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Old 12-08-2011, 10:16 PM
 
Location: West of the Rockies
11 posts, read 27,405 times
Reputation: 13

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Hello all, first-time poster, long time lurker here...

Here is our dilemma, we are a young, (I'm 37 my wife is 34, with an 8 yr old), professional Hispanic family from Miami, FL. We are tired of living in Miami, it is extremely hard to raise a family here. It is extremely dangerous. We have decided to move out of Florida and have been thinking of Colorado, Denver and Pueblo in particular. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, and I will be retiring from the military in March 2012. I have a masters degree in public administration and would like to work with a government agency there or possibly get into teaching. My questions are as follows: What is a good area to move to? Not too expensive, our budget right now is in the 100K-200K? How are property taxes in Colorado? We are both fluent in English and Spanish, is there a need for bi-lingual teachers in the Denver area? How is the current job situation in the Denver area, both public and private? How about teachers? If I go the teaching route, I can use my VA benefits to obtain a teaching license, so this should not be a problem.

Thank you all, and hopefully you can guide us and point us in the right direction. We are planning on traveling to Denver in April to scout the area. One thing is for sure, we refuse to live here in Miami any longer, we hate it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 09:44 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,954 posts, read 20,218,130 times
Reputation: 22591
Default Not going to be easy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolcypher View Post
...move out of Florida and have been thinking of Colorado, Denver and Pueblo in particular...My questions are as follows: What is a good area to move to? Not too expensive, our budget right now is in the 100K-200K? How are property taxes in Colorado?
1. There are no jobs in Pueblo. OK, that is an exaggeration, but not by much.
a. Unemployment rate for Denver MSA is 7.8% (Unemployment Rates for Metropolitan Areas) and for Pueblo is 9.4%.
b. Civilian labor force for Denver is 1,389K and Pueblo is 76.7K (Table 1. Civilian labor force and unemployment by state and metropolitan area)

2. Your house budget is low, but doable.
a. The median asking price in Denver is $275K (Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed)
Zillow says $193K for Denver (Denver Home Prices and Home Values in CO - Zillow Local Info)
b. Zillow says $95K for P-town (Pueblo Home Prices and Home Values in CO - Zillow Local Info)
In Denver, you will need to look further out or in an up and coming area.

3. Property taxes are much lower.
I picked 3 houses at semi-random on Zillow:
a. 350 SW 29th Ct, Miami, FL 33135 for sale at $140K with taxes at $3346
b. 1254 Stuart St, Denver, CO 80204 for sale at $140K with taxes at $648
c.
658 N 21st Ave, Brighton, CO 80601 for sale at $140K with taxes at $1152 (this is a house built in 1999 and northeast of Denver)

Last edited by Yac; 01-24-2012 at 05:33 AM..
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:31 AM
 
Location: Broomfield, CO
1,445 posts, read 2,781,677 times
Reputation: 905
Whoa, that is quite a switch, from Miami to Denver. Two cities that share virtually NOTHING in common. Anyways, im sure you will like Denver quite a bit. It has a large, thriving hispanic community and the cost of living is lower than a good chunk of Miami (although probably not as low as it once was before the housing crash) With your budget under 200K, you are probably gonna be out in the suburbs. Places like Parker, Thornton, Castle Rock, or Louisville come to mind with homes in that price range.

I personally would avoid Pueblo. Although it's not a bad town, there is little going on there, and it's only about 150K people metro (as compared to nearly 3 million metro Denver) Jobs will be harder to find, but housing is cheaper than Denver as well.

Another cheaper alternative to Denver would be Colorado Springs. This is a larger metro area (about 750K) and has much more going on than Pueblo does. Also, cheaper housing than Denver.

But, I personally, would choose Denver out of the 3 metro areas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolcypher View Post
Hello all, first-time poster, long time lurker here...

Here is our dilemma, we are a young, (I'm 37 my wife is 34, with an 8 yr old), professional Hispanic family from Miami, FL. We are tired of living in Miami, it is extremely hard to raise a family here. It is extremely dangerous. We have decided to move out of Florida and have been thinking of Colorado, Denver and Pueblo in particular. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, and I will be retiring from the military in March 2012. I have a masters degree in public administration and would like to work with a government agency there or possibly get into teaching. My questions are as follows: What is a good area to move to? Not too expensive, our budget right now is in the 100K-200K? How are property taxes in Colorado? We are both fluent in English and Spanish, is there a need for bi-lingual teachers in the Denver area? How is the current job situation in the Denver area, both public and private? How about teachers? If I go the teaching route, I can use my VA benefits to obtain a teaching license, so this should not be a problem.

Thank you all, and hopefully you can guide us and point us in the right direction. We are planning on traveling to Denver in April to scout the area. One thing is for sure, we refuse to live here in Miami any longer, we hate it.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:05 PM
 
20,848 posts, read 39,075,211 times
Reputation: 19090
Dave Barnes, that is an awesomely well-documented posting. Thank you.

Only footnote I'd add is that those high property tax rates in FL (and other states like TX) are there to make up for the fact that there is no income tax in those states.

Generally, if a resident of COLO has a taxable income (FAGI) of $100k after all deductions, in COLO they would pay $4,630 (4.63%) on that income, unless they have other COLO deductions, like we retirees do, where COLO exempts the first $20k of each pension, thus in our case we'd be taxed on about $60k, or $2778, which when added to the low property tax here makes the comparison to the FL property tax rates pretty much a wash for retirees. For the OP, using the Brighton house you cited, the OP actually pays a bit more in COLO ($4630 + $1152 = $5782) than in FL ($3346). Caveat: This is a seat of the pants example, going on memory, there may be other factors in COLO tax codes that would lower his tax load here. We almost have to do a spreadsheet to compare the two states for sales tax, gasoline tax, other taxes, fees, plus various insurance costs and utility rates to come up with a comprehensive assessment of total tax loads and cost structures.

Of course our homeowners insurance is a lot lower here, since we don't have to pay for the hurricane aspects of FL. Homes in FL built before the more stringent building codes pay very high homeowners insurance rates.

FYI: Here are a few state income tax factoids: Nine states have no state income tax: AK, FL, NV, SD, TX, WA and WY. Also, NH and TN tax their residents only on income earned through interest and dividends. Folks who seek a place based on total tax load need to google up the total tax load tables which are all over the internet. IIRC, COLO is in the middle of the pack.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 12-09-2011 at 12:56 PM..
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:35 PM
 
Location: West of the Rockies
11 posts, read 27,405 times
Reputation: 13
Thank you all for the tremendous amount of information and data provided. We will definitely check Denver out, my wife and I will make a trip there in April 2012. I know Denver and Miami are worlds apart, however, it is not a safe city to raise a family. I will also look at any possible teaching options there, either at the middle/high school level or community college level. Also, I will keep an eye for any governmental jobs, I currently hold a security clearance and it is active until 2015. My wife and I have saved enough to live for about a year with our savings, plus my military retirement pay ($2000/month) and a 4 month rainy day fund. I figured this should give us a buffer while I find a job there. Again thank you all for pointing us in the right direction, keep them coming.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:43 PM
 
20,848 posts, read 39,075,211 times
Reputation: 19090
Kool, start looking at teaching positions early in the new year; IIRC, they do a lot of selection in the springtime for the start of the new school year, which is mid-August in a lot school districts here.

The most govt jobs with military experience and security clearance will be in COLO SPGS, which is a major such employment center, though there is some in Denver and maybe out east of the city at Buckley AFB, not to mention a large federal enclave in the Lakewood area.
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Old 12-09-2011, 12:59 PM
 
Location: West of the Rockies
11 posts, read 27,405 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
Kool, start looking at teaching positions early in the new year; IIRC, they do a lot of selection in the springtime for the start of the new school year, which is mid-August in a lot school districts here.

The most govt jobs with military experience and security clearance will be in COLO SPGS, which is a major such employment center, though there is some in Denver and maybe out east of the city at Buckley AFB, not to mention a large federal enclave in the Lakewood area.
Thanks Mike, I appreciate your guidance. Colorado Springs seems like a good alternative as well, something to think about
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Old 12-09-2011, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,174 posts, read 20,966,911 times
Reputation: 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolcypher View Post
Hello all, first-time poster, long time lurker here...

Here is our dilemma, we are a young, (I'm 37 my wife is 34, with an 8 yr old), professional Hispanic family from Miami, FL. We are tired of living in Miami, it is extremely hard to raise a family here. It is extremely dangerous. We have decided to move out of Florida and have been thinking of Colorado, Denver and Pueblo in particular. My wife is a stay-at-home mom, and I will be retiring from the military in March 2012. I have a masters degree in public administration and would like to work with a government agency there or possibly get into teaching. My questions are as follows: What is a good area to move to? Not too expensive, our budget right now is in the 100K-200K? How are property taxes in Colorado? We are both fluent in English and Spanish, is there a need for bi-lingual teachers in the Denver area? How is the current job situation in the Denver area, both public and private? How about teachers? If I go the teaching route, I can use my VA benefits to obtain a teaching license, so this should not be a problem.

Thank you all, and hopefully you can guide us and point us in the right direction. We are planning on traveling to Denver in April to scout the area. One thing is for sure, we refuse to live here in Miami any longer, we hate it.
I happen to see this thread so I thought I would give you a Pueblo perspective.

In my opinion Pueblo is a lot like a smaller version of Denver. So the question you need to figure out is do you want to live in a large metro area, Denver has over 2.5 million people, or a small metro area, Pueblo has over 160,000 people. Both cities have arts, musicals, theaters, good restaurants, shopping, out door activities, are close to skiing, college sports ,however, Pueblo has no professional sports teams of our own. We do have some things that Denver does not. For example, in my opinion, Pueblo has some of the best Mexican and Italian food not only in the state but the nation and we have some of the best street fairs and we are home to the Colorado State Fair. Plus we don't get as much snow as Denver does.

Now if you decide to move here because of your back ground I think you could find a job easily as Pueblo has a large Hispanic population and there is a need for bi-lingual teachers. There are a few colleges you could work at including Colorado State University - Pueblo, Pueblo Community College, and smaller colleges like Intelli tech, University of Phoenix, and Colorado Technical University. Or there are call centers that are always looking for bi-lingual people, not a ideal job but one you could do well in with your back ground.

One last thing is Pueblo is extremely inexpensive to live in, usually one of the cheapest places to live in the nation, and you could have a great living on 100,000 to 200,000 budget.

If you have any question feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer it.

Last edited by Josseppie; 12-09-2011 at 01:47 PM..
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Old 12-09-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: West of the Rockies
11 posts, read 27,405 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
I happen to see this thread so I thought I would give you a Pueblo perspective.

In my opinion Pueblo is a lot like a smaller version of Denver. So the question you need to figure out is do you want to live in a large metro area, Denver has over 2.5 million people, or a small metro area, Pueblo has over 160,000 people. Both cities have arts, musicals, theaters, good restaurants, shopping, out door activities, are close to skiing, college sports ,however, Pueblo has no professional sports teams of our own. We do have some things that Denver does not. For example, in my opinion, Pueblo has some of the best Mexican and Italian food not only in the state but the nation and we have some of the best street fairs and we are home to the Colorado State Fair. Plus we don't get as much snow as Denver does.

Now if you decide to move here because of your back ground I think you could find a job easily as Pueblo has a large Hispanic population and there is a need for bi-lingual teachers. There are a few colleges you could work at including Colorado State University - Pueblo, Pueblo Community College, and smaller colleges like Intelli tech, University of Phoenix, and Colorado Technical University. Or there are call centers that are always looking for bi-lingual people, not a ideal job but one you could do well in with your back ground.

One last thing is Pueblo is extremely inexpensive to live in, usually one of the cheapest places to live in the nation, and you could have a great living on 100,000 to 200,000 budget.

If you have any question feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer it.
Hi Josseppie,

Thanks for your perspective, we really appreciate it. We will be in the Denver/Pueblo area in April so we will definitely look at both areas with a magnifying glass. We have lived in small towns before and loved it. We are currently living in Hawaii until January 2012, then we move back to Miami, FL. However, as I mentioned before we do not like Miami at all. Even though I am from Miami, I grew up in Miami, and went to college there. It still is not a safe place to raise a family. Quick question for you, we looked at this house (this is the link: 2039 East 8th Street, Pueblo CO | MLS# 137455 - Trulia ), and we are wondering if this is a good area. We really liked the house and most importantly the price . At any rate thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, your help is really appreciated.
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Old 12-09-2011, 03:25 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,174 posts, read 20,966,911 times
Reputation: 4258
Quote:
Originally Posted by Koolcypher View Post
Hi Josseppie,

Thanks for your perspective, we really appreciate it. We will be in the Denver/Pueblo area in April so we will definitely look at both areas with a magnifying glass. We have lived in small towns before and loved it. We are currently living in Hawaii until January 2012, then we move back to Miami, FL. However, as I mentioned before we do not like Miami at all. Even though I am from Miami, I grew up in Miami, and went to college there. It still is not a safe place to raise a family. Quick question for you, we looked at this house (this is the link: 2039 East 8th Street, Pueblo CO | MLS# 137455 - Trulia ), and we are wondering if this is a good area. We really liked the house and most importantly the price . At any rate thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, your help is really appreciated.
Your welcome! I have a lot of knowledge about Pueblo so any question you have feel free to ask.........

That is a really cute house but I always advise people to avoid the east side of town as well as Bessemer and the area town town by the state hospital. I always tell people to look at the south side of town, north side of town or Pueblo West (Pueblo's largest suburb). From reading you post I think you would like the area by Pueblo Community College (PCC) or CSU Pueblo. PCC is more in the center of the city while CSU Pueblo is on the north side and the houses are newer but both areas are very nice and you can find affordable houses.
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