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Old 02-05-2021, 12:06 PM
 
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Highlands Ranch versus Centennial. Looking to relocate from NYC with 3 kids. Partners work would be in highlands ranch and also travel to/from airport regularly. I’ve done a fair amount of research on these two towns and personally prefer Centennial, but many seem to love Highlands Ranch. I would love some input on schools and general community vibe. Thank you!
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Old 02-05-2021, 04:59 PM
 
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Pro for HR is its more nature focused, lots of greenways and also the geology of the terrain varies greatly once you go south of hwy 470. Con for HR is if you have a daughter almost every other word that comes out of her mouth will be "like" until she is, like 35.
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Old 02-05-2021, 05:18 PM
 
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I would hands down choose the older part of Centennial , especially around South Glenn.
Though the closest I have ever lived to there was University Hills in Denver, that area has always appealed to me, probably being less cookie cutter to start.
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Old 02-05-2021, 05:30 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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Centennial has no community vibe. It is a very large, sprawling area that was incorporated in 2001 to resist being swallowed up by the City of Aurora. It includes some older areas and some newer areas, and each have their own vibe.

Good luck with making the transition from NYC to suburban Denver!
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Old 02-09-2021, 04:31 PM
 
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We moved from NYC to Denver in 2015, and just moved back East last year.

I'll be frank, the two areas you've mentioned are just generic suburb. They're nice, HR has some good trails and stuff like that, but there isn't much to either of them, just go with whatever is most convenient or where you find a house. Not that Denver is some amazing metropolis, but it at least has different neighborhoods and character, but once you get to the Denver suburbs, it's much of a muchness really.
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Old 02-09-2021, 05:58 PM
 
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^^ I agree. It's all cookie cutter homes on cul de sacs, very white, usually Christian. Coming from NY it will seem very milquetoast.
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Old 02-10-2021, 06:37 AM
 
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Are there any suburbs that don’t seem as cookie cutter and bland? We’re not looking to recreate NYC, as we would like a slower pace and a yard. Would Littleton be a better fit compared to HR or Centennial?

Baycurious123 may I ask what you liked or didn’t like about the Denver area and why you chose to move back east?
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:14 AM
 
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Problem with Colorado -- like California -- is much of the rapid growth happened from the 70s on, when builders (often large CA developers) put in cookie cutter homes en masse. Highlands Ranch is in some ways the epitome of that kind of building, but MOST if not all the "suburbs" in CO are bland cookie cutter. Even when they're expensive and high-end. It's still bland cookie cutter architecture, albeit with a pretense of quality. if that's where you're looking, unless you stumble onto some rare older gem of a house with character, bland cookie cutter is likely what you'll end up with.
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Old 02-10-2021, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Berkeley, Denver, CO USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orghiplove View Post
Are there any suburbs that don’t seem as cookie cutter and bland? We’re not looking to recreate NYC, as we would like a slower pace and a yard. Would Littleton be a better fit compared to HR or Centennial?
The city of Littleton would be better.
One aspect of greater Denver that is way different from the Northeast is that postal and municipal addresses are only vaguely correlated.
This is very important to comprehend when looking at real estate.
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Old 02-10-2021, 01:29 PM
 
37 posts, read 17,513 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Orghiplove View Post
Are there any suburbs that don’t seem as cookie cutter and bland? We’re not looking to recreate NYC, as we would like a slower pace and a yard. Would Littleton be a better fit compared to HR or Centennial?

Baycurious123 may I ask what you liked or didn’t like about the Denver area and why you chose to move back east?
On the suburbs question, we both liked Arvada, as it's a still bland but has a good downtown, but the location would be no good for you. You didn't mention budget, that might change things.

Lots of reasons really. Here is a very quick rundown, obviously some of these are specific to our situation:-

Pros

-The weather is amazing. By far the best thing about living there imo.

-People are friendly

-Pretty easy to get around. Locals complain about the traffic, but it's nothing really.

-Denver Airport is one of the best in the country

-Central location means it's nice to only fly 90mins-2hrs to get to San Diego, LA, SF. We both loved going to San Diego every year, and being able to leave in the morning and be on the beach by lunch was a great feeling.

-Generally laid back, people don't typically ask what you do for a living within 10 seconds of meeting

-Fairly decent restaurant scene, great beer

-Access to the mountains. Also, easy drive to Santa Fe, which we both really liked.

Cons

-We never quite fit in with people there. East Coast people tend to be more sarcastic, ironic etc. Not sure what it was, but we just never quite clicked. People are nice, but the sense of humour is just different.

-This is kind of counter intuitive, but Denver is really expensive for what it is. When we first moved there, the lower cost of living was great. However, over time, it felt less and less worth it considering Denver's limitations as a city. For example, we lived in Wash Park, which is beautiful, but we grew out of our condo and needed a 4 bed house, which in Wash Park is going to be $1.3m+ for something that doesn't need work. Even going out to the nicer suburbs, we'd still be looking at 800-1m for a good size house with a yard (in Denver, and even in the some of the suburbs, lot sizes are small). We just moved back to the East Coast, and we've found a house in a NJ suburb for $1m (taxes are a lot higher, so $1m + tax on a monthly payment basis equates to around $1.25m in Denver). We are both city people and both love NYC, and to me, paying roughly the same amount monthly to be 45 mins train to one of the best cities on the planet, vs paying the same amount to be somewhat closer but still in a suburby feeling neigborhood of a fairly generic medium sized city, didn't really feel like a good tradeoff. Obviously it depends on what you prioritize, and yes the property taxes here suck, but we feel it's worth it to us to be close to NYC, plus easy access to DC, Boston, the shore.

- Very limited public transport. The light rail is good, but coverage is limited. Denver is still very much a driving city.

- Downtown Denver. Pretty bland. Some good bars and restaurants and Union Station is great, but it really is overrun with homeless and people with addiction issues. It's the kind of Downtown you literally don't need more than a day to cover. It's not the kind of city you might stroll around in or feel inspired by. Obviously with kids that didn't matter so much to us towards the end, but it felt kind of isolating sometimes. There are other medium sized cities with far superior downtowns. There are a few hidden gems, like the Opera House and some of the museums, but for the most part going downtown just felt like a waste of time.

- 90mins-2hr flight to the nearest ocean.

-I work in finance and there isn't a big industry there. If I lost my job I'd find it very hard to replace my income there, so there was kind of a risk management aspect. I didn't want to settle somewhere that we might be forced to leave.

-In the end, we just didn't like being so far away from family and it never really felt like home to us.
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