Hey all, I am looking into a move to the Denver area at the end of the year and wants to get a feel for what might be the best family friendly area yo look for a home in. Also I will be looking for a good wheeling group! So please share your suggestions.
Just did the move to the Denver Metro. Denver Metro has everything. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Looked at stuff all over the place. Chose to rent a small cabin in the mountains as opposed to living in the 'burbs. There is very little chance we could afford to buy where we rent, but rent is cheap enough.
Do you have employment for you and your spouse lined up? If so, start looking at your commute from different parts of the Metro. The worst part about the Denver Metro that I have found is the traffic.
Start looking at schools. Public or private? First, if public, look at grade schools if your children are of that age or soon to be. Then look where those grade schools feed into what middle schools. Then, where those middle schools feed into what high school. Grade schools are more local to neighborhoods, middle schools have a slightly larger feeder footprint, and lastly high schools can have a very diverse feed of neighborhoods. The closer you are to the center of the Metro, the more diverse things get. The further out from the center, the more homogenous things get.
If you are looking to the mountains and your kids are going to be taking the bus, look at the ride time for the bus routes. Some kids in my area are on the bus almost two hours each day…
As for wheeling groups, there are many.
EDIT: Just looked at your profile. There is a brewery in Denver with your name on it…
I'd check out the western suburbs, Lakewood, Golden, Arvada, Westminster. Anything west of I-25 is usually more expensive, but also closer to the mountains.
My first house (in 1992) was in Green Valley Ranch. Back then it was super inexpensive and one of the major issues that I didn't like was that it took an hour to get to mountains.
2005 Unlimited Rubicon, Sahara Edition #556, Colorado Jeep Club Member #556
Rusty, if you are reading this, I am still waiting for my $249 refund from 06/2010. Pm me for my address to send the check. Thanks!
Idaho Springs is interesting but the commute up/down I-70 could be very challenging in a hard winter… Depends also where his job is. My wife has most of that commute.
(We moved to Clear Creek County.)
Yup Sorry not thinking today. I went to buy something off Craigslist one time in a place called Firestone and if I didn't work where I do I would move there it looked very peaceful. I currently live in Denver and have to beat away bums with sticks.
Colorado Jeep Club Member #1978
I live in Aurora. It's not bad. No worse than the west side. Most of my friends that have moved to the west side of town use the "but it's closer to the mountains" thing, but they never go. I usually get up there once a week and my commute to the mountains is 25-30 minutes. Not that bad, and it's cheaper than living on the west side.
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I think your 1st priority should be the kids schools. We live S.E. of Denver in E. Centennial(surrounded by Aurora). We chose this area for the Cherry Creek School District, which at the time was suppose to be the best. Well we were very happy with the results. My oldest daughter just graduated this year from DU(University of Denver) Summa Cum Laude With dual degree Masters/Bachelors in Finance/Accounting at age 22. Her and her husband(newlyweds) just bought a 3BD 4 Bath house in Parker, just north of Castle Rock. It is a nice family community, small enough for that hometown feel, with all the amenities of a big city. Parker is in Douglas County, and right between Castle Rock and Aurora. My youngest daughter will hopefully grad from CU Boulder with her Masters in Tax Law in 2 yrs. I think the push they got from the Cherry Creek Schools gave them a head start. Douglas County Schools are now suppose to be the best academically but I have no experience with their system. Castle Rock, like Parker, is in Douglas County. Keep in mind Colorado has open enrollment so if there is an opening at any school you can apply for it with some restrictions.
I own 2- 35acre parcels east of Castle Rock, about 30-45 min south of me, and started to build but only got the well put in when my wife decided it was too far from downtown Denver where she works. So I guess we are staying put. I like it out east. From my deck I have an unobstructed view of the mountains from Pikes peak in Colorado Springs to north of Longs peak and the mountains north of Boulder. If you lived out west you are too close to the foothills to see the snow top mountains. I, like most, spend more time looking at the mountains then driving in them, so living in a place you can actually see them when you want is a plus. Another advantage of living out east is you are not commuting into the sun glare in the morning and on your way home like you are if you live west of Denver. Just my 2 cents and some change.
Thank you for all of the advice. We are coming from Utah, and the mountains are critical. We have 4 children ages 5 - 12, and my 9 year old has muscular dystrophy, so schools and adaptive programs will be a priority. One of the things that my wife and I are looking for is a place with a little bit larger lots, so the dogs can run. Our top three are highlands ranch, Parker, and Bloomfield. If y'all have any more insight I would love to hear it.
The adaptive programs in Cherry Creek, Adams 12, and actually Denver are pretty amazing. Meet with the schools first and have the IEP/504 from the previous school district with you and discuss their programs. I know in Arapahoe County, they have programs to send PT/OT/ST to your home to work with the kid as needed for either free or very cheap. Our friends used PT/OT for their kid who hadn't started walking by 19mo yet.