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Old 07-03-2012, 11:35 PM
 
11 posts, read 16,461 times
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I am thinking of relocating and know that CO has a pleasantly dryer climate than the Tulsa area where I currently reside. I would like to find an area that is a cheap area to live, but still has job opportunities and decent overall weather. I have always heard that Colorado has some of the most expensive housing in the U.S. besides the East and West coast. I'm 50 years old without a college degree... OUCH!, but want a place to settle down and call home for good. Any suggestions? Thank you in advance for your opinions!
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:28 AM
 
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I suspect a paucity of answers, likely because there is no place in CO that begins to fit. I know, I'd love to leave the humidity of the Northeast (I do visit Colorado regularly) but without a specific job or higher-paying profession, I'd sadly say you're better off in Tulsa. (Hey, at least it's not New Jersey 'shudder over my two weeks there in June').
I do look forward to any answers that are more optimistic than mine.
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:35 AM
Status: "Not politically correct" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Western Colorado
10,545 posts, read 11,646,107 times
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Well I moved here from Fayetteville 3 years ago. Luckily I'm retired as jobs are few and far between and I discovered when there is a good job it goes to a relative or someone who's lived here forever and is well established. Where housing is "cheap" are places you probably won't want to live. I DO enjoy the fact that although it's been blazing hot and 100 degrees for the past 3 weeks, the humidity is very low, there's no tornadoes (where I live) and no ice storms. Good luck to you.

And this begs for...

paging jazzlover

Last edited by jim9251; 07-04-2012 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:50 AM
 
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The simple answer: There are cheap places to live, but they generally are in the non-scenic areas and/or have few or no decent-paying jobs. There are the resort areas, often very beautiful spots, but they have extremely expensive housing and few good-paying jobs. Or, you can live in the metro areas (yuk!) that have at least some prospects for decent-paying jobs, but the cheaper places to live there are generally in the rougher neighborhoods. Truth is, there are few places in Colorado, or really anywhere else in the Rocky Mountain West, that will meet both of your criteria. Colorado, in particular, has done a pretty good job is chasing most decent-paying industry out of its rural communities. I'm sure there will be a certain poster that will extol the virtues of Pueblo to you. There is some industry there, but wages are not great, unemployment is fairly high and, contrary to what he will tell you, there are areas of the city that have significant crime issues. All of that said, Pueblo is about the closest thing to an affordable blue collar industrial-type small city that you will find in Colorado.

You might consider some of the medium-sized towns in the high plains area of western Kansas and Nebraska. They can be pretty hot in the summer, but don't have the oppressive humidity of eastern Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. They also have some blue-collar industry that pays half-decent wages, with reasonable living costs and relatively low unemployment. Some towns that come to mind are Kearney, North Platte, Scottsbluff and McCook in Nebraska; and Hutchinson, Great Bend, McPherson, Dodge City, and Garden City in Kansas. Be forewarned, the latter two have meat-packing plants with a lot Mexican immigrants--both legal and illegal--living there to work in the plants. Cheyenne, Wyoming might be a place to check, though it has housing costs higher than most other high-plains towns. It's going to be really tough for you to replicate the relatively reasonable living costs and decent economy of Tulsa anywhere in Colorado.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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Look into Canon City, Colorado - cheap, beautiful, peaceful small town.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sesamekid View Post
Look into Canon City, Colorado - cheap, beautiful, peaceful small town.
But essentially no decent-paying jobs, unless one can get on with the Department of Corrections at one of the prisons, or at the federal Supermax prison at Florence. And, I do not consider real estate "cheap" in Cañon City--cheaper, but not cheap.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Bend, OR
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I really think it depends on your definition of cheap. Compared to Tulsa, most areas in Colorado are not going to be cheap. Most of the places with a lower cost of living in Colorado are also rural areas, where jobs are going to be pretty difficult to come by. The Denver Metro area is going to be your best bet for finding a job. Cost of living will be much higher than where you currently live, but there are places to live in the Denver area that are more affordable than others.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:13 PM
 
10,873 posts, read 41,184,197 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
The simple answer: There are cheap places to live, but they generally are in the non-scenic areas and/or have few or no decent-paying jobs. (snip)

I'll disagree here ... those places in Colorado that are remote and rural enough to have low costs of housing ... hence, an impression of "cheap places to live" ... aren't "cheap" when all costs of living there are factored in. To begin with, the local jobs market is almost non-existent, and what there is of it doesn't pay enough to have any affluence or aspects of "getting ahead". So the low cost of housing is matched by the low income potential. Few high paying jobs exist where one can have really nice housing, a newer vehicle, adequate shopping/entertainment/recreation/medical access.

Much as jazzlover would decry the aspects of Colorado life along the front range ... where housing costs are higher than in the rural areas (other than resort locales) ... that's where the most jobs exist that pay enough to allow a better standard of living.

delta07 above has captured the concept. "cheap" is only relative to the available income stream where you live. I have friends in Vail who consider it very affordable ... because they own businesses which generate enough income so that their million dollar homes are not a burden on their income; as well, friends in Aspen with similar circumstances. But you'd be hard pressed at average income levels to consider either locale "cheap" places to live.


Cheyenne, Wyoming might be a place to check, though it has housing costs higher than most other high-plains towns.
Don't know where you're coming up with this line of thinking about Cheyenne, jazzlover ...

The current job opportunities in Cheyenne are very limited, with only a few column inches of ads in the Tribune-Eagle. Unless you've got a qualification leading to a higher paying professional job, or want to be a truck driver for the current drilling activity in the area ... most jobs available right now are in the lowest paying service sector (it appears that all of the higher paying oil patch jobs are currently filled, mostly with transient workers who will leave when the current drilling ends). You'll have a hard time paying prevailing rent, keeping an adequate vehicle on the roads, and maintaining a normal standard of living on the jobs that are available. I wouldn't categorize Cheyenne as depressed ... but it's barely hanging on these days; there's been a spate of businesses going out of business in the area, especially in the hospitality area but also in retail and service trades. The jobs recently brought to the market by the new major regional warehouses were filled by locals from lower payings jobs ... which only left new job openings at the lowest end of the labor marketplace. Along with that, the much touted technical facilities recently opened in town brought few jobs to the locals; the high dollar jobs were filled by staffers from other facilites and the few new local jobs were service/maintenance jobs at the low end of the pay scale. With the recent downturn in state and local tax revenues, there's hiring freezes and cutbacks now coming into play in public sector jobs, too; the Gov has mandated substantial reductions in budgets across the board (and that's not "funny accounting" gov type reductions from the anticipated expansion of budgets, they are hard dollar reductions in the current expenditure levels). FWIW, as an indicator of the local area economy, one has only to look at the local real estate ads to see a very high percentage of the housing market for sale at prices that are a fraction of what they'd be in other metropolitan areas ....

overall, in response to the OP: there are no "cheap" areas in Colorado. The last I saw of resonably priced locales here was the late 1960's .... the expansion of the state in the 1970's and the explosion in the 1980's has totally altered the economics of the state. Even with some of the localized economic downturns ... such as Grand Junction when the oil shale boom fizzled, or Leadville when the Climax Mine (and the smaller ones) shut down due to oversupply of moly ... still didn't create "cheap" places to live in light of the local jobs/economy present.

Last edited by sunsprit; 07-04-2012 at 12:50 PM..
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Old 07-04-2012, 03:09 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,111,186 times
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Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
overall, in response to the OP: there are no "cheap" areas in Colorado. The last I saw of resonably priced locales here was the late 1960's .... the expansion of the state in the 1970's and the explosion in the 1980's has totally altered the economics of the state. Even with some of the localized economic downturns ... such as Grand Junction when the oil shale boom fizzled, or Leadville when the Climax Mine (and the smaller ones) shut down due to oversupply of moly ... still didn't create "cheap" places to live in light of the local jobs/economy present.
I totally agree with sunsprit's assessment here. I also can see his point about Cheyenne, though it probably has better prospects than most comparable Colorado locales away from the metro areas (e.g., Grand Junction). I have longed harped about the problem in Colorado of the "affordability index"--that is, the affordability of a place when one considers the potential for a local income there versus what it actually costs to live there. Colorado, in general, but especially away from the metro areas, has had a generally lousy affordability index for years. Unfortunately, because so much of the Colorado has been tied to the "F.I.R.E." economy, dependent on continual land development, the now declining real estate market has also precipitated a parallel decline in local employment and income. Some areas are seeing a bit of a "sucker rally" in the real estate market, but the net result is likely only to be to push the affordability index into more hostile territory, which will eventually lead the real estate market to collapse again. I feel so strongly about Colorado's growing economic hostility that I'm vigorously trying to sell into this "sucker rally," and liquidate my remaining Colorado holdings. I study this economic stuff as part of my work, and I see no bright spots ahead, just more trouble.
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Old 07-04-2012, 05:19 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,481,811 times
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I am south east of Tulsa and will retire next year. Of course, selling a ranch will not be easy but I like the Trinidad area. Cheap, scenic and lots to do compared to southeast OK. I can take the heat of CO any day to OK.
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