Moving Back to Colorado/Denver
July 28, 2020 5:49 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I are considering moving back to our native Colorado after a long period away. We're familiar with the general lay of the land, but it's been more than 25 years since we lived there (in Boulder) so I'm sure some things have changed dramatically. We're thinking of living in or around Denver and are wondering what neighborhoods we should be considering renting an apartment in.

Details! I'm a freelancer working from home, so my commute won't be an issue unless I end up going full-time again later. My wife would like a chance of finding some kind of job (maybe at retail, a museum, or a library) within the distance of a short walk or bike ride. Ideally, we'd be living within an easy walk of a grocery store, a library, a post office, and some sort of shopping/retail. (Obv this will be different for a while because Covid.) A nearby park would be excellent. I'd like to have one bedroom or maybe two bedrooms so we can use the smaller one as an office or den, and it would be great if rent were $1500 or less. (No kids, three cats.) I don't think we can afford Boulder, but is Longmont, for example, nice and/or affordable these days? Also, we're thinking about trying to rent a place from New York, since we don't want to travel twice during the pandemic and want something else lined up before we head out. Do we need to find an apartment broker to help with that? If not, what's the best approach? I know 3D apartment models and virtual tours are a Thing now. Any thoughts, suggestions or reality checks would be welcome/helpful.
posted by Mothlight to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Best answer: Consider the Belmar neighborhood of Lakewood, where there are a bunch of apartment complexes in walking distance to a dog park, community garden, Whole Foods, Target, pet store, Sephora, King Soopers, salon and barber, liquor store, various restaurants and cafes. There are retail jobs in walking distance for sure, and a public library right across Alameda Ave...but no museums right nearby. I've lived in the area a few years now, and I like it a lot. We had some friends who recently rented a 2 bedroom unit in Belmar Villas for $1500 a month, although this year they got a house. I would not recommend Trifecta as a rental community although it is in Belmar. If you want any specific Lakewood or West Denver info feel free to message me, I've been a tenant, homeowner and landlord around here at different points.
posted by zdravo at 6:01 PM on July 28, 2020


Best answer: The West Colfax area near the light rail is an interesting mix of row apartments, established homes, mixed income, young and older people. It’s an ‘up and coming’ neighborhood. May be something there for you.
posted by artdrectr at 7:57 AM on July 29, 2020


Best answer: I can tell you that parts of Longmont are pretty happening these days and it is more affordable than Boulder. It's definitely coming up in the world and I've known many a Boulder renter who bought a house in Longmont. I think Longmont is pretty cute. If you like Boulder and Longmont, you could also consider Louisville and Lafayette. They are pretty happening these days too, lots of new breweries and shops and stuff. Smaller towns so there's just less inventory but I find them to be very nice places to walk and bike around. Many Boulderites also end up in Lafayette these days when seeking something more affordable.

Your biggest obstacle to living in Boulder is probably the cats more than the money. There are places in your budget from which you can easily bike (maybe not walk) to anything, but it's tough to find a Boulder rental that allows a pet, and then lots limit it to one or two. It's pretty annoying.

No, you don't need an apartment broker. I guess you could get one if that appeals, but I've never heard of anyone around here using one. I would just call/e-mail landlords of places you're interested in and ask them to send pictures or accommodate a remote viewing/video tour, which I have the impression many are doing because of COVID anyway.
posted by mandanza at 9:40 AM on July 29, 2020


Best answer: My first suggestion for anyone considering a Denver move (or basically any other move) is to try WalkScore for finding areas to live that have reasonable walk/bike/transit distances to workplaces, parks, grocery stores, etc. You can plug in multiple addresses to cover more than one possible commute or other trip. The housing listed there isn't exhaustive, but it'll give you some sense what neighborhoods and areas might work for you.

If museums in particular are a likely employment prospect, you may want to concentrate on neighborhoods that are relatively convenient to downtown Denver, since most of the museums are there.

If you have questions about getting around the Denver metro by foot/bike/transit, please feel free to MeMail me. It's much easier than many people think, but it helps a lot to plan well from the beginning so that you've got options.
posted by asperity at 2:46 PM on July 29, 2020


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