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Old 02-02-2012, 06:47 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,259 posts, read 3,957,293 times
Reputation: 9446

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I have been wanting to leave Cortez for about a year now. The only thing that has kept me in Cortez is that I actually found a job here(through the friend of a friend - sheer luck). I figured that given the grim economy, it was not the right time to walk away from some honest work. However, through no fault of my own, I am going to be laid off in the near future. I have checked Work Force, the local paper and asked around, and the only jobs available for women here seem to be in the medical field - and there's not that many of them. I wouldn't qualify, anyhow.

I have been checking out the classifieds in the Durango Herald, and Durango definitely has much more work available than Cortez. Plus, I actually qualify for some of those jobs. Out of curiosity, I checked the stats put out by the Department of Labor and according to them Durango has an unemployment rate of 5.8% compared to Cortez's 7.8%. Unfortunately, as anyone from the West Slope knows, Durango's cost of living is extremely high. The source I consulted said the cost of living in Durango is 27% higher than the national average.

IMO, this is mainly due to Durango's high property values and rental prices that exceed the entire yearly budget for a small 3rd world nation. However, I have noticed a few areas like Rafter J that seem to have much lower rents. I used to live in Durango years ago, and at that time, Rafter J was a rather new, perfectly reasonable place to live. So why is it so cheap now? Has it turned into a slum or something? Are there any reasonable areas within a half hour drive of Durango where a single woman of modest means could afford to live?

I am tempted to find a place in Durango as soon as they lay me off here. At least I'd have my unemployment insurance along with my savings to tide me over until I find a new job.

Any advise? Oh, and folks don't need to tell me how much Durango has changed from back in the day when I lived there before. I visit Durango often and I'm as impressed with all the changes as any other old timer.
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Old 02-02-2012, 09:04 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,111,186 times
Reputation: 9066
Quite frankly, I don't think that jobs will be much better paying in Durango, and your living costs will be much higher. With the present economic situation combined with what appears to be a serious drought developing in Colorado, I wouldn't bet on the tourist season being very good, either. (Some of the people I know in southwestern Colorado that have tourist-related businesses are already making contingency plans for a very austere season--meaning little hiring.)

Though it would certainly not be my first choice as a place to live on aesthetic grounds, the Farmington area offers much better prospects for decent employment--mostly in the energy sector--along with living costs that are much more reasonable than Durango. Those energy sector jobs are not all male-dominated roughneck jobs, either. There are quite a few decent-paying office and clerical jobs if one knows where to look. I would probably choose to live in Aztec, rather than Farmington proper, though.
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Old 02-03-2012, 12:25 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,259 posts, read 3,957,293 times
Reputation: 9446
Ironically, Cortez has not been too effected by the drought - yet. I happen to work in the hospitality business, and most of our tourists come to see Mesa Verde or Canyon of the Ancients. While its nicer if these places are green, its not a requirement and snow is an outright hinderance. I know the ski season in both Telluride and Durango have been hard hit by our dry winter, but Durango, at least, is a summer destination as well.

I know that Farmington has jobs and lower rents, but I just don't like it. I think me and Farmington would be like oil and water. So, that's out.

I've lived in Colorado all my life, and I love it here. It would take something akin to the dust bowl for me to leave. Times are hard all over Colorado. If I can't find something here in the 4-Corners, I may go back to Manitou Springs where I am originally from. But I'll give Durango my best shot first.
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Old 02-03-2012, 08:59 PM
 
106 posts, read 331,764 times
Reputation: 189
Rafter J homes are not ones that families often want to rent because of the elem school that the children are routed to. If you don't have that problem then it is fine. I used to house sit up there frequently, it has been a few years but last time I was in there, not much has changed. Rents out of town are cheaper and then certain areas are cheaper then others. So the Durango Wests would be cheaper then in-town, but DWII is "higher" in status then DWI so homes there can be a little more then DWI. As long as you have 4WD or AWD, Rafter J should be fine. It can be tricky to live back there if you don't. The homes towards the top take longer to drive to and access during a good weather could be more interesting but there are worse areas to live!
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Old 02-03-2012, 09:17 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,046 posts, read 6,174,062 times
Reputation: 4532
this time of year you need a dependable 4x4 to get back to some of them homes some with looong driveways.If you work in durango you must drive wildcat canyon rd narrow curvy and in the shade icy. not for me. My daughter got a job in Dgo and just moved there rather than drive. found a very nice apt for 900 a mo utilities inc and rented one br out for 500 so thats 400 per mo for her better deal than driving. if you have a job,no pets,dont smoke and are NOT a student good rentals are not hard to find at all and you can walk or take the trolley to work.Good luck
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Durango, CO
118 posts, read 268,174 times
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We have 2 sets of close friends that live in Rafter J. As long as you don't mind being 15-20 minutes from town, it's a very nice area. Some beautiful views, and certainly not a slum.
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Old 02-04-2012, 04:53 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,259 posts, read 3,957,293 times
Reputation: 9446
Quote:
Originally Posted by parfleche View Post
this time of year you need a dependable 4x4 to get back to some of them homes some with looong driveways.If you work in durango you must drive wildcat canyon rd narrow curvy and in the shade icy. not for me. My daughter got a job in Dgo and just moved there rather than drive. found a very nice apt for 900 a mo utilities inc and rented one br out for 500 so thats 400 per mo for her better deal than driving. if you have a job,no pets,dont smoke and are NOT a student good rentals are not hard to find at all and you can walk or take the trolley to work.Good luck
Yeah, I've noticed that if you are a character out of a book of fairy tales, rentals are much easier to find in Durango. If on the other hand, you are a real human being and you are going to use the appliances, walk across the carpets (especially with your shoes on!), and actually cook real food in the kitchen instead of eating all your meals out, you are persona non grata. Durango landlords try to hold out for a renter who won't actually live on the property, but instead stay in a motel in town while still forking over $2,000/month. Am I right or am I right?

I'm glad to hear that Rafter J has not gone over to the projects with graffiti by the Crips and Bloods everywhere. I was starting to worry - the rest of Durango has changed so much, and you just never know! I've got a 4wd and don't mind a 20 minute or so drive, so I should be OK on that. Now all I have to do is land that new job and find a landlord who will accept - gasp - my two cats. But I'm up for the challenge.
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:13 PM
 
Location: mancos
7,046 posts, read 6,174,062 times
Reputation: 4532
Sounds like you are enjoying Snowdown in Durango,thats the theme this year.Fairy Tales. You will do fine in Dgo still lots of good folks. Think positive
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