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Old 10-25-2009, 08:03 PM
 
56 posts, read 147,219 times
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We live in the Boston area MA – but are considering moving away possibly to the Denver area.
We have two children just starting school. Boston Area has good schools, low crime level (general) and clean air but besides that Boston does not have what we are looking for. Besides good schools, low crime (general) and clean air we are also looking for a more friendly but caring people (less passive-aggressive) but first of all we are looking for a LIFE - where we can live close to our job without living in the city or pay a fortune for our home, and be close to recreational activities.
We would really appreciate if someone could give us an insight in how it is to live in CO through the listed questions. The questions are meant as “in general”.
1. How is the mentality/attitude of people – are people friendly and open but without being non-caring?
2. Do people speak up when they are unfairly treated or do they just take it ? – Ex. How would people react if repaving 10 miles of freeway would take 6 month would they inundate the politicians in complains or would they just let it go with grumbling?
3. Is the metropolitan area around Denver sprawled - are companies spread over a wide area (are there many business centers around – where are they?) or is it like MA where Boston is the hub – and all bigger companies are in or close to downtown?
4. How is traffic congestion? – Is there only major congestion around downtown of Denver or does the congestion also extend further out towards the suburbs?
5. Is it likely to work as an professional (structural engineer and oncology nurse) and live close to work in a nice place (low crime, great schools) with a 20-30 min commute but without house prices being through the roof (above $400,000 for a 3 bed, 2 bath)? -Which towns would be possibilities?
6. Are there any towns known for having bike trails and hiking near by? What about canoeing?
7. How is housing in general laid out in the suburbs – are houses build in communities/neighborhoods or is it like most of MA where houses are situated on land accessed directly from the main road with trees towards the neighbors.
8. Is parking typically provided for employees at your company or do most companies refer their employees to public or private parking lots? Is parking at hospitals free for patients?
Thank you in advance – we appreciate it!
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:16 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,928,695 times
Reputation: 6677
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPL View Post
We live in the Boston area MA – but are considering moving away possibly to the Denver area.
We have two children just starting school. Boston Area has good schools, low crime level (general) and clean air but besides that Boston does not have what we are looking for. Besides good schools, low crime (general) and clean air we are also looking for a more friendly but caring people (less passive-aggressive) but first of all we are looking for a LIFE - where we can live close to our job without living in the city or pay a fortune for our home, and be close to recreational activities.

We would really appreciate if someone could give us an insight in how it is to live in CO through the listed questions. The questions are meant as “in general”.
1. How is the mentality/attitude of people – are people friendly and open but without being non-caring?
People out here tend to be pretty passive-agressive, but how much depends on the location

Quote:
2. Do people speak up when they are unfairly treated or do they just take it ? – Ex. How would people react if repaving 10 miles of freeway would take 6 month would they inundate the politicians in complains or would they just let it go with grumbling?
They'd let it go with grumbling

Quote:
3. Is the metropolitan area around Denver sprawled - are companies spread over a wide area (are there many business centers around – where are they?) or is it like MA where Boston is the hub – and all bigger companies are in or close to downtown?
It's sprawled, but it's in a long straight line instead of a circular pattern

Quote:
4. How is traffic congestion? – Is there only major congestion around downtown of Denver or does the congestion also extend further out towards the suburbs?
There's traffic congestion, but it isn't quite as bad as Boston. If your commute is north-south, it could take a long time to get to work, but an east-west commute is pretty easy.

Quote:
5. Is it likely to work as an professional (structural engineer and oncology nurse) and live close to work in a nice place (low crime, great schools) with a 20-30 min commute but without house prices being through the roof (above $400,000 for a 3 bed, 2 bath)? -Which towns would be possibilities?
Depending on your needs, you can find a pretty decent 3-2 for $175 or less...or a lot more.

Quote:
6. Are there any towns known for having bike trails and hiking near by? What about canoeing?
Hiking and biking yes, canoeing, not so much. Water is pretty scarce out here.

Quote:
7. How is housing in general laid out in the suburbs – are houses build in communities/neighborhoods or is it like most of MA where houses are situated on land accessed directly from the main road with trees towards the neighbors.
It depends on the town and how new the development is. Older sections of Denver are more like boston than the newer suburbs which are full of cul-de-sacs with larger lots.

Quote:
8. Is parking typically provided for employees at your company or do most companies refer their employees to public or private parking lots? Is parking at hospitals free for patients?
Thank you in advance – we appreciate it!
Parking usually isn't an issue here. It isn't always free, but a patient usually won't have to pay to park at hospitals. If you do have to pay for parking, it will probably cost 1/3 of what you're used to paying in Boston.
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Old 10-26-2009, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,656 posts, read 9,389,023 times
Reputation: 2881
1. The Western states have a laid back culture. People are not in a hurry or stressed out like they are on the East Coast. People out West are more friendly, and even more caring, towards strangers.

2. People out here are less aggressive than where you're at, which means that out here someone is less likely to complain about things and more likely to just ignore it or take it.

3. Denver is sprawled out. There's companies all over the place, although there are a few identifiable areas of more concentration.

4. What congestion? There's no comparison between Denver traffic and East Coast traffic.

5. Yes you can definitely live close to work without house prices being high. With the price you quoted, you can live in Denver itself. You'll find Denver much cheaper than Boston.

6. You must never have visited this area to ask this question. Of course there's towns that have hiking trails nearby. This is Colorado! If you live in Denver, you're about 45min - 1 hour from the mountains. If you live in the foothills of Littleton there's hiking in your backyard. If you're in Golden or Boulder there's hiking in your backyard.

7. I'm not sure what you mean by this question.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:49 AM
 
13,262 posts, read 25,405,201 times
Reputation: 20226
I live in the Boston area. It would help to know what town you're coming from, to see what you might be comparing to. I haven't lived in Denver, but have frequently visited Colorado and have considered Denver for myself for later in life. Wouldn't know much about schools, but my guess is public schools in Denver itself are still better than Boston public. I imagine you're speaking from a suburban town near Boston, and that its public schools might be very very good (Acton? Swampscott? Lincoln?)
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:10 PM
 
291 posts, read 804,261 times
Reputation: 170
Most of your questions have been answered by others. Briefly, Denver housing is more expensive than the suburbs. Their taxes are lower than the suburbs, but not enough to off set the price differential. A rough rule of thumb on property taxes is take the purchase price of the property and multiply it by 3/4% for the annual property tax bill. I seriously doubt you could find a 3/2 home for anywhere near the $175K price. If you're going with a mortgage of $400K, that means you were also putting money down, so your purchase price would be even higher. It depends on what you want or need in a home, and since it sounds like you're trying to get off the tread mill, I think you could do with spending a lot less, and still have a nice home. You'll notice this when you do some internet home searches.

You'll find that Denver mostly has older homes. It's been land locked for over 30 years, so newer homes tend to be in redevelopement areas, like where they converted the old airport (Stapleton) and Air Force base (Lowry). If your taste runs to newer, than you'll have more to choose from in the suburbs. Let your job location be your guide.

To research schools go to www.schoolperformancemaps.com/co. Generally, good neighborhoods have good schools.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:55 PM
 
Location: Long Island, NY
24 posts, read 53,779 times
Reputation: 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerry Bckr View Post
To research schools go to www.schoolperformancemaps.com/co. Generally, good neighborhoods have good schools.
Great map, thanks!
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:36 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,893 posts, read 3,507,181 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPL View Post
We live in the Boston area MA – but are considering moving away possibly to the Denver area.
We have two children just starting school. Boston Area has good schools, low crime level (general) and clean air but besides that Boston does not have what we are looking for. Besides good schools, low crime (general) and clean air we are also looking for a more friendly but caring people (less passive-aggressive) but first of all we are looking for a LIFE - where we can live close to our job without living in the city or pay a fortune for our home, and be close to recreational activities.
We would really appreciate if someone could give us an insight in how it is to live in CO through the listed questions. The questions are meant as “in general”.
1. How is the mentality/attitude of people – are people friendly and open but without being non-caring?
2. Do people speak up when they are unfairly treated or do they just take it ? – Ex. How would people react if repaving 10 miles of freeway would take 6 month would they inundate the politicians in complains or would they just let it go with grumbling?
3. Is the metropolitan area around Denver sprawled - are companies spread over a wide area (are there many business centers around – where are they?) or is it like MA where Boston is the hub – and all bigger companies are in or close to downtown?
4. How is traffic congestion? – Is there only major congestion around downtown of Denver or does the congestion also extend further out towards the suburbs?
5. Is it likely to work as an professional (structural engineer and oncology nurse) and live close to work in a nice place (low crime, great schools) with a 20-30 min commute but without house prices being through the roof (above $400,000 for a 3 bed, 2 bath)? -Which towns would be possibilities?
6. Are there any towns known for having bike trails and hiking near by? What about canoeing?
7. How is housing in general laid out in the suburbs – are houses build in communities/neighborhoods or is it like most of MA where houses are situated on land accessed directly from the main road with trees towards the neighbors.
8. Is parking typically provided for employees at your company or do most companies refer their employees to public or private parking lots? Is parking at hospitals free for patients?
Thank you in advance – we appreciate it!
I grew up and spent the first 27 years of my life in the 'burbs north of Boston. After being here for a little over 2 years, I will never move back East. I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

1. People here are much friendlier than in the Boston area. No question.
2. Definitely a more laid back attitude. Folks would be more likely to grin and bear it in this situation.
3. Companies are spread over a larger area; more so than metro-Boston. The Denver Tech Center is south of the City and commutable from many of the southern suburbs.
4. Compared to Boston, traffic is very manageable.
5. I would think that it would not be a problem to find a home under $400k that is a relatively short commute. However, I don't know about your specific fields.
6. Plenty of hiking and biking trails. Not a large number of lakes for canoeing but you can find them with a short commute. Also, IMO, the outdoor activities here, especially in the high country, are far better than in MA.
7. I'm not 100% sure what you mean by this but I'll take a shot. A lot of the suburbs are built up with specific neighborhoods - lots with HOA fees. It is one difference I notice when I head back to MA.

Hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I may be able to help as I am very familiar with the Boston area.

Some of the other factors that make me love Colorado more than MA:
-weather, much more sun here especially in the winter
-lack of humidity
-minimal bugs
-easy acccess to winter activities (skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing)

Best of luck with your move!
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Old 10-30-2009, 06:35 PM
 
56 posts, read 147,219 times
Reputation: 20
Thank you all for the replies, they are very helpful and CO sounds very attractive. What suburbs around Denver would you suggest in terms of good schools, low crime level and a relatively short commute (20-30 min.) to locations with engineering companies and/or larger hospitals? We are also looking for a neighborhood with side walks and possibility of biking and somewhat convenient grocery shopping. We love nature, so out where there are more trees and open fields would be great, but not a must.

Brightdoglover, are you all over the forum? . We live in Franklin, MA now - you live in Littleton?– we remember you helping us through the MA forum when we were moving from CA to MA, thank you.

RedSoxFanGoingWest, how do you feel peoples’ driving is in Denver compared to Boston, mostly in terms of aggressiveness and impatience?

Jerry Bckr, thanks for the map of the schools’ performance - it is great!
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Colorado
1,893 posts, read 3,507,181 times
Reputation: 2335
Quote:
Originally Posted by AMPL View Post
Thank you all for the replies, they are very helpful and CO sounds very attractive. What suburbs around Denver would you suggest in terms of good schools, low crime level and a relatively short commute (20-30 min.) to locations with engineering companies and/or larger hospitals? We are also looking for a neighborhood with side walks and possibility of biking and somewhat convenient grocery shopping. We love nature, so out where there are more trees and open fields would be great, but not a must.

Brightdoglover, are you all over the forum? . We live in Franklin, MA now - you live in Littleton?– we remember you helping us through the MA forum when we were moving from CA to MA, thank you.

RedSoxFanGoingWest, how do you feel peoples’ driving is in Denver compared to Boston, mostly in terms of aggressiveness and impatience?

Jerry Bckr, thanks for the map of the schools’ performance - it is great!
As far as schools go, I can only offer what I've heard as my wife and I do not have children. We've heard Douglas County (south of Denver) and Cherry Creek schools are very reputable.

There is no comparison to the drivers here and those in metro-Boston. Much less aggressive here.

I'm not sure on the commute times to locations for your specific types of jobs. My wife and I live in Castle Rock which is about 20 miles from the southern border of Denver. It's also about 30 miles from the northern part of Colorado Springs. My wife works in the Springs and I now work in/near the Denver Tech Center. My commute is only about 20 minutes. Even in the snow that we had over the last few days it was not bad in comparison to Boston.

Our neighborhood has plenty of open space and biking trails. It is not walkable to shopping, unfortunately. However, it's less than 3 miles to the grocery store and other shopping.

In comparison to the East coast, there are not a lot of trees in the outlying suburbs.
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Old 10-31-2009, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Colorado Plateau
1,133 posts, read 3,325,314 times
Reputation: 1236
I grew up on the North Shore of Mass. I moved out west about 15 years ago, 7 yrs in WY, then moved to CO. I'll never live back east again. I love it out here. I work as a field geologist and my office is usually some canyon or valley. Last week I saw two bands of wild horses in my study area. Beautiful!

I live on the western slope, so I can't help with info about the Denver area. Best of luck in your move!
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