Moving to CO...advice? Show me around for a day?

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Ianstein, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. Ianstein

    Ianstein Been here awhile

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    I'm looking at the prospect of moving to Colorado next spring, so I've decided to take the week of labor day to do some scouting. A little background. I'm currently a draftsman/engineer for a transit bus company in Indiana. It's a good job, but the stress of the manufacturing world has burned me out. It's time for a change of job and location. I'll be staying with a friend in Westminster, so while she's at work during the day I plan on spending time on the bike taking little day trips to get a feel for different areas along the front range and look for areas where someone with a solid middle class job can live comfortably.

    I'm looking for either suggestions of places to check out or if someone would like a riding buddy for the day I'd be happy to join you. Maybe buy you lunch or something for your troubles. If anyone is interested, let me know.

    PS: general advice on moving to CO is also more than welcome.
    #1
  2. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    Head up I-70 on Friday afternoon. :eek1
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  3. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

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    I vacationed out there this year and spent some time in Longmont. It is a beautiful area just a little north of Westminster. When we were there our friends took us into Estes Park for the day and then the next day we went to Keystone ski resort to ride the Gondolas and ski lifts. We also spent a couple days in Denver. Denver was too much like any large city, except that there are great areas to go not far from it.

    If you can I'd say do the move. I'd love to move out there one day.
    #3
  4. ElMoro

    ElMoro Adventurer

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    Ian,
    Peak to Peak is an ideal ride for weekdays.
    Stay near wherever your new job may take you cause the commute can be a headache, especially, in the winter.

    Cheers
    #4
  5. Ianstein

    Ianstein Been here awhile

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    I was out in Denver for a 3 days a few weeks ago. Again stayed in Westminster, but we also traveled up to Boulder and Longmont. We tried to go thru Lyons out to Estes Park, but my friend's truck started overheating in the mountains so we had to come back down. We also spent some time in Denver itself.


    Personally Denver and it's suburbs remind me too much of Chicago. Too crowded, too much traffic and houses practically on top of each other. That's if you can even find a house. It blew my mind how many apartment and condo/town home complexes there are.

    Ideally I'd like to find somewhere outside of the burbs with a little land. I prefer a small house, but would like minimum 3/4-1 acre. Also closer to the mountains, the better.
    #5
  6. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

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    That was my impression too. Except that from Chicago you can't be in the mountains in an hour. I agree though that finding someplace out of town would be ideal.
    #6
  7. Oldwin1

    Oldwin1 Long timer

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    "Ideally I'd like to find somewhere outside of the burbs with a little land. I prefer a small house, but would like minimum 3/4-1 acre. Also closer to the mountains, the better"

    This is the same dream all of us have coming from the midwest.
    In the mountains you need at least 2 flat acres for well and septic. You may be able to have it on less but not likely. Living in the woods is way more work than having a lawn to mow. Most wives don't deal with it well. :lol3 It is way more expensive than you think here. Everything costs more so you need to expect to either try to make more than you did in Indiana or live much simpler.
    It is very crowded here. Just take a look at the thread about campsites. :huh
    If you are looking for places to live I would not go driving around to the resorts thinking everyone here lives the high life. There is a reason there are so many condos and apartments in Denver. Some of the guys on here that do a lot of riding and own a lot of bikes make a lot of money and live their lives to support their riding habit. :lol3

    I am not trying to be a downer but Colorado can be a long hard pull.


    My experience and $.02
    #7
  8. Keithert

    Keithert Long timer

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    My friend that we visited in Longmont was from Chicago. He is an engineer and makes good but not great money. He got a job out there and moved. 5 years later all is well with him.

    Another friend wanted to move from Phoenix to Colorado Springs. His company agreed to let him work from his new home. He's been doing that for 3 years now. If you have a decent job out there it can be done.
    #8
  9. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    You and everyone else. The closer to the mountains, the more traffic and the more $$$. If you are willing to accept that this is the payment for your slice of the pie you'll be fine.

    ANYTHING with those criteria is prime real estate. At least anything close enough to a populated area where you can commute to a job.

    Sorry to be Debbie Downer but the population here has exploded, housing is at a premium. Land is in short supply (if you think about it there really is only a narrow strip along the front range that meets what most people "need" ...go west and it's mostly National Forest or Second homes for the rich, go east and it's more Kansas than Colorado in most people's minds.)

    The "Few acres, close to town, yet close to the mtns" are pretty few and far between. At least for those of us in the working class.
    #9
  10. Ianstein

    Ianstein Been here awhile

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    Again...it's an ideal...not necessarily a reality. I understand property size and value is a trade off the closer you get to the mountains or more desirable areas. I guess I was just trying to convey that I don't really want to be in a suburban neighborhood or crammed into an apartment complex. I don't mind being out away from town. Also I'm fine with a living a simpler life. I've learned wealth doesn't bring happiness.

    Commuting has never been much of an issue for me. since 2005 I've generally had no less than a 45 min drive one way. Commuting in northern Indiana's winters have prepped me to deal with pretty much anything.

    At the moment, I'm looking at several job prospects near Loveland. I've been thru Colorado Springs which seemed nice at the time, but most people from Denver that I've talked to claim its a bad place to live. Not sure if they're just biased or if there is some truth to it.
    #10
  11. Sword777

    Sword777 Adventurer

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    Denver sucks, 'real' colorado is basically anywhere west of I25
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  12. Proveick

    Proveick Long timer

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  13. Oldwin1

    Oldwin1 Long timer

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    If I was going to do it over again I would land someplace on the western slope. Delta, Gunnison, Mancos, Montrose.
    If you are going to come out and look around look at the west side.
    Ron
    #13
  14. Gripsteruser

    Gripsteruser Got a handle on it

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    Enjoy your visit.

    But really, a better plan is to find the job and take temporary housing of some sort for awhile as you learn about the area and can investigate commuting patterns and neighborhoods.

    Consider locating in a centroid of other likely jobs as employment isn't always stable. (my one-way commute used to be 4 miles. Now it's 48. Next Spring it may be 75..... if I stay.)
    #14
  15. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    The Denver/Front range home sales market is very hot now as are rental rates. Start using Trulia to gage some prices. Affordable is fix it upper, smaller or east of I-25. Check out some of the smaller outlying towns east of I-25.

    For street riding, most of the shops stock our Colo map. Try and ride during the week.
    #15
  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Indeed Cortez or areas of Grand Junction offer more to those into the Colorado motorcycle lifestyle. Most get stuck on the front range because the job$ are here plus the weather can be milder.
    #16
  17. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Good plan before even consider buying.
    You might find another location much better and it's easy to leave a rental.
    #17
  18. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    just a heads up.
    I'm a tour guide...we get paid $300+ a day.
    people are busy busy around here, especially around the holidays and so "maybe" just buying someone lunch for a day of their time will probably not get any takers. most anyone would say their days are worth atleast $150 of their time and for many here ALOT more.
    #18
  19. James Adams

    James Adams non impediti ratione cogitationis

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  20. thump_co

    thump_co ..ouch

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    ^ This.. the rental market has gone through roof since A64 passed. Growers are coming in from everywhere and offering landlords premiums on rental rates with cash up front. Similar story with buying. A 1200 sq ft run-down shitebox with no yard just sold in our little front range mountain town for 450K (cash buyer) simply because it had access for 3-phase electrical. They started gutting and commercial remodel the next day. The CO housing market of 5 years ago following the mortgage collapse is not comparable. Food, utilities, just about everything is more expensive than the midwest..

    Not trying to scare you off, but be thoughtful about what you really want. It'll be real easy to get housepoor trying to afford an ideal property here. Personally, I'd focus on living cheap so you can have a proper dirtbike and play budget instead.
    #20