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Old 01-06-2014, 10:21 AM
Location: Denver,CO
21 posts, read 52,287 times
Reputation: 17


Hello City Data Denverites!

My family and I are fairly new to Denver, about 10 months, and we have begun looking into moving from our tiny expensive apartment to a larger house or apartment. We currently live in a 700ish sq ft. 2 bedroom apartment in City Park West. While we love the location, the size of our apartment has not been ideal for my husband, 5 year old son, newborn baby, and I. When my husband got his job we were living in Columbus,OH and had to find an apartment unseen and fairly quickly. We were definitely mislead about the actual size of our apartment...my husband was told it was closer to 1,000 sq ft, when it's actually closer to 800.

My husband works near Confluence Park, so I have been looking for an apartment/house to rent in the most convenient neighborhoods for him to bike to work. I have been looking for places in Highland, Sunnyside, Berkeley, Whittier, Capitol Hill, and Congress Park, Baker and have found nothing decent in our price range ($1,500-$2,000). In my search I did find an awesome recently/currently renovated house in the West Colfax neighborhood 1378 King St 1378 King St, Denver, CO 80204 is For Rent - Zillow. We already took a look at the house and are currently in the process of applying to rent it.

However, even though I love the house I am having some misgivings about the neighborhood. I am a stay at home mom with two little kids, so I'd like to be sure we're not about to move into a super high crime spot. From my research online I have found that it seems to be a somewhat rundown working class neighborhood, which I'm fine with btw as long as we are safe, is that correct?

The price, location (only a 13 minute bike ride for my husband), and house itself are awesome, so my question is should we go for it?

Thanks for reading my long, rambling post!
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:35 AM
9,374 posts, read 8,345,252 times
Reputation: 19168
West Colfax is definitely sketchy, but there are some nice pocket neighborhoods off of the street. Honestly, if I had kids I would steer clear of that area altogether and look for something in Lakewood vs. this area. But if you're seriously considering this house I would drive around that neighborhood to take a look first and determine if you deem that safe enough. I know there are a ton of liquor stores, pawn shops and will likely be a multitude of pot shops on the Colfax corridor so that is also something to consider.
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:35 AM
3,125 posts, read 5,047,057 times
Reputation: 7430
While I don't know that area specifically I think you are asking a very important question as you have alot on the line with 2 little kids. Here is what I would do. Go door to door on the block and knock. If you are greeted with guns in hand then you have your answer. Explain that you are thinking of renting the house at xxx address and have two little kids. You want to know if they consider the neighborhood safe. People will tell you your answer.

Edit: If your afraid to do this then you have your answer. Don't rent.

2nd Edit: If you do this and meet alot of nice people who want to chat with you then you'll know you have great neighbors and the bonus will be that you met alot of them before moving in.

3rd Edit: I've also gotta believe that someone would not put all that money into renovating that house unless the area were at a very minimum decent.

Last edited by mic111; 01-06-2014 at 10:44 AM..
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:23 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
5,529 posts, read 12,660,633 times
Reputation: 6198
OP, I assume that your five year old will be starting school in the Fall (or does he already go to pre-school?). You didn't mention anything about the schools in the area that you are thinking of moving to. If the neighborhood looks sketchy, I would definitely want to check out the local elementary school -- ratings, how many kids on free lunch, teacher/student ratio, etc.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:30 AM
Location: Berkeley Neighborhood, Denver, CO USA
17,705 posts, read 29,796,003 times
Reputation: 33286
I found many available in 80212 and 80211 on Zillow.
I live in Berkeley and see "nice" places come on the market at less than $2K all the time.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:40 AM
Location: Denver
1,175 posts, read 1,284,495 times
Reputation: 1483
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:15 PM
Location: Denver,CO
21 posts, read 52,287 times
Reputation: 17
Thanks for the replies. I hope to hear from anyone familiar with the neighborhood or someone who lives there.

My five year old is currently attending Kindergarten online. When we first moved here at the end of April I attempted the whole school choice ordeal, because we weren't thrilled with the school our neighborhood is zoned for. So, because we were late to the game he didn't get into any of the schools we chose. We plan on trying again for next school year and if it doesn't work out again I have no problem with him attending online school again.

davebarnes, re-reading my post I see that I could have phrased what I was trying to say a little better. I have found decent/nice places in our price range in those neighborhoods, but there was always something about the places that wouldn't work for us...for example outdated kitchens/bathrooms or wall to wall carpeting or house size. I'm probably being too picky for a rental, but unfortunately we don't have the money to buy at the moment.
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Old 01-06-2014, 07:31 PM
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,825 posts, read 34,420,440 times
Reputation: 8970
FHA loans are only 3.5% down. CHAFA can help with closing costs. If you can afford $2,000 for rent you could afford to buy.
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:53 AM
Location: Arvada, CO
13,827 posts, read 29,923,286 times
Reputation: 14429
I like a lot of the advice ITT.

I have noticed that prices have crept up there a lot since I moved here in 2007. It used to be a lot cheaper, a lot grittier/etc. St. Anthony's Hospital was your typical inner city/scary hospital at night, if you know what I mean.

I think West Colfax is on the upswing, however, I don't think it's the place for a family yet. Let the single or DINK yuppies come in and add their silly boutiques/etc, and it'll become the next Highland. You can do a lot better than West Colfax for $2K.

My best memory of West Colfax was a few years ago. I was getting gas at the 7-11 at Colfax and Perry. A vato comes up to me, talks to me like I'm one of his homeboys, and asks me for change. He was pretty imposing, but I had like 12 cents in my ash tray, so I gave it to him. He looks back at a chick in a van, and shrugs his shoulders like "damn, I messed up".

Anyway, I saw him do something (tbh, I don't remember what exactly, he either brandished a weapon on somebody, or broke into somebody's car or something) that freaked me out, so I nonchalantly went into the 7-11 which had a cop shop inside (that might say something). I asked the 7-11 guy if the cops were "home", and he said no, and so I told him what I saw happen, and he just shrugged his shoulders like it was something that happened all the time, which frankly appalled me.

By the time I make it back outside, the cops show up, they chase him to the McDonald's across the street, tackle him on the grassy knoll, and take him in.

I decided I won't get gas there again, it was too much fun.
Moderator for Los Angeles, The Inland Empire, and the Washington state forums.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:04 AM
Location: Denver,CO
21 posts, read 52,287 times
Reputation: 17
Perhaps I misspoke. Our reluctance to buy a house is mostly because my husband works in a very specialized computer science sub discipline for which his job is the only one in Denver, and we don't want to be tied down to a house if work takes him elsewhere. Also, biking to work is very important to my husband. So, where we live must be < 4 miles from Confluence park. Looking at the Denver crime map, West Colfax is slightly less dangerous than much of the center city. Are there any posters that actually live in or near West Colfax (not just suburbanites that are afraid of the city)? Your input would be much appreciated.
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