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Old 04-09-2011, 09:24 AM
 
284 posts, read 620,178 times
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About a month ago, a company offered me a job in Durango which I accepted after visiting the area. The company is going to pay me a nice salary ($45K to start), but the more I look, it seems like $45K in Durango is like making just above minimum wage in other places!

Seriously, I've been looking at apartments listed in the Durango Herald and on craigslist, and haven't found anything for under $650/month. I've found one apartment complex for $800 a month that seems like it wouldn't be bad, but it's located near Fort Lewis and allows students so I'm a little skeptical about it.

What is it that makes Durango so expensive though? I understand that it's a tourist town, but outside of the tourism and healthcare industries, it doesn't seem like there's anything that "drives" the city's economy. It's a beautiful city and seems like a great place to live, but at the same time, I don't think it's a city that people would die to live in.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:40 AM
Status: "Beach time!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg/Virginia Beach, VA
10,674 posts, read 11,081,079 times
Reputation: 13950
Tourism and location, I suppose. Sort of like Jackson, Wyoming. Now that's an expensive place! But it's worth the money if you can afford it. If your starting salary will be followed by a raise in a year, maybe you can grind it out. Of course, I don't know any more about you (family, credit card debt, car payment college loans, etc...), so maybe that's not as easy as it sounds.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:42 AM
 
1,060 posts, read 1,640,292 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Bound View Post
About a month ago, a company offered me a job in Durango which I accepted after visiting the area. The company is going to pay me a nice salary ($45K to start), but the more I look, it seems like $45K in Durango is like making just above minimum wage in other places!

Seriously, I've been looking at apartments listed in the Durango Herald and on craigslist, and haven't found anything for under $650/month. I've found one apartment complex for $800 a month that seems like it wouldn't be bad, but it's located near Fort Lewis and allows students so I'm a little skeptical about it.

What is it that makes Durango so expensive though? I understand that it's a tourist town, but outside of the tourism and healthcare industries, it doesn't seem like there's anything that "drives" the city's economy. It's a beautiful city and seems like a great place to live, but at the same time, I don't think it's a city that people would die to live in.
$650 or $800 a month for an apartment doesn't seem unreasonable to me. I own a rental property in PA. It's a small house probably no more than 1000 SF and I charge $600 rent, utilities not included. That's to a family member, normally I'd charge about $800. Mortgage payment on place is $400 and the taxes, insurance, maint, etc add another $150 mo so I'm not making much.

$650-800 seems like a deal to me. Perhaps you'll get more for your money in other places but then other places aren't Durango. That's the price you pay to live in a beautiful place and so like many other places in Colorado, you won't get as much for your money. It's a desirable place to live and people are usually willing to pay more to live there.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:43 AM
 
284 posts, read 620,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iknowftbll View Post
Tourism and location, I suppose. Sort of like Jackson, Wyoming. Now that's an expensive place! But it's worth the money if you can afford it. If your starting salary will be followed by a raise in a year, maybe you can grind it out. Of course, I don't know any more about you (family, credit card debt, car payment college loans, etc...), so maybe that's not as easy as it sounds.
I'm single, have a $300/month car payment and will likely have a $200/month student loan repayment starting in November or December.
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:48 AM
Status: "Beach time!" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Fredericksburg/Virginia Beach, VA
10,674 posts, read 11,081,079 times
Reputation: 13950
Yeah, it can go quickly. But you still should have enough to pay the bills and eat decent meals (read: not Ramen noodles). There's a lot of stuff in the area that doesn't cost money to do. Mainly hiking or other sorts of outdoor recreation. If you keep posting here long enough you'll be amazed at some of the nice secrets people will tip you off. Bottom line, it sounds like you'll be on a tight budget but that you'll be able to get by. And you'll probably really enjoy the area, and you can't really put a dollar value on something like that.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,444,032 times
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Durango is a lot like Bend, OR where I currently live. It's expensive to live there in part due to tourism, but also because there seems to be a high ratio of independently wealthy people living there. Their income doesn't rely on the local economy so they can move to paradise, buy a big house, own fancy cars, etc. and this drives up the cost. However, you can get by on that salary if you really want to. Are you opposed to having a roommate? That could really help you reduce the cost of rent and it might also allow you a nicer place to live.
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Old 04-09-2011, 11:25 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,080,549 times
Reputation: 6825
Why not try to line up a roommate and get a nicer place for a bit less money? You can probably do that on Craigslist or with an ad in the local paper. Another option would be renting a room in someone's house. Not sure where you're coming from but these rents don't seem that high to me.

http://westslope.craigslist.org/sear...minAsk=&maxAsk=

If it were cheaper they'd probably pay less than $45K. In Boise, you'd be lucky to start at 2/3 that.

Last edited by CAVA1990; 04-09-2011 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:11 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,037,651 times
Reputation: 2623
Wink Durango

As far as a location or town is concerned it matters if it is worth it to you.

With Durango, obviously many people feel the answer is yes. Whether one agrees or not is their decision, and the bottom line stops there. But I'll elaborate.

Not everyone will agree, but Durango is arguably in the top tier of desirable places in Colorado due a beautiful location, with ready access to lovely mountains or desert, and not only a largely attractive town but large enough to offer most services and amenities people usually want. Pair that with a good deal of separation from large urban centers, and a good deal they may not want, and the picture brightens more.

Despite students being what they are, serving as home to Fort Lewis College is also a decided plus in overall ambiance, if one favors the arts or the least bit liberal at all. Most residents probably do not visit the campus much, even though readily accessible, but its separate plateau location above town is magnificent, and a pleasant place.

Tourism is at best a double-edged sword. As a resident, they can serve as a reliable plague that worsens traffic, and in general life just more difficult, less serene. While only some businesses benefit from this traffic directly, many others do by extension, and residents as well in restaurants and other amenities that would not be present otherwise. Their presence is also a solid acknowledgment that one happens to live in a place desirable enough that others are willing to spend time and good money to visit. That might be the strongest case, that the advantage of living in such a place, which many dream of but cannot accomplish, is yours, but at a price.

Durango is not what it once was, and has grown. Some would argue, like me, that it was better off before when a nice small town that some visited, but many ignored. It has since been discovered, with resultant spread of residences and businesses, and also tourism. None of that has helped the tranquility of the place, even in adding more services. Those believing more is better will like it, but also disappointed of late the wild enthusiasms of the last decade and more, and importantly the underpinnings of it, have subsided considerably. What remains as before is what has always been a nice location, and a town long serving as the regional center for southwest Colorado.

Personally, I prefer Silverton. But that is an entirely different enchilada. Thus each will favor their own, and view their home or possibility of it through that perspective.
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Old 04-09-2011, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Colorado
2,561 posts, read 5,020,155 times
Reputation: 2223
I have always heard people talk about how expensive Durango is here on CD, but come on 800 a month? That's less than anyone I know pays for rent in Denver..sounds very reasonably priced to me. Anyway I was recently talking with some broker friends at Coldwell Banker Laguna Beach..seems like more than a few people from that area have moved to Durango or are in the process of doing so. I remember there was a huge exodus from Boulder to Durango in the early to mid 90's(mainly cyclists escaping front range pollution)..that could do nothing but drive prices higher. The last time I set foot in Durango was 1988 on my way to Farmington NM...just seemed like a hangout for drunken hippie river guides. I know it's changed a bit and I do have friends there.. supposedly old Ralph Lauren has a little ranch near by.

I was always under the impression you couldn't find properties for under 700-800k there, but looking at craigslist it doesn't look bad at all for being such a desirable location.

Last edited by Scott5280; 04-09-2011 at 12:52 PM..
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Old 04-09-2011, 01:05 PM
j1n
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,237 posts, read 4,146,035 times
Reputation: 445
You could buy a 3 bedroom mobile home in Durango for less than $400/month in mortgage payments. If you're planning on being there awhile, this might be a good option. As your $$ grows, you could sell and upgrade. For me, that would be a no-brainer.
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