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Lived in Boulder County for 15 years until I got married and moved south of Denver.

Boulder itself has ALWAYS been expensive (even when I was in college in the early 90s) for housing. If you're serious about relocating, look at some less insane, but very close communities that the majority of the "Boulderites" live in:

NORTH: - Longmont - Gunbarrel

EAST: - Louisville - Lafayette - Erie

SOUTHEAST-ish: - Broomfield - Westminster - Northglenn - Thornton

You can have a "reasonable" commute, and a less insane house price in those areas. They are all bedroom communities for the area... Personally, I lived in Louisville and Lafayette at least half of my time in the county (the other in Boulder proper, renting, always).

There are always options.

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