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Old 10-31-2009, 03:06 PM
 
2 posts, read 17,951 times
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Hi everyone! My family and I are relocating to Grand Junction at the beginning of December 2009. I was wondering if some of you local folk could provide some specific info about the area. It would be much appreciated!

*Where are the nice middle-class areas in Mesa County? We don't have to live specifically in Grand Junction, just anywhere in the city or surrounding area. We want to live in a neighborhood that reflects pride of ownership and low crime but has reasonably affordable housing, approx $150k or so.

*What are the best school districts?

*What cell phone provider has the best coverage?

*Anything else we should know about?

Please no posts advising not to move to the area as this is already set in stone due to employment. We appreciate any and all feedback!

Thanks!
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Old 11-01-2009, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,815,081 times
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Your housing budget appears to be the main limiting factor. Finding a nice middle-class area in Mesa County in your price range is likely to be challenging, but with persistence and due diligence it can probably be accomplished. I would suggest that you rent first to learn about the area and determine where you can find housing in your price range, and wether or not you feel comfortable making a purchase in those areas. If you exercise patience you'll have a better chance of finding a good deal. I don't think the real estate botton has yet been reached in this area, so consider patience to be your best friend. Sorry, I don't have answers to your direct questions. I wish you the best.
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:05 PM
 
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With the job situation on the western slope, I wouldn't encourage anybody to buy a house unless they're absolutely sure that their job is solid as a rock. An awful lot of people made that mistake over the last few years thinking that the energy industry was here to stay, but now they're sweating bullets as their unemployment checks are running out with no decent job prospects in sight.
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Old 11-01-2009, 02:41 PM
 
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Thanks for the feedback thus far. Cosmic - Yes I have noticed that $150k does not get you very far in the area. We were already planning on renting for approx 6 months to a year before purchasing so that we can explore the different areas of the county. I was just looking for some general guidance on where to look for housing: Grand Junction, Clifton, Fruita? Where is nice.. where is not so nice?

We're not worried about employment. I work from home and the company my husband works for is expanding into Colorado and fairly recession-proof.

I did have another question is anyone is willing to provide the answer: What are your average cost of utilities (water/sewer, gas, electric)?
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Old 11-01-2009, 03:16 PM
 
3,460 posts, read 4,928,695 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hibluesky View Post
Thanks for the feedback thus far. Cosmic - Yes I have noticed that $150k does not get you very far in the area. We were already planning on renting for approx 6 months to a year before purchasing so that we can explore the different areas of the county. I was just looking for some general guidance on where to look for housing: Grand Junction, Clifton, Fruita? Where is nice.. where is not so nice?

We're not worried about employment. I work from home and the company my husband works for is expanding into Colorado and fairly recession-proof.

I did have another question is anyone is willing to provide the answer: What are your average cost of utilities (water/sewer, gas, electric)?
It's hard to answer by city because different parts of each of them have good and bad parts that may only be a few blocks apart. The area doesn't have the typical rings of growth that many cities do because it was built in a long straight line along the river. In general the more desirable areas are the ones on the outer edges of each city, and housing doesn't always get cheaper as you drive further out of town.

Utilities are pretty average. Natural gas is a little more expensive than it would be in the midwest, but electricity is lower than it would be in Texas, etc. Water bills can get pretty high in the summer ($200 or more) if you want a big green lawn.
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Old 11-01-2009, 05:08 PM
 
16,488 posts, read 20,864,129 times
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The good thing you have here is that your employment situation is already secure. The energy companies have not done much this last several months; Hallibuton, Weatherford, Schaumberg, and other related energy firms have had massive layoffs. And the spinoff businesses who deal in construction supplies, equipment rentals, are not setting the world on fire here. This area has always been following the energy boom/bust cycle and they will be paying for it for a while.

I'll try to be as helpful as I can here, as I occupy real estate on the lowest level; a 14 by 70 mobile home on a 40' by 100' lot. I live in Fruita. As far as utilities, here is what I pay; I am on Ute water, my monthly rate is $11 a month. It's usually that way year round as I have ag water for lawns. $36 a month is where i'm at for sewer and trash. 5 years ago it was like $22 or so, but in the last several years, Fruita has doubled in size, and you know what THAT means regarding city services.

Grand Junction's neighborhoods can be at times a tad quirky. I used to live on the 2800 block of Elm, not a war zone but a tad rough in spots. About 6 years ago a buyer bought 6 properties all in a row on that block, knocked down all the houses, and all of a sudden a small cluster of GOOD looking $260K to $275K homes went in. They are fairly close to City Market on North Ave. Needless to say, it certainly boosted the real estate values in the area. Some of the people there got some home improvement loans, spruced up their places, and it's not bad at all over there! On the other hand, go up Elm Ave, another few blocks and you have a group of Section 8 housing. You can have mobiles on foundations that have been there for decades and right across the street you can have brand new 4 bedroom homes. That's what I mean by quirky.

The areas i have ALWAYS liked in Junction, and this going back many moons here, is the area around Lincoln Park, I would say from 12th to 17th and from Gunnison to White. Some nice old homes on 7th ave. leading into downtown.

Until we had all this uncontrolled growth I always considered the Redlands to be top of the line in this area regarding housing. Highway 340 goes through the Redlands from lower downtown to Interstate 70, which is the Fruita area. It stretches about 15 miles one way. Only problem is this area is NOT cheap.

Another nice area of GJ is 1st Ave. to 7th Ave., from Orchard Ave. to Patterson Road near St. Mary's hospital. Again, this area is beyond your price range. The subdivisions on the north side of Patterson Road from 12th Ave. to like, say, 32 Road are ok! Nice neighborhoods, am fairly sure those areas are HOA setups though.

Although I have some friends who live in the Clifton area, for now I would just say NO. Some areas are actually fairly good, but there are more bad areas than the bad areas of Palisade, GJ, and Fruita combined!. Not trying to pick on anyone, but there has been problems of all sorts with petty crime.

I'm not sure what people are paying for gas and electric for a 3 to 4 bedroom house. During the last two winters I have averaged $165 to $175 a month for gas and electric.

Last edited by DOUBLE H; 11-01-2009 at 05:31 PM..
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,892,472 times
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I haven't lived there in years (moved in Nov of 1995) but I lived off Bookcliff and Orchard (@ 28 1/4 Rd.) and it was a nice middle class neighborhood back then, older homes built in the 70s, backed up against one of the canals and very quiet.

I miss that house and in 1995 had I been forward thinking I would have bought the house I lived in (3 bed, 1 1/2 bath, 1 car garage with a LARGE lot for a city plot that is) for $70,000. If my father weren't in his 70s I would move back there in a heart beat.

I lived across from a Mesa County Sheriff's officer so it was pretty safe. The neighbor's kids next door were decent enough kids and I used to go to their son's football games with them every once in a while. All the other neighbors pretty much kept to themselves but the people on the other side of me were good people too.

I don't know how much it's changed since I lived there but it was very convenient to shopping, the interstate (I traveled a lot as a sales rep) and never felt unsafe as a single woman living alone.

Oh man, now I am getting my itchy feet but it's not financially feasible nor leaving my family is what I desire to do right now.
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Old 11-01-2009, 06:59 PM
 
16,488 posts, read 20,864,129 times
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COflower makes a good point about the real estate prices at that time. And I didn't mean to slight that area either. I have a friend who lives near there on the 2600 block of Hall Ave. Not a bad neighborhood, I've garage saled in that area and found the people very friendly.

There are SO many neighborhoods like that. There are a lot of motels on Horizon Drive, maybe the best thing to do is come on out and spend a week and see what appeals to you the most.

By the way, I use Verizon. Have always had good service here in the valley. Been with them since 1999. I wish I could help you with the schools, hopefully someone else can chime in with their opinions on that subject.

And will keep the thinking cap on for a little bit more.
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:24 AM
 
268 posts, read 390,104 times
Reputation: 165
One question I haven't seen answered yet - go with Verizon Wireless for cellular service. I work in the energy industry, you know, the one that's falling apart around here I find myself so far back in the mountains at times I don't even know which way is up. I always manage to have service, and some of the gas companies out here even require employees to carry VW for that reason. Other providers are known to get choppy signals even in town at times. Help that helps

EDIT* Oops, I see the person above me mention Verizon also. I guess all the more reason to listen! :P
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
1,312 posts, read 6,892,472 times
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Double H - My father, who had been in the constuction business since the late 50s got a kick out of how Grand Junction/Mesa County doles out building permits.

In your first comment, exactly how it works there. You can have a very nice house (say off 26 Rd.) worth $250K and built in the late 80s - early 90s (back in the 90s that bought you a lot of house in the area) and the next door neighbor's house was a semi-run down home built in the early 1900s. Of course most of those I am thinking about have land but it's really random in certain areas. Which is one of the charms of the Grand Junction area - I think.

I mean, there were no real blanket areas (if you will) where you would state not to move there like here in C Springs. Pretty much if people talk about moving here, you can guarantee that all of my friends and family will state to stay away from the south east area and specifically Pikes Peak Park. Junction doesn't have that kind of area unless it's an older pocket.

Heck even with the other homes I had considered buying before I moved I didn't look in an area that you were asking for trouble and yes, a block or two can make a difference in GJ.

I really wish I had bought that house I was renting in GJ. The owners lived in Georgia or SC and were intrigued when I inquired about it and that was their price at the time. It would have been a great investment property for me.
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