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Old 03-29-2009, 10:21 PM
 
21 posts, read 79,203 times
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We're considering a move from Portland to the Denver area. We love Portland but my hubby can't stand the gloom, he grew up in California and we lived there for many years before moving north.

We have two small kids so schools are a big issue, but I also want an open-minded community to raise our kids in. I know some inner-city neighborhoods probably have the right vibe, but I'm wondering about the suburbs. We don't mind brand new houses. We like Boulder but wonder with housing prices if we're just as well to go back to California (not what I want, he wants sun, I want seasons). Don't know about commuting, might be self-employed and just need to get to the airport now and then, or might have to get a job.

Thoughts anyone? We're lost!
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:30 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmsegal View Post
We're considering a move from Portland to the Denver area. We love Portland but my hubby can't stand the gloom, he grew up in California and we lived there for many years before moving north.

We have two small kids so schools are a big issue, but I also want an open-minded community to raise our kids in. I know some inner-city neighborhoods probably have the right vibe, but I'm wondering about the suburbs. We don't mind brand new houses. We like Boulder but wonder with housing prices if we're just as well to go back to California (not what I want, he wants sun, I want seasons). Don't know about commuting, might be self-employed and just need to get to the airport now and then, or might have to get a job.

Thoughts anyone? We're lost!
Despite what you may have heard, Boulder's housing prices are nowehre near as high as California's. It's a little far from the airport, about 50 miles, f you need to go there (DIA) very often.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:35 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,464,638 times
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I imagine that Stapleton is progressive/liberal. Not truly a suburb by modern standards, but family oriented community to some degree.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,292,270 times
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I'd suggest checking out Stpleton - we're only 6 - 7 miles from the middle of downtown, very progressive people, good public schools, and very social. It's a New Urbanism development where the old airport was located. Houses are on small lots, traditional architecture with garages in back, and lots of parks, trails, playgrounds, three pools, soon to be a library and another town center is on its way. Housing prices vary, but an average 3 bdr. 3 bath, double garage detatched house would be around $400K to $450K.
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Old 03-30-2009, 08:50 AM
 
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Thanks for the Stapleton suggestion, hadn't heard of it. We're not necessarily wedded to the suburbs, we actually like urban but my husband is into new houses lately and we're into our kids being in a really safe neighborhood, so perhaps that means suburbs? We'd like a good size house, 3000-4000 sq ft. Don't know exactly how much we'd be able to spend since it depends on work. I have also heard good things about Bloomfield, would that generally be a conservative suburb? Do southern suburbs like Highlands Ranch tend to be red state places (I know it varies obviously but trying to get a general feel).
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:00 AM
Status: "Summer!" (set 21 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
87,011 posts, read 102,621,396 times
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I think you mean Broomfield, not Bloomfield. Broomfield might be a good choice for you if you need decent access to DIA. You'd be 15-20 min closer than if you lived in Boulder. I don't know if I'd call Broomfield particularly conservative, probably more middle of the road than anything, though they do have a very conservative state rep there (Shawn Mitchell). However, Shawn is personally a nice guy and I think that helps. Highlands Ranch is probably more conservative.
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Old 03-30-2009, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,292,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nmsegal View Post
Thanks for the Stapleton suggestion, hadn't heard of it. We're not necessarily wedded to the suburbs, we actually like urban but my husband is into new houses lately and we're into our kids being in a really safe neighborhood, so perhaps that means suburbs? We'd like a good size house, 3000-4000 sq ft. Don't know exactly how much we'd be able to spend since it depends on work. I have also heard good things about Bloomfield, would that generally be a conservative suburb? Do southern suburbs like Highlands Ranch tend to be red state places (I know it varies obviously but trying to get a general feel).
Highlands Ranch tends to be the most conservative part of the metro area. Stapleton's a bit pricy, compared to HR and other further-out 'burbs. I'd say Stapleton tends to be around $250 per square foot right now, but many houses have finished basements that are very nice with high ceilings. We have 2100 sq. feet plus another 800 finished basement, and it would sell in the low to mid $500Ks, I believe.

Stapleton is very convenient to downtown (I know several people who bike to work downtown) but not very convenient to the Denver Tech Center - that commute is around 30 - 45 minutes to the DTC.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:24 AM
 
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You might have a look at my neighborhood, Bradburn Village in Westminster. Is on the border of Westminster and Broomfield. Is a new urbanist neighborhood (walkable/mixed-use/higher density/more of an "urban" vibe in the suburbs). Has its own downtown with shops and restaurants and is walking distance to the organic grocer, Sprouts (which ROCKS!).

20 minute drive to Boulder, 30 minutes to downtown Denver. All new homes with resales and new homes still being built. Smaller yards but lots of great parks and seriously SWARMING with kids (most under 10). Excellent schools. Neighborhood is super, super social like a small village so if you don't want to know your neighbors, not a good fit. Super safe (also helps that everyone know each other for that aspect).

We have a mix of people. Generally I would say liberal in that people are very live and let live here regardless of their leanings and generally super friendly. Your kids will have tons of playmates. Lots of work at home and stay at home parents.

House in 3000-4000 sq foot range brand new from New Town Builders or McStain would range from $500-700, a custom house in that size would range from $650-900. Architecture is neo traditional styles (craftsman, farmhouse, victorian, prairie).

Broomfield also is a good idea, very nice city, very safe with good schools, very suburban and car dependant for the most part though.

I do also love Stapleton but is very large (less of a "cozy neighborhood" feel) and I know there's some debate about the quality of the schools (they seem good to me but overcrowded I hear), and the neigborhoods surrounding Stapleton (they are a bit on the run down side) but I wouldn't heasitate to live there myself, I don't consider really anywhere in or around Denver to be truly unsafe (unlike other cities).

I should also say, love Boulder, great town, totally fun and sometimes kooky (which is what I like about it), good schools. Prices are a lot higher however than the surrounding areas (Superior/Louisville/Broomfield/Westminster/Longmont), although not CA levels by all accounts. One thing to consider is commuting though, if you can't find employment in Boulder itself is a bit of a commute to downtown or other parts of the metro area and farther to the airport.

I do think our climate is ideal for what you guys are looking for. I honestly think Denver has the best climate overall in the U.S. (with the exception of some parts of CA, seriously, you can't beat San Diego for that). We have all 4 seasons (usually LOL), tons of sunshine, mild winters compared to most places that have actual winters, and our summers are bliss--not too hot but hot enough on some days to go swimming. One thing that people moving here though often complain about is the lack of green, Denver is a semi-arid climate and an ecosystem of shortgrass prairie. There is some tree canopy in the older parts of Denver and Boulder but nothing like the parts of the US that get more precipitation (we get on average 14 inches total a year, deserts by comparison get 7). I personally like that because I like the big sky and coming from Phoenix originally I think CO is very green, but it's a matter of perspective LOL.

Last edited by Bradburn1; 03-30-2009 at 10:45 AM..
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Old 03-30-2009, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,292,270 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradburn1 View Post
You might have a look at my neighborhood, Bradburn Village in Westminster. Is on the border of Westminster and Broomfield. Is a new urbanist neighborhood (walkable/mixed-use/higher density/more of an "urban" vibe in the suburbs). Has its own downtown with shops and restaurants and is walking distance to the organic grocer, Sprouts (which ROCKS!).

20 minute drive to Boulder, 30 minutes to downtown Denver. All new homes with resales and new homes still being built. Smaller yards but lots of great parks and seriously SWARMING with kids (most under 10). Excellent schools. Neighborhood is super, super social like a small village so if you don't want to know your neighbors, not a good fit. Super safe (also helps that everyone know each other for that aspect).

We have a mix of people. Generally I would say liberal in that people are very live and let live here regardless of their leanings and generally super friendly. Your kids will have tons of playmates. Lots of work at home and stay at home parents.

House in 3000-4000 sq foot range brand new from New Town Builders or McStain would range from $500-700, a custom house in that size would range from $650-900. Architecture is neo traditional styles (craftsman, farmhouse, victorian, prairie).

Broomfield also is a good idea, very nice city, very safe with good schools, very suburban and car dependant for the most part though.

I do also love Stapleton but is very large (less of a "cozy neighborhood" feel) and I know there's some debate about the quality of the schools (they seem good to me but overcrowded I hear), and the neigborhoods surrounding Stapleton (they are a bit on the run down side) but I wouldn't heasitate to live there myself, I don't consider really anywhere in or around Denver to be truly unsafe (unlike other cities).

I should also say, love Boulder, great town, totally fun and sometimes kooky (which is what I like about it), good schools. Prices are a lot higher however than the surrounding areas (Superior/Louisville/Broomfield/Westminster/Longmont), although not CA levels by all accounts. One thing to consider is commuting though, if you can't find employment in Boulder itself is a bit of a commute to downtown or other parts of the metro area and farther to the airport.

I do think our climate is ideal for what you guys are looking for. I honestly think Denver has the best climate overall in the U.S. (with the exception of some parts of CA, seriously, you can't beat San Diego for that). We have all 4 seasons (usually LOL), tons of sunshine, mild winters compared to most places that have actual winters, and our summers are bliss--not too hot but hot enough on some days to go swimming. One thing that people moving here though often complain about is the lack of green, Denver is a semi-arid climate and an ecosystem of shortgrass prairie. There is some tree canopy in the older parts of Denver and Boulder but nothing like the parts of the US that get more precipitation (we get on average 14 inches total a year, deserts by comparison get 7). I personally like that because I like the big sky and coming from Phoenix originally I think CO is very green, but it's a matter of perspective LOL.
I still keep meaning to check out Bradburn - I work in Thornton, so I could probably do it on a lunch break. Stapleton has school crowding issues - I think because there are too many kids at the same age levels. Supposedly another grade school is on its way.
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Old 03-30-2009, 12:59 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 4,608,316 times
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I guess it would be helpful to define progressive/liberal.

Do you mean areas who voted for Obama and the Democrats? Well, that would be nearly every one of Denver's suburbs.

Do you mean a place with a lot of racial diversity? According to the Denver Post on Sunday, that would be many of Denver's suburbs as well.

Colorado by and large is a fairly educated and tolerant place. Having lived all over the US and growing up in Seattle, you aren't going to find a place that is as "liberal" as Portland or Seattle. Legalizing doctor assisted suicides and pot just haven't quite gained the stronghold that it has in Portland.

That being said, while there are parts of Colorado that are very conservative, most of Colorado considers itself Democratic (whatever that means) and the fact that it attracts many outsiders with higher degrees means that social liberalism usually follows.

However, if you're looking for a place that declares a school trip and brings their elementary school kids to a gay marriage ceremony (a la San Francisco), or a place where people stand around and defecate on the US flag (a la Portland), you will need to find somewhere else to live.

Tolerance here is given to most, but those who like to call themselves "liberal" in order to act like morons and pretend to be the oh-so-intellectual class will find themselves pretty alienated. Most of us don't care what you do in your own house as long as it doesn't trickle into our subdivisions.
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