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Old 09-12-2011, 09:52 AM
 
155 posts, read 329,368 times
Reputation: 160

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It's official.
We talked last night and decided that we're going to work our butts off so we can move to the mountains.

I know it bums some of you to know more people are moving that way, but after searching all over the US for an area I enjoyed as much as the Colorado Rockies, we came up with nothing. Take it as a compliment. I love everything about the area including the people and culture.

By may we will have at least 6 months salary worth of savings (including what we have already been saving) and starting in March I'm going to be searching for a teaching position with all my heart. Because I am a teacher, I'll also have income all the way through next August. Our hope is to have enough for a down payment on a small home that we can move into by this summer. Assuming I find a Teaching position.

No job? No move.

We would rent, but we have 3 dogs and a cat that live in our home. Its a rare thing for a renter to be okay with that! (They are well trained, compete in agility, 2 have CGC and Therapy certs)...

We figure that it would be better for me to find a job first--and him next. Because he wants to stay in the law enforcement side, he needs a CO state liscence to even apply. I need to apply for my CO Teaching certificate.

Is there anything more we really need to know? Any added advice? I've been lurking around, but I do want to be responsible about this move.

Thanks!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:06 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
Reputation: 9066
Whether or not you can get a teaching job is going to depend greatly on your specialty. Special Ed teachers, for example, usually have a much easier time getting hired than English teachers. Unfortunately, a teaching job may not provide a living wage in many Colorado mountain communities. Neither may a law enforcement job. Your best hope may be in trying to get a job in an area close to the mountains but not in them. Understand this: you will be in fierce--and I do mean fierce--competition with hundreds of locals, many with extensive local connections and more experience, for any jobs in either teaching or law enforcement that may be available. Not to mention legions of people like yourselves who pine to live in Colorado. Bluntly, there are nowhere near enough jobs available for the people who want to live in Colorado and, with Colorado's deteriorating fiscal situation, the prospect for public sector jobs (including schools and law enforcement) is only going to get more bleak. Also, with conditions so rough, the people who DO have those jobs are holding onto them for dear life--because they know if they lose it, the chances of finding another are extremely poor, so public sector employee turnover is very, very low.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:23 AM
 
155 posts, read 329,368 times
Reputation: 160
Lucky: I'm also special Ed certified. ;-) Thanks for the tip! I'll keep that in mind and be sure to market it. I'm also working on my MA with reading specialist. And I should be certified in journalism by the end of the year. That's 3 different areas I can work. 4 when I complete my Masters.

And the way I see it, everyone has a deteriorating fiscal situation. It isn't limited to any one area. Texas teachers are REALLY dealing with it right now. I've also asked on other forums and it would appear it's everywhere. Name me a state that isn't struggling and I'll check it out. Last I checked Texas has one of the best job opportunities, but we are still struggling. If something like that were to hold me back, I wouldn't even have a job here.

And by teaching and law enforcement not making enough money to support ourselves: is that dependent of how much cost of living is? We aren't huge spenders. No kids. We don't expect to live on $100,000 a year! Lol. I figure if kids can do it waiting tables and working odd jobs, a two-person household can make it okay as long as we don't live beyond our means. And that is something we are good at.

Of course, if I don't get a job we won't move. Simple!
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:39 AM
 
20,315 posts, read 37,826,095 times
Reputation: 18105
Use padmapper.com to locate rentals, which we highly recommend for the first 6-12 months while you explore and find what really suits you best. Some property owners will rent to people with dogs if they pay an extra deposit, best to talk to them directly if you can.

Your plan is fine. Sounds like you're gonna love it here.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:52 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,116,625 times
Reputation: 9066
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaynaKH View Post
Lucky: I'm also special Ed certified. ;-) Thanks for the tip! I'll keep that in mind and be sure to market it. I'm also working on my MA with reading specialist. And I should be certified in journalism by the end of the year. That's 3 different areas I can work. 4 when I complete my Masters.

And the way I see it, everyone has a deteriorating fiscal situation. It isn't limited to any one area. Texas teachers are REALLY dealing with it right now. I've also asked on other forums and it would appear it's everywhere. Name me a state that isn't struggling and I'll check it out. Last I checked Texas has one of the best job opportunities, but we are still struggling. If something like that were to hold me back, I wouldn't even have a job here.

And by teaching and law enforcement not making enough money to support ourselves: is that dependent of how much cost of living is? We aren't huge spenders. No kids. We don't expect to live on $100,000 a year! Lol. I figure if kids can do it waiting tables and working odd jobs, a two-person household can make it okay as long as we don't live beyond our means. And that is something we are good at.

Of course, if I don't get a job we won't move. Simple!
In many resort towns, a "starter" home or condo still may go from $350K to $500K--hardly affordable on a teacher and law enforcement salary. If you look at most mountain communities, the "working" people often have to live in other areas and commute--often lengthy distances with inclement weather in winter.

You also ignore at your peril the fact that the "good old boy" network is still very much in place in smaller Colorado communities and who you know in the hiring process may be as important or more important than what you know. There can absolutely be an unspoken bias toward hiring local residents.

Unlike Texas, Colorado also has a very restrictive Colorado Constitutional Amendment that severely limits revenue growth for public agencies--including schools--and that Amendment is especially restrictive in a down economy. So, severely festering funding problems are essentially "baked in the cake" for this state going forward.

Finally, ignore the "you'll love it here, no problem" posts from people who live in the metro areas and likely don't work here, and probably never actually had to hold a job in Colorado. For people who actually plan on trying to make a living at a job in this state, their opinions are of very limited value, if any.
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Old 09-12-2011, 10:59 AM
 
20,315 posts, read 37,826,095 times
Reputation: 18105
Dayna, Ignore the "you don't have a chance of making it here" posts of those who hate that anyone moves to their precious state, they can't grasp that millions of people move around the country every year and do just fine.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:09 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
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When you speak of the "mountains" that's a pretty wide spread.

Overall, law enforcement and teacher jobs is a pretty competitive market in what towns there are and many of them I have known in the past supplement their income with 2nd jobs. I can think of one guy in particular that despite being a CO native and getting all his law enforcement education and certs, he couldn't get a job after a few years and eventually dropped it and kept his old job.

I would definitely get a job first, especially if you are moving to a smaller mountain town, as otherwise you'll run out of money quick.

A part of it too is when you talk of "mountain" towns keep in mind, there really are not that many towns and of those that exist, most are less than 5000 people. So there isn't a large number of jobs to begin with.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:21 AM
 
9,817 posts, read 19,031,061 times
Reputation: 7541
Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
In many resort towns, a "starter" home or condo still may go from $350K to $500K--hardly affordable on a teacher and law enforcement salary. If you look at most mountain communities, the "working" people often have to live in other areas and commute--often lengthy distances with inclement weather in winter.

You also ignore at your peril the fact that the "good old boy" network is still very much in place in smaller Colorado communities and who you know in the hiring process may be as important or more important than what you know. There can absolutely be an unspoken bias toward hiring local residents.

Finally, ignore the "you'll love it here, no problem" posts from people who live in the metro areas and likely don't work here, and probably never actually had to hold a job in Colorado. For people who actually plan on trying to make a living at a job in this state, their opinions are of very limited value, if any.
Often times the resort communities are catch 22's as they tend to be the mountain towns that actually have jobs, yet they are expensive as hell to live there.

And yes for outsiders who have no idea, in these towns there is a STRONG bias towards people considered as "locals". Don't ever be dismissive of it. As "good" jobs are hard to come by, it is a very competitive environment. All of the good jobs my relatives have were due to being locals and having the connections. And the good jobs I got offered before I left Vail, were all due to me earning my spurs locally and having connections. These were not jobs that were going to be in the paper.

I found in my experience that over 90% of the people that came to Vail didn't last beyond 2 ski seasons or just over a year and that includes people looking for "real jobs". A lot of these nice towns take a lot of determination to make it happen and most people just don't have what it takes, so they crap out and throw the towel in and move to Denver like everyone else.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:35 AM
 
155 posts, read 329,368 times
Reputation: 160
Jazzlover: I think you are overestimating just how much I need to survive on. I am perfectly okay with a mobile home until we get established.

I've found some decent, small homes for around $150-$200k that seem okay (around Salida no less!) Fixer-uppers won't kill me as long as I'm THERE (and the foundation/plumbing is solid). I'm good at making things better on small amounts of money. And moving up isn't impossible.

I've also got family in the Canon City area. I fully intend on using any advantage I've got.

And I live an hour away from the nearest shopping center as it is. Can't commute any more than that! Lol!

There IS a broad range in my search because my first goal is to GET to Colorado. Once I'm there I can afford to be picky. Until then, I'm aiming simply to make it there.
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Old 09-12-2011, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,629 posts, read 9,124,208 times
Reputation: 4503
Dayna, you may think about looking in the “bigger”, relatively speaking, mountain communities such as Canyon City, Salida, Gunnison, Leadville, Durango. That is, if you really want to live in the mountains. Like others have said, anything anywhere near a ski resort is going to be prohibitively expensive. There are people who work in Steamboat and live in Craig, just to find something that approaches “affordable“. And, yes, you will have to get in line with the hundreds of other people looking to live in that picturesque small mountain town in Colorado.

If you find a town that you think may work for you, contact the school district immediately and find out when they start hiring. Waiting until March to start looking for the next year may be too late. By all means, pay the school administration a visit so you can establish contact. Also, have your Colorado teaching certificate in hand before you even start looking.

Please, please don't whitewash the advise that people are trying to give you on this forum. Some have strong views in one direction, but he/she is still giving out good advise and something for you to think about. BTW, there are already a couple of other threads on this forum about getting teaching jobs in Colorado. Spend some time looking at what other people are saying.
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