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Old 01-24-2008, 07:24 AM
7 posts, read 64,800 times
Reputation: 14


I am going to start off by apologizing for the length but I have some questions that I seem to be getting contrasting answers. Hereís the back story - I work as a Life Settlement Broker and my company is considering opening an office in Denver so my wife, two kids, and myself are contemplating relocating from the great Lone Star state of Texas (I had to throw that in for all you Texas haters out there) to Colorado, most specifically Evergreen. We settled on Evergreen because for us it seems to mirror our current location of McKinney. Now as ya'll know Texas and Colorado differ in some areas but what concerns us the most is the reported vast difference in the cost of living. I have been lurking on this site for a while now and it seems as if the expense of life in CO is one of the major concerns for all its inhabitants; but what exactly makes Colorado so expensive?

I have heard that its the cost of living but I found a site where you can compare the cost of living for two cities, and it shows that the cost of living in Denver is only 1.1% higher than Dallas but the pay rate is 3.9% higher in Denver than in Dallas, can this be true? Then I have heard that itís the taxes that get you, but in previous posts the examples given for homes is less than what we currently pay and for CO to be 30th they canít be all that bad. So where do the higher expenses come into play, everyday items such as groceries, gas for your car, dining out or is it mostly in utilities for heating/cooling your home, water and waste water?

Again I apologize for the length and I am sure some of yaíll are tired of beating this dead horse but any information would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:47 AM
3,553 posts, read 6,938,484 times
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Well spudmonkey; I'm not expert here, although we're in the process of relocating from TX (Hill Country) to the front range (Loveland) and I don't see any increase in COL. IIRC Evergreen is a bit of an expensive housing market (and not sure what part of McKinney reminds you of Evergreen) so that may be a big part of it.

In our experience the houses where we looked, Loveland, Ft. Collins, Thornton were slightly less expensive than here when looking at true comparables. Of course the property taxes are way lower as is homeowner's insurance. Of course adding back in the income tax (although we're retired we still have good incomes) jacks things up a bit, I noticed that gasoline (important for commuters) and sales tax are lower in CO, but car registration is a lot more.

On the plus side I noticed that the roads and schools are nicer in CO as the taxpayers seem to be getting something for their money. The recent years of "cut your tax" pledging idiot politicians in TX is only just beginning to show the fraying at the edges of our infrastructure. As bad as our roads are in TX now wait and see what a few more years of Perry and company will do to them. Or, god forbid, if Giuliana and Perry manage to toll the entire state.

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Old 01-24-2008, 08:04 AM
7 posts, read 64,800 times
Reputation: 14
Well we there for a couple of days and found that Evergreen and McKinney seem to have the same feel, a little down home country town with friendly people and a lot of City held family functions. But yes, the housing price vs. square footage through out CO are substantially greater than what we have here in McKinney but the prices in Evergreen are similar to those in Aurora but the scenery and acreage are so much better in Evergreen, which makes paying the difference a little easier.

That's all we need now is more tollways, I seem to recall that the whole purpose of a tollway was to help pay off the costs of that road and then once paid for the road would no longer be a toll but for some reason although we have paid for the tollway 20 times over (or some other incredibly ridiculous number) we continue to pay for it and with rate hikes.

I just donít want to move to CO and then be broadsided by something unexpected and then be stuck. We are doing okay here and of course our family and friends are here but like so many others have mentioned CO does look as if its grass is greener on their side.
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Old 01-24-2008, 08:12 AM
Location: Green Mountain
60 posts, read 446,684 times
Reputation: 79
Default Hey SpudMonkey!

We live right at the four corners area of Frisco/McKinney/Allen and Plano. We have been researching our move to the Evergreen/Genesee area now for over a year. We have been out there twice now for home/area searches. Bottom line - it's almost a wash for cost of living. In my humble opinion, after paying over $6000 a year for property taxes here in Collin county - it will be a breath of fresh air to pay so little in Colorado. Yes, yes - I know there will be other expenses (state income tax/car reg./etc) but my better half (a CPA/CMA and an MBA) has crunched and re-crunched all the numbers and in every scenario we still come out ahead (a few hundred bucks) if not even. We are very frugal. No cc debt, cars paid off, plenty of emergency savings. Did I mention I married an accountant! Ha! What a blessing that was. We cannot wait to get away from the shallowness of Plano and the extreme keeping up with the Jones mentality here.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:16 AM
9 posts, read 40,267 times
Reputation: 24
If I'm not mistaken, car registration isn't really much more in CO than in TX. The big difference is that you pay the sales tax on auto purchases when you pay for tags rather than the dealer doing it for you. The obvious result is that registration fees appear much higher when, in actuallity, the bulk of that is sales taxes.

Additionally, I suspect that most of those online cost of living calculators don't factor in property tax and homeowner insurance differences which results in Texas appearing so much more affordable than other states with a state income tax. Don't you believe it! The prop taxes here are INSANE! I paid $5800 last year on a home that is valued at less than $240,000. You're actually penalized in Texas by investing your hard earned money in a home. I'd rather have state income tax any day of the week!

We're also planning on moving to Evergreen from the Houston area within the next 1 - 2 years. I CANNOT WAIT!!!! I lived in Aurora as a kid and have always vowed to return to be near the mountains and enjoy the great climate.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:39 AM
Location: Earth
1,453 posts, read 3,666,294 times
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What makes CO expensive? Big Money interests willing to pay big bucks for property, and a steady pool of real estate agents & speculator sharks pimping it out to the rest of the country, supplemented by a pretty good energy & hi-tech industry with skilled workers who need/want nice places to live and play, in turn driving a strong outdoor recreation industry. Everybody wants a piece.

What used to be affordable is quickly becoming out of reach as our State fills up and growth keeps spreading out. Just a fact of life...some year people will want to leave CO for other places, and the process repeats...the Front Range is well on it's way to becoming another L.A. from Pueblo to Cheyenne.

3 million more transplants expected here by 2035, although the economy and energy woes might curb that number down a bit...no matter, where will they go? Will there be enough water & energy? And so forth...things to consider.
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Old 01-24-2008, 09:55 AM
106 posts, read 396,997 times
Reputation: 38
Depends on where you are moving from. To those of us that moved here from California, Colorado is cheap. It's all a matter of perception.
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Old 01-24-2008, 01:03 PM
Location: cincinnati northern, ky
835 posts, read 2,612,808 times
Reputation: 180
i think co is expensive because its a highly "demanded" place for alot to live esp outdoor type people its scenerey and diversity can only be matched by utah and california and alot of people are movin to co from other areas such as tx and cali, if people are willin to pay da price ppl makin money off taxes housing ect will likely continue to see how high they can go just because they are prob gonna continue makin a killin
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:56 PM
5,748 posts, read 10,760,289 times
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Originally Posted by BigCheeze View Post
Depends on where you are moving from. To those of us that moved here from California, Colorado is cheap. It's all a matter of perception.
Ditto. Denver is extremely affordable compared to large coastal cities, and as far as salaries go, it depends on the industry. My spouse is paid nearly 16% more here in Denver for a job similar to the one he held in the DC region. On top of that, he no longer has the horrible I-95 commute. Can't even describe how great that has turned out to be for him!

As far as housing prices...look around, there are quite a few deals to be had in the current market. Or, do what we did and rent until you're certain about what you need and where you want to live for the long term.

One thing the OP might consider is the cost of utilities and, most importantly, transportation, since Evergreen is a bit of a haul into Denver.
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Old 01-24-2008, 10:52 PM
Location: Summit County (Denver's Toilet)
447 posts, read 1,421,057 times
Reputation: 219
I for one know that Evergreen is MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE than where I'm from in upstate SC (but as it seems most places are). I am moving there in less than 3 weeks and has been really hard to find a rental within my budget.
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