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Old 10-20-2015, 07:13 PM
 
Location: Stapleton, CO, formerly Centennial
34 posts, read 27,406 times
Reputation: 32

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Hi there,
My husband is getting relocated to Denver, office in cherry creek area. We are getting the offer this week, so I don't know our cost of living change, but looking on zillow we are getting worried about finding a house. I have searched the forum about others moving from atlanta and particularly Littleton, but have questions about our specifics:
- haven't had our house hunt trip but online have looked mostly into HR, Parker, expensive in-town 'hoods (ruled out), Littleton, centennial and SE Aurora.
- don't know our offer but assume to spend what we spent here on a house, $485k
- we live in an affluent suburb, alpharetta, and our assigned pubic schools are all ranked 10/10. 1 child will be in K and the other is 1 y o. We plan to move over the new year to start school jan.
- we are sick of suburban Atlanta and the snobbish attitude of many we meet. We cannot walk to any restaurants and mostly around us are chains, with some exceptions. We are 30 min from atlanta and don't use our LR system bc it's a joke and doesn't reach our suburb. Before kids we lived in Atlanta and enjoyed the restaurants.
- our fave is Littleton bc we like the small town feel of the downtown with access to LR to go into Denver with our kids on the weekends, or even during the day since I'm now a SAHM.
1. We see little in our price range with a decent private yard, finished basement....not to mention we would love to be able to walk to one of the Littleton LR stations- is this completely unrealistic? Do houses go quickly?
2. IM afraid if we don't live walking distance to the downtown we may as well re-think Littleton bc it'll seem like any other of the suburbs I mentioned above - meaning we will be driving anywhere we go or parking at a LR when going on an outing. Is this true?
3. Our current schools are fed by nice 'hoods but also exclusive country clubs and this is somewhat of a turn-off to us. Thus we assumed Littleton seemed a bit more down to earth - correct?

I have so many more ?s but this is exceptionally long already- please help!
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Old 10-20-2015, 08:53 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,965 posts, read 20,238,281 times
Reputation: 22603
The most important aspect of greater Denver to know is: postal addresses, municipal boundaries, school districts are not the same. That is, Littleton (for example) does not mean what you think it does. Very complicated.

I would take a look at living within the boundary of http://media.dpsk12.org/boundarymaps/279.pdf
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:09 PM
 
285 posts, read 272,812 times
Reputation: 286
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
The most important aspect of greater Denver to know is: postal addresses, municipal boundaries, school districts are not the same. That is, Littleton (for example) does not mean what you think it does. Very complicated.

I would take a look at living within the boundary of http://media.dpsk12.org/boundarymaps/279.pdf
^^ Yes. In that regard, websites like zillow and redfin are your friend because for each listing, they already tell you which schools that property is zoned to. Of course, verify, but they're pretty accurate.
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Old 10-20-2015, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Denver
323 posts, read 428,747 times
Reputation: 270
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britgirlga View Post
- we are sick of suburban Atlanta and the snobbish attitude of many we meet. We cannot walk to any restaurants and mostly around us are chains, with some exceptions. We are 30 min from atlanta and don't use our LR system bc it's a joke and doesn't reach our suburb. Before kids we lived in Atlanta and enjoyed the restaurants.
- our fave is Littleton bc we like the small town feel of the downtown with access to LR to go into Denver with our kids on the weekends, or even during the day since I'm now a SAHM.
1. We see little in our price range with a decent private yard, finished basement....not to mention we would love to be able to walk to one of the Littleton LR stations- is this completely unrealistic? Do houses go quickly?
2. IM afraid if we don't live walking distance to the downtown we may as well re-think Littleton bc it'll seem like any other of the suburbs I mentioned above - meaning we will be driving anywhere we go or parking at a LR when going on an outing. Is this true?
3. Our current schools are fed by nice 'hoods but also exclusive country clubs and this is somewhat of a turn-off to us. Thus we assumed Littleton seemed a bit more down to earth - correct?
Not a lot of snobbery happening in Denver. This is a pretty laid back city overall. Littleton seems like a great option if you have completely ruled out Denver, where walkability is typically higher than the 'burbs.
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Old 10-21-2015, 07:02 AM
 
2,073 posts, read 1,817,517 times
Reputation: 1946
You are thinking about the right areas. The big difference is going to be the age and quality of the housing stock. Sadly, you won't get a new house with swim and tennis, 3 car garage, and .... , but what you will get is access to downtown and all the wonderful things like restaurants, the zoo, shopping, festivals, and .... Oh, and the traffic here is getting worse, but it's very minor compared to ATL.

When we moved from Roswell we ultimately decided on Boulder, but we almost moved to the South side of Denver. I really liked Homestead, Louis Lenke, Dry Creek, Cottonwood, Highplains, and any of the other good elementaries that are around the Denver Tech Center. They all have good middle schools and feed into Cherry Creek HS. I bet you can drive those neighborhoods and decide which one fits your family the best in just a couple of hours.

Good Luck! I think you are going to love Colorado!
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Stapleton, CO, formerly Centennial
34 posts, read 27,406 times
Reputation: 32
Thanks, Dave. We understand (using term loosely) the tricky borders and address nuances we are going to find from reading previous posts. Are you suggesting Littleton isn't the place to be or am I reading too much into it?

Brown dog, we live in a swim/tennis hood off kimball BR built in 95, johns creek schools. I think we have come to terms with the fact that our house will be older, much more carpet and less high-end finishes. We don't want to compromise too much on size, ours is 3500 sq ft, so we are looking for 3000+ Plus finished basement. I know I won't be playing tennis. Aren't these rec centers plentiful and I can take my kids there to swim? Are we correct in thinking downtown Littleton is comparable to downtown Roswell or crab apple? Is Parker comparable to Alpharetta? this is why we are thinking to avoid it. We moved here for the kids but don't enjoy ourselves.

I will have to check out the DTC area.
We do like the few homes we've seen that back up to undeveloped land. Most important to us is the schools, access to light rail (walking to at least one restaurant would be huge selling point) and then commute, hopefully ~30 min. We tried to look for suburbs that had a historical downtown to walk.
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Old 10-21-2015, 09:24 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 26 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,892 posts, read 29,338,995 times
Reputation: 7095
Look at Search homes for sale & rent in Denver and Colorado for listings. More complete listings and more accurate as far as availablity.

Draw a 10 mile radius of the work location and start there, go out if you have to. Cherry Creek is not serviced by light rail.

Avoid Colorado Blvd for a commute.

The city of Denver is more suburban than most other cities.

Finishing basements is not difficult. That way you get exactly what you want your basement to have.
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:00 AM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,492,513 times
Reputation: 5069
I think your requirements leave a null set.

Are you finding the schools for the homes within walking distance of downtown Littleton to be up to the standard your looking for? I just checked them and they weren't that well rated. Also I've never really thought the down town Littleton was that great. If you haven't visited yet you may find it isn't what you were hoping for. Don't get me wrong, it is OK for what it is but I wouldn't base a decision on house buying to be in walking distance proximity.

In terms of really great old style down towns south of Denver just doesn't have them. North of Denver, Lousiville, is the gold standard in the area. However it doesn't have rail and is a long commute to Cherry Creek.

One thing to consider is that you may be overestimating the house size you need. The weather in Denver is GREAT! You will not spend nearly the time indoors that you are used to in Atlanta. Your kids can play in the backyard all year long. You will cook and dine outdoors without the fear of bugs, humidity or heat. You will take them bike riding on the trails, you will be able to walk to dinner at a restaurant. I suggest prioritizing location over house size.

If walking to dining is a priority look at neighborhoods around Southglenn. You have to drive to light rail but lots of dining within walking distance. Also Goodson rec. center is close by. You are correct that the rec. centers and swimming opportunities are plentiful. You can also take advantage of ice skating.
Cherry Knolls is one such neighborhood. You have to search a bit to get something at your budget but here is an example of a home there to get you oriented to the area. The schools are well rated.
7003 S Columbine Way, Centennial, CO 80122 | Zillow

You may want to look at Heritage Place. This neighborhood has many homes that share a pool and tennis court. The kids walk to the elementary on greenbelts right in the neighborhood. You are across the street from the grocery and many restaurants can be walked to. You can walk to the light rail. Here is an example home. The schools are well rated.
6597 S Heritage Pl W, Centennial, CO 80111 | Zillow

Edit: Check out the property tax in Centennial. You may be able to afford more than you think because it is very low.

Last edited by mic111; 10-21-2015 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 10-21-2015, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Stapleton, CO, formerly Centennial
34 posts, read 27,406 times
Reputation: 32
Mic- thanks...you make some good points. Centennial is def a place we are searching for houses online too. Walking to light rail probably trumps walking to a restaurant. Both of those areas and houses make me feel a bit better.
I probably didn't know the state of the schools near DT Littleton bc there were no houses on zillow available, so I simply didn't look.
I imagined I would be stuck inside with my little one much of the winter due to the temperature. I guess I was wrong.
I'm sick of spending a lot of time in my car. Using the LR will be a nice change for all of us.
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Old 10-21-2015, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,912 posts, read 6,513,130 times
Reputation: 7360
Quote:
Originally Posted by Britgirlga View Post
Mic- thanks...you make some good points. Centennial is def a place we are searching for houses online too. Walking to light rail probably trumps walking to a restaurant. Both of those areas and houses make me feel a bit better.
I probably didn't know the state of the schools near DT Littleton bc there were no houses on zillow available, so I simply didn't look.
I imagined I would be stuck inside with my little one much of the winter due to the temperature. I guess I was wrong.
I'm sick of spending a lot of time in my car. Using the LR will be a nice change for all of us.
It is much more pleasant to be outside here than in Atlanta. We do get a few very cold snaps durning the winter, but for the most part, throw a coat on and you're good to go.
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