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Old 08-19-2006, 02:00 PM
 
7 posts, read 35,494 times
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My family and I (hubby & two daughters 13 and 9) are intending to move to Colorado sometime in '07. We had wanted to move to the Fraser/Granby/Winter Park area, but the pine beetles are terrifying us. So many dead trees and the outlook is dire. Serious forest fire danger.

That said, we are now considering either Durango or Grand Junction. Need advice. We are outdoorsy and want to live in an area with 4 seasons, dry weather, not too hot, cold is fine, love to go camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, etc. Want plenty of families around, good schools, soccer for the 9 year old, plenty of activities for teens & younger kids, restaurants, etc.

We are not wealthy (middle class), hubby is a general building ocntractor and I am a medical secretary. We need a place with the better opportunities for work (esp. construction industry) and a cost of living that won't make us "house poor". Ideally in a 3br/2bath newer home (2000 sq. ft) for under $400K.

I know...we're searching for the same thing as everyone else in America, but I guess these are our ideals and the area that provides the closest to our ideals is what we are looking for. Cost of living and job opportunities are the big factors, along with the outdoorsy lifestyle.

Anyone have any ideas on this??? We really appreciate your input, from locals and experts on this. This is a major move for us and we want to make a really educated decision.

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Old 08-19-2006, 02:31 PM
Status: "October is the eighth month" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,676 posts, read 28,491,129 times
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I'd say GJ offers more opportunity for work, or a decent commute. Durango is in a bowl - a drive to get somewhere else.
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Old 08-19-2006, 05:19 PM
 
625 posts, read 1,522,297 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggie66 View Post
My family and I (hubby & two daughters 13 and 9) are intending to move to Colorado sometime in '07. We had wanted to move to the Fraser/Granby/Winter Park area, but the pine beetles are terrifying us. So many dead trees and the outlook is dire. Serious forest fire danger.

That said, we are now considering either Durango or Grand Junction. Need advice. We are outdoorsy and want to live in an area with 4 seasons, dry weather, not too hot, cold is fine, love to go camping, hiking, skiing, fishing, etc. Want plenty of families around, good schools, soccer for the 9 year old, plenty of activities for teens & younger kids, restaurants, etc.

We are not wealthy (middle class), hubby is a general building ocntractor and I am a medical secretary. We need a place with the better opportunities for work (esp. construction industry) and a cost of living that won't make us "house poor". Ideally in a 3br/2bath newer home (2000 sq. ft) for under $400K.

I know...we're searching for the same thing as everyone else in America, but I guess these are our ideals and the area that provides the closest to our ideals is what we are looking for. Cost of living and job opportunities are the big factors, along with the outdoorsy lifestyle.

Anyone have any ideas on this??? We really appreciate your input, from locals and experts on this. This is a major move for us and we want to make a really educated decision.

Although our occupations are different, my wife daughters (4 and 2) are thinking the same thing both in place and cost. Ahy info. would be a huge help.
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Old 08-19-2006, 10:50 PM
 
827 posts, read 4,541,267 times
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Durango is more greener and is in a valley with mountains all around it. It isn't hard to get around there. You can go south on Hwy 550 and be in the desert in Farmington, the second biggest city in New Mexico next to the ABQ area, in less then one hour. To the east is Bayfield and rolling hills, to the west is Cortez. To the north, it does get mountain terrain after you get past Hermosa. Durango Mountain Ski resort is up that way. GJ is in a desert, but in the city it does have trees. Both are nice cities and safe areas. Durango is growing a lot and a new city is being built right next to Durango called Three Springs and you can go to the threespringsdurango website and learn more. Their website has just gone up. They plan on building up on Ewing Mesa too with many homes. Hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking, mountain climbing, running and so forth, you can do in Durango. GJ has hotter summer temps. It isn't uncommon for GJ to be in the 100s in the summer. Both are good places to live. You just have to go visit both to see what your tastes are. You might also look into Pagosa. It has more pines and forests and more of a mountain type of terrain in the city. You can go to the pagosa website to learn more.

Last edited by Crackerjack; 08-19-2006 at 11:27 PM..
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Old 08-20-2006, 08:21 AM
 
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Hi Crackerjack.........I went to the website threespringsdurango, and it isn't quite done yet. Do u know what the houses are going to be starting at? Is this some kind of a planned community?
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:16 AM
 
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The work opportunities are crucial. Is there enough in the construction industry to support us in Durango? In GJ? Are the wages decent? We have been to Durango and liked it (aside from the large # of retirees we saw there when we visited in July...coming from retiree-heavy Florida, we wanted to see a younger community). However, we haven't been to GJ. Hubby grew up in Nevada in the 70's and loves the desert, I prefer more trees. That divides us, but I am flexible. I see the great beauty in the desert, as well.

I think that is why I lean more towards Durango, because you can go from alpine to desert in a short drive. But the cost of living seems a lot like where we are coming from (Sarasota, FL) and things here are getting out of hand as far as affordable housing for the middle class (even in the current slump in the housing market here).

I guess what I am really getting at is what the future holds for these two cities, as far as cost of living, wages, and construction opportunities (to support us and eventually allow us to retire...we are in our 40's).

Crackerjack, you are a valuable source of info and I thank you!! Any thought on this?? Anyone else familiar enough with these areas to give some really useful advice, too??

Thanks!!!!
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Old 08-20-2006, 09:31 AM
 
393 posts, read 1,712,890 times
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Froggie, I am torn on the desert/tree thing too........I think a good comprimise would be North of Denver area, I am also thinking of Durango for myself. But worried about the expense and jobs so Fort Collins/Loveland area might be a comprimise. Also, u don't have to worry about so many retirees in that area. I worry about this too, since I am almost 50, but not dead and single. I would also like a vibrant area. Sometimes retirement areas can have alot more amenities......But, I understand how coming from FL u can be tired of this.

Also since it isn't such a confined area.......Northern Colorado might be better for work opportunities.

Don't get me wrong I love GJ, but I am a little afraid that I would feel confined there a little.....It is a lovely city and the people are great. Heck, everywhere I went in CO the people were AWESOME
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Old 08-20-2006, 11:31 PM
 
827 posts, read 4,541,267 times
Reputation: 505
I found an internet magazine about southwest Colorado, but I am not sure it is still operating. I don't see any ads or anything but has useful info and shows what it is like around Grand Junction and other towns. Use these link to go to them.

Durango
westernstylemagazine.com/towns/durango.html

Cortez is near Durango
westernstylemagazine.com/towns/cortez.html

Durango's median age is now 35, quite young for most cities. There are more retirees moving in but still it has a lot of young people especally in downtown up toward the college. Construction is rabid in Durango. There is a lot of construction going on and from the looks of it, there will only be more. Three Springs is in the early development phase and I understand the homes will be in the low 300s, but they are supposed to make many more affordable, like in the 200s, but it is only by word of mouth that I hear. They just appointed a task force for affordable housing in Durango and someone is coming to live in Durango, who will be an affordable housing "czar", whose job is to make homes more affordable in Durango. They don't want Durango to become another Telluride.

Grand Junction
westernstylemagazine.com/towns/grand_junction.html

Palisade is near Grand Junction
westernstylemagazine.com/towns/palisade.html

Grand Junctions median age is 38. It is in a desert. The area grows grapes for wine, peaches and has all sorts of orchards.
This magazine lists many towns in the area, so maybe will answer some questions about the area. The info seems pretty up to date. I only wish I knew why this western magazine doesn't seem like it is operational. Maybe new or not??

Last edited by Crackerjack; 08-21-2006 at 12:06 AM..
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:11 AM
 
393 posts, read 1,712,890 times
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Thanks again Jack, another great website to get info from!!! U are da bomb
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Old 09-14-2006, 04:03 PM
 
6 posts, read 30,812 times
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Default oh yeah

I live halfway between durango and farmington. Prices are affordable there. I work in a construction related industry and let me assure you that there are plenty of construction jobs avaliable. Three springs has broken ground for 6 model homes but I don't see anybody who does any research wanting to live there with the HOA fees and metro district taxes eating up your apprecialtion.
The area south, west and east of durango are where there is affordable housing. We were rated in the top 3 small towns in the US. What more is there to say for Durango.
I have a coworker who lived in GJ for 20+ years and believes its a hole. Not nearly as nice as durango.
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