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Old 09-22-2006, 09:23 PM
 
7 posts, read 16,114 times
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Hi

My wife and I are thinking of relocating from Santa Cruz CA to Colorado and are daring to dream of actually owning a nice house for the first time. (and still having money left over for food)

We traveled to Ft Collins and loved the small town with university atmosphere there. We also traveled to Parker and some areas south of Denver and were impressed there too.

I know Ft Collins was voted Best Place to Live in America 2006 recently so that and the town's charm are making us lean towards there, but the access to big city culture and jobs makes us lean towards Denver.

In Parker, one thing that I thought might not be that great is not have a town center there. We saw some small mall areas with Office Depot and chain restaurants, but not a real town center. Also the houses seem to cover hill after hill and I wonder if overdevelopment will a probem down the line. Hmmmm...

Is this basically a decision between small town living vs. living in a creeping suburbia?

I thought someone out there might be able to add to our knowledge before we take the plunge.

bdemil
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Old 09-23-2006, 09:04 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,374 posts, read 40,193,288 times
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I spent most of my life in Colorado, 3 years in Ft Collins, one year in Boulder, the rest in Denver.
Maybe this is my age speaking (I am almost 52) but I would lean in favor of Ft. Collins. The entire time I lived there (in college) I always thought to myself what a great place it would be to raise a family. I do have friends who ended up settling there, have three kids in good schools and they are so happy.
Parker is okay if you like the rural thing, but that drive into town is a pain in the neck--I heard this first-hand from friends who regularly made the drive. And that's just in good weather. Colorado does get snow, ya know.
Ft Collins has grown since my time there, but I have been there as recently as last year, and it retained all its charm plus had cultural advantages of its own.
Just my .02
Good luck!
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Old 09-23-2006, 03:20 PM
 
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Yeah, the wife and I ended up going to the airport directly from Parker so we got a bit of a taste of the traffic. It didn't look fun.
One thing we thought would be better about the Denver area is that you get that sharpness that comes with being near urban area - but I guess you get everything else associated with an urban area too - like the traffic.
Someone also said that south of Denver you get some strangely bitter weather - he implied that would be different in other areas - like Boulder or Ft Collins. Anyone know anything about that?
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:34 PM
 
Location: on an island
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Quote:
get some strangely bitter weather - he implied that would be different in other areas - like Boulder or Ft Collins. Anyone know anything about that?
Oh yeah.
My husband regularly had to commute south to Colo Spgs. The weather could be gorgeous everywhere else but would be horrendous in Black Forest and/or Monument Hill. Basically you can't count on the weather being universal over that general area. There might be snow in Boulder but not in Denver.
Not really all that odd, just part of the package of life there.
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Old 09-23-2006, 06:55 PM
 
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BDEMIL - interesting, my husband and I are questioning the same two areas of Colorado. We have a trip planned for Oct. and hope to narrow it down. We have a young son and hope for the same things you mention. Good luck to you and yours!
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Old 09-23-2006, 08:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by cil View Post
Oh yeah. My husband regularly had to commute south to Colo Spgs. The weather could be gorgeous everywhere else but would be horrendous in Black Forest and/or Monument Hill. Basically you can't count on the weather being universal over that general area. There might be snow in Boulder but not in Denver. Not really all that odd, just part of the package of life there.
True. Monument Hill (elevation 7350) is about 5 miles north of where we are (roughly exit 153 on I-25). The hill can get dicey in winter, but we'll be fine here at 6500 feet. Monument Hill is part of a land feature called the Palmer Divide, running east-west, i.e., perpendicular to the Front Range which runs north-south. The divide serves as a barrier, often keeps different weather patterns on it's respective side of the divide.

You can see for 20-30-40 miles around here. Its really cool to see a big thunderstorm rolling across the land, 10 or more miles away, and never get a drop here.

There can be a good deal of lightning with these storms.

s/Mike
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Old 09-24-2006, 03:35 AM
 
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CA Mom
We are planning the same thing, we have three little ones. What part of CA are you from and anything you can share that has narrowed it down for you? We are considering Ft.Collins/Loveland, Parker or CSprings....Help!!
Also we trying to get out there next month too!
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Old 09-26-2006, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Back to Colorado in 2019
7,073 posts, read 16,017,694 times
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We have lived in the south end of Parker for the last 2 1/2 years and have loved it. At night it can be so quiet in our housing developement (Preston Hills) that you could hear a pin drop outside. Occasionally, we do hear a dog or two barking, but that is it. Some of the houses in Parker can be a little on the expensive side to buy though ($250,000 plus).
The weather: summer= some nasty, nasty lightning, thunderstorms with quite a bit of wind and sometimes hail. Winter= snow, wind-blown snow. It doesn't stay around long, but doesn't necessarily melt off in the afternoon.
And, we have gotten snow here during Halloween week and on Mother's Day weekend.
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Old 09-26-2006, 05:57 PM
 
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LoveBoating - I assume from your name you are a boating enthusiast. Are there lakes/ rivers in the Ft. Collins/ Parker area for boating? How long is the boating season there?
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Old 09-26-2006, 06:03 PM
 
Location: on an island
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There is Horsetooth Reservoir near Ft Collins, and Cherry Creek Reservoir near Parker. They can be chilly but nice.
Snow can occur in the beginning of September as well as the last week of May, and there can be power outages. Spring can be especially cruel. But the sun soon returns.
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