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Old 06-03-2013, 06:38 PM
Location: 0.83 Atmospheres
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Great pictures of some suburban areas above from mic111. The burbs range from that to standard crappy suburbs with not much in walking distance.

As for the older city neighborhoods, they were largely built from 1900-1930s and have a lot of smaller bungalows, mature trees, smaller lots, and alley access. The hot neighborhoods like Wash Park, Congress Park, Highland, etc are probably going to be out of your pirce range if you want decent square footage. My West Wash Park 2br, 2ba, 1300 square feet woudl sell for around $550K in today's market according to several realtors I have discussed it with in the past month. East Wash Park and Congress Park are even more. Platt Park and Baker are nice, older neighborhoods that would probably work in your price range. The elementary schools in the nice old neighborhoods are generaly great, but middle and high school tend to be more of a challenge if you want to stay int eh public school system.

Stapleton is a "new urbanist" development. It has smaller lots and alleys, but nice, new larger homes. It is located ver close to the airport. Stapleton has a little "town center", but is not nearly as walkable as the older city neighborhoods are. It also lacks mature trees if that is important to you. Stapleton is family central with lots of kids and very good public schools.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:17 AM
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Thanks for the photos, mic111 - what area is that? I like the urban neighborhoods to visit and spend time in so it would be great to be 20min from them while also having 30min access to the airport.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:47 AM
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The area is around McKay Lake in Westminster, bordering on Broomfield. But I need to mention that there are great neighborhoods everywhere in the Denver Metro area. The reason I took the pictures (with my cell phone so the quality isn't great) is because we have had a wet spring and everything is so green. This is unusual for the Denver metro area. Usually things are much more brown. The trees green up but the grasses are brown most of the year.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:39 AM
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That's ok. I'm from Australia and unless you're up in Queensland most of the country is brown with heavy water restrictions.
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Old 06-04-2013, 08:45 AM
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Ah, then you will be quite at home in the Denver metro area. The more natural the area the more brown. The older built up areas have more people planted trees so more green. The access to trails and good neighborhoods is phenomenal throughout. In some cities there are more desirable areas and less desirable areas. I think that is what makes Denver special. You can live just about anywhere and have access to million dollar view, great trails, and the public spaces/infrastructure which lead to a great quality of life.
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Old 06-04-2013, 01:51 PM
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*Are there areas that feel really affluent?
The closer to the mountains you get (ie, west of I-25) the more expensive the real estate is. Erie, Broomfield, Superior, Lafayette, Louisville, are all affluent west side suburbs.

*Do the suburbs North-West of Denver feel more part of Denver, or, more part of Boulder?
Depends which ones... Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, Superior, all feel slightly more like Boulder. The rest, more like Denver.

*Are there areas or zips in and around Denver to avoid completely ie. high crime?
(As an agent I cannot legally answer this one here, due to "redlining laws" but I'd be happy to give you some insight in person)
Most of the suburbs west of I-25 would be a safe bet though.

*Do the South-West suburbs feel different to the South-East? So you feel part of the mountain suburbs of Evergreen, or the SE suburb of Aurora?
Yes.. a HUGE DIFFERENCE. South Aurora is OK, but the North parts aren't as desirable. Also, Aurora is the farthest part of town from the mountains... so not for the "outdoorsy" type, who wants routine mountain access to hiking, biking, etc. Evergreen is GORGEOUS, and full of fun mountain stuff to do... but the daily drive up and down the hill to work in Denver would take its toll on your vehicle. Best to live in Evergreen if you work there, or are retired. Not an easy daily commute down into Denver.

The answer is a definite yes, to the main question. There are definitely different feels to the various suburbs, and the affluence and socioeconomic status of the suburbs is pretty broad as well. North Broomfield, and Erie are both hot areas. Erie has FANTASTIC views, and great 'bang for the buck". I speculate that it will continue to appreciate nicely over the next 10 years. It sits right on the airport tollway, E-470 as well. So good access to DIA. Lots of biking, hiking, golf, etc around Erie. Homes there start in the high $200's, up to $1mil. very affluent, but still has reasonably affordable parts.

[mod cut]

Last edited by Mike from back east; 06-04-2013 at 02:01 PM.. Reason: realtor advertising not allowed
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Old 06-04-2013, 03:39 PM
Location: Alaska
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Originally Posted by mic111 View Post
I get what your asking but here work location drives everything. After that it comes down to price and schools.

There are no neighborhoods in the metro Denver/Boulder area that I am uncomfortable in. The areas are pretty intermingled. You can find old homes on an acre adjacent to new subdivisions, across the street will be huge old mansions, next to post war small homes with a well kept trailer park nearby. That is why work location is the key item. You can find great neighborhoods anywhere in the metro area. If you move to Colorado you often want to have a change of pace and lifestyle. This usually means walking or biking to work, having time for recreation after work and not spending all your time in your car.

The exception to this is that there are some really large planned communities like Highlands Ranch for those who prefer that type of lifestyle.

The whole Denver area is on the plains. Once you get into the foothills you have wildfire issues. Boulder is too highly priced for your budget. There will be no homes in your price range.

For airport proximity you will likely want to be along the 470s, E-470 (Parker, south Aurora) or C-470 (north Thornton, Brighton if you want a couple of acres, north Westminster, Broomfield) if you like suburbs or country living. If you want to be more in the city then Stapleton is a good choice. Small lots and new homes are characteristic of the area.

For reference we live on over an acre, are 20 min. from downtown Denver, 30 min. to downtown Boulder, 30 min. to the airport on the toll roads (35 on free roads), walking distance to everything (movie theaters, restaurants, Lowes, Walmart, Target, 3 grocery stores, emergency room, soon to be built hospital, car repair, schools, fishing lake, horses, etc). It suits us as I don't like an urban feel. When we bought so close to the city I used to go there more for events at the performing arts center but now not so much. My spouse still goes in for games and occasionally we will go for special events at the museum or the zoo. Turns out we could easily be further out but we have a very rural feel where we live which suits us when out walking the dogs.

Here are some pics from my daily walk. Yes those are snow capped mountains in the background. We just had some spring snow up in the mountains.

The houses on the other side are in the $400Ks.

Shade is always welcome when walking around the lake. The little bit of red you see on the right in the trees is a man standing on the bank fishing. There are lots of big fish in the lake.

We enjoy seeing the horses.

The area has wildlife including owls, sea gulls, pelicans, hawks, golden eagles, coyotes, bull snakes and fish jumping at dawn and dusk.

Walking distance from this lake you can get homes from $150K to $2,000,000. There are new condos, older condos, homes on 3 acres with livestock, million dollar mansions, single family homes for $400K, middle class homes, upscale executive homes, and even just a bit further away a trailer park with their own little lake which is very pretty.

This is the trail to the King Sooper (giant grocery store).

Here is another view. Left is the grocery store. Right is the high school.

Here are the new homes being built in the area.

One development is from the $400Ks if you don't mind a smaller lot but want to be super close to the grocery and restaurants. You can also walk to Orchard Town Center for free concerts in the summer. They have a fake farmers market every weekend but I prefer to go to the ones in Lafayette or Erie. You can also walk to dinner and a movie. If you prefer your kids to have milk right from the cow there is a dairy farm 20 min. away where you can pick it up and they can visit with the cows (and pet the small ones). I go right to a farm to get my corn, squash and pumpkins in the fall. The very nice farmer recognizes me every year and always makes me take more than I paid for.

But! You can live a very urban life about 15 min. away in Highland. Or 20 Min. away in Denver.

And you say it's only 20 minutes from Denver?!

What is the name of this community?
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:28 PM
3,111 posts, read 5,002,358 times
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Originally Posted by phlinak View Post

And you say it's only 20 minutes from Denver?!

What is the name of this community?
Hi Phlinak,
The area I've photographed is McKay Lake in north Westminster, adjacent to Broomfield. I think it is a pretty awesome area to live. We've discussed whether to move in retirement but getting what we have which is tons of space, great trails but yet still walkable to everything one could possibly want strikes us as hard to replace.

Originally we placed more value on getting to downtown things but as time has gone on we realize we don't go much anymore. However, I think we might be spoiled by the option. Really anything in the Denver metro area is pretty easy to access if you don't go during commute hours.

We selected this location because of it's proximity to employment in Denver, Boulder and Longmont. It sort of sits in a triangle which has allowed us to remain in place while our jobs move around. However, it is not a good area to live for access to jobs in the Denver Tech Center which you would have to cross metro Denver for. Any commute across metro Denver is miserable.

We've now got a 24 hr emergency room in walking distance and a full fledged hospital is opening up in a few years next to it so I think our area will be very popular with retirees who don't want to live in age restricted communities but want a safe walkable area with all the amenities.

Here is some info. on the lake:

On the left side of this page is a list of the other open space areas in Westminster. You can click on them to see the other areas. Every city has similar amenities which is why I think the Denver metro area has such a great trail system.

Last edited by mic111; 06-04-2013 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 06-05-2013, 05:27 AM
91 posts, read 139,206 times
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davidhawke30 - thanks for all the insight, I really appreciate it. Some really helpful responses - thank-you!!
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:42 AM
6 posts, read 11,261 times
Reputation: 18
You're very welcome. [ mod cut ]

Last edited by Mike from back east; 06-05-2013 at 12:02 PM.. Reason: Trolling for clients.
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