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Old 03-09-2007, 01:10 PM
 
87 posts, read 366,158 times
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Hi there,
We are researching our next move and have the Denver/Colorado Springs area on our short list due to job availability. I have been to Denver on business trips before so my experience is limited to the airport, the inside of my rental car, the inside of the hotel and the inside of the stores I was visiting lol.

We have small children and we are looking for an area that has an artsy and maybe laid back feel to it- someplace not too conservative but still family oriented. We prefer areas that have large lots- not really into the urban city scene so suburbs are good for us.

We would be looking probably at employment in 3 areas: Boulder, Colorado Springs and Denver. We don't mind a 20 minute commute. Any help is appreciated. Oh and we don't have a price range yet but I would think we would want a large single family home under 330k? Haven't really researched housing there yet as I am trying to narrow it down to a few areas first.

Thanks!
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:11 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,512,833 times
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My best guess is somewhere in Boulder county: Longmont, Louisville, or Lafayette. Boulder county is fairly lefty and artsy, though most of the latter is in Boulder itself.

You may not find what you're looking for. Let's face it, suburbs are bland and most certainly not "artsy", and this is by design -- if nothing else no HOA would allow anything remotely "artsy" in the neighborhood.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:29 PM
 
87 posts, read 366,158 times
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Default Thanks for the leads.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
My best guess is somewhere in Boulder county: Longmont, Louisville, or Lafayette. Boulder county is fairly lefty and artsy, though most of the latter is in Boulder itself.

You may not find what you're looking for. Let's face it, suburbs are bland and most certainly not "artsy", and this is by design -- if nothing else no HOA would allow anything remotely "artsy" in the neighborhood.
I think I should clarify that I just want to be in an artsy/lefty area in general- like have that type of area be where I would go to shop/eat etc. I am willing to accept that my home may be in a cookie cutter area if it has to be to get a big house for not a ton of money. I come from the land of HOA (Southern California) and I hate it. Is it super common around there too? I am in PA now and we don't actually have a lot of HOA here so its been quite nice.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:43 PM
 
Location: Denver
1,082 posts, read 4,213,046 times
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I live in urban denver and have friends in the burbs. I have been here most of my adult life (since 1971 except 4 yrs in Illinois).

What you want is a) contradictory esp in Colorado and b) going to be more expensive than you think. Nobody out here is anything other than religious & conservative except in urban areas, Telluride, Pueblo, Trinidad.

A 20 minute commute is quite short out here and gas is expensive, esp in the summer. I live 3 miles from downtown and it takes 10 minutes. Most suburban commutes in Denver are are 30 minutes easy; Colo sprgs is smaller (I lived there too) but more congested and the wages are lower. Boulder is the most expensive, I don't know how anyone could afford it. They have one light rail line from the south to downtown.

Alot of younger families are buying new homes out in Adams county (NE) (Thornton, Commerce City, etc) and personally I think the "large lot" "large house" suburban expansion of the last two decades is ruining the city and the state and the country for that matter.

You can find larger lots in town; Park Hill in the northeast part of the city is very nice and traditionally less conservative part of the urban area. A double lot is huge, but expensive. City of Denver proper lots are standard 6,000 sf and 50 ft wide. Also, Denver has housing built in a very few decades: we have a house built in 1985 and it took us 8 months to find it. The western suburbs also have nice areas which are more affordable: Wheatridge, Arvada, etc.

C. Springs has a very small non-conservative core group of liberals and a very nice downtown and a good arts community, but mostly the majority of people are very conservative and religious and racist. I did not hang out with my neighbors down there. Also, it's a long way from the mountains mostly. My outdoors husband hated it there.

If your children are in public schools you should look at the Piton foundation website which gives school data and pick an area with the best schools you can afford, which coming from the midwest, I think the state's system here is terrible but maybe that is just everywhere now.

Colorado is OK if you love camping, hiking, etc and eating out in restaurants but really it is not for everyone.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:45 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 11,512,833 times
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HOAs here are nearly universal in suburban neighborhoods from the last 20 years or so, sadly. I hate them too.

I still think Boulder county is your best bet. Most of the towns I mentioned are populated by Boulder-ites who had kids, outgrew their places in Boulder, and moved out a little bit to the suburbs but still wanted to be close to the culture in Boulder. I think it sounds like what you're looking for.
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Old 03-09-2007, 02:56 PM
 
87 posts, read 366,158 times
Reputation: 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
HOAs here are nearly universal in suburban neighborhoods from the last 20 years or so, sadly. I hate them too.

I still think Boulder county is your best bet. Most of the towns I mentioned are populated by Boulder-ites who had kids, outgrew their places in Boulder, and moved out a little bit to the suburbs but still wanted to be close to the culture in Boulder. I think it sounds like what you're looking for.
I will check it out, thanks very much. I do remember driving around that general area when I was there a few years ago and liking it very much.
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Old Forge, NY
585 posts, read 1,949,825 times
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Don't forget about the Loveland/Fort Collins area. Both towns have a solid art community, are laid back, middle of the road politics-wise, and low in crime.
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Old 03-09-2007, 03:20 PM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,139,178 times
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Sounds like "colorado dreaming" to me, depending upon what you mean by a large family home ... if your budget is only $350K.

"artsy" is Boulder or similar places with highly inflated housing prices. Even on the outskirts of Boulder, say Erie ... it's more than 20 minutes away at traffic "rush hour".

Virtually every subdivision built after 1976 in Colorado ... when the subdivision laws got updated ... has a HOA. Some are more active/restrictive than others, but all have the potential to be a real PIA.
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Old 03-09-2007, 04:26 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,962 posts, read 98,795,031 times
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Large houses are common here; large lots are not. Most lots are less than 10,000 sq ft (~1/4 acre); sometimes half that. In many communities, the minimum lot size has become the maximum. 5 foot side yards are common in many neighborhoods. The newer houses have even smaller lots. Louisville, near Boulder, is not terribly artsy, but does have community theater, an arts center, an arts council, art shows a couple times a year, etc. A 2500 sq foot house in Louisville will cost ~$500K. Louisville is in Boulder County. Niwot, also in BC, has a little artsy downtown and large homes with larger lots. Communte from there to Boulder would be about 20 min. Homes are expensive there. Commute from Boulder to Denver is 45 min to an hour in good traffic.
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Old 03-09-2007, 06:35 PM
 
87 posts, read 366,158 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks for all the great info. We were looking so low on the price range because we want to avoid being house poor. I am seeing now that most of the homes we really like are in the 400-500 range- not much different than what we left in SoCal a few years ago. I would be willing to buy a home that expensive again if the job is right so we'll see what happens. Thanks everyone!
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