Moving to CO summer 2012 (Advice please) (Denver, Colorado Springs: transplants, apartments, rentals)
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I have lived all over Texas, and miss it. But currently, I live in upstate NY (almost 2 years now). I have visited Colorado about half a dozen times and must say I love it. The economy in upstate NY is pretty terrible, the weather is pretty bad come winter and we just feel the need to do a little living outside of this rural backdrop. I am currently in college pursuing a bachelors of Computer Science, and we have the desire to get hell out of this state. I currently am in the middle of choosing which part of Colorado to reside once we make the jump. We are going to be taking a scouting trip during March next year to get a feel of areas where we could live.
I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions? What are some decent areas for renters, and schools for a 9 year old? What areas should I stay away from? Neither my fiance or I are professional, and will be looking for an entry-level job. My fiance has experience in child-care and I have always worked in the hospitality industry.
We are both in our 20's and would like to be some place where we have room for growth.
As for me finishing college here (in NY)? I have decided against it, not going to happen. I need to live somewhere with a few more available resources and better weather, conducive to success. We feel we can be more productive with a new slate.
If you can say a bit more about your desires/interests/deal-breakers, we can all help you more.
Do you want to live in a city, a small town, out on the plains, or in the mountains? What are you thinking might be the range you would be able to pay for a rental? When you visited CO before, what time of year was it and what do you remember liking most? Did you visit any towns or cities that felt like possibilities for relocation?
Colorado is a very large state and offers a wide range of environments. Give us your Wish List -- and then others can respond with (oft-times brutal)honesty and (hopefully)helpful suggestions. There are lots of threads here from people in similar situations to you; consider digging into some of them as a starting point.
And when you say you want "some place where we have room for growth," do you mean wide, open spaces or career advancement, or a solid family environment?
Thanks for the hospitality, Durango. I'll make sure that I move to your town first. lol.
I actually plan on working, paying taxes, buying a home (in the future), and contributing to the local economy. Maybe the homeless bums would be a better target for your humor...
Anyway, I don't have a concrete list of must haves, I am quite the minimalist. I am from Dallas originally and I do miss the amenities of a large city, but my fiance on the other hand is from a small rural area outside of Utica, NY. So somewhere in between would be awesome. I know that Fort Collins is supposed to be quite accommodating for families, but I do not know first hand.
The last time I visited was in August 2009 for a concert, camping, and hiking; I visited Colorado Springs (Garden of the Gods), Denver, and Boulder and Morrison (Red Rocks) so beautiful. Before that I visited in March a few years earlier. In between I have driven to Denver and Colorado Springs for concerts and work. So as a reference I am using Colorado Springs, Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder as centers of interest.
We would like to be able to walk to some places (parks, food, fun, and general merriment) with the fam. We love music, food, thrift stores, movies, camping, swimming, and cooking outdoors. We don't go drinking, ever. If we go to a bar it is usually to see live music. I love to cook, if there is a Whole Foods or Central Market (or something similar) nearby add 10 points.
At first, we would like to be close to whatever jobs that would be available given our experience. But, we would also love to be able to get our son into a decent to good school. I would like to be away from the ghettos, and the gangs. I am aware that they exist, but would love to keep them out of my life. Safety for my family is a must. They are not accustomed to that type of "urban lifestyle" and would probably scare them. Again, being from Dallas, I am aware that crime exists. I just know how to avoid it, my family is not familiar with that type of element.
As for rental properties, I would love to be able to squeeze a house or duplex into our budget. I play drums/guitar/bass and being allowed to continue to practice would be a solid, but I could definitely compromise while I am attending school. I would say around < $800 a month for a 2bd as we start out, I would hate to get in too deep without a job lined up. We would be living off of savings initially. Hence, the reason for a trip prior to our transition.
We are a new family and want the best opportunity for growth, in every aspect of the word. We feel stifled here in upstate NY, too much welfare and it gets so dirty here. Colorado has always had a vibe that I feel I could compliment. Kind of like Austin, but less trendy (which I like). As we creep into our late 20's there are some aspects of life and family that we feel we should prioritize over others. I highly doubt that where we initially land once we arrive will be the place we will forever reside (maybe not, who knows), so we have some time to get to know Colorado as we live and enjoy the surroundings.
I welcome constructive advice, but being derogatory is not justified and childish. Thanks so much in advance for any advice given.
I was going to say central Boulder until I saw your budget. I really have no idea how much rentals, aside from apartments, go for in Boulder. I do know the cost of living in Boulder, which has pretty much everything you listed, is a bit high for a new family on a budget like that. As you move out from Boulder though, you might get a deal you cannot pass up. My biological father is a drummer and so is my older brother. I don't think they would be able to live comfortably and smile each day even with our family if they couldn't let loose and draw some bass and treble. The entire house resonates with the vibrations in the air when they drum even though the mortgage for my biological family saps them of the monthly fishing trips they like to take. Or the other material possessions they could have. My biological family (excluding me and now sometimes my older brother) take the fishing trips about every 4-6 months now (because of the economy) but they don't mind. Having a house is worthwhile for them and myself as well.
I am 21 and we moved to Colorado in 1995. All three of my siblings were born in Boulder, Colorado (at Boulder Community Hospital). I can honestly tell you I am happy to not be living in an apartment, trailer, or townhome that shares a wall with another family. I have helped raise my two little brothers in this house as well so I know the infant cries and the late nights I shared with my biological family. It probably would have been worse sharing a wall. Our neighborhood (Lafayette) is quiet and our neighbors have children playing in the circle sometimes (we live in a circle, not a lane, way, street, or drive). We're not a detour for busy people so worrying about keeping children safe on our circle is just a minor distraction. We have the three schools which are Ryan Elementary, Angevine Middle, and Centaurus High. I could easily walk to all three while attending them. I did take the bus to elementary school but I walked to middle and high school thereafter (because of age and which roads needed to be crossed).
I'm not sure if you're willing to compromise on the close proximity to the high costs of social life like music, food, movies, camping, swimming but Louisville, Lafayette, outer Boulder, and Longmont might suit your budget and some desires. I can't vouch for the crime rate in Longmont or Louisville but I have been to both many times for the past 15 years and can say I wouldn't mind raising a child in either city. The same goes for Lafayette. Boulder, as with any large city, has more people which means proportionate crime rates.
Even though I'm very distant from my biological family, especially my biological parents, I love my biological parents for who they were in the past. Even now with my distant (affection, not distance) relationship to my biological parents, I wouldn't want them to sacrifice everything for me when we moved to Colorado (biological father was in the U.S. Navy). It's no fun watching your parents do that so you can have a happy life. When you're the only one happy, it's hard to share the love. The guilt gets to us whether our parents try all of their life to hide it or not. Most parents don't realize it but children can tell when you're not really telling the whole truth. Sometimes they're naive and just accept it because we're expected to accept your words, but sometimes we can tell when mommy and daddy aren't happy. And then we worry as children. I know growing up how little time we have as children to actually live as children. I didn't really get that chance because I was constantly worrying about my biological parents, the financials, and how to take care of myself when they're not home. I know if I were to ever raise a child, I would want to make sure they're worry-free or, at the very least, only have to worry about how to express their crush on a classmate. Children might not be able to express everything they know but they can tell when you're hiding something. We're a lot smarter than the older generation of parents give us credit for. I hope you can understand that when trying to find a home, not just a house, that fits not only your budget but your family and life. In my opinion, balance is one of the hardest things to find in life.
All in all, Boulder is definitely going to appease some of your desires. Live music can be heard in the summer at the Waneka Lake park in Lafayette, sometimes in Boulder around town, but I'm not sure about Louisville and Longmont. Oh! And Boulder has that Whole Foods Market for 10 points. There are a couple of other Whole Foods Market stores in Colorado too. ;D Just look them up on Google or the market's website itself.
Last edited by Sobe Itsavized; 09-05-2011 at 05:02 AM..
Since the OP misses Texas, and the fiance has a rural background, perhaps something in the southern half ot the state might work. Pueblo, Trinidad, Alamosa? They may not have the cachet of Boulder/Ft Collins, but cost of living is lower, there are lots of activities for families, and the lure of the larger cities is not all that far away.
Pueblo has a Vitamin Cottage/Natural Grocer, Colorado Spgs has a Whole Foods, there's a thriving Co-Op in Alamosa, and Trinidad has a small yet growing Co-Op and associated Community Supported Agriculture farm. Maybe a few points extra there??
The crime/gang issue seems important to the OP, so I'lm sure someone more qualified than me will chime in on that one.
If you don't have a job in hand before you relocate, you are likely in for a very miserable "Colorado experience." Every year, small Colorado towns disgorge a bunch of young people who can not find jobs in their home communities. They migrate to the Front Range cities (or out of state). The well educated ones with strong work ethic usually find jobs--but they aren't living the Colorado dream, they're stuck in the metro hell-holes, likely working a job with limited opportunities for betterment. Add to them the hordes of out-of-staters--many of them well-educated with strong resumés and lengthy work experience--who pine to live in Colorado. A lot of them are more than willing to take jobs for which they are grossly overqualified in order to 'live the dream"--which, of course, further limits the number of entry-level jobs available for young people. A lot of those "underemployed" transplants leave dissatisfied after a few years, but there are hordes more to replace them.
The simple fact is that Colorado is one crappy place these days for any person just out of school to find decent employment. It used to be that construction would sop up a lot of these dreamers, but those days are over, probably for good. Truth is, Colorado is going to have a near impossible time providing employment for even the children who grew up in this state. That is already happening. Yes, someone will undoubtedly post that he or she bucked the trend and has "made it" in Colorado. A few people win the Lottery every year, too, but you never hear from all the people who don't. I should also note that anyone who says something like, "I moved here in 1996 and everything worked out great for me," is making an irrelevant comment. The economy of both the nation and this state has changed completely since then--probably for good--and the days of ease of finding and holding employment in Colorado are OVER. It's a new and very brutal economic environment, like it or not.
I can't think of a fate worse than death, why would you suggest that?
Because the OP has a family and no job so isn't in a position to move somewhere for non-employment reasons. He should really go anywhere he can find work. He also apparently has no family support mechanism in CO. Okay for single folks to do something on a whim but would be irresponsible for a head of household to do so.
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