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Old 02-17-2012, 02:44 PM
747 posts, read 579,155 times
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Unlike other posters on this site, I want to live as cheaply as I can in, say Loveland or environs. I have up to, say, 70,000 to spnd on a condo or cheap apt.along with other expenses... Perhaps an apt. for $600-700.? and I will have social security in a short while. I will have to work part-time at a college to make ends meet. The wind does not bother me--I am used to it. I hate being bored, especially because I am alone and I know no one in the area, at all. So any move I make is a little scary and apprehensive, to say the least. My family gives me no support for this cross countrymove. I thought I will go there soon for a few days to check it out. The mountains are my main interest. I lived in Colo. years ago.

Is Ft. Collins/Loveland, etc liveable on a very tight budget, yet with a nice apt in a nice neighborhood? Is this realistic?
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Old 02-17-2012, 03:00 PM
Location: Northern Colorado
718 posts, read 1,985,094 times
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It will be hard to purchase housing in that price range in Fort Collins or Loveland. Currently there is only one condo available in all of Fort Collins or Loveland under $75k. It is a 1 bedroom in a complex with HOA dues of $152/month, so you budget would need to allow for that.

In south-west Loveland, there are 3 mobile homes for sale under $75k in a community in which you own your own land. This might be an option for you to consider. HOA fees for that community are only about $125 per year.

If you are into the mountains and outdoors, that will help you keep from getting bored here. Hiking is also a nice, inexpensive pastime.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:10 PM
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I think you are NOT going to find a decent neighborhood, if any, at that price. Rent for 6-7 might get you a smaller apartment. Tell us about what could make you "bored". If you don't use the mountains regularly here, you will be quite bored within a couple of years. Honestly, make sure that the mountains are something that you are going to take regular advantge of and that doesn't include skiing, on your budget. If they are not a strong part of your spare time, there are a lot of other mid-west towns that are a lot cheaper to live in. Again, tell us your interests and we can give you a honest appraisal of whether or not this will be an affordable/ enjoyable place for you.
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Old 02-17-2012, 07:58 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Consider a location that you are IN the mtns. It costs $$$ to drive / travel there, and even tho I rode my bike to the Mtns a lot while in Loveland, food / bike maint is not free. Rocky MTNs are 30 minutes + away, tho drier / foohills are close, but hot, dusty, and snakes.If Loveland will work... Get a duplex or rental off W. Kelly Dr or region, so you are within walking distance of Big T River Trails. I like to also be within walking / biking of Safeway or King Soopers. (I would stay SW or W central area of Loveland). Another option is Near Library / Chilson Center. The areas east of there can be trashy, but just north has some decent stuff. (shopping is a bit limited).

You might look to some places with community colleges in smaller mtn towns, but CO is gonna be spendy. Look more remote parts of NM, AZ, UT, CA, OR, WA, MT. For decent wages and good schools WY would be tops, but housing is quite high (energy Boom).. Same with SD (but with lower wages)

I certainly have not had any family support for my many moves (I was caring for a disabled parent for 30+ yrs). Just gotta make an informed choice and bite the bullet.

I live VERY cheap, excluding property taxes and connectivity. Drive a $35 car that gets 50 mpg on free fryer grease, wear clothes that I bought 40 yrs ago.
$/month Variable Costs
$100 food and entertainment for 2-4
$90 utilities (minus phone / internet)

$/month fixed costs...
$1200 property taxes
$1400 Medical premiums
$50 house insurance
$60 car insur

I travel for $30 / day including food, rental car, and lodging. Fuel varies, but is often more than $30 / day
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Old 02-18-2012, 07:54 AM
747 posts, read 579,155 times
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Default More about living cheaply

Thanks for suggestions. I have many mixed feelings about this. I want to live near very good shopping (including dept. stores), live music and even live theatre not too far away (such as Denver), good libraries and bookstores. I used to ski but now it is too expensive, probably. I would end up renting a 2 bedroom if possible.( I doubt that I could get a loan on a condo.)Restaurants do not interest me but I do like wearing nice clothes. Obviously, good hospitals and professional services are important. A small town life too far from a big city (like Denver) would bore me very quickly.
, can you smell the stinky slaughter air from Greeley in Fort Collins or Loveland? I went to Greeley once and was shocked at the bad odor in the air!
Maybe Golden
is a better idea.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:18 AM
192 posts, read 470,760 times
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My gut tells me that you may want to be very cautious before moving here. You mention "nice clothes" and that is not here and maybe a bit more in Denver, but not much. This is suburbia with a small down town ( nice, but not classy) with outdoorsy activitys to the west. I don't consider it a place where you would ever get dressed up for the day and just go out for the day. Shopping, other than a few places in old town, is very generic and mostly for family interests. Cheap it is not! Even our reservoir charges daily permit fees and now has only a few 15 minute parking spaces that will allow you to visit for free. Depending on where you are coming from, this may be better or not, but to me, not worth the price of admission. It is well worth it for familys with young children who need lots of sports programs and organized events, or for hikers, bicyclers etc.... You don't sound like your in that catagory so keep your options open.
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Old 02-18-2012, 09:16 PM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
34,690 posts, read 57,994,855 times
Reputation: 46166
NoCo sounds like a potential disappointment for you. Think blue jeans, and moderate to minimal unique culture (certainly as compared to Chicago area).

I think you need to consider Portland, Bellingham, WA, or Seattle (if you can deal with rain... if not, then Bend, OR or Wenatchee, WA, or CA). Skiing / living is cheaper, culture abundant, mtns are closer, Beach is MUCH closer.. living can be cheap, many, many colleges and universities to work PT. You always feel like you are in the country cuz the trees are so big and bushy.

Seattle / Vancouver BC (Bellingham) more for classy clothes and upscale culture. Portland for abundant 'Wierd', but plenty of classy culture (Classy dress is wool socks with your birkenstocks).

Classy dress works well in Europe and Montreal. There are some intereseting links / stories opportunities to live cheap and in the mtns of France and Italy, That would be more fun since you sound like an active early retiree. (I've been out of workforce for 7 yrs and still more than 10 away from SS). I find that I like to visit NoCo frequently, and will have an apartment there for me, but it will not be home again, as it was for most of my first 25 yrs. It can be pretty brown and depressing in winter, just as the PNW is gray and depressing in winter. Time for a $39 flight to Sacramento and a quick trip into SF and Napa / tahoe / Yosemite... or a 1 hr drive east to WA Stonehenge. WA Stonehenge - Google Search
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Old 02-19-2012, 10:28 AM
Location: Nutmeg State
1,176 posts, read 2,561,885 times
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Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Skiing / living is cheaper, culture abundant, mtns are closer, Beach is MUCH closer.. living can be cheap,
You're definitely right about more people "dressing up" in these cities.
But I heartily disagree that Pdx or Seattle are cheaper and have cheaper skiing than CO, esp. FoCo.

We've found Portland to be somewhat similar COL to FoCo, maybe a little higher. Seattle is definitely higher. The skiing here is definitely more expensive than CO (if you're avoiding Vail and other fancy mountains in CO). I have not been able to find the equivalent of a Loveland ski area here at all (ie a great place that I can get a four pack for less than $40/day). There just isn't enough ski competition here to make it very affordable. It's kept us off the mountain a lot, as we know we're paying more for significantly worse conditions.
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Old 02-19-2012, 11:52 AM
Location: Fort Collins, CO
166 posts, read 432,644 times
Reputation: 298
You might be able to do a little more with your lump sum by doing a reverse mortgage for purchase (if you are 62 or older) here's the FAQs on this from HUD HUD Reverse Mortgage Purchase Facts . Federally insured reverse mortgages for seniors have been around a long time, but using them for purchase is relatively new. You can find a HUD approved housing counselor in your area at HUD.gov as well to get more information on this program. Good Luck!
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