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Living in Denver

Living in Denver,

How to Keep One Step Ahead of Denver Traffic

How to Be One step ahead of Denver's traffic

Image Courtesy of CODOT

I am a perpetually check Google Maps before I leave any location.  I will ask my step-sons to check the route to see if there is a better one before us.  I want to see if the traffic is moving (or not).  Is the route I like to take all “red” with congestion?  Is there a better way to go?  Should I stay at work a little longer and wait for the traffic to die down?  I am sure you may be thinking…I live in Chicago and I use public transit.  I just walk to the CTA bus or train and hunker down into a good book, podcast or people watching and zone out.  Well, depending on where you live and work, public transportation may not be a viable option for you.

We have 2 major highways in the Denver Metro area, I-70 (runs East and West) and I-25 (runs North and South).  They can be quite a nightmare especially with construction! The Colorado Department of Transportation has several popular projects they are working on and will start to work on in 2018.  One of my favorite is the Central 70 Project.  This project is between I-25 and Chambers Road and will remove the 53-year old viaduct.  CDOT’s site states that the viaduct carries upward of 200,000 vehicles per day.  There will be a lot of changes, so to keep on top of it you can:How to Keep one step ahead of denver traffic

  • check CDOT’s lane closures with this map,
  • subscribe to all project Alerts via email or text (this will sign you up for travel alerts, news and much more), or
  • One of my favorite functions on CDOT’s site: the COTrip, an interactive map that provides live feeds of the condition of the roads and traffic.

Another important part of Denver’s roads is the City and County of Denver’s Public Works Department provides services involving the public infrastructure (transportation, street maintenance, planning and construction and many more services).  Road impartments are discussed often.  Are the roads needing to be repaved?  Does the CCD need to acquire land owner’s property to widen streets? CCD has a Downtown Paving Work Program that has identified streets that will be repaved in 2018.  If you have any questions on a program, need to request a repair or need to report a problem you can call 3-1-1.

For more information, check out our blog post by Bethany Candelaria “Everything you need to know about Denver Traffic.”

By knowing some of the Colorado Department of Transportation and City and County of Denver’s Public Works Department transportation projects, you will be zipping down I-25 stress free.

Living in Denver,

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Moving can be stressful especially if it is out of state and even more so if you don’t know a lot about the state or city you are moving to.  If you type in, “what to know before moving out of state” into Google, there 2.28 Billion search items in less than .71 seconds.  That can be very overwhelming.  To make it easier for you, here are our top 7 questions to ask yourself before moving out of state.

1. What does the job market look like?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

If you are moving for a job, CONGRATULATIONS! If you are looking for a job in the Denver Metro area – there are plenty of jobs available.   The Denver Post reported in May 2018 that our unemployment rated was below 3%.  Update your LinkedIn profile to look for jobs in Denver.  You can also use Indeed to find a job.

2. When should I move?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

According to Moving.com, the most cost-effective time to move is Mid-September to April.  Just remember, if you are moving to Colorado snow can start to fall as early as September but late October is more likely.  And Wikipedia states March is the 2nd snowiest month with 10.7 inches on average

3. What is the housing market like?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Courtesy of www.videoblocks.com

Whether you are looking to Buy or Rent, knowing what you will pay for your living situation is vital.  CNBC with the Federal Housing Administration (yes if you read the article CNBC says Federal Housing Association which is incorrect) has a rule of thumb to not spend more than 30% of your gross (before taxes and expenses).  There is a neat chart for your reference.  Check it out and see where you rank!  Learn more about Denver in this blog post of ours: “Five Things you Need to Know about Denver.”

4. Where should I live?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Image courtesy of www.metrowestres.com

Do you want to be close to the mountains? Do you want to live close to your office? Getting to know the neighborhoods can be fun.  Once you have an idea of what you need and want to be close to, it will be easier to identify where you could live.

5. What is the cost of living?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

I love that our beautiful state ranks in the top 10 best states for early retirement.  The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation Enter your current city and state and current salary.  The output will compare salary, and price differences on groceries, housing, utilities, transportation and health care.  For example:  If you currently live in Chicago making $75,000 a year – you will need to make at least $67,950 a year in Denver.  Your groceries will be about 10% less, Housing will be 16% less, Utilities 3% more, Transportation 18% less, and health care will be 3% more.

6. How is the weather?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

Check out #2 on 5 things you should know about Denver.   We have lots and lost of sunshine.  67% of our days are sunny ones.  And generally, when we do get snow, it will melt on the streets the next day – making your commute to work or outdoor activities more tolerable.

7. What is the Crime Rate?

7 Questions to Ask Before Moving

As you can tell from our blogpost about the Denver neighborhoods , there are 78 official neighborhoods. CityWide Data reported in July 2018 that murder was down 50% from 2017, -1.7% Rape, -10.3% Robbery, +1.81 Aggravated Assault in Denver.  Once you have identified where you would like to live, use the Denver Police Departments cumulative data and data by month for more specific information.

We hope you find this information valuable.

 

 

Living in Denver,

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

1. Moving is an opportunity to purge some items that you haven’t used in a while or won’t be using in Colorado.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

For example:  If you are moving from Chicago, you may have a lot of Bears, White Sox, Cubbie, and Bulls apparel that you won’t need– you are in Broncos, Rox, Avs, Nuggets country now!  On a serious note – When starting to pack, ask yourself “Do I really need this?  Have I used/worn this in the past year?”  If the answer is “No” then give it away

2. Labels, labels and more labels.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

The more you label something the more organized it will make you – which relieves stress.  When I moved this last time, we asked a couple of local offices if we could have their unwanted one side used paper.  We were able to get a lot of paper for free.  We would label the boxes on all 4 side with 8 ½ x 11 sheets.  There was no question which room the box was supposed to go into.  I like to save as much money as possible since moving can prove to be expensive.

3. Decide if you will be moving yourself or hiring movers.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

Moving.com has a calculator for moving estimates.  It can cost $3,910-$5468 to hire movers for a 2-3 bedroom apartment from Chicago to Denver.  If you choose to move yourself, Uhaul’s 20’ truck (2-3 bedroom apt) would cost you $1,615.

4. Start collecting boxes and packing material.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

HomeDepot or Lowes can cost a lot of money.  Try reaching out to your local Nextdoor neighbors and ask if anyone is getting rid of boxes and packaging material.  It could save you a LOT of money.

5. Pack essentials last.

6 Tips to Make Moving Easier

Could you imagine if you packed your tooth brush, toiletries and towels for the showers?  That would be pretty frustrating as you use them daily! I know that seems pretty dramatic but think of this: Don’t pack things you know you will need to use.  Pack items that are in storage, Holiday items, nonessential items, books, etc.

6. Keep the breakables or prized items with you.

6 tips to make moving easier

Do you have your great grandma’s china, priceless paintings, or an extensive coin collection?  If so, you may want to drive with them in your car for safe keeping.

Happy Moving!

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver
Living in Denver,

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

1: HOT REAL ESTATE MARKET

RE/MAX Alliance YouTube has some valuable information about communities and vital market information to help you make an informed real estate decision. You may be thinking a Tiny House is something you are able to afford in a hot market but make sure to check with the City and County on their restrictions.

2: LOTS OF SUNSHINE

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

Clouds are a rarity in Denver

Many believe there are 300 days of sun – it really depends on how you interpret it.  The National Weather Service identifies sky condition with 1/8 or less cloud coverage as a clear or sunny day.  Mostly clear/Mostly Sunny is 1/8 to 3/8 of cloud coverage. Current Results Weather and Science Facts reports 245 sunny days. Not bad! 67% of our days are sunny days.

3: BLUCIFER!

Five Things You Need to Know About Denver

He looks even more terrifying at night.

Blucifer or the Blue Mustang shoots red LED beams from his eyes. Frightening? Great public art? Ponder this: Its creator, Luis Jimenez, was killed when a piece of the torso fell on him; his two sons finished the $650,000 project.

4: LOW UNEMPLOYMENT

Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the Colorado Economy at a glance with unemployment at 2.5% for September 2017. Colorado has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country at 2.7% as of October, 2017. That’s a full 1.4% lower than the national average.

5: SOOOOOO MUCH TO DO

A High Dynamic Range photo of the Garden of the Gods park in Colorado Springs, Colorado with Pikes peak in the background.

Whether is it hiking, biking, boating, snowshoeing, skiing, watching professional sports.  The City and County of Denver site have a laundry list of year-round family attractions, adventures, vacation ideas, national parks and outdoor activities that make the state of Colorado come to life.

Need help exploring how you can move to Denver? My contact information is in my signature.

Denver Neighborhods
Living in Denver,

Metro Denver Neighborhoods – A Breakdown

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Denver Neighborhoods – The Basics

If a move from Chicago to Denver is in your future, you might be wondering where exactly you’d like to call home. It might seem like an overwhelming task trying to figure out where to begin researching neighborhoods in the city. While I could probably write a book on everything you might want to know, no one has time for that. Here’s a very brief breakdown on some of the major Denver neighborhoods you should consider.

Denver Neighborhods

Chicago and Denver both feature diverse neighborhoods.

Baker

Just west of Wash Park is the historic Baker neighborhood. One of the oldest parts of Denver, this area was first developed in the 1870s. Dotted with gorgeous Victorian homes and newer apartment buildings, Baker is right off the great food and shopping on Broadway.

Berkeley/Highlands/Sloan’s Lake/Sunnyside

These five locales are all in close proximity to each other on the northwest side of the city and have all seen a tremendous change in the past several years. Turn of the century (20th that is) homes and new builds, along with some of the best dining in the city, make this area popular for visitors and residents alike. Here are links to neighborhood groups in the area:

Berkeley

Highlands

Sloan’s Lake

Sunnyside

Capitol Hill

As its name implies, Capitol Hill makes up the area surrounding the Colorado State Capitol Building. This Denver neighborhood features some single family homes, but many of the old mansions that line the streets have been converted into apartments. It’s also home to many of the city’s museums, art studios and restaurants.

Denver Neighborhoods

The State Capitol Building
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Five Points

Once known as the “Harlem of the West,” Five Points is one of Denver’s oldest and most diverse neighborhoods. It is currently experiencing a renaissance of sorts and is home to an eclectic mix of coffee shops, restaurants, and culture.

Green Valley Ranch

Green Valley Ranch is one of the fastest growing parts of the city. With new homes for affordable prices, this neighborhood in the eastern part of the city is highly desirable.

River North

This old industrial part of the city has seen a revival as the city’s art hub. Old warehouses and factories have been transformed into studios, markets, clubs and coffee shops. New housing has also popped up the area, making “RiNo” one of the most popular parts of the city.

Stapleton

The Stapleton area of east Denver is one of the newest neighborhoods in the city. Once home to the old Stapleton Airport, redevelopment has converted  new homes and plenty of shopping. It has quickly become one of the hottest areas in the city for young singles and families alike.

Washington Park

Denver Neighborhoods

Beautiful Washington Park
Image Courtesy of Wikipedia

Wash Park is one of the most popular Denver neighborhoods (and also one of the most expensive!) It is located in the south central part of the city and is populated with many single family homes surrounding the largest park in Denver. The western part of the area is home to a younger crowd with many condos located near great dining and shopping on Broadway.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of neighborhoods. Head over to denver.org for even more information.

Have questions about any of these Denver neighborhoods (or any that didn’t make this list)? Drop us a note in the comments section.

Metro Denver not your cup o’ tea? Check out our comprehensive post on Jefferson County and the suburbs it contains.

Living in Denver, Traffic,

Everything You Need to Know About Denver Traffic

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Everything You Need to Know About Denver Traffic

Traffic. It’s not something you would normally think about when relocating, unless you’re moving to a city with a reputation that precedes it like Chicago or L.A. Denver traffic isn’t nearly as bad as Chicago’s or L.A.’s, but as Denver continues to grow, so does our traffic.

Thinking of making the move to the Mile High City, but wondering what Denver traffic is like?

Let’s go for a spin.

Denver Traffic

Denver Traffic isn’t bad if you’re coming from cities known for notoriously bad congestion, like L.A., NYC, San Francisco, or Chicago.

On the other hand, if you’re coming from somewhere like Des Moines, Milwaukee, or Raleigh, you might think our traffic is horrendous. As a native, I can tell you that with the influx of people to colorful Colorado, I am definitely spending more time on the road than I was 10 years ago. As a well traveled person, I can also tell you it could be much, much worse. But, don’t just take my word for it.

Inrix, a company that focuses on transportation analytics, recently released their Global Traffic Scorecard that examines the traffic patterns of cities around the world.

According to their study, Denver traffic ranked 21st in the U.S. and 107th in the world (up from 124th in 2015) for traffic congestion.

Great, so what does that mean? On average, Denver drivers spent 36 hours in traffic in 2016, which stayed about the same from the previous year. Compare that to Los Angeles, which took the top spot in the world with drivers spending 104 hours in congestion on average!

Denver Traffic

Chicago ranked 9th in the United States and 19th in the world.

Moving from Chicago, Denver traffic isn’t going to phase you. If you’ve spent any time on the Dan Ryan or Eisenhower, Denver traffic will feel tame by comparison. And unlike in Chicago, you’re going to have the beautiful continental divide to enjoy along with all those break lights.

You can get more detailed information directly from the Inrix study.

As with any large city, there are going to be certain areas of the city that are worse than others and certain times of the day that are particularly bad.

Interstate 25 and Interstate 225 tends to be the worst during the morning and evening rush hours, though I-25 can be bad anytime. 25 is the main north-south corridor connecting Jefferson County and Denver County to Tech Center, Castle Rock, and Colorado Springs. It’s always busy, and getting worse every year.

Denver Traffic

Image Courtesy of www.9news.com

Fridays and Sundays, you might want to avoid Interstate 70 just west of Denver. It can seem like everyone in the state is heading up to the mountains to ski, hike, or mountain bike!

If you’re looking for information on current construction projects in a specific part of town, the Colorado Department of Transportation can help you out with a list of current projects.

Want even more detailed information? The Denver Regional Council of Governments released its 2015 Annual Report on Traffic Congestion in the Denver Region last fall, which provides even more insight into the traffic patterns in the metro area and how it compares to 2005.

Additional resources can be found at cotrip.org, which will provide you with traffic or road conditions for a specific part of the city or state.

If all this information has you considering leaving the car at home and leaving the drive to someone else, waytogo.org, can help you find and utilize alternate transportation options, like carpooling, public transportation, and car sharing.

Thinking of moving Denver? Let us know if you have any questions or want more information about traffic or anything else!