Black Forest or Palmer Park? (Or Chey. Can.)
I have lived in the springs for most of my life and there are very few area's that I would live in East of I-25. The one exception is the downtown area but only as far East as the Olympic Training Center. The East and North East sides of town are very tempting because you can get a lot of house for the money. The draw back is the houses are not increasing in value as much as other areas, traffic sucks, and when you live in colorado who the hell wants to drive to the trails. I do not know your income bracket or the price range of house you are looking for but it sounds like you are doing the right thing by renting for a year and then buying a house. Get to know the town and the people. If you prefer the small bussiness to corporate america and a small older house with lots of trees and cool neighbors versus a big ass house with no landscaping that looks like your closest 500 neighbors, then make sure to check out downtown, the Southwest (closest to riding), manitou, and Old Colorado City.
Of course if you are moving here to be close to Focus on the Family then you should stay away from all the areas mentioned and move to the North East side and savor the traffic jams.
If you want primo riding, it's hard to go wrong.
I used to live in Black Forest, which is a few miles NE of town, but the
houses there are sweet (we had 5 acres for wat 1.5 costs me near Loveland).
And I managed to ride to Monument a few tmies to ride (though it's a ways).
One friend of mine lives near Palmer Park, and another lives near Cheyene
Canon, and both like the close trail proximiity.
Personally, I'd stay away from South East -- it's cheaper but not the most
desirable. (Apologies if some readers live there.)
And if you want liberal (and don't mind tourist traffic), try Manitou Springs. It's
close to the Entiman and Barr trails, and Entiman connects you with Cheyene
To quote one of fave commercials, "It's all good."