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Old 11-24-2009, 09:53 PM
 
369 posts, read 2,093,848 times
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Long story short (some of you may remember):


I'm a 24 year old electrician. Born and raised in Boston Massachusetts. I moved to Phoenix in 2008. AZ has been good to us, but we are looking to get out of here in late 2010. We can't afford to move back home, plus there is not enough work going on.

I visited Denver in October and thought it was great. I just figured I'd give a few other cities a look before making up my mind. Another city of interest is Pittsburgh. Overall I think Denver is the better city of the 2 (never been to Pittsburgh btw, so take that with a grain of salt), but there a couple of advantages Pittsburgh has (for me) over Denver. The cost of living versus what my salary would be in Pittsburgh can't be beat. Also, it's a days drive from home, family, and friends.

I called IBEW local 68 (Denver) today and they told me they have a ton of work in Denver to keep the boys busy for the next 4 or 5 years. If that is true, that is a huge benefit to me as Pittsburgh is starting to slow down a little bit in the work department. Another good thing about Colorado is, my New Hampshire electrical license will reciprocate to Colorado. In other words, I wouldn't have to retest in Colorado, which is a huge plus for me.

One thing that scares me about Pittsburgh is the weather. A lot of people seem to think its pretty dreary. I understand Denver weather is pretty crazy, but it seems like Denver wins hands down vs Pittsburgh. Weather isn't everything, but I'd prefer to see the sun more often than not.

Anyways, I guess it all comes down to affordability. My goal is to rent a nice single family house (for My girl, myself, and our two 20 lb dogs), in a nice area, with a fenced grassy back yard for the dogs, not to far from the city for around $1000 a month. According to my own research, that may be very difficult to achieve in Denver. Pittsburgh on the other hand, it could be done fairly easily..

Where ever we end up, I'm sure we will make the best of it. I guess I'm just looking for someone to sell me one way or the other. Has anyone here ever lived in both cities? Would anyone like to chime in on this matter?

One more thing, another advantage Denver has over Pittsburgh is.... It would be a lot easier and cheaper for us to move to Denver than Pittsburgh.


I'm honestly torn right down the middle. I'm excited at the thought of living in both cities. I'm not quite sure what to do. The good news is, I have some time to think about it!


-Bob
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:59 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,610 posts, read 22,354,649 times
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I know we've been over this before, but why do you want to get out of Phoenix?
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:23 PM
 
369 posts, read 2,093,848 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
I know we've been over this before, but why do you want to get out of Phoenix?

Overall, I feel pretty board in this city. My biggest complaint is the dust.. Sounds stupid I know, but it drives me bizerk! My gf hates the constant heat. The heat doesn't really bother me to much. I guess we never really felt like we fit in here since we arrived. I don't hate this place, but its not my cup of tea. Plus its odd.. We live in a nice neighborhood.. 2 out of every 5 or so houses is "for sale" or "forclosed".. It's so odd walking around the neighborhood.. I dislike the stupid things.. I'm ready for a change!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:26 PM
 
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I have lived in both Phoenix and Denver. I hated Phoenix... It's funny some people love it, some people hate it. Denver is great. A BEAUTIFUL city... I'm not sure about your job market but you cannot go wrong with Denver!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:33 PM
 
Location: RSM
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Pittsburgh still seems like a city searching for an identity after steel and heavy industry in general has moved out. Denver seems to have a pretty solid identity and has a lot of room to build during a better economy(which would provide work for an electrician).

As far as fitting in, I think it has to do with the fact that you're a transplant in a city of transplants. Back east it's much less than it is out west, and in the Denver area a lot of people are going to be transplants. Also you have different mentalities of people. Out west, people generally ignore others and get on with things. If you want to make friends, organize things, whatever, you need to be very proactive. Back east, people are much more vocal and open(at least according to my family that live out in the Buffalo area, Philly area, and my experience vacationing) and that makes it easier to get to know people and fit in. I guess what I'm saying is that you'll experience more of the same in Denver(to a degree), but the opportunities are still out there if you reach for them rather than letting them happen as they do.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:43 PM
 
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The thing I liked about Denver was..

No one had anything bad to say about Denver.. Everyone I spoke with was like "DENVER RULES!"..

Pittsburgh sounds like a nice place.. From what I read, most of the residents are down on Pittsburgh.. Not sure I want to walk in on that!
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 114,765,758 times
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Hi there, Bench Warmer!

Here I am in my habitat. I grew up in Pgh, have lived here in metro Denver now longer than I lived in Pgh.

I can't speak to the jobs except to say that Denver/Colorado's unemployment rates are lower than Pittsburgh's at the present. That said, the job market here ain't that great either. You will have to rely on your union and others who know for any further information.

Having experienced both types of weather, her is my comparison/contrast:

Denver
We'll start with spring.
A cool, wet spring. Can snow in May, and snowed in Boulder the day my DD graduated from HS, June 4, 2005. In almost 30 years, I've seen it snow here one other time in June. May snows, however, are not infrequent. In between snowstorms it can be lovely, and the highs even in April can occasionally reach 80. Spring is cloudier and rainier than any other season, but it's still generally sunny.

Summer
Early June (still tecnically spring) can still be cooler and rainy. By late June it is usually hot and dry, with some afternoon thunderstorms. It can get up into the high 90s, and even surpass 100 degrees on occasion. It is not unusual, however, to have a few summer days of cloudy, cool, weather. By mid-August, it starts cooling off more at night. Summer nights here are almost always pretty awesome. They are generally clear and cool. At times, you need a sweatshirt or windbreaker. Wide variation between high and low temps, e.g. 95-60.

Fall
My favorite season. It can sometimes take a while to cool off, with warm (80s) sunny weather through September. Some years, it snows once or twice in Sept. This type of alternating weather goes on all fall. There is an urban legend that it always snows for Halloween, and that is partly supported by fact.
Denver Halloween Snow Statistics
Leaves are usually off the trees by Nov. 1, sooner if an early fall snow.

Winter
On again, off again snow, interspersed with warm, sunny weather. Every 1-2 years, there will be a major dump of a snowstorm. (Sometimes this will happen in March, or even April, which is technically spring.) 60" of snow on average, with wide variations.
Denver Snowfall Statistics 1882-2009
People wear shorts and sandals frequently in the winter; it is possible to bike, run and do other outdoor activities on many winter days.

Pittsburgh (this is from memory)
Spring:
Starts in March, can have warm days by the end of March. Little snow past April 1. Cloudy, but beautiful foliage out in the spring: dogwoods, lots of forsythia, magnolias grow that far north.

Summer:
Generally by June 1. Most summer days in the low 80s. Some cooler and warmer days. Very humid. Rain probably 1-2 X/week on average. High/low varies by about 20 degrees (80/60).

Fall:
Definitely the best season there. Can be warm through September, then cools off to "sweater weather". Beautiful autumn leaves. Rarely snows before Nov. 1. Cloudy, rainy.

Winter:
Cloudy, rainy, not all that cold; seldom below zero, in fact, it seldom even gets to zero. Temps up and down. Very gray. Some snow, especially in Dec, Jan and Feb.
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:49 PM
 
369 posts, read 2,093,848 times
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I guess the real question is.. Where do I end up for 1000 bucks a month in Denver? I'm not looking for apartments or condos. It has to be atleast a 2 bedroom house. 2 bathrooms would be nice. Good area, not to far from the city.. We also need a yard for the puppies..

Am I asking for to much for $1000 a month?
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Old 11-24-2009, 10:51 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,351 posts, read 114,765,758 times
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You might be able to find a townhouse with a small yard.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:05 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,610 posts, read 22,354,649 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bench Warmer View Post
Overall, I feel pretty board in this city. My biggest complaint is the dust.. Sounds stupid I know, but it drives me bizerk! My gf hates the constant heat. The heat doesn't really bother me to much. I guess we never really felt like we fit in here since we arrived. I don't hate this place, but its not my cup of tea. Plus its odd.. We live in a nice neighborhood.. 2 out of every 5 or so houses is "for sale" or "forclosed".. It's so odd walking around the neighborhood.. I dislike the stupid things.. I'm ready for a change!
It may be that AZ just plain isn't your place... and that's fine, but I think most of your problems have to do with the specific neighborhood you're living in, not the metro area as a whole. I like Phoenix, but the part of Phoenix I miss are basically Tempe, Scottsdale, NE Central Phoenix, and the rest of the state of AZ outside of the blob. The far outskirts and satelite suburbs of the metro area-- especially Pinal County, to put it mildly... suck. Unfortunately the Denver metro area has the same entry-level-home-drive-until-you-qualify-foreclosurevilles on the far outskirts, in places like Green Valley Ranch, various I-25 exits in Weld County, etc. If you move to CO don't move to another one of those types of neighborhoods again.

The dust problem, getting dust all over your house, having dust allergies, isn't much different in Denver than in Phoenix. Maybe not AS dusty, but still dusty.

If you desire to go "back east," but a place more affordable than Boston, Pittsburgh could be a good idea. Ultimately I think it comes down to where you're able to make a living.
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