June 20, 2008

Boulder, Colorado is expensive to live in? Let’s take a look!

Last month, there was this interesting comment:

Target-Addict Says:
May 25th, 2008 at 9:10 am

The previous commenter seems awfully bitter and should probably move elsewhere if he hates it here so much. Like “Been there done that”, I appreciate the Bay Area for the great outdoors, mild weather, diversity and culture. Try living anywhere else after living here, and you’ll either regret it or miss certain things. I know someone who decided to “cash out” of their big Marin home last year and move near his wife’s family (in Ohio) in order to gain a “simpler lifestyle”. And guess what? Within six months, he was back. Another friend moved to Colorado a few months ago, just outside of Boulder (because keep in mind, Boulder is now just as expensive as it is here, so it’s hard to get IN to Boulder). She absolutely hates it; says there’s no culture (restaurants close by 8pm there!) and the weather is too harsh. So don’t take the Bay Area for granted, because it truly IS “special”.

Well – now that certainly sounds like a challenge to me. Let’s take a look and see if this is true. For a compare and contrast, let’s use this modest Real Bay Area house featured earlier as a starting point…

Alright… now let’s see what that price gets you in Boulder:

199 S 80 St
Boulder, CO 80303
MLS ID# 570349

5 Bed, 5 Bath, 8,068 Sq. Ft., 1.75 Acres

Single Family Property, Area: Suburban Plains, Subdivision: Davidson Mesa, County: Boulder, Approximately 1.75 acre(s), Year Built: 1990, City view, Hill/mountain view, View, Single story, Central air conditioning, Basement, Dining room, Handicap features


I knew it! Thank god! Boulder housing is absolutely dirt cheap! Look at the monstrosity. Why would you want to live there? It’s insane! You’d go broke furnishing it. Better all getting a smaller house so you don’t need to buy as many Wifi repeaters!

Sorry Target-Addict, I know you meant well, but really, you should have used an example like Paris, London, Manhattan, Russia, or Tokyo when comparing to Cupertino and San Jose.

Comments (54) -- Posted by: burbed @ 5:57 am

54 Responses to “Boulder, Colorado is expensive to live in? Let’s take a look!”

  1. Target-Addict Says:

    Thanks, Burbed. I stand corrected. Although a 1.2 mil. house — regardless of what state it’s in — would be out of my (not to mention my Colorado friend’s) range.

  2. Hmmmmm Says:

    From Jon Lansner at the O.C. Register: SoCal home woes could mean 50% price drop

    [Economist Chris] Thornberg, founding partner at Beacon Economics and former UCLA economics professor, said home prices would have to fall about 40% from peak to trough to return to the historical norm. But add in the impact of rising gasoline prices, the subprime mortgage meltdown and rising foreclosures, and it’s likely prices will fall 50% peak to trough.

    The S&P/Case-Shiller index shows that prices for the L.A./O.C. area are down 24% from the peak, so the region is about halfway to the bottom, Thornberg said.

    In Orange County, price declines will be more severe at the bottom of the price spectrum than the top end, but “the top end is going to get hit, (too),” he said.

    That will be a rude awakening for many homeowners suffering from what he called “homallucinations,” or the ability to convince oneself that while the price of everyone else’s home will fall, your neighborhood is clearly different.

  3. Barbara Says:

    Ah, Boulder, home of pretentious yuppies who would essentially fit in well in the Bay Area.

    Burbed, you forgot to mention the six feet of snow you would have to shovel, too. It is completely uncivilized to have to scrap ice off one’s windshield or dig one’s car out of a snowbank.

    It is better in the Bay Area!

  4. Frank Jewett Says:

    Monstrosity? It looks like a great starter church for your own religious sect. Someday He will return and the tree next to the front door will flower again.

  5. bob Says:

    Where do people get that the BA is “full of culture and ethnic diversity”? You want real culture? Come and visit my home state where many families including my own have been living there for well over 200 years and have their own distinct culture, music, food, and art.

    What’s ironic to me is that as much as people in the Bay Area seem to be eager to tell you how tolerant, understanding, and worldly they are, I find that in many cases they’re actually quite intolerant of anything different than where they live. That’s kind of sad because this country is rather diverse no matter where you go.

    I think what also seems to happen is that Californians- especially natives and East Coast transplants- have a very narrow spectrum of alternative cities in which they would consider, and more often than not, those places tend to be those that Californians project their own idealism on. In other words, they move to Boulder, Raleigh, or Austin and ‘hope’ that is it just like the Bay Area, after which they simply become disappointed when they find that there are people there that might not think exactly like themselves, or in many cases, might have a totally different opinion.

    Anyhow- Rant off. Sorry about that. I’m in a foul mood today.

  6. sg Says:

    Barbara Says:
    > It is better in the Bay Area!

    Six feet of snow falls on everywhere else?
    What time of the year do I expect to see that in LA, San Diego, Vegas, or even Seattle?

  7. bob Says:

    Actually, it snowed in Malibu this year. Not much, but it did. I think people in CA forget that for most of the winter, the weather is AWFUL here. I recall two years ago when it rained so much that I just about went crazy. That and it actually gets cold. I’m not kidding when I mention that there have been several years when I visited my folks in December, ran around outside in a T-shirt and shorts, then came back to the BA and had to get out the ole’ jacket and gloves.

    Believe it or not, some people actually like the snow. I don’t love it, but have friends who’s favorite time of year is when the snow starts to fall. Snow doesn’t automatically mean crappy weather. Californians don’t know some little secret that others don’t concerning weather.

  8. San Mateo Home Sellers in Trouble Says:

    I used to live in a place with all four seasons, and snow isn’t that bad. It was actually pretty fun making snowmen and the days could be sunny with snow on the ground. From what I read Colorado is one of the sunniest states in the nation even though they have snow.

  9. islandboy Says:

    Yeah, and some people don’t like the sun; they get burnt. And some people don’t like the ocean, there are sharks or you can drown. And some people like humidity.

    Some people will just argue anything. Sheesh.

  10. Curious Says:

    I lived in Colorado for a year and a half. Couldn’t take it. In Colorado you have rain, hail, lightening and blizzards. Hail that destroyed a Sequoia and the roof on a brand new house. For those that love Colorado, and I grew up there, you’re welcome to it. Good thing insurance replaced the roof and the car. And then we left!

  11. madhaus Says:

    Colorado is lying with statistics about the sunny days. They count any day with some sun as a “sunny day” even if they also get a thunderstorm. Here’s a list of sunniest cities in the US. Instead of asking the Chamber of Commerce how great your city is, or a real estate association how well the market is, let’s ask NOAA, the people who actually man the weather stations and publish the stats.

    The sunniest city in the US is Yuma, Arizona, with 242 sunny days a year.

    San Francisco has 160 and San Jose isn’t even on the list. El Paso, TX has more sunny days than Bakersfield. Here’s the same table with percentage sunny days instead of number.

    The sunniest Colorado city is Alamosa, with 148 days. Colorado Springs has 127, Denver has 115, and Boulder’s not on the list either.

    California has many cities that are sunnier than any city in Colorado. Don’t buy the hype. We’re still special. And remember, it isn’t just the sun, it’s the temperature and humidity too. I moved to California because I hate cold weather and hot, humid weather.

  12. Jay Says:

    “Burbed, you forgot to mention the six feet of snow you would have to shovel, too. It is completely uncivilized to have to scrap ice off one’s windshield or dig one’s car out of a snowbank.”

    Yeah, it’s weird how they built all those 8000sqft mansions without garages!

  13. DreamT Says:

    Bob your post #5 is shameful profiling, an exercise in them vs us, cultured vs not. The BA surely has transplants from your place just it has from elsewhere, and it has many people who wish for some place in Montana or North Carolina with acreage and a lake was close to that job which would give their kids a good future.
    As for the weather discussion, let’s get real, if all of the BA jobs moved to Maine tomorrow, the BA would empty overnight. It’s a consideration but not a reason for buying except for those who buy ocean properties cash.

  14. propertylines Says:

    Yeah, it’s so ludicrous that it might snow that much in the 8 hours you’re at work! Ha ha!

    And goodness knows that snow never falls outside of garage (and any) doors! Hee hee!

  15. rick Says:

    Where you feel comfortable to live depends greatly on where you grow up. If you grow up in large metros it is difficult to adjust to a small town kind of admosphere, for most people, large metros are just better in variety and plentifulness. Personally I think NYC, LA, Toronto (not that it is great, but because I spent a good part of my life there), and possibly Seattle as my substitute for the BA. For retirement it is a lot more flexible, since I count on travelling a lot.

    If you don’t care how hot it is then sunniest is meaningless. I doubt that San Jose has less sunny days than SF. Actually I am surprise if SF can be regarded as sunny, the primary reason I don’t like it is because it has so many foul days.

  16. madhaus Says:

    rick, I care more about hot with humidity than hot without it, but I’m not moving to Yuma. And I did not create that list, NOAA did. Why San Jose or any Silicon Valley city isn’t on that list is beyond me.

    The only reason I brought it up was to deflate that ridiculous “300+ days of sunshine in Denver” nonsense.

  17. nomadic Says:

    Burbed – do you really consider that house IN Boulder? Looks pretty far out of town, if you ask me:

    In town, you get a house less than half the size, but still way more house than Cupertino (of course). Something along these lines: http://www.realtor.com/map/search/listingdetail.aspx?sby=2&zp=80304&ml=3&mnp=40&mxp=40&typ=1&sid=74774541549f48b2850aad7dd384c77d&pg=2&lid=1098656196&lsn=16&srcnt=39#Detail

    The NOAA list that madhaus posted was pretty interesting. I grew up in the Detroit area – where it’s more sunny than Miami! Mind boggling, especially since that’s where the locals go for “sun.”

    As for the whole “culture” debate, that’s the usual pompous self-justification we in the RBA need to use to justify paying a million dollars for a fixer-upper. But when my other half was offered a much better tech job in NY (Long Island) we just couldn’t bring ourselves to give up the quality of life here. For us that means weather, recreation, mountains and sea.

  18. Crossroads Says:

    nomadic – do u have kids? i hear long island has amazing schools and cheap(er) houses. but may be i just heard it here on burbed. i think it was from last year.

    i have very bad allergies, so no outdoor activities for me.

  19. Crossroads Says:

    oh yeah, don’t they have a SEA near long ISLAND? 🙂

  20. rick Says:

    Haha, not giving up BA life for Long Island life with a much better paying job. 🙂

    Now you must not be cultured enough, ever gone to a Broadway show or listen to symphony?

    I like BA life, but not to the point like you do.

  21. rick Says:

    Here is your house in Long Island:

  22. rick Says:

    Here is your house in Long Island:

  23. nomadic Says:

    C’mon guys, money isn’t everything. It wasn’t enough to go back to snowy, dreary winters and hot, humid summers. We grew up in that crap. Do you know what it’s like to go, literally, a whole month without one sunny day? No thank you. (And I figured I’d get flack for including the ocean in my comment!)

    And, crossroads, no kids. No thanks to that too. Maybe that’s why we like the RBA so much – we’re just selfish. And at least when we go cycling here, we don’t get bottles thrown at us or yelled at for using the road (instead of the sidewalk) like happened in MI. I figured NY would be similar.

  24. rick Says:

    Oops sorry, weird that redfin probably only has long beach listings. I entered long island and it returns long beach.

  25. Crossroads Says:

    no kids, that makes sense.

    i don’t care about sunlight anymore. i spend 14 hours work per day. i might as well move to sweden. kids wouldn’t like it tho. they don’t like the ikea food.

  26. MSG Says:

    I agree with Bob: Californians are pretentious. Just as intolerant as the South in their own smuggy, snobby ways. I have relatives that grew up here, and they’re always sitting on top of their high horses spewing their narrow-minded views. It revulses me. I don’t try to argue with them about it. You can’t change people’s opinions and views. Arguing those points are about as effective as moving a pencil with your mind.

    I’d love to move, but $$, inertia, and laziness has kept me from it.

    Anyways, get this!


    Holy shit! California’s unemployment is reaching 7 percent!!! That’s fucking HUGE! Anyone know what the Bay Area’s unemployment is? California real estate is soooo screwed!

  27. MSG Says:

    Oops, weird, MercuryNews just changed the link on me. I guess that answers my own question.

    Anyways, link to new CA unemployment figures:


  28. bob Says:

    So far it seems that I must be a profile-o-maniac huh? Anyhow, I think we have the idea of what blogs are about: to display opinions. Now before I go any further, I just wanted to say that as far as blogs go, I really enjoy posting here because there’s a lot of smart and interesting people here. That doesn’t mean that we all get along all the time,but you all have my respect.

    I guess what I was getting at DreamT is that I hear an awful lot of people make comments here along the lines of diversity, forward thinking, etc etc ALL THE TIME. It gets on my nerves because it makes the people saying sound like they have a superiority complex. If you were to walk out of the BA and say that anywhere else, people would think that you’re an ass. To be fair, people say similar things in TN too: They think Californians are all crazy left-wingers. “The land of fruits and nuts” was a phrase I was introduced to when I told people back there that I was about to move here.

    Needless to say, I’ve gained a new appreciation for what positives existed back there that I really never thought about that here seem to be outright luxuries.So California has been a good learning ground for me because it has taught me how to compete in a very competitive area. I don’t want to live like that forever and look forward to a pace that’s more laid back. I would’ve never appreciated that had I not lived here first. But that doesn’t mean that I’m right and that its my way or the high way.

    Anyhow, the weather is a mute point: people like weather of all kinds. Otherwise, half the country would be vacant.

  29. MSG Says:

    Damn, bob, you and I think alot alike. By the way, I digress about comparing CA to the South. What I meant was the South back in the day of blatant racism.

  30. WillowGlenner Says:

    Redfin only supports SF bay area (not central valley), Boston, Wash DC area, Seattle, and LA/Orange country + San Diego. Which is a real shame for those people interested in real estate anywhere else. Redfin is a godsend.

  31. WillowGlenner Says:

    BTW on Redfin, LOL, look at their landing page (not the regional pages – just http://www.redfin.com) where they have a testimonial of 2 gay guys. Combine that with where redfin serves and Redfin probably classifies as Bob’s nemisis type company (yeah- we’re hip, we think gay marriage is cool- look at our testmonial!) I have never actually bought a house through redfin- they have their own office and can write offers for you. The problem is the the traditional brokers blacklist redfin. Its BS.

    We appreciated the individualized service
    we received throughout the process.
    Lary Reid and Tony Logan

  32. DreamT Says:

    Bob – I can’t compare CA with the rest of the US, but I can to Europe. What I found here is that Bay Area Californians don’t have that superiority complex and don’t judge people based on WHAT they are and WHERE they’re from, to the extent Europeans do. They give you a chance to prove yourself whoever you are and judge you on HOW you and WHAT you’ve done. That attitude is what’s keeping me here, not the weather or even the jobs. Your comment reminded me of the attitude back home hence the knee-jerk reaction. The downside of local food, music, traditions, etc. is that it creates a local sense of cultural superiority, not a value I’d want my kids to have. But yes you’re right, that thinking seems nuts to most places in the world because people typically define themselves based on where they are from.

  33. MSG Says:

    ^ that’s bullshit.

  34. bob Says:

    That’s an interesting observation. I actually spent several weeks in the UK with a couple there. While the UK is a tiny little piece of Europe, I was amazed at how much tension existed between different groups. The Brits seemed to hate the Irish, Italians, and even people within their own country: the Welsh.

    In regards to what I’ve observed that I gather you haven’t, well I can say with a degree of honesty that quite a number of people in California ( not all of course) but enough to make me notice have a sort of pretentious attitude. Sort of snide and somewhat snotty.It also seems that there’s a lot of people who are just dying to let you know what they do for a living and so on.People seem to like money a lot more here too. The proof is that I’ve never seen as many BMW’s, Mercedes, Lexus, and Porsches in my life. Of course this probably has to do with the undeniable fact that there is A LOT of people making serious dough here. More rich people= more nice cars.But basically, there’s a lot of materialism here That I noticed right away.

    For comparison, if I were home and my car broke down, I can guarantee you that someone I wouldn’t know would stop and help right away.People are more laid back and easy-going in general. If there is a discussion about food, it tends to be about how good Grandmother’s meat loaf is.

    I would be lying if I said that people in my neck of the woods don’t also make really stupid, generic blanket statements. It isn’t perfect. In fact, where I grew up seems to be turning more and more into California every time I go back. Downtown Knoxville used to be dead at night. Now they’ve refurbished all the old buildings and now there’s two Japanese joints, a large brewery/pub, several art galleries, and “luxury lofts”. So perhaps what has been the case in CA will eventually be the status quo across the country. But in general, there is a difference between Californians and “my people”. My guess is that since the cost of living is 1/4th the cost in TN as here, people are less likely to stress out about their finances, and thus be easy going and capable of devoting more time to family, friends, and other pursuits rather than a mortgage or figuring out how to buy a house.

    Let’s just say that I tend to be a hell of a lot more relaxed when I go and spend a few weeks in the “old country”. If you’re from Europe and haven’t spent much time traveling the US, I’d suggest doing so. The country is very diverse and full of interesting people. I know that my parent’s friends from the UK came and visited them and now come every other year because they simply like their place more than any other place in the US, of which they’ve traveled extensively.

    Anyhow, have a good weekend.

  35. madhaus Says:

    What DreamT is describing above is a meritocracy. You earn respect based on what you know and what you’ve done, as opposed to where you’re from and who your parents are and what religion you are.

    I moved away from NY/NJ because I couldn’t stand the provincialism of my family. You see, you can live in the most worldly place of all, in the shadow of Manhattan Island, and still be just as limited. Everyone I met already had plans for where I’d live, what kind of person I’d marry, what clubs I would join, based on where I went to college and what religion my family was. I just could not stand it and moved here, where there is no one telling me that I can’t hang out with certain religions or ethnic groups. But there is a groupedness to it, mr & mrs madhaus both seek out other smart, educated people, so maybe in that way my father was right. He just thought I’d pick others of my religion and instead I’ve picked others of my intellect.

    Believe me, after going through that, I’ve decided that anyone can be provincial and not know it. So bob can be completely right in finding Northern Californians provincial. Compared to where he’s from, they probably are. And I’m sure the people where he’s from are limited in their own way as well.

    What I wish is that everyone would stop belaboring this point, because it’s so flipping obvious.

  36. rick Says:

    If what you guys are describing about Europe are true then being a democracy really doesnot tell you the whole picture. There can be more bigots in Europe than in a non-democratic country.

    You look at redfin everyday and seems to despice it? I totally miss the link you are trying to make about redfin and gay and bob. I actually like redfin’s feature that you can search for a neighborhood by name, like Mission San Jose. Willow Glen is probably also recognized. Therefore I make the mistake thinking Long Island will turn up Long Island.

  37. nomadic Says:

    rick, I’m sure that searching for Long Island would’ve worked if redfin covered that area. They only hit a few areas for now.

    bob, you seem to be a “glass half empty” guy, or maybe you just really miss your old town and friends & family there. The reasons my spouse and I didn’t want to go back across the country also included the fact that, in general, the people we have met in CA are more friendly than the folks we’d come across in the midwest where we’re from. And I’ve posted this before – the people we know here are LESS materialistic and stressed about making the most money possible than where we are from.

    I had NEVER come across ANYONE who would even consider taking a few months off from work to goof around until I came here. Maybe that’s because talented engineers don’t seem to have much trouble finding a new job when they need one. I don’t know, but I can tell you that I think a lot of the ideas about the smugness of the people here are more stereotype than reality. I still like to poke fun on occasion since I originally didn’t want to move to the “left coast.”

  38. Robert Says:

    > I agree with Bob: Californians are pretentious. Just as intolerant as the
    > South in their own smuggy, snobby ways.

    Yeah, we’re smug and pretentious. it’s intentional. Got a problem with that? The problem is that we’re obviously not smug and pretentious enough to chase off all the transplants. What the **** do we have to do to get rid of all the non-native Californians? Torches and pitchforks?

    Come on, folks, if local obnoxiousness, raising the price for average houses to a million dollars, ruining the schools, vicious gangs, and forcing you to eat arugula isn’t going to chase you back to Minnesota or whatever hellhole you came from, what do we have to start doing?

    Elect an actor to be governor? (Whoops, did that one twice, didn’t help.)

    Planting poison oak in your front yard?

    Mandatory yoga courses?

    Throw rotten apricots at your cars whenever you drive by?

    Legislate that restaurants can only serve liver and onions?

    Come on, tell us — what do we have to do to get you to go back whereever you came from?

  39. WillowGlenner Says:

    Hey rick I don’t know what you are talking about. I love redfin and what does despice mean? Do you mean despise as in dislike? What I was trying to say above is that buying houses through redfin is difficult because the current RE monopoly discourages redfin. But that is changing.

  40. MSG Says:

    No offense, dude, but you sound like a smuggy asshole from SF. Here, watch this:


    fast forward to 3:00, if you can’t listen to the whole thing. That’s YOU right there.

  41. DreamT Says:

    MSG, what’s BS about my posting? I’m only describing from personal experience, not calling people names.
    Bob, to expand on your UK experience, same with Germans and Turks, French and Algerians, etc. Once in Paris, a fierce Arab teen spit at the metro wagon out of the blue “You guys aren’t pure, we are the only pure people in this country” and I thought, wow I’d forgotten how spiteful and frustrated people can ben in Europe compared to the bay area.
    madhaus, you won’t like this, but I must side with bob’s observation about the snottiness in the BA. There’s that Google mentality of judging people based on their intellect. You seek people of high intellect, but I tend to avoid them if they also have that elitist mentality. I’d much rather be among non-judgmental people who select their friends and acquaintances based on how different they are from themselves, rather than how alike they are. Fortunately the BA has plenty of locals and immigrants who don’t have that chip on their shoulder.
    Sorry that this post really has got nothing to do with real estate.

  42. madhaus Says:

    DreamT, I don’t judge people, it’s just those are the people whose company I find most enjoyable. People who don’t have high intellects don’t tend to have as much curiousity about how things work and don’t want to talk about that. I don’t judge or cut those people, but they find people like me a little too scattered and detailed at the same time.

    Everyone makes decisions in who to hang out with, are you implying that you don’t?

    And I certainly don’t pick my friends based on whether they can afford a house or not (to bring this discussion back to real estate).

  43. DreamT Says:

    madhaus – yes I had understood your meaning: an observation of your circle of friends in hindsight.
    What I was implying is that I don’t pick acquaintances and friends based on their intellect but rather based on shared values and open mind. As you pointed out it’s merely another way to be provincial or snobish, as picking also means excluding.

  44. Aaron L. Says:

    I find everybody’s comments on Bay Area personalities totally uninteresting, and since I’m the center of the Universe, let’s get back on topic :-).

    I was a grad student in Boulder from 1995-2001, and lived in 2 apartment buildings, and one duplex.

    nomadic is right on – the listing from Burbed is ‘way out of town’, and doesn’t count. (But it is literally a 5-mile drive to the center of Boulder and gets the same high school – but 5 miles away is just not the same thing). The other listing he posted is a better comparison. Obviously, Boulder is a lot more expensive than America, but not quite up to RBA standards (they’re trying, really!).

    For weather – a lot of you are full of it. Boulder is very sunny by any standard. I found it sunnier than the East Bay by a good margin (Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El CerritO), where I lived 1977-1995, and 2003-present. I won’t compare it to SF or peninsula.

    The weather in Boulder IS highly variable – but in a weird way. Sure, they got a lot of brief afternoon thunderstorms in the summer, and sometimes hail – but they’re BRIEF – then the sun comes out again. You do get a week of super-cold in the winter (high of 0 degrees F for the week, anyone?), but then it’ll turn Sunny and be 60+ on your porch in the sun the next week.

    The dominant feature of Boulder weather is that it is dry and sunny (remember it’s a mile up, too). Your nose takes a few weeks to acclimate. The total snowfall is not much for the midwest – though occasionally you dig out of 1-2′ on your house (1-2 times per winter – the rest sublimates quickly).

    Even with all those afternoon thunderstorms – no one carries an umbrella, because it’s over quick and your fleece vest and Tevas just dry out in 5 minutes. We usually didn’t stop playing Ultimate Frisbee (totally awesome leagues play 9 months of the year) for a little stinking rain – maybe shy away from the lightning in a bad one :-).

    So everyone out there is into massive outdoor recreation, and there’s Subaru Outbacks with Mt. Bikes and Snowboards and Kayaks stopped at any intersection on a Tuesday. It seems like 90% of the population has flat stomachs and rock-climbing shoulders and is 18-35. The weekend is just more so.

    I found Boulder to be a fairly white version of the Bay Area, with a special Colorado flavor to it, better trail and outdoor recreation access (think 90 minutes to skiing instead of 3 hours, and better snow), no Ocean (huge points deducted), and locked in the middle of a Red State, though it’s very liberal. Definitely has the liberal University town thing going for it, though it’s no mirror of UC Berkeley – the college kids play a big part of the feel of the town.

    Like the stereotypes mentioned above, I too, would put it on my ‘shortlist’ of livable US cities. It was good, I think the Bay Area is great.


  45. bob Says:

    I suppose it is all about perspective and possibly environment. When I lived in Boston, people seemed to have a somewhat shorter fuse. I wondered if it had to do with the weather, which gets extremely cold, making it unpleasant to be outdoors for a good part of the year. Therefore if you have to scurry from door to door, store to store, and so on in the cold, perhaps you have less interest in being generally pleasant to others. Perhaps the same is true in the Midwest. Then again, that’s just a silly theory of mine.

    I also think that the more people you get in one area, the less laid back people tend to be. My entire home state has less people than the Bay Area. My family members all have gigantic yards which enable them a great deal of personal space. Freeways are generally sparsely traveled and going to the grocery store is a matter of whatever empty checkout line you want. Add to this that it gets hot and humid, which makes people slow down a bit and you get some rather unhurried, laid back, talkative people. There was and still is a sort of storytelling aspect to conversation in my home area. This means that you can basically talk about absolutely nothing and its ok. I find that people out here tend to have conversations that are more direct and pointed. In other words, current. This makes people appear stiff to me. Then again, that’s probably cultural clash and nothing more.

    Anyhow, I guess we’re all from somewhere else here. I have a friend from Germany and every time he comes here, he remarks at how interesting that there are people from all over the world here and most other parts of the US. We take that for granted here, but in many countries, there’s one race and one culture. Perhaps we should be glad that we’re all different from each other.

  46. RealEstater Says:

    Boulder has very rugged terrain. It almost feels like living on another planet. Most of the time you don’t see much development or life around you. It’s hard to even find a gas station sometimes. There’s isn’t much to live for there except for the outdoors stuff. I don’t know…being outdoors might be fun for animals, but there’s only so much of that I can take.

  47. Aaron L. Says:

    RE, you are badly misrepresenting Boulder. Gas stations are perfectly normal there. The flatlands are not rugged. Boulder is nestled next to the mountains – 95% of the housing it is not actually in them, and is flatter than El Cerrito, where I live, and flatter than most of SF. But the mountains are right there if you like hiking, climbing, or skiing.

    I’ll just assume your last two sentences are meant as a joke – that’s funny! Of course almost all of us like the outdoors, so I assume you’re chiming in with me, in an ironic fashion, about the big advantages of living in Boulder. How nice that we agree!

    And here I was thinking, “there isn’t much you’re right about”, “there isn’t much you add value to on this blog”, and other silly things like that.

    Please stick to pumping up RBA property values, not babbling about a city you don’t know.

    For the rest of you, to get a look at Boulder, try Google Maps Street View. Say, the walking mall at Pearl St. and 14th:


    I think you MIGHT see some development and life around you…

    There are some small enclaves of tech companies, and scientific research companies, as well as other industries (light and heavy) in the immediate Boulder, and of course, lots in the Greater Denver area.

    I would definitely recommend checking it out as alternative to the RBA for anyone sick of people like RealEstater.

    And if enough of you leave, and drive down demand, I can afford a house in the RBA! See – it’s win-win! (I never claimed I didn’t have ulterior motives 🙂

  48. Pralay Says:

    Please stick to pumping up RBA property values, not babbling about a city you don’t know.

    Oh, Aaron, they are not mutually exclusive. Being ignorant about Boulder (or rest of America for that matter) helps to pump up RBA property values.

  49. madhaus aka guitar hero Says:

    Being ignorant about Boulder (or rest of America for that matter) helps to pump up RBA property values.

    You are not giving credit where credit is due. Why, RE’s knowledge of Boulder is as complete, factual and thorough as it is of the Bay Area.

    I’ve been to Boulder and would be willing to live there if the Bay Area and 1000 miles east of it fell into the Pacific. I liked the city but its too far from the water. And the religious nuts in Colorado Springs would be far too close.

  50. WillowGlenner Says:

    Boulder is really expensive so I wouldn’t use that town as a contrast to the bay area… Boulder reminds me a little of Santa Fe… beautiful, great quality of life and so expensive relative to the job climate that only out of town money can afford to buy anything.

  51. El Timbo Says:

    Willow Glenner is dead on. Listen to this man, he speaks the truth. The locals who work in boulder have to live in other outlying towns and commutte, because unless you have a million dollars to spend on a house (I saw an average 2 story probably 4 bedroom house the other day downtown that was going for $2.5 mil, anywhere else in the denver metro this house would maybe be 400-500 thousand, and in smaller towns you’d be lucky to get 200,000 for it) then there is no way you are living in boulder. A very exclusive community, but then, most of colorado is people from either california, florida, or new york nowadays anyway. it used to be cheap here, until it suddenly became the place to move.

  52. Eric Says:

    I grew up in Boulder, and was a homeowner in the Noe Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. I’ve lived in the two areas for a combined total of about 30 years, so, I feel like I have a pretty knowledge of both of them. I think that what this boils down to is a classic case of “comparing apples and oranges”.

    Boulder has become much, much more expensive than it was when I lived there. Now, it is definitely an exclusive area. Still, you can find decent homes in areas of town that are well under a million dollars. Try the Table Mesa area, for example, where decent 3-4 bedroom houses for $600k-$700k are very common. In fact, with a quick look on “realtor.com” I found a number of decent looking 3-4 bedroom places right in town for under $600k. On the other hand, that house on 80th is way out on the edge of town, and is kind of an abomination, so I think you’re looking at an odd edge case.

    Like the front range of Colorado, the Bay Area varies a lot by location. Living right in Boulder is similar to living in a good neighborhood in San Francisco, or Willow Glen in San Jose, or Cupertino, or downtown Burlingame. You’ll pay a lot more there. For under $600k, you won’t get much anywhere in the Bay Area. Certainly not in in a neighborhood like Noe Valley or Willow Glen!

    There are so many differences between the two areas, though, that a comparison seems very arbitrary. The weather and climate are totally different. There is more diversity in the Bay Area, by a long margin. The restaurants and nightlife in the Bay area are superior to Boulder’s. On the other hand, the traffic in Boulder is nothing in comparison to the Bay Area. Things in general are less expensive in Boulder (including the housing from what I’m seeing, also by a large margin). The proximity to nature is far superior in Boulder, and the lifestyle is much slower-paced. And, Boulder is a tiny little town compared even to one of the major cities in the Bay Area, let alone to the whole urban sprawl.

  53. Alex Says:

    @ CURIOUS A whole year and a half? Wow you sure gave CO a chance. Ah well, good riddance to you…. and don’t come back 🙂

    To all the other smug, transplant A-holes……

    All Californicators and New Yawkas are invited to go back where you came from. It’s YOU and your ilk who screwed Colorado to the wall.

    You drove up our cost of living while bringing your nasty big-city rudeness and weird fruits-n-nuts mentality not to mention filth and sprawl to our fair state.

    If where you came from was better, then get the hell out and GO HOME. (and take all these illegal Mexicans with you)

  54. jjpaul11 Says:

    Geez people…it could be worse…I like in Iowa for fuck’s sake!!!! lol

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