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Old 04-24-2013, 11:49 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,838,766 times
Reputation: 9316

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delta07 wrote: Do you have to buy right away? Moving across the country is a big change, and if you end up not liking the city you've selected, you would be stuck for a while if you purchased a home right away. My suggestion would be to check out all the places you've narrowed your search down to when you visit, and then consider renting in one of those towns for a year (or month to month if you can find that kind of lease). This will give you the opportunity to really explore your new location and make sure it's a good fit before making a big commitment (especially at your budget).

@1cindym......You can search high and low across the wide expanse of cyberspace, and you will not find any better advice than what delta has given you in the paragraph above.
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Old 04-24-2013, 02:05 PM
 
811 posts, read 1,224,017 times
Reputation: 2111
I'm loving this discussion, as I may be the guilty party the OP referred to who described the west and southwest side of Colorado Springs as "a liberal(ish) Colorado town with character," which of course is totally outside-the-box thinking and goes against every national and even Colorado stereotype about what Colorado Springs is all about.

After being here 10+ years, the actual experience of living here is entirely different from the national perception. Even lifelong Colorado natives will describe/denigrate (on this forum) Colorado Springs using these stereotypes, which bear little relationship to the reality I've perceived here. You want funky? Its here. You want granola sustainable? Its here. You want overeducated NRP-listeners who feed their kids expensive organic foods? They're here in their tens of thousands. Seriously, just put yourself in downtown, west of downtown, or southwest of downtown and you'll never feel outnumbered. You WILL be outnumbered in the city/county as a whole (and local politics will reflect this) but within your neighborhood and where you exist, you'll be fine. Another way to look at this is to look for trees taller than 20 feet and older than 20(ish) years and you will find a diversity of thought. Places in town where the houses and trees are all the same age, you are more at risk of finding that uniformity of thought and behavior for which Colorado Springs is more commonly known. I think that reputation came from several decades of Focus on the Family engaging in highly public political/cultural battles in the non-profit arms-race for notoriety which captures the attention of big-money donors. It worked for them, but left our city with a bit of a reputation. Even Focus has shifted its strategy in recent years with the change in leadership, becoming more inclusive, less of a political drama-queen seeking publicity (read: donor attention).

I'm not a realtor, nor a city booster, but I think its time some of the edge came off this stereotype of Colorado Springs as a place of 500,000 wild-eyed zealots trying to drag gay folks into giant warmongering churches for reprogamming. Its not like that. It's just like any normal American city, only nicer and more affordable.
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:16 PM
 
Location: Way Out West...
95 posts, read 153,229 times
Reputation: 140
Have you considered checking out some of the areas on the Western Slope?

These areas may have what your looking for...Montrose, Cedaredge, Paonia, etc. Liberal, certified organic semi-rural, wineries, art, music, outdoor activities, scenery...

(Shameless Plug) Link:

COLORADO Custom Homesite...Rocky Mt. Views...ALL Utilities!
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Old 04-24-2013, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Corona
10,063 posts, read 13,951,849 times
Reputation: 8887
I would consider just outside of Ft. Collins too like Longmont, Erie, Firestone esp. Longmont.Loveland or Windsor might be possibilities as well.

Colorado Springs does have a lot of bible thumpers, but not all. When I think of the Springs bibles and military is what comes to mind.

It is lower COL than Ft Collins.
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Old 04-26-2013, 08:14 AM
 
8 posts, read 15,477 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks all so much for your input. This is VERY helpful.

I wish we could wait to buy, but we're very concerned about the rates going up. We can get what we want now, the way rates are...once they go up, we'll have to make some hard decisions. I realized housing costs will go down as rates go up, but that starts a game of catch-up and the bottom line is we need a place to live. We need a home. I feel like now is the time. Did I mention we've been renting?? We started a business 5 years ago (at the same time we got married -- his second, my first) and are just now feeling stable enough and financially prepared to buy.

I figure if we choose wisely, we can find our "home" and make friends within our community, just as we did here in NoVa 5 years ago. At least that's what I hope anyway. I'm really looking forward to my upcoming visit so I can get a general sense of the place and the people.

But all this feedback is wonderful. Keep it coming!
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:02 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,722,706 times
Reputation: 23426
There are a few older subdivisions in each place that have LARGE lots and semi rural feel.

I like ~S Hogan Drive in Ft Collins (south of Harmony) and there are similar places in the NW and NE of Ft Collins, (BIG lots on or near a small lake). Ft Collins has plenty of activities and 'herbal options'. Loveland might be a bit slow, but I do prefer it over Ft Collins for less traffic. A few areas in town that are nice, is Hilltop Drive (not many trees) and Douglas south of 8th street and winding SE down to Bill Reed School (more older homes more trees). Derby Hill has some nice areas, but you will be driving every time you need something.

I would avoid 'tract' subdivisions and look for something more unique. We always had GREAT homes in Colorado in well developed older areas with BIG lots (Our homes in town (5) were corner or double lots) But usualy we lived in the country. (Masonville and Big Thompson Canyon and Devils Backbone)
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Old 04-27-2013, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Just south of the river
55 posts, read 71,757 times
Reputation: 82
I have lived in all 3 of these areas at one time or another, as well as Richmond VA. My choice would be D12. Nice neighborhoods, convenient and a little more upscale with the Broadmoor Hotel anchoring the community. Probably less culture shock, moving from DC to CS- military and space industry brings people in from all over the US.

Woodland is nice, but it is still somewhat isolated. Good news is, they did get a Walmart a while back so you don't have to drive down the Pass for underwear anymore!

I went to CSU in Fort Collins. Wind blows all the time. Never really liked the town much, but I'm a Southie. I'm sure it's a decent place to live for normal folk.

Yeah, don't worry about the religious/political aspects of CS. I have tons of friends there; both left and right, religious to atheist. It's definitely live and let live here.
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Old 04-30-2013, 09:25 AM
 
3,492 posts, read 4,934,395 times
Reputation: 5377
Cindy,

I live in Co. Springs. I don't go to church, and I feel NO pressure to do so. Contrary to the perception of the Springs, when random polling was done asking "are you very religious?" the percent of people staying "yes" was in line with the national average. There are many people with strong opinions, but there is a strong live and let live vibe here. Your price range will also match well with the housing that is available, and both pikes peak community college and UCCS are fairly affordable for in state residents. I'm a master's student at UCCS and I have been impressed with the program. It was dramatically superior to the other programs I have attended in the quality of education.
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Old 05-01-2013, 10:56 AM
 
8 posts, read 15,477 times
Reputation: 11
Well I will see it all for myself starting tomorrow with a whirlwind tour. Your input and suggestions have been so helpful. I still have a LOT of ground to cover, but I feel like I have a little more guidance now. As always, keep it comin...

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2013, 10:39 PM
 
Location: Fairfax County, VA
15 posts, read 34,675 times
Reputation: 15
We used to live in Fort Collins. It is by far the best place we have ever lived. (We are retired military and have lived all over.). I can't say enough great things about FC. My husband got his doctorate
at CSU. The schools are great and the environment is so laid-back. Great place for outdoorsy people that like to hike, bike, etc. Denver is about an hour away and has great museums, culture and the typical things a big city has to offer. In my opinion, Cheyenne is too small. FC was the perfect size.
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