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Old 09-06-2016, 12:48 PM
 
5 posts, read 5,734 times
Reputation: 19

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Family of four moving to Colorado soon, trying to decide on north (Longmont, Loveland, Ft. Collins) vs south (Colorado Springs).

First of all, let me apologize for moving to your awesome state. Please don't hate me. I promise to be nice, drive well, and pay my taxes.

We want a small-town feel, a 4BR home around $400k, and no more than a 30 minute commute to a job in COS or Boulder. Not interested in Denver (too big) or Boulder (too expensive). Would like to be within 90 min of Denver airport but that's not critical.

We want a place with good job & housing opportunities for the kids when they grow up. We come from Orange County concrete suburban hell, crammed in with neighbors on all sides with tiny yards, block walls, and a checkerboard planned street grid.

Tree-lined streets, and views of something besides the neighbor's garage would be nice.

And this may be too detailed, but I need to convert or build a mother-in-law suite out of a detached garage or other outbuilding, or convert space in the house. I only mention it because some areas are easier to do that in than others.

Many thanks in advance
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Old 09-06-2016, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,679 posts, read 1,307,316 times
Reputation: 2458
4BR for that price in Boulder County is unlikely to happen, unless it's an older, gritty fixer-up in Longmont.

Colorado Springs on the other hand has a large supply of homes in that price range as that is expensive for Colorado Springs.

I know there have been huge homes and large lots with lots of trees in Colorado Springs Erindale area that have been around $400,000 or so. For some reason, lots of homes at that price range for sale down there.

Apartment rents are expensive in Colorado Springs, but for people who want a large house they won't find a better bargain in the state then Colorado Springs. Especially, homes that are bit dated one can buy with a very low price per square foot in Colorado Springs.

Monument is between Colorado Springs and Denver you should be able to get a nice, big home for that price. Lots of pine trees in the area.

The demand for $400,000 homes in El Paso County which is Colorado Springs area with the lower income levels overall is only so much.

Commuting from Colorado Springs to Denver would be difficult, but lots of people live in Monument and commute to Lone Tree or Denver Tech Center which have a huge concentration of office parks.

$400,000 is a drop in the bucket for Boulder County though. The city of Boulder single-family home prices make Orange County seem affordable.

They have single-family homes on small lots in Superior, Lafayette and newer areas of Longmont but for a family they would be likely over $500,000 and the property taxes are higher there but they get alot of their tax dollar up in Boulder County.

Loveland in Southern Larimer County is not that far from Boulder and Broomfield jobs and is quite a bit less expensive and is a very nice, safe, quiet area with a small city feel.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:45 PM
 
189 posts, read 122,127 times
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"...suburban hell, crammed in with neighbors on all sides with tiny yards..." describes most of the newer housing developments along I-25, north and south of Denver. Large yards and generous setbacks are very much out of fashion here, in favor of economizing waste of land and water. There are some few projects that use that density to create "small-town feel," with homes facing landscaped courtyards, accessed by rear garages, butt they're few.

For a truer small-toan feeling, look for one of the small towns that have been surrounded and absorbed by the metroplex. Check out Lafayette in Boulder County, or Arvada or Morrison on Denver's west side, or Castle Rock to the South. Look for the old neighborhoods, with the big trees and sidewalks. I find life (and traffic) much less intense on the west side of Denver, and it's the I-25 axis that really reminds me of California's sprawl, but come see for yourself.
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:14 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Colorado
154 posts, read 87,149 times
Reputation: 314
If you want a little room and lower prices, maybe think east instead of N/S. Your commute will be longer, but you'll be able to get more space for the money (and likely be nearer the airport).

All the new housing I see being built has postage-stamp sized lots, and they're throwing that stuff up as fast as they can.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:28 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,668 posts, read 1,668,301 times
Reputation: 2913
Quote:
Originally Posted by timschroeder View Post

We want a small-town feel, a 4BR home around $400k, and no more than a 30 minute commute to a job in COS or Boulder. Not interested in Denver (too big) or Boulder (too expensive). Would like to be within 90 min of Denver airport but that's not critical.

We want a place with good job & housing opportunities for the kids when they grow up. We come from Orange County concrete suburban hell, crammed in with neighbors on all sides with tiny yards, block walls, and a checkerboard planned street grid.

Tree-lined streets, and views of something besides the neighbor's garage would be nice.

And this may be too detailed, but I need to convert or build a mother-in-law suite out of a detached garage or other outbuilding, or convert space in the house. I only mention it because some areas are easier to do that in than others.

With these expectations, something in Adams, Broomfield, or western Weld county may be preferable over Colorado Springs. I say this because in these areas immediately north of Denver, you have a host of smaller towns that developed out of agriculture and evolved into a modern economy and will have access to more water, which means more trees. This also will provider a wide access to employers in Longmont, Louisville, or Boulder. The biggest drawback to this may be the ability to get enough housing with enough space for a detached suite. Land in this area tends to be pricey because many desire to live there.

By contrast, the house and land in the Colorado Springs area may be more inline with your budget. However, there are fewer stand alone small towns in the area and the predominate area with trees are the Black Forest area ( more pricey) and the downtown area( more pricey). East, southeast, and south of Cos it is much more budget friendly to large lots with large houses or enough space for out buildings, but you also will have fewer or no trees at all.

The crux of it all is your employment. The metro area around Denver and Boulder is huge. There are several million people here which means the job opportunities are much more broad. By contrast, the immediate Colo Spgs area is only half a million, so you'll have significantly fewer opportunities.
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Old 09-10-2016, 08:46 AM
 
5 posts, read 5,734 times
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Thanks for the replies! My wife and I flew to CS the day after I posted this message. Been looking around COS for 3 days now and the best area we found is Old Colorado City and the SW of the city have the old-town charming feel, with Victorian houses and thick with trees. Close to Manitou Springs and downtown CS. Now, just need to find the right house! This is Plan A. Later today we are heading north (Plan B) to look at Longmont and Ft Collins. If anyone can advise the best towns to see in that area I would appreciate it! We'd want a low-cost town within 30 min commute of high-paying IT jobs. I think that probably means Boulder for work but I don't know which towns to look at for housing in the short (2 days) we have to look around. I will try to hit Longmont and Louisville unless I get any other suggestions. Ft. Collins looks like too much of a commute to anywhere. I work in the higher-end of the IT industry and I suspect I won't be able to find work in Ft. Collins.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:34 PM
 
874 posts, read 923,390 times
Reputation: 1013
Quote:
Originally Posted by timschroeder View Post
Thanks for the replies! My wife and I flew to CS the day after I posted this message. Been looking around COS for 3 days now and the best area we found is Old Colorado City and the SW of the city have the old-town charming feel, with Victorian houses and thick with trees. Close to Manitou Springs and downtown CS. Now, just need to find the right house! This is Plan A. Later today we are heading north (Plan B) to look at Longmont and Ft Collins. If anyone can advise the best towns to see in that area I would appreciate it! We'd want a low-cost town within 30 min commute of high-paying IT jobs. I think that probably means Boulder for work but I don't know which towns to look at for housing in the short (2 days) we have to look around. I will try to hit Longmont and Louisville unless I get any other suggestions. Ft. Collins looks like too much of a commute to anywhere. I work in the higher-end of the IT industry and I suspect I won't be able to find work in Ft. Collins.
You might be surprised. I would also be surprised if you'd find something in COS career-wise in higher end IT. Unless it's as a defense contractor. Most of the IT sector is located in the Denver Metro area.

Longmont is probably a good bet and you just might want to take a drive through the streetcar neighborhoods of Denver. Denver proper has the largest collection of pre-WW2 areas that you seem to be indicating a preference for, though the price point may be a bit high.
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Old 09-12-2016, 05:28 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in Colorado
154 posts, read 87,149 times
Reputation: 314
Ft. Collins has a lot of high tech / IT. Home to HP among others.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:32 PM
 
Location: Denver CO
18,975 posts, read 10,040,378 times
Reputation: 27746
Quote:
Originally Posted by timschroeder View Post
Thanks for the replies! My wife and I flew to CS the day after I posted this message. Been looking around COS for 3 days now and the best area we found is Old Colorado City and the SW of the city have the old-town charming feel, with Victorian houses and thick with trees. Close to Manitou Springs and downtown CS. Now, just need to find the right house! This is Plan A. Later today we are heading north (Plan B) to look at Longmont and Ft Collins. If anyone can advise the best towns to see in that area I would appreciate it! We'd want a low-cost town within 30 min commute of high-paying IT jobs. I think that probably means Boulder for work but I don't know which towns to look at for housing in the short (2 days) we have to look around. I will try to hit Longmont and Louisville unless I get any other suggestions. Ft. Collins looks like too much of a commute to anywhere. I work in the higher-end of the IT industry and I suspect I won't be able to find work in Ft. Collins.
Sounds like you are putting the horse before the cart. Find a job, then find a house.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,153 posts, read 9,439,786 times
Reputation: 8810
Quote:
Originally Posted by tatanka01 View Post
Ft. Collins has a lot of high tech / IT. Home to HP among others.
Fort Collins/Loveland/Greeley's IT job market is surprisingly weak and the pay is lower than the Denver Metro Area. I would not recommend looking for a tech job in Northern Colorado.
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