Logistics of moving to Denver - Any tips?

ladynimueFebruary 22, 2008

I'd love to hear your tips or advise for making a move go as smoothly as possible. My dh has accepted a job transfer several hundred miles away and will be leaving in April. I will stay here with the kids until school is finished in late May.

We'll probably list our home around the 1st of May which means I'll be on my own for that (as well as taking care of the kids, etc.).

How did you manage finances when separated? Travel? Being a 'single parent' while also keeping your home prepared for viewings?

And then there is the strong likelyhood that we'll need to rent while looking for a new home (Denver area). How did you manage that? What to keep, what to leave with the movers? Where to find a short term rental? Dh will stay with his sister until we all move. We're not even sure which area of Denver we'd like to move to, yet. Should we figure that out as a first step?

I'm feeling kind of lost here so thank you for any suggestions!

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We've done cross country moves several times, my hubby would always relocate ahead of me and I'd be back home with the kids (4 of them) selling the old house.

Finances -- my hubby would get direct deposit, we'd find a bank that had branches not only in the state we were moving from, but also in the state we were moving to. He was always lucky to have a corporate apartment at his disposal for short term use (I think 3 months was the max) so we didn't have to support two households that way. So I'd hold down the homefront paying the bills etc and he'd concentrate on doing research on the new area while he was living wherever that was, so that when I could get out there for a weekend to find a home we'd know where to look.

I would certainly do research to determine what area you want to live in. And then concentrate your home search or temporary living quarters search to that area. When we lived in the Denver area (1989-1992) we lived in unincorporated Littleton which is now Centennial. It was a good school district back then as was Cherry Creek. Don't know about now.

Be flexible when showing your house. Even though with kids it's more difficult. Keep a basket that you can throw anything laying around in and as you head out the door throw the basket in the car with the kids. I've been interrupted during dinner for a showing and thrown dinner and dishes in the oven, grabbed the kids, drove down to the circle at the end of our street and waited for the buyers to leave.

Good luck!!!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2008 at 12:00PM
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Thanks very much Cordovamom. Those are some good tips. I really like the basket for the car idea! And luckily we have a little park on the corner where I can take the kids when there's a showing.

Keeping the house in tip top shape with 3 boys is going to be hard. I guess I'll be cleaning and nagging 24/7 :)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 11:10AM
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I just completed a cross country move from AZ to MN where my husband was gone at a training programme for 6 months and I remained home to sell the house and conduct the move.

The key is being organized and planning ahead as much as possible. Start researching the Denver area online. Join message boards and ask alot of questions.

Now is also the time to ensure your house will be ready to list in May. Have you decluttered? Packed up things you don't need so the house will show better? Have you looked at your personal decorations that need to be removed so potential buyers can envision themselves in your home?

Since your DH will be away, you should also get POAs for each other so you can handle the sale of the home in his absence.

Now is also a good time to have a garage sale or give away alot of your "junk" to Goodwill. Moving is stressful, but long distance is even moreso. Why take a bunch of crap that yuo will eventually throw out anyway? Besides, if you're paying for the move, then you want as little weight as possible.

You should also research your RE market now. What is typical DOM in your area? Are you prepared for the stress and frustration of selling your home, dealing with the kids with your dh away?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 12:50PM
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sparksals wrote: "Now is also a good time to have a garage sale or give away alot of your "junk" to Goodwill."

After you have your yard sale, you might want to consider giving away any excess at Freecycle.org. Easier to have people pick it up off the lawn than have to haul the leftovers to Goodwill.

Denver is a great place to live, but you might want to make sure you don't buy a house in a community that might be affected by this latest news:

"Avalanche of water threatens Colorado town"
Feb 15, 2008
DENVER - More than 1 billion gallons of contaminated water -- enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools -- is trapped in a tunnel in the mountains above the historic town of Leadville and threatening to blow.

Lake County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency for fear that this winter's above-average snowpack will melt and cause a catastrophic tidal wave.

A link that might be useful:


    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 3:29PM
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"Avalanche of water threatens Colorado town"
Feb 15, 2008
DENVER - More than 1 billion gallons of contaminated water -- enough to fill 1,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools -- is trapped in a tunnel in the mountains above the historic town of Leadville and threatening to blow.

Lake County Commissioners have declared a local state of emergency for fear that this winter's above-average snowpack will melt and cause a catastrophic tidal wave."

If you're moving to Denver there's no need to worry about this. Leadville is 80 miles away up in the mountains. They're actually going to start pumping and treating it pretty soon.

I'd definitely rent when you first move to Denver and that'll give you time to explore the area and determine where you might want to buy a house. With any city there's good and bad areas.

Check out www.rtd-fastracks.com . On that website you can find information about Denver's light rail system and where it's going to be built. In case your dh works in the city and you want a house out in the burbs. It'd be very convenient to be near a light rail station for the commute into the city.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 10:01AM
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Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!

Interesting about the contaminated water in Leadville. What a horrible problem.

Multiple yard sales will very likely happen. No more hauling junk with us. I moderate two Freecycle groups and I'll make full use of those - and I'm really glad to know that it's promoted on this board :)

A POA, I wouldn't have thought of that one, thanks Sparksals. Researching our market is easy enough, we live in a small town and the market is very good. I expect that we'll sell fairly quickly and easily.

Thanks for the light rail link jagermeister. Dh will indeed work downtown and need transportation.

It's all a little overwhelming to me. So much to do and so much to organize. I really appreciate the tips and suggestions you've all given me.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 2:37PM
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Hi Ladynimue,

I live in the Denver area, so I need to chime in and hopefully help you out.

First, as jagermeister said, don't worry about the contaminated water in Leadville. Trust me, it won't reach Denver. Yes, it is ugly, and yes, it is a problem, but it is being handled as best as the feds can.

I live in the 'burbs. I work downtown. What Denver does have, outside of the light rail system it is building, is a decent bus system. I live in a suburb called Arvada, which is west of downtown Denver, about 20 miles away. There is a bus stop 3 blocks from my house, and two different express busses go by there. My commute is about an hour door-to-door, which beats driving any day. My car stays in the garage all week. Keep that in mind when you start researching areas - look for the bus stops or an RTD park and ride lot.

A word of caution - there are several suburbs that I would recommend you don't live in. And of course, you'll get the biggest bang for the buck in those suburbs. I don't know where your husband's family lives out here, and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but I recommend that you stay away from Aurora, Montbello, and anywhere out by DIA. Crime happens all over the Denver area - it's just a part of big city living. But there is a preponderance of crime in those areas. YMMV.

Renting is a good idea. There are a lot of rentals available right now. There are a number of areas with excellent school systems (Arvada being one of them), so do your research.

I hope this helps. I'd be glad to answer any questions you might have if you want to send me a PM.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2008 at 8:27PM
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I live in Colorado, too, and Patty is giving excellent advice about everything. You are going to love it here -- we do!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 1:46AM
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My nephew and family lived in Arvada for many years and just built a new home in Golden. They really liked Arvada and now their daughter is living there.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2008 at 4:43PM
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Thanks for all the information everyone! I've been sick and haven't been on the pc for a few days, please forgive my late reply.

I might PM a couple of you in a few weeks as we get closer to deciding what area to look in. Thanks very much for the offers to discuss this further :)

Patty, when my dad recently suggested we look in Aurora because of the housing costs, I was able to let him know about the increased crime there. That's just the sort of information that's important to have!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 6:59PM
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Aurora is a huge 'burb. I can't believe it's all crime ridden.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2008 at 9:14PM
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I lived in the Boulder area for a dozen years & worked downtown. I learned my first day on the job that it's way better to live east of where you work! The setting western sun in Denver is vicious! Also, traffic around the I-70/I-25 interchange (Mousetrap) is equally vicious. My BIL & SSIL have lived in the Englewood/Cherry Creek area for many years. It's a nice area. DBIL works in the Tech Center so his commute isn't horrible. The Cherry Creek School District is very good.

Also, remember that the farther west you go towards the foothills the more likely you are to experience heavy snows. As a general statement, Golden gets heavier snow than Aurora. Obviously, those are generalities & Mother Nature will always do her own thing so YMMV.

Wind is another factor that played a role in where we lived in the Denver area. There's a couple places where the wind is sure to howl & will cause ground blizzards...one is that foothill corridor say from Boulder to Golden & the other is north, up I-25, towards Longmont. The farther north you go towards Wyoming...the more wind. Heck, I've seen snow cover a school bus because of winds even Broomfield. I might have just been lucky but never experienced fierce winds in Arvada.

Millions of people love living in Denver. I was not one of them. I'm a gardener. I wanted to cry. I DID cry. My precious plants would freeze-dry over the winter. In summer, they were subjected to being in a solar oven. I got Stage 3 melanoma living in Denver (I'm a strawberry blond) so be careful with the kids (lots of sunscreen!). I hate snow & hate the thought of skiing.

If you're going to live in Denver...get started right now on the most important thing in town. The BRONCOS!! John Elway is my personal hero. I have his rookie card & even a Xmas tree ornament. I live in SE coastal CT now & have switched allegiance to Tom Brady & the Pats but still keep my eyes on the Broncos. I think it's against Denver statute NOT to watch the Bronco games.

Enjoy your move. Most people love Denver & it's a good place to raise kids.


    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 9:30AM
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Hmmm, I have no idea why barkri12 brought up this old post of mine to discuss wind patterns and nuclear fallout ???

Anyway, my OP is over a year old. We moved to the Denver area several months ago and couldn't be happier! Triciae, you're right about that sun! Also do not buy a home with a North facing driveway - unless you want an ice rink out there :)

    Bookmark   March 25, 2009 at 1:04PM
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