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Old 07-12-2007, 02:19 AM
 
4 posts, read 23,540 times
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I am considering moving to Denver this coming spring and it looks like there are a lot of knowledgeable people posting here. I currently live in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains north of Pasadena, CA. I have a 1/4 acre lot backing up into open space/forest, but I'm longing for more privacy and a better quality of life away from the hordes, with more accessible outdoor activities. I grew up on a 80 acre farm in Wisconsin and I think living in L.A. for ten years is catching up with me.

I'd like to do some "down-shifting", so getting a decent newer or remodeled home in the 300K-400K range would be nice. I would like to have a good sized space (1-2 acres or smaller if private setting) with privacy and somewhat "gentle" slope--I have a dog and would like to get another one. I anticipate commuting into central Denver.

The areas near Conifer, Evergreen, Morrison, and Golden appear to be likely candidates based on their settings. The Evergreen, Morrison, and Conifer areas seem intertwined from the property searches I've done, so it's confusing. I like the idea of a smaller town type area, in good proximity to the city.

The average snowfall and elevation appear to vary widely in these areas. Will I be able to breathe in Conifer's 8000 ft level, and is Evergreen noticeably different at a few thousand feet lower?

With the high average snowfalls, I wonder if it is snowing daily, weekly, or dumping from time to time?

I read that they recently widened the 285 into a four-lane highway. Is this anticipated to make a significant difference in commute traffic/travel in snowy conditions?

There is also the question of commuting via the 70 or the 285. It seems that the 70 has more exposure to weekend traffic heading into the mountains, but perhaps better maintained during snowfall?

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:02 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,621 posts, read 9,107,160 times
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There are lots of different subdivisions at different altitudes in both Evergreen and Conifer. Most of what is considered Evergreen is closer to I-70 and Conifer is closer to 285.

As long as you don't have any respiratory problems, you will acclimate to the altitude within the first week or two.

I lived in Conifer for 5 years and commuted to Littleton down 285 before it was widened to 4 lanes. All of the roads that are school bus routes are cleared before rush hour even starts, and the highways are always driveable. There is the rare major storm (happened to me twice in 5 years) that closes the highways, but generally you will not have problems as long as you know how to drive in snow and occasionally ice.
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Old 07-12-2007, 01:35 PM
 
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Evergreen's elevation varies from about 7,000' to 8,500'. Golden and Morrison are right where the plains and foothills meet.

I live at 8,000' and my family had no problem getting used to the altitude. Between Evergreen and Conifer there is a lot to see with an abundance of different areas. Each area has something to offer and there is something for everyone. You really need to come on up and look for yourself, it isn't easy to get a feel for the area by just looking on the internet.

You will have no problem finding a house built on a 1-2 acre lot. The majority of houses are built on lots that size, it is a very common size. On average housing is more expensive in the foothills compared to living in the suburbs surrounding Denver.

The snow is usually very little (6-8" or less per snowfall) with the occasional big storm. Last snow season we had some real big storms (about 3) and I believe the yearly snow fall was twice as usual. I heard some of the storms ranked 5-7th largest ever. I never got snowed in. As a matter of fact I drove around Evergreen and to Denver the day of and after the storms. After snow throwing my driveway the county road was already plowed. They do a great job of plowing the roads in Evergreen.

I would suggest renting a place first. Living in the foothills is not for everyone.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:20 PM
 
4 posts, read 23,540 times
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Thanks to both of you that responded--good info. I will be visiting the area briefly before or after the rodeo in Cheyenne next weekend, but have planned a return trip in September. It's hard to get a good understanding of an area in a few days, but I will definitely get some idea of the area.

Have either of you been to the new "Town Center" in Conifer? Wondering what kind of impact that is having on the area.

Thanks!
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:30 PM
 
Location: NYC
62 posts, read 275,199 times
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Default NYer moving to Evergreen

We are moving to Evergreen in August. I am from NY and my boyfriend from CA. We knew we wanted to live in the foothills when we started looking but was unsure where. My boyfriend was pretty set on Golden but we found that the nicer homes with property were quite expensive and the other homes were nice but were in what I call tract housing.

We then looked in Evergreen since we did not want to go any further from Denver since that is where I will work, some of the areas there are expensive as well. Some of the houses are reasonable and amazing...some things we encountered that we were unaware of were: 1) awesome homes on dirt roads...which would be OK if you did not have to go to work everyday in the winter, 2) septic rather than public sewers and 3) well water rather than public. If you think you find a great deal and care about these things...check. I was also told that homes with well water have higher insurance I am not sure how true it is.

We also looked at homes in Morrison, Indian Hills,

We ended up with a home in the Evergreen/Kittredge area. The town of Kittredge you may also want to consider,

If you want the name of an awesome realtor email me. We did our search on the computer and he screened the homes, we saw about 40 homes in 3 days...when we were there.

Good Luck
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Old 07-13-2007, 01:44 PM
 
2,621 posts, read 2,023,746 times
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The dirt roads aren't a problem in winter if they are plowed. They do get muddy when the snow melts but your car is going to get real dirty just driving in winter anywhere you go.

If the dirt road is a county road and is in jefferson county it will be well cared for. The dirt road by my house is bladed very often to keep it nice and smooth. If the road gets a little bumpy then a phone call to the right person at Jefferson county and they are out here within a day or two fixing it. Most of the dirt roads are on the outskirts.

If the road is a private road then the maintenance is done by the home owners who live along the road. Something to keep in mind when looking.

If you buy a house with a well and/or septic, get it tested/inspected first. I haven't found living with a well/septic really any different then being on city water/sewer. The septic gets pumped every 3 years and I test the well water every year. The only difference is that if the power goes out then you have no water since you can't run the pump. I have a generator setup with a transfer switch wired up to the main panel. If the power goes out I just fire up the generator and I have all my main systems working. It is a real nice thing to have.

My insurance is very, very low and I have a well. I don't know if having a well matters, but having a wood burning stove for heat, older homes with shake roofs or being located a long distance from a fire station will definitely raise your rates a lot.

Lately, some insurance companies have been doing inspections of houses in the foothills to verify that the house has good access for fire engines and that the house has adequate defensible space around it with respect to trees. If your house doesn't then the insurance company recommends changes and if you don't do them they drop you. I haven't heard from my insurance company but I bought a new home so it has to have adequate defensible space in order to meet code etc....

Make sure your realtor works primarily in the foothills. There are all kinds of issues that you might have to deal with that you won't if you live down the hill.

If you are interested in Conifer and other communities (Pine/Bailey) along 285 you can go to Pinecam.com - An Electronic Community In The Colorado Rockies This is a local website with forums and you can read all about what the locals think of what is happening in Conifer. Some like it, some don't.

Good Luck!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxer View Post
We are moving to Evergreen in August. I am from NY and my boyfriend from CA. We knew we wanted to live in the foothills when we started looking but was unsure where. My boyfriend was pretty set on Golden but we found that the nicer homes with property were quite expensive and the other homes were nice but were in what I call tract housing.

We then looked in Evergreen since we did not want to go any further from Denver since that is where I will work, some of the areas there are expensive as well. Some of the houses are reasonable and amazing...some things we encountered that we were unaware of were: 1) awesome homes on dirt roads...which would be OK if you did not have to go to work everyday in the winter, 2) septic rather than public sewers and 3) well water rather than public. If you think you find a great deal and care about these things...check. I was also told that homes with well water have higher insurance I am not sure how true it is.

We also looked at homes in Morrison, Indian Hills,

We ended up with a home in the Evergreen/Kittredge area. The town of Kittredge you may also want to consider,

If you want the name of an awesome realtor email me. We did our search on the computer and he screened the homes, we saw about 40 homes in 3 days...when we were there.

Good Luck
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Old 08-02-2007, 03:30 PM
 
41 posts, read 140,543 times
Reputation: 14
Default Commute time to Downtown Denver?

For the evergreen/conifer area- does anyone know how long the commute time is? How much longer on a snow day?

I am trying to decide between this area or Castle Rock (which appears about 45 min to downtown) and commute time to work is a big factor
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Old 08-02-2007, 09:16 PM
 
2,621 posts, read 2,023,746 times
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Search some of my other posts, I have commented on commute times in the past.
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Old 08-03-2007, 08:32 AM
 
49 posts, read 199,084 times
Reputation: 22
here is alink to a former discussion. See last couple of posts.

What city has best access to kayaking, mountain biking, rafting and hiking?
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Old 08-05-2007, 06:27 PM
 
Location: South Carolina
73 posts, read 155,683 times
Reputation: 51
I grew up in Evergreen and currently reside in Conifer.

As for what area you may be looking for... a good determining factor is how much you want to spend and where (if at all) area you are commuting to in the Denver Metro area.

I personally LOVE Conifer over Evergreen these days. Here are the good, the bad and the ugly about both sides of town.

Evergreen- beautiful, has the lake which is the town hub, has a nice town, lots of great local shops, lots to do in the way of recreation as it has 2 rec centers and ez commute to Denver via I-70 (but runs very heavy with traffic). Downside... it's very expensive, a lot of newcomers that don't want to meld with mountain living... did I mention it's expensive?

Conifer- beautiful, lots of new shops so having to commute for a quick burger is no longer a problem, the people are very friendly and there are still a lot of old timers here, there is lots of open space and the chamber is coming into prime by planning great community events. The price ranges are more realistic and in most price ranges you can find something reasonable. IMO- the commute to Denver is 100 times easier than Evergreen. The downside is all the new shops as it's become more commercial (but we SO needed something more up here). Also, there is no real "hub" as in place that really pulls the community together.

Best wishes in your decision!
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