moving to Cheyenne... a few questions... (Jackson, Chugwater: real estate, rental, new home)
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Hello! We are moving to Cheyenne this summer and I am beginning the search for a home. My husband works for the federal govt as a lineman, and that is what is bringing us to the area. I am hoping someone can help me with a few questions we have. Finding a home in a great school district is top priority for us. We have four kids ranging in ages from 16 to 7. Our oldest will be a junior in high school next year. He is very motivated and definitely college bound. Which high school would you recommend? Which is the best as far a preparing students for college and offering a variety of advanced classes? Also, which elementary is considered to the the best? Can anyone recommend a good area/neighborhood? We'd like to be in a neighborhood so the kids can make friends, etc. We are looking to spend $350000ish.... we'd like to be in a good, solid, safe middle class neighborhood. We also would really like to find a great Baptist church. All of our kids are all involved in church and we'd like to continue that. Is there a large, family-friendly, somewhat contemporary Baptist church... any suggestions? How are the libraries, shopping, and rec centers in Cheyenne? Is there a YMCA? Thank you so much in advance for any help you can give!
Given the price range of housing you're looking into, you'll likely fall into Central High whether you like it or not. The more expensive areas are typically out West and North, within the boundaries. East High is an IB school, which some would say makes it a better college-prep school (if you enroll in the program), although I don't find that program alone to have much merit.
With a housing price range like that, you're not going to have to worry about the neighborhood.
There are no mega-churches in Cheyenne. Maybe someone will have personal experience with a baptist church.
There is a YMCA, but it isn't viewed by many as that great. While it is an awesome community based service, one I feel is respectable, they open the locker rooms up daily to the homeless for showers. That may give you perspective.
Where are you coming from? From your questions, I get the feeling you don't know too much about Wyoming. Also sounds like you don't have much of a choice on the relocation. Normally, we'd tell potential newcomers to come check out the area in the winter to see if you can stand it. That may not apply here.
Looks like there are several Baptist churches in Cheyenne, so you'll likely find one to suit you and your family. Having never been to Cheyenne, I cannot say for certain, but Wyoming is a friendly state and generally welcoming.
You might want to contact the local chamber of commerce for a "relocation" packet. Those are generally helpful to find information about your new home, and places to explore.
I've found that there are several national sites for real estate listings that have maps. Again, the chamber of commerce website will likely have "business" listings which most often include real estate.
Sorry I can't answer your query more succinctly, but you also might want to "search" this forum to see what others have posted about Cheyenne in the past. Good luck with your move! Give yourself a good six months for adjusting, and enjoy the state!
On C.D. forum type in Cheyenne in the Search Forum and you'll find a lot of old threads, research back a few years and you will find a lot of information.
I am in the same boat researching for a future move to Wyoming.
One thing i have read was about, the wind in the South Eastern Wyoming (Cheyenne) and to an extent all of Wyoming in the winter Especially. A few days ago Cheyenne up I-25 though Chugwater and Weatland had 45 MPH winds with Gusts up 60-65 MPH. Be ready for them. Most of Wyoming gets a lot of Snow this time of year from Feb thru April and maybe into May. From fast moving Spring storms. Summers are pretty nice from what in have read in C D, in the 80's and 90's. Dry Heat drink a lot of Water. Short Summers starting in June maybe into September.
If you like the outdoors, camping, fishing or Hunting Wyoming is the place to be.
highly recommend that you do a search on Cheyenne on the forum ... many pages of discussion and information there ....
on specific questions:
1) the schools are essentially all the same due to comparable funding levels, similar class sizes & facilities. It would take having a specific preference of one teacher over another for a given class to find differences between the schools.
2) your housing budget affords you a great range of options. You could look into the "Avenues" area if you're seeking an in-town traditional housing area of nice homes on reasonably sized city lots, or into the outlying areas of Cheyenne for larger parcels (5 acres or so) and newer developments in subdivisions. Yet available are even larger parcels ranging up to 40 acres if you are willing to do the maintenance, upkeep, and commute into town.
3) "rec center" facilities are very limited. You'll best take advantage of the school system based facilities and opportunities for your children. There are some commercial gyms, which I'd recommend over the YMCA facilities. For the most part, your recreation time in Cheyenne is best utilized in the public access lands for outdoor recreation. Think in terms of hiking, fishing, equine activity, shooting sports, hunting, camping out, etc. ... in the numerous public lands close by Cheyenne, with fed, state, and county lands nearby. If you have military accesss to the WAFB, then you'll have access to their rec center facilities, which are new.
4) The winds are serious in this area and have significant impact upon the climate and your outdoor actiivty or transportation in the area. Only you can determine if they are something that you can tolerate and accept or not. The winds can prolong the effects upon the roadways from the passing storms for days, and can be strong enough to even require road closures due to zero visibility conditions in snow or dirt being blown around. IIRC, earlier this week, Hwy 85 out of Cheyenne was closed for most of the day due to blowing dirt causing zero visibility and serveral accidents.
5) there's several Baptist churches in the area, so you have the opportunity to find the best fit for your family.
Overall, the climate and weather conditions that present here can have a large impact upon your lives and lifestyle here; again, only you can determine if the issues are something that you can adjust to or not. As always, I urge you to come visit before making any decision about relocating here.
Thanks so much for all of your responses! We have lived in Virginia Beach, VA for our entire lives, until last year. We relocated to Bismarck, ND. Sooo... we've had a little bit of time to get used to the change in climate. (which was HUGE). It is windy and freezing cold in Bismarck. I was hoping for a bit of a relief in WY. Ideally, we'd love to have a few acres (2-5) but stay close to town. Are the schools up north a little better than the south? I couldnt find data on the new South High, but Central looked decent. Is there a particular part of Cheyenne that is "up and coming" ? Thanks again!
Historically the house values are greater in Northern Cheyenne. The Cheyenne area has seen a boom of housing on small 2-20 acre home sites surrounding the city limits. Again, the northern area holds its value but the eastern section is starting to hold its own. For k-12, Jessup ALWAYS has a waiting list of kids trying to get in and there is good reason. Our 4th grade boy goes there and we can't say good enough things about the teachers and faculty. Cheyenne is broken down to school "triads" based on the high schools. The Central triad has been the most popular, then East, then South. The Central triad has McCormick Jr. High and East has Carey Jr. High. Both are good with McCormick getting a bit better test scores.
The worst part of the weather is the wind. It doesn't get that cold here and the snow is minimal in the past 10 years. In the summer the wind is welcomed to keep you cool, but it really kicks up around November and stays around till April. It quickly makes a perfect 40 degree winter day into a cold miserable indoor only day.
Outdoor recreation is great, but the city is lacking for indoor facilities. Our son is big into baseball and Cheyenne has GREAT baseball programs. It also has great soccer and now hockey programs for kids. The city Rec. department is getting better every year and MUCH more for kids than when I grew up here.
It is windy and freezing cold in Bismarck. I was hoping for a bit of a relief in WY.
This is the last place you will find relief from either of those. Sorry to say it. Honestly, if you can last 365 days here, you'll probably do fine. Many can't if they don't care for those two conditions.
Originally Posted by tch2kds
Are the schools up north a little better than the south? I couldnt find data on the new South High, but Central looked decent.
Honestly, at the High School level, I agree with sunspirit, they're all about the same. Can't comment on Elementary schools.
Originally Posted by tch2kds
Is there a particular part of Cheyenne that is "up and coming" ?
I would recommend avoiding that type of stereotype when dealing with locals. Sure, there are a small group of people who identify with that statement, but the other 99% detest the attitude and those who flaunt it. Wyoming is a very 'working class' state, and most of the people will tell you if you want to be 'up and coming' you ought head to Jackson. Of course, everyone outside of Jackson / Star Valley also says it ought to be another state or fall off like California is supposed to.
You'll have to forgive me. I'm a very blunt person. I mean what I say in the context of trying to help those before they end up on the butt end of the point I'm trying to make. Figure you'd be better hearing it on the internet so you know ahead of time rather than come in and find out in person when impressions last. No disrespect meant, only helpful critique intended.
I think what tch2kds meant by "part of Cheyenne that is 'up and coming'" she meant a geographical section of the town that is new and improving more than another section -- where her real estate dollars would be best spent. I read your answer, a42287, that you interpreted it to mean a part of the populace(?) If not, then I don't understand your last post. I don't know Cheyenne well, but I'd have guessed your first post about Cheyenne's north and west ends having the nicest neighborhoods would be accurate. No?
I don't know Cheyenne well, but I'd have guessed your first post about Cheyenne's north and west ends having the nicest neighborhoods would be accurate.
I do know Cheyenne's neighborhoods quite well ...
Within city limits, the nicest housing district is the Avenues, which had the upscale housing built after the initial development of the core city center (now historic) housing district. That core city center had a wide ranging variety of housing, ranging from sizable (and elaborate) wealthier folks down to multi-generational family houses of the era to smaller single-family homes on city lots ... and those all built adjacent to multi-family units, frequently in the same block as parcels were bought and developed. Not all uncommonly, there was commercial and business property development in the same blocks, too.
West of town, and west of WAFB, are areas that were subdivided into mostly 40's on old nearby ranchland. These are out of city limits locations, not incorporated, and all are on domestic wells and septic systems. Typical of these properties are places along Happy Jack Road, or along the frontage road areas North of WAFB. Some are older, some are more recently developed, and a few areas have a bit more upscale housing ... but very few, even for this area.
Currently, the newest development housing areas are to the North (along the Hwy 85 corridor, mostly) and East ... especially in the corridor adjacent to the WY Hereford Ranch area, between I-80 and Crow Creek. There are some housing developments being built now just to the East of the City, north of I-80, closer to Archer ... some platted on 5 acre lots with equine approval (limit 4 horses per parcel). These newest developments on the East side are the higher priced newest construction in the area; $350K isn't enough money to buy in the Hereford Ranch area. Sites alone can run as high as $10,000/acre ... with almost 40 acres minimum.
I owned commercial property on Michigan Ave, and it was just outside the North city limits. A totally mixed bag of new and old construction of all different quality levels ... consisting of everything from shacks to $7-figure houses. I watched one house get built on a 5 acre site across the road from my place, and it was a custom 4bd/4ba house that was gorgeous ... IIRC, the structure alone was over $600K to build. Within a year, the folk who built it realized that Cheyenne's climate wasn't for them and they put that place on the market. It sold for a couple hundred thou loss at auction, and has since been sold at least another time since then, still not reaching it's replacement cost. I used to ride my horses around the neighborhood, and I could spot the places with the high dollar construction and the fancy cars (yup, there are a few Ferrari's and high end M-B's and BMW's in the area, they only see the light of day in summer clear weather); most of those houses were built right alongside some of the older dumps.
I take "up and coming" to be a commentary on buying into a neighborhood with the strong liklihood of an upside potential in the near term. IMO, Cheyenne went through a strong housing upsurge in pricing starting about 8 years ago, when the "bargains" in housing here were going for historically low prices. Other than a distress sale, I don't see any bargains to be had in the Cheyenne marketplace right now ... and I've had several REA on notice that if they found something in the way of a SFH that could be bought at a price point where I could make it cash flow in the near term, I'd be a player. Haven't had anything turn up to meet that price/value in the area for years now, even with the recent upturns in rental housing prices. The last house/property I saw that met my buying criteria for price/value was a 40 acre parcel East of town that sold in a distress deal for less than the cost of the acreage, infrastructure, house, and barns on it ... the seller took a $200K loss on the place to be able to get away from Cheyenne, and I could have rented the place out easily with a modest positive cash flow per month to an equine family (ah, you know how it is to be a day late when the "deals" come up ...); that was 5 years ago.
Last edited by sunsprit; 03-22-2013 at 07:19 PM..
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