U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado > Denver
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 02-19-2014, 01:41 PM
 
3 posts, read 24,422 times
Reputation: 15

Advertisements

Hi people – I have posted a version of this post in the "City vs City" thread (because we're looking at moving to either Denver or Seattle), but I thought I might get more replies if I posted in the Denver thread.

My husband and I are thinking about moving our family this spring / summer from the Washington DC area to Denver. My work has an office downtown (near W. Colfax and Speer) and my husband can work from home.

The main reason we want to move is to live in a more beautiful city where we have better access to the outdoors. We love hiking in the mountains, horseback riding, camping, and taking the kids to play and picnic in beautiful parks. I would say that we are outdoorsy, but not especially athletic (we don’t ski, for example, although we will try to learn to ski if we end up in Denver.) While the DC area has some pretty mountains and parks, the weather – for me – makes it really hard to enjoy them. I get really depressed every summer because the humidity and mosquitoes make me want to stay inside, at the very time of year when I really want to be outside enjoying nature. Around here, everyone goes to the beaches in the summer, which are nice but don't really do it for me - we're not huge beach people. So, criteria number one is a city that has access to beautiful nature, and a climate that will let us get out there and enjoy it (for me – that means low humidity and low bugs in the summer).

About Denver weather: is the summer an enjoyable season for hiking and getting outdoors? Or is too hot? Anything else we should be aware of regarding the seasons?

Criteria number two is schools. Our children are age 5 and 8, and we can’t afford private schools, so we’re looking for good public schools. The schools don’t have to be tip-top-ranked in terms of scores, as I know that many schools serving a diverse student population have lower test scores simply because the kids come from a variety of backgrounds. But they do need to be strong enough that they can serve well-prepared, smart kids. In the Denver area, if we lived in the city, I thought the Teller ES/ Morey Middle/ East High school trajectory in Congress Park looked promising.

Criteria number three is culture and urban living. For us this mostly means occasional access to nice restaurants, independent movies, and museums and art galleries. We don’t need to live right next to these things – although that would be really nice -- but having them in the metro area is important. In terms of where we actually live – suburb or urban – we’re flexible. Right now we live in a relatively high-density suburb (close-in Silver Spring), and it takes us about 15 minutes to drive to the downtown area, which is fine. I have a 1 hour commute to work, but that’s OK because I work from home most days of the week. Architecture: much prefer older houses with some character – neither of us wants to live in a new, McMansion type development. Urban / suburban: Ideally we’d like to live in a central area of town that is highly walkable, but if we can’t afford it, a close-in suburb would be fine. We would like to eventually buy a house for about $500 - $550k max, but preferably closer to $450k. Are there any areas I should be considering?

I read on a similar thread that it's important to be aware of water rights when buying in Colorado ... something I was completely unaware of, so I appreciate that tip. But I don't know how to figure out what the water rights are in different neighborhoods.

Thank you very much for any comments / insights you might have on any of these issues!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-19-2014, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,163 posts, read 25,823,835 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solla Sollew View Post
Hi people – I have posted a version of this post in the "City vs City" thread (because we're looking at moving to either Denver or Seattle), but I thought I might get more replies if I posted in the Denver thread.

My husband and I are thinking about moving our family this spring / summer from the Washington DC area to Denver. My work has an office downtown (near W. Colfax and Speer) and my husband can work from home.

The main reason we want to move is to live in a more beautiful city where we have better access to the outdoors. We love hiking in the mountains, horseback riding, camping, and taking the kids to play and picnic in beautiful parks. I would say that we are outdoorsy, but not especially athletic (we don’t ski, for example, although we will try to learn to ski if we end up in Denver.) While the DC area has some pretty mountains and parks, the weather – for me – makes it really hard to enjoy them. I get really depressed every summer because the humidity and mosquitoes make me want to stay inside, at the very time of year when I really want to be outside enjoying nature. Around here, everyone goes to the beaches in the summer, which are nice but don't really do it for me - we're not huge beach people. So, criteria number one is a city that has access to beautiful nature, and a climate that will let us get out there and enjoy it (for me – that means low humidity and low bugs in the summer).

About Denver weather: is the summer an enjoyable season for hiking and getting outdoors? Or is too hot? Anything else we should be aware of regarding the seasons?

Criteria number two is schools. Our children are age 5 and 8, and we can’t afford private schools, so we’re looking for good public schools. The schools don’t have to be tip-top-ranked in terms of scores, as I know that many schools serving a diverse student population have lower test scores simply because the kids come from a variety of backgrounds. But they do need to be strong enough that they can serve well-prepared, smart kids. In the Denver area, if we lived in the city, I thought the Teller ES/ Morey Middle/ East High school trajectory in Congress Park looked promising.

Criteria number three is culture and urban living. For us this mostly means occasional access to nice restaurants, independent movies, and museums and art galleries. We don’t need to live right next to these things – although that would be really nice -- but having them in the metro area is important. In terms of where we actually live – suburb or urban – we’re flexible. Right now we live in a relatively high-density suburb (close-in Silver Spring), and it takes us about 15 minutes to drive to the downtown area, which is fine. I have a 1 hour commute to work, but that’s OK because I work from home most days of the week. Architecture: much prefer older houses with some character – neither of us wants to live in a new, McMansion type development. Urban / suburban: Ideally we’d like to live in a central area of town that is highly walkable, but if we can’t afford it, a close-in suburb would be fine. We would like to eventually buy a house for about $500 - $550k max, but preferably closer to $450k. Are there any areas I should be considering?

I read on a similar thread that it's important to be aware of water rights when buying in Colorado ... something I was completely unaware of, so I appreciate that tip. But I don't know how to figure out what the water rights are in different neighborhoods.

Thank you very much for any comments / insights you might have on any of these issues!
Summer is very pleasant here. You don't sweat and swat mosquitoes walking to your car!! It does get hot here. Typical Summer days will be mid 80s to mid 90s, with a few days hitting 100 or higher, most years. But the nighttime lows drop down to the 60s (well, it won't be 60s at sundown, but if it was 90 and sunny, it'll be at least down into the low 80s after sundown), so it's a great place for outdoor living. Many people take advantage of this and have nice outdoor porches/patios/lanais/decks/kitchens, etc. I like to sit out on our front porch a lot in the Summer.

As for schools, we live in the Stapleton neighborhood and our kids go to a great Denver Public Schools (DPS) charter school that's as good as private school. The regular grade schools within Stapleton are good as well. Your budget would get you a home in Stapleton, but it depends on if that's your thing (new/newer construction and less shade due to young trees), but it's walkable, IMO. Lots of parks, pools, sidewalks everywhere, lots of kids and active families. If you prefer more established neighborhoods with big trees, look into Hilltop/Mayfair/South Park Hill/Congress Park.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 02:09 PM
 
Location: Midwest
238 posts, read 669,642 times
Reputation: 180
Hi OP. I was born and raised in the DMV so hopefully I can provide a sounding board.

I find the weather perfect here. It can get just as hot although very little humidity. I've gone on hikes in the dead of summer - just bring enough water, wear sunscreen (CO tip), hat, etc. and you should be set. What I love is the 300+ sunny days a year we get here, especially during clear days. There are debates on the CO threads as to whether you need a 4WD in the winter... I prefer it, just makes life easier and especially so if you're out before the plows hit the roads. One other tip I have is stock up on the moisturizer and lip balm, it is VERY dry. (Hint: you might want to look into a whole home humidifier.)

Regarding schools, folks certainly aren't shy about posting their opinions on the different districts. I would recommend you do your due diligence and research the counties on your own in addition to what info you receive here. I did a quick search and stumbled upon this (although not quite where your children are yet): http://www.usnews.com/education/best...hools/Colorado

Denver is certainly not DC - not in terms of the diversity, culture, restaurant variety, etc. Does the city and surrounds have all of these things? Absolutely! Is the food still tasty? You bet! Your shock might be the number of options that you have available compared to back home. What you will love though is the cost of living is much less, you'll feel less cramped, traffic while still present is a far cry from 495, 295, 695, etc., and IMO people are so friendly here. Radon and radon detection is what you'll want to keep that in mind when looking at homes. Also, selecting a home that faces the right direction - you'll want the snow to melt on your driveway in the morning.

Other tips... Vehicle registration is very high although you'd be used to that if you have lived VA and paid those personal property taxes. There's a lot of talk around water in Colorado. I find the utilities cost much less compared to back home so as long as there is a plan for the future in your town, county, etc. you might not get the sticker shock that some folks get.

Overall, I love it and good luck with your decision and move!
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 02:34 PM
 
Location: Berkeley Neighborhood, Denver, CO USA
17,047 posts, read 26,737,601 times
Reputation: 31037
Look at the Slavens K-8 in DPS.
You MUST live inside the boundary.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 02:54 PM
 
3 posts, read 24,422 times
Reputation: 15
Thanks for the tips, you guys!

Denverian -- I will have to drive around Stapleton when we visit. It definitely has a lot of what we're looking for on paper, I will have to see if we like the vibe. It seems very family oriented, which would probably be good for our kids, who will have to make all new friends when we move. Would you say that it is friendly and open to newcomers? Or are people pretty ensconced in their existing relationships and friendship networks?

Pequeno -- awesome to hear from a DC native who has enjoyed the move to Denver! You know what I'm talking about with the DC summers ... Thanks for the tips about radon, southern exposure, and humidification.


Davebarnes - so, the Slavens school looks great, but it doesn't seem to feed into a good middle or high school. I don't know enough about the Denver school choice system to count on doing a transfer, so I'm trying to find districts that are good all the way through -- and I'm thinking that it's most important to be in a strong district, the older the children get. What do you think about the other downtown schools like Teller which feeds into East High? -- Actually, I see that you have answered this question in reply to another poster. You mentioned Bromwell school. I will look into that neighorhood.

Last edited by Solla Sollew; 02-19-2014 at 03:04 PM.. Reason: Saw Dave Barnes related post elsewhere
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 03:07 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,163 posts, read 25,823,835 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solla Sollew View Post
Thanks for the tips, you guys!

Denverian -- I will have to drive around Stapleton when we visit. It definitely has a lot of what we're looking for on paper, I will have to see if we like the vibe. It seems very family oriented, which would probably be good for our kids, who will have to make all new friends when we move. Would you say that it is friendly and open to newcomers? Or are people pretty ensconced in their existing relationships and friendship networks?

Pequeno -- awesome to hear from a DC native who has enjoyed the move to Denver! You know what I'm talking about with the DC summers ... Thanks for the tips about radon, southern exposure, and humidification.


Davebarnes - so, the Slavens school looks great, but it doesn't seem to feed into a good middle or high school. I don't know enough about the Denver school choice system to count on doing a transfer, so I'm trying to find districts that are good all the way through -- and I'm thinking that it's most important to be in a strong district, the older the children get. What do you think about the other downtown schools like Teller which feeds into East High?
Yes, very friendly. The majority of Stapleton residents are non-natives/outsiders lol! A typical Stapleton family is a mom and dad in their late 30s to late 40s with 2 kids under 15. Many babies to grade school age. They are typically liberal, although not "in your face Granola liberals", if that makes sense. People are social, tend to make friends with neighbors, and there are so many kids for your kids to play with. People tend to be active/healthy and like biking, skiing, hiking, etc., but we also do a lot of "happy hours" and fun gatherings with our neighbors, like our annual Easter Egg hunt, pumpkin carving party at Halloween, 4th of July parade, Christmas parties, barbeques, etc. (that's just things our block and surrounding blocks do in our parks). There are also a fair number of gay/lesbian couples with kids in Stapleton.

Stapleton is building it's own high school that opens in a couple years, I believe. It also has DSST (Denver School of Science and Technology) which is a highly rated middle and high school charter school. I've heard East High is rated well. I would suspect very diverse, socio-economically and racially.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Berkeley Neighborhood, Denver, CO USA
17,047 posts, read 26,737,601 times
Reputation: 31037
Default Forget Bromwell

Quote:
Originally Posted by Solla Sollew View Post
You mentioned Bromwell school. I will look into that neighorhood.
Not on your budget.
You need $750K+ to live in Bromwell.
Denver CO 80206 Homes For Sale & 80206 Real Estate - Zillow covers more than Bromwell.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 03:30 PM
 
2,960 posts, read 4,487,895 times
Reputation: 6544
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solla Sollew View Post
About Denver weather: is the summer an enjoyable season for hiking and getting outdoors? Or is too hot? Anything else we should be aware of regarding the seasons?

We would like to eventually buy a house for about $500 - $550k max, but preferably closer to $450k. Are there any areas I should be considering?

I don't know how to figure out what the water rights are in different neighborhoods.
You get my award for best researched and thought out 'I'd like to move to Denver' post. Really I'm serious. You have done your homework. Now my $.02

Some summers are better than others for summer time hiking. During the bad/hot ones you just have to go early. Like 6 a.m. Or you can go to the mountains where it is cooler. Many people camp or have RVs. It can be hot in Denver and down right cold at night in the mountains on the same day.

In terms of the seasons sometimes it is too hot to get out, sometimes it is too cold, sometimes it is too windy, and sometimes there is too much lightening. Seldom is it ever too rainy. Mostly there is some point almost every day which you can get outside. There is only a handful of days each year that we don't get out at all because the weather is too miserable. Generally these days are in winter when it is just too cold. But these cold spells seldom last more than a week and then your back to sweatshirt or (like today) t-shirt weather. I'm wearing t-shirt and shorts as I type this.

If you haven't visited the national parks you will find that Denver is a great launching point for many of them as well as state parks, national monuments etc. Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Devils Tower, Mount Rushmore, Black Hills, The Badlands, Jewel Cave, Wind Cave, Mammouth Site, Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, Mesa Verde, 4 Corners, Great Sand Dunes, many parks in Utah etc... will all be easily accessible for your family vacations.

I think Fort Robinson is an easy, inexpensive replacement for a dude ranch vacation. It was $24 to camp and then you pay reasonable ala-cart for the horse back riding, river tubing, kayaking, cook outs, plays, swimming, tennis, bikes etc.
Fort Robinson SP, NE - Campground & Camping Details - ReserveAmerica - [NE]
But if you have the $s the dude ranches in CO are loads of fun.

Keep in mind our beautiful nature is much different than east coast beautiful nature. Were almost all about rocky, dry, brown beautiful nature.

You can afford a nice house. All of the city of Denver has the same water system which is 100% renewable surface water rights. This means that the water comes from the sky via rain and snow. This is the type of water system you want to be on. The ones that are likely going to be in trouble are drawing water from a non-renewing, rapidly depleting set of aquifiers. This is the type that Castle Rock, Douglas County, some of eastern Centennial via the East Cherry Creek Valley Water District and many others draw from. Cities like Broomfield and Westminster also have renewable surface water rights so are OK. As I said above, all of Denver is OK. Any system that gets their water from Denver is going to be OK as Denver has the most senior water rights in the region. For example Ken Caryl Ranch gets their water from Denver although they have their own water district. That is OK. The Platt Canyon Water District also gets their water from Denver. They serve western Arapahoe and eastern Jefferson counties. To find out about a particular house go to the city web site and do a property search on the address. Many show what water and sewer district it is in. Or ask the realtor to tell you. Then go to the water district web site and read about where their water comes from.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-19-2014, 03:38 PM
 
556 posts, read 1,139,811 times
Reputation: 552
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solla Sollew View Post
The main reason we want to move is to live in a more beautiful city where we have better access to the outdoors.
One thing you should know is that Denver is not a beautiful city. It sits on the plains and is very drab and brown. Since you mostly work from home you could live 30 minutes to the west with amazing mountain views but then you lose the urban amenities. Denver does have good access to the outdoors, you just have to drive (often in horrible weekend traffic) to get there. Seattle is definitely a more "beautiful" city.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-21-2014, 10:44 AM
 
392 posts, read 1,490,188 times
Reputation: 167
Having lived in Seattle and now Denver (well, suburbs of each...Gig Harbor and Ken Caryl), they are both wonderful and both have drawbacks. Seattle is beautiful...from July-Sept. The gray is tough to deal with. 45 and rainy is a LOT colder than 20 and sunny in Denver.
Seattle is green and surrounded by water. Denver is sunny and has gorgeous mountains. Cost of living is very comparable. Seattle has a nearly 10% sales tax, more than double Denver. Denver has a state income tax, Seattle doesn't.
Both have great football teams, Seattle's is a bit better :-) Both have miserable baseball teams that play in gorgeous stadiums.

Lots to love about both places, no place is perfect.
Rate this post positively Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Settings
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2020 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado > Denver

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:06 PM.

© 2005-2022, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Contact Us - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37 - Top