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Old 02-18-2012, 10:51 AM
 
64 posts, read 119,591 times
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My boyfriend and I (along with our two dogs) are planning on moving to colorado in october and we are very excited. However, I want the opinions of people, not necessarily from colorado only, but also from people who have moved there just like we are.
We are both young and in our twenties. Currently we live in a part of houston called the Heights. While it is the oldest planned neighborhood in houston, it's filled with a lot of young people, too, and is a very artistic and laid back part of the city. It's reasonably priced if you are looking to rent, which we do, and currently live in a bungalow.

My reason for explaining all that is because I'm hoping that there are neighborhoods similar to what I described anywhere between Denver and Boulder that won't break my bank? (i am looking to spend 1000/m). I'm actually counting on finding a small cottage house or bungalow with a fenced yard since we have two dogs. Most searches are great for people looking for townhomes and apartments, even duplexes, but we are searching for houses for rent. Nothing pretty or fancy necessarily, just as long as there is a decent sized yard.

What I have been told by my friends from colorado is that I want to avoid anything too far east from the front line (aurora, centennial, etc) and other places like thornton. But why? I keep finding great houses for decent prices, but everyone is warning me against these places. Can someone honestly tell me what I'd be looking at if I did move there abd wanted to work in denver?

We both work in the restaurant industry and therefore it isn't very hard for us to find work so long as there are large, nice restaurants in the area. Also, having been born and raised in houston, long commutes between work/home/entertainment aren't new to us.

It really isn't important that I live in Denver, either. Like I said I'm open to all the places between Boulder and Denver.

I think colorado is beautiful and cannot wait to start a life there. Houston is phenomenal and I adore where I come from (except for all the country ass bigots who give Texas a bad name) but the heat is something I can't get used to if it's only going to get hotter every year. And we have two bloodhounds who deserve some cool weather to let loose in. thanks so much, everyone, I know how long and ridiculous this blog is haha any help is great!
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Old 02-18-2012, 12:19 PM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
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I think your pals meant "Front Range" not front line. Easy rule of thumb is to equate the I-25 corridor with the Front Range, which refers to the eastern facing set of mountains, aka the Eastern Slope. When you go east from I-25 you very soon end up in rolling dry grassland prairie that runs for 600+ miles to Kansas City...mostly flat and heavily farmed.

IMO you want to be in the Denver metro area, from Lone Tree on the south end to Boulder on the north end. Here are found most restaurant jobs and with about 3M people it is the main population center for at least 500 miles in any direction. Boulder is pricey but has a lot of eateries and the nearby towns are much more affordable and very nice.

Use padmapper.com or zillow.com to find rentals, but $1k/month for a SFH will not get you very much here, the rental market is a bit tight now with a lot of good stuff gobbled up quickly, and having two dogs may require higher rents or downpayments. But it can be done.

Parts of Aurora near the Denver city line can be sketchy, but Aurora is a huge land mass and the newer parts in the southeast region are very nice.
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Old 02-18-2012, 03:28 PM
 
64 posts, read 119,591 times
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Thank you! And you're defintely right, they certainly did say "front range" haha.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:04 PM
 
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Most of big population growth in terms of the numbers has been since 1970. Colorado was more of a back water before then. So a large chunk of real estate has been built in recent decades and that means a lot of larger homes rather than really small homes. Realistically you'll need to look in some of the older neighborhoods in Denver, Arvada, Lakewood and so on that have older 1920-1960's homes.

A big part of Aurora is not bad at all. There are some dodgy neighborhoods north of Alameda, but a lot of the town is fine. Centennial as well from what I have seen. But a lot of the developments there are newer with larger homes.
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Old 02-18-2012, 04:15 PM
 
Location: N. Colorado
345 posts, read 758,656 times
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I am curious, since you love it where you live, do not have jobs here why would you leave? You do not have to answer I am just wondering.

I doubt you will find a community similar to yours.

Thornton above 120th is fine, under it there is a reason the rent is cheaper. I would not live down there.

What type of dogs and size are they? Some landlords will not rent to you if you have dogs, others have size, breed, one dog only requirements etc.

I would recommend visiting before moving and also one of you have a job here first. People are staying in jobs longer then before since the market is rough, even if they are not getting raises or they hate the job.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:05 AM
 
64 posts, read 119,591 times
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We both love the city, but if you find yourself getting stir crazy in the fourth largest city, then you need to leave.

Also, the heat is unbelievable. I've been here my whole life, and it hasn't gotten any easier. It's miserable. This past summer was insane. For a tiny bungalow, we were averaging almost five hundred a month on our energy bill. It's the kind of heat that leaves people pissed off all day. And it's said to get worse. sorry, but f that

And there is a very limited amount of natural beauty to this city. Nothing here is all that scenic except for a couple of landmarks. No where to hike and who the hell would in 100°+ weather that is also HUMID.

Houston defintely grew up too fast. I guess there is something appealing about a city that's a little more established. And changes seasons occasionally.

We have two bloodhounds. Sweet pups, just big so they have to have a lot of room to stretch out in.
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:23 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,142,968 times
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I think you'll be hard pressed finding a "stand alone house" in a place that you actually want to live for under $1000/m. You're leaving one of the least expensive real estate markets in the country, and moving to one that is at least upper middle. I just don't think many people in Dallas and Houston realize what cheap housing they have until they look elsewhere.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:45 AM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
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Another way to look at it is that those $500/month a/c bills in TX will be half that here, which can go to the rent, so if you haven't already done so, you could add $250/month to your rent budget for the Denver area. We have a home of almost 4k sq ft and on a yearly basis our average bill for gas/elec/water/sewer is $240/month. Many homes in the Denver area need very little a/c as it is, same here in COLO SPGS, though most new homes have it, our's does, and we don't use that much in summer.
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Old 02-19-2012, 02:15 PM
 
64 posts, read 119,591 times
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You guys have no clue how great that is to hear! I really would much rather be able to spend more a month for a nicer home, as long as my utilities don't break my bank. How are the winters, though? I know it gets crazy cold, but is there a ball park amount that, say, a two bedroom 900 sft house could potentially run? How much money does having a chimney save a person? Thanks so much!
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Old 02-19-2012, 03:22 PM
 
20,311 posts, read 37,810,444 times
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Depends mostly on how well insulated the home is, how airtight, what type of windows, how good is the caulking around windows and doors, what type of heating method is used and how much sunlight it gets in winter. Rates in Denver are higher than here in COLO SPGS, but for a house of 900 sq ft it should be about $150/month, but that's a swag on my part. Realtors or owners should be able to show you the utility bills for any home.
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