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Hi, Colorado Fools! I live in San Francisco, but I expect I'll be relocating when I retire to be near my DD and her DH, who live in Westminster.

I've visited twice, and I am not fond of the area where they live. It's too suburban and sprawly for my tastes. I like living in the city with historical architecture, public transportation and shopping within walking distance.

I'm contemplating moving to Denver, but from afar I cannot tell where the best places to live might be for me. I am thinking of buying a condo in advance of needing to move and renting it out, but again, I am ignorant of the area and the real estate laws and whatever else I'd need to know.

I would appreciate any advice any of you could give me. I have plenty of time to work on this, as I'm starting a few years in advance of retirement.

TIA,

MOI
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My DW and I did something similar, between 03' & 05', when we resided in Colorado Spring... We picked a few placed for our relocation, whittled it down to one (or two, I don't quite remember now), took a couple weeks off work and planned a vacation to the area to check it out.

I would give strong recommendation to trying this. Get a hotel room for a while and check out the area. Might help if you get rental, or drive your POV out...

Here are some links that may help you to get a better lay of the area:
http://www.rtd-denver.com/NewRiders.shtml
http://www.rtd-denver.com/Schedules.shtml
http://www3.rtd-denver.com/elbert/SystemMap/
http://www.denver.org/
http://www.denver.org/metro/features/visitor-info-centers
http://www.colorado.com/cities-and-towns/denver

Good luck with this endeavor...
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Since you're coming from San Francisco, there shouldn't be too much sticker shock. Denver's real estate drop was the biggest in the cookie cutter suburbs and things have been recovering pretty fast even there.

If you are planning to work and have to drive, live east of work(otherwise you will be driving into the sun much of the year).

I'm actually not planning to keep a place in Denver but when I was (as a single adult woman), I was looking in Cherry Creek & particularly CC North. I have a friend who suggested the Highlands. The other area I would suggest would be LoDo.

Also check the walkability score. My suburban house is across the street from a grocery store, 5 restaurants and some shops with the library a block away and light rail a mile away with an on call bus to get to it. I'm also right at a bike/hike path that goes on forever.

I would suggest looking at vrbo or airbnb to see if there are condos in those areas so you might be able to try at least a week in each.

On the rental thing, unless you are going to have it managed, I wouldn't do it. That's from my experience as a landlord in Steamboat. I think it's different to rent something when you are leaving it because I would care a bit less about what happens to it. Again, for me, Steamboat is a small town and it is somewhat easier to screen renters and to have eyes on the property.(How small is it ? My tenant's gf did the makeup for my DIL at their wedding and I knew because my tenant texted me.)

Feel free to email me if I can help. I'm mostly in the mountains until March but will be down intermittently.
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Since you're coming from San Francisco, there shouldn't be too much sticker shock. Denver's real estate drop was the biggest in the cookie cutter suburbs and things have been recovering pretty fast even there.

If you are planning to work and have to drive, live east of work(otherwise you will be driving into the sun much of the year).


I don't expect to move before I retire, but I'll keep this in mind. My DD's DH had to leave a good job because he couldn't stand the commute. Gave him migraines. So I know what you mean. At least after I get there, if I look for a job, I'll look for one west of me. :)

I'm actually not planning to keep a place** in Denver but when I was (as a single adult woman), I was looking in Cherry Creek & particularly CC North. I have a friend who suggested the Highlands. The other area I would suggest would be LoDo.

Also check the walkability score. My suburban house is across the street from a grocery store, 5 restaurants and some shops with the library a block away and light rail a mile away with an on call bus to get to it. I'm also right at a bike/hike path that goes on forever.

I would suggest looking at vrbo or airbnb to see if there are condos in those areas so you might be able to try at least a week in each.


This is exactly the sort of advice I wanted. I've been looking at the neighorhoods online, and Cherry Creek was one of the ones that looked good to me, but I'd rather hear it from a local. Do you have any opinion on Arvada?

On the rental thing, unless you are going to have it managed, I wouldn't do it. That's from my experience as a landlord in Steamboat. I think it's different to rent something when you are leaving it because I would care a bit less about what happens to it. Again, for me, Steamboat is a small town and it is somewhat easier to screen renters and to have eyes on the property.(How small is it ? My tenant's gf did the makeup for my DIL at their wedding and I knew because my tenant texted me.)

I would definitely have it managed. I know my limits. They start at the end of my nose. The reason I'm thinking of going that route is I think I'll get a better price buying now rather than waiting until I'm ready to move in a few years. That kind of makes renting it out in the meanwhile mandatory.

Feel free to email me if I can help. I'm mostly in the mountains until March but will be down intermittently.

I cannot tell you how much this means to me. I truly value your opinion and willingness to help. (Posted and emailed.)

MOI

**Have you sold yours? Just asking....:)
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I would give strong recommendation to trying this. Get a hotel room for a while and check out the area. Might help if you get rental, or drive your POV out...

Here are some links that may help you to get a better lay of the area:
http://www.rtd-denver.com/NewRiders.shtml
http://www.rtd-denver.com/Schedules.shtml
http://www3.rtd-denver.com/elbert/SystemMap/
http://www.denver.org/
http://www.denver.org/metro/features/visitor-info-centers
http://www.colorado.com/cities-and-towns/denver

Good luck with this endeavor...


Thank you so much! This is invaluable.

Yes, I have plenty of time for this project, so there will be plenty of visits to DD and her DH in which to get the lay of the land. Trouble is, I need to stay for over a week in order to get past the altitude sensitivity. I cannot trust myself to make a decision when I feel all heachachy and weak. I understand that after a week, that gets better. Only one way to find out, I guess.

MOI
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Yes, I have plenty of time for this project, so there will be plenty of visits to DD and her DH in which to get the lay of the land. Trouble is, I need to stay for over a week in order to get past the altitude sensitivity. I cannot trust myself to make a decision when I feel all heachachy and weak. I understand that after a week, that gets better. Only one way to find out, I guess.

~~~

MOI... Yes, altitude sickness can be a bummer. Remember one thing...
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DANMENTERKEY!

Yes, I have plenty of time for this project, so there will be plenty of visits to DD and her DH in which to get the lay of the land. Trouble is, I need to stay for over a week in order to get past the altitude sensitivity. I cannot trust myself to make a decision when I feel all heachachy and weak. I understand that after a week, that gets better. Only one way to find out, I guess.

~~~

MOI... Yes, altitude sickness can be a bummer. Been there, lived that... Remember one thing... water helps to combat this problem. You'll want bottled or filtered.

Also, it's considered "high desert". You'll be ~5200' above sea level with single digit humidity often. Plus, one beer @ altitude is like two beers @ sea level. I was in the Springs... ~5800+ feet, for over 20 years. First hand knowledge... (o:
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MOI... Yes, altitude sickness can be a bummer. Been there, lived that... Remember one thing... water helps to combat this problem. You'll want bottled or filtered.

Also, it's considered "high desert". You'll be ~5200' above sea level with single digit humidity often. Plus, one beer @ altitude is like two beers @ sea level. I was in the Springs... ~5800+ feet, for over 20 years. First hand knowledge... (o:


Heh heh. All of this I have learned firsthand already. Embarrassed DD a whole lot the first time I drank. The second time I visited, bought a bottle and drank alone in my hotel room....

MOI
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Did you know that there is the same amount of oxygen at altitude as there is at sea level? It's 23% whether on the beach or on the summit of Mount Everest. I only learned that this year at EMT school.

<snip>

Contrary to popular belief, the percentage of oxygen in the air doesn’t change significantly with altitude up to about 85km from the earth! At sea level, oxygen comprises approximately 23% the air by weight and on the summit of Mount Everest it still comprises 23% of the air. So what happens? Why do you feel out of breath when you are up high and why do almost all climbers need oxygen to climb Mount Everest?

The further away from sea level you are, the pressure of the entire atmosphere decreases so in effect, there is less air to breathe. Less air means less oxygen. So it’s true that there is less oxygen the higher up you go, but there is also less nitrogen, argon and other gasses that make up the air we breathe. Nothing changes to the proportions of the gasses in the air, however one breath will deliver less oxygen to your bloodstream, hence you will feel out of breath.

http://www.adlers.com.au/oxygen.php
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The further away from sea level you are, the pressure of the entire atmosphere decreases so in effect, there is less air to breathe. Less air means less oxygen. So it’s true that there is less oxygen the higher up you go, but there is also less nitrogen, argon and other gasses that make up the air we breathe. Nothing changes to the proportions of the gasses in the air, however one breath will deliver less oxygen to your bloodstream, hence you will feel out of breath.


So will deeper breathing help? I have an awful time breathing deeply at upper altitudes. And I get so exhausted I can hardly walk.

MOI
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Take iron suppliments to aid your hemoglobin. Your body will adjust in about 2 weeks.
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So will deeper breathing help? I have an awful time breathing deeply at upper altitudes. And I get so exhausted I can hardly walk.

MOI


~~~

Don't hyperventilate... and drink lotsa water. Just remember that is still considered "desert"...
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