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Old 12-23-2008, 11:35 PM
 
19 posts, read 20,373 times
Reputation: 15

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My wife and I have two and four year old boys and are considering moving (currently in Evergreen). We're looking for:

-Good public schools
-Safe neighborhood where the kids can play with other kids and ride their bikes around
-Good sized yards & mature trees
-Ability to walk to school, park, and a town/neighborhood center (grocery, restaurant, etc)
-Pool community (less important than the others)
-Less than 30 minute commute to downtown Denver
-Less than $500k home that isn't a dump/fixer-upper

We've found a few areas (a few neighborhoods in Golden, some areas of Greenwood Village, Centennial and Littleton) with some of the above but not all and thought that the collective experience of the group could introduce us to areas we hadn't yet considered. Thanks in advance for your help.

Last edited by acousticbiker; 12-23-2008 at 11:53 PM..
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Old 12-24-2008, 01:25 AM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,433,071 times
Reputation: 1892
You can get some but not all in my experience(mostly searching southern suburbs in the sub 250k range, not too keen on the other suburbs).

Take Highlands Ranch for instance. My son is in elementary school and we targeted Northridge Elementary and the surrounding neighborhood. Good school, safe neighborhood(plenty of kids around and such), could walk to school/park/rec center(with pool) from the majority of the neighborhood surrounding the school, met our price range(sub 250k), commute to downtown seemed within that range(and there is a train terminal closeby that could take you there), and since that is an older part of HR you would have some of the more mature trees and stuff in the area on top of the open spaces having some. Missing was close stripmall/business center(more like a bikeride than a walk) and the lots seemed to be 4000-6000sqft or so if I recall correctly(been a while), but the corner lots seemed to be fairly generous compared to others. You also have many lots that back up to the open spaces, which gives a bit of extra value in the lot dept. Of course, other areas of Highlands Ranch are a bit newer or a bit more expensive and may offer different things, so I'm just speaking for the area that would attend Northridge Elementary

We looked at Littleton as well and it gave some bigger lots and still fit that price range, but the older neighborhoods seemed a tad run down and I didn't see nearly as many kids about as I did in HR.

We settled for HR and Parker considering our needs and desires(children in the neighborhood being a big point for us on top of respectable schools). Had a house ready to close but the deal fell through, so unfortunately we have to try again next summer after our school year ends.
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Old 12-24-2008, 07:23 AM
 
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Well my neighborhood, Bradburn Village in Westminster (north of downtown, off 120th between Federal and Sheridan) has all those things except the large yards and mature trees. We have a ton of neighborhood parks, HUGE open space to our south (great for biking/running/walking), a wonderful pool (open from Memorial day to Labor day like most), and you can walk to just about anything--restaurants (at least 10 in 5-10 minute walking distance), bars (3 in walking distance), stores (at least 20), a brand new organic grocery store (Sprouts, it ROCKS!). We have our own "downtown" neighborhood center which is a still being built but right now has five buildings with two more on the way this year (and quite a few more planned for the future but the economy has slowed development as you can imagine). Neighborhood center includes 6 restaurants, an Irish pub, a daycare/preschool, a dentist, a chiropractor, a salon, cute boutique store, and an art gallery.

Neighborhood is lousy with kids running around (mostly kids under 10), riding bikes, playing in the parks,--they are everywhere. Neighborhood is super, super social like a small town where everyone knows each other, so if you don't want to know and/or speak to your neighbors, might not be a good fit. Houses are close together with smaller yards which bothers some people but I personally love it--I like my neighbors very much and like seeing them often and don't spend money and time maintaining a huge yard/lawn when I could be doing other things (although I have a large garden on my lot but no lawn).

Schools are excellent, all of them (elementary, middle, and high school) were rated "high" on the 2007-2008 school accountability ratings that just came out. In addition there is a K-12 charter school in easy walking distance on the neighborhood's east side. Houses: for resales you can get 4 bed room 3 bath 2400 sq feet for around $380-430 (houses all built in the last 5 years). New homes still being built in your price range by New Town builders and McStain range from 2000-3000 sq feet--some awesome deals right now because of the awful housing market.

Commute to downtown off rush hour is 20 minutes, rush hour is 30-40, many people here who work downtown hop the bus from one of our great park n rides (most of the people living here were attracted by the not having to drive/walkable aspect), bus to downtown in rush hour is 30-40 minutes.

You might also have a look at Stapleton in Denver which is similar but much larger and your money will not go as far housing wise. Older neighborhoods that might fit the bill, Bonnie Brae comes to mind.

Last edited by Bradburn1; 12-24-2008 at 08:32 AM..
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:15 PM
 
43 posts, read 102,649 times
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Why are you moving from Evergreen? I thought it all of the things you are looking for are there (we are looking there to find many of the things on your list)!
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Old 02-01-2009, 06:43 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 2 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,915 posts, read 102,377,003 times
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If you're willing to drive another 5-10 min, you might try Louisville. There are a few neighborhoods with community pools, and there are two public pools, one outdoor and one indoor at the rec center. It meets all your other criteria.
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Old 02-01-2009, 09:28 PM
 
1,176 posts, read 4,037,203 times
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Funny that you desrcribe urban core areas yet have only looked at exurban areas (as have all of the responders).

Want to lose a lot of money fast? Buy as far away from the city of Denver for the next 10 years. The further out, the more you will lose.
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:09 PM
 
19 posts, read 20,373 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by LEDFuller View Post
Why are you moving from Evergreen? I thought it all of the things you are looking for are there (we are looking there to find many of the things on your list)!
'Good public schools' Y
'Safe neighborhood where the kids can play with other kids and ride their bikes around' Y (safe) & N (too hilly for little kids to ride bikes around)
'Good sized yards & mature trees' Maybe (good sized but too hilly to be functional in general)
'Ability to walk to school, park, and a town/neighborhood center (grocery, restaurant, etc)' N
'Pool community (less important than the others)' N (for less than $500k that isn't a dump)
'Less than 30 minute commute to downtown Denver' N
'Less than $500k home that isn't a dump/fixer-upper' Maybe
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Old 02-02-2009, 08:25 PM
 
19 posts, read 20,373 times
Reputation: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveindenver View Post
Funny that you desrcribe urban core areas yet have only looked at exurban areas (as have all of the responders).

Want to lose a lot of money fast? Buy as far away from the city of Denver for the next 10 years. The further out, the more you will lose.
Respectfully, I don't think I'm describing urban core areas when I am looking for good schools, pool community and price. Thanks for your advice about losing money, but my decision isn't based on investment potential but quality of life.
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