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Old 11-07-2015, 12:07 AM
 
6 posts, read 4,638 times
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My husband and I are moving back to Colorado after hopping around the country a bunch for various jobs. We've still got friends in the area and we've never found any place we like more, but the Denver Metro area has changed a lot since we last lived in the city. I've talked to friends and scoured this board, and here's what I've come up with so far.

About us:

- We are both entrepreneurs and will be working from home, so no commute.
- House and yard size are important, we've got two big dogs and like to live outside when the weather is nice.
- We are very outdoorsy, so access to skiing/hiking/camping is important.
- We are semi-liberal and not at all religious, so I don't want to end up in a church-focused community.
- We plan on having kids pretty immediately after we move, so young family life is top priority.
- I'd like to be close to a high end shopping area and a Whole Foods if at all possible. Good restaurants are also a big plus.
- Our aesthetic taste is very non-Colorado, so we will most likely be buying a new house rather than a resell that we would have to remodel.
- Our friends are all over, mostly Evergreen, Boulder, Littleton, Denver, and Co Springs.
- Budget is $500-600k. I'd like to get 2500 sq feet or so for that.


Locations we're considering so far:

Lakewood
Solterra neighborhood looks nice, I've heard some weird things about the soils but isn't that a problem all along the front range? More established area than some of the others, could be good for restaurant and shopping options. Really great median location close-ish to all of our friends and easy access to Summit County.

Littleton
Our friends in Littleton really love the area they're in. Pretty good location-wise, downtown Littleton is really nice.

Broomfield
Ten years ago I couldn't have even picked out Broomfield on a map, but it seems like it's grown up a lot. Lots of family stuff going on here and lots of new housing development. Our friends here with young kids rave about the community. Flatiron Crossing seems nice.

SE Aurora
Not in the greatest location for us, but I've heard the schools are fantastic here and it seems like you get a lot of house for your money in this part of town.

Parker
I lived in Highlands Ranch for part of the time I last spent in CO and I like the Parker area. Park Meadows is really nice and Parker seems to be a good place for young families with lots of new housing. It's quick to our friends in the Springs but further from pretty much everything else.


Castle Rock we have written off for distance and community type. Stapleton I go back and forth on for house/yard size and also the surrounding area. Doesn't seem like we can get anything there that we can't get elsewhere. I was looking at Candelas in Arvada until I found out what that area used to be.


Anything I'm missing? Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-07-2015, 03:26 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,953 posts, read 20,207,715 times
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Wheat Ridge.
Buy and renovate.
Large lots.
Convenient to city and mountains.

Northwest Arvada.
Inside boundaries of Ralston Valley High School.
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Old 11-07-2015, 05:35 AM
 
2,073 posts, read 1,813,809 times
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Do you want a new house or a house built in the last 10 years?
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Old 11-07-2015, 07:53 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,907 posts, read 6,501,326 times
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Thinking about construction costs, $600K for 2500 feet is $240 a square foot. We built custom a few years ago and for semi nice, but not fancy finishes, that's what we paid......but that didn't include the land. Just some food for thought.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:01 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,887 posts, read 29,317,265 times
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They are still building in Highlands Ranch, there's also Ken Caryl nothing new there, Roxborough, Arvada, Golden, Parker, etc. There is a new Children's Hospital in HR.

New Construction generally means smaller lots. Some folks that want large lots compromise and find one that backs to open space.

Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Sprouts are not normally located in the smaller/newer communities.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,892 posts, read 102,319,187 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
Wheat Ridge.
Buy and renovate.
Large lots.
Convenient to city and mountains.

Northwest Arvada.
Inside boundaries of Ralston Valley High School.
Wheat Ridge is one of the oldest, if not the oldest burb in terms of age of residents. Probably not the best place for someone with a young family.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:09 AM
 
2,514 posts, read 3,488,646 times
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Up in Broomfield the budget is too low by at least $200-$250K for a new home on a large (1/2 acre) lot. For $750K you could get a new home on a 1/3 acre lot at The Preserve at Mckay by Toll Brothers. And you would still have to put in the backyard landscaping, window coverings etc. so you are probably over $200K shy even for the 1/3rd acre.

Skydog, can't remember when you built your home but if it was a few years ago it would have been during the slump and costs would have really gone up since then?

Maybe SE Aurora has a better fit but for the metro areas I'm familiar with I'm coming up with a null set. However if you decide to go with an older home I think you will find some nice options, but probably not in an upscale shopping area, trendy restaurant, close to Whole Foods areas. However my definition of close and yours might be different.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:25 AM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,953 posts, read 20,207,715 times
Reputation: 22591
Default True, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by Katarina Witt View Post
Wheat Ridge is one of the oldest, if not the oldest burb in terms of age of residents. Probably not the best place for someone with a young family.
True, but a gurney takes someone away every day.
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Old 11-07-2015, 08:31 AM
 
77 posts, read 96,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
True, but a gurney takes someone away every day.
More true than you think. I'm not quite in Wheat Ridge but Applewood (so basically there), and there are four houses with children under 2 on my block alone, all recent purchases.
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Old 11-07-2015, 09:29 AM
 
6 posts, read 4,638 times
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Thanks for all the help so far. I should specify that we are coming from LA, so 'larger' yard to us means space for a patio and grass. I wouldn't know what to do with half an acre. I didn't even know there were places in the Denver Metro area where you could get that.

It looks like Broomfield, Lakewood, and Littleton all have really close access to a Whole Foods, and Parker is decently close to the one in Lone Tree. For shopping options, if I can get there in 15-20 minutes by car, I would call that close. We are talking about the suburbs, so I'm not expecting to walk to get groceries or anything.

Definitely don't want to go in to an older community. Having other young families around and relevant amenities is priority number one.

So far I've looked at Toll Brothers, Village, Shea, Oakwood, and a few other builders, and all of the communities I mentioned look like they've got houses around the 2500 sq ft mark that start with a base price in the $400s. Am I crazy to think I could add a lot and decent finishes to that for about $100k?

Last edited by maddaddam; 11-07-2015 at 09:40 AM..
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