Author Topic: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice  (Read 12268 times)

sassy1234

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Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« on: August 08, 2013, 08:05:01 AM »
Hi,
I am considering moving to the Boulder/ Denver CO area.  This does not have anything to do with the fact that MMM lives near.  My husband and I have always wanted to live there, and we recently said, hey why not uproot our lives and live somewhere cheaper, somewhere we can hike, ski, and bike all the time, somewhere where the lifestyle is healthier. 

We currently live in expensive Chicago and were looking at buying a house.  It is crazy expensive.  Plus, we sit in a car for 2 hours a day to get to work!  We hate it. 

So, I can work from anywhere and my husband is starting his job search in CO. 

Any suggestions on where to live?  We like cities (restaurants, shopping, art), but we want an easy commute and somewhat lower costs.   Also, being in the best of the best school districts is top priority. 

We love Boulder!  Neighborhood suggestions?  The cost of living info on line is giving us conflicting advice on if it is less expensive than Chicago. 

Any thoughts?  Thanks!

Left Bank

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2013, 09:32:24 AM »
Check out:
http://www.city-data.com/forum/boulder-area/

Lots to read and good luck.  Boulder is a great place to live!
LB

sassy1234

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2013, 09:37:39 AM »
Thanks Left Bank!  Helpful resource.

Any other thoughts from people that live there?

Sebastian

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2013, 09:58:22 AM »
Are you stuck on CO? If you aren't I might suggest checking out Madison, WI. That way if you have family in the Chicagoland area like I do. They aren't too far away to visit once in awhile.

I came from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, and I moved up to Madison 3 years ago. I never want to move back to IL again! I love Madison... it is so much more manageable. Cost of living is less than Chicago, and there is still a lot to do!

Deano

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2013, 10:00:49 AM »
I've always heard that Boulder is a fairly expensive place to live, though perhaps not in the same league as a big city like Chicago.

I'm not American, but I've traveled and lived in the US a great deal...I always really liked Asheville N.C. Skiing? Yup...biking and hiking? Awesome, better than the Rockies IMO. Loads of variety...lots of incredible scenery too. Great small urban vibe there as well, I recall a University there.

Burlington Vermont is another place I would choose to live if I were American...same as above really, though the riding is maybe a notch down, but still incredible. Oh, Bedford VA is pretty cool, I think it's on the cheap as well. Have you thought about Idaho? Maybe cheaper than Colorado, but with all the Rocky Mt. fun.


nawhite

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2013, 10:30:11 AM »
Prices in the city limits of Boulder will be just as expensive as Chicago if not more. Its not cheap there. But, you can go to Longmont (like MMM) and get a lot of the similar perks (location, outdoor activities, climate, city size) with a lot less cost. Longmont is really far away from Denver though for commutes.

You can save a lot of money by living in the greater Denver area. Most decent paying jobs in Denver are either Downtown or in the Denver Tech Center (DTC) which is just south of where I-225 and I25 connect. Living in Englewood, Lakewood or Wheat Ridge are all reasonably priced and decently close (light rail or biking distance) to good jobs. The light rail system in Denver is good now and expanding rapidly (line to the airport opens in early 2016) so I would definitely recommend paying the extra to live near a station.

Feel free to PM or email me if you want more info or have any other questions.

mgreczyn

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 10:52:55 AM »
I currently live in Lafayette, a small town 15 miles east of Boulder.  We moved here from Denver, where we lived in a neighborhood called Park Hill.  Lots of really beautiful old homes.  Houses there probably range from the low-mid 300s for a 2/1 or 2/2 bungalow to the low 7 figures.  A 3/2 there will probably set you back 400+.  It's a decent bike ride from downtown denver (5 miles on the east side) and right near City Park and the natural history museum.  Great neighborhood, but not cheap.  Other central denver hoods can also be really pricey.  The Highlands just west of downtown (not to be confused with Highland Ranch) is really popular and really expensive.  Wheatridge seems to be an up and coming area.  Boulder is also really popular and really expensive; many people who work in Boulder wind up living in Louisville, Lafayette or Longmont.  You might also check out Golden as they just opened a light rail line from Golden to downtown denver.  Note that light rail probably won't extend to Boulder any time soon.  If you like tract homes, there's always Broomfield and Superior.

Overall Denver is a great place, you can find lots of walkable areas and biking is pretty popular.  One thing to consider is that Denver is farther away from the mountains than many people think before they get here.  It's a good 20-30 miles from downtown to the foothills.


sassy1234

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2013, 11:03:57 AM »
Hi,
Yes, Boulder is still expensive.  I have noticed that the costs of housing is about the same as Chicago, but you get more for your money.   

We will be saving on other things as Boulder is a bike friendly area and we can continue owning 1 car, not as much need to travel for vacations (not much skiing and backpacking in the Chicago area). 

This is also a lifestyle choice.  The Chicago commute is terrible and the idea of walking or riding my bike to work is very attractive. 


sassy1234

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2013, 11:34:06 AM »
Louisville and Lafayette are really nice.  You get a lot of home for your money.  Do people here spend time in Boulder?  Easy to get to by driving and biking?

mgreczyn

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2013, 12:27:44 PM »
You do get a lot more for your money, and believe it or not the cost of just about everything is lower here than in Denver proper.  Only exception may be property and sales tax, I believe both are higher in Boulder County.  There seem to be a few CU grad students living in and around the general area, and one of our neighbors works as a brewer at Avery Brewing Co, he bikes there on occasion but their brewery is on the east side of Boulder.  There is a very extensive system of bike trails connecting the towns around here, very easy to bike from place to place.  We don't get to boulder much, mostly b/c we're boring homebodies with a toddler and don't spend a whole lot of time going out, but it takes maybe 10 min by car.  I think it's a pretty quick bus ride, too.  Check the RTD website to see the bus time from downtown Lafayette to Boulder.

brewer12345

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2013, 12:34:47 PM »
One aspect of Boulder that may be worth keeping in mind is that there is a reason it is locally known as the "People's Republic of Boulder."  Lots of laws, regulations, people up in your business, etc.  Of course, if you are coming from Chicago you might be accustomed to putting up with all that crap.

GeneralJinjur

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2013, 09:15:06 PM »
If you end up coming south in to the Denver area, Cherry Creek schools are very good, with Douglas County neck and neck with them.  Denver and Aurora, not so much.

http://www.cde.state.co.us/utility/k12schls.htm

TheDude

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2013, 10:05:46 PM »
We live in South Longmont. We love it. We are in pretty good school district. We will probably do burlington, susnset and Niwot High. We can walk or ride to Burlington and Sunset for sure probably Niwot if the kids wants to. We are in our early 30's with young kids and our neighborhood is full of others like us. We can ride to lowes, target, walmrt, king soopers, sprouts, safeway, home depot, luckys, and downtown is only about 4miles away.

Restaurants are not that great in longmont and as far as arts there are way more in Boulder. The good news we are only about 12 miles from Boulder so its easy to get there if needed.

mgreczyn

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2013, 06:21:31 AM »
Generally agree with what the above posters have said RE Peoples Republic of Boulder and restaurants, etc. 

The "peoples' republic" part is no joke, it can be a really funny place.  My wife went to grad school there and we talked about moving there alot, but decided not to, partly because of that and partly because of the high cost. The laws and restrictions mentioned are part of the reason for the high real estate cost; anecdotaly speaking it's really hard to develop new residential areas.  If you look at the Broomfield wikipedia page, one of the reasons that even became a separate place was "longstanding political differences with Boulder County".  On the other hand, Boulder is also a cultural center, full of great restaurants, interesting people, the arts etc.  I think these things taken in combination have really benefited the surrounding towns, as people are attracted to Boulder but can't afford to (or maybe don't want to) live right IN Boulder. 

napalminator

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Re: Moving to Boulder/ Denver CO. : Need Advice
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2013, 10:40:38 PM »
per square foot prices are higher in Boulder than pretty much anywhere else in the Front Range.   you'll definitely get a better value for your housing dollar in Lafayette, Longmont, Broomfield, or any part of the greater Denver area.

there's a lot of great drinking and eating in Boulder, but the People's Republic thing isn't much of an exaggeration.  if that's your political bent (are you a vegan buddhist with a VW that runs on waste veg oil?), enjoy.  but if you're a business owner or just don't like big-brother micromanagement, stay away.