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Old 08-09-2012, 08:52 AM
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My family and I are planning to move back to Colorado in the next 18 months or so. We're thinking about either Denver or Colorado Springs because we have family in both cities, but we haven't ever lived in COS. Could anyone recommend nice neighborhoods in COS that are close to either Penrose or Memorial? Our budget is probably around 800-900K or so. We have two elementary age kids, so schools are very important to us.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:03 PM
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You want the Old North End Neighborhood (ONEN) and your budget should allow you just about anything in that area.

ONEN is adjacent to Penrose St Francis on N. Nevada Ave and not far from Memorial Main on Boulder St. It's also adjacent to the lovely Colorado College. You'd have very short drive to either, and if the job ends up being Penrose, might even be walkable or quick bicycle ride on mostly flat, safe streets.

The area is full of charming older homes on tree-lined streets and most of those homes are gorgeous. Streets running N-S, like Wood, Cascade, Tejon, Weber, Wahsatch, etc, are among the best ones to take a look at. Wood St might get some noise from I-25 (not sure) and Nevada is the main traffic arterial and will indeed have a lot of traffic and noise.

We've at least two regular posters on here who live in ONEN and I hope they fill in what I've overlooked.

ONEN is in D-11 and we've a D-11 teacher on here who can tell you about the schools serving ONEN.

The next two areas are about a 20-30 minute drive to either hospital.

Another area you want to consider is the Broadmoor area, which has excellent D-12 schools and some stunning homes.

Lastly, you might want to consider Pine Creek, on the far north side, which has excellent D-20 schools and almost-new homes overlooking Pine Creek Golf Course and with great views of Pikes Peak. The new Memorial Hospital-North is adjacent to this area, look at the Pine Creek Photo Tour or look for homes in zip 80920 on realtor.com if you wish.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 08-09-2012 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 08-09-2012, 02:58 PM
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I'm one of the two ONEN folks Mike's referring to (Holly, are you still the other?). I'll second everything Mike posted re: ONEN. I live on Wood Avenue exactly one block west of Penrose. My wife jokes (I hope) that when the big one hits, I can walk to the ER. It's a great older neighborhood with a wide variety of homes, most of which were built from about 1900-1930, with some in-fill mid-century homes sprinkled here and there. ONEN is bordered on the west by a large urban park (Monument Valley Park) that's great for biking, walking dogs, running, as well as softball, soccer, etc. Homes run the gamut of prices from mid-200's (if you can find one, for a small fixer upper bungalow) to $1M++. Two houses on my block have sold recently, one's in escrow (listed for 370K, and sold before the sign went up) and another for about 400K. Each is about 80 years old, charming, updated, and move-in ready. A completely and beautifully renovated bungalow on my street is currently for sale for about 530K. A beautiful home a few blocks down toward CC designed by Frank Lloyd's daughter in his style, is currently on the market for 450K (down from 500K, IMO a steal by the way; I'd love to own it). If you're looking for a restored bungalow, check out Anna Zook. She buys and restores primarily smaller bungalows in ONEN and sells them. The two I've seen that she's done sold for $320K and $365K or so. She does good work.

With your budget of 800-900K, you should have absolutely no problem finding a great house in ONEN. There are several fully restored homes in your bracket currently for sale in the neighborhood.

As for I-25 noise from Wood Ave, there is some, but it's just "white noise" and once you're here, after a short while you don't even notice it.

ONEN encompasses COS's historic district. The older homes were built during the gold rush era for those who made their fortune in mining or smelting (those are easy to spot; they're the mansions) and also for the burgeoning upper middle class of that time (doctors, lawyers, and gold rush related business owners). That's changed a bit, but the area is still desirable for the professionals in town, as well as faculty at Colorado College (which borders ONEN on the south side). Lots of kids and retirees as well, all mixed in together.

You need to understand that, as the historic district, you won't find the standard suburban box and you'll pay more for what a comparably sized house would sell for elsewhere in the 'burbs. However, if you're looking for an older, safe, established, historic neighborhood, as close to downtown and the college as you can possibly be, with loads of character, this is the place to be. And, you'll be within walking distance to Penrose.

Hope this helps. Any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:24 PM
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Thanks so much -- that's really helpful! We'll be heading out for a scouting trip soon, and we will definitely look around ONEN.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:28 PM
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Yup, still around (hi Carrera!)

Completely agree with everything said about the Old North End neighborhood. I love living here- just the other day I discovered port-a-potties right by the entrance to my alleyway and by the end of the evening the road was blocked off and a bouncy house came out and there was a block party there. I live seven blocks south from Penrose, and I used to live a half-block away.

One neat thing that Penrose did a year or two ago was a Healthy Neighborhood program. Penrose has made big efforts to be friendly to the neighborhood and do some initiatives.

Your price range will get you a historic home that is VERY well cared for.
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