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Old 07-31-2017, 09:07 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,659 times
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Hello,

Some of you may have seen my post already about relocating to Colorado for my PhD. Given my budget (185k) my options for buying are limited, but they do exist. I am not able to rent given my two dogs and two cats. I am also tired of throwing my money away and would prefer to invest.

My question to you: should I buy a house in Greeley or a Condo in Westminster? I will be at the University of Colorado, Boulder and my wife will be working in the Denver area. That being said, we are used to commuting and are open to the idea of a Greeley drive. Of course, the location of Westminster is preferred, but with our dogs we were hoping to find a place with a yard.

I understand that Greeley has a bad reputation. If anyone has personal experience with this area, feel free to chime in.
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Old 07-31-2017, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,530 posts, read 10,204,520 times
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Greeley's reputation aside, that's a pretty lousy commute for both of you. You're looking at an average commute of at least an hour each way for you and 90 minutes for your spouse depending on where work is. You have to ask yourself if the money you'll save on housing costs is really worth the wear and tear on your vehicle(s), gasoline, and time spent on the road.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:13 AM
 
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Using Zillow, for TH and Condo, max $185K, min 500 sq ft, min 2/br 1/ba, I find 4 condos in Westminster in the area of 120th and Huron, right off I-25. Also found 2 more off of 84th and Huron. Found one in Arvada, at 6021 Yarrow St. There are a few homes out there, it can be done without living way the hell out in the exurbs.

Everyone on this forum will urge you to have the shortest commute possible given local traffic congestion. IIRC there are express buses that travel between Denver and Boulder on Hwy 36 and living in Westminster gives the OP the option to leave the car home and take the bus.
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:14 AM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,489,398 times
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Neither. And I don't think Greeley is bad. Just too far out for your purposes. And I feel bad for your dogs in a condo. Look hard for a little tiny single family home.

I would look very hard for a SFH in Northglenn or Thornton. In the off months. Right around the holidays. Or look out in Brighton. Something like this:
http://www.recolorado.com/homes-for-...0601-209724362

Your PhD commute won't be great but her Denver and your post graduation commute will likely be better.

Also look toward Denver. Wheatridge area has lots of small, old homes. Can't find one right now but you could take 93 up to Boulder.

Example of Denver duplex that would work. Not quite in the area I was thinking but closer in to Denver.
4396 W Center Avenue, Denver, CO 80219 | MLS 1868060 | Listing Information
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,894 posts, read 102,341,073 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
Neither. And I don't think Greeley is bad. Just too far out for your purposes. And I feel bad for your dogs in a condo. Look hard for a little tiny single family home.

I would look very hard for a SFH in Northglenn or Thornton. In the off months. Right around the holidays. Or look out in Brighton. Something like this:
126 N 9th Avenue, Brighton, CO 80601 | MLS 2558428 | Listing Information

Your PhD commute won't be great but her Denver and your post graduation commute will likely be better.

Also look toward Denver. Wheatridge area has lots of small, old homes. Can't find one right now but you could take 93 up to Boulder.

Example of Denver duplex that would work. Not quite in the area I was thinking but closer in to Denver.
4396 W Center Avenue, Denver, CO 80219 | MLS 1868060 | Listing Information
I'd go with the condo in Westy. The affordable houses in Northglenn and Thornton are pretty far from Bouder, ditto Wheat Ridge. The house you linked is 31 miles from CU via US 36. Google says 37 minutes in "usual" traffic, something you never see on 36. https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Univ...5!2d39.7056721

The house in Brighton is 28 miles and 34 minutes with tolls to CU, plus some time on the infamous US 36.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Univ...2!2d39.9891215

I don't know where in Westy this condo is, but my son-in-law once lived in Westy and worked in d/t Boulder, took the bus and loved it!

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 07-31-2017 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 07-31-2017, 10:44 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,659 times
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Great. Thanks for the help. I'm not worried about my dogs in a condo. They are not very active and they have been in small apartments already. We also make trips to the dog park twice a week--so no worries there. That being said, if a house is available in our budget, we would jump on that. Otherwise, I tend to agree that a condo would be better than Greeley.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:09 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,407 posts, read 39,749,277 times
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Make it ez on the working spouse.
Biking distance to work if possible / reasonable.

I would be more inclined to rent. Use your RE equity to WORK for you... $200k properly invested in RE should bring in $2,000/ month income. That will go a long way towards helping with expenses and rents.
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Old 07-31-2017, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,894 posts, read 102,341,073 times
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^^We don't even know where the spouse will be working other than "the Denver area". From the other thread on the Denver forum:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
For some reason, the OP has two threads going, one here and one on the Colorado forum. Something the OP left off here is that his wife will be working "in the Denver area". Of course, that could mean anything.

FWIW, I usually recommend when a compromise has to be made that it is the student who lives closer to the university. A working person can get up, go to work and come home. Students have to also study, as in the case of a PhD conduct research. That means they need to be in a reasonably close distance to the university as even now, it can't all be done online.

Another issue to consider is the winter driving for both partners. I would not recommend living somewhere quite distant that is totally unavailable to public transit. There is no public transit service at all to Mead, Frederick, Firestone or Dacono. There is limited RTD service in Brighton to Denver, but not to Boulder. You have to transfer in Broomfield to get to Boulder from Brighton and vice versa. It takes about 1 1/2 hours, just on the bus (with the wait for the transfer), probably about a 2 hr one-way commute portal to portal.
https://www.rtd-denver.com/app/plan/...it&when=depart
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Old 07-31-2017, 04:04 PM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,489,398 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rpritch View Post
Great. Thanks for the help. I'm not worried about my dogs in a condo. They are not very active and they have been in small apartments already. We also make trips to the dog park twice a week--so no worries there. That being said, if a house is available in our budget, we would jump on that. Otherwise, I tend to agree that a condo would be better than Greeley.
If they are small dogs they may not be able to go out in the yard unattended so then the condo makes alot more sense. Coyotes, foxes, hawks, and owls will mean they need to be accompanied in the yard. No worries if they are larger. Sometimes the coyotes go after labs and such but not too often and usually only the old and infirmed. If you do get a house and a dog door you can put up a metal run with a cover attached to the dog door and then your small dogs can go out during the day at will.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:01 PM
 
1,561 posts, read 2,819,630 times
Reputation: 1994
If you are only going to be in Denver for a few years, I wouldn't buy any real estate.

While there's no question the Denver real estate market has been going up up up for a bumber of years, nobody know when that will change. Even if it's just flat, you are going to lose, paying HOA fees, real estate taxes, and closing costs/realtor commissions x2 (buy and sell).
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