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Old 05-28-2018, 10:28 AM
 
9 posts, read 6,421 times
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I thought it might be useful to share my experience living in Colorado after moving from Southern California. For reference, I grew up in Northeast Ohio, moving to Southern California when i was 16. I lived in Orange County for 30 years, before moving to Evergreen, Colorado 9 years ago.

No place on earth has better weather than Southern California. Where we lived it was pretty much 75 degrees every day of the year. Colorado throws a lot more weather at you, with “Santa Ana” winds being almost a monthly occurrence, if not more often. When we get snow, think in feet, not inches. I have seen a few storms that got 2+ feet. But those snow storms last a day or so, and then it goes right back to sunny and 40’s and 50’s in the winter. Summers have very low humidity, and are generally pretty good. Because we live in the mountains, it rarely gets above 85. The best way to describe Colorado weather is unpredictable, but it never gets ugly for months like in Ohio. Lots of sunshine, not too much rain, and winters i would call pretty mild. Sure you get the stray blizzard, but you get more sun than anything. Now Euclid, Ohio was brutal. On the 7 days per year that had sunshine, you could expect a thunderstorm or tornado. Okay that was an exaggeration. In Ohio, when it first snows, winter has officially begun. Overcast is the official forecast every day. This went on for months. If you hear snow and think Colorado is going to be similar, you are going to be pleasantly surprised by our winters.

Another nice thing about Colorado is low humidity, which makes the cold less brutal, because it doesn’t stick to your body. 30 degrees in Colorado is vastly different from 30 degrees in say Big Bear, California. I was never colder in my life than when we stayed in Big Bear and it hit 30 degrees. Humidity! It does start to compare to 10 below in Colorado, but temps aren’t equal is my point. Summers are equally good. Even in the 90’s it isn’t unbearable like Florida.

The cost of living is very different, too. Colorado is less crowded, less expensive, and feels like mid 80’s in California. But things are getting more and more expensive as the cat is out of the bag regarding Colorado. Our house has almost doubled in value since we moved here, and we see tons of California and Texas plates. Still, much cheaper than California, and much more expensive than Ohio.

So what is there to do in Colorado? This place is outdoor heaven. If you like riding bikes, or jogging, skiing, mountain climbing, white water rafting, or just enjoying some of the best scenery in the country, welcome to Colorado. In the summer, like now, everything is pretty green. This state has the most fit residents in the country for a reason. In the winters everyone goes to the ski areas, or goes snowmobiling, so Colorado has a lot to do in the winter. Most people look forward to some snow. We like to take our sports car out and enjoy the great driving roads, and twisties. If you like driving, it doesn’t get much better than this. The roads for the most part are well maintained up in the mountains, and traffic is a fraction of what you see in California.

If you like the big city, you won’t give it up if you live anywhere near Denver. Great restaurants, shops, tons of micro breweries, and a vibrant nightlife. Denver is crazy at night, in a good way. And there is always something going on. For example, we have the biggest Octoberfest in the country. It is just a lively place most of the year. Denver has also become a tech hub, so jobs seem to be plentiful and well paying. You can still buy a place here with a decent salary.

What else? The people are nice. If you come from California it will take you a while to realize when someone is nice to you, it isn’t time to grab your purse or wallet. Every time we go into King Soopers (the big grocery store here), my wife is going to see somebody she knows. People are just a lot more outgoing and friendly here. Politics are all over the map. The state seems pretty evenly split, but maybe tends to be a bit more Democratic. This place doesn’t have California politics yet, but some feel it is going that direction. Places like Boulder are very liberal, while the foothills and rural areas tend to be more conservative. Overall i would say it is pretty balanced.

Taxes are pretty low here. We do have a state income tax, but it is pretty low and flat. None of the insanity like in California. Also property taxes are pretty low. I think we pay .7%, and the entire neighborhood is assesed, so no prop 13 like in California. Car registration is pretty high, and some areas have sales tax in the 8% range.

Crime doesn’t seem to be a problem here, although i guess it depends on where you live. Schools are generally good. Our high school had AP classes available so just about anyone could take them, and it made a difference for our daughter when it came time to apply to colleges.

Tons of wildlife. On our property deer, elk, and foxes are common occurrences. We also see the occasional bears and mountain lions, but those are special and pretty rare. While driving you are on the lookout for rocks and animals, and we have had close calls with both.

Because Colorado is centralling located, and Denver International Airport is very good, you can get just about anywhere easily. Public transportation is excellent, so commuting to the city from the outskirts is very doable. Overall, Colorado makes the investments needed, and does so without crazy taxes.

On the downside, this place is getting more and more crowded. Noticeably so. And the costs are rising. We can also get hail the size of baseballs, and that is not an exaggeration. The last hail storm caused $1.4B in damage. We can get nasty fires, because trees are everywhere and there is unlimited “fuel” for them. The weather takes getting used to. Lots of people from California last 2 years or less. If you are from anywhere else your odds of lasting should be better. It gets dry in the winter, and the place gets brown. It is dry here, so your skin is going to have issues. It is also high elevation, so friends and family coming to visit coukd have health issues, especially if you live above 7500 feet, as we do.

So overall, as i guy coming from Southern Cal and the best weather in the world, i would definitely do this move to Colorado again. I think it scores a 6.5 for weather, but definitely a 9 on quality of life. We rarely went anywhere in California, because of traffic and crowds. We get out all the time here. It really has been a welcome change for us.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:53 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
72,641 posts, read 64,111,757 times
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I'm originally from CA, now in NM, and I can't believe how friendly people are, when I visit CO! I'm kinda used to friendly people, having grown up in the Bay Area, but CO takes "friendly" to a whole other level! Like back in the Bay Area, when I was a kid, and people would greet you as they pass on the sidewalk, or would strike up convos while waiting in the check-out line at the local store. CO has that neighborliness thing going on.

Still, the hot summers at that high elevation would be difficult for me. I'm told Denver is in the 90's much of the summer, as are other areas. I love that cool, sea air, and hope to get back to the coast eventually. Also, you'll be seeing more fires up there in CO, due to the devastation on the forests the bark beetle invasion has wreaked. Global warming has not been kind to forests, and it's not going away. . But forest fires are a growing problem on the West Coast, too, so...you may as well stay put, I guess.

Thanks for posting. This has been useful.
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Old 05-28-2018, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
2,668 posts, read 1,666,689 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robrelo View Post
Where we lived it was pretty much 75 degrees every day of the year. Colorado throws a lot more weather at you, with “Santa Ana” winds being almost a monthly occurrence, if not more often.
We often refer to these as "Chinook" winds. "Santa Ana" winds are the CA equivilent.
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Old 05-28-2018, 04:05 PM
 
Location: Fort Collins, USA
1,409 posts, read 2,252,473 times
Reputation: 1691
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I'm originally from CA, now in NM, and I can't believe how friendly people are, when I visit CO! I'm kinda used to friendly people, having grown up in the Bay Area, but CO takes "friendly" to a whole other level! Like back in the Bay Area, when I was a kid, and people would greet you as they pass on the sidewalk, or would strike up convos while waiting in the check-out line at the local store. CO has that neighborliness thing going on.

Still, the hot summers at that high elevation would be difficult for me. I'm told Denver is in the 90's much of the summer, as are other areas. I love that cool, sea air, and hope to get back to the coast eventually. Also, you'll be seeing more fires up there in CO, due to the devastation on the forests the bark beetle invasion has wreaked. Global warming has not been kind to forests, and it's not going away. . But forest fires are a growing problem on the West Coast, too, so...you may as well stay put, I guess.

Thanks for posting. This has been useful.
Do you think the Bay Area has become less friendly over time? The last two times I was in the SFO airport I witnessed some fairly rude behavior (from TSA and from other flyers). It reminded me of the general vibe you get in cities on the eastern seaboard (or in Chicago). That type of behavior is fairly rare in the smaller western cities (even in the airports).
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:09 PM
 
2,008 posts, read 1,798,958 times
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My exact thoughts on our last trip to CO, nice low property tax and low humidity place with friendly people and many activities.
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Old 05-28-2018, 06:36 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,454 posts, read 2,079,841 times
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Well said robrelo! Funny, I was born and spent my youth up in Ohio, moved to CA (Orange County), then to Black Forest Colorado. I never understood the draw to California. Yeah there is ocean and mountains, but everywhere you went there were always a TON of people there, and it took forever to get places due to all the traffic. And the smog I don't miss at all!
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:11 PM
 
Location: SF, CA
1,024 posts, read 434,403 times
Reputation: 1448
Moving vans, start your engines!

Fwiw, it's been my experience that So Cal is friendlier (at least, more civil) than Nor Cal... in spite of the colossal population (there are more people in the LA metro area than in Pennsylvania or Ohio or Illinois... it's ridiculous). But this is the Colorado forum, so enough of that.

And it's refreshing to hear from someone who's happy with where he lives, rather than coming to C-D to complain.
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Old 05-28-2018, 08:23 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,523 posts, read 5,834,111 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW4me View Post
And it's refreshing to hear from someone who's happy with where he lives, rather than coming to C-D to complain.
Agree!

Thanks for the post.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Woodland Park, CO
183 posts, read 168,700 times
Reputation: 466
Colorado sucks. It snows 11 months a year, the mosquitos are the size of pigeons, and the bears eat babies and old ladies by the dozen. Move anywhere but here. We’re closed.
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Old 05-28-2018, 10:22 PM
 
20,301 posts, read 37,784,136 times
Reputation: 18081
Quote:
Originally Posted by MountainEarth View Post
Colorado sucks. It snows 11 months a year, the mosquitos are the size of pigeons, and the bears eat babies and old ladies by the dozen. Move anywhere but here. We’re closed.
Dammit, ya forgot to tell them about the Jackalopes, often running in packs with Bigfoot up on Vail Pass.
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