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Old 09-20-2015, 08:02 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,703 times
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Hello!

My wife, daughter, and I are moving from Minneapolis to the Denver area next month. We will be renting for a while as we look for a permanent home.

One area we've become very interested in for our long term landing spot is the near foothills - towns mentioned in the thread title. We're looking for some locals' opinions - what are the differences between each? Are there any, really?

-It looks like the schools are great in all four, so that is a wash.
-Home prices seem to be higher in Evergreen, but perhaps that is because Evergreen seems to be where most of the services (e.g. community center) are?
-One denser than the others? We're coming from the city proper in MN so the idea of our closest neighbors being an acre or two away is kinda depressing. We want to feel part of a community.
-What are the politics like? Democrat/Republican/Libertarian? We get a vibe of the latter two from pics we see inside homes for sale. We're in a pretty liberal area right now so swinging to the other end of the spectrum would be a culture shock.

Any other big considerations for living in that sort of setting? We're aware we'll have to get used to the grocery store or Target not being 5 minutes away. But the idea of living in the mountains is quite romantic!

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-20-2015, 09:47 AM
 
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On density (rounded): Evergreen 800 per square mile, Kittredge 700, Indian Hills 200, Conifer about 100.

Or put an average of 4 in a house and in Evergreen houses would be by straight math if perfectly evenly separated about 375 feet apart (but may range from far less to far more), Kittredge a bit more, Indian Hills about 750 feet, Conifer about 1,000 feet. Actual distances are probably 1/3rd less to account for unpopulated pockets and commercial land use.

If you want more living side by side community and more "liberals" maybe consider Golden. 1900 per sq. mi. (houses perhaps 100-150 ft. apart on average) and more liberal than the places you mentioned.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-20-2015 at 10:25 AM..
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Old 09-21-2015, 01:47 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 20 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,883 posts, read 29,313,834 times
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Where is work? What about mountain driving? You should add the town of Morrison to your list.
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Old 09-21-2015, 11:56 AM
 
Location: Evergreen, Colorado
650 posts, read 564,459 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MNtoCO View Post
Hello!

We're coming from the city proper in MN so the idea of our closest neighbors being an acre or two away is kinda depressing.
Having some space between neighbors is the very reason many of us move up here. Evergreen is more expensive but has the strongest community feel of the areas you mentioned, but I'm biased since I live here. There are several neighborhoods in north Evergreen that are built on 1/4 - 1/2 acre lots where your neighbors are quite close, if that's what you like.

Where you work is an important consideration since it's a 45 min drive to DT Denver in good weather.
Having lived 21 years in MSP I can testify you're moving to much milder winters.
Good Luck.
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Old 09-21-2015, 08:26 PM
 
Location: Colorado
51 posts, read 35,039 times
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I live in Bergen Park (Evergreen) 2 miles from I-70, a definite advantage if you work "down the long hill" in Denver area.

Here's what I think:
Evergreen: great open spaces for hiking and biking; some nice thrift shops and tea/coffee houses plus downtown which is very touristy. King Soopers, Walmarts, Walgreens, Home Depot, and Safeway are the main chains here. From wealthy to more reasonably priced homes.
Kittredge: residential area close to open space too and Bear Creek runs through town. Probably more affordable. It's my favorite drive in Colorado (from Morrison up to Evergreen on Rt 74)
Conifer: which in my opinion is Rt 285. Not romantic on the main route which has the chains I mentioned for Evergreen, restaurants, and a newer feel to it. Some nice open space too in that area, plus 285 is the route too points south for hiking and other outdoors activities.

I am not sure about politics. I do not discuss this. But churches are a mix of all religions and "new thought" churches; there's yoga; there's cowboy type activities; blue grass and other concerts; mostly though there's great community activities, especially in Evergreen: fundraisers for locals who have cancer or other needs, for firefighters, for the arts, for hospice... Almost every weekend, there's a fundraiser or event happening in Evergreen. It does not mean you have to live there though to enjoy it. All the other areas that you are considering are close by.

People seem very friendly and caring to me.
Some people have concerns with the wildlife and the local paper just ran an article on how not to attract bears. There are elk, deer, bear (I have not seen), and mountain lions (I have not seen). If you take precautions, they won't be a problem IMO.

One point: you really want good winter vehicle and tires if you live here. Folks I know moved "down the hill" to Denver area because the commute in the winter is hard and at times people are "stuck" where they live when the snows come. For me that is not too bad because I have open space nearby. But it is always a worry in the winter; I-70 can be bad and 285 is not better. If you are commuting to Denver, it's good to take the bus.. takes the worry away. The bus goes through both Conifer and Evergreen. But it is a shorter (less than 1 hour commute) from Evergreen to downtown Denver.

Hope that helps.

Annie

PS: I have considered moving to MN to be close to the lakes!
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Old 09-22-2015, 02:00 PM
 
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Thank you all for your replies so far!

Maybe the "neighborhood" question comes down to this: how much interaction with neighbors is common? Here's an example for our current street:

Pulling up to the house after work we see the neighbors out in the front yard with their kids. We pull the babe out of the car and end up sitting with them for half an hour while the kids play.

I realize that this is VERY neighbor and street dependent, but does this happen or do people want the larger lots specifically for the privacy?

Similarly, when you all moved to the area how did you meet people? We're just worried that coming from out of state with no support base we'll end up not making connections. Maybe that's just our bias coming from MN, where if you didn't go to high school with someone you will never break in to their inner circle.
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Old 09-22-2015, 10:33 PM
 
Location: Evergreen
397 posts, read 588,689 times
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I have lived in Evergreen for the past 7 years after moving here from NYC with my husband and three young (at the time) kids. There is very much a neighborhood/community feel in this town. Our house is on 6 acres, but it is adjacent to a neighborhood that has a few hundred homes on 2 acre lots. My boys are able to bike to their friends houses from our house. You see people out walking their kids and dogs, at the school bus stop, getting their mail, etc. The neighborhood that I live in has social events such as a Easter Egg Hunt, Happy Hour on Thursday evenings in the summer at the neighborhood ball field, family picnics, progressive dinners, etc.

There's also book clubs, Bunco groups, Meet-ups, moms groups, and tons of other ways to meet people. If you want to be social and meet people, there is no lack of ways to do so. On the contrary, if you want to be a homebody, no one will bother you. It's a very "live and let live" type of place to reside.

I've found the political make up to be 50:50. We moved here on Election Day in 2008 and there were lawn signs everywhere in South Evergreen pretty much split down the middle.

Evergreen, Conifer, and mountain Morrison are more of a mountain suburban style. Kittredge and Indian Hills are less suburban and have a more rural feel to them with the exception of a few pocket neighborhoods like Sunset Ridge in Kittredge.
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
29 posts, read 28,963 times
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As noted by some of the above posters, my experience is that lot size has very little to do with feeling a sense of community. I grew up in an area of WI where 1 acre lots were the minimum in our subdivision. My neighbors were exactly like Wilson for those familiar with the show "Home Improvement," being almost an extension of my own family. When I lived in Silicon Valley, I shared walls with 3 other families in a condo development which was intermixed with single family homes that were essentially on top of each other. No sense of community in this neighborhood. In my humble opinion, a workaholic culture (folks aren't home) combined with the fact that people are constantly moving leads to this environment. Everyone is from somewhere else, and they don't bother to get to know folks or become part of the community because they will just move in a year or two anyways.

I now live up in the foothills (Coal Creek Canyon), and it is very similar to the neighborhood I grew up in. No one is forced to live up here so there is a sense of pride and community that I haven't seen in other areas. That said, CCC is more rugged and rural than areas such as Evergreen so it would probably be a shock expecting a typical suburb and not the best fit. But to answer your other questions anyways:

Politics - I don't talk politics and nobody else seems to. I have never seen a sign in anyone's yard. Seems anything that raises taxes gets voted down. CCC is unincorporated so generally low taxes; no HOAs in my area.

Meeting people - If you are into the outdoors, there is a group going hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc regularly.

Other things to consider: Winter driving - salt is not used on the roads like in the Midwest. Combine this with steep grades and having the right tires becomes very important. Commute in winter is something to consider when looking at overall quality of life.

Last edited by livethedream3; 09-23-2015 at 09:56 PM..
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Old 09-23-2015, 09:59 PM
 
44 posts, read 37,504 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annie_CO View Post
I live in Bergen Park (Evergreen) 2 miles from I-70, a definite advantage if you work "down the long hill" in Denver area.


One point: you really want good winter vehicle and tires if you live here. Folks I know moved "down the hill" to Denver area because the commute in the winter is hard and at times people are "stuck" where they live when the snows come. For me that is not too bad because I have open space nearby. But it is always a worry in the winter; I-70 can be bad and 285 is not better. If you are commuting to Denver, it's good to take the bus.. takes the worry away. The bus goes through both Conifer and Evergreen. But it is a shorter (less than 1 hour commute) from Evergreen to downtown Denver.
There is a bus that goes from the foothills to the city? Is it reliable? I'm coming from a place where public transit is useless, so this would be new for me!

Also, what is a good winter vehicle? I currently own a Wrangler.
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Old 09-24-2015, 04:57 AM
 
3 posts, read 3,703 times
Reputation: 15
As a follow up to October's questions: are tires enough our 4wd/awd required? If we put some serious snow tires on a fwd sedan will that be ok 90% of the time?

We're coming from MN so no strangers to snowy and icy roads but the more rural windy and hilly setting would be something new. We're hoping we can get away with one awd for me to commute in and then a fwd sedan for my wife, who is home with our daughter so typically wouldn't have to go anywhere urgently after a big snow.
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