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Old 02-23-2010, 04:18 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
301 posts, read 436,726 times
Reputation: 137

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Hi Kd,

The best way to check out the homes in those developments is to go to recolorado.com. That site lets you put in the name of the subdivision and gives you a list of all the houses that are available there. You don't even need to put in the city, just the subdivision. It will pull up all the developments with that name and then you'll be able to see the ones that are in Aurora/Centennial and get a sense of what the houses are like. You can also search by zip--the areas I mentioned are in 80015 and 80016.

The market here is slow, so you should be able to take your time and have your pick. Hope this helps!
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Old 02-23-2010, 06:19 PM
 
Location: South Metro Denver for 25 years
8,637 posts, read 19,153,218 times
Reputation: 4347
You can contact a local broker with an automatic search for properties that match. The ones on City Data have a house next to their screen name.

Then after looking at some properties online, you can fine tune your search to focus on the neighborhoods that best match your wants.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:13 AM
 
94 posts, read 152,281 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
I respectfully disagree.

When we started our househunt 2 years ago (and prices have dropped since then), we really didn't have a specific area we were targeting. Our first meeting with the realtor was just to "find us a 4-bedroom house within a 45 minute commute to DIA". That covers a lot of area. We were qualified for $480K. We showed up to our realtor's office and he had 35 properties that he had printed off on paper for us and an additional 50+ that he sent to us via e-mail. It encompassed nearly all of metro-Denver. $500K WILL buy you a decent, if not fabulous, home in Denver. It WON'T buy you a house in Cherry Creek (the area, not the school district), a fabulous house on a large piece of land, or a luxury mountain retreat, but it can and does stretch a long way in metro-Denver.
You don't live in Denver. You live 45 minutes from Denver and you failed to mention that if you want quick access to Denver you have to pay for it by driving on an expensive toll road or on congested backroads that make the tolls almost seem worth it.

If the poster is or was looking at that price range in Denver with the features requested my comment stands, 500k does not get you much. If he/she is willing to trade gasoline and time in a vehicle that money can buy quite a bit more.

My warnings about time to the mountains stand. Land is cheaper to the east and southeast/northeast of Denver. The trade-off is you have a house far away from Denver and most of the things people move to Denver for.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 3,129,874 times
Reputation: 2318
Quote:
Originally Posted by outside1 View Post
You don't live in Denver. You live 45 minutes from Denver and you failed to mention that if you want quick access to Denver you have to pay for it by driving on an expensive toll road or on congested backroads that make the tolls almost seem worth it.
And YOU are overly hostile about an area that you obviously know NOTHING about. Yet another suburb basher...how original. Tell you what...I won't make conclusions about why you live where you do and you shouldn't make assumptions about my area. Not everyone works in downtown Denver so the statements about all of us wasting gas is just silly. Very few people take the toll road out here and the "congested backroads" are not any more congested than any other main road in Denver. I drive to downtown Denver at least a few times per month (more during the Rockies season) and have never, not once ever taken the 470 to get there. My husband takes the toll road to DIA mostly when he's working odd hours and doesn't want to be driving down the backroads at 2 am. To everything else, from my kids extracurricular activities to our family Dr. who's located near the Tech Center, we take the main roads which have yet to add any significant time on to our drive. A friend of mine who lives in my neighborhood has lived here since 2001. She said the last time she took the toll road was when she went to pick up her parents at DIA during Christmas in 2008. She's in no way house-bound, works full time and has a son very involved in activities. She is just one example, but one that I will hold up as the "average" person who lives on this side of the city.

I don't live 45 minutes from Denver (from our driveway to a parking space at LoDo for a Rockies game, we leave our house 25 minutes from when we need to be there). Had you read my post, you would see that we moved to Denver without knowing a soul and that our only request to our realtor upon beginning our househunt was that we needed to be no more than 45 minutes from DIA (not Denver). He showed us homes all over metro Denver, from Stapleton, Commerce City, Westminster, Centennial, Parker, Littleton, Highlands Ranch, Thornton and Broomfield. There were homes that we deemed "acceptable" in every single one of those areas. Some of them were nicer than others, but none of them were "fixer uppers".

I'm here to tell the OP that there are PLENTY of homes in metro Denver in the $500K range. They aren't going to be able to get a McMansion on acreage (even out here in what you label as the so-called "Boonies") or a mountain location, but all she said she wanted was a 4-bedroom home in a low-crime area with a good school district. I am not a realtor but surely you aren't going to stand by your weird argument that she won't find anything "decent" in the $500K range with those requirements. If you think this is the case, perhaps you need to get out more or redefine your definition of "decent". You act like she's going to have to get a dump or live in a trailer park with a "tiny" budget of $500K and that is not only wrong, it's ridiculous.

Last edited by the3Ds; 02-24-2010 at 11:41 AM..
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,809 posts, read 3,075,439 times
Reputation: 1429
Quote:
Originally Posted by outside1 View Post
You don't live in Denver. You live 45 minutes from Denver and you failed to mention that if you want quick access to Denver you have to pay for it by driving on an expensive toll road or on congested backroads that make the tolls almost seem worth it.

If the poster is or was looking at that price range in Denver with the features requested my comment stands, 500k does not get you much. If he/she is willing to trade gasoline and time in a vehicle that money can buy quite a bit more.
Jeez!

I live IN Denver and I've been casually looking at homes for sale, and I agree with the3Ds -- I think it's possible to find something nice for $500K in Denver. You might not get the biggest home in Cherry Creek on $500K, but there are a lot of nice options to choose from -- the area near DU, some of the larger lots in Virginia Village, Wash Park has some homes, Congress Park has some larger older homes for that much.. even my neighborhood -- again -- IN DENVER -- has newer suburban-style single family homes that are 1500-2500 square feet for mostly in the mid-$300s.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
301 posts, read 436,726 times
Reputation: 137
Hi All,

Of course we all differ in our standards and in what we consider to be "nice," but as someone who knows Denver metro area real estate well, I have to agree that it's possible to get a good--or even great (by my standards)--house in metro Denver for under $500K. One area that comes to mind is Southmoor, near Hampden and Monaco. It's an established neighborhood in a convenient location and there are 4-bedroom houses available there in the 400s. The elementary school is one of the better ones in DPS.
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:44 PM
 
105 posts, read 187,160 times
Reputation: 24
Not to throw a wrench in any of the argument over available housing in Denver, but the3Ds probably has my area pegged. I want to be close to Denver, but am aiming more toward "suburbia." I mentioned earlier I am originally from Chicago area, and by that I meant suburbs, at least a 1 hour drive into downtown on a good day! That is a drive I made everyday for 2 years while working in the city. Of course I would prefer to avoid that now, but with 3 young boys, a dog, and the desire for a larger home than I had most recently (only 1400 sq. ft. in Switzerland) I think the burbs are the place to look. My main concern was how long it would take my hubby to get to work. As I found some areas a really like (see original post) I wanted to know more about those areas and if the commute was reasonable. Just by looking at the map, I can't tell how long it would take to get from Highlands Ranch to the Bioscience park, and I find online estimators can't account well for traffic.

By the way, why exactly does it take twice as long with snow? I'm no stranger to driving in snowy conditions, and am just wondering if it's the drivers, the road clearage, or the actual snow conditions that usually make the traffic so bad. Unless we get a blizzard, a little snow rarely doubles the drive time in Chicago, so what should I expect?

Thanks again for all the valuable input!
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Old 02-24-2010, 01:56 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 3,129,874 times
Reputation: 2318
Quote:
Originally Posted by kdjack View Post
By the way, why exactly does it take twice as long with snow? I'm no stranger to driving in snowy conditions, and am just wondering if it's the drivers, the road clearage, or the actual snow conditions that usually make the traffic so bad. Unless we get a blizzard, a little snow rarely doubles the drive time in Chicago, so what should I expect?
"Twice as long with snow" is probably an exaggeration for most commutes but when it snows, you will have to add 15-20 minutes when you're planning a commute during rush hour. I don't know why Denver drivers don't seem to drive well in snow, but they don't. There are lots of accidents, incredibly slow drive times and lots of traffic jams when there's snow. Whether it's out-of-staters, people with too much faith in their SUVs or lack of snow removal equipment, the fact remains that snow season (which for Denver means October - May) can and will add to your commute time. It's one of those bizarre things...like when I lived in Seattle and a heavy rain storm meant lot of accidents...I kept wondering why Seattlelites can't drive in rain! Who knows. The silver lining is that in Denver, "Winter" does not necessarily mean weeks and weeks of snow. It usually means a few days of snow, a day or two of time to melt it off (if even) and then sunny but cold clear days. Not every day in Winter will mean that you've got to add to your commute.

I've been trying to figure out where the Bioscience Park is and from what I can get from Google, it looks like it's near the Fitzsimmons Army Medical Center? From what I can see on the map, it's not too far from Buckley AFB and while I'm not familiar with Fitzsimmons, I have been to Buckley and the nearby area quite a few times.

If the location I mentioned above IS where your husband will be working, you can live in my area (SE Aurora/Centennial) and have a relatively easy commute (without going on the toll road). I just met a family whose husband is stationed at Buckley and he lives in the next block over from mine. His wife told me that they have quite a few friends from the base who live in our subdivision. With your budget, I'd look in the Centennial area. You can find this area by looking at a map (start at the 470 on the far east side of Metro Denver) and get off at Smoky Hill Rd. Travel on Smoky Hill to either Liverpool or Orchard and you will find many very nice communities. The area off of Orchard is called Tuscany which is quite large and right near a fabulous recreation center called The Trails. The Trails is also near another subdivision called Piney Creek which is also very nice. These areas will also put you closer to Arapahoe Rd and Parker Rd which are main thoroughfares (and 55 mph speed limits). It's also very close to Cherry Creek Park which is very nice and nearly every subdivision in this area has extensive bike trails for your husband to use regularly while saving up for bigger trips to the mountains. This area is also in the Cherry Creek School District, which as a mom, I'd hope you would consider. Not every school is rated "outstanding" but 99% of them are rated at least "excellent" and as a mom of kids in school, I've learned a lot about the difference between finding a good neighborhood school and finding a good school district and what I've found is that the school district matters. The neighborhood school is priority #2 but you're most likely to find a good school in a great school district far easier than trying to pinpoint a good school in a so-so district.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
301 posts, read 436,726 times
Reputation: 137
Hi KD,

3Ds is right on with his description--we must be neighbors! : ) SE Aurora/Centennial is a great place to raise kids. Some people prefer living closer to the city, but if you're looking for suburbs this area is probably one of the best. I would recommend the same subdivisions as 3D as well as the ones I mentioned in an earlier post. The schools in this district are amazing--all the way up to high school. If you go to recolorado.com, you can type in the name of the subdivision you're interested in and see all the houses that are for sale there. That's a great way to get a sense of what's available.
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Old 02-24-2010, 02:48 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
2,212 posts, read 3,129,874 times
Reputation: 2318
Quote:
Originally Posted by shukertj View Post
3Ds is right on with his description--we must be neighbors! : )
I'm in Saddle Rock Ridge and I think you're in Tuscany? Either way, my kids go to The Trails 4xs per week so I know that area very well. We just found what we were looking for in SRR so we moved in. The entire area, however, is a great place to raise a family. Since my husband retired from the AF and we were able to stop moving every 3 years, we wanted to find a place we can live until our daughters graduate from high school (and hopefully college). SRR fit the bill for us.
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