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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > USA - Rockies / Midwest > Hi there!!!! Denver Colorado!!!!



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      10-22-2008, 09:58 AM   #1
luisalbertoga
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Hi there!!!! Denver Colorado!!!!

After reading you for a long time... finally I am going to be able to participate!!!

I am moving from Spain to Denver, and I have some questions...

I am planning to buy a BMW, as I am going to have to sell mine here in Spain. It is not cost effective to ship it from Europe, and it is diesel, not gasoline, plus homologation/certification, etc... So I think that I might have more troubles than benefits.

I have lived in Chicago 1 year, but I was working with the Spanish Consulate, so I didn't had to pay IRS (I paid Spanish IRS), and for one year, didn't even bothered to look about the taxes for buying a second hand car or a new one...

So I have more doubts than answers......

I have been looking for rented houses, and found most of them between $1,000-$1,500 (not downtown) or $1,500-$2,000 (downtown). I would be moving with my wife, and we would love a nice apartment with at least two bedrooms and 1 or 2 bathrooms, nice and big kitchen, and dinning room. It can be a condo or a 1 or 2 floors house. I think that part is covered. But of course, I accept suggestions (areas, other prices ranges, why to pick a condo or a family house...). I don't know much about Denver yet... I am reading a lot, but that is not always enough.

I would have an annual salary of $70k... What would be the taxes for that income (married, wife not working, J1 visa). My estimation is around 20%... so I would earn, net, $55k. Is this more or less true??? This is an important thing... because that $55k is enough to live nicely, but if we go any lower it wouldn't be that nice...

Taking this into consideration... I would think about buying a second hand bmw... (although as I would have the money of the selling of the bmw I have here in Spain, I might go for a brand new one!!! hehehehe)

The price of a new bmw from BMW NA website is, for a 325i with some extras is around: $35k. What are the taxes and any other cost to get the keys of your new car? (that differs a lot from Spain, the cost in the website plus around 500 is the total price of the car, minus discounts, that can be around 5-7%). What would be the final price of the car???? More or less... I don't need the exact numer, it is just so that I can have an idea of what I have to add to the prices of the website. For example, a 325i can cost about $37k with all taxes included and all discounts included, or maybe it's $45k and not $37k... (that is my point... I don't have a clue about how much the taxes can be!!!)

And what about a second hand car???? The price a person is asking for his/her car is the final price? Or do I have to add any tax? What about second hand stores? Any good place to look in Denver for a bmw (new or second hand?).

Is it better to go somewhere else in Colorado, or in any other state to get a better deal????

How is life like in Denver???????????

Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am almost there!!!

Luis
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      10-22-2008, 05:58 PM   #2
SAM67
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Hi Luis - congrats on your upcoming move to Denver. When will you and your wife arrive? And what sort of work will you be doing? Will you work downtown?

Regarding housing, your cost estimates are probably about right -- downtown is usually more expensive. Picking a location will depend on where you work and how far you are willing to commute.

Here's a link to Wikipedia regarding 2008 US tax rates.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tax_bracket

Looks like you would be taxed at 25% but the US tax code is fairly complicated. It could be lower or higher depending on your situation. You may want to check with your employer to see if they can give you a specific number.

Regarding new BMWs, the 325 has been replaced by the 328 in the US. $33.4K is the starting MSRP for the 328i sedan. Final price can vary widely depending on options, which dealer you chose and your negotiating skills. You'll need to pay taxes and other fees based on the final sale price - varies depending on where you live. I'd estimate about 5-8% extra. Then you have to register the car with Colorado to get plates. Cost is based on vehicle age and weight and the tax rate in the county where you live. I would guess about $750 - 1,000 extra. And don't forget about car insurance - required by law in Colorado.

Regarding used cars, I believe same taxes and registration fees would apply. Maybe someone else knows differently? I don't think you would save money buying out of state in terms of taxes, etc.

I'm sure you will miss Spain but I think you will like living in Colorado - nice pace of life, lots of sunshine, great outdoor activities and plenty of places to drive a BMW.

Good luck with your move -travel safe.

- Scott
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      10-23-2008, 03:50 AM   #3
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Hi Scott!!

We would be arriving around February or March. First I have to do some training in Spain, so we have some time to prepare for the change

I will take a good look at the Wiki about the taxes, that is more or less what I have been reading up to now... As far as I understand, there is a state tax, and then a city tax, right? It is going to be really hard to find out that information... I have spoke with some guy who is right now working in Denver with this company (I preffer not to say the name of the company at this time... because I will be signing the contract in a few days, and Internet is much more smaller than we think!!), but his situation is different. He is contracted by the Spanish company, and I will be by the US company, so conditions, and taxes differ.

More or less, adding $1,000 to MSRP should be more or less very close to the final price of the car, plus insurance... of course
That is very good news!!! Cars are cheaper there than here!! (my actual 330d with 9,000 Euros in extras, cost me around 50,000Euros, which was around $67,000 at the time!!!)

Here the used car, if you buy it in a second had store also has taxes, but if you buy it to a person, it doesn't have any taxes, it's all included in the price. If the seller says $15,000, you pay $15,000 and then you apply for the insurance...

I will miss Spain... but I will be traveling every 3 months back to Spain for corporate "education" (hehehehe), so I won't miss it too much

Besides, I've been in Chicago working for the last year, and I enjoyed it very much!! Now I have Aspen, rocky mountains, Las Vegas, the West Coast... not that far away... I am sure I will enjoy it.

I only hope that my wife will enjoy it as much. She doesn't speak English fluently, and doesn't have a job... so she will be at home, english school or shopping most of the time... so I hope that she can make friends soon (and not only other Spanish wives from my office!).

Do you live in Denver?

Where do you work?

XXXX is a big Spanish company, that has some branches, and one of them is specialized in Renewal Energies. It has created a US company, XXXX Inc, and that is the company that is about to hire me.

I will be working in Business Development in the mid-west. Talking to the utilities, contractors, city public personnel in charge of utilities and development, preparing RFI, RFQ, Offers... etc.

And I guess that I will be traveling quite a bit around the US...

Regards!!
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      10-24-2008, 12:40 PM   #4
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Hi Luis. If you arrive in Feb or March, you'll catch the last bit of the ski season!

Yes, you will have a pay state taxes but the rate is much lower than federal taxes. I don't think you pay local income taxes but you pay through sales taxes and personal property taxes. I would think your new company's accounting dept or Human resources would be able to figure out what your federal and state taxes would be - you may want to request that info as part of your contract negotiations. It will impact your actual take-home pay and would be helpful to know.

I purchased my car through the European Delivery program, so my purchase price was a lot lower than a normal US delivery -- but of course I spent the savings on my trip! Great experience - but it does take longer to get your car back. I've heard that even with normal US delivery, BMW's cost significantly less to purchase in the US -- even with taxes and fees. Plus gas is much cheaper here. Currently about $3/gallon for premium.

Regarding purchasing a used car "person-to-person", I think you still pay personal property taxes and registration fees when you register your car with the state. But you are correct that the sales prices that you negotiate is the final price.

I work downtown (office manager at a law firm) and live in Highlands Ranch, which is about 15 miles south of downtown Denver.

I know of some renewable energy companies (private and public) that are based in Golden, Boulder and Westminster. Renewable energy and oil/gas are both growth industries in the Rocky Mountain region -- sounds like you'll do well. Good luck with everything.

- Scott
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      10-27-2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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Wow Scott!!!

Thank you very much for all this information!!

I agree with you... the accounting/HHRR Dept should know this... the thing is that the first part of the negotiations is in Spain, and then, when they have the visas and all that, I will go to the US Corporation... so they know more or less how things will be... but not exactly... I have tried to push them to give me some more exact information, but so far, I haven't been able to go any further.

I hope to enjoy the last bit of the ski seasson... but if I cannot, I will enjoy the summer trips hehehehe

So you went on a trip to Germany to pick up your car??? That must have been a great experience!!! I am only like 4 hours away from Germany (by plane)... but I have never been there (only in the airport, going somewhere else). Is that cheaper than buying the car in the US directly? I didn't know that. I knew about the program, but I though the attractive part of it was to make the trip and take a look at the factory or something like that... I didn't know it was cheaper too!

In Europe BMW is more expensive than in the US (even without taking into account the currency exchange rate). That is true... and also the gas... that is why there are so many diesel engines around here... today I checked my bmw... 37mpg (330d) and my wife was taking a look at the ford mustang website... 17/26mpg!! (awesome!!!). (we would need two cars).

Scott... how is the traffic in the city? I have been living in Chicago for one year... and the traffic was terrible... I guess Denver won't be so bad... I can see that it is not free to park in the streets downtown, Are the parkings expensive?

We don't know yet where to live... or which are the "nice" neighborhoods. I know the office will be very close to Colfax Ave and the Interstate 70... that is West Denver... My wife is very interested in living close to downtown. She is very interested in being able to go to English classes, and having the grocery stores close by, not having to use the car for everything...

I prefer to have a nicer house, in a residential neighborhood and don't mind using the car, since I am going to be using it anyway... but if you could recommend me some nice neighborhoods to start looking I would appreciate it very much!! (Since I have no clue!!!) Is it better in the north, west, east, south???

Are only the stores downtown, and for everything else you have to go to the malls (kmart, wall-mart, jewel-osco...) in the suburbs?

What about public transport? Is it good enough to think about using it? In Chicago it was good enough, but I lived downtown Chicago (the office was downtown Chicago) and used it like 10 times in a year!!

Any clues you can give me on this will be great!!!

Best regards!!!!
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      10-27-2008, 06:50 PM   #6
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Yes, I picked up my car in Munich this past April. It was a great experience - my wife and I drove around southern Germany and Austria for about 5 days.

To recap, I ordered the car exactly the way I wanted it back in January 2008 and requested a pick-up date in early April. I negotiated the price up from European delivery invoice, which is lower than regular US invoice and way below US MSRP. I estimate that I saved about $3,500 over the best price I found for a regular US delivery. Of course I spent at least that much for my trip but it was worth it -- I got a car and a trip. It's really more about the experience of driving your car in Europe than saving money. This may not be a big deal to you since you live in Europe already. Another thing to keep in mind -- you have to wait 6-8 weeks to get the car back after you drop it off. Long wait.

Traffic can be bad during rush hour but overall it's manageable. I'm originally from the Washington DC area, so Denver is much better in comparison. I'm guessing it's better than Chicago too. Denver is smaller and less populated than either.

Daily parking can cost up to $12 per day in the Downtown area. Monthly is $170 - $235 around my building. But parking is usually free outside of the downtown area.

Colfax and I-70 is near Golden, which is an older town with a "mainstreet" area but a lot of new housing as well. You would probably need a car. Driving time is about 20 minutes to downtown.

There's a newer residential/retail development called Belmar that might be worth a look: http://www.belmarcolorado.com/index_flash.php
Belmar is roughly halfway between the Colfax/I-70 area and downtown (10-15 minutes away with light traffic). It was designed to be "pedestrian friendly" with lots of shopping and restaurants but it's located in a residential area. Maybe someone who lives there can comment?

Regarding transportation, we have a decent bus system. Denver Metro voters approved an expansion our light-rail train system, which will include a new line that will go between downtown and the Golden area -- but it won't be done until 2013.

There are plenty of grocery stores and shopping areas pretty much everywhere in the metro area. Downtown has some nice shopping areas too but not the "big box" places like K-Mart, Target, Home Depot, etc.

You and your wife will just need to visit Denver to see all of the options for yourself!

- Scott
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      10-27-2008, 11:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAM67 View Post
Yes, I picked up my car in Munich this past April. It was a great experience - my wife and I drove around southern Germany and Austria for about 5 days.

To recap, I ordered the car exactly the way I wanted it back in January 2008 and requested a pick-up date in early April. I negotiated the price up from European delivery invoice, which is lower than regular US invoice and way below US MSRP. I estimate that I saved about $3,500 over the best price I found for a regular US delivery. Of course I spent at least that much for my trip but it was worth it -- I got a car and a trip. It's really more about the experience of driving your car in Europe than saving money. This may not be a big deal to you since you live in Europe already. Another thing to keep in mind -- you have to wait 6-8 weeks to get the car back after you drop it off. Long wait.

Traffic can be bad during rush hour but overall it's manageable. I'm originally from the Washington DC area, so Denver is much better in comparison. I'm guessing it's better than Chicago too. Denver is smaller and less populated than either.

Daily parking can cost up to $12 per day in the Downtown area. Monthly is $170 - $235 around my building. But parking is usually free outside of the downtown area.

Colfax and I-70 is near Golden, which is an older town with a "mainstreet" area but a lot of new housing as well. You would probably need a car. Driving time is about 20 minutes to downtown.

There's a newer residential/retail development called Belmar that might be worth a look: http://www.belmarcolorado.com/index_flash.php
Belmar is roughly halfway between the Colfax/I-70 area and downtown (10-15 minutes away with light traffic). It was designed to be "pedestrian friendly" with lots of shopping and restaurants but it's located in a residential area. Maybe someone who lives there can comment?

Regarding transportation, we have a decent bus system. Denver Metro voters approved an expansion our light-rail train system, which will include a new line that will go between downtown and the Golden area -- but it won't be done until 2013.

There are plenty of grocery stores and shopping areas pretty much everywhere in the metro area. Downtown has some nice shopping areas too but not the "big box" places like K-Mart, Target, Home Depot, etc.

You and your wife will just need to visit Denver to see all of the options for yourself!

- Scott
+1 on the Bel Mar suggestion. I have some friends that live there and they love it. There's also a ton of new condos going up downtown, if your wife is still interested in living in the city. Coming from Europe, I suspect you'll enjoy living in the city more than the suburbs.

I'm also a real estate agent in my spare time. If you need some help finding a place, I'd be happy to show you around.
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      10-28-2008, 06:54 AM   #8
luisalbertoga
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Thank you very much Scott.

I will take a look at the area you recommend: Belmar. The good thing is that as you say has lots of shopping and dinning restaurants, but in a residential area... That sounds really interesting... But yes... We will have to spend the first weeks walking around Denver to find for ourselves "our best" place to live...

I am sure you have enjoyed very much the trip to Europe... and I am sure you have "hated" the 6-8 weeks delay on getting your car back... That must have been the worst part!!

I am trying to get an idea of the bus system... it's really hard when you don't know yet your way around the city to get a hold of these things...

Parking is like in Madrid (where I live know)... but the "downtown" area is almost anywhere in the city... we don't have downtown and the suburbs... everything is "downtown" when it comes to parking!!! argg!!!!

I really appreciate very much all the information you have given me... at least know I am more pointed in the some direction (and I am sure it is the right direction!!)

Jayhawk thank you very much for the info too. I will take some new looks to Denver areas and neighborhoods and I will talk to my wife to see what are her thoughts and I will get back to you with some more specific information.

Thank you very much!!!

Regards!
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