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Old 09-07-2011, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Florida
6 posts, read 5,049 times
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My husband is considering a job in Denver, but we need to gather some info about the area and cost of living comparisons. Any help (especially if you've lived in FL) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

1. What are some good communities/cities to look at in the surrounding area of Denver? We want to rent a house for around $1500-$2000 per month and eventually buy a house for around $250,000. My husband would like a commute time of about 30 minutes or less. I would like to be close to good schools for our kids.

2. Being from Florida, of course we don't know anything about living in snow. What can we expect in the winter as far as commute times, icy roads, digging out driveways, etc.?

3. How much do things cost in comparison to FL? I know vehicle reg. is quite a bit higher, are there any other car-related expenses that are higher than FL? What about gas prices? grocery prices? What do you have to buy for kids and adults as far as winter gear and clothes (in FL, we buy lots of summer clothes and a few pair of pants/long sleeve shirts/lightweight jacket and that's it)? any additional costs living in CO compared to FL that we should be aware of?

4. For folks who have lived in FL, what are the biggest difficulties you've had moving to CO/Denver area? What are things you like/dislike? Any wisdom of experiences is welcomed.

We are very excited about the prospect of moving to such a beautiful state...we've vacationed in CO many times, but realize that a vacation is different than living there. Thanks for all of your help.
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Old 09-07-2011, 10:38 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,954 posts, read 20,213,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florigirl View Post
2. Being from Florida, of course we don't know anything about living in snow. What can we expect in the winter as far as commute times, icy roads, digging out driveways, etc.?
Microclimates. Not a word that means a lot in Florida, but does in Colorado.
The weather is very different just a short distance away.
The further west you go, the stronger the Winter.

That said.
The City of Denver has almost no snowplows (yes, I am exaggerating, bot only slightly) because the sun comes out and the snow melts. Denver does NOT plow side streets at all. Even when we get a freak 2-foot snowstorm. Because 99% of time, the snow melts away in 2-3 days and we are back to dry roads.

Don't panic. Drive carefully and with caution. Buy ice/snow tires if your car has rear wheel drive.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,877 posts, read 9,624,244 times
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Denver and the surrounding areas are very spread out. Can you find out where in the Denver area your husband's job would be, so that we can help direct you to areas with a commute time of ”30 minutes or less“.
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Old 09-07-2011, 11:54 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,954 posts, read 20,213,178 times
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Default What city in Florida?

Where do you live now in Florida?
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Old 09-07-2011, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, CO
521 posts, read 718,920 times
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I was born and raised in Jacksonville and moving from there to here I found the cost of living to be comparable, less crime, and the snow fairly easy to drive in if you take it safe. It takes half an hour to get anywhere in Jacksonville anyways so it's nice being able to get to Denver and Boulder quick as well as being able to get to the high country in the same amount of time it took me to drive from Fruit Cove or South Mandarin to a Jaguar or Suns game. Don't even get me started on how much better the schools are. Even the middle of the pack schools here would easily be "A" schools if Florida education standards were applied.

That's all I can really do for you not knowing specifics. Florida is a big place. You could be in the panhandle or the Keys. Being a tad more specific will help us better understand which comparisons you're looking for.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Location of job: it looks like it's right in the center of the city....south of 70 and not far from I-25.

We are located in Central Florida right now (orlando area).

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-07-2011, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Northglenn, CO
521 posts, read 718,920 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florigirl View Post
Location of job: it looks like it's right in the center of the city....south of 70 and not far from I-25.

We are located in Central Florida right now (orlando area).

Thanks for your help.

My wife and I met in Winter Park after I moved to Orlando in '03. We also lived in Altamonte Springs and Oviedo. It wouldn't be a stretch to say the Orlando area and the Denver area are similar in layout. The way the 'burbs are layed out is very similar albeit a lot more area and hills. 470 out here will remind you of 417 in Orlando and 408 is kinda like I-25 here when the traffic picks up during rush hours.

As far as places you should look to live I'd suggest Westminster, Thornton, Arvada (north), Broomfield (south), Louisville, and some neighborhoods in Commerce City. I'd even look in Denver proper. A lot of nice, old homes just north and east of downtown in a very up and coming community.
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Old 09-07-2011, 03:46 PM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
5,708 posts, read 9,425,904 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by florigirl View Post

2. Being from Florida, of course we don't know anything about living in snow. What can we expect in the winter as far as commute times, icy roads, digging out driveways, etc.?
Become familiar with black ice. Black ice is ice you can't see, you won't know its there until you step on the brakes and start sliding! Be aware that it can happen on any road in the winter and adjust your driving speed and habits accordingly.

Buy snow tires, put them on for the winter and take them off for the summer.

Get a front-wheel drive vehicle (minimal), an all-wheel drive (better) or a 4wd (best).

Practice driving on snow in an empty parking lot before you drive on it "for real."

Quote:
What do you have to buy for kids and adults as far as winter gear and clothes (in FL, we buy lots of summer clothes and a few pair of pants/long sleeve shirts/lightweight jacket and that's it)?
snow boots
caps which cover the ears
wool is one of the best insulators, so anything with wool
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Florida
6 posts, read 5,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkiScree View Post
My wife and I met in Winter Park after I moved to Orlando in '03. We also lived in Altamonte Springs and Oviedo. It wouldn't be a stretch to say the Orlando area and the Denver area are similar in layout. The way the 'burbs are layed out is very similar albeit a lot more area and hills. 470 out here will remind you of 417 in Orlando and 408 is kinda like I-25 here when the traffic picks up during rush hours.

As far as places you should look to live I'd suggest Westminster, Thornton, Arvada (north), Broomfield (south), Louisville, and some neighborhoods in Commerce City. I'd even look in Denver proper. A lot of nice, old homes just north and east of downtown in a very up and coming community.

Thanks for the information. I'll check those areas out. It sounds like everything from a cost of living standpoint comes out about even between the two areas, which is what all of the cost-of-living calculators show as well.

Driving on ice is a bit scary, but I get freaked out about driving in our Florida rain storms (even though I've lived here all my life).

It's good to know you've done well and love living there. Thanks again for the input.
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Old 09-07-2011, 04:42 PM
 
Location: Florida
6 posts, read 5,049 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
Become familiar with black ice. Black ice is ice you can't see, you won't know its there until you step on the brakes and start sliding! Be aware that it can happen on any road in the winter and adjust your driving speed and habits accordingly.

Buy snow tires, put them on for the winter and take them off for the summer.

Get a front-wheel drive vehicle (minimal), an all-wheel drive (better) or a 4wd (best).

Practice driving on snow in an empty parking lot before you drive on it "for real."

snow boots
caps which cover the ears
wool is one of the best insulators, so anything with wool

Black ice sounds awful! Thanks for the tip on practicing in a parking lot first. Do they offer any driving on ice type schools? Forgive me if this is a completely ignorant question. Thanks.
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