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Old 12-12-2006, 03:23 PM
 
11 posts, read 40,271 times
Reputation: 12

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My husband is currently active duty in the Marine Corps. We were born/raised in CA and live here currently. We gets out of the Corps the summer of 2008 and we are looking into relocating and CO and NC came to the top of the list because of the better school systems and the crime rates lower than CA.

Questions:
1) Of course, the houses in CO are about 1/3 of what we see here in CA but i'm wondering what the annual salary is around CO? My husband is looking into the police department and i've read a few listings that said entry level is between 48-60K. Does that sound right? (I believe that was in the Ft. Collins/Loveland area)

2) The school systems. I've read they are pretty higher than the national average. Does anyone living in CO have any take on that? I have 2 children who will be 2 years old and 5 years old when/if we move.

3) I'm from CA. I LOVE the city life but like a little of the quiet life too. How much is there to do in CO? I'm a Mom so the nightlife isn't a big thing to me but i'm also 24 years old so an occasional night out of the town with my hubby would be great.

4) Crime. Low? High? Areas to steer clear of?


---Anything else you would like to add?

Thank you very much. These forums are GREAT!
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Old 12-13-2006, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Colorado
431 posts, read 2,559,979 times
Reputation: 216
If you are a big city girl, I would suggest the Denver area. Lots of other cities surrounding. If you like something a little less hectic. Colorado Springs which is a military city. The Springs is a pretty city. Right against the mts and plenty to do and see. Pueblo is more out into the prairie lands but in view of the mts. I live outside a small town, Canon City but jobs are mostly at the prison. Others travel to Pueblo or the Springs. Only 40 miles to either.
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Old 12-22-2006, 02:11 AM
 
37 posts, read 117,031 times
Reputation: 18
In my opinion there isn't a lot of nightlife in Denver, but if you're only wanting to go out once in awhile, I'm sure you'll love it. For me, I want a more fast-paced lifestyle and more city life. Most of the things to do around here are outdoors (snowboarding, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc).

As far as crime - it's nonexistent in my mind. I go downtown and do plenty of things and I've not once in six years been bothered.

I actually want to move to SoCal (LA or OC area). Maybe you can tell me what it's like there. So many people diss LA for unbearable crime, traffic, and pollution.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:51 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,378 times
Reputation: 12
Red face my opinion of LA

Quote:
Originally Posted by samssf View Post
In my opinion there isn't a lot of nightlife in Denver, but if you're only wanting to go out once in awhile, I'm sure you'll love it. For me, I want a more fast-paced lifestyle and more city life. Most of the things to do around here are outdoors (snowboarding, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, etc).

As far as crime - it's nonexistent in my mind. I go downtown and do plenty of things and I've not once in six years been bothered.

I actually want to move to SoCal (LA or OC area). Maybe you can tell me what it's like there. So many people diss LA for unbearable crime, traffic, and pollution.

I live in LA - and have for over 13 years now... I am on this forum looking into Colorado to ESCAPE this crazy city!!! Ofcourse the weather is amazing --- everybody knows this. However, the quality of life here stinks. People are literally ontop of one another in this sprawl of a city. It is so conjested that we all collectively have lost sight of humanity. We are extremely impatient with one another, feel annoyed by eachother, and there is a general disdain which permeates the polluted air here. People do not make long term friendships here. I have discussed this fact with many people here. Everyone here makes plans with one another and either blows eachother off last minute (no phone calls necessary) or does call to put you off indefinitely. Overall, it is a lonely city where everyone is out for themselves. We put on a good show, and it may take awhile to come to terms with all of this. It's the lifestyle out here. You just adapt to your environment... anyhow, not to be a downer. Just giving you some REAL facts about LA. Good luck to you!
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Old 10-29-2007, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,817,106 times
Reputation: 17500
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogamama View Post
I live in LA - and have for over 13 years now... I am on this forum looking into Colorado to ESCAPE this crazy city!!! Ofcourse the weather is amazing --- everybody knows this. However, the quality of life here stinks. People are literally ontop of one another in this sprawl of a city. It is so conjested that we all collectively have lost sight of humanity. We are extremely impatient with one another, feel annoyed by eachother, and there is a general disdain which permeates the polluted air here. People do not make long term friendships here. I have discussed this fact with many people here. Everyone here makes plans with one another and either blows eachother off last minute (no phone calls necessary) or does call to put you off indefinitely. Overall, it is a lonely city where everyone is out for themselves. We put on a good show, and it may take awhile to come to terms with all of this. It's the lifestyle out here. You just adapt to your environment... anyhow, not to be a downer. Just giving you some REAL facts about LA. Good luck to you!
I take it you have kids. Goes to support what I repeatedly post on the SoCal forums. If you are single, rent (or don't care about school districts), interested in having SoCal fun (beaches, parties, clubs, outdoor social activities, etc), and want infinite amount of career opportunities, then SoCal may be for you. But once you get married and have kids and are interested in a four+ bedroom home, school districts, commuting from neighborhoods, etc. then Colorado and other places (Texas, Oregon, Carolinas, etc) become much more interesting. Also in the former category SoCal is great for people with alternative lifestyles or those who are glued to the entertainment industry.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:06 AM
 
Location: So Cal
320 posts, read 1,602,304 times
Reputation: 102
The last two sum up SO Cal pretty well. Of course I am biased now but why anyone would want to be in So Cal is beyond me. I have been here for 42yrs and can't wait until summer to get to CO.

It was also a great place to be 15-30 yr old. Once marriage and kid happen, its rude, dirty cesspool.

As far as CO goes. very clean traffic free compared to Cali and your money will buy a whole lot more house. Theres plenty yo do if you're into sports or concerts. Lots o families for you and kid to bond with
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:42 AM
 
106 posts, read 396,618 times
Reputation: 38
Another Marine is always welcome here in Colorado (There are like 3 of us on my block alone... apparently this really is god's country [waits for the flames to start ]).

Being someone who is a Native So Cal, and a former Marine I think you and your family will love it here. The "night life" isn't really all that much, there is some but it is not like So. Cal at all; where there is infinite things to do as long as you have infinite money.

Fort Collions/Loveland is growing (specially Loveland), and there are family things to do there, but I don't know of any real night life other than the normal movies and going out to dinner.

My suggestion would be to get the parents to watch the kids for a week, and you and your Husband head out to Colorado and drive around, look at the areas, check out housing, etc... Get a feel for what would feel good for your family.

The schools are pretty good here, overall I'd say better than Ca. However if you have a special needs kid(s) make sure to really check out the school and the district. We have an autistic child and while we have found some really good teachers/special ed they seem to move around a lot and that caused some issues. We have him in a Charter school, and that seems to be going better. Of course only time will tell on this as well.

Some things to keep in mind.

1) Housing is a LOT cheaper, and they are better built (we have weather here, they have to be). We bought a couple of years ago a 2800 sq ft house built in 99 for about $280k, in a very nice and growing area. About the same time my Grandma sold her house in La Mirada that was built in the 40's, 1300 sq ft for $500K. However, don't expect huge gains in property value here... I really don't see that ever happening.

2) Fresh Fruits & Veggies - are not as plentiful as they are in Ca, also aren't as good and fresh (getting some Colorado grown peaches are an exception of course and man are they good!!). Also are more expensive. I can say I'm shocked some times when I go to the grocery store and find some of the fruit & veggies that are still on the shelf... days after they should have been tossed. Noticed this at Safeway mostly.

3) Fresh seafood - very limited. If you like seafood you're choices are cut down.. WAY down. I don't understand why it's even hard to get local fresh water fish here, but it is. You can find a lot of the common farm raised stuff, and once in a while some of the wild fish (normally things like Alaskan salmon). So if you're a big seafood person you're going to have to learn to adjust, and learn what freezes well. On the flip side, getting good beef/pork/chicken is very easy.

4) There is weather here, including snow. If you're not a big fan of shoveling just watch where you move. Denver get's more snow than does the out lying areas. We live by Longmont (Firestone to be exact) and we'll have almost no snow, then you head to Denver or Boulder and they have 3" - 5" on the ground. However, a white Christmas is possible any place in Colorado. Also note, we have the most sunny days of any place in the US (so I have heard, factually we have over 300 days of sun a year).

5) Crime rate - Well it depends. By FBI data places like Denver have a higher crime rate per capita than does LA. It's less violent normally, and there are less people. I can say that I had the top half of the engine off my muscle car stole in my drive way while living in Anaheim. Nothing has happened to me in the 3+ yrs I have been living here. Don't know anyone that has been a victim of a crime (while living in this area) either. There are places in and around Denver though that I wouldn't want to live. Study up on the crime rate here: Federal Bureau of Investigation - Uniform Crime Reports

6) Someone might talk to you. Don't freak out if someone is nice to you in a store or other public area... they aren't going to ask you for money, or try to rob you. There are actually real people out side of Ca, and they are nice (mostly).

Moving to Co was the best thing I can think of for my family and myself. I know that even if I were to some how become single, I would not EVER move back to California. There is nothing that appeals to me any more about it.

And for Sam... I'd suggest visiting LA for a while before you move there. It's really not all that much fun unless you have a LOT of money.
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Old 10-29-2007, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 82,817,106 times
Reputation: 17500
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigCheeze View Post
Another Marine is always welcome here in Colorado (There are like 3 of us on my block alone... apparently this really is god's country [waits for the flames to start ]).

Being someone who is a Native So Cal, and a former Marine I think you and your family will love it here. The "night life" isn't really all that much, there is some but it is not like So. Cal at all; where there is infinite things to do as long as you have infinite money.

Fort Collions/Loveland is growing (specially Loveland), and there are family things to do there, but I don't know of any real night life other than the normal movies and going out to dinner.

My suggestion would be to get the parents to watch the kids for a week, and you and your Husband head out to Colorado and drive around, look at the areas, check out housing, etc... Get a feel for what would feel good for your family.

The schools are pretty good here, overall I'd say better than Ca. However if you have a special needs kid(s) make sure to really check out the school and the district. We have an autistic child and while we have found some really good teachers/special ed they seem to move around a lot and that caused some issues. We have him in a Charter school, and that seems to be going better. Of course only time will tell on this as well.

Some things to keep in mind.

1) Housing is a LOT cheaper, and they are better built (we have weather here, they have to be). We bought a couple of years ago a 2800 sq ft house built in 99 for about $280k, in a very nice and growing area. About the same time my Grandma sold her house in La Mirada that was built in the 40's, 1300 sq ft for $500K. However, don't expect huge gains in property value here... I really don't see that ever happening.

2) Fresh Fruits & Veggies - are not as plentiful as they are in Ca, also aren't as good and fresh (getting some Colorado grown peaches are an exception of course and man are they good!!). Also are more expensive. I can say I'm shocked some times when I go to the grocery store and find some of the fruit & veggies that are still on the shelf... days after they should have been tossed. Noticed this at Safeway mostly.

3) Fresh seafood - very limited. If you like seafood you're choices are cut down.. WAY down. I don't understand why it's even hard to get local fresh water fish here, but it is. You can find a lot of the common farm raised stuff, and once in a while some of the wild fish (normally things like Alaskan salmon). So if you're a big seafood person you're going to have to learn to adjust, and learn what freezes well. On the flip side, getting good beef/pork/chicken is very easy.

4) There is weather here, including snow. If you're not a big fan of shoveling just watch where you move. Denver get's more snow than does the out lying areas. We live by Longmont (Firestone to be exact) and we'll have almost no snow, then you head to Denver or Boulder and they have 3" - 5" on the ground. However, a white Christmas is possible any place in Colorado. Also note, we have the most sunny days of any place in the US (so I have heard, factually we have over 300 days of sun a year).

5) Crime rate - Well it depends. By FBI data places like Denver have a higher crime rate per capita than does LA. It's less violent normally, and there are less people. I can say that I had the top half of the engine off my muscle car stole in my drive way while living in Anaheim. Nothing has happened to me in the 3+ yrs I have been living here. Don't know anyone that has been a victim of a crime (while living in this area) either. There are places in and around Denver though that I wouldn't want to live. Study up on the crime rate here: Federal Bureau of Investigation - Uniform Crime Reports

6) Someone might talk to you. Don't freak out if someone is nice to you in a store or other public area... they aren't going to ask you for money, or try to rob you. There are actually real people out side of Ca, and they are nice (mostly).

Moving to Co was the best thing I can think of for my family and myself. I know that even if I were to some how become single, I would not EVER move back to California. There is nothing that appeals to me any more about it.

And for Sam... I'd suggest visiting LA for a while before you move there. It's really not all that much fun unless you have a LOT of money.
Great post. I noticed the fruit and vegetable thing too. I make a big salad expecting it to last four or five days and two days later it's worn out.
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Castle Rock, CO
260 posts, read 1,330,403 times
Reputation: 95
If your not hooked on the CA climate -- CO is a great place for you to buy a home and raise a family. Look into Douglas County schools -- they are very good and the worst ones are still better than the best in non-prime areas.

Personally, being your age -- I'd look into a place like Highlands Ranch or Castle Rock. Highlands Ranch has more amenties, and Castle Rock has more land/value and smaller town feel. SOme people don't like HIghlands Ranch, because its a big planned community, but many from CA like it and appreciate its merits.

You are always within 35 minutes of the nightlife in towndown denver, or heck just go to LoDo's in Highlands Ranch -- its pretty cool.

I'd stay on the S. side of Denver -- a lot of CA transplants here already and many have enjoyed Douglas County and its excellent schools.
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Old 10-29-2007, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Denver,Co
676 posts, read 2,538,825 times
Reputation: 156
The highlands ranch area reminds me a lot of the southern california type of suburbs. Especially the older areas of it with miles after miles of cookie cutters and insert your favorite strip mall at every major intersection. I think that the neatest areas of HR is the town center area with the higher density and the walkability of the area makes for a much nicer enviroment.
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