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Unread 10-02-2006, 02:27 PM   #1
jessasfella
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where to live near Denver?

OK, I'm hoping the collective wisdom of the considerable CO Jeep community will help me out.

My wife and I are moving to the Denver area in the spring. I'll be going back to school at DU. There are a couple of factors which make our lives MUCH easier if we buy instead of rent (for instance, my wife is a potter and needs a studio in our house if possible). We're finding that real estate in the Denver area is pretty steep, though (compared to what we're used to). Here's where I need your help!

Given:

--very limited budget (under 125k or 100k ideally)
--reasonable drive to DU area
--if we're going to live outside the city, we'd prefer to live on the western side to be closer to the mountains
--we need to be able to afford a basement and/or garage for the pottery studio

Where would you recommend that we look? ArloGuthroJeep already told me that there won't be much available for under $125k, which is exactly what I've been finding. I'm hoping that I might find something outside the city, or something like that. What does everyone think?

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Unread 10-02-2006, 02:32 PM   #2
WhtJeep
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Living close to denver on that budget is not going ot yield you that much. Thats the problem with the DU area. If you are willing to not drive to the DU campus, live farther out of denver and take light rail. The farther out of denver you get, generally, the more the pirces of homes come down.


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Unread 10-02-2006, 03:01 PM   #3
shunt
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When we moved, we had to expand our budget a bit.... It's amazing what they want for some houses out here. Best of luck.
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Unread 10-02-2006, 03:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessasfella
OK, I'm hoping the collective wisdom of the considerable CO Jeep community will help me out.

My wife and I are moving to the Denver area in the spring. I'll be going back to school at DU. There are a couple of factors which make our lives MUCH easier if we buy instead of rent (for instance, my wife is a potter and needs a studio in our house if possible). We're finding that real estate in the Denver area is pretty steep, though (compared to what we're used to). Here's where I need your help!

Given:

--very limited budget (under 125k or 100k ideally)
--reasonable drive to DU area
--if we're going to live outside the city, we'd prefer to live on the western side to be closer to the mountains
--we need to be able to afford a basement and/or garage for the pottery studio

Where would you recommend that we look? ArloGuthroJeep already told me that there won't be much available for under $125k, which is exactly what I've been finding. I'm hoping that I might find something outside the city, or something like that. What does everyone think?
I hate to say it, but with that kind of budget your out of luck. You can't even buy condos for that much. Also, the more you move west the more the price goes up. Everyone want to live as close to the mountains as possible, so it drives the price up.
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Unread 10-02-2006, 03:35 PM   #5
jessasfella
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So how/where do normal people live in Denver? I mean, we make pretty decent money, have good credit, and so forth, but 125k is about the very most we could do. I know we're better off than a lot of people. I don't see how people making $20k a year do it.

(BTW, the above is reason #249 why the housing bubble is bound to burst eventually)

We've been dealing with a realtor, and there are quite a few condos that are in that range (a couple even right near DU). But a condo is definitely not ideal. It beats renting, but it's not ideal.

Thanks for all the suggestions. One way or another, we'll be out there in the spring, even if we're living in the TJ!
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Unread 10-02-2006, 03:40 PM   #6
dnrisden
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I currently live in Brighton and only have a (16miles) 30 minute commute to downtown denver. I attended Metro State which is across the street from DU. You have good access via interestate 76 and highway 7. The housing is less expensive as I had to move further east to be able to afford a larger house with a three car garage. Brighton is growing and this is the time to buy as the market in Brighton will just go through the roof now that we are getting some shopping and eating places. But for now this is probably the best value for your money and will payoff in a couple of years.

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Unread 10-02-2006, 03:55 PM   #7
ArloGuthroJeep
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jessasfella
So how/where do normal people live in Denver? I mean, we make pretty decent money, have good credit, and so forth, but 125k is about the very most we could do. I know we're better off than a lot of people. I don't see how people making $20k a year do it.

(BTW, the above is reason #249 why the housing bubble is bound to burst eventually)

We've been dealing with a realtor, and there are quite a few condos that are in that range (a couple even right near DU). But a condo is definitely not ideal. It beats renting, but it's not ideal.

Thanks for all the suggestions. One way or another, we'll be out there in the spring, even if we're living in the TJ!
People making $20k/year live multiple families to a house here...
Now if you made $20k/year in NC then the pay rate will be higher here to match the Cost of Living (COL) increase so budget that in there as well...Boulder's median price is $350k I think Boulder's "Low Incoming" housing runs for $250k

Asked a coworker today and he said the "5 points" area in Denver has cheap housing but it is sketchy (at least parts are).
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Unread 10-02-2006, 04:00 PM   #8
jessasfella
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArloGuthroJeep
Boulder's median price is $350k I think Boulder's "Low Incoming" housing runs for $250k
(Marking Boulder off the list)

I'll check out the other suggestions. Thanks for all the help!
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Unread 10-02-2006, 04:03 PM   #9
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According to CNN Money. com you should see a reduction in living costs.

Salary in Asheville NC: $20,000
Comparable salary in Denver CO: $20,360.02

If you move from Asheville NC to Denver CO...

Groceries will cost: 12.957% more
Housing will cost: 3.937% less
Utilities will cost: 1.03% less
Transportation will cost: 1.699% less
Healthcare will cost: 8.999% more
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Unread 10-02-2006, 04:10 PM   #10
Parky
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I came here from California two years ago, so I had the opposite feeling and thought this place was cheep.

Anyway, Colorado has the highest foreclosure rate of any state in the union, so there are deals to be found, you just have to look. Click on the link and it gives you info on foreclosures or soon to be. You have to register for the site, but I think you can try it for free.

I do Land Development for a home builder, so if you are looking into one of the new communities I can tell you about the builder, the community ect. Good luck on your search.

http://www.realtytrac.com/home.asp
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Unread 10-02-2006, 04:53 PM   #11
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I would say south of Denver will be off of the list.

Aurora might be doable. Westminster might be possible. A loan on a $125k home will be less than renting most apartments ~$750-800/month. Have you talked to a lender? Do you know if that is the max you can afford? $175k loan is about $300 more per month than $125k. That is on a 30 year loan as well. There are tons of options to help get your payments down -5 year arms, interest only, etc.

The best thing I ever did was to sit down with a lender and have them show me all of my options.

I don't think you will find a house in that price range. Like what was said before, a lot of people move out and so the "outside of the city" houses are the same price or even more- in my experience anyway. Did I miss above? Are you an off roader? When you do get out here, hit up the board! This group hits the trails nearly every weekend.


I just bought last year and it was an eye opening experience.

How long do you plan on staying in CO?
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Unread 10-02-2006, 05:21 PM   #12
jessasfella
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Well, things are tricky because I'm going back to school, so my income will drop pretty drastically. My wife's should stay the same or slightly rise. We have talked to a lender, and they were helpful, but until we get some details nailed down (CO salaries, etc) there's not much they can say for sure. So right now I'm mostly trying to figure out where to focus my search.

Yeah, Asheville is pretty brutal for cost of living too. Everything is driven up by the tourists and seasonal residents. That's cool, since they prop up the economy, but it makes things tough on the rest of us. But as Parky points out, I don't feel sorry for myself after talking with someone from CA.

Redlyner, I'm not an offroader, but I very much want to be. I just haven't had the time and/or opportunity around here. I work Sundays, so weekend trips are usually out, and I don't have any buddies who are into it or anything. That's definitely going to be one of the best things about CO. I'm already planning a trip out to Ouray when we get there.

We'll probably be there 5-8 years, unless we like it enough to permanently settle there. I'll be in a doctoral program at DU, and it'll take about that long to complete. So that's another reason to buy...who wants to pay rent for 8 years?
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Unread 10-02-2006, 07:23 PM   #13
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You might look at bit east. You can find reasonable real estate w/in 30 miles east of Denver. I know you wanted West, but given your $ parameters (which usually is the end-all say-all) you would get a better bang-for-the-buck due east.
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Unread 10-02-2006, 08:30 PM   #14
REDLYNER
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After re-reading my post, I realized I sounded pretty negative. If you look slightly north of Denver, and like Nick said, slightly east- you should be able to find some better deals.

Good luck! Everyone here is scattered all over Denver, so you should be able to get some good advice.
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Unread 10-03-2006, 01:16 AM   #15
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Just got relocated out here for my company and found some nice living arrangements up on 144th and Broomfield. It isn't a bad commute to DU but if I was traveling there more than 4 times a week, I wouldn't consider it. Engle homes is the place I recommend if you do want a nice place. For about a 140-200k, you can get a pretty sick townhome with a gigantic basement, garage for the TJ (or XJ in my case), lots of room, and a new pad no one lived in beforehand. Consider them, they rock. Also, there are a lot of offroaders that live in this new area.
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