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Old 05-27-2012, 11:41 AM
 
3,491 posts, read 5,390,954 times
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My wife and I spent nearly a week in CS and had a great time. We confirmed that I will want to relocate my business out there and met with realtors. We toured 17 apartments. Three were yes, 3 were mediocre, and 11 ranged from bad to "oh my gravy".

I was startled to find the difference in value of apartments. Some of the worst places were very similar to the best ones. After we move there I'd be happy to post a list of places we went, what they charged, and what we thought. I'd rather not post it now because I don't want to drive more people to the best values and make it hard for us to rent one of them when we arrive.

I love the wide streets. I love the way intersections are handled (so many lanes). I love that traffic wasn't bad during the day, and was only moderately heavy at rush hour. (Very low compared to Rush hour in other cities) I loved the views of the mountains. Several of the retail parking lots are nicely designed--especially on the northern side. I found there were tons of places we drove through and said "Nope, that's a bad place". Some apartments we glanced at and kept right on driving. I even offended some people showing by thanking them and asking to end the tour since it wouldn't work for us. Did they really want to waste another 20 minutes doing the tour? There was 0 chance of us renting there.

I loved how friendly most of the people were. There are clearly some bad areas, but there were also several nice ones. It felt like we drove past "pocket ghettos". Small sections where the area just felt like a drug dealing paradise. When we went through Denver we drove through pocket suburbs while the rest appeared to be in unmitigated decay.

Prospect lake looked pretty by satellite, but looked like gang territory when we drove through. The public restrooms near the down town memorial hospital should never be used by a human. I went exploring and found the place was infested. The idea of people being able to use the restroom at the park is nice, but those facilities were a breeding ground for disease and what I think were moths... There were at least 200 of them in there.

Weather was great. I loved the feel of it. My wife loved the low humidity. We went through Garden of the Gods. It was great. I highly recommend that to anyone who has not tried it. Make sure to get a map so you can go see the actual area instead of being stuck at the tourist shop.

We liked Manitou more than we expected to like it. We didn't get to visit Woodland Park. Pikes Peak Ave had several places that seemed to be "not so nice". I was really surprised by the amount of areas that seemed to be in need of a little attention. People were happier than in Denver, but it still felt like several of them didn't realize how great it was out there. One woman told us she wanted to move back to Kansas because there was nothing to do out there. We felt bad for her, I can only assume it is because she knew more people out there. There didn't seem to be any lack of "things to do" unless you were looking for some type of club or major sporting event.

I do have a few questions. We've heard a few thousand troops will be pulled back from over seas. Does anyone know if most of those troops would stay in the city or return to the areas they grew up in? I'm not sure if that will lead to more troop families moving away from the base as they exit the armed forces, or more single men returning and needing a place to live.

Has anyone else noticed a dramatic decrease in the listings available?

It seems every cheap place that I see as a possible investment property ends up being in the areas I've marked as "bad part of town". Has housing really recovered to the point that there is hardly a single cheap sale in the safer neighborhoods.

We found out that the great value properties we had seen online were lies. The properties were pretty much all under contract for vastly more than the listed price and it appeared there was never any intent to sell at the listing price. That was disappointing. Some of those properties did actually go through at or close to the listed asking price, but it was still a bit of a let down. We were hoping to buy our first house out there quickly but it may take longer if we can not trust the sticker price. Are there any laws out there compelling sellers to list at their actual asking price or to take non-contingent offers that contain everything they had officially ask for?

We visited UCCS. The campus is huge. I had expected a little more out of the campus gym and over all was not as impressed as I had hoped. The price and location are still excellent. The views are great, so on the whole I'm still happy with it.

The city overall scored extremely high with us. I'm excited to be moving out there, just need to find the job offers for my wife and finish selling off things here so we can be ready to move.

BTW: Does anyone know the starting pay for RNs at St. Francis? We checked out both hospitals and liked them both. Unfortunately, neither decides to leave detailed information about their compensation packages on their website.
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Old 05-27-2012, 04:40 PM
 
930 posts, read 1,450,728 times
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This is the end of the moth season, so I'm surprised there were only 200 moths in that bathroom.

When you are born and raised in a city and are tired of it, or if you go to the city with pie in the sky dreams that don't come true, the city won't work for you. That's why some of the people you met don't see "how great it is here" ... some people don't like how brown it is most of the year (what you saw is likely the greenest it will be... once it hits mid June, the heat gets going, and if we don't have our daily monsoon, something that seems to be ...disappearing... then everything will turn brown, until next May), some people don't like the humidity, don't like doing outdoor activities, some people don't like the political climate, they crave other things, etc.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:05 PM
 
Location: CO
109 posts, read 261,754 times
Reputation: 151
lurtsman,

I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Colorado Springs and will be relocating here. This really is a beautiful city. I wanted to respond to just a couple of your observations and maybe I can put your mind at ease a little bit more.

I've been here since 1993 and only in the last few years have I started to feel like I've "done everything and seen everything". It's quite possible that the people who tell you there's nothing to do here have, like me, lived here for a very long time. Honestly, we had about 15 years of "plenty to see and do". It's only been in the last few years that I've started to feel a little antsy and ready to experience someplace new.

Moths - You happened to arrive at the very height of moth season. The little monsters come through here in the Spring and in the Fall. For some reason, this is the WORST they've been since I moved here 19 years ago. Usually, they don't bother us much. In a normal season, there aren't nearly as many of them - and they are gone within a week or two.

UCCS - when I moved here, it was a tiny little commuter campus with a lot of outdated buildings and no dormitories at all. It's grown a LOT and is turning into a beautiful university. I agree with you that the Rec Center is pretty disappointing. However, there are plans for a major renovation and expansion in the near future.

Hope this helps allay a few of your remaining reservations. Welcome to Colorado Springs! You'll love it here.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:32 PM
 
Location: West Texas
74 posts, read 183,651 times
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I know that the minimum base rate for new RNs at MEMORIAL is $24.49/hr plus shift differentials for nights and also weekends. I dont know how much they are but probably $2-$4 an hour for each. I have been told that St. Francis pay is about the same as Memorial.
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Old 05-27-2012, 09:33 PM
 
Location: West Texas
74 posts, read 183,651 times
Reputation: 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by lonestar9918 View Post
I know that the minimum base rate for new RNs at MEMORIAL is $24.49/hr plus shift differentials for nights and also weekends. I dont know how much they are but probably $2-$4 an hour for each. I have been told that St. Francis pay is about the same as Memorial.
It should also be noted that the base rate certainly increases for an RN w/ more experience. (2 years or more)
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:29 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
2,957 posts, read 7,693,721 times
Reputation: 1779
You pretty much hit the nail on the head with all your observations. However, I love it here, I'm Springs born and raised, and there's no other place I'd rather be. Because of the military, I've been all over the world, and I couldn't stand anywhere but Colorado.
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Old 05-28-2012, 10:37 AM
 
68 posts, read 113,394 times
Reputation: 69
That is great info, thank you. We will be headed up there the end of june to look for a place to live. I cannot wait to see your list of approved apartments because that is what we are going to have to do. We plan on moving there the first part of 2013. Good luck with your move and thanks again for the information.
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Old 05-29-2012, 08:03 AM
 
3,491 posts, read 5,390,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas M View Post
That is great info, thank you. We will be headed up there the end of june to look for a place to live. I cannot wait to see your list of approved apartments because that is what we are going to have to do. We plan on moving there the first part of 2013. Good luck with your move and thanks again for the information.
My list of "approved" places won't go up until we move around early August. If you send me your budget and list of places you are considering through I may be able to suggest which ones will be a waste of a trip. Vacancy rates being so low leads to higher rents, but it seems the bad ones raised rents first.

I'll need to know how many bed/baths you are looking for also and if there are any other things (Storage, carports, pet fees, garages, etc) that you want factored into the price. We are very organized and spent days compiling a list of all the most promising places and then a few more days visiting them.
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Old 05-29-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: San Diego, CA
485 posts, read 246,648 times
Reputation: 607
lurtsman, if you don't mind me asking...where will you be relocating from?

I grew up in Colorado Springs - my parents moved our family there when I was 5 and we stayed there until I graduated from high school. Now that I'm 30, married and living in Southern California, I still miss Colorado...especially the Springs. I married a Californian so it was expected that we'd probably end up here but before moving here my husband and I lived in Denver for 2 years - this was his first experience living in another state other than California and he found that he LOVED Colorado! Now he just wants to go back there, lol. We lived in the Highlands Ranch suburb of Denver, and I drove him down to CS to show him my hometown and he loved it. He said he would be completely content to just stay there forever. Of course his job moved us back to his home state here in CA but he always looks for jobs in CO in hopes of returning some day.

You're very lucky to have this opportunity to relocate to such a beautiful area; I think you'll really enjoy it. I absolutely loved growing up there; wouldn't change anything about it.
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Old 05-29-2012, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,923,252 times
Reputation: 965
I live near Prospect Lake/Memorial Park. I like it.
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