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Old 09-15-2008, 06:45 AM
 
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HI! We are locating to the Denver area in Summer 09 from the Charlotte area. We have four boys who are all in school or too young for school.

From those who live in Colorado or know more about it than I do can you help with the three areas we are trying to pick from? We want to purchase a five bedroom home with at least 1/4 an acre and will spend up to 750,000.

1. Castle Pines Village in Castle Rock
2. The Pinery in Parker (The Timbers)
3. Ken Caryl Ranch in Littleton

Important for us:

1. schools
2. Views
3. Golf, can be close by we don't need a membership although that would be ideal.
4. Not too windy!
5. Parks, trails and great neighbors.
6. Pool for the summer time
7. Alot of young families and kids for my kids to play with


If you live in those areas, know friends who do or family please let me know what you think of our areas and the pros/cons to them.
The only con I can see from the Pinery is the road you have to come out on when you leave it and how Parker is so flat with not many trees, I think that would bug me. If you live in the Pinery how do you like Parker as a whole?
Thanks!

Last edited by caligirl1993; 09-15-2008 at 07:05 AM..
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Old 09-15-2008, 03:49 PM
 
Location: RSM
5,113 posts, read 17,715,404 times
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well the pinery will definitely meet your needs. this is a course there at the pinery and there are other municple courses nearby. and the pinery is called that for a reason.. its hilly with trees and such. trails nearby along cherry creek, deer walking about throughout, mtn view elementary is in the middle of it and northeast elementary is off of parker rd. as far as wind, i dunno. its further away from the mtns, but im not sure what effect that has. there seem to be plenty of kids around, though i was targetting my search across parker rd in pinery glen(which is less expensive) where there are a lot of young families like mine.

as far as a pool i saw a community facility in the pinery but im unsure if it has a pool.

concerning parker, its outside of denver and has a more small town feel. there is a downtown area(with a little waterpark/waterslide deal for summer) north of the pinery and its quaint and nice. there are a lot of newer stores in south parker so you dont have to travel as far for groceries and supplies as you may have before.

honestly, it was my favorite place in denver when researching my move.

i did not visit the other areas you mentioned so i cannot comment on them though.
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Old 12-05-2008, 03:55 PM
 
291 posts, read 818,716 times
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Hopefully, I can answer some of your questions. First let's start with all the general ones. No one can guarantee what kind of neigbors you'll get. Before contracting on a home walk the street and ring some door bells. It's amazing how much people you've never met will tell you. All areas will have views, it just depends on the house you buy. Some won't have any, some will be partial, and some will be spectacular. Also, don't think you have to settle for panoramic views of the mountains. You get to see these every day as you drive around. There are some fantastic views of the foothills or the city lights of the city. You'll get to see the mountains if you live east but only foothills as you move west. Don't worry about golf courses, as they're everywhere. Nothing any of us can do about the wind. Some days it can really blow, but it will vary by location. I live next to the foothills and some days it's windier as I go east. While we can get really windy days, they aren't that common. Usually when a front comes through. All the areas you mention have pools and young families with kids. Denver is a pretty young town with plenty of young families. All three areas you chose have places for hiking and parks.
You had also mentioned that you wanted 5 bedrooms. I don't know the age of your children, but I do want to tell you that you won't find many homes that have all the bedrooms on the same floor. Usually, you'll have a four bedroom home with a main floor study. Sometimes the study can be used as a bedroom, but it's not ideal. You'll easily find homes that have 5+ bedrooms, where one or two of them will in the basement. If you have teens, they will love this. Towards the end of this I'm going to set you up with a site where you can search homes by cities, MLS codes, or schools. You can even search by lot size, but I don't encourage you to do this, as you said you want at least 1/4 acre but if there was a house that was just under that size, had incredible views, and backed to open space, you wouldn't have it come up in your search. It's best to stay general in the early search processes.
Now to get down to your choices. I happen to live in Ken-Caryl Ranch, so I'll start there. I came out here to sell homes for a builder that I was working for and ended up selling myself a home, because I fell in love with this place. I was elected to serve two terms on the HOA board and loved it, except for the politics. You don't get mountain views here because we're too close, just views of the foothills or city lights or both. Some are just spectacular! Ken-Caryl is one community however it's divided into two main areas; the valley and the plains. The plains is the older part built in the 70's and 80's, and is east of C-470. You won't much you like in this area. The valley part is newer, built in the 80's and 90's, and is located west of C-470 behind the first wrinkle of the Rocky Mountains (refered to as the hogback). Some of these homes have been up-dated and some haven't. You just have to look. We're surrounded by over 4,000 acres of open space here. The elementary schools are close, we have two in the valley along with two pools. This area was rated as one of the top 10 neighborhoods in 2008 by a local magazine titled 5280. People that live here just love it and tend to be "green". One of the advantages of living here is quick access to the mountains and public transportation. We have a park n ride, that will take you the end of the sourthwest light rail spur. From there you can go downtown or other places. You can get more information about the ranch from the website at www.ken-carylranch.org. By the way it's pronounced Ken-Carol, not Ken-Carl.
I haven't shown homes in the Pinery area for awhile, but there has been a lot of building going on there. Not so much now as the builers have pulled back because of the economy. I'll be honest with you, as I'm not much of a fan of Parker. It's too spread out and too far out for my taste, but that's just me. Depending on where you work, it could be just the ticket. There is a small down town (about two blocks long), with most of the shopping being along Parker Road. It's a long stretch with stores on either side, accessed by frontage roads.
I like Castle Pines better and it will also provide your needs. There's good access to the Tech Center via I-25 or you could go north west via Santa Fe (US-85). It's my understanding your kids will be going to high school in Castle Rock, so there may be a lot of driving to get them to their activites.
Moderator cut: sorry - no advertising or soliciting

Last edited by katzenfreund; 12-05-2008 at 04:16 PM..
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Old 12-05-2008, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,092 posts, read 29,977,145 times
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There is no reason not to consider all of these locations and a few others.

Cast your net wide, then narrow it down. Don't narrow it down too much at first. A new place for you has to "feel" right. Come for a visit and get some good feelings.
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Old 12-05-2008, 07:20 PM
 
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we recently moved to Denver and after searching for several months narrowed our search down to a house in ken caryl valley and castle rock north. we ended up in ken caryl valley and really like it here. we had lived in an apt near 470 while we searched and realized that peace and quiet was a high priority for us and KCV fits that bill. we also lucked out in that my better half ended up with a job just east of downtown and the commute from this side of town is a lot better than going up I-25. in our section the lots are fairly small but with all the open space it does not bother us, and we can be at a biking/hiking trail in a 5 minute walk/ride.
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Old 12-05-2008, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Canon City, Colorado
1,331 posts, read 4,591,241 times
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YayTMOFEU!!! Happy You Are Happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:22 AM
 
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As one of the very first homeowners in KCR (bought Medema pre-build in Williamsburg 1st phase before any of the first groundbreaking) for 12 years, I'm very much an advocate of that area.

The immediate access to the KC open spaces, equine activity, and Chatfield Res offer a lot more than your other choices for outdoor recreation right on your doorstep. An added bonus is the close access to the foothills and mountains via C-470. There's great bicyling right on your doorstep. Small shopping centers are reasonably close by, and the major shopping district along So Wadsworth is 15-20 minutes away. With C-470 opened, I could consistently be in Vail in 1.5 hours on good roads, door-to-door to my 2nd home. The 470 belt makes DIA access reasonable, too, although that is a toll road.

KCR drawbacks, however, include bentonite soil concerns for some of the house foundations, and what may be a very poor location for your commute to work. If you don't know about bentonite soil, be sure your agent does, and get a pre-buy report on a property if there's any question about this issue.

IMO, you'd be well served for your housing list by any of the areas you've chosen. All have access to good schools, shopping, and recreation. The KC area may have a bit more brutal winter climate, since it's nestled right in the foothills ... but a solid upslope winter storm can drop a lot of snow in the eastern metro area, too.

I think your determining factor would better be the commute to your work. Not necessarily the distance, but the average commute time. Coming out of KCR, for example, your main access routes are C-470, Kipling, and Hampden Aves, possibly to Santa Fe Drive or all the way East to I-25 or up the hill to I-70. The access to L-M is great if you work there, but the access to downtown Denver is less than a pleasure. If you're working on the SW side of the metro area, it's well located. Even heading to Golden is pretty decent access, but be aware that Northbound C-470 in the AM can be a parking lot (and conversely, southbound in the PM).

With the traffic density/commute times in hand, you can make an informed decision.

Good luck with your move.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:22 AM
 
291 posts, read 818,716 times
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I agree with everything Sunspirit had to say, especially about the expansive soils, however, they aren't found in the area of Ken-Caryl that you would be considering, and that's the Valley. The can be found on the Plains portion, but it's a hit or miss proposition. They can also be found all over the out lying areas of the Denver Metro area, including the other two you are considering.
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Old 12-06-2008, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
11,092 posts, read 29,977,145 times
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about heaving soils - they are common near the foothills - both the plains and the valley.

see Heaving-Bedrock Hazards, Mitigation, and Land-Use Policy - Front Range Piedmont, CO - Illustrations (http://www.arcvoid.com/surevoid_web/soils/pub45_illustr.html - broken link) for an explanation as to why.

That area had big issues in the 1970's and 1980's beore they started doing soil tests per lot and engineered the foundation to meets the needs of the soil.
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Old 12-18-2008, 08:23 PM
 
35 posts, read 88,709 times
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Default possible places for your move

If schools are truly on the top of your list, I would rethink some of your originals. I am assuming public.. if you are looking private, it opens it wide up. Also, it depends on whether you are looking for your forever house or not. If you are looking for your forever house, I think you should start with the high schools and work backwards.

I just did a ton of research, and with schools, settled on Cherry Creek, Littleton (but only feeding into Arapahoe High School) and some of Douglas County. There are also pockets of Jefferson County that will work. It is amazing when you do the school research, and try to find an elementary, middle, and high school all rated "excellent" by the state, how it narrows your choices.

We were in your range and had a lot of your wishlist and ended up in Centennial, Heritage Greens subdivision. In your price range, lots of homes available, and some do have mountain views. Some of the homes are actually on the public golf course, although those would probably be more than your range. Community pool with a great summer swim team. All E schools. 25 min. commute to downtown. Mature trees. And, from what we have seen, kid heaven. We saw a directory that listed all the kids, etc. and it was awesome. They have a big summer festival, and luminaria night, and soccer fields and a big park right in the front of the neighborhood. And, an 80 mile bike/hiking trail right there.

We didn't get a wow house, but a fine house, and we feel like we made the right decision based on neighborhood and schools. It is the type of neighborhood where people move from house, to house, to house... they just keep upgrading in the neighborhood.

If you look, email me and I'll give you the name of our realtor. She lives in HG and I felt it was her strong suit.
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