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Old 07-26-2008, 06:50 PM
 
40 posts, read 146,333 times
Reputation: 15

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I've used the search function and read all I could find on this topic, but many of the threads were focused on people spending under $400K so their options in Boulder were limited.

If you could spend up to about $1.2 Million, would you live in Boulder or Denver? We are a family of 5, love hiking, biking, skiing on weekends but day to day want to have a family-friendly area with bike paths and areas to go jogging which are not in the mountains. (Hilly areas would be too hard on the kids). I like running but don't like running alone anywhere--particularly the foothills/other areas with mountain lions (fine I'm paranoid of them. Let's accept that and move on.)

Really dislike cookie cutter areas (so suburbs like Louisville are out). Low crime is very important; an area with a fair number of kids would be nice; an area with restaurants (sushi, indian, etc) would be good. I don't want an area like Arvada or Broomfield or any of those...they're fine just not what we are looking for.

I'm torn between living in Denver (not sure where--maybe Bonnie Brae or maybe a bit out like GV) and driving to the mountains to ski (how long does it take from Denver proper?). Or..Boulder.

I don't care about the liberal feel of Boulder--that's fine but not a necessity. Denver sounds more moderate, also fine.

Thoughts on raising kids in either area?
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Old 07-26-2008, 06:59 PM
 
Location: CO
2,722 posts, read 6,334,248 times
Reputation: 3584
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTorCO? View Post
I've used the search function and read all I could find on this topic, but many of the threads were focused on people spending under $400K so their options in Boulder were limited.

If you could spend up to about $1.2 Million, would you live in Boulder or Denver? We are a family of 5, love hiking, biking, skiing on weekends but day to day want to have a family-friendly area with bike paths and areas to go jogging which are not in the mountains. (Hilly areas would be too hard on the kids). I like running but don't like running alone anywhere--particularly the foothills/other areas with mountain lions (fine I'm paranoid of them. Let's accept that and move on.)

Really dislike cookie cutter areas (so suburbs like Louisville are out). Low crime is very important; an area with a fair number of kids would be nice; an area with restaurants (sushi, indian, etc) would be good. I don't want an area like Arvada or Broomfield or any of those...they're fine just not what we are looking for.

I'm torn between living in Denver (not sure where--maybe Bonnie Brae or maybe a bit out like GV) and driving to the mountains to ski (how long does it take from Denver proper?). Or..Boulder.

I don't care about the liberal feel of Boulder--that's fine but not a necessity. Denver sounds more moderate, also fine.

Thoughts on raising kids in either area?
Come and visit, and see where you prefer, which feels better. You have fine options in both Denver and Boulder; both work, so it's a matter of which *you* prefer. Raising kids is fine in both. Without finances as a limiting factor, you can choose wherever you feel comfortable.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:04 PM
 
40 posts, read 146,333 times
Reputation: 15
I know...and I did visit. It's just really hard to pick a spot during a one week visit. I think it takes time to get to know an area well enough to get a real "feel" for it. The visit enabled us to realize we don't want to live in the places I mentioned (Arvada, Broomfield, Louisville, etc) but we came away really liking both Boulder and Denver (and Golden actually, although I'm not sure about staring at that factory all the time...).

So, I'm hoping to collect more info. from people who know the areas well, maybe have spent time or lived in both. We will have to be out there pretty soon and will probably only have a few more days out there before having to decide which area. We can rent for a while, but once I commit to a school system, I don't want to change it so would like to know where we'll be, if not the exact house. We've moved a lot (work-related) and don't want to change the kids' school once out there.

Thanks!
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:10 PM
 
Location: CO
2,722 posts, read 6,334,248 times
Reputation: 3584
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTorCO? View Post
I know...and I did visit. It's just really hard to pick a spot during a one week visit. I think it takes time to get to know an area well enough to get a real "feel" for it. The visit enabled us to realize we don't want to live in the places I mentioned (Arvada, Broomfield, Louisville, etc) but we came away really liking both Boulder and Denver (and Golden actually, although I'm not sure about staring at that factory all the time...).

So, I'm hoping to collect more info. from people who know the areas well, maybe have spent time or lived in both. We will have to be out there pretty soon and will probably only have a few more days out there before having to decide which area. We can rent for a while, but once I commit to a school system, I don't want to change it so would like to know where we'll be, if not the exact house. We've moved a lot (work-related) and don't want to change the kids' school once out there.

Thanks!
I've lived in both, raised my family in Boulder. Boulder Valley School District is well regarded; with Denver Public Schools you have to choose carefully. If you're choosing private schools in either location, there are plenty of choices.

Sorry, just can't say one is better than the other, they're both great choices when finances for housing are not a limiting factor.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,377 posts, read 109,120,264 times
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I don't think you saw all of Louisville if you think it's nothing but "cookie cutter" homes (a term I'm beginning to find tiresome, as an aside). The houses in my neighborhood were built by different builders; there are two others like mine in the entire subdivision. Some of "one of a kind". Yes, there are some 'hoods that were all built by the same builder, but the subdivisions in Lsvl are not large; there are not miles and miles of "rows of houses that are all the same", as the old song goes. There is also a downtown and an old town area west of there with lots of older houses, which do not all look alike.

There are many neighborhoods in Boulder and especially Denver where many of the houses look alike. In the older 'hoods, this has been mitigated somewhat by landscaping, additions and the like. But drive around some of the hip neighborhoods in Denver and you will see lots of bungalows and "Denver Squares". Boulder is smaller but the a similar situation prevails.

That said, if you don't like these places, you don't like them. I will say that the areas with kids are not usually the same areas with the sushi bars, Indian restaurants and such.
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:33 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 14,160,641 times
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If I had...with your requirements...I would live in the South Jefferson County in the Columbine Valley. That area would be directly Southwest/West of the City of Littleton, just across the Platte; It would be an area of that is off of S Platte Canyon Road and West Mineral.

This area has a large extensive amount of water, trails along the Platte. In addition, the trails connect with Chatfield Reservoir. The area is flat. Many of the trails meander through upscale housing and you would have many areas to jog and not be alone. It is close to shopping and the light rail to downtown. School system is Jefferson County.

Mountain Lions in this area--very, very, very, unlikely and even rarer to see one. However, the trails systems in Denver Metro are very expansive and many do connect with foothill trails, creeks, waterways and irrigation ditches and canals which do provide a pathway for wildlife. In this area, perhaps, if I was a lion, I would access the area through Chatfield but there are closer and better areas for me to roam and feed. You would be more in danger from aggressive dogs.

As far as Arvada--it is very diverse in the housing stock with many older established homes, new homes, luxury estates; all along the Ralston Valley, with many parks, trails, waterways and open spaces.

Livecontent
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Old 07-26-2008, 07:43 PM
 
Location: N.E. I-95 corridor
792 posts, read 2,908,248 times
Reputation: 200
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTorCO? View Post
If you could spend up to about $1.2 Million, would you live in Boulder or Denver? We are a family of 5, love hiking, biking, skiing on weekends but day to day want to have a family-friendly area with bike paths and areas to go jogging which are not in the mountains. (Hilly areas would be too hard on the kids). I like running but don't like running alone anywhere--particularly the foothills/other areas with mountain lions (fine I'm paranoid of them. Let's accept that and move on.)
If I was in your (running shoes) w/kids, etc. and budget I would visit the Harper Lake section of Louisville (lake, trails, mtn views, nice sunsets, away from train) in leiu of Boulder and "invest the difference." You will be in NW Louisville near McCaslin and South Boulder Rd. (call it east Boulder if you will, LOL).


Quote:
Originally Posted by UTorCO? View Post
I don't care about the liberal feel of Boulder--that's fine but not a necessity.
If I had kids I would have serious reservations about raising them in Boulder. I think of my little nephews and niece and I couldn't see them in that type of environment. Louisville much different story (where I resided for a few years).

Quote:
Originally Posted by UTorCO? View Post
Denver sounds more moderate, also fine. Thoughts on raising kids in either area?
I'm less experienced with Denver and have been researching it extensively on-line here. From the viewpoint of the children I'm not sure. Would parts of Littleton or Lakewood suffice w/o pushing you too far out of the city limits?
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Old 07-27-2008, 11:36 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 6,371,277 times
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Wink Boulder, but maybe not

Outskirts of Denver, CO to Summit County is a bit less than an hour, under good conditions. Generally they are, but sometimes anything but. Golden, CO much the same. Boulder, CO is a bit more of a drive, but reasonable.

If it were me, I'd choose Boulder, no question. But there are areas of Denver and environs that are quite nice. So you may just have to roll the dice, pick a spot, and be prepared to move in time if it's not right.

Boulder is more liberal, and not everyone's cup of tea. But it enjoys a generally laid back and relaxed ambience. Sophisticated. Plus an absolutely lovely setting with the Flatirons as a backdrop. Would expect the schools in general to be first rate. You'll notice a certain love/hate relationship with Boulder on these boards, but those that choose to make it home pay dearly to do so.

The residential area back of the university area of the 'The Hill' is nice and expensive. But all of it at an incline. Not to worry, as the better part of Boulder rests on the flat plains directly adjacent the mountains. Lots of specific neighborhoods you could choose in this regard, being both fairly flat but also with lovely mature trees, which cover the better part of Boulder and one of its beauties.

Some area of Boulder, to the east and some of the newer definitely have a cookie cutter feel, if in a nice uptown kind of way. But if you choose one of the many older neighborhoods you'll have a pick of older, lovely and unique homes.

And maybe at some point you may even take advantage of the excellent trail system Boulder has into its mountains. Very popular. And if you venture out with even a small group (1 or 2 others) during the day, very unlikely you'll get jumped by any mountain lions. If you were one you'd understand: they're more worried about you.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:28 PM
 
226 posts, read 1,153,874 times
Reputation: 86
Quote:
Originally Posted by UTorCO? View Post
I've used the search function and read all I could find on this topic, but many of the threads were focused on people spending under $400K so their options in Boulder were limited.

If you could spend up to about $1.2 Million, would you live in Boulder or Denver? We are a family of 5, love hiking, biking, skiing on weekends but day to day want to have a family-friendly area with bike paths and areas to go jogging which are not in the mountains. (Hilly areas would be too hard on the kids). I like running but don't like running alone anywhere--particularly the foothills/other areas with mountain lions (fine I'm paranoid of them. Let's accept that and move on.)

Really dislike cookie cutter areas (so suburbs like Louisville are out). Low crime is very important; an area with a fair number of kids would be nice; an area with restaurants (sushi, indian, etc) would be good. I don't want an area like Arvada or Broomfield or any of those...they're fine just not what we are looking for.

I'm torn between living in Denver (not sure where--maybe Bonnie Brae or maybe a bit out like GV) and driving to the mountains to ski (how long does it take from Denver proper?). Or..Boulder.

I don't care about the liberal feel of Boulder--that's fine but not a necessity. Denver sounds more moderate, also fine.

Thoughts on raising kids in either area?
highlands ranch fits all of your criteria... except for the "cookie cutter" thing, and perhaps the restaurant requirement. it is a very safe area and the bike paths are extensive but pretty easy. if that option is out, then boulder would seem to fit the bill.
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Old 07-28-2008, 04:41 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,805 posts, read 17,580,575 times
Reputation: 9435
UTorCO wrote:
I know...and I did visit. It's just really hard to pick a spot during a one week visit. I think it takes time to get to know an area well enough to get a real "feel" for it.
That's the reality of it. Pick a place and make a 1 year committment only. Rent rather than buy. Don't tie yourself down. While you're renting, scope out the various neighborhoods in both Dnever and Boulder to get a better feel for where you'd like to put down roots. Or perhaps, you'll discover that neither place meets your needs. Go into it without an open mind.
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