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Old 06-11-2019, 10:26 PM
 
46 posts, read 99,947 times
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Hi there. I work in finance as a manager. I have an offer to transfer from Dayton, Ohio to either Columbus or Denver. Both are large metros similar in size (2.1 million in Cbus vs 2.7 million in Denver). Denver obviously has more in terms of being a world class city with its own professional sports teams, and more cosmopolitan status. I think it is rated a Beta world city whereas Columbus is not even rated as a world city, but as a "sufficiency city." I am not a huge sports fan, but professional sports is an option for fun. Both have good arts scenes with professional theatre and world class museums and such. Possibly a bit more in Denver. Both cities are growing at around the same rates. Again, Denver probably a bit more.

Both cities will offer good career prospects for me in banking. My company is growing in both metros, maybe more so in Denver. The COL is Denver is about 25% higher than in Ohio. I was looking at the differences in condo living, and in Denver my condo will be much older with likely shared laundry and off street parking as opposed to garage. Basically, my money in Columbus for my affordable price range will get me a much nicer, larger, updated condo for the urban locations I am looking at close to downtown in both metros.

I love the progressiveness of the Denver area and the way Colorado is moving in terms of liberalness. Ohio can be stifling for a progressive. So this is a tough decision! The Columbus metro leans liberal (52% Dem, 48% Rep), but not nearly like Denver metro (59% Dem, 41% R). And much of the rest of Ohio pulls the state to the right of center politically.

I am gay, middle aged and single. Both cities are known for having a large gay community and for being gay friendly. In many ways the areas are similar. I am looking for a good supportive community in either place with social opportunities. Dayton has been a challenge in this area.

My choice is coming down to the small differences:

Denver: more progressive, more cosmopolitan, more open, better weather.
Columbus: more affordable, better quality of life in terms of money going further, more familiar, closer to family.

Where I could use insight is if any one is very familiar with both cities. I know Columbus well being from Dayton. I have spent a few weeks in Denver 2 times over the past couple of years and have a few close friends there. But any insight into the differences that will make an impact for me would be helpful particularly to help define the noticeable differences.

Last edited by stepheninohio; 06-11-2019 at 10:35 PM..
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:17 PM
 
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Denver, especially if the pay is higher by enough to offset some or all of the COL increase.
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Old 06-11-2019, 11:54 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
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My duplex neighbors, who both fled Ohio, would say Denver.
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Old 06-12-2019, 05:44 AM
 
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I am originally from Cincinnati. I have honestly wished many times that I would have stayed here for just a couple of years to gain some experience for my resume and moved back. However, the big difference between me and you is that I am a teacher and my salary will NEVER keep up with the COL here. I would assume that in your industry, you'll have a chance to make a much bigger salary in the future. Yes, your money would still go further back in OH, but if you have enough to still live an enjoyable lifestyle here, that's not as big of a factor.

I'm not sold on the weather being nicer here. For sure we "win" on the humidity in the summer, but to me hot is hot. On the really hot days here (i.e. 100+ degrees) I'm definitely not thinking, "That's okay, this is so much more comfortable than humidity." It's still not comfortable! Winter is also much longer and harsher here, and you will be expected to go out and drive in big snowstorms (unless your job allows you to work from home- obviously mine doesn't). In Cincinnati no one would ever be so stupid as to drive in blizzard conditions. We had several days this year where it was still snowing in May! It also rains constantly in the summer; many days there is a storm in the afternoon/evening. Don't believe the hype about "300 days of sunshine." If the sun comes out for 5 minutes, that's a day of sunshine.

If you are into the outdoorsy stuff and want to hike, ski, snowboard, etc. obviously Denver is better. I feel like that's the big draw for a lot of people, and honestly I couldn't care less. I tried to be more outdoorsy when I first moved here and it's just not me. It's a little harder to find friends who aren't outdoors obsessed. I will say that due to the high number of other transplants in Denver, I found making friends to be pretty easy, because there were a lot of other newbies looking for friends as well (although if you say Columbus is growing at the same rate, that may be true there as well). The flip side of that though is that people are less attached to the area, and I've had many friends move away over the 6 years I've been here. This past year, I realized I was basically at the point of starting over again as all of my closest friends had left. I've made some new connections, but of course that takes some work!

As far as politics, I have plenty of progressive friends in OH. I would think you'd have no issue at all finding like minded people in Columbus. However, the state level elections are likely not going to go your way due to all of the rural areas. I was chatting with a friend from back home (who now lives in Columbus) during the last election results and she had a lot of disappointments while I had a lot of celebrations.

For me, the COL is just such a huge factor. I've been extremely fortunate in that I have family money that has helped me every step of the way. I didn't have student loans or a car payment to begin with due to an inheritance I received as child, so those are two big bills I've never had to worry about paying on my salary. I received another inheritance last year that made home buying a possibility for the first time. The prices are ABSURD here. I'm looking at a budget of around $300K for a condo or townhouse, and everything I've seen has not been very nice/had few amenities/been in so-so neighborhoods. I could buy a mansion on several acres of land with that money back home. Meanwhile, teachers in my home town make MORE than they do here. I would have never made it as single person had it not been for my family situation.

I've considered throwing in the towel and moving back, but teaching is also horribly unfavorable for moving states. I'd completely screw up my retirement and be looking at having to teach for 10 years longer than originally planned, which in this climate, seems pretty impossible. I would consider your potential for future earnings and how much the other things you like about Denver outweigh the COL issue.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:58 AM
 
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I think Denver has more opportunities for outdoor recreation if that interests you. That is one of the big appeals for Colorado living. But if you're big on water-related stuff, there isn't a lot of water in Colorado, so keep that in mind. If the outdoors has no draw for you, then I'd think the COL difference becomes a more heavily-weighted issue.
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Old 06-12-2019, 07:42 AM
 
Location: Online
362 posts, read 161,830 times
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Denver will definitely work but I would recommend Columbus for you. Also consider that there are no other progressive cities within 1000+ miles of Denver. I assume that isn't an issue around Columbus?
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Old 06-12-2019, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Denver CO
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For me, one of the good things about Denver is that it's THE big city in the region. So aside from professional sports teams, we are a concert stop, we get the Broadway tours, the big museum exhibits, and so on. The downside to that is there isn't really another major city in easy driving distance, so you don't get that as an outlet. In Columbus, you've got lots of options for places to head to for a quick trip, even Chicago isn't that far.

Politics, there's no doubt that CO is trending blue and OH is trending red. I would guess Columbus itself, like most cities, is more blue, but that's the reality since that appears to be a factor for you.

Without knowing your budget, it's hard to comment on housing options, but yes, I'm sure in general, you get more for the money in Columbus.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:10 PM
 
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Do you have extended family who you are close to and is proximity to them a factor? As I get older that is more important to me than when I was younger.

I personally love cities like Indianapolis, Columbus, that offer great job opportunities and cultural amenities and are still pretty affordable. When I lived in Denver it was like that too, but it has gotten to be in the in place and quite expensive now (especially housing).


I do love the climate in Denver and places like RMNP are heaven on earth to me. As I get older, though, I spend more time inside and having great housing that is affordable in a neighborhood I really like is a bigger deal than it used to be too and for me it was a pretty big deal when I was younger too. We looked at the possibility of moving to back to Denver recently, but what totally nicked it was housing and neighborhood we could get for the money (home never looked so good). Traffic is so much worse than it used to be too. I believe traffic has increased everywhere, but more substantially in Denver than other cities I occasionally drive in.


Even with all that said and me personally thinking Columbus would be a better fit for me now, what you need to do is "Follow your heart". Remember too if you don't like what you pick, change is always a possibility again.

We wish you well wherever you go and do post back to let us know what you decide.
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Old 06-12-2019, 06:10 PM
 
Location: Denver
3,189 posts, read 2,639,643 times
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You could potentially be a good fit for Denver. The apartment / condo market is more normal (though still more expensive), it's the single family home market that's stupidly overpriced.

Denver's got more stuff and it's bigger, but it's way more congested as well, so make sure you can get from your home to work without having to be on the road a long time (preferably not at all and light rail or bike in). A freeway commute will suck.

The weather's not necessarily better, it's just drier. Ohio has one of the better midwestern climates. The low humidity mutes the temps, but it can be annoying if you have dry skin (and nice if you have oily skin or allergies) and the natural setting is definitely browner. The UV is much more intense too.

Denver is going to have a lot more in the way of sports (all 5 major leagues), bars, breweries, and nightlife, fitness fanatics, outdoor enthusiasts, and dog owners; the people you meet are more likely to be into these things as well.

Denver's (at least in the city proper) going to be a fair bit grungier than Columbus as well as far as the streetscape and street life (homeless). The city is dense and consequently very paved over without much greenspace per capita. People head to the mountains for being outside.

https://www.google.com/maps/@39.7600...7i13312!8i6656

If the above amenities seem attractive, the atmosphere / vibe matches what you want, and you don't think you'll be bothered by the potential downsides I say go for Denver.
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Old 06-12-2019, 10:47 PM
 
46 posts, read 99,947 times
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All the the insights from those who know both are excellent. Thank you all very much for taking the time to share your insights. It is a big decision and these details help. I will post when I make a final decision.
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