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Old 05-15-2013, 04:38 PM
Location: Rochester, NY
24 posts, read 31,016 times
Reputation: 27


I so hope that we can do this.

My fiancé, myself and our child need a breath of fresh air, a new page in our chapter of life. Hopefully Colorado can be the preface.

Hey you guys, hope you all are reading this with peace and comfort.

My fiancé and I are a young couple (mid 20's, though my fiancé will be 30 next year) who have basically come a loooong way in life, growing up with very little in rough neighborhoods. We currently reside in Rochester, NY, his hometown. My fiancé and I have been together for seven years come October 19th (tying the knot this summer) and have the most amazing, beautiful, bright little girl whose five years old. I've never liked Rochester, NY, I'm from Brooklyn, NY but settled in here once I found out we were pregnant.

I'm less than 20 credits away from obtaining my Associates in Communications and Media Arts in order to transfer into a Bachelors program, however I'm bouncing btw switching my major to teach Elementary Art. My fiancé has his Associates in Liberal Arts and have been working with the same company progressively for 14 years and will soon be looking into expanding his education into a trade (He works at a Food Production/Distribution Warehouse for the top company to work for here in Rochester). I have been working in the Customer Service/Patient Health field (from corporate office to working hands on with the developmentally disabled) while going to school and caring for our family. I believe that we are both very well employable until we complete our educations.

We've become extremely weary of Rochester, even after moving out of the city. All of my family is in Brooklyn, NY and my fiancé only has his mother here in Rochester, as his sister moved to Denver about 2 years ago, relocating with her employer and absolutely loves it! My fiancé recently visited for a week and needless to say he fell in love too. We're not your average family. I'm a quirky, young black female, my fiancé an urban young white male and of course our little jumping gymnastics bi-racial princess . We love scenic views, peaceful atmospheres and nature. We live for community recreation and celebration such as festivals, the arts, food, wine and music.

What I want to know is would it be possible to pick up and move to Colorado within a year or so? I've been stalking the forums here on city-data and grew fond of Westminster, CO, 20mins. From Boulder, 20 minutes from Denver. We're currently renting, working full time jobs, and our daughter will be starting kindergarten this Fall. I've been looking into HUD homes and programs there in Westminster and it seems very beneficial (crhdc.org) with mortgage being about the same as what we're currently paying for rent if not less. I've even checked the job market on careerbuilder.com and indeed.com and find a handful of jobs that we qualify for.

I've looked into the schools at greatschools.org and have really been researching this move, but can we do it? We've done a lot together and are such strong partners that our diligence shines when it's crunch time to make things happen

But not having done anything like this before I need to ask, what to do first? Rent or look into first time home buyers programs in Colorado? We will of course visit again where it would be for business, letting companies know that we're in town to meet face to face, handing off our resumes and portfolios, checking out homes on the market, neighborhoods, grocery, etc... How much do we need to save? I give us until next year or so (maybe even next couple of years because we honestly don't have much to start with savings wise. I've been working OT and budgeting right now to get that started) Any advice, tips, warnings, guidance and even encouragement is truly appreciated.

Look forward to hearing from you guys!

(BTW, I was inspired to switch over to Elementary Art because of course I LOOOOVE being a mom and I was re-inspired by a college ART course that really challeneged me (See Below: 20x20in. collage done by pencil) I no longer will push my passion for Art on the back burner as I've been doing )
Attached Thumbnails
Need to get the heck out of NY! Colorado please?-0120131808a.jpg  
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Old 05-15-2013, 05:36 PM
2,514 posts, read 3,488,646 times
Reputation: 5069
I think you both sound great and you will do great out here. But first things first. Do you have a plan to finish your education before or after your move? Can you stay with his sister until you get employment? If she doesn't have room for all of you then maybe one of you move first, stay with his sister, get employment and then the other come out? I would say the order of things is:
1) Plan for how to finish your education either before or after the move
2) Get at least one job out here
3) Move
4) Rent to learn the area and see if you like it before committing to buy
5) Buy and enjoy your new home

Good luck with your plans!
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:49 PM
Location: Denver,CO (originally Boston MA)
31 posts, read 53,123 times
Reputation: 73
I agree. You should rent or stay with family before buying. You'll want to find out what part of the area you'll be working. I'm originally from Boston, and while the traffic here isn't as bad it's still difficult depending on the distance of your commute.
You'll find Boulder more expensive than other areas. Westminster is nice. But if you or your husband gets a job in the DTC you're going to have a difficult commute. I'd rent, learn the area, determine where your place of employment will be.
From experience, I believe the economy is better here than other places. Even friends have moved here recently for better opportunities. But of course prices are on the increase, expect to pay more for rent/living expenses.
I imagine the winters here will be nicer than Rochester. They sure are better than Boston, although it snows here in April and sometimes May, it's milder the majority of the winter, you can even bike and jog in January.
Best wishes on your future plans!
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:13 PM
Location: Rochester, NY
24 posts, read 31,016 times
Reputation: 27
Hey mic11!

Thanks so much for replying!

What I figure is that I'd pick up my education once we land out there and get settled in just because my main focus would be financial stability first and I feel as though I have an abundance of time to complete it, especially since I hope to one day get my Masters. Slowly but surely. However, I will schedule to sit down with my Visual Arts Director at the community college I'm currently attending to help me prepare to transfer my credits over to a community college in Colorado that has a good transfer program for a teaching degree.

As far as my soon to be sis-in-law, who I totally love, I would have to arrange that with her but I totally see that as a possible option, however she always has a roommate. And I never really considered one of us leaving first... It would have to be me since my fiancé would need much more time and focus on landing a fitting job due to the quality of benefits at his current job and his seniority there.

Has any families on here ever done such? Wife left state first to land a job then husband and child/children followed after? I'm very curious about that...

Thanks again Mic
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:35 PM
Location: Rochester, NY
24 posts, read 31,016 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks for replying Steve!

My best friend graduated from Babson in Massachusetts.

Renting definitely seems the way to go. I hope that utilities there in CO are less than here Upstate...
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Old 05-15-2013, 08:43 PM
447 posts, read 574,956 times
Reputation: 788
While I have not done it personally, I have heard many stories of people doing that. While it's always rough to be separated, the stability that comes from having one person at home base and the other at the new location seems to dramatically lower the stress level of trying to make the move all at once.

I imagine I'll do something similar when my family moves in a few years, scouting locations and getting a job, living in a cheap rental or crashing on a friend's couch for a small period of time until things are ready for the rest of the family to pull up roots and move into the new place.

Again, I haven't done it, but it isn't that uncommon of a thing to do from stories I've heard.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:01 AM
Location: Rochester, NY
24 posts, read 31,016 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks for replying Angel!

So I figure a family must have a good amount of money set aside in order for the other parent to stay in the home state. The idea makes me a little nervous. Maybe because I guess I'm just not used to really being apart from my hubby

Other's please chime in. I'm seeking as much feedback as possible. It's very helpful.
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Old 05-16-2013, 07:26 AM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,953 posts, read 20,207,715 times
Reputation: 22586
How much are paying for rent now?
What size is it?
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:40 AM
3,492 posts, read 4,935,380 times
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I deal with personal finance quite a bit (MBA: Finance), and I'd have to recommend moving together if it is possible. If you move separately you'll have to deal with the following things:
1 person still paying rent in NY
Parents away from each other and one away from child
No second adult to assist with packing things when the second is ready to move

That results in significant monetary pressures and stress. It would be wiser to do a large amount of job hunting and arrange a time to move where you can both arrive with jobs starting quickly there after. You'll need to figure out your cost to rent (even if you don't have much furniture and can stay with sis in law for a month or two, you need to make a budget for the long haul), figure out your income, and compare prices for food and utilities. Wages will be lower here than NY, but the living costs are much lower also (assuming you don't have a rent controlled place).

I find the environment here much better. I think you'll like it. It won't be "easy", but I wouldn't consider what you're doing right now easy either. Working, overtime, education, and being a parent. You're an incredible person. I'd say that doing it here would be less difficult than what you are already accomplishing.

I don't think this has been addressed by other replies, but since you mentioned it in your original post I wanted to follow up. Racism is rare here. You won't see people look at you funny for being an interracial couple. Love is a grand thing, and interracial couples are common here. There are some places in the midwest where bigots would stare, but that isn't Colorado. If you've had any concerns that some ***holes here might treat you differently, your fears can be put to rest. Within a decade or two, I think children will be as confused by why racism existed as they will be by the idea of a land line.

How much to save:
It would be advisable to have a few months living expenses saved up. If there is no car debt/student loan payments/credit card debt, you can get by here on about 2500/month after taxes. It'll be a little tight on that budget though. If you have smart phones and must have cable TV, make that 2700/month as a minimum. This doesn't include going out to movies, out to dinners, etc. My wife and I were able to do it (with no kids) on about 2k/month excluding our student loan payments (and with no cable tv or smart phones). I'm not sure I read the first post correctly. You have one child, 5 years old. You are not pregnant now, correct? If you are pregnant now, you'll need to raise the minimum to pay for pregnancy costs and the next child. -- Note, these minimums also do not include setting aside savings for a down payment. That will raise the minimum required.

Most people would fritter away around 3500/month, so if you want to plan for comfort you'll want to look for 3500 to 4000 after taxes each month.

You should rent before you buy. Some people don't like Colorado. I usually don't understand those people. You will want to know where you are driving to each day before you decide where your home should be. The lower property prices and mortgage rates (compared to history) make owning much more affordable now. If you like the area, buying a house after 6 months to a year would be wise. You'll want 20% saved for a down payment, though some lenders will take less if you have exceptional credit. It is still possible to buy a house with a 5% down, I did it in November. I had more money saved up, but found that doing 5% down and paying the rest towards my student loans was a better deal in the long run.

Depending on what type of area you want to live in, a suitable place might run 120k, or it might run 500k. That will really depend on how much house you want and where you want it. In boulder a 2 bed 2 bath condo may run 300k, when the exact same floor plan in Colorado Springs would've ran 120k. Then there is the question of do you want a condo, or do you want a house? You'll know many of those answers after several months out here.
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Old 05-16-2013, 09:42 AM
Location: Rochester, NY
24 posts, read 31,016 times
Reputation: 27
Hey Dave. Right now we're currently renting a month-to-month lease single family home about 15 minutes on the highway from the center city of Rochester, a little town where the actual school is just one huge school combined with elementary, jr. high and high school, lol. It's a lot safer here than where we were, plus the Rochester City schools just plain suck. I went to school in Manhattan when I lived back in Brooklyn.

Our rent is $675 plus utilities. Deposit was a month and a half worths rent, plus that current month. RGE (Rochester Gas and Electric) are a bunch of crooks. We tend to try and be very frugal but our bills from them are on average are btw $100-450 year round (i.e. the weather this past month as been amazing and our bill was still $275. On the statement it shows that the main chunk of it comes from the supplier fee). I hate it. In the winter we try to keep the heat as low as we can bare and just walk around wrapped like mummies.

The size of our rental now, and please excuse, I don't know by heart the sq. ft., is decent... Upstairs the bathroom is average size, our daughter's room is about 13x13, our room is about 12x12, downstairs is a small dining room, good size with an arch open to the living room, a little on the smaller side, kitchen average size, porch, basement with our own washer & dryer + sitting and storage space. No backyard but 2 spots to park in the back of the house.
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