Why Relocate to Pueblo Colorado

291
February 1, 2012 at 8:32 pm  •  Posted in Featured, Geography, Pueblo, Real Estate by  •  291 Comments

[I have a new post describing 4 "C" factors that make Pueblo the best bargain in North America.]

I’m one of the growing numbers of fortunate people who are able to work from a home office and can live just about anywhere in the US.  My only key work requirements are a good phone line, a solid internet connection and a major airport within driving distance (well, a quiet room and a pot of coffee are pretty important as well).  After a lot of data gathering, analysis and pro-con list making, my wife and I have chosen to relocate from Ann Arbor, Michigan to Pueblo, Colorado.  Our decision was biased by a variety of factors but I’ve been singing Pueblo’s praises for a few years now as a great place to invest in real estate and I’ve decided that living in the community is a way to put my money where my mouth is.  Now that we’ve committed to the move, it seems to be a good time to make a written case for Pueblo.  So, here goes.

Within Colorado and perhaps elsewhere, Pueblo has a somewhat unfavorable reputation due primarily to a relatively weak economy that has struggled since the decline of the steel industry in the 1980s.  So while much of Colorado has boomed during the past 30 years Pueblo has lagged behind in terms of population/economic growth and in some ways has followed a path similar to cities in the Rust Belt.  Although Pueblo still has a long way to go to regain economic vibrancy, I see significant progress and Pueblo currently presents, in my opinion, an unbelievable bargain.

So, why is Pueblo such a great deal?  In short, Pueblo offers a nearly unbeatable blend of (1) low cost of living, (2) beautiful weather, (3) outdoor recreation, and (4) modern amenities.

Cost of Living

The cost of housing in Pueblo is unbelievably low.  A nice house in a nice neighborhood can be purchased for under $200,000 and you can buy a nice older home in a decent neighborhood for under $100,000. If you’re handy you can buy a house that needs some work, nothing major just cosmetic updates, for under $50,000. I’m not joking.  This past year I bought a 3 bedroom 1.5 bath 1300 sq ft house in a decent neighborhood near the Pueblo Community College for $22,900.  Granted, the place was pretty trashed and I had to spend about $10,000 to fix it up.  But, aside from a complete bathroom redo, it was mostly cosmetic updating.  It still needs exterior paint, some landscaping and a facelift for the detached garage but I already have it rented to a nice family.  If it remains occupied at the current rental rate I will recoup my investment within 4 years.  Try that in Denver, Boulder or Colorado Springs or in any other city with a symphony, a university, mountain views and 300 days of sunshine per year.

Climate

Pueblo’s climate is delightful.  At 38 degrees latitude, Pueblo is about halfway between sunny and dry Albuquerque, New Mexico and the cool and crisp Rocky Mountain environs of Cheyenne, Wyoming, both geographically and climatically.  Summer temperatures can be toasty but thanks to the relatively high elevation (~4600 ft), summer evenings are almost always cool and comfortable.  Winter can be cold and snowy on occasion but the snow typically melts the next day and you might be able to play golf in short sleeves 48 hours later.  Pueblo is one of the sunniest places in the US, receiving more sunshine than San Diego and Honolulu.  (Yes, you read that right!  Don’t believe me?  Check the National Climate Data Center).  And, Pueblo summers are far more pleasant with cooler temperatures than you would find in comparably sunny cities like Phoenix or Tucson.  Precipitation is light but you’ll see snow in the winter and thunderstorms in the summer.  I love the fresh clean smell in the air after a thunderstorm on a summer afternoon.  Pueblo also enjoys extraordinarily clean air and water.  Try comparing Pueblo to Denver at this EPA website for air quality; or, look at Pueblo versus the US for air and water quality.

Outdoor Recreation

Just like any other city in Colorado, Pueblo is a relatively short drive away from world class skiing, mountain biking, hiking, climbing and a variety of other outdoor activities.  The Lake Pueblo State Park offers water sports of all kinds and the Whitewater Park on the Arkansas River has become a great destination for kayaking enthusiasts.  Thanks to bountiful sunshine you can enjoy many of these activities more days each year in Pueblo than in most other parts of Colorado.  Same is true for golf, tennis, etc.  There’s probably a lot more that I’m overlooking here but suffice it to say that Pueblo offers plenty for outdoor enthusiasts.  A big step down from Boulder or Summit County to be sure but in those communities you’re paying probably 4+ times more for housing.

Modern Amenities

Okay, this is probably Pueblo’s weakest link and if you live in Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs or outside of Colorado in a major city, this is where you’re most likely to find fault with Pueblo.  So, this is really a value proposition rather than an argument that Pueblo is better than other metros.  That said, Pueblo offers all the major cultural amenities that most people want nearby.

Pueblo has a growing 4-year university recently folded into the Colorado State University system along with Pueblo Community College for higher education and related cultural offerings.

The Sangre de Cristo Arts and Conference Center and the Pueblo Symphony provide a taste of traditional big city culture, the annual Colorado State Fair recruits headline performers, and a local arts scene seems to be emerging – see www.pueblopulp.com for well-written reviews on local happenings.

Pueblo is a great sports town.  There are probably more die-hard Denver Broncos fans in Pueblo, on a per-capita basis, than in Denver.  If you don’t believe me drive around and count the number of homes that prominently display their loyalty to the orange and blue.  Have lunch at the Coors Tavern and check out the history of Pueblo sports plastered all over the walls and ceiling.  Pueblo is home to the oldest high school football rivalry west of the Mississippi, the annual Bell Game between Centennial and Central would make even the hard core football fans in Odessa, Texas (of Friday Night Lights fame) jealous.  CSU-Pueblo just completed an extremely successful D-2 season and I get the feeling that we’re seeing the beginning of a college football dynasty.  Football is probably the most popular sport in town but there is something for basketball, baseball and hockey fans.  If it’s not enough, drive 90 minutes to Denver for a full suite of professional sports tickets.  Will you really go to that many more games if you live in Parker?

If you’re a connoisseur of good food, you will find plenty to like about Pueblo.  Incredible New Mexico style green chili is the local favorite and can be found smothering burritos, enchiladas, eggs (huevos rancheros) and more.  Italian restaurant options are equally good and there are loads of other Pueblo favorites to be discovered.  Try a Pass Key Special, eat a “Slopper” at the Coors Tavern, have a Papa Louis at the Broadway Tavern, get a “Dutch Lunch” at Gus’ Place.  You’re going to love eating in Pueblo.

Okay, the Pueblo naysayers are waiting for me to turn to public schools and crime.  Isn’t Pueblo a dangerous place to live?  Aren’t the schools some of the worst in the state?  Not if you look closely.  Pueblo does have one or two really bad areas.  The toughest part of town is the Eastside, a great community with a lot of pride, but home to plenty of crime and low performing schools.  What’s happening on the Eastside gets included in all the statistics for Pueblo as a whole and really brings down Pueblo’s profile when it comes to crime statistics and test scores.  So, before you dismiss Pueblo, take a closer look at disaggregate school performance and crime statistics.  Life in Belmont, Aberdeen, Mesa Junction, the Northside, Pueblo West and in many other neighborhoods is safe and family friendly.  It’s true that Pueblo schools leave a lot to be desired but public schools are facing big problems just about everywhere I’ve lived as a parent (Eugene, Oregon and Ann Arbor, Michigan) and state budget cuts don’t appear to be ending anywhere or anytime soon.

We currently live in one of the top school districts in Michigan and the US with greatschools ratings of 10 for the high school, 10 for the middle school and 9 for our elementary school.  Should be perfect, right?  Not for us.  We found our daughter in a class of 60 6th grade students with 2 teachers where the social stratification scene was already completely overwhelming any effort to focus on academics.  Our son was being labeled as a problem child because he was too bored with hour after hour of sitting quietly and listening to teachers talk rather than allowing his natural curiosity to explore ideas and stretch boundaries.  Gym was offered a whopping 2 times per week for 45 minutes and recess was scheduled once per day at 2pm.  How is an active 2nd grade boy supposed to contain his energy when he has to wait until 2pm most days to run around?  We solved the problem this year by sending our kids to a private Montessori school but at significant expense.  Like most things, private schools are more affordable in Pueblo and we will likely take advantage of one of several good private school options because the wait lists for the high performing charter and magnet schools are probably too long.  For high school, we are intrigued by the early college programs offered through Pueblo Community College.  Educating our kids in today’s world will be a challenge wherever we live.  Pueblo is no exception but it does offer many innovative options at a more affordable price than in most communities.

Another great thing about Pueblo is the ease of driving around town.  Colorado Springs and Denver metro are pretty congested and it takes a long time to get from point A to point B.  Once you arrive parking is usually a hassle.  You can get just about anywhere in Pueblo in less than 10 minutes and convenient parking is nearly always available. It’s a beautiful thing.  Life is too short to spend in traffic.

For people who sling mud at Pueblo, let them sling until they realize they’re paying 2-3 times extra for more traffic, worse weather and, typically, a neighborhood that resembles just about every other subdivision in the Western US built in the last 2 decades, devoid of personality and completely car-dependent. If you’ve seen the opening for Weeds (tv series on Showtime) to the tune Little Boxes then you know what I mean. I love Denver but most of the newer suburbs look like everywhere else and remind me of “Aggrestic”.

I predict that Pueblo will be “discovered” in the next 10-20 years, especially as boomers retire with insufficient funding, parents refuse to pay $50k per year to send their kids to college and more and more people telecommute from home offices and realize they can live just about anywhere.  I could certainly be dead wrong on this, and I’ve been wrong about many things, but I’ve decided to make a bet on Pueblo’s future and, believe me, I feel much better about investing in Pueblo than I do about investing in the stock market.

So, if you’re in position to relocate and you’d like to find a place with low housing costs, good weather and a pleasant lifestyle, take a close look at Pueblo – the sunshine capital of Colorado.

Full disclosure: I grew up in Pueblo and graduated from Centennial High School.  I left for college and  career living in California, Europe, Oregon and Michigan along the way.  I have family and friends living in Pueblo and I began investing in real estate in Pueblo in 2010.  All of these factors certainly bias my decision and make Pueblo a more attractive home for my family.  But, I don’t think this biased viewpoint changes the livability equation.  Why move all the way to Panama?  Pueblo doesn’t cost much more and the Denver airport is less than 2 hours away.

291 Comments

  1. Jo / February 2, 2012 at 7:21 am / Reply

    Excellent analysis, Justin! Congrats on your big decision— makes me want to move there too! Except we are so thrilled at the independent school our kids just switched to this year after having a less than satisfying experience at the #1 Public elementary school in Oakland! Hey! By the way, we are sending our daughter to Plantation for the first time this summer! She’ll be in sunnyhills! So exciting!!!

    • justinholman / February 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm / Reply

      Thanks, Jo! Let me know when handsomeinpink.com is ready to setup shop in Pueblo and I’ll put you in touch with the right people. Hope your daughter has a great summer at farm camp! Cheers, J.

      • Marie / April 24, 2014 at 11:13 pm / Reply

        Do you have a map showing these good neighborhoods? I’ve been checking Zillow but don’t see any except Pueblo West, also, do you consider the area south of the hwy and pueblo west to be good? My husband thinks it looks a little run down on google earth :(

        • Justin / April 24, 2014 at 11:33 pm / Reply

          Hi Marie – I’ve been meaning to make some neighborhood maps. I will try to get something posted soon. Thanks for the suggestion!
          Best wishes, Justin

          • michelle jaegers / July 11, 2014 at 6:14 pm /

            hi justin – thinking about moving to colorado either soon or a couple of years, we dont know yet, and pueblo sounds wonderful. pls give me as much info as you can. average rent for a nice 2 bedroom place – anything you can add would be wonderful. thanks a lot. mj in ny

          • Justin / July 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm /

            Hi MJ in NY! Glad to hear Pueblo is on your radar screen. For a nice 2-bedroom rental you’re probably looking at $700-900 or thereabouts. Obviously it depends on a variety of factors but that’s the ballpark. A bit less than NY? :) Best wishes, Justin

          • Dusty / July 28, 2014 at 2:49 pm /

            hi Justin! Great posts! comments and replies too!! moving there w.my son by next mon. I’ve written several times but cell keeps messing up :-(
            please e-mail me if you hav time, hoping it’ll work betr
            and you should be nothing less than mayor!!

            ms.Dusty and Cayce
            looking forward to being friends!

          • Justin / July 28, 2014 at 7:14 pm /

            Hi Dusty – thanks for your vote for mayor. :)
            I will send a quick email. Good luck with the move!

        • louis / September 28, 2014 at 10:11 pm / Reply

          Looked at house after house in Pueblo was not impressed with the areas. some of the houses needed to be probably torn down and start new not worth the investment. And that’s coming from a handyman…

          • Justin / September 29, 2014 at 10:30 am /

            Pueblo isn’t for everyone! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Best, Justin

    • sherry sanders / June 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm / Reply

      i am planning on moving ther real soon! thanks

  2. Susan (Abram) Culig / February 2, 2012 at 2:24 pm / Reply

    Great article Justin!!!

    • justinholman / February 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm / Reply

      Thanks, Susan! Hope to see you in Pueblo soon!

  3. Dave / February 2, 2012 at 4:33 pm / Reply

    Maybe I should start a training gym there……..

  4. Jenny / February 2, 2012 at 5:42 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the enlightened words. I agree with everything except the clean air. We’re the mercury capital of Colorado. Although we don’t have the dirty smog, we have many toxins in our air that we can’t see. I still like to live here though :)

    • justinholman / February 2, 2012 at 5:52 pm / Reply

      Jenny – thank you for educating me about the mercury problem! Would you mind sending a link to more information about the air toxin issue?

  5. Angela Krinsky / February 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm / Reply

    NICE!!!! But we know you are really just moving here to be closer to the Krinsky’s!!! lol

  6. Adam / February 2, 2012 at 10:23 pm / Reply

    Great choice living in P Town. I grew up there and I love going back and getting my Pass Key Special. You should also check out Iannes Pizza on Northern and Pasta Cottage.

    • justinholman / February 3, 2012 at 7:57 am / Reply

      Thanks, Adam! I’m familiar with Ianne’s but it’s been ages. Haven’t tried Pasta Cottage so I’ll definitely check it out. Thanks for the suggestions! Cheers, J.

  7. Larry adamson / February 2, 2012 at 11:34 pm / Reply

    What no comments about green chile?

    • justinholman / February 3, 2012 at 8:03 am / Reply

      Larry – I mentioned green chile in the post – did I miss something? What’s your favorite green chile place in Pueblo?

  8. Mary / February 4, 2012 at 12:53 am / Reply

    The racial make-up statistics look strange. How can the city be 76% white and also 44% Latino? Plus all the other percentages-they don’t add up.

    By the way, since I’m a big city girl, I am really excited about the new Indian restaurant, Mr. Tandoori, on Victoria, near the Historic Union Depot. They also have an American food menu for the faint of heart. ;-)

    • justinholman / February 4, 2012 at 7:47 am / Reply

      Good question. From wikipedia: Race and ethnicity are considered separate and distinct identities, with Hispanic or Latino origin asked as a separate question. Thus, in addition to their race or races, all respondents are categorized by membership in one of two ethnicities, which are “Hispanic or Latino” and “Not Hispanic or Latino”.

      So the first set of percentages are racial (76% white, etc) and then the ethnicity breakdown is 44% Hispanic and presumably 56% non-Hispanic.

      Mary – I can’t wait to try Mr. Tandoori! Thanks for the tip!

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  12. Elizabeth / February 10, 2012 at 10:58 am / Reply

    I like knowing more about your move, Otto, but it seems you don’t have quite enough research or knowledge to make a fair analysis of Pueblo :) I look forward to visits in sunny Colorado.

    • justinholman / February 10, 2012 at 11:05 am / Reply

      Look forward to seeing you in the state’s sunshine capitol, Biz!

  13. Dena Stevens / February 14, 2012 at 9:21 am / Reply

    Pueblo is one of the best kept secrets around yet, Pueblo makes various national lists once in awhile. Several senior magazines have recommended Pueblo and the Southern Colorado area for the same reasons you listed above. I moved to Southern Colorado in 1999 without doing much of the research you did. I figures out that this is a great place to live all on my own. Now we need to let others know Southern Colorado is still a well kept secret!

    • justinholman / February 14, 2012 at 10:22 am / Reply

      Hi Dena – thank you for the comment! Let me buy a few more investment properties before we get the word out too far and wide. :)

  14. M.Huhn / February 16, 2012 at 9:24 pm / Reply

    Glad to hear things are going well. Congrats on the move back home. It sounds like it was a pretty smooth transition.

    • justinholman / February 16, 2012 at 9:49 pm / Reply

      Thanks, Matt! We’ll see how it goes – transition yet to come this summer.

  15. zoecholman / March 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm / Reply

    Very impressive Mr. Proffeser. However you need a bit of jazz to spruce up your writing. Add a humorous comment every now and then and your readers will relax while learning.

    • justinholman / March 11, 2012 at 12:12 pm / Reply

      Thank you for the comment, Miss Zoe (my dear daughter). I will try my best to improve. :)

  16. zoecholman / March 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm / Reply

    Sorry. English teacher intruding. Please for give my ciritzisim and enjoy writing. That’s what matters. *wink* *wink* Dad!

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  19. justinholman / March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm / Reply

    I received one comment regarding Pueblo’s air quality. I’m not at all knowledgeable in this area but there are toxins in the air in Pueblo, particularly near the steel mill in the southeast part of the city. I found a report on the topic that didn’t set off any alarm bells when I read it but, like I said, I have zero expertise in environmental chemistry: http://www.colorado.gov/airquality/documents/PuebloAirToxics.pdf

  20. justinholman / March 26, 2012 at 1:45 pm / Reply

    Also, a friend asked about diversity in Pueblo. This is an important question. In my opinion, Pueblo is quite diverse but certainly less so than major cities like SF, LA, NYC, Chi, etc. Pueblo has a large Latino population and the steell mill attracted immigrants from eastern and southern Europe so there is a nice fabric of cultural diversity. But, it would be interesting to hear other people’s perspective on diversity in Pueblo. Here are some simple statistics from the census bureau via wikipedia:

    The racial makeup of the city was 76.21% White, 2.41% African American, 1.73% Native American, 0.67% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 15.20% from other races, and 3.71% from two or more races. Latinos made up 44.13% of the population. 10.1% were of German, 8.1% Italian, 6.0% American, 5.5% English and 5.4% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000.

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  23. brian / July 3, 2012 at 10:18 pm / Reply

    @ Justin – You forgot to mention the high crime rate in Pueblo. I looked at homes in Pueblo West and almost fell for it, then a home in Falcon caught my attention and that was all she wrote…Pueblo has a VERY HIGH sales tax rate, 7.5%, is it? Falcon’s county rate is 4.9%!! I am glad I didnt’t move to Pueblo, I already discovered all I want and didn’t like what I learned or the bad vibes with gangs there…No thanks…

    • Justin / July 4, 2012 at 12:53 pm / Reply

      Hi Brian, actually I did write about crime in Pueblo – see below. I’m glad you found a place to call home in Falcon (Colorado Springs metro) but if you’re moving to avoid crime and high tax rates I’m afraid you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. Pueblo is *significantly* less expensive than Springs, no matter how you slice it. Sales tax? Is that how you compare cost of living? Take a look at housing, the main expense for most folks. And crime isn’t much better in Springs. It varies quite a bit there too. Broadmoor area – not much crime. East/SE Springs – different story. Best wishes for success in Falcon and thanks for the comment. Best, Justin

      Here’s the part about crime (and schools):
      “Okay, the Pueblo naysayers are waiting for me to turn to public schools and crime. Isn’t Pueblo a dangerous place to live? Aren’t the schools some of the worst in the state? Not if you look closely. Pueblo does have one or two really bad areas. The toughest part of town is the Eastside, a great community with a lot of pride, but home to plenty of crime and low performing schools. What’s happening on the Eastside gets included in all the statistics for Pueblo as a whole and really brings down Pueblo’s profile when it comes to crime statistics and test scores. So, before you dismiss Pueblo, take a closer look at disaggregate school performance and crime statistics. Life in Belmont, Aberdeen, Mesa Junction, the Northside, Pueblo West and in many other neighborhoods is safe and family friendly.”

  24. Brittany M / July 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm / Reply

    This essay-of-sorts was like an answer to prayer for me! I’ve been looking into relocating to Pueblo for work, and in all my research, I’ve had difficulty finding information about Pueblo in terms of places to live and what there is to do. I appreciate you breaking the town (hey, I’m from a big city — a town is anything under 500,000 — and even that’s low) down in such a way.

    I do wonder if you have any more suggestions on areas to live. I won’t be buying for a while, and can’t differentiate parts of town/neighborhoods just quite yet.

    I’ve also heard a little bit about a City Center, but don’t quite understand what it’s about. I’d really appreciate if you could help me out!

    • Justin / July 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm / Reply

      Hi Brittany – welcome to Pueblo! I’m glad my blog post was helpful. I will send an email to you to learn a bit more before I recommend a particular neighborhood. Not sure what you mean by City Center? Maybe the Union Historical district? In any case, best wishes on the transition and thanks for your feedback! Cheers, Justin

    • Valentine / April 20, 2013 at 11:54 pm / Reply

      Hi Justin,

      Can you give more details for say someone single moving there. I work from home. I’m looking for reasonable. I’m also looking for things to do. Originally from Chicago, I prefer living outside a city but close enough to go in. Pueblo has me interested but I’m at the same point as another person looking at say the 30′s scene and the size of the location I move to. I’ve lived in New Mexico. I understand all places have crime. I would love to have some more information if you could email me. I would love if you have any idea on medical care quality. It’s a huge issue. Thanks so much for your article! Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

      • Justin / April 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm / Reply

        Valentine – I think you’d find plenty to do here in Pueblo but it depends on what interests you. No way will it compete with Chicago, nor would Denver, in terms of urban cultural offerings but I think Pueblo holds its own. And, given the cost of living, I don’t think you’d find a better bargain anywhere. What do you want to be able to do?

        Medical care in Pueblo is absolutely first rate. Both St. Mary Corwin and Parkview have an excellent reputation and Pueblo has outstanding medical professionals. You may find more sophisticated medical resources in Denver with the University of Colorado Medical Center, etc but you can drive 90 minutes to get the same care and pay about 1/3rd in housing costs here in Pueblo. Pretty easy equation to solve.

        Hope this helps!
        Justin

  25. Mark / July 27, 2012 at 9:31 pm / Reply

    Just retired and moved to Pueblo 2 weeks ago. I’ve lived in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Hawaii, and Alabama. I have found the people of Pueblo to be the most friendly by far. I have not had a single bad encounter with all the hard working retail employees I have encountered in he past 2 weeks. I love it here so far. Paddle boarding on Pueblo lake is terrific, almost as good as Hawaii, except no surf, unless a boat comes too close. Also liking the mountain biking, except for those little seeds with the fish hook attached to them. Had 2 flat tires first time out. I now have the thicker tubs. Justin, I think you’re right, Pueblo may well be discovered in the next 10-20 years as the place to be. However,for now we’ll just keep it a secret to preserve what we have now. Aloha is definetly part of the Pueblo community.

    • Justin / July 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm / Reply

      Hi Mark – glad to hear that your retirement is off to a good start and that you’re enjoying Pueblo (despite the heat). Hope you continue to have a good experience. Please let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything I can do to help you acclimate. I think Pueblo is an ideal retirement spot and, I agree, I’m happy to keep it our secret. Cheers, Justin

  26. zach smith / November 18, 2012 at 7:29 am / Reply

    this is really interesting. i am in the same position – can work from home – and i am coming to this area in a few days to look at some land options in person. any advice on 35+ acre options in the area, and what to look out for?

    • Justin / November 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm / Reply

      Hi Zach. If you’re looking for acreage you can certainly find a great deal in/near Pueblo County. Question is what kind of acreage – farm, ranch, mountains, prairie? There are several choices – mountains toward Beulah, prairie with mountain views in Pueblo West, farmland in Blende and beyond to the east, etc. How far away from Pueblo do you want to be? Do you want an existing house/structure or not? Lots of variables. I have a real estate agent recommendation if you need one. He’d be a big help for this type of purchase. Let me know if you want to discuss further. And, welcome to Pueblo! Hope you find a home here. Cheers, Justin

  27. Hans Thoma / December 17, 2012 at 11:13 pm / Reply

    Interesting analysis. I used to live in Denver, and never really learned anything about Pueblo. Nobody really said anything about it. I never knew that steel was big down there. I was kind of on the fence about Colorado though, I found all those cities to be rather hot and dusty for my taste. 75 degrees is enough for me. But this is coming from someone born and raised in Michigan, lol.

    • Justin / December 17, 2012 at 11:25 pm / Reply

      Hans, Pueblo is hotter and dustier than Denver so it may not be for you. On the other hand you may love the western slope or life above 10k ft in Summit County. That’s one of the great things about Colorado – lots of options for different environments, both physical and cultural. Thanks for the comment! Cheers, J.

  28. Jules / December 27, 2012 at 10:02 pm / Reply

    Thanks Justin for the write up! My wife and I may be moving to Pueblo soon so she can work there, for a few years anyway. I myself have a hard time moving anywhere as Ive lived in the same place for over 40 years and change is something I resist, we just moved twice in the last 6 months. None the less I will do this for the wife (move again) argg!

    I would like to hear more about the gang (crime) problem there if thats possible? Im asking only because Im disabled and also worry about my wifes well being. Then again we both have CCP’s even in CO. Who wants to hire an attorney though, LOL! Jules…

    • Justin / December 28, 2012 at 11:52 am / Reply

      Hi Jules, crime is a real issue in Pueblo. There are gangs and violent crime but, as far as I can tell, it’s mostly limited to a few rough areas including the Eastside and Bessemer and doesn’t really affect quality of life for most residents. There is also a lot of petty crime, in particular there have been problems with daytime break-ins. People go to work for the day and then the bad guys break in and steal stuff that they can quickly convert to cash. Probably so they can buy drugs. The police department is overwhelmed and understaffed and, as I’ve heard from some inside local government, not particularly well-managed. Of course, like just about everywhere, the city is dealing with budget challenges that exacerbate the problem.

      All that said, I would definitely encourage you to give Pueblo a try. Every place has it’s trade-offs. Colorado is a beautiful place to live and Pueblo is the best bargain in the State. In fact, if there’s a better bargain in terms of cost of living, climate and livability anywhere in the US I’d like to know about it. Crime is a problem but you won’t escape crime in Denver or Colorado Springs and there you’ll pay 3 times more for housing.

      Best wishes on the move and let me know if I can help in any way. Cheers, Justin

    • Justin / December 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm / Reply

      Jules – here’s an article I saw today on yahoo that ranks Pueblo as the #4 least expensive city in the U.S. None of the others are in a “blue” state, have views of the Rocky Mountains and world class skiing within a few hours drive.

      http://homes.yahoo.com/news/america-s-most-affordable-cities.html

  29. Barrett / January 3, 2013 at 10:31 am / Reply

    My wife and I are in much the same situation you were and have been looking at Pueblo. Has it panned out as well as you expected? How are the primary level schools? Any tips for those of us coming from the DC sprawl-zone?

    • Justin / January 3, 2013 at 11:29 am / Reply

      Hi Barrett – I was thinking of writing a blog post to address this very question sometime in the next month with a sort of 1 year after the decision review. I’d say that, yes, overall it has panned out very well. First off, the real estate investment climate can’t be beat. The demand for rentals is very strong and prices remain more or less depressed although I’ve seen clear signs of a healthier market over the past year – i.e., more renovation work, fewer properties available at basement prices, good deals only on the market for a short period of time, more competition when purchasing, etc. Second, the cost of living in other realms is also amazingly low. Activities for kids, prices for various services, etc are nearly across the board quite a bit lower than they were in Ann Arbor, Michigan or Eugene, Oregon. Significantly lower. Another huge plus is weather. The sunshine is truly abundant and the weather in general has been outstanding. I played golf on Dec 24th! Amazing. On the downside, crime is a problem. Pueblo is a small city and, unless you live on the outskirts, crime will be something to deal with. Mostly petty burglary but there is plenty of violent crime in the news. I think the thing to keep in mind is that while Pueblo is a small city, it’s still a city. So we have gritty crime similar to what you’d find in Denver or in Metro DC but because Pueblo is small it hits closer to home.

      You asked about Primary Level Schools. I think there are excellent options though not nearly as many as you’d find in parts of DC. We have been very pleased with Fountain International and Corwin International, magnet schools offering the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum. I’ve also heard great things about the Pueblo School for Arts and Sciences (PSAS). The Connect (District 70) is generally considered to be the best middle school and Goodnight and Heritage also seem to get consistently good marks. Note that all of these, except Goodnight and Heritage are Magnet/Charter schools where you’ll have to enroll proactively and possibly deal with wait lists, etc. But, it doesn’t seem to be that challenging to get into the school you want, perhaps with the exception of The Connect. There are also several good private school options. The McClelland School is a great option and coming from DC you’ll think the tuition is absurdly low although in Pueblo it’s considered pretty high. If you are Catholic or Christian there are also good religion-based options including Saint Therese, John Neumann and Trinity Lutheran. High School seems to be more of a challenge as there are no private options in Pueblo (some send their kids to schools in Colorado Springs) but there are a few innovative program options including the IB program at East and the Early College program in partnership with the well regarded local community college, Pueblo CC. Overall, schools have been better than I expected.

      Tips for coming from DC? Tough one. It will be a culture shock. Pueblo is more like New Mexico than it is like Denver in many ways. The large Hispanic population (~50%) and the high desert climate make it feel more like the Southwest than like the Rocky Mountains. I love it. But it’s not for everyone. Also, Pueblo is a place where people spend their whole lives and don’t move away. At the same time, due to a weak economy, not many people have moved to Pueblo from different places, especially compared to Metro DC. So it may be a challenge to establish a social network. People are extraordinarily friendly but they have life-long friends and relatives with whom they spend most of their time. I don’t see that as an insurmountable challenge but it’s something to be aware of before arriving.

      One other surprise on the upside that I’ll mention. The Colorado Springs airport has become my go-to airport. It’s a super easy drive, about 30 minutes, never any real traffic. Parking at the airport is very easy and inexpensive. Pick-up and drop-off are a piece of cake. And prices are surprisingly affordable, even cheaper than Denver in many cases. Mostly you have to connect through Denver and there are cancellations from time to time but overall this has been a pleasant surprise and a boost to quality of life because I travel with some frequency for work.

      Barrett, I hope you’ll give Pueblo a try. Come visit this winter or spring. Grab a cup of coffee at Solar Roast (Pueblo’s very own solar-powered coffee roaster) and explore the Mesa Junction, Aberdeen, Belmont. Eat some green chile at one of the many excellent Mexican restaurants in Bessemer. Stop by the Coors Tavern for a slopper and a schooner. Take your kids to the Pueblo Zoo and the Sangre De Cristo Art Center. Go for a bike ride on the trails near Lake Pueblo. Play some golf or go for a walk in the sunshine. Check the prices for soccer camps, art camps, after school activites. Take a close look at the price of housing. Cruise around town with no destination further than a 10 minute drive. It’s not perfect but, on balance, I don’t think there’s a better value in North America.

      Be sure to look me up when you arrive. I’d be happy to welcome you to Pueblo. Your first slopper is on me.

      Cheers, J.

      • Barrett / January 6, 2013 at 11:40 am / Reply

        Thanks for the quick and thorough response, Justin. If the city of Pueblo isn’t paying you, they should. You do a great job of marketing the city. We’ll be coming out in the next couple months to scope out the area. I’ll drop you a line when we do.

        Barrett

        • Justin / January 7, 2013 at 12:41 pm / Reply

          Thanks, Barrett. Look forward to hearing from you.

  30. Francis / February 25, 2013 at 6:02 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the informative and well written info. My GF and I are planning a move from Tucson to Pueblo after school gets out at the end of may. We mostly picked Pueblo due to the affordability of the housing. After reading some negative things elsewhere I was beginning to doubt whether we were making a good decision (this isn’t a job transfer or anything, we’re just looking for a change of pace). I think Pueblo sounds like a good move and I’m looking forward to checking it out…may avoid the Eastside though:)…

    • Justin / February 25, 2013 at 11:32 pm / Reply

      Hi Francis, thanks for the comment! I hope you’ll enjoy Pueblo. It’s not for everyone but I think coming from Tucson you’ll find yourself more or less at home. Often the trouble is that people come to Pueblo from Denver metro and expect Pueblo to be similar to Northern Colorado. It’s different…probably closer to New Mexico culturally and possibly closer to a place like Tucson. Housing remains unbelievably inexpensive so I’m pretty sure you’ll like that part. It may take some time to find your niche, which is always the case when you move to a new place, but I hope it works out for you. Let me know when you arrive if there’s anything I can do to help with the transition. By the way, I wouldn’t say avoid the Eastside – just be aware that you’ll find more crime on the Eastside. We shop on the Eastside regularly for specialty groceries and I drive my son to a Magnet School on the Eastside every morning. And there are a few restaurants I’ve been meaning to visit. That said, my recommendation for finding a good, affordable, walkable neighborhood with character to call home remains the Mesa Junction. Best wishes, Justin

  31. Jennifer / March 3, 2013 at 12:37 am / Reply

    Justin
    I want to reiterate what others have stated about this post. It is so good to get some current information about Pueblo that is not negative! My husband and I are relocating to Pueblo from Houston with our infant son at the end of April. We are looking at houses online and desperately looking for information on the safest areas. I love that the older homes in Pueblo are so affordable but need help with choosing the best areas. If we can’t figure out the best area within Pueblo then we’ll be moving to Pueblo West which isn’t what I prefer since it seems to be more rural than Pueblo. Would you be able to give some guidance about the safety of homes near (basically across the street)Central High School? I don’t think that area is one that you mention as safe. The other area I was uncertain about is near the Rosemount Museum. Also I was wondering what streets border the Mesa Junction area, looking at maps online its hard to be sure where the neighborhood begins and ends. Thank you in advance for any direction you can provide and again thanks for this excellent post

    • Justin / March 4, 2013 at 12:07 am / Reply

      Hi Jennifer – the area near Central High School is probably my favorite neighborhood in all of Pueblo. This area, bounded by Abriendo and Adams to the North/South and Lincoln/Lake to the East/West is what I think of as the core of the Mesa Junction neighborhood. Right next door to the Pueblo Community College, shopping on Abriendo/Broadway and Abriendo/4th, the main public library, good restaurants – everything walkable. And only a 15 min walk or 5 min bike ride to the Union Ave historic district and downtown. Really it’s the most centrally located neighborhood in Pueblo. It has a great mix of housing, everything from 4-story mansions on Pitkin to 700 sq ft 2-bedroom cottages in some state of disrepair. All very affordable with prices from $80k to $130k for move-in ready, decent housing. Nothing fancy but unbelievably inexpensive. If you want one of the mansions on Pitkin it’ll be closer to $300k, still reasonable actually although I wouldn’t want to pay the heating bills in one of those huge places. In my opinion, the Mesa Junction is safe. Crime is definitely an issue in Pueblo but you’ll have to deal with it wherever you go. Mostly it’s just petty robbery but you’ll probably want a security system (or at least a sign that says you have a security system). If you can afford more for housing, like something in the $150-300k range, then I would opt for Aberdeen, arguably the nicest neighborhood in the city. You can find fancier homes in other parts of town, like near Walking Stick, but perhaps not a more pleasant neighborhood.

      You also asked about the area near the Rosemount Museum. This would generally be known as the Northside, although I think it needs a new neighborhood name because it’s not really anywhere near the north edge of the city and hasn’t been for sometime. This area near Parkview Hospital is really hit and miss. There are some very rough areas and then there are some lovely little neighborhoods here and there with plenty in between. I wouldn’t recommend anywhere south of 17th Street nor west of West Street, at least until you’re north of Freed Middle School. I think I need to make a Pueblo neighborhood map. Again there are a few streets, like 18th, parts of Greenwood, Elizabeth and Court that have lovely homes and mature tree-lined streets just blocks from Mineral Palace park. You might also check out a few neighborhoods between 24th and 29th and between West and High. Also, take a peak at some of the small streets just south of 24th like Echo, Coronado, DeSoto, etc. Good bargains can be found in these locations. Probably should just turn this into a full blog post…anyway, hope this helps! Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Cheers, Justin

      p.s. By the way, please don’t move to Pueblo West and become part of the unnecessary traffic procession on Hwy 50. There’s no reason to have a big commute if you live in Pueblo. The wind blows non-stop in PW and, while the view of mountains is better, the landscape is bleak and unappealing. No character whatsoever. It’s also a drag on Pueblo city services. I do know lots of wonderful people who live in PW and seem very happy to be there so I’m sure it has its good points but, to me, it’s not Pueblo and I don’t recommend living there.

  32. Moe / March 30, 2013 at 9:24 pm / Reply

    Thank you for this thorough analysis.

    I am moving with my wife this coming July to Pueblo from Royal Oak , Michigan. I will be looking for a house rental in one of Pueblo’s decent neighborhoods. Any tips on the best way and time to do that?

    Thank you

    • Justin / March 31, 2013 at 10:12 pm / Reply

      Hi Moe – welcome to Pueblo! Not sure if you noticed but we just moved from Ann Arbor. I think you’ll enjoy the change in climate.
      I’d be happy to help with your housing search. I will email directly and see if we can identify the right neighborhood for you.
      Best, Justin

    • Howie / April 20, 2013 at 10:24 am / Reply

      Hi Moe – welcome to Pueblo! We have a house for rent in a great neighborhood (626 Polk).

      Our agent is Marilee Nickelson (719) 406 4425

      Good Luck, Howard & Jude

      • Justin / April 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm / Reply

        I don’t know Howie or Marilee Nickelson and I haven’t seen the house but I can say that 626 Polk is an excellent location in the Mesa Junction neighborhood and, at the right price (I would guess somewhere in the $750-850 range), would probably be a great rental.

  33. Nubia / April 6, 2013 at 11:36 am / Reply

    My husbands company just recently relocated him to Pueblo, we have 5 children and I stayed behind to wait for the school age ones to get done with school. His company is paying for him to stay in a hotel until we find a homeland move this summer. We live in a small town in Central Illinois and I’m really worried about making the big move to Pueblo. I’ve been looking online for a rental house. What neighborhoods would you recommend?

    • Justin / April 7, 2013 at 12:55 pm / Reply

      Nubia – welcome to Pueblo! I will email you separately to find out more about your situation before suggesting neighborhoods. I hope you’ll be happy in Pueblo! Best, Justin

      • Sandy / June 1, 2014 at 5:48 pm / Reply

        Hi Justin,
        My husband and I may be moving to Pueblo this month for a new job. We appreciate your information as we may need to rent a place sight unseen due to the time crunch and distance from Illinois. I’d love to be in a place that is walking friendly. We’ve been getting by with only one car for several years and would like to continue. I work at home and we’re senior citizens who may have one or two grandchildren living with us for a short time. We’d like your suggestions on a relatively safe, quiet area. Thanks. You’ve already given valuable information.

        • Justin / June 2, 2014 at 10:08 am / Reply

          Hi Sandy – I would recommend the Aberdeen neighborhood, followed closely by Sunset and then the Mesa Junction. It depends on budget of course but these locations offer a good blend of walk-ability and relative peace and quiet. The rental market is fairly tight so you may need to make temporary housing arrangements and then find a rental upon arrival. Best of luck on the move and welcome to Pueblo! Best, Justin

          • Sandy / June 3, 2014 at 11:20 am /

            Hi again Justin,
            My husband just this morning accepted a job in Pueblo starting July 1. We have buyers for our home in West Central Illinois with the closing set for on or before July 8. We want to start out renting in Pueblo but we need to find an apartment available this month so we can make the move within the next three weeks. I’m checking with the bigger apartment complexes that advertise security and 24-hour maintenance. Do you have any other suggestions? Thanks! You’re very helpful to all your readers.

          • Justin / June 3, 2014 at 11:28 am /

            Congrats on having buyers! I guess I’d want to know where your husband will be working (general vicinity is fine if you prefer not to reveal precise location) before I made any suggestions. Besides his place of work, what else do you want to have close by? Thanks, Justin

          • Sandy / June 3, 2014 at 6:18 pm /

            Spanish Peaks, and we’ve pretty much reconciled ourselves to the need to buy a second car.

          • Justin / June 4, 2014 at 12:08 pm /

            Spanish Peaks has several locations so I’m not sure where to suggest. I stand by my Aberdeen, Sunset, Mesa Junction recommendations. Belmont is another good option if your husband will spend most of his time at the Spanish Peaks facility just east of the Fountain River. Again, best of luck! -Justin

  34. Muriel / April 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm / Reply

    Hello Justin,
    Thank you for your post. I am contemplating relocating to Colorado and enjoyed your insight into this area. I have applied to a few open social work jobs in the area and we shall see what turns out. Could you comment on the church community within Pueblo?

    • Justin / April 7, 2013 at 10:16 pm / Reply

      Hi Muriel, Thanks for the comment – I hope you find a home in Colorado! I’m really not the best person to comment on Pueblo’s church community. There is a strong Catholic community – I attended one of the Catholic schools for a few years in the 80s, and I think most people of faith could find what they’re looking for here in Pueblo. If not, Colorado Springs is a larger city about 40 min away with a very well established Christian community. I think you’d need to explore on your own to see if Pueblo was able to offer what you’re looking for in a church. Sorry I can’t be more help on this topic. Best wishes! Justin

  35. Perry Cabot / April 9, 2013 at 12:57 am / Reply

    Justin: I appreciate your thoughtful honest analysis and commitment to Pueblo. I am actually a transplant to this community, having lived here for the past 5 years. I live in the Pueblo Community College neighborhood and have always enjoyed it. You have listed all the things I like about Pueblo. I will only add that we need more people to move here (or come back) with the enthusiasm to build a strong community. There are a lot of houses in very good neighborhoods that just need to be purchased and fixed up, as you have done. So yes – folks out there – this is a good town and we need you!

    • Justin / April 9, 2013 at 9:43 am / Reply

      Thanks for this comment Perry! Hope to run into you around Pueblo sometime! Cheers, Justin

  36. Leah Pulsifer / April 12, 2013 at 7:35 am / Reply

    It’s great to see this posting. My family and I will be moving to Pueblo in June. My whole family lives there, but I haven’t lived there since 1983, my husband is a native Floridian and we also spent 15 years moving around with his military assignments. Now that he’s retired, his parents have passed and my son has graduated high school, I’m ready to get out of Orlando. It’s too populated, the traffic is a nightmare and I have no interest in Mickey Mouse. I’m so excited to be in a community that I can feel like I’m a part of. I think Pueblo has the potential to be a great little city, it’s already on it’s way. The 10 minute trek across town is the most exciting for me, I’m currently commuting almost an hour and that’s keeping well within the city of Orlando. We were there for Christmas and when my sister commented on traffic being heavy around the mall I thought I’d fall on the floor laughing. If she only knew! Anyway, kudos on giving Pueblo some gold stars.

    • Justin / April 14, 2013 at 10:18 am / Reply

      Thanks for leaving a comment, Leah! Welcome back to Pueblo! I hope the move goes smoothly. I’ve been to Orlando many times on business so I think I can relate. It won’t take you long to adjust to traffic in Pueblo (or the lack thereof) and soon any 5-10 min delay will seem like a big interruption. But be sure to find a place to live in the city of Pueblo; if you locate in Pueblo West you’ll soon discover that US 50 has become a lot more congested since 1983. Best, Justin

      • Ron Wiley / January 27, 2014 at 12:20 am / Reply

        Hi Justin! I moved home to Pueblo 4 years ago to help the family with elder care, and we ended up in the Old Northside historic neighborhood to make my commute to work in Colorado Springs shorter. I just wanted to confirm your traffic report… we used to say that if we were southbound on Santa Fe, wanting to turn left on 13th to get on I-25, and the light changed before we could make the turn, that we were in a traffic jam. But then the city installed a left turn light… no more traffic jams! We just avoid US 50 West, because it reminds us too much of streets in Colorado Springs.

        • Justin / January 27, 2014 at 12:35 am / Reply

          Hi Ron!
          Love the Pueblo traffic jam anecdote! And glad to hear it’s now been cleared. :)
          Yes, the 15 min from anywhere in Pueblo to anywhere else in Pueblo sure is a nice feature. And, I definitely agree re avoiding Hwy 50. Did you see my piece in the Chieftain about setting up a toll booth for eastbound traffic?
          http://www.justinholman.com/2013/06/30/funding-the-city-of-pueblo/
          Got some good hate mail from PW for that one.
          Thanks again and best wishes!
          Justin

  37. Howie / April 20, 2013 at 10:30 am / Reply

    Hi Justin,

    Great read on Pueblo ! Can you enlighten me on the water (shortages) situation for Pueblo ?

    Thks,

    • Justin / April 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm / Reply

      Hi Howie – Great question! I’ve been meaning to do some research into this very topic but haven’t had time. My general understanding is that, thanks to Pueblo’s location at the confluence of the Arkansas and Fountain rivers, Pueblo is very well positioned, at least relative to the large population centers to the north (Denver and Springs), if there are water shortages in the region. That said, I don’t have enough information to speak with any confidence on the subject. I will post more here as I’m able to find more information. Thanks for raising the issue! Best, Justin

  38. Rachel / April 21, 2013 at 10:57 pm / Reply

    Wow. Thank you for generously providing such detailed and helpful information. It looks like there are more people moving to Pueblo than I thought. We are planning a move in July and I intend to open my own business there. The crime rate information on the web is the most disturbing, so I appreciate your balanced view of it. I lived in Topeka, KS for a short time and just never felt safe there. Our car was broken into twice, in the supposedly nice SW area of Topeka, and we ended up moving out of Topeka when I was nine months pregnant because I couldn’t stand it anymore. Hopefully, I will not pick up the same vibe in Pueblo. We are planning to rent (let me know if you have any units available) initially to be sure we have picked the right area for a school and safety, but I am also considering that for the money it may be better to just hope for the best and make the commitment to buy right off the bat. Thank you again for your helpful info. The Chamber of Commerce should start paying you or at least give you a free membership!

    • Justin / April 22, 2013 at 1:20 pm / Reply

      Rachel – thank your for your kind words and positive feedback. Be sure to call the Pueblo Chamber and tell them I’ll be waiting for my check to arrive in the mail. :)
      What sort of business will you be starting? Depending on where you plan to work and what your objectives are for neighborhood and education I’d be happy to recommend a few places to look for housing.
      If you have cash and/or are in position to secure a mortgage you may have better luck buying than renting but you should be able to find something decent either way.
      Welcome to Pueblo! Cheers, Justin

  39. Gen / April 22, 2013 at 5:37 pm / Reply

    Thanks for all the great info! I just got a job offer in Pueblo and we are still making our decision, but I am excited about this town.
    I’m wondering what the renovation market looks like? It seems like rental investments is a good way to go, but are folks renovating their homes in general? And pardon my ignorance, but is cheap labor an issue with those working in construction?
    Thanks!
    Gen

    • Justin / April 22, 2013 at 5:59 pm / Reply

      Hi Gen. Congrats on the job offer! Yes, I think there are plenty of people renovating their homes but it’s pretty mixed and depends on what part of Pueblo you’re talking about. Labor rates are very reasonable in Pueblo. The going rate seems to be about $10-$12 per hour for general labor up to $25-$35 per hour for skilled contract labor. You can certainly pay more than that but you can find good people available at these rates if you know where to look. Hope that helps. Best of luck with your decision – I hope you like Pueblo! Cheers, Justin

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  41. Michelle / May 17, 2013 at 2:28 am / Reply

    We’ve already made the decision to move to Pueblo from Whidbey Island, WA this summer (July/August) and while I do have a couple friends living there already singing the city’s praises, I really appreciate hearing both sides of some pretty key issues in your article. Thank you! We’re actually getting ready to put an offer in on a house near Minnequa Elementary and I’m just curious if you’re familiar with this particular neighborhood. We’ve got two small kids, one starting Kindergarten and the other in preschool, so I’m also curious if you are familiar with any activities/clubs/etc. for kids their age to get involved in. We were going to start our son in soccer this fall and our daughter in ballet and with it being such a big city compared to where we live now I’m hopeful there will be similar opportunities. Thank you in advance for any information you can send my way =).

    • Justin / May 17, 2013 at 9:59 am / Reply

      Hi Michelle! Thank you for the comments! I have family living on Whidbey Island and I’ve been there a few times – Pueblo will be a big change!

      The area near Minnequa Elementary is an interesting location. Close to the Steel Mill and on the edge of what I would consider the historic Bessemer neighborhood but near St. Mary Corwin hospital so it has a different dynamic. Depending on the price range you’re shooting for I would probably recommend that you consider other neighborhoods before you commit. I prefer the Mesa Junction neighborhood, State Fair area, Sunset, El Camino, Aberdeen – if you want to be on the south side. Of course, all of those locations will likely cost a bit more for housing … but not that much and worth every penny in my opinion.

      Re kids activities. Soccer is big in Pueblo – check with the Pueblo Rangers soccer club to get your son plugged in. Also, they have a good soccer camp at CSU-P that is offered a couple weeks during the summer. Don’t know about ballet but there are several dance studios in town and I’m sure you’ll find something. For schools, you should probably get on the wait list at Fountain International and PSAS and also The Connect, even though it may seem early. McClelland is a good private school and there are other good options if you are interested in religious education.

      Let me know if I can provide anything further! Welcome to Pueblo!

      Cheers, Justin

    • Justin / May 17, 2013 at 10:12 am / Reply

      I forgot to mention to check out the Pueblo Zoo and Kiddie Rides at City Park and the Sangre de Cristo Art Center on Santa Fe for summer activities. Also, the YMCA on Pueblo Blvd near Hwy 50 is a fabulous facility and a must see.

  42. David / May 29, 2013 at 4:49 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin–

    I understand that Pueblo is not Denver but are there at least 1 or 2 good vegetarian restaurants and/or organic food stores?

    • David / May 29, 2013 at 5:27 pm / Reply

      And here’s a weird contradiction: Pueblo ranked #5 most stressful place to live yet #20 best place to retire…
      http://www.bestplaces.net/docs/studies/stress5.aspx

      • Justin / May 30, 2013 at 11:58 am / Reply

        David, my guess is that Pueblo ranks high for stress because of relatively high unemployment and a fairly weak economy. However, if you have retirement savings or a pension your dollars will stretch far further in Pueblo than almost anywhere else in the US. Plus Pueblo has a good university, excellent hospitals, many cultural amenities, proximity to the mountains and superb weather. So, it does seem like a strange contradiction but I think the rankings are probably accurate on both counts. Cheers, Justin

    • Justin / May 30, 2013 at 11:53 am / Reply

      Hi David, there is a Natural Grocer’s Vitamin Cottage near the Pueblo Mall and Schrock’s Health Foods (http://schrockshealthfoods.com/) on the south side. Never been to Schrock’s. You can also drive 40 min to Colo Springs to visit Whole Foods and the large chains, e.g., Albertson’s, have some organic offerings. For vegetarian restaurants I recommend Mr. Tandoori and The Daily Grind but I think you can find vegetarian options at most of the many excellent Mexican and Italian restaurants around town. Vegan would be a challenge but vegetarian shouldn’t be too much trouble. Hope this helps! Best, Justin

  43. Bruce / June 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm / Reply

    Thanks Justin for the great summary of Pueblo. My wife and I are talking about a very early semi-retirement and were looking for a great place to go that we could afford soon. We live in WI now, but I was interested in the the area because I lived in Crested Butte many years ago and loved the area, but wanted somewhere a bit warmer (Gunny…brrr). We had lots of questions, but you answered them.

    Thanks for the tips on the neighborhoods. We’re looking for an in-town (walkable/bikeable) spot with decent safey. Is Central High the best choice? Thanks, Bruce

    PS – my wife said she was sold at the first mention of great green chile. We stll talk about some we had in Durango that we could have eaten every day forever.

    • Justin / June 6, 2013 at 10:28 am / Reply

      Hi Bruce!
      So glad to hear that you found my blog post useful! I think Crested Butte is the coolest mountain town ever so I’m jealous of your stint living there. Pueblo is definitely warmer but you’ll find more of a New Mexico culture here so don’t expect the same environment you found in CB or Gunnison or Durango. If you’re looking for walkability then, yes, I would recommend the Mesa Junction neighborhood (this is near Central High and toward the Pueblo Community College). Aberdeen and Sunset would be good too but more of a bikable distance from shopping. Also depends on your housing budget of course. Aberdeen will cost more but it’s very nice and probably the safest of the neighborhoods mentioned. You can also spend plenty for a mansion on Pitkin near PCC. Or, you can buy a smaller house that may need a few finishing touches for under $100k a few blocks away.

      When you get here let me know and I’ll take you and your wife out for your first batch of Pueblo’s finest green chile!

      Best, Justin

  44. Elizabeth / June 25, 2013 at 10:54 pm / Reply

    Hello Justin,

    I love the post about Pueblo, my husband just graduated from law school and we are actually thinking of moving to Colorado (because one its close to Tx where my family lives, right now my husband and I are in FL and two my husband has never lived anywhere but FL and would love to try and live in CO) and Pueblo caught my eye. Could you give me an suggestions on neighborhoods to buy a house. It would be our first house and we are pretty excited and trying to do some research before completely setting our sights on CO.

    • Justin / June 26, 2013 at 10:14 am / Reply

      Hi Elizabeth! Glad you enjoyed the post. I’d be happy to help with target neighborhoods. Generally speaking, I like Aberdeen, Mesa Junction, select Northside locations (Country Club, near 18th/Greenwood), Sunset, El Camino, University Park and Belmont. Please avoid Pueblo West which has a nice selection of modern homes but the location is miserable for a variety of reasons. Narrowing your choices would depend on budget and housing preferences. I will send a quick email to your yahoo address and would be happy to answer further questions. Best wishes to you and your husband on this big move! I hope you choose Pueblo! Cheers, Justin

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  46. Larry LaFollette / July 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm / Reply

    I’m in Oklahoma City and planning on a retirement relocation to Pueblo this December. It’s just me and my parakeet but would like an extra room so I’m looking to rent a nice 2 bedroom home in a peaceful neighborhood. How plentiful are 2 bed homes on the rental market? How far in advance should I start looking? Do you have any advice as to an agent to contact for help?

    Thanks,
    Larry

    • Justin / July 2, 2013 at 6:01 pm / Reply

      Hi Larry – I hope you’ll be happy in Pueblo! You shouldn’t have trouble finding a nice 2-bedroom home for rent but the market is somewhat tight, especially in the most desirable neighborhoods, so I would allow yourself some time. If it were me I would make a trip here to Pueblo a few weeks in advance to make arrangements for a rental house. Be prepared to put a deposit on the house. But, BEFORE YOU GIVE SOMEONE MONEY, please verify that they are the actual property owner or represent the property owner. You should be able to check using the county property records for verification. Sadly, I’ve heard stories of people paying someone a deposit and then finding out that their money has been stolen. Not often but it happens. I can probably put you in touch with an agent to help but they are typically most interested in helping a buyer purchase a home; it’s not common for agents to help locate a residential rental. When you arrive in Pueblo stop by 105 Colorado Avenue and ask for me. Anyone working there will be able to get a message to me and I can call or meet you to help find a good rental. Best wishes, Justin

  47. NorahG / July 24, 2013 at 10:09 am / Reply

    Thank you Justin for your wonderful information. I plan to relocate in March, 2014 to either Pueblo or Albuquerque. I’m so psyched. I prefer renting to owning. Renting from a family owned place as opposed to ‘management run’ works best for me. Your piece has me favoring Pueblo. I will definitely check out the Mesa Junction and Belmont areas. I hope that I will find that perfect rental in a walkable neighborhood. Even though it’s a great place to live, I am tired of the humidity of Cleveland, OH.

    • Justin / July 24, 2013 at 10:32 am / Reply

      Hi Norah – I hope you choose Pueblo! Let me know when you’re in town and I’d be glad to help in your search for a rental property. Best wishes! -Justin

  48. Melanie / July 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the informative article! My family and I are thinking about moving to Pueblo. It’s just me, my boyfriend, and our 2 year old daughter. We plan to unschool so we’re not concerned about the schools. We are healthy eaters and the little one and I are vegetarians. We want a to rent a pretty 3 br with charm but fairly modern. Safe area. Decent yard. Maybe walking distance to a park and a coffee shop. Any area you’d recommend? Any farmers markets? Do you know if the ground is amenable to planting gardens? Any areas to definitely avoid? I know you’ve mentioned avoiding the west and the south if I’ve read correctly. Any specific neighborhoods? We plan to set up a number of appts to view apartments before we move down and find a place within a day or two of our move. Is that possible there? I’ve done that here in New Orleans and back home in NYC but they’re bigger cities.. Also, do you know what the bar scene is like? My bf bartends and also has experience working in construction, welding, etc. Will it be difficult for him to find work? Thanks, sorry for so many questions! It’s a big move for us. Looking forward to quieter life with a little more space! :)

    • Justin / July 31, 2013 at 12:21 pm / Reply

      Hi Melanie – thank you for reading my post and for these questions. For good, safe, walkable neighborhoods I recommend Aberdeen and Mesa Junction plus parts of the Sunset and just north of the State Fairgrounds. Other nice areas that aren’t as walkable include Belmont, Northside near the Pueblo Country Club or Northside near 18th/Greenwood. There are farmers markets but I don’t have all the details – there are also a few local CSA programs that sound good. And, yes, you can certainly plant a garden but it will likely be a change from gardening in New Orleans. Aside from 100% car dependence in bleak Pueblo West, I don’t have any neighborhoods that I would absolutely avoid. But, the East side and especially the lower East side (south of 4th St.) can be unsafe in certain places at certain times. Same, but to a lesser extent, in parts of Bessemer, the West side as well as the area just north of downtown but south of 17th and west of Elizabeth. I really need to create a neighborhood map of Pueblo to refer to….hopefully soon. It won’t be easy to find a good apartment in just a few days but it’s possible. Just need a bit of luck. I don’t have much first-hand experience with the bar scene so can’t say for sure how your boyfriend would fare in seeking a bartending gig. I know some people to ask and could connect you once you arrive. Generally speaking, like many places, good jobs are difficult to find in Pueblo. Construction work in particular will be a challenge because many skilled people are waiting on the sidelines for housing construction to resume. Don’t know about welding. I hope you’ll be happy in Pueblo! Drop by Mesa Junction Wine & Spirits at 105 Colorado Ave and leave a message for me if you’d like to connect after you arrive. I’d be happy to try and help in any way I can. Best wishes! -Justin

  49. McKenzee / August 3, 2013 at 8:40 am / Reply

    Hi Justin,

    My husband and I are planning to move to Colorado next summer, probably sometime between June-Sept 2014. I am graduating with my BSN in nursing and plan to attend graduate school to become a nurse practitioner a few years down the road. My husband has 5 years of construction experience and is also obtaining and Information Technology degree online. We had our sights set on Colorado Springs area, but my husband is much more thrilled about a smaller town. What are the biggest differences in Co. Springs and Pueblo? What would make us move to Pueblo over Co. Springs? The cost of living seems quite low in Colorado Springs for all the wonderful amenities and hospitals they offer. Also, being we are moving from North Dakota (which happens to have by far the best job economy in the country) what is the job situation like in Pueblo and Co. Springs? Your comments and advice would be much appreciated!!

  50. Kelly / August 6, 2013 at 2:15 pm / Reply

    Thanks for the post, Justin! I am seriously considering a move to Pueblo & I’d appreciate it if you could make a map of the city so I know where east side is. I know it sounds stupid, but its hard to research without knowing what areas to avoid & have a visual aid. Thanks much!

  51. Bo / August 27, 2013 at 12:50 am / Reply

    I was wondering about the job market in Pueblo. I live in small town in Missouri and there is nothing here to do as far as jobs go, or even entertainment. We have streams and Current River and that’s about the sum of it. I have family in Pueblo West who are really pushing for my wife, son and I to move in with them until we can find work and a home of our own. I was wondering about the job market in Pueblo. Is the job market in Pueblo vast or pretty shallow?

    • Justin / August 27, 2013 at 10:08 am / Reply

      Hi Bo, Great to hear that you’re considering a move to the Pueblo area. Unfortunately, the job market is relatively weak. Some people live in Pueblo and work in Colorado Springs where the population is much larger and the economy is more diverse. If you have nursing or medical training of any kind Parkview and Corwin (2 major hospitals in Pueblo) seem to have plenty of positions. There are certainly other organizations hiring in a variety of fields but, on balance, it’s not easy to land a good job. That said, it really depends on your skills, background and interests. It also depends on your level of entrepreneurial spirit. I see tons of opportunity to start and grow businesses here in Pueblo but it requires patience, determination and a long-term vision. It also typically requires short term financial sacrifice and not everyone is in position to make that type of sacrifice. If you’d like I could try to help more but I would need to know more about your personal situation. Feel free to submit a comment/message here on my blog or you could send a direct message to @justinholman on Twitter. Best wishes, Justin

  52. Michelle Delarosa / September 6, 2013 at 4:45 pm / Reply

    Very Nice Article. I like the way you are so positive and are able to see things that are not so great about Pueblo. You see it for the way it is and tell about the good and bad. While It’s true the economy is not great and if your not employed by the hospitals, or the mill. Work can be scarce.
    I do agree on the weather it is nice and sunny and I am glad you pointed out how inexpensive it can be to live in Pueblo. However I disagree on restaurants maybe casual at best they are just okay. There are a few of course DJ’s, Jorge’s, and aside from the chains over on HWY 50, thats as good as it gets. I do however like Gaglianos in Bessemer and apart from that, the deli’s are just mediocre. Anybody from a big city or overseas might differ in your opinion there. There are people that try and come here and with them they bring there culture take 1521 over on main that place was divine. I seen the owner and his wife so things with food that was different and exciting. They even went above to infuse the local produce from Vineland and the county into works of art.
    Even the green chili which Pueblo is famous for didn’t mesh with the locals. Regretfully it didn’t last. to bad loved that place.
    There are retailers that try and come here and show the people something different and exciting something that they have never seen. But people here do NOT like anything different. I think Pueblo west is different from the city as a whole. People are more open to things that are “new”.
    I think Pueblo would be more vibrant and if it just allowed for things that are cultural to come in and not just Mexican, or italian. Understandably there are a lot of hispanics in pueblo and a small italian population hispanics seem to dominate pueblo as I think demographically it’s about sixty percent. That little dutch place has been there for years that was when the mill was recruiting europeans hence the term Bojon. I do like the city park and the library. Both great Places to work and workout. I think it’s a great place if you have little money to invest in housing or if your looking to go to school And get an education PCC and CSU Do offer great classes and the tuition is affordable. I wished it was more open culturally. And hopefully with the influx of immigrants leaving the big cities for smaller one’s like Colorado springs and Pueblo will change the face of Pueblo maybe in 10-20 years. In the meantime I think Pueblo is and always will be a place to raise children. The people and the way they think, truly reflect that. If you have something different to offer the community and you are moving to Pueblo it wont be as easy as it looks. good luck, Do your research check how many new business’s fold. If it doesn’t pertain to anything spanish or kids, or if it’s to high end or different .. Chances are it wont last.

    • Justin / September 6, 2013 at 5:10 pm / Reply

      Michelle, thanks for the comment and your kind words. I agree with you in part in terms of Pueblo being reluctant to support new ideas but I think it cuts two ways. I often see investments in business, real estate etc made by people from out of town – Denver or elsewhere – that are destined for failure from the get-go because of a lack of understanding about what motivates Puebloans to open their wallet and spend money. The key in Pueblo is to provide excellent value. An excellent product at a high price won’t fly in Pueblo. It has to be a great price or it will struggle. Let me give you an example. A real estate developer, I think from Denver, built some beautiful, high-end condos right on the corner of Union and Riverwalk, across from Angelo’s Pizza, which is a great place to eat and watch pedestrian traffic on the Riverwalk by the way. They spent way too much money on the property, putting in high-end kitchen appliances, counter-tops and various other luxury amenities. People in Pueblo don’t care about that kind of thing enough to pay top dollar for it. It’s not that people in Pueblo don’t like nice kitchens with fancy counter-tops it’s just that they’re not willing to pay a premium when they know they don’t need it. So, despite a superior location and a terrific product (so far as I can tell), the investment was a colossal failure and aside from a few units the place has been almost completely vacant for years. If someone who understands Pueblo had built the condos they would have been far more modestly priced with fewer luxuries. And the building would now be fully occupied, the investment would have paid back handsomely, etc. Here’s the thing – if you want to sell over-priced Granite Counter-tops or Luxury SUVs go to Cherry Creek or Summit County where people are falling over each other to throw their money away on style rather than spending prudently on substance. If you have a product or service that creates value and you sell it at an attractive price, then you’ll find a place in the business community in Pueblo. I’m not saying it will be easy…but you won’t fail just because it’s new.
      Thanks again, Michelle! Best, Justin

  53. Michelle Delarosa / September 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm / Reply

    Thanks Justin I do agree. However, i don’t think all investments are geared particularly for people
    that are from Pueblo. Like i mentioned earlier, demographics are changing.. We all know that the people that are from here almost always won’t pay for such things. Not because they don’t like it, it’s because there financial status or income can’t support it. There simply is not enough Economic growth. The best thing about Pueblo is also keeping it from being a place that competes with other markets like Colorado springs and Denver or any of the beautiful mountain communities in Colorado. But If your looking for for inexpensive living and a relatively great place to raise kids. Pueblo can’t be beat.
    I’m hoping that people will embrace change and will be open to things that do include luxury and other cultures. If only hopefully one day….

  54. Mark / September 17, 2013 at 7:36 pm / Reply

    Hey Justin… Have to say you are great at depicting Pueblo… I have been looking to re-locate to Colorado from Southern California, (North East San Diego County, which is High Desert) While I do love the weather here and the general location to many amenities like desert, mountain, ocean, citys, etc. California is just un-reasonable to try to live in economically.. Both property tax’s and sales tax’s are extremely high not to mention the cost of living… anyway.. my question is: I notice you mentioning the west side of Pueblo being bleek or however you described it… I am coming to find/purchase property to have/house horses as well as myself, now I don’t need a bunch property.. just maybe 5 or 10 acres with a nice ranch style home and maybe a barn/arena etc.. is the west side where most likely I will find these style homes/properties? I understand Colorado Springs is probably more of a ‘Horse Community’ but may be out of my price range for property.. I am still researching, and really appreciate all you have posted about Pueblo..

    I also currently work in the Indian Gaming Industry Here in California (Casino Gaming Industry) Are there any Casino’s around Pueblo and do you know anyone that might work there and how they are to work for?

    Thanks In Advance!!

    • Justin / September 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm / Reply

      Hi Mark, thank you for the comment. If you want horse property with acreage near Pueblo I think you could look in Pueblo West, Beulah, Colorado City, Rye and east along the Arkansas toward Fowler. I don’t know much about horses so there may be some locations more favorable than others. Should be plenty of affordable options. As far as the gaming industry there are only a few locations offering legal gambling in Colorado. Cripple Creek would be the closes but not really within commuting distance from Pueblo. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Gambling_localities_in_Colorado
      Hope this helps! Best wishes, Justin

  55. Chris / September 22, 2013 at 2:42 pm / Reply

    I grew up in Pueblo and lived there for 24 years. After having moved to two different cities in Colorado, and now living in Longmont, I have to say that Pueblo is by far the worst. The steel industry is mostly dead in Pueblo – yes they WERE a huge thing. Not anymore. The top 10 employers in Pueblo are comprised of Hospitals, Walmart, and City Government/Education. There is no real industry in Pueblo anymore, and virtually no economic growth. If you telecommute and work from home, then sure it can work (though so can any other city). Do not expect to find a high paying job in Pueblo though – though commuting to Springs is a possibility.

    As far as my own experience? Well, I was robbed twice. Once at my apartment on the South side, other in Bessemer. Wiped out everything – I knew exactly who did it both times and the Police did not care or do a single thing. One of my best friends was murdered. Another was beaten to an inch of his life by a gang/drug dealers.

    Drugs, especially opiate pills and crack, have exploded in popularity in recent years. In fact, the people who robbed my house and apartment were druggies addicted to pills – as someone else mentioned, coming in during the daytime while you are at work and grabbing everything valuable is an extremely common occurrence in Pueblo now. If you aren’t going to live in one of the few pristine neighborhoods in Pueblo, get renter’s insurance!

    Homicide rates are ridiculous, as is rape, gang violence, etc. I looked at the crime rates for Longmont – where I now live – there has been 0 or 1 murder per year. Pueblo has 5-10+ nearly every single year, with a similar population! Overall crime rates there are nearly twice the national average.

    Pueblo is a city with
    -Stagnate population
    -Very poor economy and a mostly shut down steel industry
    -Very high crime rate
    -Cheap houses! I will give it that.
    -A bar or liquor store on every corner
    -An idiotic city council

    Pueblo West, some areas of the south side, and Belmont are about the only “nice” areas (read: not a complete dump) of Pueblo. Honestly? I’d recommend any other place.

    Full disclosure: I lived mostly on the south side, later in Bessemer, which is where all the really horrible stuff happened.

    • Justin / September 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm / Reply

      Hi Chris – thank you for sharing your experience and perspective. I’m sorry to hear that it was so negative. Pueblo most certainly has a crime problem. And, you aren’t the first one I’ve heard complain about the police department. Partly I think Pueblo police are overwhelmed and partly I think they suffer from poor leadership. I suppose that City Council bears some blame but I think idiotic is too harsh. As a geographer I can’t help but point out that a lot of the criminal activity is concentrated in a few areas and living in Bessemer did not improve your odds of avoiding problems. Longmont is indeed a nice community from what little I know about it. A good location near Boulder provides access to economic opportunity but I suspect that the high cost of housing in Longmont is partially responsible for the lower crime rate. For me, paying an extra $50 per month for a home security system makes more sense than paying triple the mortgage for housing in the Denver/Boulder metro area. You’re also correct to point out that Pueblo’s economy is weak but I think that could change if Puebloans will become more entrepreneurial and take advantage of the competitive advantages that we have in our community. For example, I think Pueblo could become a leading producer/exporter of solar energy. Pueblo could also benefit from greater investment in agricultural productivity. Pueblo has a lot more in common with the rust belt communities in the Midwest than it does with high growth Front Range metros to the north. I see Pueblo as a sunnier and warmer version of Pittsburgh transitioning from a Steel City to a more diverse and technologically advanced economy. There are many opportunities for Pueblo but it won’t come easy. Hopefully I can make a small contribution. Best wishes, Chris. I hope things work out for you in Longmont and I hope you’ll be pleasantly surprised on a future visit to your home town. Cheers, Justin

  56. Darla / October 9, 2013 at 6:31 pm / Reply

    My husband and I are both disabled and live on the eastside, but not very far on the east side..we have no trouble in our area, it is my understanding that the far east side(around 20th street) is where most of the crime is. I love Pueblo and we moved here from Colorado springs and we agree, with the cost of living, even though we rent we rented a 2 bedroom HOUSE with large fenced yard, for what we rented a small 2 bedroom APARTMENT in the springs…we are in a quieter and SAFER neighborhood than in the south west side of colorado springs!! It is so easy getting around in Pueblo, and the medical care here has been superb and since my husband has had health issues since moving here we have had first hand with the hospitals and emergency services, and I could not complain one bit. We have found more physicians here that are willing to take medicare, and that makes our lives a whole lot easier, there is good public transportation if we need it, and we also love the climate, and the “clean” air and we are considering purchasing a home and I believe it would be here in pueblo if we do…thanks for the article, I found it very informative and every bit a true statement…

    • Justin / October 9, 2013 at 6:41 pm / Reply

      Darla – thank you so much for sharing your experience as a resident of the East Side and as someone who has relocated to Pueblo from Colorado Springs. I’m so glad to hear that your move to Pueblo has been positive and that you found my article to be informative. I hope you and your husband have many happy years in Pueblo. Thanks again for reading and commenting! Best wishes, Justin

  57. Sapphire / October 20, 2013 at 1:56 pm / Reply

    Thanks so much for an informative article and thanks everyone, for all the comments. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the date this article was published and comments still being posted currently.

    We are planning to move to Pueblo next summer from Wisconsin. The climate change will be very welcome, first of all. I am very pleased to hear of the 4-year university and community college as well, that’s what both of us are looking for and was our main priority.

    We will be living there most of the year in an RV, Colorado will be our primary residence.

    Wondering about the beer? Husband has gotten used to the smaller craft brews here in WI, and is extremely interested in the availability of those in CO.

    We are also bikers, and looking forward to good riding around the area. I assume it’s beautiful up in the mountains?

    Very pleased to see CCW laws there as well, which will honor my permit.

    What about local lawn care services, the smaller independently-owned services, for husband to get a job? Also, any small engine repair services would be opportunity as well.

    Pueblo seems to be what we’re looking for, so far. Any comments or responses with advice are welcome.

    • Justin / October 20, 2013 at 2:24 pm / Reply

      Hi Sapphire, thanks for the comments! You will indeed love the climate in Pueblo. Bountiful sunshine and pleasant temperatures almost year-round. Some snow/cold in the winter, some hot days in the summer but, overall, about as nice as it gets more than 20 miles from the Pacific ocean. Craft beers are big in Colorado so I don’t think your husband will have a problem. Try visiting Mesa Junction Wine & Spirits at 105 Colorado near Abriendo for an excellent selection. If his favorites are not in stock just request a special order. Ask for Shannon; she will help you out. Mountains are certainly beautiful for biking and no crowds this far south of Denver. Not sure about lawn care or small engine repair shops but there should be options for someone with skills and a good midwest work ethic. Note that a good job won’t come easy in Pueblo. On the other hand, I think Pueblo is a terrific place to start a business. Good luck with the move! Best wishes, JH

  58. Julie F / October 26, 2013 at 10:00 am / Reply

    I grew up in Pueblo in the 1960s and early ’70s. It’s interesting to read someone’s take on it now. Pueblo was a great place to grow up. It had a downtown that thrived (until the mall was built), and people took pride in their homes. I lived on W. 11th and Elizabeth, and was able to safely walk to school from kindergarten through high school. We knew all of the neighbors within a 4-block radius. The “east side” that is now crime-ridden, was low-income at that time, but there were no gangs, and crime was low. At that time, the schools were fantastic. Teachers were well educated, and there was strict discipline. The town supported high school athletics, and everyone went to football games on Friday or Saturday night.

    I left for northern California in 1977, and now live near Philadelphia. Going “home” to Pueblo is bittersweet for me. My home on W 11th St, which my dad built after WWll, is too sad to look at any more. The neighborhood has become mostly rentals, and is badly decayed. There are a few gems in the ruins, but this is Pueblo. You can work hard to make your house look nice, but your neighbors can throw their couches and old refrigerators in their front yard and there goes the neighborhood. I was just in Pueblo in mid October, and encountered 3 stray dogs, in 2 different neighborhoods. All seemed friendly, but the owners apparently just didn’t care enough to keep track of them. My uncle said that stray dogs are a big problem now in Pueblo.

    What’s good about Pueblo now? The cost of living is still low, the River Walk is nice, Coors Tavern is still serving up the best sloppers, and PassKey is still in business. I don’t know that I could live there again, having lived there at its best, but it’s still a good place to eat green chile! I do hope that people will move there and help renovate the old, great neighborhoods before it’s too late.

    • Justin / October 28, 2013 at 1:25 pm / Reply

      Hi Julie – thanks for your comments! I share your hope though I think I am a bit more optimistic about Pueblo’s prospects. I think Pueblo’s best days are yet to come but the city needs people who care about it to come home, if they can, and help rejuvenate. I hope you’ll reconsider and move back where your Northern California housing dollar will buy a palace near Mineral Palace or a mansion in the Mesa Junction. Thanks again and best wishes, JH

  59. Amy Kunstle / November 3, 2013 at 9:11 pm / Reply

    Justin,
    Your article touched on all the reasons I went to school and worked hard to come back home to Pueblo. My husband and I each own our own business, we own our own home on Colorado Avenue, our kids have enjoyed a great education, we have more than we know what to do with activities all the time and we enjoy a twenty minute drive to our second home in Beulah when we want downtime. We love to travel and can easily go anywhere we want out of Springs or Denver and can afford to travel often as our cost of living is so low. We know our local government representatives and city officials and have the opportunity for personal conversations on issues that affect us. Best of all, we know our neighbors, have a relationship with friends, family and customers everywhere we go and feel a strong sense of our roots and our community. Glad you are back and thank you for your ongoing welcoming of our new neighbors and friends that are coming to discover a well kept secret!!!!

    • Justin / November 3, 2013 at 9:54 pm / Reply

      Amy, thank you so much for your kind comments! Isn’t it great to be a fish in a small pond? I strongly suspect we have friends in common and will be crossing paths soon….perhaps in the Mesa Junction. Thanks again! All best, Justin

  60. Maribeth / November 6, 2013 at 8:15 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin, thank you for this site and all of the good, honest comments and advice. I am 65 years old, grew up on Evans ave and Lake ave ( both considered Bessemer), never any problems, great neighbors! Walked to Corwin middle school, central HS. I now live in sunset park, and will never move. I think the robberies, violence, etc are generally gang related, sadly. Just need to be vigilant. Liked darla’s comments about the Eastside, totally on track. Yes, avoid the west side near and west of the State hospital. I was a homecare nurse for years, discovered there are good and bad everywhere. Sadly, you are right on about pueblo west, have friends out there, also family, only because building or buying a home is cheaper, bless them! Just a few things I would like to add about Pueblo, as far as jobs, my daughter is a drug rep, makes well over$100k a year, plus many extra’s company car, trips, etc. her husband is in building, his company built the beautiful new dorms at CSU-P which resemble condos, also the magnificent University’s football stadium. Their team is now# 3 in the nation div Ii. As you know, Dick Krinsky’s raquetball team is nearly unbeatable. Last year our university hosted the national Div Ii track and field completion. I attended our university, made a very good living as a registered nurse. All of my girls and their husbands attended CSU -P and all have well paying jobs. The high schools are encouraging students to take college classes at PCC while still in HS , now many are graduating HS with a 2 year associates degree. Read recently that our university had the 2nd lowest tuition in the nation. Oh, and by the way, they just announced millions of dollars have been raised for scholarships and renovating buildings there, so I think they will generate work for newcomers. One last thing, personal. Pueblo has a significant number of Croatian, Slovenian natives, we call ourselves “Bojons” and are very proud of our heritage. Many of our hardworking men worked the Steel mill after serving time in the military. Very few Bojons leave pueblo, they follow their fathers, family into good jobs. My dear mother, nearly 89 years old, many times calls out about 5 names before she “gets it right”, we call it the Bojons rollcall. My daughters recently made a onesie for my new great nephew that read ” I am #15 on the Bojon rollcall”. That is my funny. Now, one last note, my brother has lived in Colorado Springs for 40 years (got a teaching job there out of college), he hates it. The traffic, always transients, and the military. Says people are unfriendly and rude. There you have the haves and have nots, here we have tolerance, and a love for all. For new comers wanting to meet people, I would recommend volunteering or visiting the Buell museum, ESP the children’s museum.,and the zoo. They are delightful! Thank you once again!

    • Justin / November 6, 2013 at 9:53 pm / Reply

      Maribeth, thank you so much for sharing these comments! I love the “Bojon rollcall” story – hilarious! I think you point out an important part of Pueblo’s economy and culture – family is valued in a way that translates into multi-generational businesses and careers. I think this approach runs contrary to many accepted ideas regarding what it means in America for your children to succeed. I also love the anecdote about your daughter making a 6-figure salary as a drug rep. If you really want to live in Pueblo and you really want to make good money it can certainly can be done but you have to MAKE it happen. Your daughter is probably a serious go-getter, and that’s what it takes. Those who complain about low salaries are often expecting to just show up with a job application and, in return, receive a solid middle class salary. That was possible in the 70s, in Pueblo, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh and lots of other places with a manufacturing-based economy; but those days are long gone. Thanks again Maribeth! Hope we cross paths in Pueblo one of these days. Cheers, Justin

  61. Mark / November 6, 2013 at 8:40 pm / Reply

    I grew up in Michigan and have lived longer in Pueblo than I did in Michigan, but would take the Michigan 70-80 degree summers over Pueblo’s 90-100 degrees any day (since you work at home you don’t have to get in your 130 degree car to go home at the end of the day). I would rather sit on the beach by the bonfire, eating smores while watching the sunset over Lake Michigan than be at the Pueblo Reservoir. There are many great things about Pueblo, the people, the food, and the low cost housing (but your salary for those of us who work for a business in Pueblo reflects the low cost of living).

    • Justin / November 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm / Reply

      Hi Mark, thanks for the comments! As a former Michigander I can definitely appreciate how nice it is to be “Up North” relaxing on a beach overlooking Lake Michigan. Delightful. Northern Michigan is perhaps one of the most under-appreciated places in all of North America. However, I also experienced eight grey, brutally cold Michigan winters. So, while I will concede the summer season, I will take Pueblo over Michigan the other 9 months of the year…and by a landslide from Jan to May. So, given the option, I would choose a hot summer in Pueblo over a cold winter in Michigan every day of the week. Maybe we should charter a bus from Pueblo to Petoskey in July? Best wishes, Justin

  62. Cordelia / November 13, 2013 at 6:50 pm / Reply

    Thanks for this great article. I am considering your town for my business relocation.

  63. Mike / November 20, 2013 at 12:56 am / Reply

    Hello, Justin,

    Just wanted to thank you for the straight-forward, yet detailed summary of life in Pueblo. It was just what I was looking for. My son is very interested in a program offered by CSU-Pueblo, and, while I’ve driven right through town many times, I’ve never gotten off the freeway. Thanks again!
    Mike

    • Justin / November 20, 2013 at 11:40 am / Reply

      Hi Mike – Thanks for your comments! I hope your son lands in Pueblo – I teach statistics at CSU-Pueblo and I think it’s a great University. Best wishes, Justin

  64. Guy / November 26, 2013 at 2:16 pm / Reply

    I grew up in Pueblo, from the time I was 2 until the time I was 18. When I moved away, it was a bit of a culture shock, and I often felt very idiotic when presented with new information that I had assumed to be true everywhere in the United States.

    First, were issues concerning diversity. Moving away from Pueblo, I was shocked to learn how Latino and Hispanic individuals were regarded. In Pueblo, being Latino was completely normal, so much so that I didn’t learn some of my friends were Latino until I left Pueblo; on a recent trip back (I am 28), I learned that my friend since middle school was Latino. It had never even crossed my mind. Also, Latino individuals are so integrated and Americanized, that it was odd to me when I met Latino people who only spoke Spanish when I left Pueblo.

    And Pueblo most certainly did not prepare me for interacting with African-Americans. I remember when I had first moved to Minneapolis, I thought to myself that African-Americans only acted like “this” on television, and I thought the TV exaggerated their behavior. I was shocked to learn that there were some people who reinforced the stereotypes that I didn’t think were true. I got used to it though.

    Another instance when I felt completely out-of-place outside of Pueblo was when I was in the Army. I was studying to be a medic in the Army, and we started to learn about certain diseases that existed. The instructor started talking about the plague, and my fellow soldiers started laughing saying things like “The plague is extinct, why are we learning about this?” I then looked at them curiously and asked “What do you mean the plague is extinct? Don’t you have annual plague warnings?” They looked at me like I was insane or from the 13th century. Or both. Anyway, I learned that day that the plague is really only prevalent in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico for the most part. Along with the fact that in 1993 there was cholera in the drinking water, numerous cases of rats infested with the lung-liquifying Sin Nombre virus, and that Pueblo was the hardest hit county in the United States by West Nile Virus (a total of 2000 confirmed cases, with over 200 deaths), I began referring to Pueblo as the “Hell-mouth of Disease and Pestilence.”

    Because of this reputation for seemingly dead diseases (or in the case of Sin Nombre and West Nile, new diseases), I also have met other people from Colorado who view Pueblo as a third-world-country. Quite literally. This view of Pueblo is reinforced by the rampant poverty. Other Colorado Natives have called Pueblo the “Red Top” because of the State Hospital.

    It is also interesting to note that Pueblo residents seem to suffer from cancer and degenerative disorders more frequently than I have noticed in other places I have lived.

    Add that to the fact that there is the Pueblo Chemical Depot right outside of town, housing mustard gas and who knows what else, there are plenty of reasons why I will never return to live in Pueblo.

    An interesting anecdote about the Pueblo Chemical Depot: While growing up, we were informed that the Depot was nothing to worry about at all, and that it was a relatively small compound. When I was in college, I looked it up via Google Maps and discovered that the Depot is almost the exact same size as Pueblo itself. The Depot houses 2611 tons of mustard gas (that is over 5 million pounds of mustard gas).

    • Justin / December 1, 2013 at 1:43 pm / Reply

      Hi Guy,

      Thanks for sharing your perspective. I can definitely relate to some of your experience in terms of finding different cultural norms in different parts of the US. Pueblo is different; we’re much closer to New Mexico than to Denver Metro, culturally speaking. As far as the health issues that you point to, I don’t think you have enough information to state with confidence what, if any, health risks exist in Pueblo that don’t exist elsewhere. The steel mill and power plant on the south side certainly have an impact on air quality but I’m glad to breathe the air in Pueblo rather than in Denver. Health problems in Pueblo probably correlate more strongly with income than with any other variable.

      The Pueblo Chemical Depot does indeed have tons of chemical weapons in storage, all of it scheduled to be destroyed in the next 5 years (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pueblo_Chemical_Depot). I suppose a catastrophic accident is possible but, statistically speaking, you’re far more likely to freeze to death in Minneapolis than to die of mustard gas exposure in Pueblo. After 8 Michigan winters I’ll take Pueblo’s sunshine and warm temperatures thank you very much.

      The most interesting part of your comments have to do with Pueblo being viewed as a 3rd world country. This, to me, is a clear case of ignorance with racial underpinnings (I don’t mean to suggest you personally hold this view). As you acknowledge, Pueblo has a strong Latino influence with a majority (or near majority) Hispanic population. When visitors from the lily white suburbs of Denver come to town (if they must) they can’t help but notice they are no longer safely ensconced within a racially homogeneous neighborhood. This makes them uncomfortable so they make disparaging comments about Pueblo. To those people I say, go back to the 1950s where you belong. Unfortunately for them those “Happy Days” are gone and the future looks a lot more like Pueblo than the Leave it to Beaver world they hope to see again.

      Guy, I’m sorry you won’t be moving home to Pueblo anytime soon…but we will welcome you back with open arms if/when your circumstances and perspective change.

      All the best,
      Justin

  65. Gerald / December 10, 2013 at 8:27 am / Reply

    Hi Justin,

    I live and work in Tampa and hope to retire in about 6 yrs. if I can hold on that much longer.
    I’ve lived in the south all my life and am ready for a change of scenery.

    I’m tired of the stress, the sweaty weather (most of the yr.)
    the bugs, the sinkholes, the traffic, etc.
    Really the only reason I continue to live here is my job.

    I don’t own any property here and when I retire, I will draw a pension along with S.S. (in the future) so looking for a job and having to work won’t be in the equation.
    I definitely have Pueblo and the surrounding areas on my radar.
    We have been looking for a house in Fl. but we haven’t found anything suitable in our budget.
    My wife likes to cook and would like a large kitchen with a formal dining room.
    Hard to find in Fl. without paying an arm and leg.
    We’re an older childless couple so the house wouldn’t have to be a Mcmansion.
    I wouldn’t mind having a basement for projects.
    Definitely an impossibility in Fl.

    I assume when you say Pueblo has a large Latino population it is predominately Mexican?
    My wife is Peruvian and speaks very little English.

    • Justin / December 10, 2013 at 3:45 pm / Reply

      Hi Gerald,
      It sounds like Pueblo would work nicely for your situation after retirement. Plenty of inexpensive houses with basements. You may need to budget for a kitchen remodel as most bargains would be older homes with smaller kitchens. Re Pueblo’s Latino population, yes, my assumption is that most have roots in Mexico but I don’t know for sure. In any case, your wife should be able to find connections from other parts of Latin America if that’s important. Spanish is spoken widely within Pueblo but I don’t really know how it would be to get around, do shopping, etc without some proficiency in English. I would think it would be doable but challenging.
      Best wishes,
      Justin

  66. matt / December 11, 2013 at 7:29 pm / Reply

    Great Pueblo info. I also have a nice 3 plus one bath house in west side of town for rent if anyone’s relocating.
    Thanks,
    Surfdudetv@gmail

  67. Tom Latka / December 23, 2013 at 4:47 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin
    My friend Rod White sent me your link and was happy to read all of the good things you had to say about Pueblo. All of the same reasons I moved from So. Cal. 40 years ago, but I would like to add one more, I think you mentioned the people are friendly, but an important one is I came to realize was recognition when I go to the bank, market or wherever I hear “hi Tom”. I never experienced this in Cal. and I have come to realize it is a good thing.
    Iif you want to come by my house sometime I can show you somethings you might not know about this fair city.

    229 midway ave.
    Good job
    t

    • Justin / December 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm / Reply

      Hi Tom – thank you for reading and for adding this comment. Having lived in several places where no one knew my name I can relate and agree completely. I’d be delighted to meet and learn more about our fair city. I may just stop by next time I’m in the Blocks! Thanks again! Best, Justin

  68. Art Perez / December 25, 2013 at 10:59 pm / Reply

    My family and I relocated to Pueblo from Santa Monica because the crime and congestion became too much. The first thing we noticed was the friendliness of the folks here. As soon as we settled in, the CFI mill went down. Families really suffered in the resulting economy. Other cities in the state were making fun of us (their economies were booming), and then the jacka$$es from up north started that crap about taking the State fair. All that adversity pulled us together; we taxed ourselves in order to form Pedco, our out of work steel workers lined up and donated their talents to spruce up and improve the fair’s buildings. As far as crime goes, most of it goes unnoticed in larger citie, whereas in a city like Pueblo, where you don’t know whom is related to whom, word about everything gets around. It’s very hard to be anonymous here. Just start asking the people you meet how they came to Pueblo and why. You will be surprised at what you find out. We are quite cosmopolitan for a small place. I love it!

    • Justin / December 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm / Reply

      Hi Art – thanks for sharing your experience! Pueblo is indeed about as friendly a place as you’ll find and, like you, I’m fascinated by the unique make-up of our population. I also agree with your perspective on crime; it’s not worse than Springs or Denver, it just feels closer to home in a small metro. Thanks again for the comment! All best, Justin

  69. Shari / December 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin! I was so happy to find this thread just now when I looked up city data for pueblo. I’m looking for a place there to be nearer my daughter in the springs.

    The springs is too big and expensive for a 51 year old from a tiny central California town. Looking to make the leap as early as next month, and am utterly charmed by the diversity I have been digging up about pueblo.

    My main – simple – consideration is the ability to keep my pets: a medium sized 8 yr old sickly outside mutt, a small inside dog who thinks she’s cujo, and two young inside cats I dropper and bottle fed when their mother met with misfortune. I’m attached to this idea because I feel these pets will be the last I can adequately care for. Perhaps you could point me in a good direction? :-)

    My next line of inquiry during the next week or so will be the feasibility of setting up a small business there, storefront or internet. And I am going to share your page on fb; perhaps it will allay the fear my daughter has about my not living in the same town. For my part, it’s bonus enough that she wants her parent near her in the first place!

    All I have to add now is the observation that you appear to be one of the most conscientious “answerers of notes” that I have ever seen! Hope you and your family are doing well there, and here’s wishing you all a booming 2014!

    Thanks, Shari G.

    • Justin / December 30, 2013 at 11:50 am / Reply

      Hi Shari – glad you found my post and thank you for your kind words. Finding a place to rent with lots of pets will probably be a challenge but not insurmountable. If you’d like, you are welcome to contact me directly and I’ll do my best to help. I’ll need to know a few more housing parameters. And great to hear that you’ll be launching a business! Pueblo needs entrepreneurs! I hope your move goes well and that Pueblo works out for you. Best wishes, Justin

  70. Linda / January 3, 2014 at 5:01 pm / Reply

    Ii’m moving to Peublo in 6months. You have mentioned that the east side is rough. Are there any other spots to stay away from? Focussing on the Minneaqua Area?

    • Justin / January 3, 2014 at 5:21 pm / Reply

      Hi Linda. The lower East side and Bessemer probably have the most crime. West side (west of the railroad tracks), the Blocks, and North/Downtown area (South of 17th St) also have problems. Minnequa is okay but depends on where in Minnequa. You can’t avoid crime in Pueblo (or anywhere along the Front Range, i.e., Denver, Colo Springs, etc) but, generally speaking, Aberdeen, Belmont, University, Sunset, Northridge, and North Side (near Mineral Palace, Pueblo Country Club and/or Centennial HS) are pretty good areas. My favorite, in terms of overall housing value, is the Mesa Junction area bounded by the Library, Central HS, Dutch Clark Stadium and Pueblo Community College. Great bargains on homes, very walkable and crime is not too bad. Good luck! Best, Justin

  71. Matthew / January 4, 2014 at 11:53 am / Reply

    Looking to move to area also. Moved out of California was wanting better place for kids(4 of them ) to mo. Things are just to slow here. Not to mention was medical grower for 10+ years. Colorado recent laws has put a sparkle in my eyes one I would compare to the first settlers crossing the west. My plan is in no way to start that kind of work again but well qualified . Wanting to further my culinary career seeing the number of resturants in 100 mile radius to Pablo says this is the place. So finding work will be no problem i’m sure. Looking to rent not buy. Seems to be a wide range in pricing. Tough thing about moving is getting some where set up that’s safe for children. Almost an underground railroad feeling. make to Colorado to be free from prosecution. My worst fear is to rent a place over the phone get there and were the only family in a crime ridden ghetto. Once they deposit tax money where out of here. Was a communications specialist for sprint a chef and past grower who graduated for oaksterdam university. I feel there is hope in Colorado. But with no family ther or anywhere. My lil trib is all I got! non felon no drugs don’t drink or smoke the tobacco. Thanks for you writing they have helped to inspire me more. Looking for a friend and point of contact. Wife was offered work by a nice man and the urban bar and grill said to come to pueblo money in Denver. Well thanks again Justin any more insight would ne great

    • Justin / January 5, 2014 at 1:59 pm / Reply

      Hi Matthew, thanks for the note. I would not recommend renting sight unseen; you’re better off budgeting for an in-person visit so that you can get a feel for the housing market before making a commitment. I hope Pueblo works out for you! Let me know how I might be able to help. Best wishes, Justin

  72. Andrea Foster / January 5, 2014 at 3:17 am / Reply

    Hi Justin!

    Awesome article! Very informative! My husband and I, along with our two year old daughter and Rottweiler Chief, are planning a move to Colorado at the end of the year. We are full time RVers and my husband works from home on the internet. I also plan on homeschooling. I’m very interested in pueblo because of it being recommended as one of the top family friendly places in Colorado. I have found three rv parks using google that seems to fit our needs; Forts RV park, Haggards RV park and Pueblo West Campground. I have read what you have said about Pueblo west but do you have any information on Forts or Haggards? I’ve read reviews online about Haggards water being red and non drinkable without some kind of heavy duty filter. They are also under new management, according to the reviews. Would you happen to know who owns them and if they are planning on doing something about the water quality? Can you add anything in general about Forts, Haggards, Pueblo West or any other RV park I may not be aware of? We originally wanted to move to Colorado to build Earthships (if you don’t know what they are, GOOGLE! you’ll be amazed!!) but due to colorados illegality of rain catching and harvesting, we’re not sure if it’s still for us, which is why we’re going to be staying at the RV park before deciding to purchase land. Also, if we did decide to purchase land, where would be the best place where building codes would be lax. Earthships are up to building codes, but usually in developments closer to the city, there are HOAs and God forbid someone has a garden or a green house rather than a lawn. Anyway, this all may be way out of your area of expertise, but if there is someone you know that you could direct me to, I’d really appreciate it. Still, we won’t be moving til November so plenty of time. Please feel free to email me any time! Ciao :))

    • Justin / January 5, 2014 at 2:17 pm / Reply

      Hi Andrea! Glad to hear that Pueblo is on your radar screen. Based only this comment I would suggest that you learn more about Beulah, a small community nestled in the foothills of the Wet Mountains about 20 minutes southwest of Pueblo. Another possibility would be Rye a bit further south. Something tells me that one of these communities might be your kind of place.

      I’m afraid I don’t really know anything about RV Parks but this location has a few good reviews and might be a good base from which to explore Southern Colorado.

      Pueblo South / Colorado City KOA
      9040 Interstate 25
      Pueblo, CO 81004
      (719) 676-3376

      Hope this helps! Best wishes! -Justin

  73. Dennis / January 9, 2014 at 11:21 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin,

    I think this article on your blog is excellent. Appreciated is the time you have taken to answer all messages. That is how a blog is supposed to work.

    I am not interested in living right in Pueblo, but in a rural mountainous area somewhere within a 50 mile radius of Pueblo. I am looking for a 2-10 acre partially wooded parcel and this can be off-grid property as I plan on solar. Since there are lots of days of sunshine in this area it is ideal for solar and that is really what attracts me to the area. Can you advise where might be the best locations within 50 miles of Pueblo for finding off-grid real estate. I would even consider acreage with a cabin already built, but probably will have to buy the land first and do this in stages to get the cabin built. If I could find a property that already has a well and septic that would be preferable, but not a requirement. Any suggestions?

    Thank you,

    Dennis

    • Justin / January 9, 2014 at 11:59 pm / Reply

      Dennis, I am so glad you found my blog! I would love to work with you on this location decision! I don’t want to jump straight to specific recommendations because some data analysis is in order on this one. Do you have time to collaborate? Let me know how I might contact you directly. If you prefer, maybe leave a private message here or send a DM to @justinholman on Twitter.
      Sincerely, Justin

  74. Dennis / January 10, 2014 at 2:05 am / Reply

    Hi Justin,

    I would appreciate collaborating with you. I do not use the social sites much, but you can find me on Facebook. We can also collaborate directly through our individual preferred email providers if you like. Actually that is how I usually communicate with friends, family, and business associates. If you want to send an email to my gmail account I can also provide you with my cell number.

    Email to initiate communications is dennismanz@gmail.com.

    Thank you,

    Dennis Manz

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  76. Melanie / January 18, 2014 at 10:08 pm / Reply

    Justin,

    Thanks for your insightful and balanced thoughts. My husband and I are strongly considering opening a small business in Pueblo in the next few months. We visited the city today to see it for ourselves and we like what we see.

    Your blog is a fantastic asset to the city; I hope you keep it up.

    Melanie

    • Justin / January 19, 2014 at 11:50 am / Reply

      Hi Melanie. Thank you so much for your kind words! So glad to hear that you’re thinking of relocating to Pueblo. I hope it works out for you. Feel free to contact me if I can be of service. Best, Justin

  77. Sandi / January 19, 2014 at 4:52 pm / Reply

    I am 56 yrs old and have lived in Alabama all my life. I am considering moving to the Pueblo area soon and would like some recommendations, please, as to what areas might me low crime, affordable, friendly, and fun to live and retire. Thanks.

    • Justin / January 19, 2014 at 5:00 pm / Reply

      Hi Sandi – I would recommend taking a close look at the Mesa Junction neighborhood near Pueblo Community College. I think it has the best blend of affordability, friendliness/fun and relatively low crime. It’s also probably the most walkable neighborhood in Pueblo, which may become more important during retirement. Please let me know if I can help in any way and best wishes on the move! Cheers, Justin

      • Sandi / January 19, 2014 at 7:09 pm / Reply

        Thanks so much for your quick response. I will definitely check that out. I’m a little worried about the altitude since I have lived on the Gulf Coast all my life. Should I be?

        • Justin / January 19, 2014 at 7:57 pm / Reply

          Sandi, I think it’s definitely a good idea to be cognizant of the altitude change, especially when you first arrive. Pueblo is only 4,692 feet so, unless you have a medical condition that might make you more vulnerable, you should be fine. Typically, you have to go above 8,000-10,000 ft before altitude sickness becomes an issue. Hope that helps! Best, Justin

  78. Laurie&Mike / January 24, 2014 at 3:14 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin, thank you for your informational article! My husband and I are looking to relocate to Pueblo for Ohio. We are looking to rent (rent to own) as are many. Thanks for mentioning the safe and not so safe areas to look at! We own our own small business (from home) and would love to join the community of Pueblo!!

  79. Laurie&Mike / January 24, 2014 at 3:17 pm / Reply

    Justin, thank you for your informational article on Pueblo! My husband and I are VERY interested in moving there from Ohio. We found your neighborhood analysis very helpful. We are looking to rent, or rent to own. We also own our own small business from home! Any advice would be wonderful, thanks!

  80. S N / January 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm / Reply

    Best article I’ve read about Pueblo that spells out the pros and cons. My husband and I are forcibly retired, have finally dumped our home in NJ, and are looking for an inexpensive place to live that has pluses (art and music, good ethnic food, diversity, sunny climate while still having four seasons). Pueblo is on our very short list, but as older folk we are concerned about crime. I know you’ve mentioned Aberdeen and Mesa Junction as the best neighborhoods, but what about Belmont (near CSU) and the area known as Mineral Springs? Any suggestions you have would be most appreciated, as we are on a limited housing budget but very much want to live in Pueblo (not PWest). Thank you so much for your article! Best wishes.

    • Justin / January 26, 2014 at 10:10 pm / Reply

      Thank you for your kind words! Crime is an issue for sure but a little common sense will allow you to avoid the vast majority of problems. Get a home security system and don’t walk around Northern Ave or the lower East Side late at night. Belmont is indeed a very nice neighborhood and I definitely would recommend it. Mineral Springs? Not sure, maybe you mean Mineral Palace? The area near Parkview hospital and Mineral Palace park? I like that area as well. Lovely historic homes near 18th and Greenwood and thereabouts. Hope this helps and I hope you find a home in Pueblo! Best wishes, Justin

      • S N / January 27, 2014 at 5:35 pm / Reply

        I did mean Mineral Palace–duh, brain fart. :) Thanks for your feedback!

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  82. Natalie / January 27, 2014 at 1:23 pm / Reply

    This is a great analysis. Congratulations on your upcoming move! I discovered this post quite a long time after it was originally published, but more and more, Pueblo is looking like a great place to move and start a family. As a native of Denver, I’ve realized how difficult it will be to start a family in a city where the house prices continue to rise at such sharp rates. The cost of living in Denver has become out of control, and my husband and I–both working professionals–are realizing that we’ve been priced out of any neighborhood that seems like it has decent amenities and a safe environment in which to raise children.

    We’re looking into Northern CO as well, but many are realizing that they will never be able to afford Boulder, so many folks are moving to Loveland, Ft. Collins, and Windsor, etc. to get the ‘feel’ of Boulder without the price tag. These communities are growing awfully quickly and are becoming over saturated with professionals.

    In short, we are thinking of moving to Pueblo and it is wonderful to see a positive write-up from you about a great up-and-coming city!

    • Justin / January 27, 2014 at 2:06 pm / Reply

      Hi Natalie – I’m so glad that you enjoyed the post! And, on behalf of everyone in Pueblo, we look forward to welcoming you! Yes, I agree, the sprawl in Northern Colorado is reaching a tipping point. If you could manage to get a deal where you telecommute most of the time and drive up to Denver for face-time once a week you would save a bundle in housing costs. And probably spend less time in your car overall. Thanks for the comment! Best wishes, Justin

  83. Mike Guagliardo / January 27, 2014 at 7:09 pm / Reply

    I just read your post and enjoyed it very much. I was born and raised in Pueblo. My mother’s family came into colorado in the 1850′s from New Mexico. Dad’s parents came from Italy in 1905. I have always believed that our city had so much to offer but was worried that to many people would come to live. I have learned that new people only continues to expands the culture here in Pueblo. The 4 Cs does cover our town, thanks for your story.
    Before I forget the south side of town is the best side, of course I grew up and have lived south of the river. LOL

    • Justin / January 27, 2014 at 7:17 pm / Reply

      Hi Mike, thanks for your kind words! Glad you enjoyed the post. As a Centennial grad I can’t fully endorse your view of the South side as best but as I get older I must admit that I become more and more a fan of the history and charm found in the Mesa Junction, Aberdeen and Bessemer. Thanks again for taking the time to read and comment! Best, Justin

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  85. Shari / February 18, 2014 at 1:57 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin! I wrote you back on Dec 29th (thanks for your response), and made my big move landing in the springs on super bowl Sunday. So now looking in earnest for a rental in pueblo. Being on disability my parameters might be a bit narrow but I think not unrealistic; I feel my needs are simple and few. I need 2 bedrooms and a fenced yard.

    I’ve been on rent bits and hot pads, which for my budget seem to offer more choices. I cap out at $700/month. I dislike going through rental management companies, preferring to communicate with individuals. Are you aware of other avenues I might be missing? (I always look on craigslist, as well. ) Can you tell me anything about places listed as SOUTHSIDE SOUTHSIDE?

    Appreciate any info anyone can share with me. Thanks!

    Shari G

    • Justin / February 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm / Reply

      Hi Shari – Welcome to Pueblo! Southside could be anything south of the Arkansas River including Mesa Junction, Aberdeen, Minnequa, Sunset, Bessemer, State Fair, etc. It’s probably Bessemer, Minnequa or the area near Pueblo Blvd/Northern. Ideally, you’d find something in the Mesa Junction, Sunset, State Fair area. You’re probably priced out of Aberdeen. Not sure about advice re where to look aside from Craigslist et al. You might check to see if the Pueblo Community College has listings. You could also call the Housing Authority of Pueblo. They process Section 8 applications so may not be able to help directly but they may have some good leads if you get the right person on the phone. Your best bet might be to drive the neighborhoods that you like and look for signs.
      Hope this helps! Let me know if you have additional questions. Hope you find what you’re looking for! Best wishes, Justin

  86. jodi / February 21, 2014 at 7:03 pm / Reply

    Justin-

    So glad I found this site. My husband, teenager daughter and I are strongly considering moving to Pueblo. My only concern is the schools….I have a 14-year old freshman in advanced classes in Wisconsin public school. Am wondering if we should wait until she graduates high school before moving; really don’t want to wait that long, but am worried about affecting her education. The online information I’ve been able to gather about the pueblo schools seems bleak. Any suggestions/tips/updates from your original thoughts? Thanks!

    • Justin / February 21, 2014 at 10:05 pm / Reply

      Hi Jodi! High school is a tough one. My daughter will be a freshman next year so it’s on my mind. I think Centennial is the best public high school in Pueblo. Some people think Pueblo West is better. I don’t really know. I’m biased because I graduated from Centennial back in the 80s. The only private options are in Colorado Springs and they’re expensive, of course. If your daughter is ambitious she may like the early college program offered in cooperation with the Pueblo Community College. I’ve talked to parents with kids earning Associate’s degrees along with their high school diploma. Two years of college credit for free ain’t too shabby. You might check it out. Here’s a link: http://www.pueblocc.edu/Academics/HS-Options/ECOL.htm Not sure what sort of social life goes along with this approach but the jump-start on college credit is compelling. Hope this helps! Best, Justin

  87. rick / March 9, 2014 at 9:50 pm / Reply

    Hi justin. excellent blog I sent a msg but put in my wrong email address..it was long but I will make this short…I will moving out their by june hopfully….I need a good realator to find me a low priced home in a good area..could u email privately ……I would like to pick your brain in couple of areas…love your blog…andshisss about pubelo…let’s keep it our secret….take care rick

  88. rick / March 9, 2014 at 9:55 pm / Reply

    Hi justin how’s the cost of cable and wireless internet?…which providers are available? Thanks rick

    • Justin / March 10, 2014 at 12:46 am / Reply

      Hi Rick, seems comparable to other places I’ve lived. Comcast and CenturyLink (nee Qwest) seem to be the only options. Don’t really care for either of them. I’m thinking about switching entirely to a Verizon 4G jetpack just to enjoy the satisfaction of canceling my Comcast subscription all together. I will send you an email re real estate. Best wishes, Justin

  89. Mark / March 11, 2014 at 6:37 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin! I may take a job at the Chemical Depot this summer. Are there any good neighborhoods close by the Depot? I would like to rent a house. Thanks!

    • Justin / March 11, 2014 at 6:41 pm / Reply

      Hi Mark – congrats on the job offer! I think Belmont or University Park would be your best bet for proximity to the Depot but still convenient to schools, shopping, entertainment, etc. Best wishes, Justin

  90. Mark / March 11, 2014 at 6:44 pm / Reply

    Thanks! How is the school system there? Any malls or shopping in town? Awesome blog!!

    • Justin / March 11, 2014 at 10:16 pm / Reply

      Mark, public schools in Pueblo are struggling but some excellent charter/magnet options are available. For shopping you can get most big box stuff on the north side of town near I-25 and US 50. Great local restaurants and niche stores tend to be downtown, on Union Ave, in the Mesa Junction neighborhood (off Abriendo) or near the Steel Mill in Bessemer. Colo Springs has everything else 45 min away. Hope this helps. Best, Justin

  91. Natalie / March 17, 2014 at 8:16 pm / Reply

    Hi everyone! My husband and I are considering a big move to Pueblo this summer or fall. We currently reside in Denver, but we are tired of the traffic, growth, and cost of living that seems to have gotten out of control in the last 5-10 years. Recently, we visited Pueblo and spent a day walking the downtown/north areas. I wrote a little bit about it; you can view my post here:

    http://bookishdenverite.wordpress.com/2014/03/10/pueblo-colorado-continued/

    This is just my “take” on Pueblo. Overall, it seems like it could have a lot to offer. My husband and I graduated from law school and college (respectively) at the height of the recession, so we are just trying to find a good place to start out.

    • Justin / March 17, 2014 at 8:34 pm / Reply

      Hi Natalie – great post! Thanks for sharing! Look forward to seeing you around town. Let me know if there’s anything I can do help welcome you and your husband to town. I’d be happy to help in any way I can. All best, Justin

      • Natalie / March 20, 2014 at 4:06 pm / Reply

        Thank you so much. I love reading your blog! It is awesome. Happy springtime to you and your family!

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  93. Sandra Miles / March 20, 2014 at 7:24 pm / Reply

    Justin – Thanks so much for you input on Pueblo. Pueblo is a top choice right now for my destination move. I disabled but have two teen age kids. My 25 year old son and his girl friend will be coming with as I can’t really live off my disability. We are coming from Mcallen Texas area, the second cheapest place to live in the US. However I don’t like it here and neither do my kids. We loved living in Montana my youngest kids were born there. I love what I am finding about Pueblo. I love all the activities available for my kids. Housing prices for renting are very close to what I pay now. However I am a bit concerned about jobs for my son. He has a lot factory, fork lift, and building skills. I know the unemployment rate is high. However are jobs out there or are the jobs few and far between. I also wonder about part time jobs for my teens which are hard here. With the higher Hispanic population is speaking Spanish for jobs a demand. It is here and we don’t speak Spanish. This is my only worry about finalizing Pueblo as our choice moving destination this summer. Any help with info here would be great.

    • Justin / March 20, 2014 at 7:45 pm / Reply

      Hi Sandra – thanks for these questions! Unemployment is relatively high here in Pueblo but a few recent announcements have brought good news. The new giant solar array will likely bring plenty of jobs, the Chemical Depot and Vestas both recently announced plans to hire more workers, and a major I-25 bridge re-construction project is scheduled to begin in August. All this bodes well for jobs. But again, as you note, unemployment levels are high (over 9% in Pueblo County) and there will be plenty of competition for good jobs. Spanish speaking skills are certainly valuable and probably provide some advantage in a job search but I don’t think it’s a major barrier to entry in the local job market. I don’t think you’ll know for sure until you arrive here. There’s only so much that can be learned without “boots on the ground” sort of speak. If possible, I would recommend a try-before-you-buy visit to see if Pueblo is the place for you. If travel is a challenge maybe send your son on a scouting mission. I’d be happy to meet him and see if I can point him in the right direction. Hope this helps. Best wishes, Justin

  94. David / March 26, 2014 at 11:57 am / Reply

    Hi Justin , Thanks to you and your posters for this tremendously informative THREAD .I will be visiting Pueblo the second week of July to see if I will move there two to three years from now. Like others , I saw Pueblo on the cheap places to live list . I have lived here, just north of Philly PA for 48 years and when my $22 per hour job (making flexo printing plates) here goes away , I will be selling my house and relocating to somewhere dry , warm and flat .
    My questions for you are , is using a bicycle for transport. around the city safe, easy ?
    Taxes ? what would be property taxes per year for 100,000 home ?
    is there a city income (wage) tax ?
    Since you started this blog two years ago , how has the job market in Pueblo changed ?
    Is there investing by wealthy Pueblobians in job creation and small businesses ?
    In regards to crime , are there any civilian involvement in TOWN WATCH or community policing ,especially by the people in those bad areas?
    What about any places to see live music other than the symphony ?
    If I think of anything else I will repost .
    Thanx Again , Best Regards , David

    • Justin / March 26, 2014 at 12:40 pm / Reply

      Hi David – thanks for joining the thread! Answers to your questions below.
      - Bicycling is fairly easy but there are very few dedicated bike lanes and I wish it were safer (maybe I’m spoiled having lived in Eugene, Oregon). I would love to bike from my house to CSU-P but too many highway lanes in between.
      - Property taxes on a $100k house would be around $600-$800 per year.
      - No municipal income tax so far as I know.
      - Job market is improving but still fairly weak.
      - Yes, lots of investing going on but well below the radar screen and minimal impact at least for now.
      - Yes, there is community policing: http://www.pueblocrimestoppers.com/
      - Live music is available but sorely lacking in my opinion. Someone needs to do more. Lots of stuff in summer promoted by downtown businesses, but not enough the rest of the year. Plus it seems like the same bands are always playing. Pueblo ought to be a stopover between Denver and Albuquerque or Santa Fe but it’s not.
      Hope this helps.
      Cheers, J.

  95. David / March 28, 2014 at 10:42 am / Reply

    Hi again Justin , Thanks for the info .
    I’m gonna tell you what I pay for taxes , but be warned not to do a SPIT-TAKE onto your computer , for 2011 my property taxes were 3600 dollars .
    Keep in mind this includes , Montgomery county MILS -Abington township taxes (includes school tax -trash – sewer serv.) . there is also a 1 percent wage tax .My property and house are valued between 110,000 – 150,000 dollars , footprint covers 20 FT by 108 FT.
    So I’m wondering if your est of 600 – 800 dollars includes ALL property taxes AND services .
    Does the city do trash serv. or is it privatized ?
    What bars are good for a forty y.o. and older crowd ?
    Cheers , David

  96. Justin / March 28, 2014 at 10:59 am / Reply

    Hi David,
    City does not provide trash service but there are a number of service providers and a healthy competitive market. Aside from that, yes, I think the property tax estimates are fairly accurate and inclusive. We also pay sales tax of course.
    I’m not much of a bar hopper these days but I have friends who frequent the Downtown Bar. The Shamrock is pretty good. And Tsunami seems to have a lively scene if you like sushi. New brewpub opening up in the old police station. Angelo’s always has a crowd.
    Hope that helps!
    Best, J.

  97. Natalie / March 28, 2014 at 5:42 pm / Reply

    Hello again, Justin! I wanted to ask your opinion of the State Fair neighborhood? We found an adorable home that we love there, but we know nothing about the neighborhoods in Pueblo (other than Aberdeen and Mesa Junction.) Any insight you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
    Natalie

    • Justin / March 28, 2014 at 6:38 pm / Reply

      Hi Natalie – the State Fair neighborhood is mixed. Some parts are great, some are best avoided. If you can share the address I’d be happy to take a look. If you want the location to remain a secret then send me a note using the Contact Form below. Best, Justin

  98. Ericka / April 5, 2014 at 6:49 pm / Reply

    Hello Justin!

    Thank you for confirming my belief in choosing Pueblo, Co. as the place I want to move to next year after my lease is up. I currently live in Orlando, Fl. and I never liked it here. California is too expensive, but after visiting there, it made me fall in love with living out west, so I decided to do some research on Colorado. Thus happened upon a small city Pueblo. Your article gave me much enthusiasm and conformation on my choice to live in that part of Co. and be it in the Lord’s will, my son and I (and hopefully my daughter and grandson, too) will become permanent residence soon. Again, thank you :-)!

    • Justin / April 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm / Reply

      You’re most welcome, Ericka! I’m glad my article was helpful and I look forward to seeing you in Pueblo soon! :)
      Best wishes, Justin

  99. Dwayne / April 12, 2014 at 8:38 am / Reply

    Very nice article. I have family there, have visited many times over the years and as it would happen….I might have a job opportunity there. I am excited about the possibility so we’ll see what transpires and I will let you know!

    • Justin / April 12, 2014 at 10:21 am / Reply

      Sounds great, Dwayne! Good luck with the job opportunity and, yes, let me know how it turns out! Best wishes, Justin

  100. mark / April 12, 2014 at 9:04 pm / Reply

    Are there any newer, modern apartments in Pueblo?

  101. Justin / April 13, 2014 at 11:11 am / Reply

    Hi Mark,
    Yes, there are a few modern apartment buildings but not many. They tend to be located north of Hwy 50. Another option if you want modern amenities is to look for newly remodeled loft space closer to downtown. These types of options are mostly likely to be around the Union Historical district or near the Sangre de Cristo Art Center. Hope this helps!
    Best,
    Justin

  102. Larlock / April 14, 2014 at 9:56 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin. Your blog rocks. We are a family of 6 (4 littles, DH and I) and we are looking at relocating to the Beulah area. Our biggest question/concern is regarding the property values in the mountainous/rural areas of Pueblo….would we be able to expect the same type of ‘average appreciation’ over the next 10+ years as other areas? Is this a real estate market that is worth investing in? Or would it be more of a lifestyle-choice type decision vs a good investment to buy a larger parcel of land/home in Beulah? Thank you so much for all of your insight and time in your responses!

    • Justin / April 14, 2014 at 10:55 pm / Reply

      Hey Larlock! Glad you like the blog. Love this question. Generally speaking, yes, I think Beulah is terrific. But I want to provide a better answer. Let me think on it a bit and get back to you. Might just turn into a full blog post. Stay tuned! Cheers, Justin

    • Justin / April 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm / Reply

      Hi again Larlock! Sorry for the radio silence. I’ve been too swamped to do your question justice and I worry the same trend will continue so I thought I’d better reply with a few more details. Beulah is great. Lovely mountain setting at a relatively low elevation so no huge mountain passes between you and civilization. Only 20 min drive into Pueblo’s southside for shopping, etc. Good small community school (public). Real estate is very affordable and with some effort you can probably find a great deal on a nice property. Those are the pros. The cons are wildfire risk, water scarcity and limited market for resale. Even if you find the deal of the century you should be concerned about wildfires and your well water. You should also hold off unless you’re in position to hold the property long term because if/when it comes time to sell the population of potential buyers will be fairly small. Most people who want a mountain home/cabin prefer proximity to skiing, etc. Beulah is more of a retreat away from the crowds. Overall, I think it’s more of a lifestyle choice. It could also turn out to be very nice in terms of price appreciation but I wouldn’t count on it. Someone once told me “you make money in real estate when you buy” meaning if you buy correctly, i.e., a good property at a great price, you’ll end up doing just fine. No point in trying to forecast appreciation because those crystal balls tend to be ineffective, especially over longer time frames. If you want the mountain lifestyle along with some investment opportunity buy a modest property in Beulah and a rental house in Pueblo. Hope this helps! Best wishes, Justin

  103. Barbara / April 26, 2014 at 5:28 pm / Reply

    I have lived all over Florida for almost my entire life and am seriously thinking of moving to either Arizona or Colorado. Will retire in about 12 years but still love working. Pueblo sounds like something I should look into. Thanks for all the posts.
    Barbara

    • Justin / April 26, 2014 at 6:07 pm / Reply

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  104. Dawn / April 28, 2014 at 4:46 pm / Reply

    I want to move to CO in 2 years. I didn’t think o
    f Pueblo. My sister mentioned it yesterday, what part of town and schools would be safest?

    • Justin / April 29, 2014 at 11:06 am / Reply

      Hi Dawn, I’m not sure there’s a safest part of town but I like Aberdeen, Belmont, Country Club, Mineral Palace, University Park, Mesa Junction, Sunset and El Camino. Best wishes, Justin

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  106. Joseph Kerski / May 2, 2014 at 10:58 am / Reply

    Hooray for Pueblo! It is a very nice community indeed. Another one of my favorite communities is Grand Junction, where we will hold this year’s Ge-Co in the Rockies conference – in September 2014. Hope to see many of you there!

    http://www.gecointherockies.org/

    –Joseph Kerski

    • Justin / May 2, 2014 at 11:09 am / Reply

      Thanks, Joseph! I will check it out! Many of my blog readers are prospective graduate students – is this more of an industry event or would there be content for students or recent grads as well? Thanks again, Justin

  107. david / May 7, 2014 at 10:02 am / Reply

    Justin: My wife recently found Pueblo on a top 5 retirement list. I’m already retired from my day job, and she’s within a few years, so we’re going to check out Pueblo very soon. Your blog is very helpful, and as others have said, a great asset to the community, I think. Any areas of Pueblo that you would consider funky, artsy, new-age musician-friendly, maybe vegan-friendly, with a yoga studio or where one might be welcome?

  108. david / May 7, 2014 at 3:59 pm / Reply

    thanks, Justin – looks like some good things are going on in that neighborhood.

  109. Willie Cooper / May 8, 2014 at 10:25 pm / Reply

    Hello, I am a black American ARMY veteran looking to relocate. Does Pueblo have a racist history? Would you recommend this location to other minorities as well? How is the crime? How are the schools? How is the employment opportunities? Thank you!

    • Justin / May 9, 2014 at 12:14 pm / Reply

      Hi Willie. Thanks for reading my blog and thanks for your question. This is a tough one. I’ll try my best to answer but, as a middle-age white man, I doubt I’ll be able to provide appropriate perspective. Pueblo’s history is tied to the Steel Mill where a diverse group of immigrants worked during its hey-day and descendants of those communities remain today. So, generally speaking, I don’t think of Pueblo as a community with a racist history. Pueblo is approximately 42% Hispanic so it’s definitely not lily white and it’s not terribly segregated either. That said, the African American population is relatively small, only 2.4%, so I’m not sure how you would feel about the level of diversity in the community. More demographic data here: http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/08/08101.html

      Crime is a problem. Gangs are active and drug use, especially meth and heroine, seems to be fairly common and tied to violence and petty crime. But, as I’ve written elsewhere, crime isn’t worse here than Colorado Springs or Denver. But it feels worse, maybe, because Pueblo is a much smaller city.

      Public schools are struggling but there are a few noteworthy exceptions. Fountain International is a top notch K-3 school and Connect is an outstanding Middle School (6-8th grade). I’ve also heard good things about Goodnight and PSAS, both K-8. High school options are pretty limited but there are a few innovative programs including an “Early College” program through Pueblo Community College.

      Employment opportunities are limited depending on your skill set. Many people live in Pueblo and commute to Fort Carson and nearby for military-related jobs. Health care related jobs seem to be plentiful. Otherwise, it’s not easy to find a good job. I think Pueblo is a good place to start certain types of businesses because labor and facility costs are very inexpensive.

      Hope this helps! Best wishes, Justin

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  111. martha larive / May 21, 2014 at 7:23 am / Reply

    Thanks in part to your wonderful blog, I am leaving NH 6/17 to move to Pueblo. At the age of 60, I am beginning a new life. I look forward to seeing you all!

    • Justin / May 21, 2014 at 7:38 am / Reply

      Hi Martha! Safe travels and best of luck on the transition! Let me know if I can do anything to help. Best wishes, Justin

      • martha larive / May 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm / Reply

        Thank you so much, Justin. From this blog, I feel like I already know you (Don’t worry–I’m not hitting on you–I’m 60 years old!). I’m leaving NH 6/17, hope to get to Pueblo within a week or so. Looking for a studio or a 1 bedroom, pet friendly. I’m a little nervous I don’t have a place to go yet, but I am so looking forward to my new life. They ought to make you the mayor of Pueblo, by the way!

        • Justin / May 23, 2014 at 11:25 pm / Reply

          It will be much easier to find a good place once you’re here in person. Travel safe and thank you for your vote! :)
          Best, Justin

  112. Krystal / May 21, 2014 at 6:17 pm / Reply

    I’m hopeful that I will be able to move there soon. The one thing I really appreciate is the farms stands east of pueblo. You can always get fresh produce in the summer and yes good green chilies!

    • Justin / May 21, 2014 at 6:26 pm / Reply

      Thanks for the comment, Krystal! Any particular location east of Pueblo you might recommend? Hope to see you soon! Best, Justin

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  114. Mick & Patty / June 9, 2014 at 7:24 pm / Reply

    We live in CO and are considering retiring to Pueblo. Can you recommend a few good realtors?
    We plan to travel down and review some home options.

    • Justin / June 9, 2014 at 10:16 pm / Reply

      I’m asked this question frequently and don’t really have a good response. I work with local realtors who I like and trust but a great realtor for me may not translate into a great realtor for you. If you send me a note via my contact form and tell me a bit about what you are looking for (budget, bedrooms, ranch, etc) I will do my best. Happy retirement! Best, Justin

  115. vicki gleitz / June 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin. my youngest son is looking to buy a [ mostly cosmetic] fixer-upper in about 9 months. He is Autistic [as am I, He also has a neurological ondition that the neurologist says is the worst pain humanly possible] and we are involved in a program to bring Autistics to Pueblo where they can work to fix up each others homes and build a small community within an already existing one. Pueblo seems to be the affordable and welcoming place we are looking for. I am battling cancer, and Pueblo seems that it could be my answer to prayers when thinking of my sons’ future.[and those of so many other Autistic people]

    Please do not think we are bad parents by not just going out and buying LJ a home. We spent many hundreds of dollars lrun the first ooking for something to alleviate his pain, He is doing better, but we are now totally broke. But, in 9 months he should have good credit [versus 0 credit] that, with his nice down payment money saved, make buying something he an do.

    I am a core member of a group of Autistics in charge of “The Rhizome Program.” Currently, we are building a retreat in NM that is to be run by Autistic people. We have just completed the very first by and for Autistic retreat EVER that is affordable to all. We are especialy excited about employment programs in the near future [ we are a brand new, tax-exempt group who are already kicking butt, and we want to help deal with the 90% high functioning autism rate.

    So, is Pueblo as accepting of different sorts of people as they seem to be? Are homes still super inexpensive and will they still be in 9 months? Do you know if there are many Autistics who already live there. Do you know if you own a home if you are allowed to have a roommate
    [or 2] Do you know if there is internet access in the libraries. Anywhere else? I have not found a rec center with an indoor swimming pool.Is there one? Also, if by chance [talking WAY down the road, well after I am gone,] Pueblo is considered as a center for Autistic conventions, are there facillities large enough to accommodate us?

    • Justin / June 16, 2014 at 10:53 pm / Reply

      Hi Vicki,
      Thank you for sharing your story. The short answer is yes. Pueblo is accepting, inexpensive (still), roommates are permitted, Internet is available at our outstanding libraries and we have a nice convention center downtown next to the Marriott. The Ymca has had problems with their indoor pool but the pool at Centennial High is filling in temporarily. There are other indoor pools as well. I have no idea about the local Autistic community.
      I’m anxious to be of assistance if I can. Please send a note via Contact form and let me know how I might help.
      Best wishes, Justin

  116. vicki gleitz / June 16, 2014 at 9:48 pm / Reply

    That second line should have read “spent hundreds of thousands of dollars looking for the miracle that would alleviate my sons pain.

  117. vicki gleitz / June 23, 2014 at 1:13 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin,

    We just drove some young people to Albuquerque on Saturday, then Sunday morning to Ocate Cliffs to work on creating a retreat center that will ultimately be managed and totally run by Autistic people [this is not the retreat we put on by and for Autistics] On the drive back to Denver yesterday, we drove around Pueblo for awhile. Most of the homes we looked at [from the exterior] looked super cute and well maintained. We also, for financial reasons, focused on the east side [ yes, I have read about the not so great points of the east side] There seemed to be many happy children playing [ mostly supervised] and people we noticed seemed, I don’t know, relaxed. [because part of autism involves extreme anxiety, we are attracted to relaxed environments]

    When my son is ready to buy, should he go through a realtor or look for a wholesaler? Also, replacing floors,painting, and other cosmetic work would be interesting, however new plumbing, a new roof, heater, electrical and foundational problems are, at this point [and most likely for a number of years] beyond the scope of anyone thus far interested.

    Driving through Pueblo yesterday made me even more excited. Of course, it is most important that my son feels the same way [ he was not with us,as we had already dropped him off at Ocate Cliffs, where he is probably building evaporative toilets or making trails as I type this.

    We will be picking him up from this short work camp next Saturday. Are there any areas or landmarks you think it would be good to show him when we pass through on our return trip?

    • Justin / June 23, 2014 at 1:54 pm / Reply

      Hi Vicki, there are incredible bargains on the East side and it’s a great community but crime seems to be worse than other parts of town. Not trying to talk you out of the Eastside just want you to go in with eyes open. I think you should also look at “The Blocks” neighborhood. Check my neighborhood definitions here: http://www.justinholman.com/2014/05/14/pueblo-neighborhoods-1-0/
      If you’d like I’d be happy to give you a little tour when you pass through town. Let me know.
      Cheers, Justin

  118. vicki gleitz / June 29, 2014 at 11:31 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin, We just returned from picking LJ up yesterday. We stopped and took the dogs on the River walk. So beautiful. As we suspected,my son smelled quite ‘ripe” after his time in the wilderness, so it probably would not have been a good time for a tour but thank you anyway.

    We probably won’t be back to pueblo until October or November, when LJ will be closer to being able to purchase an actual home. If the invitation is still open, we would love a tour from you if the offer is still open.

    Vicki

    • Justin / June 30, 2014 at 11:08 am / Reply

      It’s an open invitation. Let me know when you’ll be back in Pueblo and I’ll do my best accommodate. Cheers, Justin

  119. Lesa / July 1, 2014 at 11:07 am / Reply

    Hello and thank you for a very informative blog
    My husband an I are looking at moving there early fall. We will visiting sometime in early August
    My husband is an over the road truck driver an out sometimes a month at a time. I would be home alone along with my four legged fur babies
    Couple of questions. Is there an area you would suggest we say away from ? We live in Ohio now an have also lived in Houston Texas for many years. We understand there is crime everywhere just if any areas to stay away from that are really bad for crime?
    Also I am a massage therapist an self employed for now. Are there legitimate massage businesses there or would it be better to commute. I’d prefer to have my own office like I do now but open to options
    Also we would be looking at renting at first to make sure we like an want to stay in the area
    Or would consider a lease option house.
    Any an all information, tips etc.. would be greatly appreciated
    Thanks for an awesome information filled site
    Peace

    • Justin / July 1, 2014 at 2:35 pm / Reply

      Hi Lesa. Glad my blog has been helpful! I think once you’re here in Pueblo you’ll be able to detect the right spots for you. There are nice pockets in even the toughest neighborhoods so I don’t really want to steer you away from anything. I always recommend the area near the Pueblo Community College. On my Pueblo Neighborhood Map look at the Orman Park, Mesa Junction, Aberdeen, Sunset, and State Fair neighborhoods: http://www.justinholman.com/2014/05/14/pueblo-neighborhoods-1-0/
      Hope this helps! Cheers, Justin

  120. vicki gleitz / July 1, 2014 at 1:11 pm / Reply

    I have noticed that the new listings for extremely inexpensive fixer uppers tend to be gone the first day they show in zillow, Does that mean that if we were to call on them the same day that they were listed that they would ussually already be gone? It looks like someone already knows what is going to hit before they are even made public. Is that possible and if so, is there any way to get around that?

  121. Lesa / July 7, 2014 at 11:49 am / Reply

    Thank you Justin
    This information is much helpful
    We will be visiting the area the second weekend of Augues to check things out. Kinda pressed for time but hoping 3-5 day stay
    Again thank you so much for your help
    Peace :-)

  122. vicki gleitz / July 7, 2014 at 1:08 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin; We’re growing quite a little group of Autistics who would like to move to Pueblo. Many who are in IT can work from anywhere, Some, because they find these jobs less stressful, will be more than happy flipping burgers at a fast-food place. Some have or are learning skills[plumbing, electricians,like that]

    One woman asked me about a specific business she would like to start after I mentioned that there is a good chance that Pueblo might become one of the next big retirement places.She would like to start a consignment store, not high end, but still definitely brand conscious. Not gucci or pucci, or anything super pricey and pretentious like that. She was thinking more nice quality for older women [ Chicos, Coldwater Creek, eileen Fischer, like that] And maybe a small childrens section where they can grab something adorable for the grandkids. I think, from how you have explained the Pueblo lifestyle, and where it is trending, that this may be an excellent idea. What do you think?

    • Justin / July 7, 2014 at 4:06 pm / Reply

      Hi Vicki – great to hear about your group and the momentum moving toward Pueblo! I’m not much into fashion/clothing but a consignment shop sounds like a good idea. Store location, of course, will be critical. Best, Justin

  123. vicki gleitz / July 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm / Reply

    Hi justin’ Its me again,Vicki. Another reason for being excited about Pueblo IS Ocate Cliffs [check it out on facebook!] and Rhizome and Divergent Labs. Ocate Cliffs is a little over 100 miles south of Pueblo. We could have people work for periods of time at the Cliffs, and then return to home,Pueblo.

    I have a couple more questions that I think I will ask on the contact form.

    • Justin / July 7, 2014 at 4:07 pm / Reply

      Sounds great!

  124. Jordan / July 8, 2014 at 12:52 pm / Reply

    My husband and I are moving to Pueblo on THIS FRIDAY and I couldn’t have stumbled on your article at a more perfect time! We both grew up in Littleton and Highlands Ranch (are you singing “Little Boxes”? Haha!) and are currently in Centennial and we’re so excited for what we hope to be a change of pace (no more hour(+) commute? How could we say no?), but obviously a bit nervous for the big commitment. We’ll be out in Red Creek Ranch near the reservoir– going from our 1/4 acre lot here in the burbs to 48 acres down there! I’m excited to get to know Pueblo– I’ve now been to the city just 4 times for short day trips, and suddenly I’ll be finding myself living there. Your article definitely makes my excitement outweigh the nervous tension. Thanks a bunch! *crying happy tears* :)

    • Justin / July 8, 2014 at 1:19 pm / Reply

      Hi Jordan – welcome to Pueblo! I hope the transition goes as smoothly as possible. Let me know how I might be able to help. Once you get settled send me a note if you’d like to meet for coffee. Best wishes, Justin

    • Nicole / July 17, 2014 at 2:34 pm / Reply

      Justin, thanks for the article! We just moved to Pueblo a few weeks ago so I have kept an eye on the article to learn more about the area. Jordan – this is crazy weird, but my husband and I just moved to Red Creek Ranch as well. Maybe we will run into guys in the future!

      • Justin / July 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm / Reply

        Welcome to Pueblo Nicole! Let me know if I can do anything to help you settle in. Best wishes, Justin

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  126. Dave / July 18, 2014 at 9:38 am / Reply

    Justin,

    Much to your credit, this post still has legs after more than two years!

    Over an extended Fourth of July weekend my wife and I visited Pueblo; we liked it and barring unforeseen circumstances we’ll be retiring there within a year. We toured almost every neighborhood, looking both at “for rent” and “for sale” houses, since we plan to rent for a year or so before buying. Your favorite neighborhoods were pretty much the same for us. The only thing we found frustrating, especially in the older neighborhoods, is that so many of the houses have only one bathroom. I guess we’re spoiled, but that’ll never work for the two of us! Is it practical to remodel those older homes? Are reliable, reasonable, remodeling professionals available?

    More observations:

    Rents are low, but they seem higher compared to the national average that buying. Buying seems to be the real bargain in Pueblo. Do you concur or am I misreading the situation?

    Puebloans love their illegal fireworks! I have never seen such a display of private fireworks — all over the city. :-)

    Thanks and keep up the good work!

    • Justin / July 18, 2014 at 12:43 pm / Reply

      Hi Dave, thanks for the kind words. Remodel: Yes, there are lots of older homes that can be bought cheap and remodeled for modern conveniences. Finding reasonable contractors is not a problem. Rent v Buy: Yes, buying is definitely the better bargain in Pueblo. Low inventory + banks suck + ’08 hangover = rental market supply and demand imbalance. Fireworks: We found a good perch to watch fireworks from our neighborhood, expecting to see the main show on the Riverwalk. Instead, we watched the entire city of Pueblo completely lit up. Never seen anything like it. After 2 years of fireworks bans due to drought conditions I guess Pueblo’s pyromaniacs were ready to cut loose! Best wishes, Justin

  127. vicki gleitz / July 19, 2014 at 11:42 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin. Looking at some retail space on the riverwalk [victoria street I think] Prices look more than reasonable. Would that be a good place to open a consignment shop? Is there much traffic in the winter in that area or during warm weather only.

    • Justin / July 23, 2014 at 11:17 am / Reply

      Hi Vicki, Victoria is a nice street where you have access to the Union/Riverwalk traffic but with slightly lower rents and better parking. Yes, I think it could work depending on the space itself. Winter traffic will be much slower but that’s true for the whole city, not just Riverwalk area. If you want to start smaller I would look across the river in the Mesa Junction for lower rents. Lots of available commercial space all over the city so I wouldn’t be in a hurry to sign a lease. Cheers, Justin

  128. Grant Robertson / July 21, 2014 at 7:10 pm / Reply

    Justin,
    We have taken your advice and are in Pueblo now. We have leased an apartment for 6 months and are going to look for a fixer-upper.

    • Justin / July 23, 2014 at 11:22 am / Reply

      Grant – welcome to Pueblo! Hope you like it so far. Good luck with your search for a fixer upper and let me know if I can help. Best wishes, Justin

  129. cjy / July 28, 2014 at 3:14 pm / Reply

    I take issue with you referring to Pueblo Green Chili as “New Mexico style”. No – it is Pueblo style. the green chiles in Pueblo are one of a kind and are not grown anywhere else. P.S. -the bell will ring blue again!

    • Justin / July 28, 2014 at 7:20 pm / Reply

      Hi CJY, I understand your concern re chili classification. But, I think it helps people understand that it’s not Tex Mex or traditional Mexican style food. Remember, most of the US doesn’t even know what it means to smother a burrito, let alone how to distinguish between subtle variations. In any case thanks for the comments. Cheers, Justin
      P.S. Shhh…if you listen closely .. you can hear the Bell RINGING RED right now…music to my ears! :)

  130. David / July 28, 2014 at 4:51 pm / Reply

    Hello again Justin and All,
    My July 13th to 18th trip to Pueblo and Springs was an eye-opening
    great time . I went looking for a deal breaker – a reason NOT to move to Pueblo and I had a hard time finding any. I now live in the Philly Pa burbs and am thinking about a move in 2016…. Big surprises in Pueblo- How green it is -so many large old trees – the wide streets -the cool dry breeze on a 95 degree day -Lake minnequa , (so close to the neighborhoods) -how close it is to the edge of town then the open natural surroundings -the green open spaces and parks in the city — I was not surprised that people were nice but just how INCREDIBLY warm and welcoming everyone was .
    . I went alone and I engaged alot of folks in conversation about what they like and dislike about Pueblo . the strongest dislike was from a lady who wanted a MALL with better selections of clothes , she’s not happy with Target , Walmart , Sears or Kmart , go figure-…
    Another big surprise was that when I explored a ” bad area ” , there was no trash in the street and no graffitti – I saw kids out sweeping their properties after the rains , I don’t want to paint too rosey a picture , my hotel was in southgate , and some of LAKE area looked rough and tumble and the area above the 11th St bridge looked completely dicey , and I’m sure there are others I didn’t get to, but in the vast majority , when I saw rundown properties , alot of the block looked good , and the next block over looked great. That’s another interesting thing I noticed , the values of houses ranged from high to low on the same block with Victorians on the corners and smaller houses in between all the way down to 500 sqft ‘ers . It’s not anything like that were I live. It was also ALOT more bicycle friendly than here , I saw people out cycling every day , and I saw bike lane signs .
    Can you , Justin tell us about Shale Hydro Fracking in Colorado and would it come to Pueblo or to the county , I got a bunch of blank looks when I asked ?
    ps the best ” Slopper ” I had was at Iannes Pizza on Northern and the carnitas with green chili sauce at el Alamo was great , as well as everything at Mozo”s
    more to come , Cheers !
    Dave

    • Justin / July 28, 2014 at 7:22 pm / Reply

      Dave – thanks for sharing this. So glad to hear you had a good visit to Pueblo. And it’s great you noticed that Pueblo is not economically segregated. Good neighborhoods have a few run down properties and some of the toughest neighborhoods have immaculate homes. Look forward to your next update! Best, Justin

  131. Dusty / July 28, 2014 at 5:30 pm / Reply

    hi Justin! Love all the info I’ve learned about Pueblo! moving there w.my son on the 4th……scared to death moving so far from Okc but, feel i hav to for me and my son.
    I’m disabled with chronic pain an stuff and he’s having trouble in school.

    my cell is my only net access and I’ve tried several times to send a message, having trouble . if you hav time please email me, I’d really like to ask a few questions.

    u shud b nuthing less than mayor!!

    ms.Dusty an Cayce

  132. vicki gleitz / July 28, 2014 at 10:44 pm / Reply

    Well, I have been learning and practicing faux granite countertops on every old travel trailer I can get my hands on. It’s so gorgous. I helped someone lay down a laminate floor this week-end. I’ll be helping and learning all sorts of things as soon as my blood count gets stable. a very nice person kindly offered to teach me a little roofing. I declined. I get nervous 2 feet off of the ground.

    I am speaking with dozens of interested people [mostly families with autistic kids, but not entirely.] and, I do have some good media connections we can utilize after a few years when we have built up enough of a community to warrant media attention [ which will encourage others in]

    And all the seniors moving in? We will make sure that every conceivable service is available. I am so psyched.

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  134. Rich / August 12, 2014 at 9:29 am / Reply

    Hello Justin,
    Pueblo just popped onto my radar for possible relocation with my wife and maybe other members of our family. We’re from the Chicago area. You and others here have given me no reason to strike Pueblo, CO off our list but I do have one question. What is the water situation there? I’ve heard the West will be faced with water shortages, etc. What’s your read of the situation?
    Thanks,
    Rich

    • Justin / August 12, 2014 at 9:55 am / Reply

      Hi Rich! Water is a complex issue and it’s not my area of expertise. If drought and water shortages continue to plague the greater Southwest region, as many expect, Pueblo will indeed be affected. Farmers and others have struggled until this year with drought conditions. But, overall, Pueblo seems poised to fare better than many other communities because we have the Arkansas River and the Pueblo Reservoir (now called Lake Pueblo) in our backyard. Hope this helps. If you want more info search the archives of the Pueblo Chieftain and read Chris Wodka’s many articles on water resources. Best wishes, Justin

  135. Another Dave / August 24, 2014 at 12:39 pm / Reply

    Hi Justin-
    Enlightening post thanks. My family currently lives in Southern California and my daughter was offered a partial sports scholarship to CSU Pueblo and will be a Wolverine in 2016. I’ve started researching Pueblo for real estate investment potential. I’m considering buying a small multi- family building where my daughter and potential roommates can occupy one of the units and we can rent the other(s). We’re a ski and outdoors family so I can see us buying a second home there as well. Where do you see the greatest RE investment potential? You wrote your original post in 2012, so are you still as bullish on Pueblo?

    • Justin / August 24, 2014 at 10:53 pm / Reply

      Hi Dave – If it were me I would look to purchase a 3+ bedroom Single Family property in Belmont (most convenient neighborhood) and have her rent just to roommates. Look for something in rough cosmetic condition that you and she can improve over time for equity gain. I’d be reluctant to buy a multifamily. Single family is easier and always in demand. I am indeed still bullish on Pueblo. The most amazing deals are gone but plenty of bargains remain. Let me know if I can help. Best wishes, Justin

  136. Kime Ard / August 30, 2014 at 7:32 pm / Reply

    I AM going to move my children to a better little “nest” per say: Colorado. I have been researching areas a lot since January 1, in fact, that is what my middle son and I were doing as the new year rang in!! I am ready to go RIGHT NOW, that is I have NO PROBLEMS just leaving everything and starting over-Ive already done that 3 times within this shithole of Indiana, which is where I broadcast from. I have 4 sons, Jaymes 26, Alexander 18, and Mack 13. Jaymes is incarcerated one last time, in this shithole, because we will no longer live here, Alex is trying to begin his life, which is impossible in this shithole, (Indiana), and Mack is being homeschooled as opposed to being “bullied” by small town alledged authority figures who are no smarter than the piece of gum on the bottom of my shoe!!! Anyway, I WANT TO MOVE TO PUEBLO WITH MY SONS IMMEDIATELY!! please send me all in formation needed foe a single mother, in public housing apartments, not eligible for Section * voucher until $!,000.00 are paid by me for prior broken lease at another apt complex, probably NO credit rating , who knows?, would be first time home buyer, need a car=old, decent, income is soley 200.00 per month child support from 1 father, support hearing pending on the other father, and I am up for a disability hearing on November 17,2014 for a max of SSI, most likely, of course THAT DEPENDS, ya know? I dont mean to sound so anxious but I SEE FINDING YOU AND THIS PAGE IS A REVELATION ALL IS COMING TOGETHER!! I would LOVE your help and would gladly sign for the purchase of a first home exactly as you describe yours, but will also be willing to go thru the homeless shelter routine to get in public housing apartments. EXTREMELY URGENT EXTREMELY URGENT HELP!!! PLEASE-much love Kime and Sons

    HELP PLEASE

    • Justin / August 31, 2014 at 12:42 pm / Reply

      Hi Kime, glad you found me. Not sure where to start or how I can help but I’m happy to try. Best wishes, JH

  137. jim / September 4, 2014 at 4:54 pm / Reply

    I’m thinking of relocating to Pueblo in the near future if things go as planned. How are the manufactured housing areas of Pueblo? Are they kept up to some standards of cleanliness?
    Any problems with crime or vandalism in these areas? It sounds like your saying most housing on the west side of the city is less troublesome than the east side or am I misreading your message. Thanks for the info. You’ve been very helpful! Jim

    • Justin / September 5, 2014 at 12:20 pm / Reply

      Hi Jim, I’m not sure about manufactured housing areas in Pueblo. By that I mean I don’t really know where they are nor how well kept they are in general, how they compare to one another in terms of crime, vandalism, etc. I think that will be something you’ll need to assess on your own. Also, in my comments I’ve mentioned that the East Side, as a neighborhood, has some challenges with crime. But, I don’t mean to imply that housing is better the further west you go. It’s really more of a neighborhood by neighborhood assessment. Good luck on the move! Let me know how I might help. Best wishes, Justin

  138. Garrett / September 15, 2014 at 1:00 am / Reply

    Hi Justin, nicely written and thoughtful post. Oddly I have a (step)-brother named Justin who has a geography background, worked in the GIS area and was living in Michigan (Ann Arbor) until, well just recently. Granted your article is 2 years old so maybe he just took your place in Michigan. Anyway, I live in Singapore and am contemplating Pueblo as a place to help with a senate election campaign this year (won’t giveaway my political leaning here), and was surprised by how pleasant you’ve described it. I’ll be living with a (yet unknown) family to be connected with by the campaign…but looking forward to the experience now that I’ve read your article…

    Thanks,

    G

    • Justin / September 15, 2014 at 10:22 am / Reply

      Hi Garrett – thanks for the comment! Hope you enjoy your time in Pueblo! Look me up and I’ll buy you a slopper….well, unless you’re on the wrong side of the political aisle. Just kidding…sloppers are non-partisan. :) Cheers, Justin

  139. Hans Thoma / September 18, 2014 at 11:39 pm / Reply

    Wow…..Just came back to this article again, and it has 271 comments now? The City should be cutting you a check! Ha ha. Good stuff!

    • Justin / September 22, 2014 at 10:44 am / Reply

      Thanks Hans! I’ll keep an eye out for that check but I’m not holding my breath. Cheers, J.

      • pattes10@dyc.edu / September 30, 2014 at 1:06 am / Reply

        Justin,
        Fascinating article, I enjoyed it and believe you hit the nail right on the head. I grew up in Denver (Congress Park neighborhood, which I believe is probably the best spot to be in the country now) but I have also lived in Pueblo, as well as a Rust Belt city. I completely agree that Pueblo is a great place to live and is probably only lagging behind Denver economically by fifteen years. Although I think it is possible to piggy-back on all the growth and economic success of Denver, and we could see this happen sooner.
        I just finished grad school in a healthcare field and am at the age of thinking about having kids. One thing I think about now (which is a little strange to me) is if I would send my kids to the public school system in the city or town in which I live. In the Rust Belt City I wouldn’t dream of it!!!! In fact, most people don’t and they have effectively managed to segregate the schools by dividing between public and private. Anyhow, in Pueblo, I would feel safe sending a child to a public school.
        Anyway, I see Pueblo as what Denver was twenty years ago, before everyone found out about Denver, but what everyone loves it for. Pueblo has a certain charm, nice brick houses, beautiful weather and is in the great state of Colorado. I think all the people who say they miss the old Denver should consider Pueblo as such.
        Thanks again.

        • Justin / September 30, 2014 at 3:35 pm / Reply

          Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I’m glad my article resonated with you. I’m afraid that the entire public school system, not just in Pueblo or the Rust Belt is collapsing as people with the financial resources simply send their children to private schools. Public school systems are then left with the most challenging demographics, setting them up to fail. The charter/magnet options in Pueblo are good. And some of the traditional schools in Pueblo have managed to hold on to a solid level of quality. Unfortunately, overall, the public school systems in Pueblo and elsewhere will continue to decline as long as poverty continues to grow. Once you have a few years of professional experience under your belt I hope you will consider returning to Pueblo. Thanks again! Best wishes, Justin

  140. doug / September 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm / Reply

    HI, Justin,
    Good sales job, you must work for the CofC.However the pitch was written a few year ago, what is your view today on why one should move there?

    We ‘re looking to relocate from Prescott, AZ to a smaller, friendlier, cheaper community.
    Your thoughts?

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  143. Debbie / October 6, 2014 at 8:07 pm / Reply

    The downtown has been kept up; very historical and cute. Generally the city is clean from what I have seen. There is a small Picasso, Chagall, & Matisse exhibit here right now I plan to go to, and the River Walk is kind of nice the first time or two. The off leash dog park is definitely sweet, and it is sunny here. I also found a great, honest auto repair shop (Mueller’s).

    However,

    According to some of the locals I’ve spoken to a large chunk of the city is owned by a family up in Denver. A company called KOP is buying up many apartment complexes, raising the rent and not making basic improvements. I’m talking heating and plumbing. Beware of them.

    I came to Pueblo just 3 months ago, and I am ready to leave. Thankfully I only signed a 6 month lease. Precious little choice in chain or local restaurants (and I don’t eat out much), generally elderly population, if you are one standard deviation away form “the stoggy norm” you are shunned. Oh, and where oh where are the organic vegetables? Where are the vegetables in general. The grocery stores feel like something from the 1980s at best. Poor selection. Past due date items on the shelves. It’s very conservative here as well. Much like western Kansas, and that’s saying something. Back when Kansas was a territory Pueblo was probably in Kansas since the Kansas Territory pretty much ran up to the Continental Divide.

    The pretty new library is all building and very open but little in the way of books or other things one would think to find in a library. I’ve used the website to get a couple of books from the inter-library exchange program and never heard from them. Not even to say, “Sorry, we can’t get it.”

    It’s October and has dipped below freezing twice, and my apartment has no heat. Two months ago we were told the building needed a new boiler. There have been no updates even when asked. I spent 4+ hours today trying to find out at what temperature it has to get down to before the landlord is in violation. I searched online, called 6 local phone numbers, each one telling me to call the next, and ended up leaving a message. Not expecting a reply. Look up the vaguely worded, paltry Warranty of Habitability Act of 2008. It took this state that long to pass something, anything, and that is what they came up with.

    Heaven forbid you want to donate furniture to Goodwill or ARC. They don’t pick up. I’ve never lived in a town or city where the local thrift stores don’t pick up large donations. Correction: ARC will pick up if you set it out at the curb. Seriously?

    The zoo is a sad, sad affair. Embarrassing really. The city would do better taking it out. It’s small, very old, outdated signs, and poorly maintained.

    I never thought I’d be this overwhelmed with ridiculousness anywhere, but I found it here.

    If you want to live in the 1950′s or early ’60′s but with a depressed economy and undereducated population then sleepy Pueblo is the place for you. Sure it may be a bargain when it comes to real estate compared to the rest of Colorado, but there is an entire country out there to compare it to, not just Colorado.

    Sorry Justin. I know you have rental property here, and yours may very well be fantastic, but Pueblo is definitely lagging way behind on many levels. Perhaps in 10 – 15 years there will be a large enough influx of people from outside the area to bring it into the 21st century.

    • Justin / October 6, 2014 at 10:50 pm / Reply

      Hi Debbie,

      Sorry to hear you’re not happy with Pueblo. It’s not for everyone. But, I have to say your comments and complaints about Pueblo make me feel overwhelmed with ridiculousness too.

      “According to some of the locals I’ve spoken to a large chunk of the city is owned by a family up in Denver.”
      First off, who cares? There have been some recent multi-family acquisitions by Denver investors but your locals don’t know what they’re talking about. The vast majority of commercial real estate is owned by long-time Pueblo residents.

      “generally elderly population, if you are one standard deviation away form “the stoggy norm” you are shunned”
      After 3 months you feel shunned? How long did it take you to establish a social network in your previous community? How many other places have you lived? You sound like this is your first stop in life after school and you expect the city to stop everything and throw a welcome party in your honor.

      “Precious little choice in chain or local restaurants”
      Again, who cares? There are far fewer chain restaurant options here compared to larger cities. But, there are terrific locally owned restaurants with great food, unique atmosphere and tremendous value. Plus, who wants more chain restaurants? Is life really that much better with a nearby Panera?

      You’re complaining about the library? Give me a break. The library is outstanding, especially for a city the size of Pueblo. I think we probably have the coolest library in Colorado. Maybe the US. You are probably comparing it to a University library or a huge city library. Community libraries are different.

      “It’s October and has dipped below freezing twice”
      Oh my gosh, life is so hard. You’re complaining about the weather? It was 86 degrees today (Oct 6th) and sunny. I played golf in shorts and short sleeves at 5pm. Where do you think you are, Hawaii? This is Colorado. Have you noticed those large land forms to the west? Just because you live in a crummy apartment building with a bad boiler you’re blaming the entire city? Buy a sweatshirt, princess.

      “Heaven forbid you want to donate furniture to Goodwill or ARC. They don’t pick up.”
      Yes, heaven forbid that you have to lift a finger in life.

      “The zoo is a sad, sad affair. Embarrassing really.”
      Your attitude is an embarrassment. The Pueblo Zoo is a treasure. I’ll bet you didn’t even go in. Did you see the lions? The zebras? Did you see the lemurs? The new Scottish Highland calf? The river otter pups? Are you aware of the many programs the zoo offers? Do you have any idea what it takes to run a zoo with the limited resources available in a community this size?

      “Sure it may be a bargain when it comes to real estate compared to the rest of Colorado, but there is an entire country out there to compare it to, not just Colorado.”
      Have you ever purchased real estate before in your life? What did you pay? I don’t think you have the faintest idea what it really costs to own real estate. Either way, I challenge you to find a comparably inexpensive place in the US rivaling Pueblo’s location with proximity to the Rocky Mountains, Denver, Santa Fe/Taos and 300+ days of sunshine.

      Sorry Debbie. Maybe in 10-15 years you’ll have gained enough life experience to realize how ridiculous you sound. Pueblo is far from perfect but I guarantee you’re the only one who would point to the weather, the zoo, the library and lack of Goodwill furniture pick-up services as key quality of life challenges.

      Best wishes,
      Justin

  144. Laura / October 7, 2014 at 10:28 am / Reply

    Hi Justin:

    My boyfriend and I are thinking of relocating to Colorado from West Palm Beach, FL. I’m really wondering about employment. He’s in irrigation and i’m a legal secretary. Both of us have over 10 years experience in our field, respectively. They cost of living is way less than Florida, for sure. What is the average salary there in Pueblo? Is it kid friendly? We’re looking to begin expanding our family as well. (no kids yet) If you’ve explained this previously in the thread, I missed it. Appreciate your help. :-)

    • Justin / October 7, 2014 at 2:36 pm / Reply

      Hi Laura, the job market in Pueblo is soft so don’t jump without a safety net. Sorry but I have no idea how compensation in your field might vary between here and Palm Beach. Generally speaking I would say pay is relatively low in Pueblo but there are too many variables to say much more than that. Yes, Pueblo is kid friendly and family friendly. Public schools are struggling so you would want to put your name on the waiting list for Fountain and Connect as early as possibly, maybe the day after they’re born. Hope this helps! It’s not easy to show up in Pueblo and find a job right away, except in a few key fields, like maybe nursing. That said, I’m glad you’re looking at Pueblo as a possible location to raise a family and I hope it comes together for you. All the best, Justin

  145. Debbie / October 7, 2014 at 1:16 pm / Reply

    Wow, Justin. A bit sensitive aren’t you? Of course no town is perfect.

    It didn’t take long at all for me to build a social network elsewhere, and I an certainly well past high school. I have lived in three other cities and still have great friends in each of those locations.

    Off the top of my head I can think of two cities of about the same size as Pueblo with far better libraries. Topeka and Lawrence, Kansas. They are both thriving community hubs with lots of extracurricular activities as well.

    I do “lift a finger” and have worked hard all my life. I am now older and on disability so I can’t lift a sofa up a half flight of stairs to set it out at the curb.

    You have made a great deal of negative assumptions about me just because you don’t like my comments about Pueblo. I did list off some cool things about Pueblo which you chose to ignore and instead you want to inflict ad hominem attacts. Not very mature of you.

    I have vacationed in Colorado many times and know it gets cold. The fact still remains I have the right to heat in my apartment. Just this morning I was informed it “may” be turned on by the end of the month. The average lows by then are below freezing. I live in a garden apartment which means it’s 1/2 a flight below grade. If you recall grade school science class you will remember cold sinks and heat rises. I’m sure the tenants on the upper floors are still quite toasty. I still have a right to heat in my apartment.

    I did go to the zoo, and what I say stands when compared to zoos I’ve seen in other towns between 90,000 and 150,000 people.

    There are other places to live with beautiful scenery besides near the Rockys. I have purchased three homes and paid off one. I know the process, and I keep abreast of the real estate market.

    It is precisely your assumptions about me, your ad hominem attacks, and unprofessional attitude in general that reflects on this city you are so fond of. I’m glad you and I’m sure others like it here. I do not. I simply stated why. Deal with it like a grown up.

    Best wishes,
    Debbie

    • Justin / October 7, 2014 at 2:41 pm / Reply

      Hi Debbie, yes, sorry about that. You caught me on a grumpy day. I still think your take on Pueblo is way off the mark. There are legitimate reasons to criticize Pueblo. I just don’t think you identified any of them. For someone who has “been around” you don’t seem to have much patience for settling in to a community. Sounds like you have a bad housing situation and not much else to complain about. In any case, my apologies for negative comments. Best wishes, Justin

  146. Debbie / October 11, 2014 at 5:14 pm / Reply

    Apology accepted Justin.

    It is true I have only been here three months, but I have made some friends here. As I mentioned before there are many positive things here. I was thrilled to find a reputable car mechanic, a talented hair stylist, and a couple of nice coffee shops with real meals rather than just pastries, and of course the other positives mentioned before.

    I do not know what problems you feel Pueblo has, but I think my comments have validity. It would be wonderful to see a person (perhaps yourself) discuss some of the problems with city leaders and other concerned citizens. After all that is a big part of what being part of a community is all about.

    Ultimately, the worst problem I’ve had other than an irresponsible landlord – which can be found anywhere – is that one of my prescriptions would not transfer into Colorado. Apparently there is a CO state law that says it has to be prescribed by a CO physician. This is something I have never run into in any other state. Considering it would take me close to three months to get in to see the kind of doctor that prescribes that particular medication, it left me in a terrible bind as you can imagine. Having to drive 4 hours one way to a nearby state once a month until I my appointment comes up is a terrible inconvenience especially considering my health status. Can you imagine a vacationer needing to pick up such a prescription and finding out it’s not available?

    Anyway, I wish you and Pueblo all the best.

    Debbie

  147. Tim / October 13, 2014 at 12:59 am / Reply

    I am a disabled guy ( but still very mobile) looking to relocate. Pueblo keeps coming up as the choice. I currently reside in Oregon. Although I will truly miss the moderate climate and the beauty of the Columbia Gorge (having Been a avid hiker, before) I am looking forward to the drier climate as a health benefit, and endless sun. Not to mention the reduced housing cost of your locale. My question is: looking at real estate it’s hard to use your references to area’s in your city easily. You’ve mentioned a map as a possibility to designate what area is where. Do you have anything like that, or know of one that could be used to help as a quick reference for those of us looking at what is a available in direct relation to your mentioning better places to focus on?
    Thanks Sir,
    Tim

    • Justin / October 13, 2014 at 3:07 pm / Reply

      Hi Tim!
      I think you will enjoy Pueblo’s climate. If you can manage to get back to Oregon in Jul/Aug/Sep you’ll have the best of both worlds!
      Have you seen my Pueblo neighborhoods post? Here’s a link: http://www.justinholman.com/2014/05/14/pueblo-neighborhoods-1-0/
      Let me know if that doesn’t do the trick.
      Best of luck with the decision and the move!
      -Justin

      • Tim / October 13, 2014 at 11:01 pm / Reply

        That is exactly what I was looking for from you. Thank you!
        The decision is pretty much made, as to the move. As I intend to sell or rent the house I have here next spring. That dependent on what feedback I get from SSD, and the bank on funding. Once I have that I’ll be coming down to give the city a good look over, and scout out a house from what’s on the market at that time. As by then I will know my financial options. The move is pretty solid though. I was in Colorado earlier this year, and like the landscape, although very different from the green, and diverse altitudes here in Oregon. Having been here you know what I mean. If I retain the house here I will surely be making some trips back and forth, but that’s not something I will mind. I would like to commend you on your solid belief in your community and it’s assets, which I have found backed up repeatedly on the web. I have some concerns about taxation on my locked income and such. But research has also found benefits, and tax credits, for the likes of people in my situation within the state. That being said I fully expect to be a resident by the end of summer latest. I thank you for the extensive time you put into this site, and your quick responses.
        The city officials must love your level of support, and time invested in promoting it to the rest of the world. My personal thanks for supplying a site that will answer questions at the personal level. Perhaps once there and established I can be of some assistance in that, on some level.
        Again much thanks for clearing up the question of which area is where.
        Tim

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