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Old 11-11-2017, 01:54 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,969 times
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Hello,

I am expecting an offer from a Broomfield based company this next week. My wife and I currently live in a western suburb of Chicago (Saint Charles, Illinois). The offer letter (as I am told by HR) is with an expected start date in January of 2018. They will offer a relocation fund for us to make the move. But first we need to sell our home and find a city in the area of Broomfield of which we want to live.

We currently own a nice 3 bedroom, 3 bathroom home, remodeled with a yard home that we paid $290k for.

As we began to look at properties in Broomfield, Thornton, Arvada, and Westminster, we got demoralized with what our budget of $300-$350k could afford us.

Can I get some friendly advice from some people who live in either the Jefferson County or surrounding areas of Broomfield?


What questions we're trying to answer;

1. What (in your opinion) are the best places to live with a 15-mile radius around Broomfield?
2. What type of budget should we realistically be setting ourselves for a 3 bedroom home in that area?
3. We are hoping to find a town (similar to what Olde Town Arvada feels like) in the area which we live, any of the cities you recommend, do they have a small town feel?

I think we'll be renting for a handful of months while we search the market for our home. But any advice is greatly appreciated.

We are trying to make sense of this as it's happened quickly. My wife will have to find a job (which hinders us a bit, she is in the graphic design field).

Any advice is appreciated!

PS. Expected salary is $90-95K. We currently have a combined salary (my wife and I) of $182k right now and will go down to 1x salary for 1-6 months while she looks for a job. We also have a little $ nest egg we'll be brining.

Last edited by ThePathBeforeMe; 11-11-2017 at 01:58 PM.. Reason: Additional advice.
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Old 11-11-2017, 03:14 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 3,995,951 times
Reputation: 2566
Do you have kids? That will affect your city candidates and price point. Would you consider stretching your commute to 30 miles? Most won't and pay for the refusal. Of course you pay the other way too in time & gas and maybe less housing appreciation. Would you consider Longmont? Are there any neighborhoods in Thornton / Westminister that are affordable & acceptable? if not, you may have to up the price or look further out.

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-11-2017 at 03:24 PM..
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:08 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,954 posts, read 20,213,178 times
Reputation: 22591
1. Greater Denver is more expensive. You need to think $400K.
2. There are very few town centers similar to places in the east/midwest. Do not confuse cool shopping areas with desirable housing.
a. Arvada, Lousiville, Littleton, Boulder, Golden, Longmont, Loveland have them.
b. Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Westminster, Berthoud, Erie, Firestone do not.
3. Some town centers are desirable: Golden, Louisville. Some are not: Arvada (small, old houses).
4. School systems are typically large and vary widely. Ranging from A to F.
5. It is [still] a seller's market (Inventory is 30% of normal). In your price range, you see it on day one and make an offer that morning. Price increases have slowed. No one knows if this seasonal or not.
6. This https://www.redfin.com/CO/Arvada/809.../home/34335836 is an example of a house for you. Close to work. Good school district (Ralston Valley High School and feeders). Notice the lot size. This house https://www.redfin.com/CO/Arvada/104.../home/34336091 has a larger lot and is in a slightly better neighborhood and costs $80K more. (My daughter and SIL live between these 2 houses.)
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Old 11-11-2017, 04:52 PM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,489,398 times
Reputation: 5069
I think you should complain about the housing cost when they offer you the salary and ask for more money.

For small town feel look at Lafayette and Longmont.

Pick some homes that you like and that will tell you what your budget should be. It sounds like you are disappointed at what you can afford so you can either up your budget or adjust your expectations. Adjusting your expectations is probably best. People here tend to spend alot of time outdoors or pursing their expensive hobbies so having a fancy home is not as important as other places. They value time over the fancy home which is why all the older close in suburbs (and the city of Denver) are more expensive. No one wants to give up their daily run or their free time to a commute if they can help it. It is a cultural difference that may appeal to you after you get here.
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:08 PM
 
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
650 posts, read 564,764 times
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If you liked Olde Town Arvada, then check out Longmont. It has a nice historic downtown that’s become a very active urban node. It’s about 30 min north of Broomfield and the housing prices are less than the inner ring suburbs. North Boulder County has beautiful views and great access to Estes Park and RMNP.

Last edited by Good Red Road; 11-11-2017 at 06:20 PM..
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Old 11-12-2017, 12:28 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,969 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
I think you should complain about the housing cost when they offer you the salary and ask for more money.

For small town feel look at Lafayette and Longmont.

Pick some homes that you like and that will tell you what your budget should be. It sounds like you are disappointed at what you can afford so you can either up your budget or adjust your expectations. Adjusting your expectations is probably best. People here tend to spend alot of time outdoors or pursing their expensive hobbies so having a fancy home is not as important as other places. They value time over the fancy home which is why all the older close in suburbs (and the city of Denver) are more expensive. No one wants to give up their daily run or their free time to a commute if they can help it. It is a cultural difference that may appeal to you after you get here.
Thanks so much for this perspective. I think you're right. Afterall, the part of the reason we are making the move (other than a good career opportunity) is that we will have lighter winters (than Chicago) which means more time outdoors!

We are finding homes in downtown Denver that are cheaper than the suburbs... so I suppose that fully supports your perspective of people wanting to be closer to outdoor activities.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:10 PM
 
14 posts, read 16,969 times
Reputation: 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Good Red Road View Post
If you liked Olde Town Arvada, then check out Longmont. It has a nice historic downtown thatís become a very active urban node. Itís about 30 min north of Broomfield and the housing prices are less than the inner ring suburbs. North Boulder County has beautiful views and great access to Estes Park and RMNP.
Thanks! Do you live in Longmont? My fear is the commute.

I took a look after your post and I certainly do see that things are more affordable in Longmont.
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Old 11-12-2017, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Sweet Home Chicago!
5,160 posts, read 3,683,640 times
Reputation: 6023
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePathBeforeMe View Post
Thanks so much for this perspective. I think you're right. Afterall, the part of the reason we are making the move (other than a good career opportunity) is that we will have lighter winters (than Chicago) which means more time outdoors!
You will have more warm weather breaks throughout Winter in Denver, but the overall season is a bit longer out there. No doubt it's an easier winter than Chicago though.

We almost moved out there too, but the cost of housing was a real turn off. Plus, I really love lush green lawns and such and the rock landscaping doesn't do anything for me so we're still in Chicago, but I do like the Denver metro.

Longmont sounds up your alley. I worked with a guy that lived out there and he seemed to like it.

Plan on buying a good humidifier and lots of lotion/chapstick.

Good luck!!
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:19 AM
 
14 posts, read 16,969 times
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Thanks for all the replies.

It seems like Arvada or Westminster is likely going to be where we end up. I really love the thought of Longmont, but my concern would be the commute from Broomfield from Longmont. On Google maps it showed 40-50 minutes during morning rush hour. Today I commute an hour and a half to downtown Chicago, so it would relatively would be less time. I think based on us being blessed with “hitting the reset” button, we’re going to make sure we’re much closer to work. We don’t want to live for work but work to live.

I guess this sounds superficial, but are the mountains visible (in open areas) in Arvada? I guess Monday-Friday it’ll be great to see them and then we’ll plan to be hiking/climbing them during the weekend.

We are excited to make this move and we are planning a visit the day after thanksgiving to come see all the places everyone here is recommending! So thank you!
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:24 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,908 posts, read 6,503,917 times
Reputation: 7355
Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePathBeforeMe View Post
Thanks so much for this perspective. I think you're right. Afterall, the part of the reason we are making the move (other than a good career opportunity) is that we will have lighter winters (than Chicago) which means more time outdoors!

We are finding homes in downtown Denver that are cheaper than the suburbs... so I suppose that fully supports your perspective of people wanting to be closer to outdoor activities.
If you are finding stuff downtown cheaper than the burbs, it is either

1) much smaller
2) very rundown
3) in a bad neighborhood

The cost per square foot in the close in city neighborhoods is much higher than the burbs. These are very desirable places to live.
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