Greetings from Denver

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AnalyticalEngine
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Greetings from Denver

Post by AnalyticalEngine » Wed Jan 09, 2019 8:56 pm

Hi everyone, I've been lurking on this forum for a few years now and finally decided to make an account.

About me: I live in the Denver area and currently work as a software developer. I've been working in this field for about five years now and I am currently bored out of my mind. I also discovered MMM in 2012 and have been pursuing FI ever since.

I'm currently looking to refine my approach into something more web-of-goals oriented, perhaps even leaving the Denver area. I'll try to make a journal about these efforts soon.

Otherwise, hello everyone!

wolf
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by wolf » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:10 am

welcome

prognastat
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by prognastat » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:44 am

Welcome to the forums, what are you thinking of as far as goals are concerned?

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TopHatFox
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:04 am

Thoughts on Denver, and thoughts on where you'd move & why?

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by AnalyticalEngine » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:20 am

Thanks for the warm welcome everyone!

On Denver--I've lived here for the past 10 years, and overall I have loved living here. Denver has a great culture. Everyone is down-to-earth and pretty friendly. The weather is great, the unemployment rate is low, and there's a ton of cycling trails through the city and suburbs. Property taxes are also low.

But there are some downsides to living here too. Specifically, the housing market and transportation infrastructure here are insane. I bought a townhouse back in 2013 for $110k. Five years later, and the townhouse I'm living in now has appreciated to $260k. It's been great for my networth, but not so great if your plan is to buy an actual house instead of a townhouse. Part of my ERE plans involve owning a paid-off property, so this has been a significant hurtle. If I choose to stay here, I am looking at ~5 more years of work to afford a paid off, single family house. However, if I cash out the equity in my current condo, I could move somewhere with a less insane market and be ERE'd right now.

Transportation infrastructure is also a problem. We've had a huge population boom, and given everyone's propensity for a 3.5 bedroom house in the 'burbs, Denver has turned into more Los Angeles and less San Francisco. The sprawl is a real problem, public transportation takes forever due to the distance, and we have only a few real freeways. The end result is that to go from my condo to downtown takes about 1-2 hours in traffic hell to go 18 miles. Living downtown is out of the question due to affordability, and I'm allergic to driving like that, so the end result is I spend most of my time stuck at home. You're also basically required to have a car here due to bad public transit system.

Homelessness has also become a significant problem down in Denver due to the housing market. It's a constant battle between the homeless people living in conditions that border encampments and the city trying to get rid of them without solving the actual problem.

There are the Rocky Mountains and some great national parks, but getting to them is another story. You're looking at 2-4 hours sitting on I-70 to go anywhere nature-related, and then once you get there, there are so many people on the trails that you might have well just gone downtown if you wanted to deal with the crowds.

As for alternatives, I'm considering something in the Nashville area right now. It's way more affordable, and the infrastructure is pretty decent. My only concern right now is the culture difference. While Nashville as a city seems culturally similar to Denver as a city, Tennessee is not Colorado, and the political and culture differences between the two states are something I'm researching more.

On future plans--moving aside, I am still planning for ERE as if I were not moving since I'm currently somewhat stuck in a holding pattern with respect to my place of residence. I want to go the Ran Prieur route of having a paid off house with a decent garden but still living close to the city. The full homestead route is just not my thing. So I'd like to get a paid off house near a university and then do some adjunct work or potentially write fiction. I loved my computer science education, but working in this industry is, to put it bluntly, boring and stupid and full of some profoundly maladjusted people.

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TopHatFox
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by TopHatFox » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:39 am

@AnalyticalEngine, yeah, I've actually been re-cosidering Denver itself. It seems too sprawled out unfortunately, and getting more and more popular by the day (which seems to ruin any place, making it into an LA or NYC).

What about other places in CO, like Boulder or Colorado Springs? Have you thought about other outdoorsy Rocky Mountain States, like in Tucson or other places in AZ? Missoula, Montana seems interesting to look at too.

It's amazing that it's possible to get a $100K networth increase just by buying a house in a low market and waiting for the area to become popular. Like, shit, it'd take me 2 yrs of hardwork to save that much as a comparison.

Jean
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by Jean » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:59 am

Hi AE! On the subject of place that seems great. Having travelled around the US, one place which seemed great, but underrated was northern arkansa. Mountains, rivers, cheap real estate, nice climate, great base for 1 month road trips all around the country.

AnalyticalEngine
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by AnalyticalEngine » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:08 pm

@TopHatFox - Boulder is a decent city, but it's way too expensive. Housing prices there are so insane as to make Denver look affordable. To give you an idea, a house in Denver is going to run you $400k. In Boulder, that same house is $750k. If you're willing to rent a low end one bedroom, that's gonna cost you $1.2k/mo. You could always get a roommate and pay $600/mo for the apartment, but Boulder is not worth it if you want a house.

Colorado Springs is decent. Public transportation is not so great there, so you're probably still stuck with a car, but it's more affordable down there and you're close to Garden of the Gods. Unfortunately, Colorado Springs is growing rapidly too, and I'm not sure how long it'll stay that way.

If you wanna stay in Colorado, Grand Junction seems to be decent. The Pueblo area is also dirt cheap. Palisade, Colorado is also amazing. There's a ton of small wineries there. But none of these towns (with the exception of Pueblo) are very cheap.

I'm from Utah originally, and I will say Salt Lake City is decent. Utah has major issues with planning urban areas competently, but SLC is still cheap enough to be viable imo.

I'll have to check out Arizona and Montana. I haven't spent much time in either of those states, but it's worth researching!

The $100k networth is nothing to sneeze at, but it mainly only benefits me if I get out of this market. Because while the gains have been great, all the other housing in the state has gone up the same, if not more. It makes the opportunity cost of staying here something to content with.

LiquidSapphire
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Re: Greetings from Denver

Post by LiquidSapphire » Thu Jan 17, 2019 10:29 am

Welcome, I'm from Denver as well. Agree with your assessment. I'd definitely plan a long vacation to whatever place you're headed before you land there... I underestimated how much culture mattered to me when making this call of final resting place. Denver, to me, has phenomenal culture. Places like Pueblo, Grand Junction, simply just do not even compare. Springs, Fort Collins, are nice... but not really any cheaper. I really hesitate to even touch the SE for cultural reasons; I visited Tulsa for work and it was like another planet.

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