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Old 02-02-2010, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,591,533 times
Reputation: 2363

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Quote:
Originally Posted by parks71 View Post
If your trying to justify paying 230,000 vs 300,000 for a house and having to pay 200.00 a month for a toll, you made the wrong decision. The house will appreciate over 20 years, your toll paying will not. Lets put it in perspective.

If you payed 200.00 every month for the next 20 years into an average mutal fund, you would have 600,000.00 roughly in 20 years. Thats what you are paying to ride those tolls, not 70,000. Not to mention the amount you could have saved on gas and time if you bought the 300,000 home which was closer. 200 a month on tolls is absurd.
To each their own...why do you care what we pay as long as you aren't? No one is trying to justify anything...we looked all over the area in every direction that would provide my husband a less than 30 minute commute to his job at DIA. There wasn't a place that offered nice homes with the amenities we were looking for, in an excellent school district and in a low crime area that not only includes my actual neighborhood but also low crime area for literally MILES around. For the house we live in, I wouldn't care if we HAD to take the toll road every day and it cost even more than it does now. There is peace of mind that goes along with owning a house in a fantastic, safe neighborhood whose schools don't get better ratings only when the state dumbs down yet another test, and that my kids can grow up in and a toll road doesn't take that away from my family (or the thousands of other homeowners in the area either).

Finally, we actually put MORE than $200 into our retirement fund and have money to not only pay our tolls but to put money away into a vacation fund, Christmas fund, college fund, house fund and can still enjoy the occassional mini-break to the mountains and shows and games downtown. Our house was nearly $200,000 LESS than what the bank told us we could qualify for. We have almost $1000 of wiggle room each month that we wouldn't have had if we had a house in the much-heralded Stapleton (which was the only neighborhood where we found a house we liked as much as the one we're in now...and it was WAY more than $300K). $200 extra a month might be considered "absurd" to you, but the $1000 extra a month we have to live in an area we love is what we call "priceless". Finally, don't assume anything in the stock market will guarantee us $600K. My mutual fund at work is worth less now than if I had just taken the money and put it into a CD. Now that's absurd.
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Old 02-02-2010, 02:58 PM
 
402 posts, read 925,492 times
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I was assuming the 300k house was in a nice neighborhood because you said you couldlnt get a nice area for under 300k other than there with a decent commute.

Mutual funds will pay that over a 20 year period, you cant compare them to now just because we are in a recession. As long as you dont have to retire RIGHT NOW, it will all even out in the long run.

I dont care if you make 500,000 a year, 200.00 a month in tolls to me is absurd. Its crazy you pay it and its crazy they ask for it! I have a very hard time believing that you could not find a house for 300,000 with good schools and low crime in the denver area with out paying for the tolls and still keep a 30 min ride to the airport.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:21 PM
 
Location: Colorado
4,308 posts, read 11,754,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antlered Chamataka View Post
470 is a nice road?!?!?!? With just 2 lanes??
I've never had a problem with it. Almost every time I've driven it the road has been almost empty. Admittedly I only use it to get to DIA and back so I've no idea what it's like during rush hour, but sometimes it's seemed like I was the only car on the road.

It always surprised me that those people who lived along the toll road or worked at DIA didn't get some kind of discount if they used that road. Seemed kinda harsh to me.
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Old 02-02-2010, 07:04 PM
 
402 posts, read 925,492 times
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maybe they should lower the price so more people use it and the people that really need to use it dont have to pay as much.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,591,533 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chilaili View Post
I've never had a problem with it. Almost every time I've driven it the road has been almost empty. Admittedly I only use it to get to DIA and back so I've no idea what it's like during rush hour, but sometimes it's seemed like I was the only car on the road.

It always surprised me that those people who lived along the toll road or worked at DIA didn't get some kind of discount if they used that road. Seemed kinda harsh to me.
They call it a "discount" if you have a transponder...you save 25 cents.

I've heard some people say they drive on Buckley or Tower to get to DIA. Periodically my husband will take the back roads if his work schedule allows it. However, as most of us know, when you've got to be to work on time, you either have to leave really early to take the back road or just take the toll road. On the way home, he can 15 minutes or so to his commute and take the back roads. Again though, it's really the only time our car ever drives on the toll road. Arapahoe Road is our main way to get around the city.

There is no "rush hour" on the 470. Watch the news every morning and evening and when they're showing the colored "chicklets" indicating where the traffic is, even during snowy days, the 470 is green all the way (on the toll part). My husband considers it crowded when there's 10 cars sharing the space. If you are on the toll road, you can look to the sides and see the stop and go traffic of people trying to take the side roads instead...sitting at one light after the other, inching their way home.
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:47 AM
 
23 posts, read 74,255 times
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Quote:
maybe they should lower the price so more people use it and the people that really need to use it dont have to pay as much.
The high toll serves as a punitive measure. People would not need to use the toll road at all if they did not move to the middle of nowhere in search of savings on a new house.

The majority of us will never use the road so why should we pay for a road we will never use that goes to nowhere we will ever visit to exist?
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Old 02-03-2010, 09:55 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,591,533 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by parks71 View Post
I dont care if you make 500,000 a year, 200.00 a month in tolls to me is absurd. Its crazy you pay it and its crazy they ask for it! I have a very hard time believing that you could not find a house for 300,000 with good schools and low crime in the denver area with out paying for the tolls and still keep a 30 min ride to the airport.
We don't make anywhere near $500K per year. I don't disagree with you...the toll road is very expensive. We lived in Florida where there are toll roads all over and could not believe how expensive it is to drive on the 470. We took 2 cars on a daily commute in Florida on the toll roads and both cars, 5 days a week, 2 times per day didn't even cost us $100 a month. One car, 4 days a week in Denver costs us $200 per month. And they wonder why the road is always empty. If they were to charge $1 instead of $2.25, imagine how many of those cars inching their way home on the side streets would take the toll road. Toll roads are stupid...but after living Florida we didn't think anything of it...had we moved from somewhere else, we probably would think differently.

For me and my family, the schools are the most important thing. As I did more research and talked to more people, I understood that it's actually the School District that makes the difference. As I've become more involved with our school, PTO and attended district meetings, I have a totally different understanding on how things work. It's not about the neighborhood school. A neighborhood school makes a difference only in the atmosphere that your child gets their education in. What they learn and how they perform is totally up to the district who sets their priorities and curriculum. It's why, year after year, certain school districts perform well above whatever standard is set by the state. And since I don't put a lot of faith in state assessments, I look at the SAT scores of the seniors going on to college. That's how you can see what your kid knows compared to what another kid knows in a different state. The school districts that do well here in Denver year after year also have SAT scores that are well above the national average. Until there is a better way to determine what your child knows, I put my faith in SAT scores over the CSAP any day.

That being said, before we started our househunt, we only focused on Douglas County and Cherry Creek School Districts. We weren't going to look anywhere else. Those districts are primarily "fed" by communities off the 470. Before we started looking for homes, my husband and I agreed that if the only decent school district in the entire city of Denver was in an area with multi-million dollar homes, we would live in an apartment and share rooms if necessary. That's the importance I place on the education for my kids. I am not taking any chances and will be involved with their education until they have their diplomas in hand. If that meant squeezing us into a tiny living space, that's what we would have done. Fortunately, we found many homes that were in our price range (the bank qualified us for $475,000).

Our realtor took us to Stapleton and we fell in love with a house, nearby neighborhood parks and the walkable district. The house was listed for $455,900, but our realtor thought we could get it for $445,000. We nearly bought it until my mom (a teacher in Washington State) reminded us that it was in the Denver Public School District and that we needed to keep our priority list (which put school districts first) in tact. We nearly fell for the new house smell and cute neighborhood. We then focused on Parker (where apparently the word "Parker" means that the homes are more expensive and the houses we found were pretty beat up). When our realtor took us to SE Aurora, we were skeptical at first. He showed us some homes in the $400K range and they were gigantic...way more house than we needed. We started going down in price and finally found our house with a layout that fit my family's needs, that my kids can grow into, with open space and a bike trail behind our backyard, a walkout basement and the elementary school and high school an easy walk (yes, walk...no school buses, no driving) away. It was listed at $265K. Our mortgage is more than $1000 less than it would have been if we would have purchased that house in Stapleton. There's a lot you can do with an extra $1000.

If you take a look at the Cherry Creek School District map, there aren't a lot of homes that are closer to DIA to make a difference. Douglas County was even farther away. There's not really a reason to argue about school districts...our priorities may not be the same as yours and I'm sure there are people whose kids are in Cherry Creek who weren't that impressed. To each their own...I'm just explaining where we were coming from when we started our househunt. We're happy and my neighbors are happy...there's always something that you don't like about your neighborhood...the only thing for us is the toll road which is nothing more than a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.

Last edited by the3Ds; 02-03-2010 at 10:22 AM..
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,591,533 times
Reputation: 2363
Quote:
Originally Posted by rarand View Post
The high toll serves as a punitive measure. People would not need to use the toll road at all if they did not move to the middle of nowhere in search of savings on a new house.

The majority of us will never use the road so why should we pay for a road we will never use that goes to nowhere we will ever visit to exist?
Yes, the toll road is a punishment to those of us idiots who chose to live out here. Good one.

I also knock my head against the wall, exclaiming, "why, oh why did I decide to live in such a horrible place?!?!?!?!" My HOA meetings usually begin with each of us standing up and saying "Hello, my name is ---. I am a suburbanite. It's been 2 years since I decided to live in the middle of nowhere."

The majority of us out here never use the toll road either and no one is asking you to pay for anything. Is there a measure going through saying that the toll road is going away and it will now be funded by the taxpayer? Last I saw, they were trying to get another portion of the free 470 to be converted into a toll road. It's not going away anytime soon and those of us who live out here get around just fine for free. Until they make Arapahoe, Smoky Hill and Parker Rd a toll road, we can get everywhere (except DIA) very conveniently. One of my neighbors told me a few days ago that she hasn't been on toll road since December 2008 to go to DIA to pick up relatives. She's got 3 kids and she and her husband work full time jobs. The toll road isn't a necessity for many in our area.
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Old 02-03-2010, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Norman, OK
3,479 posts, read 6,322,706 times
Reputation: 1196
Quote:
Originally Posted by rarand View Post
The majority of us will never use the road so why should we pay for a road we will never use that goes to nowhere we will ever visit to exist?
That argument could be made for state and local roads and highways many parts of Colorado or in any state for that matter. Maybe you think that we should simply have every road be tolled?
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:13 AM
 
Location: western Centennial, CO
655 posts, read 1,800,854 times
Reputation: 309
Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
Yes, the toll road is a punishment to those of us idiots who chose to live out here. Good one.

I also knock my head against the wall, exclaiming, "why, oh why did I decide to live in such a horrible place?!?!?!?!" My HOA meetings usually begin with each of us standing up and saying "Hello, my name is ---. I am a suburbanite. It's been 2 years since I decided to live in the middle of nowhere."

The majority of us out here never use the toll road either and no one is asking you to pay for anything. Is there a measure going through saying that the toll road is going away and it will now be funded by the taxpayer? Last I saw, they were trying to get another portion of the free 470 to be converted into a toll road. It's not going away anytime soon and those of us who live out here get around just fine for free. Until they make Arapahoe, Smoky Hill and Parker Rd a toll road, we can get everywhere (except DIA) very conveniently. One of my neighbors told me a few days ago that she hasn't been on toll road since December 2008 to go to DIA to pick up relatives. She's got 3 kids and she and her husband work full time jobs. The toll road isn't a necessity for many in our area.
I don't agree that it's a punishment. There are plenty of developments in the middle of nowhere that don't have a toll road supporting them. Regardless of what people say like 'Denver isn't Houston' the transportation situation here would be much better if there was a complete, free beltway. Count me as one of those who hates the toll road. I only travel on it when my company is paying for it for me to get to the airport. But the way it's set up, I don't agree with it. Why should local residents get a discount? We all pay (or paid) for it with out registration if we lived in one of the affect counties including me. Another thing that irks me is the so-call non-compete agreements. That is collusion and utterly sucks that they purposely slow people down on side streets to try to get them to take the toll road.

As for the other parts of C-470 they are talking about adding toll lanes like I-25 north, not making the existing road toll.
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