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Old 12-28-2015, 12:23 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,747 times
Reputation: 269

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
I think you're planning on exploring way too much territory. Denver Metro areas alone could easily exceed your time if you're really interested in seeing the area ... Ft Collins to C Springs becomes hours of windshield time if you're just cruising I-25 which will not reveal much about the areas you're passing by. You'd need to get off the highway and off of even the major arterials to see the areas in any meaningful sense.

Perhaps some inquiries re prospective employment in advance of your trip could narrow down the areas of real interest to you.

Commute times and access in the metro Denver region are a significant factor in living here, so seeking out a place to live needs to have some focus ... unless you're just planning on moving out here without jobs and will relocate as needed in due course.

As well, you haven't mentioned a budget range for your housing. That, too, will be a huge factor in where you will want to explore for housing choices.

You may find that two dogs will be a sizable hurdle to deal with in finding a rental apartment. IMO, you'd do best to contact rental management companies/property managers in advance of your trip to locate apartment complexes that will rent an apartment to you so that you're not wasting your windshield time driving to see areas/apartments where you will not be able to rent a place.

Yes, of course; but, your suggestions would make too much sense . We have considered all of your very valid points...some prior to this post, some as a result.

I am a teacher and started by trying to narrow my focus on areas in which I wanted to apply to teach. The issue with this strategy is that Denver Public Schools has at least 122 schools by my count. That doesn't include the schools in other districts. It was a little overwhelming to say the least. To add to that dilemma, it is my understanding that the hiring process in Colorado schools begins in February and we are looking to move in July. The good news is that our districts in Florida don't really begin searching for applicants until summer, so Colorado is ahead in that regard. Thank goodness! Honestly, my husband is the greater income earner, so I will apply to a school district wherever he is able to find a decent job. I'll be happy teaching anywhere, really, as I am in a Title I school (low socio-economic demographic) now and I love it. So, bad or good school...all kids need teachers.

My husband is lagging a bit on the application process, but he has created a portfolio of all of his construction projects, both as a commercial plumber and an estimator, and has started scouting companies; so, that is a start. He has actually had quite a few applicants from Colorado to his South Florida company.

And, no, we will definitely not move out if we do not secure jobs. I'm a sucker for dreams and adventure, but I don't want to be homeless and destitute! Commute times has been a concern, so my thought is that we need to work close to where we live, live close to where we work. Is this correct? My husband currently commutes a total of 4 hours a day to his job, but that seems like it would be an issue there due to the winter weather. Please correct me if I am wrong. Besides, my husband would be very pleased to have a shorter commute.

We have never visited CO and started to realize that we just could not get a feel for the area without visiting. It has been difficult just narrowing our focus between Denver and CoS. We thought a short visit to just get a feel for the areas would help us narrow our job searches a bit. It is so hard to really understand a city's/ town's "vibe" without seeing it for yourself. Everyone has such differing opinions, and rightfully so since people are different . In regard to our critters, it has always been difficult finding the right place to take our brood. It is, indeed, a process.

I have been actively searching on zillow, padmapper, realtor.com, etc. Our rental budget will depend on our salaries as well, so that is a tricky estimate. Our joint income is currently $98,000 and our rent is $1050. We just want to make a lateral move, so the rental budget will adjust with the salary expectations. In comparison to what I make now, that teacher pay is $4000 less than my current salary in CoS and $3000 more than my current salary in Denver. We have had a very hard time getting a reading on what my husband should expect salary-wise.

We have never moved out of Florida in our entire lives. This relocating stuff is a tricky business. Luckily for me (or not?), I am very persistent and hard-headed in regard to my goals, sometimes to a fault. On that vein of thought, I will spend 24-hours a day for the two days scouting areas if I have to in order to make the most of our trip!

THANK YOU SO MUCH for all of the suggestions. Please, please, please keep them coming!
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,747 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
If you are going to use the tollroad for any of your moves north, south, to / from airport maybe take a look at how it works online. Better that than being surprised / confused and getting unexpected letter in mail and perhaps blowing it off. They pursue payment.
Great suggestion. I had not taken into consideration that the toll-road system might be different than ours. Researching that now! Thank you !
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
492 posts, read 868,593 times
Reputation: 342
Next time I leave for the Denver airport from an "airport hotel" I'll start 3 hours before my flight. I started 2.5 hours prior once, and made it to the gate after boarding had started (thanks in part to a long security line, and it wasn't a holiday). The airport is huge in land area. I think the closest airport hotel is 10 or more miles away, and then you have to shuttle from the rental car facility.

Enjoy your new adventure. I researched the Denver area, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs before deciding on the Springs. I haven't seen Fort Collins on the ground but ruled it out due to the job market or lack thereof.
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Old 12-28-2015, 12:55 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
Reputation: 14905
You wrote:

"We have never visited CO and started to realize that we just could not get a feel for the area without visiting. It has been difficult just narrowing our focus between Denver and CoS. We thought a short visit to just get a feel for the areas would help us narrow our job searches a bit. It is so hard to really understand a city's/ town's "vibe" without seeing it for yourself. Everyone has such differing opinions, and rightfully so since people are different . In regard to our critters, it has always been difficult finding the right place to take our brood. It is, indeed, a process."

Commendable as it is that you've narrowed your search down to the front range of Colorado's major population area ...

I think what you may be missing is that the neighborhoods/areas of same vary as much as me saying "I'd like to move to FL next year, and I've never lived in a warm/hot climate low elevation area of the USA".

The variations that you'll find here along the Front Range are as wide ranging as visiting Naples, Orlando, Miami, Greenville, Davis Island (camped at the YC lawn for midwinters a few times) and St. Pete.

How would you advise somebody to visit all of these to get a "feel" for what presents? If I go to Orlando, do I check out Maitland or one of the other core area towns? In my experience, there's a huge variation in the "feel" of all of them ... or do I head over to The Villages?

On the good side here, you're coming out to visit during the winter months ... there may be some taste of Colorado winter here during your visit. Could be clear/bright warm sun, gentle breezes, or black ice and blizzard conditions ... or anything in-between, and could change several times per day each day.

As well, do be forewarned that you'll be at altitude. The lower air density will have varying effects upon your physical well being. Acclimatizing to this can take anywhere from a few hours to weeks; depends upon each individual person. IOW, you may not feel well for those whirlwind 48 hours here in Colorado. Best not to push yourself for awhile. Stay hydrated ... even if you're not feeling thirsty, keep up the water intake. You may not perspire like you do in FL, but your body is still using the water in the low humidity.
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,747 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jalhop View Post
Next time I leave for the Denver airport from an "airport hotel" I'll start 3 hours before my flight. I started 2.5 hours prior once, and made it to the gate after boarding had started (thanks in part to a long security line, and it wasn't a holiday). The airport is huge in land area. I think the closest airport hotel is 10 or more miles away, and then you have to shuttle from the rental car facility.

Enjoy your new adventure. I researched the Denver area, Fort Collins and Colorado Springs before deciding on the Springs. I haven't seen Fort Collins on the ground but ruled it out due to the job market or lack thereof.
Thanks Jalhop! Great advice that I will certainly use!
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Old 12-28-2015, 01:37 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,747 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
You wrote:

"We have never visited CO and started to realize that we just could not get a feel for the area without visiting. It has been difficult just narrowing our focus between Denver and CoS. We thought a short visit to just get a feel for the areas would help us narrow our job searches a bit. It is so hard to really understand a city's/ town's "vibe" without seeing it for yourself. Everyone has such differing opinions, and rightfully so since people are different . In regard to our critters, it has always been difficult finding the right place to take our brood. It is, indeed, a process."

Commendable as it is that you've narrowed your search down to the front range of Colorado's major population area ...

I think what you may be missing is that the neighborhoods/areas of same vary as much as me saying "I'd like to move to FL next year, and I've never lived in a warm/hot climate low elevation area of the USA".

The variations that you'll find here along the Front Range are as wide ranging as visiting Naples, Orlando, Miami, Greenville, Davis Island (camped at the YC lawn for midwinters a few times) and St. Pete.

How would you advise somebody to visit all of these to get a "feel" for what presents? If I go to Orlando, do I check out Maitland or one of the other core area towns? In my experience, there's a huge variation in the "feel" of all of them ... or do I head over to The Villages?

On the good side here, you're coming out to visit during the winter months ... there may be some taste of Colorado winter here during your visit. Could be clear/bright warm sun, gentle breezes, or black ice and blizzard conditions ... or anything in-between, and could change several times per day each day.

As well, do be forewarned that you'll be at altitude. The lower air density will have varying effects upon your physical well being. Acclimatizing to this can take anywhere from a few hours to weeks; depends upon each individual person. IOW, you may not feel well for those whirlwind 48 hours here in Colorado. Best not to push yourself for awhile. Stay hydrated ... even if you're not feeling thirsty, keep up the water intake. You may not perspire like you do in FL, but your body is still using the water in the low humidity.

Thank you Sunsprit! I will be very curious to experience the cold and the elevation, for sure. Again, I have read and read and read but who knows how one will react until they get there. I've done well hiking at 5000 ft elevation off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. How would this compare do you think to acclimating to living in CoS and Denver?

I thought about exactly what you mentioned about the different cities of CO in regard to my own small city of 76 sq miles/ population of 210,000. I cannot imagine coming to my city and just aimlessly driving around with no plan. Even assuming I covered my whole city, I wouldn't really get an idea of exactly where I should or want to live just by sight. Some areas are deceiving. I'm glad you brought that point up because that is part of what I am wondering. What is reasonable? What is practical?

I may need to start with an elimination plan. Where do I definitely NOT want to live? Again, this is exactly why I am here. I need all of your wonderful CO expertise to help guide us. As of now, CoS is looking like the front runner. Where in CoS? I have no idea. I have just read that the southeast area is undesirable. Most of CoS fits our budget. Now...which areas are best for us. We do lean liberal, but we don't really get involved in politics. I was raised Christian, but am not practicing and would identify more as an agnostic. I just don't want to be proselytized to, but I doubt that will happen there any more than it happens here in South Florida. I am very open to religious freedom and truly respect each person's right to practice. I just don't care to be around openly bigoted people. CO seems to be an educated, tolerant, live-and-let-live area, which is part of the attraction to your state for us.

One of our big draws to CO is also hiking. Florida is lacking for geography, although it is a beautiful state if you like water activities. CoS seems to be a great place to access trails. Another point for CoS. We have tried to "hike" here in 90-degree weather to the token "lookout" stand that overlooks the river. Nice, but very anti-climactic and not challenging. We also drive two hours north to Orlando and one hour south to Palm Beach if we want to do anything remotely interesting. This is a common occurrence for us. How is the drive from CoS to Denver if we want to experience larger city amenities?

Denver is really expensive and our income would really have to increase to make that happen, but I really want to see what Denver is like.

Any comments on the construction industry in any of the areas for my commercial plumber husband? Our only concern is with CoS is that the COL is slightly higher than our current city and the pay (at least for teachers) is slightly lower. My husband is currently commuting to South Florida (we are about an hour north of West Palm Beach) each day because of the great salary. I'm worried CoS jobs will pay lower than what he is making now. Is a commute from CoS to Denver ridiculous to consider, especially in winter?

It is starting to sound like Fort Collins might be out due to lack of decent employment. Is this valid? Any comments on this?

So...we want to do CoS and Denver, now to decide what areas. We know Manitou is out. We like OCC and ONE (did I abbreviate those correctly?) in CoS, but it looks like they might be pricey areas.

Once again...THANK YOU for the feedback .
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:01 PM
 
863 posts, read 1,310,261 times
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Some teaching jobs will be difficult to come by- some will be easy, of course. Math and special education teachers are in great need, but social studies teachers are a dime-a-dozen, as, from what I hear (I'm a high school teacher) are elementary school teachers. So you may need to focus on areas that traditionally have a difficult time finding teachers- lower income, title one (As you said you have worked in that area), etc. If you speak Spanish your job will be easier to find jobs as well. I wanted to say this because you seem concerned about your husband's job prospects, but finding a teaching job is not super easy. I do hope you find something!
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Old 12-28-2015, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Salt Lake City
199 posts, read 179,747 times
Reputation: 269
Quote:
Originally Posted by hollyt00 View Post
Some teaching jobs will be difficult to come by- some will be easy, of course. Math and special education teachers are in great need, but social studies teachers are a dime-a-dozen, as, from what I hear (I'm a high school teacher) are elementary school teachers. So you may need to focus on areas that traditionally have a difficult time finding teachers- lower income, title one (As you said you have worked in that area), etc. If you speak Spanish your job will be easier to find jobs as well. I wanted to say this because you seem concerned about your husband's job prospects, but finding a teaching job is not super easy. I do hope you find something!
Thank you so much for the great information. You are the first teacher to respond to my posts. Thank you, Thank you! Please forgive me if I overload you with questions.

I am certified here in Florida as a K-6 teacher. I teach 6th-grade Language Arts (which is MS here). I went through an alternative program here to get my Professional certificate as I had an English degree. We had (still have?) a teacher shortage, so it is not difficult to find a teaching job here. How difficult would you say it is there? I know you said it is not super easy.

I am currently in the process of applying for my CO license. I have read that CO districts begin hiring in February. Is this correct?

May I ask in what area of CO do you teach? And do you recommend any one area and/or district over another?

I speak very little Spanish. Only basics. We are required here to have an ESOL endorsement if we teach core class and have ELL students. I have finished 3 out of the 5 required courses for the add-on endorsement. Are you aware if this is the same in CO? I would really like to add on the 6-12 English certification (I believe it is 7-12 there), so that I can open myself up to upper MS and HS. After four years of teaching, I have learned I do not want to move down to elementary if at all possible.

Again, THANK YOU for any insight you can offer. I have had a difficult time getting information regarding the climate for securing a teaching job in CO. I am just hoping it will happen.
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Old 12-28-2015, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Seattle area
492 posts, read 868,593 times
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Shellybug, you may want to ask your questions about CoS in this other CD thread.

What neighborhoods to focus on may revolve around what kind of house you like. It sounds like you like older houses, like in the ONE. In that case you have a lot of choices that are closer to downtown. You could go to ppar.com and do a search of what's available in your expected price range. (This site doesn't have as good an interface as, say, Trulia, but its data is the most up to date.)
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Old 12-28-2015, 04:50 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,199,644 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellybug View Post
Thank you Sunsprit! I will be very curious to experience the cold and the elevation, for sure. Again, I have read and read and read but who knows how one will react until they get there. I've done well hiking at 5000 ft elevation off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. How would this compare do you think to acclimating to living in CoS and Denver?

Your hiking experience is a good indicator, but a day at altitude is not the same as being there full time. Acknowledging that "... who knows how one will react" ... puts you ahead of most folk who arrive here without knowing that a problem may present, so you get to be pro-active about minimizing the effects.


I thought about exactly what you mentioned about the different cities of CO in regard to my own small city of 76 sq miles/ population of 210,000. I cannot imagine coming to my city and just aimlessly driving around with no plan. Even assuming I covered my whole city, I wouldn't really get an idea of exactly where I should or want to live just by sight. Some areas are deceiving. I'm glad you brought that point up because that is part of what I am wondering. What is reasonable? What is practical?

IMO, the place to start to answer your questions is to make a detailed list of what really is important to you in your daily lives now. Consider recreation, entertainment, shopping, medical, restaurants, along with any other likes/dislikes of what you're experiencing now.

I see so many folk move here with unrealistic expectations based upon what they are familiar with "back home" and take for granted will be in Colorado. By defining what it is you are seeking, you're ahead of the game. Do consider that some of the things you take for granted now may not be here in Colorado. Arid climate here and not much water can make for a big game-changer in lifestyle/quality that a lot of folk don't appreciate until they don't have it. A much wider seasonal climate variation can be a big player, too ... CO's climate extremes and winter can have a big impact on what/where you do things that may not have been an issue for you in FL ... including such items as what you drive, how you dress, when/were you plan activities, and so forth. Consider that a hurricane, while something that can happen in FL now and then with significant impact ... is a typically rare event which you might make some stand-by emergency plans for; OTOH, significant climate events can happen in CO which prudence dictates a much more aggressive planning for such events as blizzards or significant snowstorms which interfere with your plans or normal daily lives. You may experience several such events in any given winter here. Until you acclimate to the colder climate, you may find that storm passages which don't bother a lot of folk here may be a big deal to you.

You may also find that you'll need to find new/different outlets for your recreation to be occupied and satisfied with the changing seasons. Gardening here will be a whole different experience compared to FL's climate zone, water, and soils, for example. Food choices can be a whole different experience ... what is inexpensive and reasonably available in your shopping "back home" may not be so inexpensive or plentiful here. Perhaps different enough that you may wish to visit a supermarket or two while here to compare the shopping experience ... and budget compared to what you spend now for your normal shopping.


I may need to start with an elimination plan. Where do I definitely NOT want to live? Again, this is exactly why I am here. I need all of your wonderful CO expertise to help guide us. As of now, CoS is looking like the front runner. Where in CoS? I have no idea. I have just read that the southeast area is undesirable. Most of CoS fits our budget. Now...which areas are best for us. We do lean liberal, but we don't really get involved in politics. I was raised Christian, but am not practicing and would identify more as an agnostic. I just don't want to be proselytized to, but I doubt that will happen there any more than it happens here in South Florida. I am very open to religious freedom and truly respect each person's right to practice. I just don't care to be around openly bigoted people. CO seems to be an educated, tolerant, live-and-let-live area, which is part of the attraction to your state for us.

I think you'll not have any problem with CO religion in this regard.

One of our big draws to CO is also hiking. Florida is lacking for geography, although it is a beautiful state if you like water activities. CoS seems to be a great place to access trails. Another point for CoS. We have tried to "hike" here in 90-degree weather to the token "lookout" stand that overlooks the river. Nice, but very anti-climactic and not challenging. We also drive two hours north to Orlando and one hour south to Palm Beach if we want to do anything remotely interesting. This is a common occurrence for us. How is the drive from CoS to Denver if we want to experience larger city amenities?

One of the premier attractions of CO is the public open spaces (FED & State) lands along with wilderness lands. You'll have relatively close access to these for your recreation from any of the Front Range communities. In some cases, that access could be almost "just off your front door" close ... well, almost ... depending upon your budget.

Off peak rush hour commute times, Denver is nominally an hour away from CSprings. Inclement weather, especially at Monument Hill ... and traffic, slow movers in those conditions, accidents ... can greatly increase that time.


Denver is really expensive and our income would really have to increase to make that happen, but I really want to see what Denver is like.

You're back to having to discover what you're worth in the Denver market. Could be that you may find job offers/opportunities that meet your lifestyle expectations ... or not.

Any comments on the construction industry in any of the areas for my commercial plumber husband? Our only concern is with CoS is that the COL is slightly higher than our current city and the pay (at least for teachers) is slightly lower. My husband is currently commuting to South Florida (we are about an hour north of West Palm Beach) each day because of the great salary. I'm worried CoS jobs will pay lower than what he is making now.

Construction is booming right now in the area. Absent contacting the GC's and plumbing sub's in the area, you're guessing. Spend the time to inquire ... but do keep in mind that the competition for these jobs will be fierce right now with so many qualified folk wanting to move to or stay in Colorado. Your husband's resume will really have to stand out to make it to the top of the pile for consideration these days; one of the biggest sales tasks he'll do is to sell himself to a prospective employer here. It's a buyer's market right now in the trades and primary competitors will be those who really know their stuff and are already here; years ago, we used to see a lot of pages of "help wanted" ads in the paper. Now, looking at the Denver Post (now reduced to bird cage liner and advertising pages) of the last few days ... almost no ads. Years ago, if you were warm, still breathing and might possibly be able to show up for work, you could be hired and on the job within minutes after responding to an ad even with the most minimal of qualifications/experience. Times have changed. Perhaps even a head hunter might be worth your contacting?

Is a commute from CoS to Denver ridiculous to consider, especially in winter?

A long commute in Colorado wasn't unrealistic years ago for the Front Range communities (I'm dating myself ... that was back in the 1960's). Population/traffic density has changed over the decades and it's now prudent to live as reasonably close to where you work as possible if you must be on a work schedule ... as you'd be with a teaching job.

My DIL works in CSprings now and commutes from Central Denver. She's found that the "best" solution to the commute is to head South on Monday AM before the traffic builds and she keeps an apartment in CSprings. She returns to Denver on Friday evening to her 3 pre-schoolers. Still, it's a better situation than when she was traveling internationally 7 months out of the year. With the luxury of an income that provides an au pair and a work from home husband, she's able to do this.


It is starting to sound like Fort Collins might be out due to lack of decent employment. Is this valid? Any comments on this?

Ft Fun has an active job market. But be forewarned that as a university town, there's a lot of folk who are there who would wish to stay ... and will work at anything to make that happen. Even if it means a low wage and all the tricks it can take to make ends meet, the price is worth it to them.So the job market is very competitive in the area ... but much can be said for Denver and CSprings in the same light.

So...we want to do CoS and Denver, now to decide what areas. We know Manitou is out. We like OCC and ONE (did I abbreviate those correctly?) in CoS, but it looks like they might be pricey areas.

I think we're back to the job market and a realistic assessment of where your skills can take you. That's the first part of the equation for you and your husband, then you can do the math to figure your cash flow for housing, essential costs of living, and then the balance of what your lifestyle would require.

Do consider that Colorado wages were lower than many other areas of the country for a long time because the local attitude was that you got compensated by the mere fact that you were able to live here.


Once again...THANK YOU for the feedback .
Thank you for the kind words.

Last edited by sunsprit; 12-28-2015 at 06:10 PM..
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