View Full Version : Possible Move - CO
07-11-2005, 03:56 PM
First of all, I have no idea where to post this, so feel free to move it to wherever it really fits best!
Secondly, FH had an interview last week with a company in Denver; they called him today to offer him the job (he graduates this winter, I graduate in the spring - he'd move out ahead of me). It seems like a good opportunity, and we'll take it unless something better comes along. So now I'm just looking for recommendations for Denver - good neighborhoods (not too expensive, though - I don't know whether the cost of living is higher there than it is here), stories, I don't know. I have driven through Colorado, but that's it.
I really am just asking for a crash course on where to live, eat, etc. in the Denver area (and transportation ideas as well - is traffic bad?). Thanks so much!
07-11-2005, 05:04 PM
I have lived in Denver for a year, and we live right in the city so I don't really know anything about the outlying areas. In terms of living right in Denver, the following areas are in the city limits and close to downtown. I don't know what your price range is for homes, so I'll just do all of the neighborhoods I know (and I'll include the zip codes to make it easier for you to do real estate searches, although there is some overlap in terms of the zip codes and the neighborhoods):
Cherry Creek (80206): this is the nicest area in Denver, and the most expensive. It's about 4-5 miles southeast of downtown, it has a nice shopping mall with several streets around the mall also dedicated to little boutiques and restaurants. A 3BR/2BA home in the center of this area is going to be around $400k minimum, but most of them are a lot more than that.
Washington Park (80209): another awesome area, about 3.5 miles from downtown and just west of Cherry Creek. This is slightly less expensive than Cherry Creek and is also one of the most desirable areas in Denver. Washington Park itself is the most popular park in Denver and there are a few streets around it with cafes and shops as well. Lots of brick bungalows built in the early 1900s. 3br/1 or 2ba = starting around $350k.
Cheeseman Park/Capitol Hill (80218 and 80203): north and west of Wash Park and extending west to downtown, lots of condos and apartment buildings here but also cool older Victorian homes. Restaurants and shops are dotted around but there really isn't a commercial center to this area. Lots of younger people in their 20s and 30s living here - great area to live if you are renting but it's harder to find a single family home in Capitol Hill since so many of the old mansions were made into apartments/condos, and there are a lot of duplexes. Any single family home would probably cost around the same as Wash Park, or slightly less expensive. The farther south you get from downtown, the cheaper the homes are going to be.
City Park/Five Points (80205): east of downtown, more of a transitional area (esp. Five Points). In other words, many of the homes are a bit neglected and there are some sketchy pockets, but the homes themselves are similar to those found in Wash Park and Cheeseman Park, and most of the homes for sale are being purchased by professional couples in their 30s. It's more of a gamble in terms of an investment, but the neighborhood is turning around. You can get a 3br/2ba here for less than $300k. I think my husband and I are going to end up here when we buy next year. I wouldn't go north of 26th Ave though.
Other areas are the Highlands (80211) just west of downtown, which is another transitional neighborhood similar to City Park. Also near Univ. of Denver (80210), about 6-7 miles southeast of downtown (south of I-25), where many of the houses have less character (lots of ranches built in the 1950s) but are correspondingly less expensive than the other, closer neighborhoods. And if you wanted to live right downtown in a loft or something, the zip is 80202.
This is a great local site for doing real estate searches: Denver Real Estate (http://idx.pdclane.net/PropSearch/Query2.asp?OfficeID=07238&AgentID=010656)
Restaurants - I have read that Denver is really improving in terms of the restaurant scene, and we have found several excellent places. Most of the good ones are downtown and Cherry Creek, and scattered throughout the other neighborhoods.
Traffic - people complain about the traffic, but after living in Houston, DC and NY I don't think it is bad at all! I guess it is what you are used to. Plus I live 2 miles from my office so I don't have to go on the highway. I don't have a car - I take the bus, walk, or ride my moped. It seems to me that lots of people walk/bike and use the bus system here, but I have heard that the buses can be cumbersome if you don't live centrally.
I LOVE Denver - I am so glad we moved here. I like the size of the city, I love being able to go snowboarding or hiking for the day, the mountains are gorgeous, there is plenty to do, and the weather is great. My only complaint is that I don't take advantage of everything there is to do, but that's my own fault! If I can help with any other questions, let me know - good luck!
07-12-2005, 08:21 AM
Hi Sposa06, I lived in Denver for several years and now live about an hour north of Denver. Can you give the company or the company's address to where your FH will be working? This would make it easier to help you determine where a good place to look for homes would be. emmjay gave you some great information, but all of the areas she listed are right near downtown Denver, which may not be convenient for you if your FH is going to be working some distance from there.
Colorado is beautiful and there are many things to do here. I think you will love it.
07-12-2005, 04:39 PM
Wish I had info for you about the Denver area, but I did want to stop in and say that I LOVE living in Colorado. Can't imagine anywhere better :)
If you see Attygrl74 around the boards you might ask her a few Q's if you get the chance...she's a Denver resident.
07-13-2005, 04:03 PM
AttyGrl in da house!
I'm as close to native as you get in Colorado these days. My family moved here in the 80s.
I've lived in various parts of Denver since 1996. I lived in Capitol hill for a long time. We live in the southern suburbs now but we both work downtown.
Like Tara said - if you can give us more info, we can definately help you out.
Emmjay's synopsis is VERY good, thorough and accurate.
We should have a GTG!
07-14-2005, 07:00 AM
Sposa, I'm going to copy this thread to the South West forum, also. Hopefully double your response!
07-14-2005, 09:49 AM
I lived in Fort Collins for a year (about an hour north of Denver). I am an Upstate New Yorker, born and raised, but moved there for my Dh's job. It was the most beautiful place we had ever seen. Fort Collins itself was awesome, but we went to Denver and other places as well. I had just had DD#1 and was a little homesick, but if I had some family that lived closer, I wouldn't have left!
07-14-2005, 05:42 PM
I'm as close to native as you get in Colorado these days. My family moved here in the 80s. <snip> We should have a GTG!
I always say my DH belongs to the rare species of "ever-elusive Colorado natives." He was born and raised in the Springs.
A GTG is a terrific idea! How do those work, do people just pick a date and place to meet?
Anyway, we lived in Denver for 3.5 years. I love it there, and we hope to move back once we're done w/school. I was in the Sloan's Lake area (80212), just west of Mile High Stadium...er...excuse me, Invesco Field at Mile High :rolleyes:. While it was a beautiful area, I wouldn't recommend it, FWIW. It's billed as a transitional area like emmjay talked about, but IMO, it is transitioning in the wrong direction these days. Price wise, we were renting a 1906 3 bed/1 bath house on a triple lot (not as big as it sounds, but at least our house wasn't practically touching the neighbors'), appraised at around $220,000. Most of the houses around us were selling for somewhat more than that, but under $300,000.
One thing I've noticed about traffic is that if you're driving city streets, try to commute east-west, not north-south. For some reason, east-west roads seem less congested. (Anyone feel free to correct me if that hasn't been your experience.)
There are definitely lots of great restaurants! I like the food critic from the Rocky Mountain News, he always seems to review fun places. One of my favorites is the Red Square Euro Bistro in LoDo (lower downtown). McCormick's Fish House & Bar also in LoDo is very yummy too.
07-15-2005, 06:47 AM
I'm as close to native as you get in Colorado these days. My family moved here in the 80s.....
Close, but not quite. I was born and raised in Colorado. :) It would be totally fun to have a GTG!
07-19-2005, 11:13 AM
Thanks so much for all your help, ladies! You've given us a lot to look into. I'm a little leery of posting the company name or address on a public message board - not because of you ladies, but because anyone could stumble across it and that seems just a bit too sketchy for my taste - but he will be right downtown. So living downtown, or very near there, would probably be the best bet. What's the car situation like downtown? I know that I couldn't live in downtown Seattle without a car. Would you recommend keeping both of our cars, just one, or what? (I guess I'm trying to ask how good public transportation is.) A cool old Victorian in Cheeseman Park/Capitol Hill sounds like it'd be amazing ... I guess we will see what happens! Thanks again so much for all your advice!
07-19-2005, 12:01 PM
If you were thinking about getting rid of your car, I think you could get by with one (my husband and I have only one). I just got a scooter a few months ago, but before that I just walked or took the bus (still do, sometimes). In my opinion, if you live and work in central Denver the bus is more than sufficient. The site for the public transportation system is RTD Denver (http://www.rtd-denver.com) and it has route maps so you can get an idea of how extensive it is. But I wouldn't get rid of your car unless you had some other reason for doing so!
Parking is OK - right in the middle of downtown is a bit expensive but if you are willing to walk a few blocks it is very reasonable (for working - you would probably have your own spot for home).
07-25-2005, 03:09 PM
We are thinking about buying something in about 6 months so I'm always reading about Denver real estate. Anyway, I just found this website and I thought of this thread - it might be useful for you to read about some of the different neighborhoods close to downtown: Denver Neighborhoods (http://www.buyselldenverhomes.com/community-profiles.htm)
07-26-2005, 10:36 AM
One car sounds feasible, then! It'd be nice to have less gas to buy and less insurance to pay and less unexpected repairs cropping up. Thanks so much for posting that Denver Neighborhoods link - I've looked it over and bookmarked it for future reference! FH and I will have to take a look at it together later.
08-02-2005, 12:03 PM
Hi Brianna - I don't live in Denver, but my husband may be taking a job there in the next few months, and I'm currently scouting out some of the same things you are. Hope you don't mind if I follow this thread with you? There's been alot of helpful info posted in here already. Best of luck to you!
08-02-2005, 02:43 PM
Course I don't mind! Best of luck to you and your DH as well! If I come across anything about Denver I think is useful (city guides and such), I'll post it here for the real Colorado ladies to verify (if they don't mind, that is!)
08-02-2005, 06:00 PM
Another Denverite here - just want to chime in that I LOVE living in Denver and can hardly imagine living anywhere else!
I think Denver is a great place to live - lots of good restaurants (no, we're no San Francisco or NYC, but I think we've got a good variety and several well-known chefs), great parks and recreation areas throughout the city, and only a short drive up to the mountains, which are beautiful all year 'round. The only thing that I don't like about living in Denver proper are the schools. They aren't BAD, they're just not what I'd want for my future children. Otherwise, our home is in pretty much an ideal spot in the city (for us, at least). Urban, young, close to good shopping and dining, safe, etc. We're currently in Washington Park, which is a pretty nice neighborhood - it's very desirable in the real estate market, and we love being 10 minutes from everywhere (well, almost everywhere - our commute to work in south Denver is about 15 minutes). Eventually, we'll sell our house (3bd, 2ba, brick with 80-85% finished walkout basement, which is rare in our 'hood...anyone know someone who wants to buy? :)) and move south, but for now, we're very happy where we are.
I don't think traffic in the city is bad at all, but I'm going in the opposite direction as most people (traffic from the southern suburbs into downtown looks horrendous in the mornings as I'm whizzing by southbound at 70 MPH). Public transportation is good. There's a light rail system (trains) that will get you from the southern suburbs into downtown, and buses run all the time (express buses are better - fewer stops). Parking downtown can be a hassle, especially if there's a sporting event going on, but it's not bad. If you work downtown, there are a ton of lots, and prices are fairly reasonable, especially if you're willing to walk a couple of blocks.
In another thread, gina73 asked about the arts in Denver. Now, we're no NYC, but I think we have a fairly decent arts culture here. We have a symphony orchestra, at least one ballet company, two opera companies, several museums, etc. I think we value the arts pretty highly here (of course I may be biased because I work for a public radio station here that is very much entwined with many local arts organizations).
Of course, there's a THRIVING sports culture, too. With a professional hockey, football, baseball and basketball team, Denver is a sports town. Maybe next year one of our teams will even do well :)
As far as real estate...when you say neighborhoods that 'aren't too expensive', can you give us a ballpark figure of what that means? For example, a 3bd, 1ba home in my area will go for probably $300K, depending on how well it's been kept up, but you can get a LOT more home for that kind of money in one of the suburbs. Like almost double the home, at least in terms of square footage.
Denver rocks! :)
Hope this helps -
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