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Old 07-27-2013, 02:47 PM
 
Location: Evergreen
397 posts, read 589,166 times
Reputation: 469

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Based on your wants and needs, you should look into Conifer, Morrison and Evergreen. These towns sit west of downtown Denver. About 30-45min west.

Great schools from elementary through high school. Gorgeous mountain scenery. All of your everyday amenities are there so you don't need to "drive down the hill". You'd do just fine in your price point. It's the best of both worlds...space and accessibility to a city when you need it.
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:24 PM
 
14 posts, read 18,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alliern View Post
Based on your wants and needs, you should look into Conifer, Morrison and Evergreen. These towns sit west of downtown Denver. About 30-45min west.

Great schools from elementary through high school. Gorgeous mountain scenery. All of your everyday amenities are there so you don't need to "drive down the hill". You'd do just fine in your price point. It's the best of both worlds...space and accessibility to a city when you need it.
Definitely some beautiful homes in those areas, I just did a quick search of all of them and the homes are exactly what I would dream to live in. I love the cabin type look with the evergreen trees/mountains etc. . .
Evergreen and Conifer look great, I'll have to check it out to see what kind of amenities are in the area and if it will work for us. I noticed that they have a high school ranked in the top 500 in the country.

What kind of people generally live there? We're moderately conservative, but not too judgemental, basically just looking for a better quality of life
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Old 07-27-2013, 03:47 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,958 posts, read 20,226,589 times
Reputation: 22591
Genessee
Evergreen
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Old 07-27-2013, 09:36 PM
 
529 posts, read 1,251,100 times
Reputation: 676
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickandjenn View Post
Definitely some beautiful homes in those areas, I just did a quick search of all of them and the homes are exactly what I would dream to live in. I love the cabin type look with the evergreen trees/mountains etc. . .
Evergreen and Conifer look great, I'll have to check it out to see what kind of amenities are in the area and if it will work for us. I noticed that they have a high school ranked in the top 500 in the country.

What kind of people generally live there? We're moderately conservative, but not too judgemental, basically just looking for a better quality of life
Evergreen and Conifer are great mountain towns just minutes from Denver. There is everything you need in both towns, such as schools, grocery stores, gas, restaurants (some great mom and pop ones I might add), and a few major retail stores (like Staples). There are tons of trees (both evergreen and deciduous) as well, and you're still only 25 to 35 minutes from downtown Denver!

Cost of housing ranges from 200,000's to millions, so there's plenty to choose from.

As far as the kind of people, there are people from nearly every state in both towns and combined they have a population of around 20,000. There are both liberal and conservative people there, but I wouldn't worry about this at all.

HOWEVER, despite the fact that these towns are near Denver they are still in the mountains (about 7,500 to 9,500 feet) and winter will be surprisingly less mild than in the Denver area (Plains/4,600 to 6,200 feet). Both will always receive more snow than Denver, and will be about 15 to 25 degrees cooler year round. Nothing like Summit County or Aspen winters but still more winter weather than Denver.

Best of Luck and IMHO I think Colorado Springs is the best choice overall. The previous posts about how nice Colorado Springs is are Spot On!
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:06 PM
 
826 posts, read 1,606,701 times
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There are some good suggestions above. I am not sure that Colorado Springs itself would answer (although it may!), but nearby communities include Manitou Springs, Monument, and Palmer Lake. These communities definitely have their own identity (something not all Denver Suburbs can offer), yet have easy access to all major services.

I do not think anyone has mentioned Ft. Collins as a possibility; an oversight or am I missing something?

Do check out the total cost of living where every you choose. Some seemingly ordinary expenses get crazy in some places. Some of us think Monument is heading for a crash of epic proportions over the cost of its water supply, for example. Natural gas is not always available, and neither propane nor electric heat is particularly cheap in the size house you contemplate. Property taxes vary surprisingly from county to county.

Do NOT tell a realtor you want to spend $400,000. You may find exactly what you want for $300,000 or even less depending upon the community you choose.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:08 PM
 
Location: southern california
55,559 posts, read 74,435,804 times
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self employed people have a harder time with everything inc renting.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:28 PM
 
14 posts, read 18,132 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huckleberry3911948 View Post
self employed people have a harder time with everything inc renting.

I realize that, I may have to pay cash for it which is gut wrenching but very likely. If I can't find a lender who can process the loan for 50% down payment, then I'll have to wait to fund it in full.

Because my home business took off last year I don't really have the 2 years worth of w-2's to qualify, which is what many lenders require.

Basically my home business was my second job, almost a hobby for the last 5 years, this past Fall it took off and I was forced to quit my job. I was a plumber by day and worked my business until all hours of the night. I quit my job this year when I was making a weeks worth of wages in one day at home.

I've been able to set aside 100k for the down payment, and will probably have 200k available by December, but if I can't get the loan it will have to wait another year. I realize it's a good problem to have, but I would really prefer to get a loan and use the capital for other ideas I have.

If anyone knows a creative loan officer in the area, I would be very grateful for their contact info.
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Old 07-27-2013, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Evergreen
397 posts, read 589,166 times
Reputation: 469
I sent you back a DM with mortgage lender options.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:19 AM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,768 posts, read 4,623,338 times
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I think people either missed what having an autistic child means to a family or are ignoring the fact that you have an autistic son. That can be a problem moving to Colorado, depending on the severity.

Some things you need to know, the waivers for autistic kids and disabled children have wait lists of 5-7 years. Many insurance companies do not cover the therapies in Colorado, meaning you should be ready to pay for any therapies you want for your child out of your pocket for at least the 1st 7 years. Remember California is usually ranked in the top 5 for treatments and funding available for special needs kids, while Colorado is more middle of the pack and I have seen them ranked in the bottom 5 in some studies. The services you have available now, may not even be available anywhere in the state of Colorado.

Visit the schools, all of them will say they have programs for autistic children, but not all programs are created the same. they will say they will provide all the programs in your IEP as they are forced to by the federal government, but considering your son's age his IEP is probably not done as of yet, and they get a say in writing it.

Also find parents of autistic kids in the area, ask them how they feel about the schools and their experiences. My wife and I had both good and bad experiences in a couple of the school districts before moving to Fort Collins, where we found a great autism only program, at the time it was 1 of only 3 in the state, that has dramatically improved where there are more schools offering the programs but it is far from every school district that offers those programs, in fact I would put it as less than half of the schools along the front range.

Avoid the small towns like Conifer, even though the town itself is great, they just do not have the resources in the school district that your child will need, which means he will usually not get the resources he needs or will have to be bussed to another area, and can spend well over an hour on the bus each way. To get him bussed to another school district, expect a huge fight, as there was a case in Loveland CO a few years ago that ended up going to court for a long drawn out battle.

Remember the road to hell is paved with good intentions, many people will provide advice and tell you they have heard good things but really have no idea what is going on in their schools or area for special needs children, find people that actually know through their own experiences and speak to them. You will find out the good and the bad, and there is good and bad in every situation.

If you would like specific information on the schools we tried I would be happy to provide it, the most important thing I learned though is that you have to be careful and research heavily for the right school districts, as your child's future depends on it.

Last edited by jwiley; 07-28-2013 at 07:36 AM..
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:26 AM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,768 posts, read 4,623,338 times
Reputation: 4894
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickandjenn View Post
I realize that, I may have to pay cash for it which is gut wrenching but very likely. If I can't find a lender who can process the loan for 50% down payment, then I'll have to wait to fund it in full.

Because my home business took off last year I don't really have the 2 years worth of w-2's to qualify, which is what many lenders require.

Basically my home business was my second job, almost a hobby for the last 5 years, this past Fall it took off and I was forced to quit my job. I was a plumber by day and worked my business until all hours of the night. I quit my job this year when I was making a weeks worth of wages in one day at home.

I've been able to set aside 100k for the down payment, and will probably have 200k available by December, but if I can't get the loan it will have to wait another year. I realize it's a good problem to have, but I would really prefer to get a loan and use the capital for other ideas I have.

If anyone knows a creative loan officer in the area, I would be very grateful for their contact info.
I am actually a loan officer and small business tax accountant, and can at least give you an idea, the down payment will help, also you may qualify for a loan easily depending on how you tax returns look the last couple of years.

You get to average your income for the last 2 years using your tax returns, and some lenders also let you use a year to date P & L. So it really depends on how your taxes look the last 2 years. On top of that you will have to prove that your location is not a large part of that income, meaning if you have an internet based company where you do either mail order or online consulting then you will not have a problem. However if you are a wholesaler providing goods and/ or services to companies in your current area, than you may have a problem. Loans have gotten much tougher then they were in the past, but if you have cash reserves, a large down payment, and an ongoing business showing a nice profit that is improving every year then you should not have many problems.
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