Siddie~ha ha. You live in Hawaii and want to come live here. That is so cute to me
I would love with all my heart to stay in this town, but like I mentioned in the OP, it is expensive
! We have a university so most of the jobs are very low paying because students will always take them. Starter homes here (the crappy ones) are around $200K and the ones on our end of town START at $350K. There is absolutely no way we could ever afford one.
Sierra~ DH used to live in Seattle and we wanted to move there in the worst way until having DS. The $ thing is what sealed the deal for us. I hate the smog over Denver, but it does have a small town feel, and lots of parks. It is an hour from where we live now and a couple of hours from the valley where we want to build our home. All of our family will be in-state within the next year and living within an hour of Denver, which is a lot to consider.
There have been so many good points posted that I can't keep track I'll try to address them with more on "our plan."
-We can't afford to stay in our town forever. Maybe 5 years tops. In that time we want to find the place to live while DS goes to school so that he doesn't have to change schools while growing up. We will rent during this time. We intend to buy land cheap now. It has not been marketed to us, we found an area in Co that we love and want to spend our lives because it is away from big cities, nestled in a valley that hasn't been effected by sprawl and by our research won't be within our lifetimes. We only want to build a house because we want to live off the grid and build with sustainable materials. We'll have 20+ acres to farm, etc. We will gradually (as money permits) build this house over the next 20 years. Not just the house itself, but also preparing the land and planting fruit/seed bearing trees, etc. We can vacation to our plot of land and it is in very close proximity to national parks, ancient ruins, canyons, rivers, hiking, etc. It will be our little "home away from home." Our desire to live simply will always be instilled in DS because it is how we live already. Instead of putting $ into all of the gadgets and crap out there, we want to put it toward his schooling and our home.
merpk ~I agree that city living is probably the route we'll go for reasons mentioned above. Public transportation equals less driving. There is preexisting housing as opposed to sprawl. We will have access to nature, and teach DS our beliefs through example. I'm working on ways to continue composting and gardening (community garden?).
Of course, I worry about safety. Who doesn't?
Like EnviroBecca pointed out, no where is really "safe." My mom moved us to the rural areas because my sister's HS had police officers in the hallways and it scared her. The school I ended up going to (with 300 students) had FAR more drug use than the city school. We could go on vacation without even locking our doors, and I frolicked around constantly without supervision. I was in dangerous situations before. People would try to pick me up and I would run into fields to avoid a fat horney man or two, and I also did a lot of things my mom (probably) didn't know about. But I developed a fierce love of nature, creative wisdom, and sense of serenity out of the ability to go somewhere peaceful when my home life wasn't at peace.
It seems to me that we're trying to combine the best of both worlds. Have him live most of the time in the city, so that he can have that experience and we can make enough money to support our dream. Meanwhile, we will always visit our land, build on it and work the earth. He'll be able to make his own mind up on which lifestyle suits him and *hopefully* have respects for both ways of life.