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Old 03-17-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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Hello
We are planning to move from LA to Colorado and would like to know which areas are the safest, family oriented and ideally close to nature and mountains. I am a nurse practitioner and would be able to find a job there relatively easy but not sure which areas I should start looking. We are also planning to purchase a home around 400 K. Any suggestion would be appreciated.Thank you
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Old 03-17-2010, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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We're going to need a few more details, for example:

1) Do you have a preferred area you want to move to: Front Range or Western Slope, Denver, Colorado Springs, Durango or somewhere much smaller?

2) Do you have children and will they need schools?

3) What kind of and what size property are you looking for?

4) Do you want to be close to amenities such as a major airport, all the usual chain stores (Target, Walmart, etc), a public library, restaurants?
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Old 03-17-2010, 05:11 PM
 
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I do not know any areas in Colorado so I can't answer your first question.
I am looking for a safe area with good schools and also where we can engage in outdoor activities, preferably with lots of parks and green spaces, so I think would either be Western or Frontal area. We would prefer a slightly larger city closer to shopping centers and access to basic services. I have a 4 year old son so good school district is important. We are looking for aprox 2000 sf house with a nice lot ( 8-15 thousand sf or larger) . I am thinking Denver suburbs but I do not know which of the suburbs would meet this criteria or if there are other similar areas in Colorado. Thank you
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:32 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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I think you need to make a trip out here if you don't know where you prefer to live. If you're not familiar with the different areas of Colorado (and there are many differences across the state in terms of culture, environment, politics, quality of life, cost of living, climate, activities, as well as employment opportunities) you really need to know what you're getting into and what you like. Even the different suburbs of Denver vary a lot.
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Old 03-18-2010, 11:19 AM
 
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And, rent before you buy. Many folks have made poor decisions, like the family with small children that bought in Evergreen. Lots of trips into the city for kids activities. RP
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:29 PM
 
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Check out Westminster, Louisville, Littleton, Broomfield, Golden, Castle Rock. Your price range is a little low for Boulder but if you can up it Boulder is worth looking into.
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Old 03-19-2010, 05:35 PM
 
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So you don't really mention why you are leaving CA, but I see you have a west LA zip. If you are looking for something completely different than CA, you aren't really going to find it in the Denver area. Broomfield can look a lot like Valencia. Boulder is like Santa Monica. Okay, they are differences obviously. But if you are picturing mountains and lakes and streams and humming a John Denver tune in your head . . . . that's not quite what the front range looks like.
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Old 03-19-2010, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Hermoso y tranquilo Panamá
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choosing78 View Post
Check out Westminster, Louisville, Littleton, Broomfield, Golden, Castle Rock. Your price range is a little low for Boulder but if you can up it Boulder is worth looking into.
I'm in Panama now, but I lived in CO for around 28 years and to the other poster, I mean no offense, but Boulder is nothing like Santa Monica. It's a charming city with the Flat Irons that are gorgeous and the school system is excellent. In fact my DS is at CU now. Has a lot to offer and with the Boulder Turnpike, you can get to Denver for other activities. It is pricier than other areas but in this market, who knows what gem you might find.

I actually had 2 houses, one in Summit County in the mountains (where my now ex is) and one in Westminster in Jefferson County that was maybe 4 blocks from Broomfield line. I could get to Boulder on 93? in 15-20 minutes and Louisville in 10 because that's where my office was (and is also a charming town). My house in Westminster was across from a resevoir and there were many in the area - also had wonderful mountain views. Hop on the Turnpike and be in downtown Denver in maybe 25 minutes.

Golden is also a good choice because being off I-70 it as well is close to Denver, but not right in it and is a quaint town, depending of course on your tastes. There are other towns further up the hill but like someone posted, I wouldn't suggest going as far as Evergreen.

Now Castle Rock never really rang my chimes but like another poster said, make a visit for yourself and just drive around and check out the areas. A Realtor can find you a house - but you need to visit and drive around to see which areas ring your chimes. Colorado is a diverse state and you can find beautiful areas to live where you can be close to the city and amenities, but not live right in it so you can have your open space, nature, etc.

But make a trip first and, if possible, find a rental and spend some time using it as a 'base camp'. Best of luck and it really is a great state. I just got tired of snow lol
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Old 03-19-2010, 07:54 PM
 
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Ok, here we go. As some of the other posters have mentioned, Colorado is a big place. From your second post, it sounds like you would be better suited for the Denver Suburbs, because (one) you mentioned it, and (two), it does provide most of what you say you want.

It will provide the greatest amount of work choices just because of its size. You mentioned being close to nature and the mountains. If you plan on taking advantage of the ski resorts, then Denver provides the best and quickest access via I-70. There are other nice places like Colorado Springs and Fort Collins but getting to the resorts would involve a much longer trip or fewer choices. Now if you just want to drive into the mountains and sit under a tree or hike around, then both of those choices would work. I mention them because housing prices are a little lower in both of those areas than in Denver.

You have a concern about safe areas, but as a generality, a $400K home in the Denver suburbs will put you in a safe area. Maybe not in Denver, because the City of Denver has higher home prices, but will work for you in the burbs. Also, another generality is communites that have a large percentage of higher priced homes will generally have good schools. That doesn't always mean the kids don't have problems, as that's the responsiblity of the parents.

One of the main areas for determining where you live, is where do you work. Not taking that into account, I would suggest western suburbs or Highlands Ranch. Jefferson County (western suburbs) and Highlands Ranch have great trail systems with lots of parks. Other communites also have them, but I'm zeroing in on these two for the sake of this conversation. If you plan on going to the mountains frequently, than you may not want to live on the east side of town as this could add an extra 45-60 minutes to your drive.

Just to mention a little about the western slope. Grand Junction would be your larges non-resort town. Resort towns are extremely expensive and the surrounding towns are a little cheaper, but that's where the locals have moved to as they got priced out of the towns they used to call home.
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Old 03-22-2010, 11:27 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,903,079 times
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There's a wide variety of places in Colorado. There's a lot of different ecosystems here, so you've got a big choice. Do you want to live in the desert, the mountains, the city, the foothills, the plains?

I think you'll need to narrow it down.
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