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Old 02-21-2014, 12:31 PM   #106
OhioPT
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Wealth of info here: Ask away -
http://www.city-data.com/forum/colorado-springs/
Yeah, I've read a lot of threads on that forum- great site. But, it's always nice to get advice from people who share common interests (like motorcycles and mtn bikes) since their views on a lot of things are much different. That's why I like hearing from you guys.

I like this site a lot for quickly finding mtb trails: http://www.singletracks.com/mountain-bike/trails.php Looks like western C.Springs is the place to be!
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:59 PM   #107
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Yes, I want it all dammit I think part of my problem is my mind is preset to avoid living near a city because it typically means all kinds of shit I can care less about (theaters, art galleries, expensive dining and shopping, expensive housing), and none of the outdoor stuff that matters to me, like trails. However, I could probably make an exception in this case, if you are telling me I can ride right to a bunch of mtb trails from Colorado Springs. Is there a part of C.Springs with the best access to the trails? I'm guessing the west end off 24 would be ideal for proximity to the motorized trails, since it sounds like everything is to the north east (Woodland Park, Rampart, etc).

What's the income tax structure in the Springs, Monument, and Woodland Park? Do you have to pay income taxes in the city you reside in and/or in the city you work in? Is there an additional income tax for the school district?

How much are utilities (electric, gas, water, sewer)? How much are vehicle license plate/registration renewals? How much is how owner's insurance?

Real estate taxes look reasonable. I see that sales tax varies by city, but hovers around 7%. State income tax is apparently a flat 4.63%, which isn't too bad. Any other big taxes or fees to be concerned with?
I've lived here for about twenty years now (downtown and on the west side), and rarely get in a car to ride my bike. If I wanted to ride a different trial every day of the week it wouldn't be a problem. You could probably go two weeks with a different trail every day if you wanted. Elsewhere in the city will severely cut down on your access to trails out your front door.

No city income tax, just state and federal. Property taxes are cheap. Homeowner's insurance for me is like $800/yr? Utilities (gas, water, elec, sewage) ranges from $150-$300/mo depending on the time of year. Plates for my old-ass cars/trucks are $25/yr? My newer Mustang is $150/yr? Schools are funded via property tax.

Some friends of mine are selling this house: http://www.zillow.com/homes/2521-n-corona-80907_rb/
People call it the "old north end", and it's nice and quiet with good access to trails and such. I told my wife the other day that if we move again we should look in that area.
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:46 PM   #108
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I lived here in Monument since 2007...never saw 4+ feet of snow, let alone it dump. I Youtubed it once and it seemed there was a blizzard back in like 98 or something...could not find the video I was thinking about but did come across this gem for Colorado Springs.

http://youtu.be/d5exATIaQiI

Not sure how it takes a month to thaw out in Monument over Springs. Other then the wind today it's sunny and not all that bad out.

Yes, weather is different from here to Springs to Woodland Park. I don't know it goes both ways I have watched rain clouds come into Springs from our view and just dump...and we will stay bone dry. I'm sure at times we get snow and Springs does not. But I been in springs many times when they get snow and here in Monument its nothing...that is just CO weather at play.

But then again we love our view...to show you from my deck:
http://youtu.be/QfAIc-OaMFE
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Old 02-21-2014, 01:59 PM   #109
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I lived here in Monument since 2007...never saw 4+ feet of snow, let alone it dump. I Youtubed it once and it seemed there was a blizzard back in like 98 or something...could not find the video I was thinking about but did come across this gem for Colorado Springs.

http://youtu.be/d5exATIaQiI

Not sure how it takes a month to thaw out in Monument over Springs. Other then the wind today it's sunny and not all that bad out.

Yes, weather is different from here to Springs to Woodland Park. I don't know it goes both ways I have watched rain clouds come into Springs from our view and just dump...and we will stay bone dry. I'm sure at times we get snow and Springs does not. But I been in springs many times when they get snow and here in Monument its nothing...that is just CO weather at play.

But then again we love our view...to show you from my deck:
http://youtu.be/QfAIc-OaMFE
Yeah, I think that storm may have been a while back. Early 2000's? I had some business with a guy that lived off that road at the top of Monument hill and had to wait until he got plowed out. Days later it was still five feet deep up there, but ours had melted off. With the obvious on-set of the global cooling trend we're headed into, it's only going to become more commonplace.

There have definitely been years where I've been able to ride here in town, but unable to ride Limbaugh Canyon or other stuff up your way until at least a month later because of the snow. Can't count the number of days in the fall or even January 1st where it's been mid 50's here and mid 30's in WP, which is a big difference for a fair weather mountain biker like me.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:40 PM   #110
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I've lived here in the Black Forest & Colorado Springs area since 1991 (Black Forest, just south of the Palmer Divide/Monument from '91-2003, then moved to Colorado Springs, about 2 miles north of downtown).

We've had a couple of bizarre bad blizzards (one in 97), but they're an exception, not the norm, so I wouldn't let that deter me. Plus, weather patterns are changing here as I suspect they have been elsewhere and our winters have been extremely dry and with the exception of a couple of absolutely bone-shattering cold spells (to me anyway, and I'm a wuss... but -18 at night and below 0 degree highs during the day, even at 4% humidity, just plain suck...) point is, the weather, or anyone's perspective on the weather, is VERY subjective AND constantly changing...remember it when you sift through info

When we moved here we looked all over, Larkspur, on Palmer Divide, all over Monument, Black Forest, Woodland Park...

For reasons mentioned earlier, we didn't go with Woodland Park (too snowy, too much traffic to/from). The biggest reason we didn't like Monument/Tri-Lakes area and Black Forest area right ON the Palmer divide, is that whenever there are storms coming from the south, Colorado Springs tends to get dumped on, while Denver may stay clear and/or if from the North, the other way around, simply because storms get "hung up" on the Palmer Divide (Monument, Palmer Lake/Tri-Lakes area are basically on or around the Palmer Divide).

We ended up finding a home on 6 1/2 acres at the very South-West edge of Black Forest, the temps still tend to be about 10 degrees cooler than in the city and there's more snow there, but it's much milder than right along the Palmer Divide and it's base which tends to get the worst of both worlds, because whenever a storm from either direction ends up getting stuck on the Divide, it ends up getting snow when it may be bright and sunny 5 minutes further north or south.

The other downside to Monument and Castle Rock we felt is they're turning into what the area between LA and San Diego has morphed into...

It's beautiful in Palmer Park, Monument, Woodland Park, Black Forest, but you pay a price. You just have to know what you're willing to put up with weatherwise and what's best for your needs & wants.

I'm now right smackdab in the center of Colorado Springs, in an old neighborhood and am enjoying short drive times to anywhere (it used to be 10 miles just to get to the edge of the city) and it's very quiet here, I'd never thought I'd enjoy living in the city or get used to it, but I actually like it. Still prefer to be out in the boondocks...with a couple of horses and a bunch of critters around, but hey--it's all a trade-off.
Good Luck.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #111
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I live in Parker and frequent the southern part of douglas county and northern el paso county. Monument is a really nice area. All along the front range is not really snowy. Yes we can get the occasional dump of snow. 2003 we got 4 feet in three days on my driveway. Then we got double the average in 2007. However snow rarely lingers too much. We have a big spread between day time high and night time low. That means snow melts fast turns to ice then its gone in days. We also have what my son calls bipolar weather in winter - 19 F one week 67f two weeks later.

Douglas county north of el paso is very nice. However, is very expensive. Is in the top ten wealthiest counties in the US. That put most properties out of range of normal people.
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Old 02-23-2014, 09:17 AM   #112
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I live in Parker and frequent the southern part of douglas county and northern el paso county. Monument is a really nice area. All along the front range is not really snowy. Yes we can get the occasional dump of snow. 2003 we got 4 feet in three days on my driveway. Then we got double the average in 2007. However snow rarely lingers too much. We have a big spread between day time high and night time low. That means snow melts fast turns to ice then its gone in days. We also have what my son calls bipolar weather in winter - 19 F one week 67f two weeks later.

Douglas county north of el paso is very nice. However, is very expensive. Is in the top ten wealthiest counties in the US. That put most properties out of range of normal people.
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Yep that is where Dog the Bounty hunter has his place in Colorado, same for that Bobby Brown bail bonds guy (my wife filled his scripts before in Monument....LOL). Some very nice homes out there.
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Old 02-23-2014, 11:44 AM   #113
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That is probably small potatoes. This place is about three miles south of where I live.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc..._bDGYCZp4wBcJw

That house is larger than the rec center of the town. The entertaiment area was featured in hgtv million dollar homes. The wine cellar alone is larged than many single family homes.

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Old 02-23-2014, 07:48 PM   #114
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My thread has been revived great info from all the folks who have lived here much longer than I.... but I was the OP so I feel justified in giving my opinion.. I couldn't be happier with my choice of Woodland Park.. only thing I wish I had done differently in my search would be looking even farther up 24, towards Divide, just to be a bit farther into the "country."

As far as access to riding areas it seems to me that anything from Monument, to Black Forest, to CS, to Pueblo, to WP has pretty easy access to any of the riding areas in those locations.. I mean it just isn't all that far from any one place to the other. Maybe this comes from growing up in Southern California where I had to drive 5-6 hours to get to any real mountains. I guess my point would be, don't let access to MX riding areas be the driving factor in your location choice, because a pretty short drive will get you to pretty limitless riding.

I am glad I chose WP because anything along the I25 corridor just feels like the megalopolis I grew up in in SoCal. Strip mall after strip mall, Lowes after Home Depot after Costco after whatever. No thanks... OTOH WP is small enough to have some character.. everyone at the local Lumber Yard/hardware store already knows my name after 7 short months, and the bonus...I can be at any big box store I need in 25 minutes if I really need something the stores up here dont carry.

I dont understand the "traffic" thing. I realize I got here in August, so maybe I missed the great traffic jam that can occur on Summer weekends, but I guess after having lived in SoCal, the Washington DC area, and Honolulu I just have a different opinion on what "traffic" is.

Utilities have been mixed here. My heating has been downright reasonable... running around $100 this winter. I am on Natural Gas, and I have a well built home of moderate square footage,,, around 2200. OTOH my water bill is $86 a month.. and that is the minimum.. even if I am gone for the whole month and use 0 gallons, my bill will be $86.. that seems steep to me. I live in the county, not WP proper, by about 100 ft.. but that seems to save me some in taxes.. I havent really researched it all that much.... basically, I am living pretty comfortably on a government pension that is about 1/3 what I was making last year living in RI... the low cost of living is the only reason I am able to do that.

So IMHO,, come to WP.. besides I am looking for folks to discover MTB and MX trails with this Spring/Summer. If you want a place to stay to look around let me know.. I have spare rooms and have offered the space up to other ADV riders in the tent space thread.. so come on out.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:04 AM   #115
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Wow, thank you guys so much for the information. I'm going to have to fly out there to check out CS and WP before I do anything. There are pros and cons of both, of course. My wife and I both have to drive to work daily, so CS might be a little better for us, unless we can land good jobs in WP (less chance, but possible). If I was retired, I'm pretty sure WP would be the go-to place, since we are small-town/country folks. But, there's a lot to be said for being able to ride a mtb right from the house, and having slightly better weather during the winter.

However, from my brief online search, it seems like there are better home choices in WP. I'd like to get a home built within the last 10-20 years, since they usually are more insulated/efficient, have open floor plans, and in general will need less work/upgrading (assuming they were built properly). My budget is $275k max, and we'd like 3+ BR, 2+ baths, and 2k+ sqft. I also want at least a 2-car garage for our vehicles and toys. I'm finding a slim choice of homes that meet this criteria in the western edge of CS. I did find one, but it looks like a major flood drainage runs through the backyard There appear to be more newer home choices just north of CS (toward Black Forest and across from the Air Force Academy), but the homes are built right on top of each other. It would be nice to have a tree or something between houses, lol.

Regarding cost of living, I was shocked to see how much yearly vehicle registration is. Apparently, it is based off a formula that considers vehicle MSRP, weight, and age (newer = $$). The estimate calculator puts my 2010 Legacy GT around $400-500/year. I pay about $60/year here, so that's a kick in the balls.

Real estate and city taxes look great out there. I pay about 1% real estate tax where I'm at now, and a .5% income tax in the city I work in, no school tax. We looked at moving to Columbus, OH and real estate taxes on a $250k home in the suburb are $4-6k, plus a 2.5% income tax if you work within Columbus city limits (including most of the close suburbs), plus another .5-1.5% tax in the city/suburb you reside in, plus a .5-1% tax for some of the school districts. That's just freakin insane.

Besides vehicle registration, it sounds like they get you pretty good on water utilities out there. $86/mo is high, IMO. I believe we pay that much a quarter, and our use is not metered. These expenses aren't deal breakers, but it's good to know for planning.

Sounds like electric/gas is cheap. That's probably because of the cool/dry air in the evenings during the summer, and the sunny-moderate winters. It's expensive here in Ohio. Our 30 yo house is all-electric (heat pump), and I'd say our bill averages $200/month (winter is the worst). Air conditioning is a necessity because of the humidity in the summer, and it gets cold in the winter, and is cloudy to boot. I've heard a few times that we get less days of sunshine than anywhere else in the country. Vitamin D deficiency is epidemic around here, so I think it's true.

Sorry for rambling on about expenses. It sounds like overall, the area is very affordable. I know life is about more than just finances, and it sounds like the quality of life there is great, at least from my perspective.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:11 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by mrt10x View Post
My thread has been revived great info from all the folks who have lived here much longer than I.... but I was the OP so I feel justified in giving my opinion.. I couldn't be happier with my choice of Woodland Park.. only thing I wish I had done differently in my search would be looking even farther up 24, towards Divide, just to be a bit farther into the "country."

As far as access to riding areas it seems to me that anything from Monument, to Black Forest, to CS, to Pueblo, to WP has pretty easy access to any of the riding areas in those locations.. I mean it just isn't all that far from any one place to the other. Maybe this comes from growing up in Southern California where I had to drive 5-6 hours to get to any real mountains. I guess my point would be, don't let access to MX riding areas be the driving factor in your location choice, because a pretty short drive will get you to pretty limitless riding.

I am glad I chose WP because anything along the I25 corridor just feels like the megalopolis I grew up in in SoCal. Strip mall after strip mall, Lowes after Home Depot after Costco after whatever. No thanks... OTOH WP is small enough to have some character.. everyone at the local Lumber Yard/hardware store already knows my name after 7 short months, and the bonus...I can be at any big box store I need in 25 minutes if I really need something the stores up here dont carry.

I dont understand the "traffic" thing. I realize I got here in August, so maybe I missed the great traffic jam that can occur on Summer weekends, but I guess after having lived in SoCal, the Washington DC area, and Honolulu I just have a different opinion on what "traffic" is.

Utilities have been mixed here. My heating has been downright reasonable... running around $100 this winter. I am on Natural Gas, and I have a well built home of moderate square footage,,, around 2200. OTOH my water bill is $86 a month.. and that is the minimum.. even if I am gone for the whole month and use 0 gallons, my bill will be $86.. that seems steep to me. I live in the county, not WP proper, by about 100 ft.. but that seems to save me some in taxes.. I havent really researched it all that much.... basically, I am living pretty comfortably on a government pension that is about 1/3 what I was making last year living in RI... the low cost of living is the only reason I am able to do that.

So IMHO,, come to WP.. besides I am looking for folks to discover MTB and MX trails with this Spring/Summer. If you want a place to stay to look around let me know.. I have spare rooms and have offered the space up to other ADV riders in the tent space thread.. so come on out.
Thanks for chiming in. It's great to hear from someone who made the move, and their perspective on things. My best friend lived in the Bay Area and moved down to San Diego a couple years ago. I flew out there a couple years ago to do some riding, and we have to drive about 4-5 hrs to get to the type of single-track riding I like, so I know what you mean. Cali is a nice state, but I'm really turned off from the crowding, politics, and expense of living there. Thanks for the offer to visit, I might take you up on that!
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:44 AM   #117
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Hitch a ride with Freddy when he comes out next - it seems like he's out here every 3 months or so lately. The way he talks, I think he may be on the cusp of moving this way too.

My best advice to you is spend a good amount of time in any area you are thinking about moving to before you buy. Also, remember winter here is not like winter back East - you can actually get out and do things out here.

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Trail clearing will start in a week or two depending on the weather if you are interested in helping.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:53 AM   #118
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Yeah traffic to and from Woodland Park is nothing special, a Sunday back to town US24 as you come out of the Canyon can be nuts but learn your side roads. Jump on 31st street and you can get to Fillmore. 21st street to Uintah. Not really a problem. You can also get to Garden of the God's road too without getting on I-25. Yeah traffic in Woodland Park can get busy, learn to use the lighted intersections at those times to say turn Left out of the side streets. 67 North seems to have less traffic but can be what people around here consider busy in the Summer...most are heading out US24 to places like Cripple Creek.

Yeah Divide is nice and McGinty's is a wonderful place to eat at been there a bunch of times. (As I said we basically live in Woodland Park as the Sister in-law is up there). I'm probably in Woodland Park 1-3 times a week.

Vehicle Registration is no doubt stupid out here. $800 a year for the 2013 Volvo S60. I think my 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee is down to $200. Like you we moved from MI, where at most we paid $100 a year...it could of been a Porsche 911 costing $140,000 it didn't matter...here that same car I was told would be $4,000 a year...are you F'ing kidding and they wonder why so many leave out of state plates on here...LOL I heard a new F150 can set you back $1,000 a year.
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Old 02-24-2014, 11:17 AM   #119
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OhioPT
mrt10x
You ready for some riding?
Trail clearing will start in a week or two depending on the weather if you are interested in helping.
Absolutely... I am spending too much time on the couch..have chainsaw.. will travel.

As for vehicle registration.. it is steep here.. but there are low gas taxes, and no property taxes on vehicles.. having lived in CA, HI, VA, RI, GA, and AZ, well those are the places I lived long enough to register vehicles, I came to the conclusion that they are going to get their pound of flesh somehow. CA actually has lower vehicle registrations.. but a gallon of unleaded will cost you 10-15c per gallon more than here in CO because they tax gas so heavily.. and Diesel even more, plus higher sales/property/income taxes. In RI and VA they tax your vehicle every stinking year... luckily I didnt have to pay them due to my military exemptions, but I thought it was ridiculous they would send me a tax bill every year for my 12 year old Chevy 2500.

I spent almost zero time here in WP before I bought here.. I had a week to find a place to buy.. I needed to buy a place before I retired.. I had been through here 3 or 4 times on my way to Deckers or 11 mile with my buddy who retired in CS.. so I feel exceptionally lucky to have landed in such a nice place... with a great view. I guess my lack of a family and my 9 or 10 moves across the country made it easier for me to jump in with both feet.. but so far so good.
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Old 02-24-2014, 02:42 PM   #120
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Could just do like me with vehicles. Anything that would be expensive is over 10 years old. It keeps the registration costs down which when you have 6 vehicles is kind of important. Then with a job in just the right place, all summer long you can ride dirt to work. I love it in Woodland Park even if it is 35 miles to work.
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