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Old 11-07-2015, 12:23 PM
 
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This article was in The Denver Post

Elbert County sweet spot for balancing living costs and incomes - The Denver Post

It references this study from The Colorado Department of Local Affairs

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-v...ZCQmFyM0U/view

Since the rising cost of living is a popular issue, I want to open up a discussion about this study.

Livecontent
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:02 PM
 
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What I think is interesting is that most of the data gathered in the study is at least two years old. I would wager a guess that in most counties the real cost of living has gone up even further from the numbers put together here.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11-07-2015, 01:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by interloper1138 View Post
What I think is interesting is that most of the data gathered in the study is at least two years old. I would wager a guess that in most counties the real cost of living has gone up even further from the numbers put together here.

Thanks for sharing!
Yes that is correct. All data for any study has to be accumulated from a measurement of the past. To measure in the present requires immediate access and much is not accumulated and totaled till year end with time to analyze, quantify and publish. What it does show is comparative data that can be applied somewhat today and a trend that may be seen for the future.

Livecontent
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:45 PM
 
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A few summary points taken from the research paper:

Cost of living is 105% or more of national average in just 8 counties. Only 2 above 112%- Pitkin and Summit. It is more a local issue than statewide, so far. Other than those 2 or 8 counties, depending on your sensitivity, I'd be more concerned with income. Housing is the dominant variable in heightened cost of living.

If you want to live in a high housing cost area, you either need a good income, willingness to scrimp elsewhere or on housing or both. Living in an adjacent county is a common strategy. The study did not address the cost in time and money of commuting. Sometimes it might make sense, sometimes not.

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-07-2015 at 07:55 PM..
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Old 11-07-2015, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
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While I agree that a common strategy is to live in one county and work in another, the real issue is that many jobs in Colorado pay less than comparable jobs in other areas. Sure you can cut costs and survive, but the cost of living is getting high enough that jobs are going to have to start paying better or people will not be able to afford to take those jobs.
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:58 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwiley View Post
While I agree that a common strategy is to live in one county and work in another, the real issue is that many jobs in Colorado pay less than comparable jobs in other areas. Sure you can cut costs and survive, but the cost of living is getting high enough that jobs are going to have to start paying better or people will not be able to afford to take those jobs.
And if the people can't afford to take those jobs, the wages will have to rise.

That's kinda how a free market works.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:23 AM
 
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I have thought for awhile now that Elbert County is the next big bedroom community boom on the Front Range - mostly undeveloped, next door to too-expensive Douglas County, accessible to both Denver and the Springs.
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Old 11-08-2015, 09:48 AM
 
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Originally Posted by otowi View Post
I have thought for awhile now that Elbert County is the next big bedroom community boom on the Front Range - mostly undeveloped, next door to too-expensive Douglas County, accessible to both Denver and the Springs.
I have wondered about that myself.

...And when I look at real estate prices in Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Larimer County (Estes Park), and La Plata county (Durango) I find myself wondering why people do not have to stand in line to buy in Teller County: beautiful high country, good roads, easy access to Colorado Springs. I am speaking of vacation home areas, not commuting. Sure, there is no skiing, but there is none in Larimer county either, nor does everyone want to ski.

Disclosure: I live in Teller county.
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Old 11-08-2015, 11:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrby View Post
I have wondered about that myself.

...And when I look at real estate prices in Aspen, Vail, Steamboat Springs, Larimer County (Estes Park), and La Plata county (Durango) I find myself wondering why people do not have to stand in line to buy in Teller County: beautiful high country, good roads, easy access to Colorado Springs. I am speaking of vacation home areas, not commuting. Sure, there is no skiing, but there is none in Larimer county either, nor does everyone want to ski.

Disclosure: I live in Teller county.
Teller county is colder. Many like milder weather; that is why we came to live along the front range with the mountains as a barrier. Most people do not like to live in the mountains--it is just a myth as that most people ski in Colorado.

Teller county prices are higher for all commodities because of transport to this area. Availability of products are less. The need to drive into CS for products and services is not what many want to do. Though, you state the roads are good; they are still mountain roads with some hazards of mountain driving.

For me and many seniors, access to healthcare is much less and the need to drive to CS for test and procedures is too much for us, especially over mountain roads. Public transport is mostly non-existent and little at best--some of us cannot drive; will not drive in the future and prefer not to drive.

Many find the extensive amenities of the cities more to their enjoyment. That is not to say there is nothing to enjoy in the mountains and many of use take the pleasures of the mountains but not full time. Of course, some find the mountains the best place all the time.

As you alluded, commuting to a job is not the best from the mountains and there are few jobs. Vacation homes are more in the mountains but many of use cannot afford a second home.

It is also more difficult to have established large settlements in mountains as early settlers needed farm land and the weather to support crops. Hence, the cities grew on the plains not the mountains. Even today, it is harder to build and services structures with sewers, water and utilities and in the present day with extensive communication connections. There is much less reliable transportation of roads and highways for trucking. Airports are not adequate or do not exist for commercial transport and extensive rail freight transport facilities and rail is less and difficult to build but do exist in mining centers.

Companies need these services and other business and products to service them. If they do not exist then it does not creates employment which attracts people. Mining areas are the places where those businesses would have been more established in our history with more population because there were jobs. Recreation was not the allure, the obsession and the need in early years.

Some small towns, without mining, are mostly attractive to recreational, skiiing and vacation business and they can become big businesses, create jobs and maintain larger population. However, they also need good road transport to these areas and have some limited small airport transport. Therefore you see most large centers along the main highways. Yes, there are areas of ranching and some farming in the mountains but that with big skiing centers are not the norm.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 11-08-2015 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 11-08-2015, 04:33 PM
 
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livecontent,

The daily cost of living in Teller county is not any higher than Colorado Springs. We have the same weekly grocery ads, the same Wal-Mart, a Whopper costs just the same, and free shipping from Amazon is just as free. Oddly, gasoline prices are frequently a bit lower here than in the Springs. I've never understood that. Services are not typically more expensive either, but just like in any rural location they can be difficult to get.

Other than that, you have provided a detailed explanation of why real estate prices should be comparatively low in Steamboat Springs, Aspen, Estes Park, Ouray, etc. Except they aren't.
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