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Old 12-11-2011, 10:02 AM
 
8 posts, read 17,480 times
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Hi, my husband and I are moving to Denver next spring and I will be going to grad school at CU Denver. We are looking to live in an area where I can take the bus into the city to school. We absolutely love the Highland/West Highland neighborhoods because they are close to downtown and have shops and restaurants to walk to and they just have a great atmosphere overall. Since we are on a "student" budget for the next couple of years we would like to keep our costs down and would love to find a rental for under $1200/month. Or we have the option of buying an inexpensive fixer upper or foreclosure that may offer more space and we can work on updating it ourselves. We just want to live in a nice area and possibly have a yard (so we can get a dog). Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

I also have a few specific questions about these areas that maybe you can help me with since we aren't very familiar with Denver.

1. Are there many rental homes (not super expensive) in these neighborhoods or is it mostly owned homes?
2. What are the "bad" areas of this NW side of Denver (places to avoid living)?
3. Since this area seems a bit pricey, are there any other similar neighborhoods that you recommend we consider that are a short bus ride into the city and are walking distance to stores/cafes similar to this area?
4. How is the area around Sloan Lake? Are there places to walk to from there?
5. Any advice on living near the stadium? Good idea, bad idea, safe?

Thanks so much everyone!
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Old 12-11-2011, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Colorado
2,561 posts, read 5,189,079 times
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That price point is really pushing it for Highlands and other areas that would be comparable depending on what you are willing to settle for.IE studio, or small one possibly two bedroom apt.
Other areas I would consider given your wishes would be Platte Park, DU, and Baker. Sloans Lake area will be more reasonable but without the walkable amenities of those other areas mentioned above.
Today I saw a small two bedroom house for around 1100 that looked small but nice in Platte Park on craigslist. Another area to consider is around Downing/Darmouth where you will get more for your money and is just a relatively short distance south of Wash Park..Good luck with your search.
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:09 AM
Status: "Trump is orange buffoon" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
14,933 posts, read 22,261,169 times
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Default Going to take some work

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba n Snow View Post
... We absolutely love the Highland/West Highland neighborhoods...
1. Are there many rental homes (not super expensive) in these neighborhoods or is it mostly owned homes?
2. What are the "bad" areas of this NW side of Denver (places to avoid living)?
3. Since this area seems a bit pricey, are there any other similar neighborhoods that you recommend we consider that are a short bus ride into the city and are walking distance to stores/cafes similar to this area?
4. How is the area around Sloan Lake? Are there places to walk to from there?
5. Any advice on living near the stadium? Good idea, bad idea, safe?
0. You should download a Denver neighborhoods map. See Denver Maps - Downloadable Maps (City-wide)

1. Mostly owned, but rentals do exist. You will have to dig for them and you should know that the Denver rental market is very tight. Denver home vacancy rates rise slightly | Inside Real Estate News

2. In theory, the NW is north of Ellsworth and west of Broadway. In practical terms, NW means the neighborhoods of: Jefferson, Sloan's Lake, Highland, West Highland(s), Berkeley and Sunnyside. (Regis is north of these, but is sort of invisible.)
a. Avoid Jefferson. It is next to the stadium and you won't like it.
b. In terms of purchase price (allowing for large intra-neighborhood variations) the descending order of neighborhoods is: Sloan's, West Highland, Highland, Berkeley, Sunnyside, Jefferson. (A very informal rule of thumb is that the same house in Berkeley costs $50+K more in West Highland and another $50+K more in Sloan's.)

3. Other areas are: Platte Park, DU, West Washington Park. On average, Platte and West Wash Park are more expensive than the North Side. For example, my new duplex (http://3968vrain.com/) in Berkeley cost $480K and the exact same house in Platte Park sold for $595K (and $529K in West Highland).

4. Sloan's Lake is the worst area in the North Side for walking to retail. It is lovely and the Lake adds value, but there is almost zero retail in the neighborhood.

5. Avoid Jefferson.

My very personal bias is towards Berkeley. After 24 years of living in Bonnie Brae (sub-neighborhood of Belcaro), we decided to downsize and move to a duplex in/on the North Side. (A very good book about the North Side is http://www.amazon.com/North-Side-Sto...dp/0974226467/ )
a. Berkeley is cheaper than West Highland.
b. In the long run, Tennyson Street (38th to 46th) will have more retail than 32nd Street in West Highland.
c. "Berkeley is the new West Highland". That is what every person involved in the real estate business keeps telling me. Whatever.
d. Berkeley's zoning is more coherent than West Highland (cf. http://www.nohighrises.com/)

Last edited by davebarnes; 12-11-2011 at 11:21 AM..
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:16 AM
 
8 posts, read 17,480 times
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Thanks for the information! I didn't know about the Platte Park area but from what I see online it looks similar to the West Highlands area that we are familiar with. It also looks like I could take the train right into the city and the Auraria campus! I will definitely drive around these neighborhoods on my next visit.

Another question - How is the traffic around that area and on 25? I went to CU Boulder for undergrad and I remember the few times I went to the Denver area that 25 south of 70 was pretty bad. That was about 10 years ago - has it become worse?
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:35 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,949,644 times
Reputation: 6947
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba n Snow View Post
Hi, my husband and I are moving to Denver next spring and I will be going to grad school at CU Denver. We are looking to live in an area where I can take the bus into the city to school. We absolutely love the Highland/West Highland neighborhoods because they are close to downtown and have shops and restaurants to walk to and they just have a great atmosphere overall. Since we are on a "student" budget for the next couple of years we would like to keep our costs down and would love to find a rental for under $1200/month. Or we have the option of buying an inexpensive fixer upper or foreclosure that may offer more space and we can work on updating it ourselves. We just want to live in a nice area and possibly have a yard (so we can get a dog). Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

I also have a few specific questions about these areas that maybe you can help me with since we aren't very familiar with Denver.

1. Are there many rental homes (not super expensive) in these neighborhoods or is it mostly owned homes?
2. What are the "bad" areas of this NW side of Denver (places to avoid living)?
3. Since this area seems a bit pricey, are there any other similar neighborhoods that you recommend we consider that are a short bus ride into the city and are walking distance to stores/cafes similar to this area?
4. How is the area around Sloan Lake? Are there places to walk to from there?
5. Any advice on living near the stadium? Good idea, bad idea, safe?

Thanks so much everyone!

"North Denver" is the Denver colloquialism that is used for the area which is really the Northwest part of Denver, which is centered by West 38th Avenue.
It is sort like saying the South Side of Chicago or the Lower East Side of NYC, as it has the same long established traditions and pride.

All areas of North Denver and the contiguous nearby suburbs are well served by quick public transit to Downtown.

This is the official neighborhood map of Denver http://www.denvergov.org/denvermaps/...ghborhoods.pdf which will help you in any discussions of Denver.

Highland and West Highland are great--I prefer West Highland with Lowell and West 32nd. with all the walkable stores shopping.

It would also be best to consider The Berkeley neighborhood, centered on Tennyson, north of West 38th. This area has extensive, eclectic, walkable shops and restaurants. It is not as "nightclubish" as West Highland--it is more family and sedate. However, it is near more parks and lakes and more basic shopping along Sheridan. Sheridan is the boundary of Denver and you many also want to look just a little west into the suburbs of Wheat Ridge which can provide good value in housing, from about west 32nd. to just north of West 38th.

I would also look north of Berkeley in the Regis neighborhood, in and about Regis University. Nice neighborhoods and accessible to Downtown, shopping on Sheridan and in Arvada and Westminster. My city of Arvada is really nice. If you really want a walkable neighborhood of shops then Olde Town Arvada, just West of Wadsworth, at 58th is a good area. There are many good values of homes in safe establised neighborhoods and also good public transit to Downtown Denver.

I do not consider any areas as bad, from my prospective, as I am an ex New Yorker. However, I would consider areas in and around the Stadium as not a good choice. That neighborhood is consider the northern part of Sun Valley. That neighborhood, Jefferson Park, some parts of east Sunnyside are in transition. The same would have been said for Highland, a few years ago, but that neighborhood is a little more advanced on the path of comfort living.

Sloans Lake is a nice and considered higher end, north of the Lake and as it connects toward West Highland. The area is not so well thought of, Southeast, as you go toward the Stadium, on West 17th. This whole area is in big transition as it is near the new West light rail which will open in 2013, which will run just south of Colfax as about west 13th. There has been many changes over decades in this area and Edgewater, just west of the Lake is seeing much improvement with shops and stores.

Livecontent
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:46 AM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,949,644 times
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Davebarnes and I were writing at the same time--he beat me to the posting. We do agree on much and I do respect his opinions, especially on the Berkeley neighborhood, which is his home. Tennyson Street has recently done much renewal on the streets and the sidewalks--it really looks nice.
http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_19422908 I live just north a few miles in Arvada, off Tennyson. It is also directly north of the old Amusement Park at 38th, Elitch's, which has been redeveloped into housing and shops Highland's Village Garden This is not to be confused with the center of West Highland at Lowell and 32nd which is Highland Square Highlands Merchant Association

I would highly recommend the area around Tennyson Street, in Berkeley, Regis and West Highland. I consider the area very safe and I have been around this area for many decades.
http://www.tscd.org/

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 12-11-2011 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:00 PM
Status: "Trump is orange buffoon" (set 18 days ago)
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
14,933 posts, read 22,261,169 times
Reputation: 25258
Default Bus Routes

I am shocked that Live Content did not mention how easy it is to take the bus from the northwest to get to CU Denver.

Take a look at http://www3.rtd-denver.com/elbert/SystemMap/ and zoom on the North Side. FYI - the route numbers in many instances are the same as their respective avenue numbers.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:10 PM
Status: "Summer's here!" (set 4 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
89,898 posts, read 107,178,772 times
Reputation: 35545
When we lived in Sloans Lake, I sometimes rode my bike to classes at the old Health Science Center (9th Ave. and University, roughly). Point being, it is possible to ride one's bike to classes at CU Denver. It's probably even easier now, with all the improvements to the bike paths in the last 30 years.
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Old 12-11-2011, 12:49 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,949,644 times
Reputation: 6947
Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
I am shocked that Live Content did not mention how easy it is to take the bus from the northwest to get to CU Denver.

Take a look at http://www3.rtd-denver.com/elbert/SystemMap/ and zoom on the North Side. FYI - the route numbers in many instances are the same as their respective avenue numbers.
Actually, one of my little secrets is that I did work for a short time at Auraria. Yes, it is real easy to take many buses and rail to the campus.

I used to take the 44, or the Route 52, or some of the many express buses from Arvada/Westminster and connect to rail on on the 16th Street Mall to the Auraria Station on West Colfax.

It will even be much easier when they finish the new West rail line, as it connects to the Southwest Line at Auraria. Also, in the future, the Gold Line from Arvada will be completed and I can walk to a station, near my home to a quick trip to Union Station.

Just to give the OP a little information of a restful place on Campus. It is the Ninth Street Historical Park, which they left, when they redeveloped this oldest part of Denver to built the campus Auraria Higher Education Center It is very peaceful place to just relax in the middle of this urban campus. The campus has really nice old buildings and the Student Union, Tivoli, which is an old brewery is outstanding. The old churches are good places for a respite, even for an Atheist, like myself. If there were gods there, I did not hear them because I would be napping in the pews

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 12-11-2011 at 01:01 PM..
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:09 AM
 
Location: Oakland, California
102 posts, read 155,279 times
Reputation: 17
Switching focus a bit, which relatively quiet close-in neighborhoods would be suitable for a recently retired babyboomer looking for an affordable apt rental (studio or one-bedroom in the $700-900 range)? Proximity to shopping and other services (preferably within walking distance) and public transit. Desire well maintained vintage buildings with hardwood floors, if possible. Information on specific apartment buildings/complexes and/or property management companies would be most helpful.
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