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Old 11-21-2016, 08:06 PM
 
81 posts, read 68,795 times
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I know the COL is high and seems to be going up. I will be applying for teaching jobs that begin next school year, and my husband has 5 years experience in building houses with a custom home builder. From what I've learned through research, teachers start out making around 35K, and I'm not sure about carpenters. Is it possible to live comfortably close to Denver on a teacher and carpenter salary with 3 kids? We have been heavily looking at Colorado Springs, but there seems to be more job opportunities around Denver. Thoughts?
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Old 11-21-2016, 08:22 PM
SQL
 
Location: The State of Delusion - Colorado
1,337 posts, read 848,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin_85 View Post
I know the COL is high and seems to be going up. I will be applying for teaching jobs that begin next school year, and my husband has 5 years experience in building houses with a custom home builder. From what I've learned through research, teachers start out making around 35K, and I'm not sure about carpenters. Is it possible to live comfortably close to Denver on a teacher and carpenter salary with 3 kids? We have been heavily looking at Colorado Springs, but there seems to be more job opportunities around Denver. Thoughts?
It will be extremely tough living near Denver with a family that size unless you can afford a 3-4BR, which are rare or costly. My GF is a teacher and had to live with three roommates to make it work in a newer complex in the city. Not sure what your combined salary will be, but that will matter immensely as far as what you can afford. I'd do more research on what your husband will likely be able to earn and go from there.

Last edited by SQL; 11-21-2016 at 08:37 PM..
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:21 PM
 
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My wife and I make due as teachers in Aurora. I normally say just to come in with reasonable expectations and willingness to budget and you should be ok but the three kids is going to make it difficult.
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Old 11-22-2016, 12:42 PM
 
1,822 posts, read 1,402,398 times
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I agree with SQL above, and would also add that it's ultimately a numbers game. You will need to look at real jobs and real opportunities, and estimate your total net income. Then you'll need to add up your estimated expenses (rent/mortgage, electricity, gas, gasoline, vehicle registration, etc.), and subtract the expenses from income to see what - if anything - you have left over. You should have some extra for savings and emergencies. You might even need to use Excel and plug in the different numbers based on different locations, since they'll vary. That would give you a comparison based on city/area, and also see if any make sense (they may not). In my opinion, even $35k doubled would not be enough around here with 3 kids also involved.

"Living comfortably" is highly subjective, so you might want to elaborate. If that means not worrying about financial difficulties and potential shortcomings, then you'll need to do lots of research. I can speak from personal experience that reduced income and dwindling savings can take a big toll, if it comes to that. BTW, you might want to mention where you are now (Murphysboro, IL?), for comparison. Also, have you visited this area before, and/or will you before relocating? Some move here "sight unseen".

I've found everything here to be more expensive than where I previously lived. That can really add up, not just in one year, but cumulatively every year. You really have to look at the big picture.

Last edited by Sunderpig2; 11-22-2016 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 11-22-2016, 06:52 PM
 
81 posts, read 68,795 times
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Thanks for the input. I realized how subjective my post was after the fact. We live on a budget and aren't materialistic people. We would want to take advantage of the lifestyle (outdoorsy) that the area is known for, but that doesn't mean we have to spend a lot. I've done a few different mock budgets and if we bring in 70K/year I figured that would give us about $1200-1400ish per month. I know that's not doable for rent for a 3-4 bedroom, but maybe a mortgage. We don't have much debt. I do live in Murphysboro,IL...very different than CO. We can't wait to leave. We did visit in 2014 and stayed in Bailey. My son and I had a hard time with that altitude but we were fine once we got back down to Denver. We loved Golden, which I know is out of reach. Boulder is very pricey, but we didn't like how crowded it seemed. I'm not opposed to Denver but we want to be close to outdoor activities, which I'm not sure Denver provides.
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:24 PM
 
Location: C-U metro
1,366 posts, read 2,733,299 times
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I'm from Montana and have a brother living in the "pretty place" of Bozeman. Having lived in all three places (Champaign now, Bozeman and Denver then), I really recommend thinking this through. We watch a lot of people move in from out of state, splash their spare cash around, wash out in 3 or 4 years and leave to make money. Colorado is a little different as some professionals can make a living in the state but moving in from out of state will guarantee nothing but lowball offers.

I hope you've spent a long time on this single trip to Bailey. Living in a place is a heck of a lot different than visiting a place on vacation for 1 or 2 weeks. For example, on vacation you'll rarely visit a grocery store for regular shopping or deal with the social constructs of a school district. People in Colorado are superficially friendly (particularly the ones from CA) but not honestly friendly as they are in the Midwest or South. Food costs are higher in Colorado than Illinois and real estate is double what a comparable home in a good part of Illinois will cost. Your income taxes will actually go up (4.6% vs. 3.75%) as will fuel costs if you drive to the backcountry every weekend.

If you are willing to work second jobs in the summer to get your incomes up, that would help your situation. People that don't have an opportunity for second jobs really suffer at 70k as many don't realize how expensive all the outdoor activities really are when it isn't going on the vacation credit card bill. If you were open to that, you could certainly afford the Western Slope at 70k a year base and tourist income to pay for fun stuff in the summer. The rents there will be lower still due to the oil bust. Denver and it's burbs, you'll probably need more as many homes in your range will rent for in the 1800's.

Last edited by flyingcat2k; 11-22-2016 at 08:49 PM..
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Old 11-22-2016, 08:53 PM
 
Location: Denver
5 posts, read 4,014 times
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For whatever it's worth, rent seems to be steady or going down around town despite the hot property market:

Denver apartment rents down
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:48 AM
 
1,019 posts, read 1,114,162 times
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The rental house , duplex, town house and patio homes are dropping in price somewhat in Evans, Milliken and Loveland area
3 bed 2 bath , I have seen from 1200 to 1500 a month
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Way up high
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When I was waitressing in Lakewood, several of the longtime employees were teachers working second jobs if that tells you anything...
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:52 AM
SQL
 
Location: The State of Delusion - Colorado
1,337 posts, read 848,782 times
Reputation: 1492
Quote:
Originally Posted by himain View Post
When I was waitressing in Lakewood, several of the longtime employees were teachers working second jobs if that tells you anything...
My GF (who's a teacher) came from Dallas. She took a pay cut when she moved here with almost five years of experience, particularly in one of the wealthier districts in the state (Douglas County). She said that the only way to advance up the pay scale is to stay at a district for a long time. She's currently looking for another district where she'll stay long term. Otherwise, if you have 10+ years experience and decide to jump to another district, they generally will start you at the 5-year pay band. Not sure if that's specific to Colorado. But she has indicated that pay for teachers is pretty poor here, at least compared to Texas (go figure).
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