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Old 09-06-2011, 10:36 AM
1 posts, read 5,174 times
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So I'm looking into Colorado as a place to move in a few months. My boyfriend and I are trying to narrow down where would be the best place to go. What we need is an area best suited to our needs. So below is a list of preferences in which we're hoping to use to narrow down a place.

The towns we've looked into are:
Ft. Collins

What we'd like:
Artsy Town (I do sound engineering, and my boyfriend is in training to be an EMT, we're both highly artistic and have been in Theatre ect for most of our lives.)
"Small town feel". You know, friendly to newcomers, easy to get around ect
Lots of Hiking Trails/Nature/Outdoor possibilities
Good College Aged Population. (We're both 19)
Dog Friendly
Good Views
Affordable (As in average rent of no more then 900/month for a good area) Or a good housing market, as we've considered buying down the road.
Safe for two young adults/low crime areas ect. (My boyfriend isn't always going to be around, so if I choose to walk the dog alone or something, I'd like to feel safe being a smaller female.)

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Old 09-06-2011, 10:48 AM
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
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Given your budget, I'd cross Boulder off the list right now.
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:49 AM
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If you don't have jobs in hand, forget it. Entry level jobs in any town you listed are coveted and the competition for them is fierce--including competition from many overqualified people who already live there. Unless you bring some very in-demand job skill that fits a local need (and, bluntly, based on what you posted, you don't), you will be at a severe disadvantage trying to "make it" here. (As an example, I guy I know who is a Fireman/EMT applied for a position in a medium-size rural Colorado town. He was shocked to find out that were nearly 300 applicants for that one position--nearly all of them qualified.) As I've posted elsewhere, rural towns in Colorado, especially, disgorge thousands of young people just like you every year who have to move to metro areas--many out of state--because there is no job opportunities for them here--despite them having ties and connections in the community in which they grew up. That's just the hard facts.
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Old 09-06-2011, 11:39 AM
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Denver metro area. Has the most job opps and many fine universities. The towns near Boulder are more affordable than Boulder proper, though with a great deal of searching one can find "affordable" in Boulder, try padmapper.com for that.

Towns near Boulder are Dacono, Erie, Firestone, Frederick, Gunbarrel, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Niwot, Superior and most will have views of the mountains and be affordable.

Tough time to move / change jobs etc, but if you do your due diligence, aka research, and have a few months worth of living costs saved up, you will probably do okay. It may mean working minimum wage jobs for a while, but it's a lot the same everywhere in the country these days. The unemployment rates here are on par with most of the nation, and better than many cities that have been hit hard.

Durango is an expensive mountain retirement oasis with great views but lousy job opps.

Silverthorne is an expensive mountain ski town with great views but lousy job opps.

Fort Collins is an affordable college town, not far from the mountains and most low wage service jobs. See the Fort Collins forum for a current thread by "Feanix" on making it there on low wages.

Best bet, Denver metro area, west side of town near the foothills.
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Old 09-06-2011, 04:23 PM
2,253 posts, read 5,838,130 times
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Wink Certain details

If the news received thus far seems discouraging, it is also largely accurate. So you may have to begin with where you could possibly find employment suitable enough to survive.

But aside from that, ideally we should always live where we like best, happiest, and best suited.

You have a fine list of disparate towns, all of whom would make a fine home in their own way. If not Denver (since not on the list), then Ft. Collins might best suite many of your wants and needs. For some odd reason it still seems to retain something of a 'small town feel,' although in hard numbers large enough to offer a viable job market, and a good number of activities and services. With CSU a major presence in town, locate near it and you'll have all the student activities wished. There are bike paths, lots of bicyclists, and hiking trails up into the hills just west of town, with most anywhere in town a good view of the mountains beyond. No small thing, either, that Rocky Mountain National Park is about an hour distant. Ft. Collins is often ranked as one of the more desirable places to live in the U.S., but perhaps oft neglected mention that it is if one can secure suitable employment. More than a few others, more usually with good educations, etc., will be in contention as well.

Boulder might be second most feasible on your list, if only because it shares similar circumstances to Ft. Collins in geographic location, population, and overall market. But rather different in a number of ways as well. The upfront bad news is that housing costs should prove more expensive than Ft. Collins or most other places in Colorado, especially if one is buying. The possibly somewhat better news is the job market may be better, but particularly only if one happens to be a good fit in specialized fields. The great news is that otherwise Boulder would be a pleasant place to live, assuming a liberal bent not minding a certain congestion. It enjoys a superb setting with great view of the mountains directly at its doorstep, and a fine selection of enticing hiking trails into them.

Silverthorne is not at all the same. One can be hard pressed at times to say exactly what it is, as not as specifically purposed as a town such as Breckenridge. But it still shares a lot in common with this and the other small towns in Summit County. All very much high up in the mountains, all very much resort oriented, and all surely expensive enough. In this they share some traits with Boulder, only largely without the better paying jobs of that market. Securing viable employment in such an area takes the challenge to a whole new level, if not strictly impossible. There will be lots of young people in attendance, but not as students, or if so only as transient skiers. Otherwise more likely seasonal employees with a real career on tap elsewhere in time, but with a short-term horizon of lots of partying and skiing, interspersed with low-wage jobs. But a great place for outdoor activities, dog friendly, and great views all about. Most people's appreciation of Summit County extends not far beyond the occasional weekend or week as tourists. Or perhaps a season or two as exploring youth. Those intending to remain longer will have to be more serious about it.

Durango could be said to lie somewhere between the more practical alternatives of the front range and a mountain town such as Silverthorne. But it is neither, as a larger town heavily influenced by the tourist economy, but decidedly defined by its geographic isolation. With a bit of luck one can reach Denver in but an hour from Silverthorne. While Durango serves as the regional center for southwest Colorado; in size it is the only game in town, save relatively close Farmington, NM, unless one intends a long drive elsewhere. Such isolation imposes certain realities. One being that if a job of any substance it will more usually be in Durango, or not exist at all. That with a population of about 16,000, Durango offers a significantly smaller field of opportunity than appreciably larger Boulder, with itself also ready access to other large suburban towns and Denver. Otherwise, Durango has a lot to offer. It lies in a scenic local, on the doorstep of a whole lot more. Fort Lewis College will offer the requisite college students. Dogs are probably appreciated in town, as seemingly pretty much throughout Colorado (if probably not in a good number of apartment buildings). If having grown out of proportion in the last decade or two, Durango can still in many respects feel like a small town, and basically is. It is a whole lot larger than a place such as Silverton, but a whole lot smaller than more major towns of the front range. With, for all its size or not, dwarfing any other town in southwest Colorado.

$900 a month in rent will probably go farthest, of the places listed, in Ft. Collins. To the extent of renting in some apartment complex that is not totally suspect, this due not location but its own character, not to mention tenants resident. Or become more creative, and that almost a given if in Boulder or the mountains.

This dream will most likely resolve into a reality you like if focusing on a number of the details involved, not least the one town one likes best. And how in the world that will ever happen.
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