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Old 10-14-2009, 03:28 PM
 
33 posts, read 68,744 times
Reputation: 21

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Hello,
My husband & I are young professionals who will be starting a family in the next few years. I'm from a very liberal, beautiful but cold city in Minnesota, and that's where we're living now. My husband wants to move to Florida but I don't think it'll be a good fit and I've heard great things about the beauty and character of Colorado. Please help. Here's what we're looking for:


"Walkability" -- ie, We dislike strip malls, suburban type areas, and anything where you don't have a nice outdoorsy place or urban area to walk around in or go to restaurants, libraries, museums, etc
Affordable housing (we're trying for under $250,000)
Family friendly
Environmentally friendly
Mild weather
Hills... I don't like completely flat areas
Liberal attitude
A large body of water nearby, the ocean, a river, lakes, anything really.
Lots of green space and parks
I'd prefer to see green most of the year

To give you an idea, we lived in Portland, OR and St. Louis, MO for school and were happy with both of these cities as far as liberal attitude, walkability, hills, bodies of water, and affordability are concerned. I work in Medicine and he works in Physical Therapy and so we would also need a place with job opportunities in these fields.

Are there any cities in Colorado that fit most or all of these criteria?
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,755,975 times
Reputation: 4425
Boulder
  • Walkability Check
  • Affordable Housing at under $250K for a family Not so much
  • Family Friendly Somewhat
  • Environmentally Friendly - Up to a point
  • Mild(er) weather than MN - DEFINITELY (I used to live there too), but it still snows and freezes and the plowing around here is not as efficient as MN
  • Hills Check
  • Liberal Attitude Very Check
  • A Large Body Water Hmmm, not really close to a large body of water unless you count the Boulder Creek which flows thro town. The nearest would be the Boulder Reservoir which is a few miles out of town.
  • Lots of green space & parks There is Chautauqua, Open Space, Centennial Park, etc
Otherwise you could look at Nederland, Salida, possibly Pueblo or Manitou Springs
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Old 10-14-2009, 03:43 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,739,484 times
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Short answer--no. No place in Colorado has all of those things. Outside of the mountains (and even in many places there), Colorado is an arid state. Think "brown" for a good chunk of the year. Most of metro Colorado is the same suburban blob crap you will find anyplace in America--walkabiility is not high on the list (unfortunately) of priorties. Bodies of water in Colorado? With few exceptions, they are all artificial reservoirs. Did I say Colorado is an arid state? Ocean? A thousand miles from one. Geez, does anybody study geography in school anymore? Under $250K? Not especially likely (though that may change) for a house in a decent area with decent employment prospects. Liberal? Most of Colorado is not especially liberal--more like moderate to strong conservative to moderate liberal. The few really liberal places (Boulder, Telluride, Aspen, etc.) also tend to be the most expensive places to live in the state. Great, I suppose for rich liberals, but not so great for young, non-affluent ones.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,804 posts, read 102,103,104 times
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Agree with chiaili, will add:

You will find better job opportunities in Denver than in the smaller towns. Denver is walkable, reasonably liberal, has lots of parks including several large ones, hilly on the west side, environmentally friendly to a point, has some large (for here) lakes in the parks. You might have a hard time finding a house for $250 that doesn't need a lot of work.

You will not see green most of the year, only in the summer and only then in the irrigated areas in general.
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Old 10-14-2009, 04:58 PM
 
Location: Englewood,CO
345 posts, read 868,021 times
Reputation: 108
Homes in Denver are going to be more than 250k. You can find things for 300k though. A few areas have small lakes, very few have a river running through them.
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Old 10-15-2009, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,656 posts, read 9,389,023 times
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Okay I was going to suggest Boulder or central Denver up until I read that you "prefer to see green most of the year." You're not going to find that in colorado, except in a few isolated mountain valley/agricultural type areas.

If that's a requirement you can't budge on, you'd better forget about Colorado. However, if it's not a deal breaker, than you'll find everything you're looking for in Boulder or central Denver neighborhoods, except that Boulder is more expensive. I don't think you can find $250,000 housing in Denver but I believe you can find a lot of it for not much more than that.

As for bodies of water, there's several small lakes scattered throughout Denver. Not anything you wanna go swimming in (I'm thinking the lake at Wash. park) but they're there.
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Old 10-15-2009, 01:36 PM
 
36 posts, read 104,685 times
Reputation: 36
As a liberal from MI, I love Boulder County.

Yes, it is true you will not get a lush green landscape all year 'round. But it is quite beautiful despite that.

As for bodies of water: well, an ocean is an impossiblity here LOL. But if you don't mind a smaller scale, there are plenty of resevoirs about. A lot of them have designated trails to walk around them too.

Walkability: Get Your Walk Score - A Walkability Score For Any Address The area I am in is not within the city of Boulder, and I still get a 72. I'd say it's pretty dead on.

And lastly, when looking for a home, I found cohomefinder.com very helpful.

GL!
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:38 PM
 
36 posts, read 101,370 times
Reputation: 31
I'm a hardcore liberal from Mass. and Austin, and I find Colorado discomfiting. The main reason: TABOR, which severely handicaps state spending. We've plummeted to around 47 among the states in K-12, health care funding...higher ed is 49. TABOR reflects a mindset I find common here. It's never mind thy neighbor, we're in this for ourselves. And oh yeah, the trees. Very different from the communitarian ethos I grew up with in a small Massachusetts town.
Besides, the West is where the water isn't. I miss the ponds, lakes, and big rivers of Central Texas and Massachusetts. There's green, but some of it comes from irrigation, and that's problematic, too-fights over water rights....
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Old 10-17-2009, 09:14 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,804 posts, read 102,103,104 times
Reputation: 32918
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julia Garbus View Post
I'm a hardcore liberal from Mass. and Austin, and I find Colorado discomfiting. The main reason: TABOR, which severely handicaps state spending. We've plummeted to around 47 among the states in K-12, health care funding...higher ed is 49. TABOR reflects a mindset I find common here. It's never mind thy neighbor, we're in this for ourselves. And oh yeah, the trees. Very different from the communitarian ethos I grew up with in a small Massachusetts town.
Besides, the West is where the water isn't. I miss the ponds, lakes, and big rivers of Central Texas and Massachusetts. There's green, but some of it comes from irrigation, and that's problematic, too-fights over water rights....
I agree with some of the above, but I was just talking on another thread about how practically every state claims to be about 49th in education by some method of calculation, especially when election time comes around. In per capita expenditures for K-12, Colorado ranks 31:

Per-capita state and local education spending, FY 2005-2006 - Just The Facts - The Public Policy Institute

For per-pupil expenditures, Colorado is 39.

http://www2.census.gov/govs/school/07f33pub.pdf
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Old 10-17-2009, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,133 posts, read 9,380,672 times
Reputation: 2469
Liberal and affordable housing don't go together. Just check out the property taxes in any liberal community.
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