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Old 03-04-2013, 10:30 AM
 
Location: Lone Tree
12 posts, read 17,376 times
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I moved from CA to CO to get away from the city, traffic, congestion, and unfriendly people and I seem to have relocated to a mini-version of what I left. I kept convincing myself that it wasn't as bad but who am I fooling. My husband and I are in our early 30's (no kids yet). I may have watched too many movies but is there a small town in CO that is close enough to a bigger city for work purposes but actually has trees and lakes, a Mainstreet with friendly people, and is affordable to live in? We started driving around this weekend and so far Berthoud is our favorite place followed by Lyons. We also like Fruita but we're afraid it is not close enough to a city to find work. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:52 AM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,501,104 times
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Problem is that the I-25 corridor is pretty much Colorado's big city and there isn't much else other than that.

Grand Junction is the largest town between Denver and Salt Lake City.

Unless you find something around the outer periphery of the I-25 corridor, within an hour of that, you don't have a lot of choice. That involves living above 7000 feet to get trees and living in the "foothills", which is not for everyone.

Affordable is the big issue. If what you wanted existed that was affordable, everyone else would be there too. If you revise your income down and costs way up, you may be able to find a dreamy town, like in Summit County, etc.
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Old 03-04-2013, 10:55 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,923 posts, read 20,116,543 times
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Default Can be done

1. Lakes are very rare in Colorado. Most bodies of water are reservoirs.
2. If you are on the Front Range, then every tree you see was planted and watered by people. We only get 15 inches of precipitation a year. Semi-arid. They aren't called the Great Plains for nothing.
3. Affordable is a relative term.
4. Many Colorado cities were created entirely around the automobile and lack "centers". Lakewood is a good example.

I would suggest that you look at:
1. Downtown Louisville.
2. Downtown Golden.
3. Neighborhoods (sections) within larger cities. For example: Old Towne Arvada, Bradburn in Westminster
4. Downtown Littleton.
5. Downtown Englewood.
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Old 03-04-2013, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Evergreen
397 posts, read 586,747 times
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Have you driven up to Evergreen and Conifer? The reasons that you listed are the reasons that we moved here from NYC 4.5 years ago. Evergreen Lake is very nice and is located right in downtown Evergreen with a walkable main street that has numerous shops and restaurants. Yet, it is so accessible to Denver when you need it. People are very friendly and there is no traffic to speak of up here...especially if you're comparing it to CA or NY. Housing in these towns (with the exception of No. Evergreen) is no more or less affordable then down in Denver. Tons of people commute to metro Denver for their jobs and don't complain because this area affords a great quality of life. I'm sure there will be people that chime in saying that the commute is terrible or they would never give this advice but I guarantee that they haven't done it. Ask anyone that lives in Conifer or Evergreen if they mind the commute.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:26 PM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,690 posts, read 4,312,529 times
Reputation: 10254
Quote:
Originally Posted by moosette View Post
I moved from CA to CO to get away from the city, traffic, congestion, and unfriendly people and I seem to have relocated to a mini-version of what I left. I kept convincing myself that it wasn't as bad but who am I fooling. My husband and I are in our early 30's (no kids yet). I may have watched too many movies but is there a small town in CO that is close enough to a bigger city for work purposes but actually has trees and lakes, a Mainstreet with friendly people, and is affordable to live in? We started driving around this weekend and so far Berthoud is our favorite place followed by Lyons. We also like Fruita but we're afraid it is not close enough to a city to find work. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
You've gotten some good suggestions from other posters. I might add that if you live in Colorado Springs, Woodland Park might work for you. Manitou Springs used to be a pretty good place to live just outside of Colorado Springs, as well - although I hear that housing in Manitou has become expensive. Don't know if that's true or not.

I have some friends who live in Westcliffe and commute to jobs in Pueblo. I'd suggest checking Westcliffe out, since it comes pretty close to meeting your criteria except for the lake thing.

I lived in Lyons for a while some years back. At the time, it was a pretty cool little town within striking distance of Boulder.

Finally, I'd warn you against moving to the Western Slope unless you have a job offer tightly in your hand. The economy out here is struggling and unemployment is rampant. If you can find employment in Grand Junction, Fruita would work. Lots of people commute from there.
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Old 03-04-2013, 12:44 PM
 
3,104 posts, read 2,822,738 times
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Originally Posted by alliern View Post
and there is no traffic to speak of up here...especially if you're comparing it to CA or NY.
Evergreen is very nice, but there is fair amount of traffic in summer. Not to mention it's a popular destination for the loud pipes crowd.

I-70 is also a complete traffic mess in summer and winter. If you can stay in Evergreen then, OK, but if you have to use the I-70... well that would get old real quick.
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Old 03-04-2013, 01:55 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,009,577 times
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Wink Postcards in reality

Affordable is the key word in this question, and also the rub.

That you've defined is fairly well met in a town like Dillon or Frisco, and particularly Frisco. Think a well kept smaller town with a charming main street. There are (still, as in having been ravaged by the mountain pine beetle) plenty of trees in town and the surrounding mountains. The people are friendly enough. It is close to work (IF you are fortunate to find good work there). And it is anything but affordable.

There is rather the problem with most any place in Colorado that most outsiders would easily recognize from a postcard. They all tend to be in the mountains, and in even accounting for the resorts there are no sizable towns. Summit County and Vail would be two of the larger resort metroplexes, still really not that large. Glenwood Springs and Durango are each attractive enough, and both somewhat more on the periphery of the mountains. Aspen is not that large, and will cost anyone a fortune. Lake City wouldn't, but also remote and with a minuscule job market. The places where you could live fairly inexpensively are remote with few job prospects. Those near larger markets in the mountains or near the Front Range cities are expensive due demand.

As so many have discovered, and why there, the Front Range not only has relatively temperate weather but also the best prospects for a happy home on a cost of living basis. Both Loveland and Fort Collins have lakes within town, and at a price homes on them. Not exactly out in the country, nor always the easiest in finding viable employment. In just that, you may have to move closer to Denver or Colorado Springs. Although look at a map and you'll discover there are indeed quite a few lakes, or at least larger ponds, in the area. In fact, drive into Fort Collins off I-25 on Prospect Avenue and you'll pass through a wetlands area.

While on the subject, we might address the misconception that Colorado has few natural lakes. In just Rocky Mountain National Park I stopped counting at 33, and one could surely safely triple that and be short in coming to a total. Albeit, they tend to be small, cold and isolated. Nevertheless there, and that goes for a good many other mountain locals as well. Only, well, not usually the type of place someone will be living next to.

If initially forced by circumstances to live in the metro area, you might still consider alternatives. Those living in towns such as Empire have come to a certain compromise. They are retired, commute long distances, or work locally in a marginal kind of way. Or you might be a dentist in Frisco. But one way or another living in the mountains in going to cost you. One of the best ways to pull this off (other than arriving with a trust find in hand) is to work from home. It requires the ability to do so, and also a good enough income in consequence that one is able to live their dream. Head north of Durango and you may well find that you desire. But plan on it costing plenty. If you work towards that, who knows? Most settle for something less and end up around Denver.

By the way, the largest natural lake in the state is Grand Lake, bordering the small resort town of the same name. It is a lovely place directly adjacent the west side of RMNP. One can boat there on that beautiful lake, and easily walk from their home in town to do so.
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:16 PM
 
Location: Lone Tree
12 posts, read 17,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alliern View Post
Have you driven up to Evergreen and Conifer? The reasons that you listed are the reasons that we moved here from NYC 4.5 years ago. Evergreen Lake is very nice and is located right in downtown Evergreen with a walkable main street that has numerous shops and restaurants. Yet, it is so accessible to Denver when you need it. People are very friendly and there is no traffic to speak of up here...especially if you're comparing it to CA or NY. Housing in these towns (with the exception of No. Evergreen) is no more or less affordable then down in Denver. Tons of people commute to metro Denver for their jobs and don't complain because this area affords a great quality of life. I'm sure there will be people that chime in saying that the commute is terrible or they would never give this advice but I guarantee that they haven't done it. Ask anyone that lives in Conifer or Evergreen if they mind the commute.
Thank you for the information about Evergreen / Conifer. It sounds perfect. I was actually considering Evergreen at one stage but I was told that the people like to stay to themselves and it's not very community oriented. Have you found that living there? Do you have kids?
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Old 03-04-2013, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Evergreen
397 posts, read 586,747 times
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There are many ways to meet people in the Conifer/Evergreen area IF you are willing to do it. There are various clubs...Conifer Neighbors and Newcomers Club and the same for Evergreen. There are also various meet ups for different activities and interests. In addition to those, there are a number of events at Evergreen Lake throughout the year. There was just the Winter Fest. Annual events are New Year's Eve Skate the Lake, the Summer Concert Series, Chili Cook-off, Ice Golf, and a few others that are great venues to meet residents in the area. There are two rec centers that have tons of classes offered.
Yes, I do have kids and that does help, but there are always ways to meet people. There are plenty of people here that don't have kids as well. I think the area allows for a sense of community if you want that. But, it also allows for a sense of solitude if you're seeking that as well.
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Old 03-04-2013, 05:27 PM
 
Location: Lone Tree
12 posts, read 17,376 times
Reputation: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by alliern View Post
There are many ways to meet people in the Conifer/Evergreen area IF you are willing to do it. There are various clubs...Conifer Neighbors and Newcomers Club and the same for Evergreen. There are also various meet ups for different activities and interests. In addition to those, there are a number of events at Evergreen Lake throughout the year. There was just the Winter Fest. Annual events are New Year's Eve Skate the Lake, the Summer Concert Series, Chili Cook-off, Ice Golf, and a few others that are great venues to meet residents in the area. There are two rec centers that have tons of classes offered.
Yes, I do have kids and that does help, but there are always ways to meet people. There are plenty of people here that don't have kids as well. I think the area allows for a sense of community if you want that. But, it also allows for a sense of solitude if you're seeking that as well.
That sounds great. Actually, I was asking about the kids because I was wondering if it is a good place to raise kids and if your kids like it there.
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