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Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Old Sep 19th 2012, 6:03 pm
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Default Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Hello All

Many may have seen my post in another thread on visas.

This is more of a cost of living question. I'm looking at moving to the Colorado Springs-Denver-Boulder area in Colorado.

What is a reasonable living salary - we would be looking at two incomes. I am aware however my entry comes into the USA it is likely I would initially take a reasonably hefty pay cut (I'm on circa $80,000 in the UK as a straight calculation). I would be anticipating earning nearer $50,000 in the USA to start with - particularly if I need to take a year out in order to earn that visa.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 7:51 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Originally Posted by COSPhil View Post
Hello All

Many may have seen my post in another thread on visas.

This is more of a cost of living question. I'm looking at moving to the Colorado Springs-Denver-Boulder area in Colorado.

What is a reasonable living salary - we would be looking at two incomes. I am aware however my entry comes into the USA it is likely I would initially take a reasonably hefty pay cut (I'm on circa $80,000 in the UK as a straight calculation). I would be anticipating earning nearer $50,000 in the USA to start with - particularly if I need to take a year out in order to earn that visa.
I think Boulder would be the more expensive of the three places mentioned. Denver has many suburbs, some good, some not so good, unless you want to stay in Denver itself. Colorado Springs, I'm not sure about as I've only been through there a couple of times.

I don't know what industry you're in, but $80,000 seems to be a pretty reasonable pay. Don't forget to take medical insurance in to your calculations. Employers usually pay a part of it and you pay a portion of your salary.

I love it here, but it's not for everybody. High altitude can take a few days to get used to, so drink plenty water. Lots of recreation opportunities as well as skiing in the mountains. There is DIA with BA flights to London if needed. Pm if you need more info.
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Old Sep 19th 2012, 8:09 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

City-data.com glassdoor.com payscale.com might all be worth a punt to see what you are looking for in salary and how it compares locally for costs.

Cost of medical insurance is a piece of string question.

Some costs can be pretty much universal for a ball park -

Car insurance for a new motor with good cover, expect $1K per six month
Renters insurance $150 yr
Cable/Phone/Internet $100-150/m
Mobile $100-150/m if you need data, $50 a month for smartphone PAYG

Everything else is down to local market, but padmapper.com to get an idea on rental costs and most realtor sites should give an indicator on ownership costs.

Utilities, for that area, wouldn't know, but I'd imagine that heating in winter would be pretty high and cooling in the summer to be a tad high in the cities.
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 7:38 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

My Stepson graduated from CU Boulder with 2 degrees and is currently working in Petsmart.

What do you base your likely income on?
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 10:58 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

COSPhil, I assume you're wanting to work at the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs?

You wouldn't want to commute there from Boulder every day. I used to do it from Denver. Long drive, especially in winter when Monument Hill freezes.

Quick note: Boulder - left wing idiots/hippies etc.
Colorado Springs - conservative with a large fundie contingent
Denver - a mix of both

I suppose Manitou Springs (which is attached to Colorado Springs) is Boulder-like because of all the wiccans and New Agers.
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Old Sep 20th 2012, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Boulder is very expensive and you get quite a bit of elitism. Colorado Springs isn't the nicest of places IMO.
I would personally never live in Denver- it's not a great city. Again, IMO.
If you are wanting to work in Colorado Springs as the previous poster suggests then I would definitely not suggest living in Boulder, that's a heck of a drive and winter in Colorado can be really nasty.
I lived in Fort Collins for 10 years and really liked it. Much better than Denver or Boulder or Colorado Springs anyway. It's not too big and not too small and has quite a lot on offer. But again if you're working in CO Springs that would be too far of a commute. But plenty of people commute from Fort Collins to Denver or Boulder.
A side note, I know this thread was about cost of living and you weren't asking for advice on areas, so my apologies about that but honestly I would strongly suggest you consider other areas as the 3 you mentioned are not the best choices. Boulder will be very expensive, Denver will be pretty high and CO Springs is pretty meh.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 12:19 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Originally Posted by Octang Frye View Post
COSPhil, I assume you're wanting to work at the Olympic training facility in Colorado Springs?

You wouldn't want to commute there from Boulder every day. I used to do it from Denver. Long drive, especially in winter when Monument Hill freezes.

Quick note: Boulder - left wing idiots/hippies etc.
Colorado Springs - conservative with a large fundie contingent
Denver - a mix of both

I suppose Manitou Springs (which is attached to Colorado Springs) is Boulder-like because of all the wiccans and New Agers.
That is one possibility, although likely not directly at the OTC - and the role I am currently looking at is not based at the OTC but is Colorado Springs based. There is also two national governing bodies located in Boulder.

I am also looking at the VWP if I needed to go that route initially, staying for 3 months (although likely closer to two, as I wouldn't want to even risk going up against US Immigration for any reason) - what costs I would realistically have to fund (aside from accommodation of course!).

Aware of a friend/colleague who works in COS at the moment, and whose husband works in Boulder - both commute each day from Denver but are thinking of buying in Boulder and having a very small weekday rental in COS for the wife's work.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

I lived in Colorado Springs for 3 years in the mid-90's and I have to say I wouldn't choose to live there again. Denver or Boulder would be preferable although I would choose somewhere in the mountains themselves if that were possible.

We did a big Colorado vacation last year and spent a couple of days in Colorado Spring. I have to say it seems like the city had become quite run down since we lived there.

It's a big army town. Fort Carson is massive. I think the Army is the biggest employer by far.

I wouldn't consider commuting from Denver as someone else mentioned the winters can shutdown the I-25 pretty regularly.

However I will say the scenery is spectacular. Waking up every morning to Pike's Peak is something else. I also used to make a detour to work in the morning to stop and look at Garden of the Gods with the sunrise. That's probably the thing i miss the most.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Yes, Garden of the Gods is fantastic.

Due to work it is likely to need to be one of these three (although there is also a job possibility up in Fort Collins, but my better half is already working in COS).

Must admit I'm not a fan of some states in the USA but Colorado does appeal.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Originally Posted by COSPhil View Post
I am also looking at the VWP if I needed to go that route initially, staying for 3 months (although likely closer to two, as I wouldn't want to even risk going up against US Immigration for any reason) - what costs I would realistically have to fund (aside from accommodation of course!).
I don't understand this question about the VWP. If you visit the USA on the VWP, you won't be working, so there won't be any commute to worry about. You'll only need to be able to show funds in the bank to last a couple of months (you probably won't even be asked to show the funds, but have them there just in case). You should be prepared to show that you CAN cover the cost of accommodation, because if it comes to light that you have a USC love interest, you run the risk of being refused entry. The POE agent might get it in his head that you intend to stay in the USA.

Rene
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

city-data is another good site for area opinions.
traffic along Hwy 36 and I-25 is a 'mare during rush hour as there are several notorious bottle necks and snail pace.. 84th/I-25 to Hwy36/I270/I25 (aka 'mousetrap'); between I70/I25 and Sante Fe, then again at DTC (tech center i225/i25) and again around 470/i25 out towards Castle Rock. Then again, its nothing compared to places like LA.
Hwy 36 can get busy, esp initially out of Bldr and once you get past Broomfield, it can get slow all the way to i25. w/o traffic you can get from Boulder to dwntwn Denver in about 25 mins. Dwntwn Denver to COS is a good 1.5 hrs.
Longmont to dwntwn Denver on average is about 45 mins... bank on 1hr. Longmont to Fort Collins is between 30-45 mins depending on where you're headed.
Boulder property is expensive; tons of clients get initial sticker shock.
Denver varies through out the area and outlaying metro area.
Rents vary but bank on a 2bd2ba condo around 1k... generic entry house is going to be 1250-1500 and the scale goes from there (will be a bit more for Bldr). Craigslist is a good indicator for rental rates.
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Old Sep 21st 2012, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Living Costs - Denver/Boulder

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
I don't understand this question about the VWP. If you visit the USA on the VWP, you won't be working, so there won't be any commute to worry about. You'll only need to be able to show funds in the bank to last a couple of months (you probably won't even be asked to show the funds, but have them there just in case). You should be prepared to show that you CAN cover the cost of accommodation, because if it comes to light that you have a USC love interest, you run the risk of being refused entry. The POE agent might get it in his head that you intend to stay in the USA.

Rene
Hi Rene,

Yes apologies. It was a double question, since I'm looking down two routes, employment based (almost certainly in the Springs if it happens), or the visit and K1 route.

P
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