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Old 05-06-2015, 09:49 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
6 posts, read 11,411 times
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Hi, I currently live in Chapel Hill,NC but am considering relocating to Fort Collins. One of my daughters lives in Denver. Is FC a good place for an active, friendly, community-minded boomer to live? I would like to find kindred spirits who are well traveled,educated but not pretentious, into having fun rather than status seeking. I'm thinking a condo as I spend several months a year in England and it would be easier to leave it. Your thoughts and suggestions on FC as a place, neighborhoods, and what to see when I visit in June would be very welcome!
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Bend Or.
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I don't live in Fort Collins but 1/2 hour away. People that live there usually love it. I think it would fit the bill nicely. I have lived in Denver and would choose Fort Collins over Denver hands down.
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Old 05-07-2015, 08:39 AM
 
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I'm not familiar with Chapel Hill, but I'd imagine that it's not a huge town like Denver. Fort Collins would probably be more of an ideal size. Based on the personal description in the originating post, it sounds like FC might be a good fit.

As far as areas go, I'd say that SE Fort Collins should probably be avoided. I see lots of younger couples and "movers and shakers" who might be interested in the "status seeking" that's trying to be avoided. The center of town would probably be the most fun region, with Old Town and the CSU atmosphere.
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:54 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,732,014 times
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You can 'find-your-spot' in Ft Collins. (Tho I much prefer Loveland... I don't do traffic lights)

Concentrate areas on 'walkable' if possible ( grocery and your 'normal' entertainment / activities).

Look at areas between PVMH and Old Town, and within walking distance to Poudre River parks.

Having lived 25+ yrs near Ft Collins / No CO / Southern WY, I would not even consider Denver (Plague of the prairie). YMMV
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Old 05-07-2015, 09:12 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
6 posts, read 11,411 times
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Thanks for all the great advice. I will check out FC this summer and you've been most helpful.
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Old 05-07-2015, 11:19 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,732,014 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarbaraPaula View Post
Thanks for all the great advice. I will check out FC this summer and you've been most helpful.
come during this event, it is a great time.
Home - Sculpture in the Park

We have friends in Estes Park who for 40 yrs have that split time between their 'Castle / country home' in northern England Lake District, and Estes Park. We join them frequently in each place.

There really is a lot of community activities for 55+ in both Loveland and Ft Collins. I have been member of several groups and have plenty of friends in each place who enjoy it. Ft Collins is closer in demographic to Chapel Hill (which is also very college centric), plenty of intellectual / well traveled retirees. There are plenty of condos and even some senior co-housing in Ft Collins (and more in Lyons / Boulder). Welcome to FIC | The Fellowship for Intentional Community website

Los Alamos / Santa Fe / Las Cruces, NM is similar (lots of retired national lab people).

Make sure you schedule your trip to be able to attend local groups that you will have an interest in. I always try to make it to the travel / photo / hiking / gardening club meetings, they can be very good way to meet locals (I stay with locals when checking out an area $10/ night worldwide). You can find a profile of someone who shares your interests and they can show you around!http://wikitravel.org/en/Hospitality_exchange
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Old 05-08-2015, 06:44 AM
 
Location: Northern Colorado
698 posts, read 1,706,820 times
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I'm not sure how the housing market is performing in Chapel Hill, but be aware that Fort Collins is currently experiencing a seller's market due to a serious lack of inventory. Last week I listed a condo for a seller at just under $200k and we had 58 showings in 3.5 days, with 12 offers in hand by the last day. 75% of those offers were over asking price, some significantly.

The same week I showed a condo to a buyer and due to a limited showing window specified by the Sellers, we were in the home at the same time with 9 other Realtors and their buyers.

As of May 4, there were 15 single family detached homes for sale in Fort Collins under $300k, and there were 238 sold between January 1 and April 30. At the current rate of 2 homes sold per day, that was a 7 day inventory of single family homes under $300k.

Also as of May 4, there were 7 attached homes for sale in Fort Collins under $250k, and there were 145 sold between January 1 and April 30. At that rate of 1.2 homes sold per day, we have a 6 day inventory of attached homes under $250k.

A lack of new building during the economic slowdown a few years ago combined with the immense popularity of our area and rapid growth have created the shortage and resulted in rapid appreciation. Tax assessor updates to value came out this week and I am seeing increases of 15-35%.
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Old 05-08-2015, 09:13 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,403 posts, read 39,732,014 times
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OP... be advised there are other options than BUYING. Sometimes it is good to 'sit-out' a boom cycle. (I have bought 6 places this yr, but not buying in Colorado at the moment). The pendulum swings . Don't be caught in a Guillotine !!. (I got STUCK with a very nice NO CO residence for 3 yrs (view + large lot on a park)). It worked out, but was not EZ.

I know many active retirees in Ft Collins that travel a lot and use house / pet sitters for long term. Also many other options including 'shared equity'. (separate living qtrs, can legally qualify as 'shared-space' / ... i.e. laundry will often be adequate as shared space, to keep from having it deemed 'multi family'). Many semi rural places will have RV or Shop with apartment for short stays.

What is your proposed schedule for England / Colorado? (months / yr)

I often hop between private guest homes for several months (there are over 50 in Ft Collins). Many have separate qtrs.
Hospitality exchange - Wikitravel

One of my friends in BC Canada has a 2400 SF apartment above his shop and people from England rent it full-time, but only stay 4 months / yr. It works out very nice for all.

As Mike notes... future taxes will KILL us seniors who hold RE, so... need to be 'creative' on how to pay. (My property taxes went from $800 / yr to $14,400 / yr in the last 10 yrs). My income went from $XXX,XXX to ZERO (early retiree / no pension / no SS) ... I got 'creative'.
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Old 05-09-2015, 02:52 AM
 
Location: North Carolina
6 posts, read 11,411 times
Reputation: 12
That's really good advice (to wait out the current seller's market and consider options other than traditional purchase). That might work really well in my situation. How do you find out about the shared equity options? I have a place in Costa Rica I plan to sell too, so I really need to own fewer places in the long run! Also thanks for the room sharing info - I already booked an Air b&b place for FC but will try out room sharing on future trips. This forum is great!
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:58 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,356 times
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Fort Collins used to be a beautiful town. I have lived there or nearby practically all of my life. Traffic is terrible now and the western flavor of it and most larger cities in Colorado are long gone. One blogger put it very well: "Colorado is the new California". I don't want to live in California. Or New York for that matter. I am also a boomer and recently chose a much less popular but friendlier, less frenetic area out of state. The Fort Collins I knew no longer exists, but if you don't mind traffic and crowds and the increasingly rude attitude, it does have advantages. Sunny almost every day. Rarely any severe weather. Warmer winters now. Lots of shopping and restaurants. A University town. The Lincoln Theater venue. Mountain hiking nearby. Pretty parks and architecture. It was considered the best city to live in the country by Money Magazine for several years running. The drive to Denver on I 25 is no picnic, that's for sure. Anyway, it all depends on what you like and will put up with. Good luck on your decision. It was hard for me to leave Ft. Collins, but it was time.
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