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Old 07-15-2011, 10:56 AM
 
59 posts, read 149,251 times
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My husband and I are meeting w/ a broker next month in Colorado to visit all 8 locations. We are trying to decide which would be best to live in. We have a 7 and 4 year old. We would like great schools, nice weather, mountain views, no drilling/mining/rail roads around us, safe area where we can hike, bike close by (fun outdoor activities for our family), convenient shopping (grocery store, Target, movie theater...) where it's not overly congested. Can you please give me pros/cons to each and which you think is the best. We are probably not going to move until next summer or early spring so that our daughter can finish 2nd grade here and we have to sell our house here as well. We are first trying to find the best location.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
2,185 posts, read 4,447,679 times
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Parker, Highlands Ranch, Centennial, Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Littleton, Castle Pines North or the Pinery

I can help. I am a native of Colorado but lived in Dallas for a couple years so I feel your pain.

Parker - depends what area. 80138 is probably best, it's newer and in some areas your kids can walk to the elementry, middle school and highschool. You have old towne parker, movies in the park etc...
Nice landscaping, building lots of new homes and Legend Highschool will probably be Cherry Creek Highschool biggest competitor in the coming years.
I would avoid other areas in Parker.

Highlands Ranch - why bother leaving Texas? You can do better. Schools not so great anyway.

Centennial - I personaly like it but most the homes are older, the newer part are homes in the cusp of SE Aurora. Probably don't want that area. Since you're from Texas that area is = to Ft Worth, cheap bigger houses... you get the idea. But if you can move into the older area you can get into Cherry Creek Highschool which is the best. Don't be fooled when they tell you a house in in the cherry creek school district. Not the same, that can include other schools in the district not Cherry Creek Highschool.


Castle Rock - Really nice and the houses are priced nice, but depending where you work it might be too far. You also have the outlet mall up there and it's all you would ever need if you lived close by. Nice scenery up there also. That's where I would live if work wasn't so far.

Littleton - It's just ok

Pinery - mostly older mountainish type homes, kind of far out though.

Lone Tree - half goes to highlands ranch HS, the new half doesn't. Some really nice homes, next to the merdian. Probably the best place to buy for future resale.

Castle Pines North - I like it, nothing really close or far. If you like nature and golf it's a good location. Lots of native coloradians moved up there for some reason.


You should drive out and see what you would like.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,134 posts, read 5,329,868 times
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You might want to look at Greenwood Village as well.

You will be looking at places in 3 different counties: Arapahoe (Centennial,Town of Littleton, and Greenwood Village), Douglas (Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Castle Pines, Castle Rock, Parker, Pinery), and Jefferson (unincorporated with Littleton mailing addresses).

Great Schools: 1. Cherry Creek Schools (Centennial, Greenwood Village), 2. Littleton Public Schools (town of Littleton), 3. Tie. Douglas County and Jefferson County (Littleton mailing addresses). Since you have two small children, you need to look at how good the schools are now and how the district is changing over the next 14 years. In my opinion, this is what is dropping the value of Douglas County Schools. The school board has created a political agenda that is dividing the community and redirecting revenue away from the schools, while the voters are reluctant to vote additional funding to education. The schools are very good now, but where will they be in 5 or 10 years? My guess is that they will not be in a better place.

2. The weather in the area is nice in all of these places. If you were to make a distinction, then you should know that Douglas County probably has the most severe weather. Its winters get more snow (and its schools have 1 or 2 more snow days), and its summers have more severe thunderstorms (more lightning strikes and hail) than the areas to the north. Since it is in the rainshadow of the mountains, South Jefferson County probably has the least amount of precipitation (both snow and rain), though it can be very windy at times during the winter. The Arapahoe County locations are somewhere between the two.

3. Drilling and mining is not a concern in any of the areas. Trains are not frequent, but the main route has the tracks in and around Santa Fe Drive (US 85) from the Town of Littleton south through Castle Rock.

4. The metro area is very outdoor oriented. All areas have safe places to hike and bike. South Jeffco is next to (and in some places in) the mountains. The town of Littleton, South Jeffco and western Highlands Ranch are all adjacent to Chatfield Reservoir State Park and the South Platte River Trail. Centennial and Greenwood Village are next to Cherry Creek State Park. The Douglas County locations have many trails and greenbelts and close proximity to some smaller state parks as well. All areas have nice parks and recreation facilities.

5. All areas have convenient shopping and retail.

6. Most congested is Arapahoe County with Douglas County close behind. Least congested is South Jeffco. Arapahoe Road (Arapahoe County) is one of the most miserable and traffic-laden roads in the state. Parker Road (South Arapahoe County and Douglas County) is nearly as bad. The main highway is I-25 which is actually pretty good inside of Arapahoe County, experiences terrible backups once you get to Douglas County.

7. It depends on the type of mountain Views that you want. Arapahoe and Douglas counties have great panoramic views of the hogback and snowcapped mountains in the distance. South Jeffco is next to the mountains, so the view is of the smaller mountains, albeit they are much closer.

My preference is South Jeffco. The schools in and around Ken Caryl are excellent, there is much less traffic here than the other places, there is much more open space (which will never be developed) and little growth. Douglas County is exploding with growth and the area will be much different (read crowded) 10 years down the road.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Greenwood Village, Colorado
2,185 posts, read 4,447,679 times
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I was going to sugggest Greenwood Village, but they didn't give a price range. Only way to get a nice house in Greenwood Village is to spend a lot of money unless you are into fixer uppers, then you better be comfortable wearing a carpenter belt for a couple years. GV is a wonderful and terrible place at the same time.
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Old 07-15-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,485 posts, read 31,083,240 times
Reputation: 8109
Try GreatSchools.org and the Unit of Student Assessment - Welcome to the Unit of Student Assessment for the Csap results.

I have great things from buyers about Dry Creek Elementary, Homestead, Cottonwood and Willow Creek in Cherry Creek school district. Cherry Creek School District

I personally recommend Northridge Elementary in Highlands Ranch in the Douglas County school District. I'd also recommend Sadlde Ranch and Wildcat (my WM kid will be a senior in college this year) I have had buyer's with children at Platte River Academy. DCSD Home Page

I would never consider sending any of my children to Cherry Creek High School, not because it isn't good, but because of the extra large student population. I am not a fan of high student populations.

No one has a crystal ball. No one knows how the budget cuts will affect any of the school districts and to do so is pure speculation.
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Old 07-15-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Golden, CO
2,264 posts, read 6,045,201 times
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I don't have children so take my opinion with a grain of salt. Everyone is already starting to classify the Douglas County School District as 'bad' because of the new voucher program, but nobody really knows what kind of an effect it will have on the schools at this point. I say give it some time and see what happens, but just be aware of what is happening. Keep an eye on it. It might not be that big of a deal once the program is established and running.
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Old 07-15-2011, 09:27 PM
 
59 posts, read 149,251 times
Reputation: 18
Default Thank you for your great information

Thank you all for your very helpful information. I really do appreciate any information! Lots to think about.
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,485 posts, read 31,083,240 times
Reputation: 8109
It would help us if you were more detailed in your community needs.

Parker Centennial, Lone Tree and Castle Rock are cities.

Castle Pines North, Pinery and Highlands Ranch are neighborhoods.

Where are you commuting to? What's more important open space or yard space? Suburban setting or a more rural landscape? A barn or a tennis court a pool or a ???
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:09 PM
 
59 posts, read 149,251 times
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My husband will need to be fairly close to DIA, he travels often. He and I work from home otherwise. We would like a descent size back yard for the kids to play, but I really don't like living too close to another house. Wow, if there is a place that is a suburban setting with mountain views, that would be great! We want a place where our children can meet friends and have outdoor activities (hiking/biking) close by. A pool close by would be nice, but not necessarily in our backyard. A place close to shopping/grocery stores, good restaurants, movie theater.
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Old 07-16-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,485 posts, read 31,083,240 times
Reputation: 8109
More details are needed. Your answers are better, but still too subjective.

How close is fairly?
How often is often?
What is decent?
How close is too close?

Most houses do not have a pool in the backyard but most neighborhoods have a community pool.

Kids are on bikes all over every neighborhood, plus people attract them with basketball hoops, parks, schools.
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