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Old 05-02-2012, 11:28 AM
 
6 posts, read 26,313 times
Reputation: 11
Cool Moving to Fort Collins area next year, planning ahead, please help!

Hi Everyone! I need input and tips regarding moving out of state.

I'm 24 and I have lived in Kansas my entire life. I have decided that I want to move to Fort Collins, CO in July/August 2013. I'm not going to get into the specifics of why I chose this place in particular; let's just say my heart is set on it.

Now I just need tips and input on what I should expect from this city and what this city should expect from me.

I plan on living alone with my dog (he's 60 pounds and I currently live somewhere with a weight limit of 40 but I've never had any problems...is this a problem in Fort Collins or is it a case by case basis?)...I typically rent 2 bedroom apartments and I've never paid more than $570 in rent. I am used to paying for all utilities (gas, electric, water, trash, cable, and internet). I understand that I will need to be flexible and that this area tends to be a little more expensive. I have been looking on craigslist for the past 3 months and I have come across several apartments and/or duplexes that fit my current rent range. What I would like to know is what areas/neighborhoods in Fort Collins should I avoid? Are there rougher neighborhoods that a young female living alone should avoid?

Also the job scene. I get on The Coloradoan newspaper almost daily to look at job listings and I am actually relieved to see several positions that I am qualified for. I currently work as an Accounts Payable Executive. I've worked at a Law Firm and a Staffing Agency as well and I have a vast skill set and plenty of references to back it up.

I hope to make no less than $15/hr and that is without a college degree. I notice several opportunities in cities such as Loveland and Longmont...if I were to reside in Fort Collins and work somewhere like Loveland or Longmont, is the drive easy? Is there anything I should know about the availability of jobs in any of these cities?

This is really just the tip of what I plan on asking but I need to start somewhere and I will feel better knowing I have some general input to start me off.

I'm not jaded or dilusional enough to believe that this will be a perfect transition, however I am ready to get out of my home town and experience something new. Worst case scenario is it doesn't work out and I move back after a year, but I'm ready to give this my best go and I would really appreciate honest feedback. Thank you all!
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 1,191,125 times
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Where are you finding two bedroom apartments for $570? That seems outrageously low for FoCo. Dog friendly places can also be a tougher find in the Fort, despite the fact that it is a pet crazy town.

Loveland for a commute wouldn't be bad, 10-25 mins. depending where you live in the Fort. Longmont would be a hike (at least to me) and could end up 45-1:00. Definitely not for me.

There are a few threads below this one that have covered some of the "neighborhoods to avoid" topics. I would check them first.

Have you visited Fort Collins?
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:47 AM
 
6 posts, read 26,313 times
Reputation: 11
No, I've not been to Fort Collins but I've been to Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs and honestly I would prefer to live in Manitou but I doubt I could ever afford it on my own and I know it's not very easy to find jobs in that area. I know several people that have been to Fort Collins and they all rave about it and thought it would be perfect for me in particular.

I decided on Fort Collins after researching best places to live in Colorado based on my age and interests. I live in Lawrence, KS which is also a college town and from everything I've read about FC it seems that it's very similar to Lawrence only bigger, more to do, and more to view.

Also to clarify, I stated that where I live now (Lawrence, KS) I pay $570 for a two bedroom and that is considered a steal around here. I am on this site to try to get advice and tips from locals that can tell me if there are places that aren't as fancy or expensive as the others, but still affordable and not complete dumps.

If anyone has suggestions of other places I could live in Colorado that a 24 year old might flourish in, I would appreciate it. My main concerns are holding a full time job that will pay at least $15/hr without a degree (my resume, experience, and references will vouch for my credibility) and I want to be somewhere that's not too heavily populated but I still want to feel like I'm living somewhere where I see new people every day. I want to be able to make friends since I won't know anyone. I want to be a part of biking and hiking activities, dog parks, etc.

Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 05-04-2012, 09:43 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
2,921 posts, read 4,595,196 times
Reputation: 2471
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadingWest87 View Post
No, I've not been to Fort Collins but I've been to Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs and honestly I would prefer to live in Manitou but I doubt I could ever afford it on my own and I know it's not very easy to find jobs in that area. I know several people that have been to Fort Collins and they all rave about it and thought it would be perfect for me in particular.

I decided on Fort Collins after researching best places to live in Colorado based on my age and interests. I live in Lawrence, KS which is also a college town and from everything I've read about FC it seems that it's very similar to Lawrence only bigger, more to do, and more to view.

Also to clarify, I stated that where I live now (Lawrence, KS) I pay $570 for a two bedroom and that is considered a steal around here. I am on this site to try to get advice and tips from locals that can tell me if there are places that aren't as fancy or expensive as the others, but still affordable and not complete dumps.

If anyone has suggestions of other places I could live in Colorado that a 24 year old might flourish in, I would appreciate it. My main concerns are holding a full time job that will pay at least $15/hr without a degree (my resume, experience, and references will vouch for my credibility) and I want to be somewhere that's not too heavily populated but I still want to feel like I'm living somewhere where I see new people every day. I want to be able to make friends since I won't know anyone. I want to be a part of biking and hiking activities, dog parks, etc.

Thanks for the feedback!
Well, even though you state you want to live in a place that's not too heavily populated, your best bet in terms of finding a job that pays at least $15/hour is going to be the Denver Metro Area. While you may have an excellent resume, you have to remember that Ft. Collins is a college town and there are tons of students willing to do that job for minimum wage.

I'm not going to say it's impossible, but I wouldn't move there without a job lined up. You might look into Loveland or Longmont if you are dead set against Denver. They are both small towns and don't have the college students to compete with (and are both in N. Colorado).
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:56 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 1,191,125 times
Reputation: 596
I'm with Delta. Moving to Fort Collins without work is VERY risky. It's just not a big enough area to have a lot of job opportunities, especially the types of jobs you'll be looking for. I would highly recommend at least going and checking it out. It's on a day's drive for you to visit. You said you found rentals in your price range and I assumed you were talking about $570. If you can tell us where you are thinking of living we can give some advice as to what we think about that location.

I too think Denver is your best bet both for work and finding more affordable housing.
Golden might be more up your alley, as it is kind of suburb, but stands on its own a town.
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Old 05-15-2012, 09:55 PM
 
2 posts, read 11,468 times
Reputation: 19
I do not want to be a buzzkill here, but there are a few things in your post that stood out enough for me to create and account and comment. I have been a "lurker" for quite sometime on this site, and like I said your post convinced me to take the plunge Okay-- first thing is first, Fort Collins is a wonderful area. Highly desirable and for obvious reasons. I am currently in the process of planning my move BACK there after 3 years. I originally moved out there at 23, and without getting into too much personal hoopla, lets just say my "dream" didn't pan out. I moved out there naive thinking it was such a big town with unlimited job resources... I had been a cocktail server in Atlantic City for 5 years taking home about $750-800/week. So, while it may not be the most prestigious job out there, I figured I would have noooooooo problem banking a waitressing job considering there is no shortage of eateries in FoCo. Well, I applied everywhere and then some.... called back, followed up- nothing. I actually will never forget hearing the phone ring one afternoon while I was getting out of the shower... I didnt make it on time but, I saw it was one of the places I has applied. I called RIGHT back... literally SECONDS later.... Busy. Called again- said I was returning a phone call for such and such position... he said, "Sorry interviews are booked" I explained I didnt make it to the phone about a minute earlier when HE called ME and he kind of chuckled and said.. "Yeah, thats how many applicants we have. We're booked now." Well, I went from making what I mentioned previously to taking a position making $9/hr PART TIME at Wal-Mart. Talk about a wake up call. It is CUT THROAT... for every open position there are probably about 15-30 people applying more qualified and more desperate. Also, as someone mentioned- its a college town. So, not having a degree does not work in your favor. I have seen ads for skill-less jobs that are asking for a degree. It is crazy. I have about 20k saved up in preperation for my move because I am moving out there "jobless".... but, I also have a 4 year old and cant leave much to chance. Perhaps you do not need this much, but I would advice *atleast* 3 months worth of "living costs" (rent, food, gas etc).

Now that being said----- I am not saying any of that to scare you. You are young and you should follow your heart. If you can stick it out and accept that you may need to settle for a job that is below your standards atleast temporarily so you can thrive, then you will be okay. Just be realistic and honest with yourself.

Also, even in just the 3 years I have been gone, I have watched rent go up considerably... The place I lived went from 7 and change to about 975. Yes, you can find cheaper but it will reflect in what you get, but I am sure you knew that Lol. You may want to look into a 1bd just to be more practical in the beginning of your transition. Also, it would be wise to visit before you take the leap. I am sure you will love it, but its well worth it in the long run. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do.
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Old 05-16-2012, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins, co
1,761 posts, read 1,341,406 times
Reputation: 1903
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nic8087 View Post
I do not want to be a buzzkill here, but there are a few things in your post that stood out enough for me to create and account and comment. I have been a "lurker" for quite sometime on this site, and like I said your post convinced me to take the plunge Okay-- first thing is first, Fort Collins is a wonderful area. Highly desirable and for obvious reasons. I am currently in the process of planning my move BACK there after 3 years. I originally moved out there at 23, and without getting into too much personal hoopla, lets just say my "dream" didn't pan out. I moved out there naive thinking it was such a big town with unlimited job resources... I had been a cocktail server in Atlantic City for 5 years taking home about $750-800/week. So, while it may not be the most prestigious job out there, I figured I would have noooooooo problem banking a waitressing job considering there is no shortage of eateries in FoCo. Well, I applied everywhere and then some.... called back, followed up- nothing. I actually will never forget hearing the phone ring one afternoon while I was getting out of the shower... I didnt make it on time but, I saw it was one of the places I has applied. I called RIGHT back... literally SECONDS later.... Busy. Called again- said I was returning a phone call for such and such position... he said, "Sorry interviews are booked" I explained I didnt make it to the phone about a minute earlier when HE called ME and he kind of chuckled and said.. "Yeah, thats how many applicants we have. We're booked now." Well, I went from making what I mentioned previously to taking a position making $9/hr PART TIME at Wal-Mart. Talk about a wake up call. It is CUT THROAT... for every open position there are probably about 15-30 people applying more qualified and more desperate. Also, as someone mentioned- its a college town. So, not having a degree does not work in your favor. I have seen ads for skill-less jobs that are asking for a degree. It is crazy. I have about 20k saved up in preperation for my move because I am moving out there "jobless".... but, I also have a 4 year old and cant leave much to chance. Perhaps you do not need this much, but I would advice *atleast* 3 months worth of "living costs" (rent, food, gas etc).

Now that being said----- I am not saying any of that to scare you. You are young and you should follow your heart. If you can stick it out and accept that you may need to settle for a job that is below your standards atleast temporarily so you can thrive, then you will be okay. Just be realistic and honest with yourself.

Also, even in just the 3 years I have been gone, I have watched rent go up considerably... The place I lived went from 7 and change to about 975. Yes, you can find cheaper but it will reflect in what you get, but I am sure you knew that Lol. You may want to look into a 1bd just to be more practical in the beginning of your transition. Also, it would be wise to visit before you take the leap. I am sure you will love it, but its well worth it in the long run. I wish you the best of luck in whatever you do.
While I am sorry about your problems, it is nice to have someone outside of Fort collins point out some of the problems in this town.

Everybody moves here thinking that they are the special one and will have no problems, they are going to make better then average wages for their job in the area, and for one reason or another will have no problems getting that job.

I have a friend that owns a small accounting firm, she recently advertised a payroll clerk position paying $12 an hr, and had 300 applicants, including some CPA candidates. The taxi driver that drove me home has a masters in electrical engineering. My waitress last night is one semester from her doctorate in Psychology. I spoke with a bank branch president the other night, he had 2200 resumes submitted for a loan officer position with a salary of $1200 a month + commission.

People need to realize that 60% of the population in Fort Collins has a college degree of some sort, and there are just not that many jobs here. with the loss of many of the HP jobs and other IT companies, as well as the collapse of Kodak in Windsor, there are plenty of qualified people floating around looking for a job. Add in the people from all over the country that are trying to move to Fort Collins, and finding a job is hard work, if you can find one.

Even the city and the chamber of commerce realize that unemployment and underemployment are a problem, they did a recent study to figure out ways to turn things around.

Fort Collins Area Chamber Of Commerce A Jobs Plan to Address Fort Collins Under-Employment

the actual study is linked at the bottom of the comment.

employers also know that underemployment is a problem for many people, which allows employers to artificially keep wages lower in Fort Collins then they would have to pay elsewhere.

And that is not going into the costs for rentals.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:39 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins / Boulder , CO ( and Sometimes LA)
95 posts, read 144,474 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeadingWest87 View Post
I've never paid more than $570 in rent.


I hope to make no less than $15/hr and that is without a college degree.

If i could find a situation like that i'd be in heaven. I'm a fairly well connected and have a college degree in hospitality + a culinary arts degree and I've NEVER seen that pay or rent my entire life, and I've lived in Colorado since i was 10 and I moved here 17 years ago.

Fort Collins rent is rough, and by 2013 I'm glad I'm moving because I've had my rent raised 3 times in the last 2 years. I live in the cheapest 1 br i could find and at first i was paying 680 (in jan, 2010) but now they have me up to 760. The highest service job I've ever had was $11/hr but that was pre-recession, i haven't made more than $8 per hour since 2008.

Fort Collins is currently a boom town for some reason and the prices on housing and rent are skyrocketing. As soon as my girlfriend is done with her degree where bailing, this city costs more than most of LA now for a place.



Try taking a look at Columbia, MO. Similar feel however affordable prices.

or boulder... our rent is getting so high its on par with boulder now, we moved here because it was cheaper than boulder, but now its about the same. However in boulder you don't have to drive 1 hour to get to the city. However your NOT gonna get a job that's $15/ hr in boulder... or really anywhere on the front range that you'd actually wanna live.


(in case your wondering we're planning on relocating to vegas or portland in 1 year because of how expensive Colorado has become. Its my home but even i can't afford to live here anymore)

Last edited by ledjar; 05-17-2012 at 07:51 AM..
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:09 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 1,191,125 times
Reputation: 596
Quote:
Originally Posted by ledjar View Post
(in case your wondering we're planning on relocating to vegas or portland in 1 year because of how expensive Colorado has become. Its my home but even i can't afford to live here anymore)
If those are your choices to move to a place with better job opportunities, you might want to rethink. Portland has some of the exact same job problems (overqualified applicant pool, huge number of applicants, artificially low wages) that Fort Collins does, only on a bigger scale. Don't even get me started on the competitiveness of the food scene. You're also not going to see a break on rental prices. $760 for a one bedroom in the neighborhoods you'll want to be living would be a great deal here.
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Old 05-17-2012, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Fort Collins / Boulder , CO ( and Sometimes LA)
95 posts, read 144,474 times
Reputation: 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by davemess10 View Post
If those are your choices to move to a place with better job opportunities, you might want to rethink. Portland has some of the exact same job problems (overqualified applicant pool, huge number of applicants, artificially low wages) that Fort Collins does, only on a bigger scale. Don't even get me started on the competitiveness of the food scene. You're also not going to see a break on rental prices. $760 for a one bedroom in the neighborhoods you'll want to be living would be a great deal here.

I've actually done some research on the job situation in these city's. Wile Vegas and portland seem hopeless for getting a job there there are many housing opportunities that make Colorado seem hopeless in terms of housing prices. You can buy a home with a 10 year mortgage and see rates that are around 800 a month with a mortgage for a 3 bed room HOUSE in both cities. The thought of even owning a house with a back yard in Colorado is completely hopeless, for anyone born in the 80s with the current recession. Most of our cities (that you'd actually wanna live in) costing well over 200k for a decent house in a decent location.

Anyone that can't see Colorado housing prices are a nightmare clearly has no connection anymore with the middle / lower class. (not saying you in particular 'davemess' just in general. Our housing prices are far too high for anyone without a trustfund or a pre-recession 1%er type job.)
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