfax County all that off? It's a county with over 1 million people. It has higher crime areas (along the Route 1 corridor). COS still seems to have much higher crime rate overall even though it has only half of Fairfax County's population.

Also, what is the area between East Garden of the Gods Rd and Mesa Rd called? Around "Kissing Camels"? What's that area like?

What about West Woodmen Road west of I-25? Those two areas seem to have higher median income than Broadmoor Bluffs area but with LOWER housing cost. What gives?
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Old 03-11-2014, 09:48 PM
 
45 posts, read 83,367 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Littlekw View Post
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.
I did notice that.
Quote:
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.
From the stats, it seems the city is heavily white with a sizable minority of Hispanics but little else. Certainly far fewer Asians than in Northern Virginia and slightly fewer blacks than here. And it seems like most neighborhoods in COS are overwhelmingly white while SE is mostly Hispanic and black. Is that not an accurate impression? That's sort of segregated in practice. I make no value judgment about it -- I just want an accurate picture.
Quote:
Seafood here will be a disappointment compared to NoVa. It's limited and not near as fresh, no matter how you look at it.
That makes me a little bit sad seeing as NoVA seafood (for me) was a big letdown from the West Coast and upper New England.
Quote:
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.
That's interesting. Given high rates of gun ownership and relative homogeneity of residents, I expected that crime rates would be low. Aren't burglars afraid of getting shot by homeowners?
Quote:
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.
You are absolutely right about that -- neighbors matter. Police not so much. They just come after the fact to take statements. I've actually never seen a police officer ever in Oakton. People are busy making money, apparently, and have no time or inclination for crime. My experience so far of living in various areas of this country is that money doesn't really determine school performance and crime rates. Involved parents and neighbors do. That's why I sort of expected better crime numbers for COS, because it has such a reputation as a friendly, down to earth place with good neighborly relations.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:09 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 558,749 times
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Well, FFX county is still largely a suburb of DC. It's defined by DC. While driving to Denver doesn't take as long as driving into DC from outer parts of the county, Springs and Denver still feel very much like two different metropolitan areas.

Check out this list of statistical metropolitan areas. Think Richmond. RVA SMA is about twice the size of CoSprings, but it'll give you a better idea of how it's more like it's own smaller city, though not far from a larger city. I know Madison, WI, pretty well, so that helped me to compare size-wise.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...tistical_Areas

Colorado Springs Median Income: $50,945
CS Density:2325 people per square mile
El Paso County Density: 300 people per square mile
Mean home price: $271,143
http://www.city-data.com/city/Colora...-Colorado.html

Fairfax County Median Income: $102,499
Fairfax County Density: 2786 people per square mile - while they're similar, that's the *whole county*
Mean home price (detached) :$661,371
http://www.city-data.com/county/Fairfax_County-VA.html

You really need to compare neighborhood by neighborhood for crime stats. Comparing the entire city against a wealthy suburban county, even with route 1, a relatively small part of the county, isn't going to give you an accurate picture.

The GotG/Mesa area, the upper part, anyway, is called Kissing Camels. For a long time, there was a real estate billboard that read:

John Doe
#1 in Kissing Camels
Real Estate

It just killed me.

The upper part of Woodmen is higher elevation. The price often goes up when you go higher up. I'd say that the price difference is because Broadmoor Bluffs encompasses a wider variety of areas. There are apartment buildings and such in there, probably with lower incomes.

It sounds like you're really starting to get an idea, though, of what things are like, and what neighborhoods you might be interested in. The best thing now would be to take a sanity trip out here, if you can.

I'm also not sure if anybody mentioned... It's just a LOT less green here than in VA/MD. It's beautiful, but it's not so much a pastoral beauty, it's ruggedly beautiful.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Colorado
409 posts, read 558,749 times
Reputation: 351
With respect to diversity...

I lived in Southern MD, so my experience was very different. To me, Springs, especially the northern end where I live, feels *very* white. There are a handful of African Americans, but it's nothing like Charles County. On the other hand, when you start looking more closely, you see a different kind of diversity. Probably not what you're used to in FFX county, but in Maryland, it was pretty much white, black, and nothing else. Here, you get some Hispanic, and a handful of other random races. The military presence helps mix it up a bit. I've noticed a good many mixed race couples. I've also see same sex couples, even on this end of town (generally more religiously oriented).

Hm. We haven't gotten into the religion/politics factor on this thread. Any questions about that? The northern end is generally more conservative, downtown, more liberal. It's my general impression that the Broadmoor area is fairly conservative, but more the money conservative, not the religious conservative. Though really, you see a mix anywhere you go.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:40 PM
 
5,011 posts, read 6,695,873 times
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A typical school district in Colorado Springs or Colorado in general will be about 50-60% white, 20-40% hispanic, a few percent Native American, a few percent Asian, 5-15% African American and a few to 10% multiracial. Multiracial is growing a lot. In our city, some of the districts have a higher % white, and some have lower. Some of our districts are known nationally for their diversity - for example District 3 is noted for being one of the most diverse and inclusive districts in the country - not because it has huge percentages of any particular minority, but because there is a much wider diversity than can be found just about anywhere, largely due to the military factor.

Harrison School district 2 probably has the highest percentage of African Americans and possibly hispanics - but districts 3, 11, and 8 would be ball park comparable. Districts that are more on the outskirts of town or further north tend to have fewer minorities, but that is very much a generalization. I do think people from big city areas sometimes come here and feel underwhelmed when it comes to diversity because yes, you do see lots of white skin when you walk down the street.

On the plus side though (perhaps, depends on your perspective I guess), our diversity has from day 1 always been mostly intermixed - unlike many cities back east that have 'black neighborhoods', 'asian neighborhoods', 'hispanic neighborhoods' - this part of the country has always been mostly an 'all of us together' kind of place. Even back when my grandmother was going to Colorado Springs High School in the 1930's, all the kids went to school together, lived on the same streets, played together, worked together, played sports together, and so on. This part of the country is sort of a 'whoever shows up' kind of place, and that is part of the live-and-let-live western culture.

East of Garden of the Gods and Mesa Road - do you mean around Coronado High School? There is a Country Club neighborhood right behind Coronado but all around there is definitely a big mix of SES - some very wealthy, some hand-to-mouth almost side by side. Just a bit south, past Old Colorado City, you get into Skyway which is a very desirable older neighborhood around Bear Creek Park Further north you start to hit Mountain Shadows and Peregrine - lovely neighborhoods by most people's standards. Mountain Shadows lost about 350 homes in wildfire two summers ago - I don't know if that has anything to do with home values you're commenting on since I'm not sure exactly what you think is low and what you're comparing to. By standards around here, those are both pricier neighborhoods, but so are ONEN and Broadmoor Bluffs. What I mean by pricier is that the local public school teachers probably can't afford to live in them unless they have a spouse in a much higher-earning profession or live in an apartment, etc.

I had seafood once in New Orleans and it was so good; now I know why I never cared for seafood here very much. Being far inland does make a difference.

As for Colorado Springs safety - to me it feels a little safer than both Denver metro and Pueblo, but there's a lot of good in all three cities. The vast majority of people feel perfectly safe and are perfectly safe the vast majority of the time. But people here also generally have a 'city' level of awareness - trying not to do things that invite crime like leaving your garage door open. But, I know people who have left their garage doors open with stuff all over their garages and for 20 years never had a thing stolen - but you never know.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Pikes Peak Region
482 posts, read 930,052 times
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I call it diverse, but that's my perspective. I've lived in primarily rural areas of New Mexico and Colorado where it's either 95% white, 95% Hispanic or 95% Native American. Colorado Springs is much more diverse, compared to where I've been. Also, I may not be the best judge of racial segregation in the city. I tend to gravitate toward the more diverse and blue-collar neighborhoods so I see more diversity day-to-day.

You're right, it's never a good idea to burglarize a home here. Guns are popular. I don't know a lot of people l, personally, who own them but I hear in the news i the occasional burglar breaking into the wrong house. When I lived in rural Colorado everyone had a gun and nobody locked their doors, ever. And there was no serious crime. Most of my friends in Colorado Springs are transplants from out of state and don't have guns because it's not part of the culture of where they're from.

On politics and religion, Charlotte about summed it up. North is conservative, downtown is a mix and the west side (OCC and Manitou) are far more liberal. Well, Manitou is it's own, awesome little world. :-)
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Old 03-12-2014, 06:46 AM
 
5,011 posts, read 6,695,873 times
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This is what diversity (i.e. normal) looks like in Colorado Springs, imho.

Otowi: Mesa Ridge Grizzlies 2014

This is a local basketball team heading to the final four this week at state, I have some family associated with the team. (wish them luck!)

Anyway, if someone isn't paying attention, they might not notice the diversity at first - but there are only 3 "caucasian" girls on the 12 person team. You can see we really do have a lot of mixed race youth in our community, and first or second generation immigrants from everywhere from Africa to Europe to East Asia, in relatively small numbers individually but it adds up.

(Click on the picture to see it larger).
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Colorado
9,824 posts, read 6,301,009 times
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otowi, I love that you mentioned how diverse D3 is, it's one of the things I love about the school district my kids are a part of. It's not just "we have a lot of minorities" it's that very inclusive thing where the kids really are getting past skin color as an issue and just accepting people as people. Not only diverse, but integrated, as you say.

But as much as I will defend my neighborhood as being "very nice" (to me it is) until the cows come home, it's not the kind of place I'd be living if I had as much money to spend on a house as the OP does. (EDIT: Mostly because of the uniformity of the newer home developments. As mentioned before, I prefer character...but character, like luxury, usually costs more $$$ than I wanted to spend.)

To briefly revisit the matter of serpents, if you're in the woods in VA or surrounding states, yes, you may encounter a copperhead or even a cottonmouth/water moccasin. And here, you may encounter a rattlesnake. None are extremely likely, all are quite possible. And if you get bitten by any of the above, the last thing you want to worry about is if one is more or less venemous than any other, you need medical care immediately. I've heard of people dying from bites from any of these without medical intervention. But just as you don't worry about it much, neither do we....because it simply isn't likely. And nowadays at least we have many technological advantages, you might be able to use a cell phone and call for help, and rescue could reach you with a helicopter if they had to, if you were way out in the middle of nowhere.

I still definitely think ONEN should be on your list. Some of the higher priced older houses are maintained/renovated to the point that they are very new-ish...and bear in mind that "old houses" here are nowhere near as old as "old houses" in VA which can sometimes go back much further and require more money to keep in good shape. ONEN=less wildfire risk than many of the nicest areas, and less risk from rattlesnakes, bears, or mountain lions than many of them, too.

We have less humidity here which means different things for how wood behaves, and another thing you need to check out before you buy is the soil. You get an engineer to check that, because we have soils which can expand here (forms of clay) and cause actual damage to homes. Just file that away in your brain.

As for crime...well. I've found that we've accidentally left a door unlocked overnight sometimes. I don't feel unsafe in my area. I've left my van unlocked overnight in the driveway, but there's nothing in it to steal really, and I haven't seen that anyone has been into it. I wouldn't leave anything valuable and tempting in plain view anywhere, I just don't trust "people" that much. But that's me...I could be in the safest community on the planet, and I wouldn't leave cash or jewelry or electronics where someone could see them and be tempted to try and get at them. I don't let door to door sales people of any kind into my home, EVER. You never know when one might be "casing" homes for possible break-in. But this paranoia isn't because it happens a lot or because I really think it will...it's just policy with me. CYA behavior, if you will.
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Old 03-13-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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Yes, I didn't mean she should live in Widefield. But holy cow have you seen some of those upscale houses put up down on the old Kane Ranch? I was just trying to explain what diversity looks/feels like around here.
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