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Old 01-21-2010, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Colorado
305 posts, read 329,548 times
Reputation: 48

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Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
We rented a home in Green Valley Ranch for a year because we wanted to find a place close to Denver Int'l Airport (where my husband works). Without starting another thread about GVR, I can say that when our lease was up, I couldn't have been happier. While some don't think it's "that bad", for me, it was the scariest place I've ever lived. However, "scary" to me meant bullet holes in the coffee shop window, lots of graffiti, lots of kids fighting in the public playground, poorly built homes, having a neighbor robbed during the middle of the day, our immediate neighbor being arrested and his house boarded up for having a meth lab, etc. For some, "scary" has to mean nightly drive-by shootings and an active violent gang culture, and that wasn't the case, but for our family, it still stunk to live there.

The important thing is that your oldest child is only 5. Depending on their birthday, they may or may not be starting Kindergarten this year. This is the last opportunity for you to find a house without school consequences, so even if you find a place in a not-so-great area, at least you can move and do what I do everytime I drive by the freeway exit that leads to Green Valley Ranch...thank my lucky stars that we were only renters there!

Find a place to rent close to your work (start looking in nearby areas then do your research about schools and look through these threads about that specific area). If you work in the north metro, you don't want to buy a house in Highlands Ranch or Parker...it's too much of a commute. But, from one parent to another, DO make schools a priority. Good schools usually go hand-in-hand with low crime and involved parents. Just those 3 things can add significantly to your happiness as your kids grow up.
Good example of the worst you can find in Denver.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:26 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,748,663 times
Reputation: 2368
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneSentinel View Post
Good example of the worst you can find in Denver.
Right, and that for me was the reason I was so glad to leave. I didn't fear for my safety every day like so many people who live in bad areas do, but it still wasn't a place that I wanted to raise my family. I always laugh when someone comes from another city to these threads and says, "oh crime in Denver isn't as bad as it is in fill-in-the-blank." I always wonder what that has to do with anything. No one wants to live in the south side of Chicago or east LA but that doesn't mean you should just dismiss the high crime areas that are in Denver.

Yes, crime can happen anywhere but I wanted to live somewhere that if something does happen, it's more of a shock to the neighbors and the police force, and not just an "oh well." There ARE places in Denver where crimes happen frequently and most people who live there or hear about it usually shrug their shoulders because it is not a surprise.
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Old 01-21-2010, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Colorado
305 posts, read 329,548 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
Right, and that for me was the reason I was so glad to leave. I didn't fear for my safety every day like so many people who live in bad areas do, but it still wasn't a place that I wanted to raise my family. I always laugh when someone comes from another city to these threads and says, "oh crime in Denver isn't as bad as it is in fill-in-the-blank." I always wonder what that has to do with anything. No one wants to live in the south side of Chicago or east LA but that doesn't mean you should just dismiss the high crime areas that are in Denver.

Yes, crime can happen anywhere but I wanted to live somewhere that if something does happen, it's more of a shock to the neighbors and the police force, and not just an "oh well." There ARE places in Denver where crimes happen frequently and most people who live there or hear about it usually shrug their shoulders because it is not a surprise.
Agreed. No reason to live in the worst neighborhood when you can live elsewhere.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:36 AM
 
171 posts, read 513,317 times
Reputation: 139
A few things:
1) My wife and I live in the southern-most part of Highlands Ranch, about 40 miles from downtown. My wife commutes to downtown everyday (as many people here), and it's not as bad as we thought. As long as she's on the road by 7AM, she hits virtually no traffic (disclaimer: we're from California so the definition of "traffic" to us might be different than your definition).

2) We do not necessarily believe that one has to rent before picking the right area for them. We moved from California cold-turkey and love the neighborhood we picked. I firmly believe that it's not the area you chose, but what you make of the area. We knew exactly what we wanted, spent about 5 weekends out here finding that, and picked a house. And we couldnt be happier. The additional moving expenses, rent, etc that we wouldve incurred just wasnt worth it to us. Not to mention interest rates are so low now and who knows how long that will last. YOU MUST KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THOUGH. I cant stress that enough.
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Old 01-24-2010, 08:45 AM
 
5,748 posts, read 11,100,159 times
Reputation: 4502
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucbedge View Post
A few things:
1) My wife and I live in the southern-most part of Highlands Ranch, about 40 miles from downtown. My wife commutes to downtown everyday (as many people here), and it's not as bad as we thought. As long as she's on the road by 7AM, she hits virtually no traffic (disclaimer: we're from California so the definition of "traffic" to us might be different than your definition).

2) We do not necessarily believe that one has to rent before picking the right area for them. We moved from California cold-turkey and love the neighborhood we picked. I firmly believe that it's not the area you chose, but what you make of the area. We knew exactly what we wanted, spent about 5 weekends out here finding that, and picked a house. And we couldnt be happier. The additional moving expenses, rent, etc that we wouldve incurred just wasnt worth it to us. Not to mention interest rates are so low now and who knows how long that will last. YOU MUST KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THOUGH. I cant stress that enough.
After multiple relocations taking my family from one end of the country to the other, I fall on the rent first side. I've had the experience of picking a wonderful neighborhood cold, but here in Colorado, I think it's better to rent and take your time. The current housing market makes it difficult to correct mistakes.

We rented for two years prior to purchasing, and I don't resent the money at all. After a bad relocation to the east coast (wonderful neighborhood, nightmare job), I'm a bit shy about real estate commitment. That 18-month turn around cost my husband and I about $50k in equity between transaction costs and renovations that ended up being for naught, even with a quick & easy sale at a price higher than we paid.

This may not be possible for everybody, but we parked our remaining equity in a CD and used the interest to pay rent on a nice, but modest rental house in a neighborhood in Castle Rock that would provide easy access to my husband's clients in Denver and the Springs and started looking at houses in CR to purchase. We also packed away money like there was no tomorrow. Lo and behold, my husband's job changed dramatically, and CR was suddenly the wrong place to be. (We also didn't enjoy the neighborhood very much, but that's another thread.)

In the end, we were extremely glad that we rented, because it gave us the option to move to a much better area for us, an area we didn't even know existed until we had been here for a few months.
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Old 01-24-2010, 09:30 AM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,097 posts, read 108,041,683 times
Reputation: 35719
While I haven't moved as much as formercalifornian, and not at all in the last 20 years, I agree with her post. When we first came to Denver as newlyweds, we had no option but to rent, but it turned out to be for the best. We rented an apt. in the city, and that gave us access to all areas of the metro to explore. When we bought, we bought in Louisville, which we would have never considered when we first came here. We love it!

Now I have some friends who have moved several times, and it's their policy to buy once and stay there. (They don't have kids, so don't have to worry about schools.) They did say though, that when they moved to Boulder, Louisville seemed so far away from things, so they did not consider it seriously, even though their realtor showed them some homes there. After being in town a few months, they came to realize it wasn't that bad of a drive to Boulder (only 15-20 min in most cases), and wished they had given it more consideration.

So you have both sides.
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,748,663 times
Reputation: 2368
Quote:
Originally Posted by ucbedge View Post
We do not necessarily believe that one has to rent before picking the right area for them. We moved from California cold-turkey and love the neighborhood we picked. I firmly believe that it's not the area you chose, but what you make of the area. We knew exactly what we wanted, spent about 5 weekends out here finding that, and picked a house. And we couldnt be happier. The additional moving expenses, rent, etc that we wouldve incurred just wasnt worth it to us. Not to mention interest rates are so low now and who knows how long that will last. YOU MUST KNOW WHAT YOU WANT THOUGH. I cant stress that enough.
The advantage of renting is that it takes the pressure off (especially when you're moving cold turkey). We had to pay for our movers when we moved from our rental to our new house and I was shocked by how cheap it was ($400), including packing supplies. I asked for the boxes months in advance so I could pack slowly but surely and had everything packed and in the garage. When the movers came, they just put the boxes in the truck and wrapped up the large furniture. Piece of cake, not expensive, and well worth the trouble.
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:07 AM
 
22,550 posts, read 41,438,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the3Ds View Post
The advantage of renting is that it takes the pressure off (especially when you're moving cold turkey). We had to pay for our movers when we moved from our rental to our new house and I was shocked by how cheap it was ($400), including packing supplies. I asked for the boxes months in advance so I could pack slowly but surely and had everything packed and in the garage. When the movers came, they just put the boxes in the truck and wrapped up the large furniture. Piece of cake, not expensive, and well worth the trouble.
I did the same thing; was retired and had months to pack stuff on my own. National Van Lines gave me 65% off our move for self packing. I measured certain things we needed to pack, then ordered HUNDREDS of boxes on the internet from U-Line, one of many firms having extensive catalogs of every size, shape and strength of carton for moving or storing items. They also sell the insert/dividers for packing stemware, brown kraft wrapping paper, bubble wrap, etc. They even have cartons for large framed artworks, etc. Large cities have vendors such as U-Line, find them in the phone book or via google. People need to avoid paying outrageous prices at office supply stores or U-Haul locations. People hiring movers should always get a WRITTEN / BINDING estimate to avoid being overcharged or having their goods held for ransom at the end of the move.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 01-24-2010 at 11:32 AM..
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Old 01-24-2010, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,748,663 times
Reputation: 2368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
I did the same thing; was retired and had months to pack stuff on my own. National Van Lines gave me 65% off our move for self packing. I measured certain things we needed to pack, then ordered HUNDREDS of boxes on the internet from U-Line, one of many firms having extensive catalogs of every size, shape and strength of carton for moving or storing items. They also sell the insert/dividers for packing stemware, brown kraft wrapping paper, bubble wrap, etc. They even have cartons for large framed artworks, etc. Large cities have vendors such as U-Line, find them in the phone book or via google. People need to avoid paying outrageous prices at office supply stores or U-Haul locations. People hiring movers should always get a WRITTEN / BINDING estimate to avoid being overcharged or having their goods held for ransom at the end of the move.
We hired Denver-based Cowboy Movers. I cannot say enough good things about them. I called them a few months before we were going to move (I was calling around getting quotes) and the lady asked me if I wanted to have the movers pack our things or if we just wanted them to deliver boxes and supplies to our house? I opted for the latter, she asked what our square footage was and estimated how many boxes we'd need. The next day, the moving truck came and delivered boxes, bubble wrap, wrapping paper, tape, moving dolly, etc. What we didn't use, we got refunded for but they were pretty close in their estimate. I really was prepared for a big pain-in-the-butt experience but it turns out that it was fairly easy. And I had budgeted at least $1000 for the whole thing so when the movers gave us our final bill of $380 for moving and supplies, I nearly danced with joy. Plus, watching the movers lug our huge pieces of furniture up and down the stairs (rather than us having to do it)...I realized I would have paid anything not to do that.
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Old 01-25-2010, 03:45 PM
 
1 posts, read 1,627 times
Reputation: 10
Take a look at the northwestern area as well, it's often overlooked. Real estate prices are a little higher (due to higher demand, I have been told) in the southwestern parts of Denver. Nadine Goerlitzer.
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