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Old 02-23-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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Based on my contacts with some attorneys who are no longer practicing in Colorado because there recently wasn't enough business to keep the doors open ... or who have left some of the larger firms in recent cut-backs ...

I'd say that unless you have some personal contacts with a major law firm with a lot of action, the chances of coming to town and earning a living are pretty slim. I know a fair number of attorneys in Denver who are working mostly pro-bono these days because they just want to keep active/networking and the cases they're taking don't have enough client money to even pay a retainer.

A number of high profile attorneys in Denver, who are clients of mine, aren't working except a few days a month. I've dropped in on them when in town to see if they had time to visit and unlike the old days where I had to get into their schedules far in advance, I can get them out to lunch on 15 minutes notice that I'm available. I've had several protest that they were really busy, but invite me to c'mon up and visit for a "few minutes" ... and the next thing you know, we'd been visiting for a couple of hours over a pot of coffee or two. These are senior guys who are listed in the who's who in Denver legal circles, with some of them nationally recognized as the best in their specialties. And sometimes I call in and their assistants know to be straight with me ... they haven't "stepped down the hall" or "he's in conference right now" ... they'll be candid enough to let me know that my friend has been in the office that AM and has stepped out for the rest of the day; when I call subsequently them on their mobile or at home, they're not in the office because there's nothing that needs to be done that day and we can yet get together if I'm in the area.

A slight reality check here, too, on housing prices ... $300K is only a down-payment on a "middle to upper class" neighborhood in Denver. You'll need to be in the 7 figures and up range to cross the threshold of that class of housing in Denver's neighborhoods, and $300K won't buy middle class housing in Ft Collins, either.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:09 AM
 
Location: Rockport Texas from El Paso
2,601 posts, read 7,316,713 times
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I'm an attorney in Texas and visit Colorado fairly often. I've wandered around TX just thinking where might be fun to live (Texas is diverse) and then worrying about getting enough cases.
If you two really like Colorado-if that's where your heart is - then go for it! Why sit in California unhappy wondering if you would have made it Colorado? If you struggle a little while before you succeed it will probably bring you closer together. I have some shares in United Western Bank of Colorado-- they have some extra houses they want to sell--if you can't make the payments they will probably take it back without a fuss-lol They have good locations-very friendly people I've even chatted with the president and ceo on the phone.

Really if your dreams are Colorado-that what are you going to let a few anonymous posts on an internet site dissuade you? I think their info is accurate and well-intentioned but California is difficult at this time -even more so than Colorado - and Colorado has a great future.

I'm a Cal grad-by the way
Good luck!
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:52 AM
 
10,875 posts, read 41,232,931 times
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Originally Posted by ocean2026 View Post
I'm an attorney in Texas and visit Colorado fairly often. I've wandered around TX just thinking where might be fun to live (Texas is diverse) and then worrying about getting enough cases.
If you two really like Colorado-if that's where your heart is - then go for it! Why sit in California unhappy wondering if you would have made it Colorado? If you struggle a little while before you succeed it will probably bring you closer together. I have some shares in United Western Bank of Colorado-- they have some extra houses they want to sell--if you can't make the payments they will probably take it back without a fuss-lol They have good locations-very friendly people I've even chatted with the president and ceo on the phone.

Really if your dreams are Colorado-that what are you going to let a few anonymous posts on an internet site dissuade you? I think their info is accurate and well-intentioned but California is difficult at this time -even more so than Colorado - and Colorado has a great future.

I'm a Cal grad-by the way
Good luck!
This is incredible logic to me ...

"why be in CA and unhappy when you can follow your dream of living in Colorado and struggle to survive because Colorado has a brighter future for you? so go for it, even if you don't have a job ... what the heck, you can even get into a house for no risk .... "

I've seen more couples torn apart by money issues in the past few years than I've seen brought together under such adverse circumstances. Especially ones with expectations of a "middle to upper" class existence without adequate cash flow .... "if (only) you struggle for a little while".


Dream on ...

No more than I could move to Texas or California right now but still have a middle to upper class lifestyle without sufficient income .... oh, but I'd be so very happy struggling to survive, yes indeed I would. Nuts ....

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-24-2010 at 05:22 AM..
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:41 PM
 
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I might have missed it but did you say you have been to Colorado before? What appeals to you about Colorado? I moved from NY to get out of the death grip of taxes and the fact that I wanted to move somewhere with natural beauty, friendlier like-minded people etc. I think Colorado is paradise compared to NY. I think if the reasons are right you should just go for it. Yeah the job market is tough but not as bad as a lot of places in the country. And I totally disagree with the poster who said 300k won't get you in to middle class housing. 300k can get you a pretty nice house in a pretty great suburb. I would say only Boulder would be out of your range. I do think one of you should have a job first even a low paying one to start. Take a couple low paying jobs, move here and look for better.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:17 PM
 
10,875 posts, read 41,232,931 times
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Originally Posted by choosing78 View Post
I might have missed it but did you say you have been to Colorado before? What appeals to you about Colorado? I moved from NY to get out of the death grip of taxes and the fact that I wanted to move somewhere with natural beauty, friendlier like-minded people etc. I think Colorado is paradise compared to NY. I think if the reasons are right you should just go for it. Yeah the job market is tough but not as bad as a lot of places in the country. And I totally disagree with the poster who said 300k won't get you in to middle class housing. 300k can get you a pretty nice house in a pretty great suburb. I would say only Boulder would be out of your range. I do think one of you should have a job first even a low paying one to start. Take a couple low paying jobs, move here and look for better.
I don't know what you're using for a reference point for home values in the Denver metro area ...

but my son recently made a long-awaited move from Seattle back to Denver. He spent over 8 months looking for a "middle class" house in the Denver area ... not the suburbs, but specifically DENVER so that he'd be close to his downtown offices and his wife could have ready access to her downtown Denver office and out to DIA for her business travel.

They used the pro services of a long-time Denver realtor/broker that I've used over the past 30 years. He's one of the best in the industry and knows the markets very well. He tried to locate a decent house )(3 bdr/2ba) in an upper middle class area ... and could not find anything for the kids under $1mil. Having previously lived in Park Hill and Capitol Hill and Cheesman Park and Washington Park and Hilltop and Cherry Creek and the Denver Country Club areas, I, too, know the markets and the houses for sale in that area.

Our broker finally located a brand new construction house that was built on spec on a tear-down just a couple of blocks out of 6th Ave Pkwy at Monaco ... those of you familiar with Denver will know that's just outside the Crestmoor area, which is an upper middle class residential area with nothing below $1 mil (and many houses up up up from that price point). The house was a bank repo due to a default by the builder construction loan, and was previously listed at $1 mil ... now available in distress at $700,000.

In all honesty, I'd owned a nicer three story house years ago on 16th Street just East of Colorado Blvd ... years ago, when that was was still a $30,000 house. Other than being new, with all new energy efficient systems and new fancy kitchen, the new house didn't appeal to me. But it was well located for the kids and large enough for them with a postage stamp for a backyard (not much bigger than room for a patio and b-b-que, about 40 sq ft of lawn), and a detached two-car garage towards the back of the lot. Had it not been for it's less than market appeal ... it would have gone quickly at around the $1 mil mark. It's next door twin certainly did.

There's a big difference in Denver locations when you start talking about suburbs compared to core Denver neighborhoods. My 3 bd/3ba 2,200 sq ft suburban house in the Ken-Caryl area is now a $350,000 house ... but it's about a 50 minute commute in good conditions at rush hour to downtown Denver even with the improvements on Santa Fe Drive. And it's certainly not a house that one would rate "middle to upper class" ... it's a low middle class entry level house that's showing it's age now, as is the rest of Williamsburg 1.

Having spent as much time, effort, and energy to seek out similar affordable housing to what the OP was asking for in the current Denver market ... I've got a reasonable handle on what it takes today. I'll stand by my original comment that $300,000 is only a good downpayment on "middle to upper class" housing in the Denver metro market today.
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Old 02-24-2010, 04:35 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,130,110 times
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Now, sunsprit, don't go spoiling everybody's little dreams with those pesky facts. By the way, the only attorneys I see these days that are even half-busy are the ones who specialize in foreclosures, divorces, and bankruptcies. Geez, that should say something about the economy, shouldn't it? Of course, when the long-term unemployed (and there are getting to be plenty of those in Colorado, contrary to the Pollyannas posting here) start "acting out," there may be more work for criminal defense attorneys. Of course, they might have a little trouble getting paid for their work.

PS--As an example, I'm dealing with one of the best estate attorneys in Colorado right now. Not long ago, one would have to make an appointment at least a month in advance to see him. These days, I can usually get an appointment on a day's notice. And, you know things are slow when you walk into his office, an office with a sizable number of attorneys that's been around for over a half-century, and you're the only client in the place.
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Old 02-24-2010, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,207 posts, read 4,142,762 times
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Allright, now I'm getting confused. Sunsprit's observations about the Denver RE market is booming with home prices soaring. Then Jazz comes along and uses this info to burst any bubble someone might have of an affordable existence in CO. But he also states>
Quote:
Now, sunsprit, don't go spoiling everybody's little dreams with those pesky facts. By the way, the only attorneys I see these days that are even half-busy are the ones who specialize in foreclosures, divorces, and bankruptcies. Geez, that should say something about the economy, shouldn't it?
So I guess what's happening in Denver is total economic calamity while their home values are still incredibly sky high. I would've figured that those are 2 scenarios are opposed to each other.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:11 PM
 
10,875 posts, read 41,232,931 times
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Originally Posted by vfrpilot View Post
Allright, now I'm getting confused. Sunsprit's observations about the Denver RE market is booming with home prices soaring. Then Jazz comes along and uses this info to burst any bubble someone might have of an affordable existence in CO. But he also states>

So I guess what's happening in Denver is total economic calamity while their home values are still incredibly sky high. I would've figured that those are 2 scenarios are opposed to each other.
Quite the contrary. Denver's RE home market is NOT booming, I did not say that. There's (relative) "bargains" to be found in the core area as well as the suburbs.

But even a 30% decline in the area is still leaving the price points up in the high six figures and up. And many areas haven't come down anywhere near 30% from their peak sales point. Some of the high dollar suburbs have barely come down 10%, and the sellers aren't desperate to sell at this time.

Case in point ... my son finding a house in a desireable core Denver neighborhood marked down in a bank owned repo file at $700,000, down from $1mil ... which is what the twin house next door to it sold a year previously.

And while there's been a definite softening of the employment market, and certain job sectors are laying off and not paying real well, and some small businesses are closing their doors and other bigger outfits are consolidating office space and shrinking ... Denver isn't into the "total economic calamity" situation we read about in places like Detroit.

Interesting, too, is the short-term history of land/property values in the South and SE areas from Denver. I passed up some opportunities to buy nic equine acreage everywhere from Parker to Franktown to Castle Rock for less than $1,000 per acre only 16 years ago, including Deadstick Acres just a bit East of APA. The thought of my own airstrip was very enticing, but the house was in such poor conditon that I didn't do the deal. VFRPilot ... care to guess what that property is worth today, even if it's come down a bit in market value? Or any other of the hot property areas along that corridor South of Denver, developed in the last two decades?
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:21 PM
 
2,437 posts, read 7,115,525 times
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I'm just trying to figure out what a Calilawyer is.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:54 PM
 
Location: Avondale, AZ
1,207 posts, read 4,142,762 times
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If I were not here and using your descriptions of Denver I would come to these conclusions>
-A low middle class entry level home out in the burbs will run about 350k. And this is even after a 10-30% decrease. This is still very good for you @ about $160 per square foot. Many areas of the country, even CA are $100 or less.
Quote:
There's a big difference in Denver locations when you start talking about suburbs compared to core Denver neighborhoods. My 3 bd/3ba 2,200 sq ft suburban house in the Ken-Caryl area is now a $350,000 house ... but it's about a 50 minute commute in good conditions at rush hour to downtown Denver even with the improvements on Santa Fe Drive. And it's certainly not a house that one would rate "middle to upper class" ... it's a low middle class entry level house that's showing it's age now, as is the rest of Williamsburg 1.
-If you want a middle class home closer in expect to pay 7 figures. I think this also bodes well for the state of the Denver economy. I would've thought there would be many homes in this price range languishing on a market that was bloated from all 'pie-in-the-sky' dreamers that moved here only to face a harsher reality and lose their a$$es in an economy described like this>
Quote:
Now, sunsprit, don't go spoiling everybody's little dreams with those pesky facts. By the way, the only attorneys I see these days that are even half-busy are the ones who specialize in foreclosures, divorces, and bankruptcies. Geez, that should say something about the economy, shouldn't it?
Quote:
They used the pro services of a long-time Denver realtor/broker that I've used over the past 30 years. He's one of the best in the industry and knows the markets very well. He tried to locate a decent house )(3 bdr/2ba) in an upper middle class area ... and could not find anything for the kids under $1mil. Having previously lived in Park Hill and Capitol Hill and Cheesman Park and Washington Park and Hilltop and Cherry Creek and the Denver Country Club areas, I, too, know the markets and the houses for sale in that area.
-I see reasons for hope and concern here. If people, like your son, are willing to buy homes in the 1+million dollar price range, then I think there may better days coming for Denver. Then I read Jazz's comments about the economy and wonder why anyone would invest that kind of money in a city where a lawyer can't make a decent living Do you see what I mean?
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