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Old 08-28-2007, 12:20 PM
371 posts, read 1,088,195 times
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Can someone tell me more about Denver (city proper).

We have two toddlers and want to be able to have a large yard and not feel like our neighbors (or passersby) can peek right into our house (privacy) so we've considered suburbs or rural areas, however, I love the thought of being walking distance to things like parks or even schools and the library. Having grown up in a NYC, it's hard for me to picture living IN a city and still having some room at home and some nature around you. Is the combination of these two things possible in Denver? Which neighborhods are considered safe and family-friendly?
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:38 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 7 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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First off, many of the suburbs offer what you want. In Louisville, for example, there is a small downtown with a library. Depending on exactly where one lives, it is possible to walk to the library and to one's school, at least for elementary and middle school. It is not the only suburb like that, either. Not all suburbs are the sterile, house-only places the stereotype suggests.

That said, yes there are some nice city neighborhoods for raising a family. Wash Park always comes up in these discussions, also Park Hill, the DU area and probably some others. Those more familiar with city life can tell you more.

You will not generally find very large yards anywhere in the metro area. I understand that down south there are some areas with larger lot sizes, but in general 1/4 acre is considered quite large.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 08-28-2007 at 12:38 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 08-28-2007, 12:43 PM
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Most of Denver and surrounding suburbs are very safe and family friendly. This is an amazing area for everyone. I can tell you all about my neighborhood. We picked this neighborhood mainly for the top rated schools within the Cherry Creek School District. I love to walk so I walk everywhere, the library is only 3 blocks from my house along with the Post Office. There's walking/biking trails all over here. I walk to the grocery stores and park and playgrounds and the neighborhood pool. Also there's a newer huge recreation center about 3/4 of a mile from my house. The neighborhood is about 10 years old, it's a very friendly place to live with lots of children, joggers, bikers and dog lovers. Probably cat lovers too but there are coyotes and fox, so cats are kept indoors. I am southeast suburbs.

If you want to live right in the city of Denver, Washington Park area is an awesome area about the same as my neighborhood only more expensive. My neighborhood ranges from $250,000's to high $400,000's. Living in a good city neighborhood, you will start in the $400,000's, $750,000's to a million will get you a beautiful remodeled older home in Wash Park. It's a beautiful neighborhood within walking distance of everything, especially the beautiful park.
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Old 08-28-2007, 01:24 PM
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Thank you for the suggestions and information - keep 'em coming.

I should add that we are hoping for a home in the 400k range (that hopefully doesn't need remodeling or too much fixing). We are also a biracial family and I'd like the kids to go to a school where they don't stand out like a sore thumb. I want a good school for them, but one that is socioeconomically diverse, not mostly families with $$, if that makes sense. Anyway, these are just sidenotes - mostly we want what everyone else wants - safety and community.

Please keep giving me ideas on neighborhoods to explore!
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Old 08-28-2007, 03:28 PM
Status: "On Break" (set 7 days ago)
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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We are also a biracial family and I'd like the kids to go to a school where they don't stand out like a sore thumb.
I think you'd do better in the city. There is little overt prejudice here, and a large Hispanic population everywhere including the suburbs, but more diversity in general in the city. In Louisville, where I live, for example, a bi-racial kid might be the only person of color in his/her classroom, especially in elementary school.
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Old 08-28-2007, 04:22 PM
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Highlands and all of North Denver is becoming more pretty family friendly. There's an organization called "Highland Mommies" which is VERY active with community organizations, playgroups, that sort of thing, they have literally hundreds of active members there and are even doing a pretty good job of arm-twisting at DPS. Highlands is kind of expensive these days -- used to be cheap, but it's become the trendy neighborhood de jour. I will say that Highlands schools are not the best -- they're bound to improve given the demographic changes but not quite yet.

DU and Platt Park are also pretty family friendly, probably with better schools than Highlands.

One of the better (if not the best) schools in DPS is Bromwell elementary -- the southern part of Congress Park, among other neighborhoods, is in this school area, which is worth considering. I tend to be partial to Cheesman and Congress Park areas, but I will say that these neighborhoods are less "family" territory than north Denver (highlands) or Wash Park or South Denver (Platt Park).
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Old 03-08-2010, 05:09 PM
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Park Hill is a definite consideration, given your criteria. Let me know if you want more info. Couldn't speak higher of the 'hood, amenities, diversity, schools, walkability, etc...
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:05 PM
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Originally Posted by Minier View Post
We are also a biracial family and I'd like the kids to go to a school where they don't stand out like a sore thumb.
Did you say where you'll be working? A lot of my advice will depend on where you'll be commuting to. I love my neighborhood but it's not one to live in if you're heading downtown every day.

We are in SE Aurora which we have found to be surprisingly diverse. The schools out here match the US demographics almost exactly (though we probably have more Indian and Middle Eastern families than is the "norm" in the majority of the US). There ARE a lot of caucasian kids (it's Colorado) but I can only speak for the people I know personally (including a good friend of my daughter's who is biracial) and her mom said they moved out here specifically because it had the right combination of excellent schools, low crime, affordability and her daughter not being the only non-white student among her classmates.

Cherry Creek School District is a great combination of middle class families, low crime and diversity. The school district has been recognized nationally as having a high rate of "academic growth" among Hispanic and Black students. Cherry Creek SD already has a very high graduation rate among it's students but I think it's especially telling to look at their minority students graduation rates (85% of Black students graduate in CCSD which is 30% higher than the state average!).

Bottom line...it's a great school district and if the boundaries are within a reasonable commute, you would do yourself and your family a huge favor by moving within this district. I am very involved in the goings-on not only at my kid's school but in the school district. I take the time to understand why school districts matter and have seen for myself how much effort it takes to have a good one if you're not in a wealthy area. There ARE some very expensive homes within our district, but most of us are firmly in the middle class definition, 2/3 of our schools are rated either Excellent or High and the students score over and over again well above the state and national average on whichever test is given that year to test student's knowledge. I think it says alot about the teachers and the district curriculum that as our school district continues to expand (it increased 40% over the last 10 years) the kids continue to perform well above standards. They're doing something right.
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Old 03-08-2010, 08:19 PM
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Have a look at my neighborhood, Bradburn Village in Westminster. I live here for exactly the reasons you stated. Love city living but wanted a small yard (I garden), wanted a new single family home that was larger than what I could get in the city proper for the same $$ (and no renovations), wanted access to open space, but also wanted the walkability and community that can be found in more urban neighborhoods (I can walk to a bunch of restaurants/bars/grocery story/services/open space/parks and the Westminster library), but I also wanted good schools. As you can imagine, this can be a difficult combination of things to find. Denver proper does have many city neighborhoods though that also have this, but generally they are more expensive than Bradburn and with less open space/parks and the schools can be hit and miss.

As far as the racial aspect, I have a bunch of neighbors with bi-racial families and no one bats an eye (as well as gay families for that matter ), and the elementary school is pretty diverse. The houses in here are closer together than a standard suburban subdivision, but there are lots that are larger with larger setbacks (although not like a standard large lot subdivision still). I don't know that you will find acreage with the walkability aspect in Denver for anything close to your price range--but not sure how much land you are talking about. Lots here run from 4,000-9,000 sq feet to give you an idea.

Neighborhood is super family friendly and filled with toddlers and elementary kiddos. Is very, very social like a small village-everyone knows each other. If you want so much privacy you don't want to ever talk to your neighbors though, it's not a good fit. Not sure about where you will be working, but Denver has lots of great neighborhoods all over, so you should be able to find something you like.

Good Luck!
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Old 10-15-2011, 05:29 PM
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Hi - moving to Denver. Husband just started job in tech area.
What neighborhood are you in?
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