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Old 08-09-2007, 07:23 AM
 
1 posts, read 13,262 times
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Husband and I are looking at relocating to Colorado. We have visitng several times and are in love with pretty much the entire state, it seems. But here's the question, in all seriousness: How can anyone afford to live there? We are currently in Houston, where the cost of living is significantly less. Husband is a mechanical engineer with a good paying job. I am a registered nurse, but I currently don't work to stay home with the little ones. It seems like a decent house anywhere in Colorado is nearly cost-prohibitive for a solid middle class family, and then there is state income tax to boot. (Texas doesn't have state income tax.) Do jobs in Colorado pay more since the cost of living is higher? It seems that we will have to live in a smaller community to [i]possibly[i] afford anything, but we can't seem to locate good engineering jobs for hubby away from larger metro areas. Help! Does this move even seem possible?

I'm hoping to hear some good news....I really don't like Houston!!

 
Old 08-09-2007, 07:38 AM
 
Location: Belvidere, IL
61 posts, read 271,495 times
Reputation: 19
I'm NOT from Colorado so don't take my word as law, but my family and I researched moving to CO from Chicago area last year and we found it to be *significantly* (like 30 - 40%) cheaper than where we are here. But the jobs paid slightly less, making it even out.
It also depends on where you want to live too - if you are considering the popular ski destinations (vail, telluride, etc) and even Boulder - it is quite expensive yes. But there are many many affordable areas in Colorado and the cost of living is pretty standard when it comes to middle class living, etc.

Where are you looking to live? Have you looked along the front range? We found Fort Collins to be perfect - not too big but big enough, decent job selection, great housing costs, GREAT schools.
Just my opinion, let me know how it goes for you. Good Luck!

Joy
 
Old 08-09-2007, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,207 posts, read 4,137,134 times
Reputation: 913
I guess everything is relative, but I agree with 'xxJoyfulxx'. The median price of a home in Colorado Springs is around 210k and in Pueblo around 100k. The front range may be generally higher than Houston but not by much. There is state income tax here, but the property tax is only a third of TX property tax, so for us it works out much better. The median price of a home in San Diego was over 550k and even higher in Orange County.
 
Old 08-09-2007, 08:14 AM
 
15 posts, read 55,331 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrodionov View Post
I'm hoping to hear some good news....I really don't like Houston!!
It is for this very reason that the cost of living is lower in Houston. As mentioned on this forum, CO is at or slightly above the median cost of living nationwide. You will live in an older, but nice, home and have a slightly longer commute as trade offs.
 
Old 08-09-2007, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,962 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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I don't know what nursing pay is in Houston, but it is lower here than the coasts. About the same as Champaign, IL which has MUCH lower cost of living (housing). Property taxes are pretty low in Colorado, maybe offset the income tax. It always does seem to even out.
 
Old 08-09-2007, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,751,010 times
Reputation: 17410
Quote:
Originally Posted by rrodionov View Post
Husband and I are looking at relocating to Colorado. We have visitng several times and are in love with pretty much the entire state, it seems. But here's the question, in all seriousness: How can anyone afford to live there? We are currently in Houston, where the cost of living is significantly less. Husband is a mechanical engineer with a good paying job. I am a registered nurse, but I currently don't work to stay home with the little ones. It seems like a decent house anywhere in Colorado is nearly cost-prohibitive for a solid middle class family, and then there is state income tax to boot. (Texas doesn't have state income tax.) Do jobs in Colorado pay more since the cost of living is higher? It seems that we will have to live in a smaller community to [i]possibly[i] afford anything, but we can't seem to locate good engineering jobs for hubby away from larger metro areas. Help! Does this move even seem possible?

I'm hoping to hear some good news....I really don't like Houston!!

Try Orange County or Los Angeles County California. (just kidding....if you think Colorado is expensive...)


I work for a major aerospace company. For the same job in Southern California my pay would be a whopping 6.2% higher. I checked. The cost of living differences between Colorado and Los Angeles are a LOT more than the differences between Houston and Colorado. I also compared salaries between Houston to Colorado: Exactly the same.
 
Old 08-09-2007, 08:42 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,512,833 times
Reputation: 1457
Some places are probably financially "better deals" than Denver, when you compare average salary to average cost of living. This is because housing is a supply-and-demand market, and the more people trying to buy housing, the higher prices will go.

There are some places that people will only move to if they get a job and are relocated there. Denver is not one of those places. Here, many people want to live in Colorado and are willing to make financial sacrifices to do so, including moving without a job and taking what they can get while they're here. That's just a fact of life about living in this area.

That being said, if you compare large metropolitan areas of Denver's size, I think you'll find that Denver is pretty much in-line with the average. Houston is probably just extraordinarily low on that scale.
 
Old 08-09-2007, 09:23 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 10,502,858 times
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How does Colorado's median salary stack up against its housing costs? The last numbers I can find are for 2005 here at city-data. Anything more current?

For the original poster, why do you wish to relocate? Moving is a really good way to eat through money & is extraordinarily disruptive to family life, so you'll want to make sure you come out ahead in the end. That doesn't necessarily mean that you need to make more money immediately, but it does mean that you know you'll be happy here over the long haul. Do you have family or friends in the area to help you with the transition and make you feel at home?

Last edited by formercalifornian; 08-09-2007 at 10:12 AM..
 
Old 08-09-2007, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,450,212 times
Reputation: 9287
rrodionov

Moving from one location to another is likely to provide some of whatever you are looking for and also take away some of what you really like about your current location. Research, research, research....AND....spend time in every place you are seriously considering as a new hometown. Whatever you do, DONT rely solely upon advice and suggestions from this forum. A short term visit will give you a better impression of a place than reading about it on a forum.

best wishes in your search....Franco
 
Old 08-09-2007, 11:43 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,787 posts, read 37,451,783 times
Reputation: 20794
Housing is currently a problem in most desirable locations, hopefully this will readjust. BUT... there are bargains for the diligent shoppers (that would mean those who hunt on their own or have good connections with a lender) Once a property is listed with a realtor it is typically too much of a hassle to negotiate and buy for a value price, but there are a few good deals that way. (I have bought 1 of 20 props with a realtor involved,) Rental housing is gonna be very tough to come by in the next 5 yrs, and is quite tight already. SO.... I would try to first get into a multi-family or commercial with apartment situation till the cash flows will cover a mortgage on your own place. You can also dig up some bargains by scouring an area, looking for empty homes, and cruising the tax roles for out of state owners. DON'T overbuy, ever ! Wait and shop. But realize you will be paying more for housing in a desirable area. The internet opened lots of employment opportunities in nice places + folks aren't willing to live in crummy spots to keep a crummy, but high paying job, as they will be outsourced at the most inopportune time. (BTDT)

There are many locations in CO that have engineering positions, for the most livable I would consider the Ft Collins, Loveland, Greeley triangle.

Other areas are Boulder, Niwot, Lousiville, Longmont. These are fairly thriving locations, and you will need to hunt for props. You might try Berthoud as a place for home. (good community, schools, and close enough to FtC and Boulder for mega job opportunities.) Get a 50 mpg VW diesel that runs on free fryer grease, and enjoy your new digs.

I would move from Houston to Colorado in a heartbeat for a better quality of life. Colorado has a pretty diverse economy, and you could pick up some part-time nursing dollars working undesirable shifts. I really like to work weekend evenings, as the money is great, no bosses, customers often appreciate you putting in the effort, and you get all week off!

There was a great website that listed Ft Collins area engineering employers which I forwarded to a CSU ME looking for internships. There are a lot of very nice engineering companies in N CO hatched from HP, IBM, Kodak, Storage Tech... but also a lot of ex-engineers... Many are approaching retirement, so I feel the market is poised for growth. (Economy is bigger worry, but little we can do about that...) I would rather be in friendly Colorado, than Houston if economy got really rough, and especially considering our likely pendulum swing after elections... not sure Texas industries will fair well in the 'new economy' (JMHO).
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