Housing in Denver
June 14, 2006 7:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm posting this for a friend who isn't a member: We are planning to relocate to the Denver metro area at the end of June. We would like suggestions on where to look for housing.

A few salient, non-negotiable points: we have a medium-sized dog (half black Lab, half Akita, in case there're breedist landlords out there), and I am a cigarette smoker (I'd be willing to take my habit outside if I had to, but I am not going to lie about it and I'd rather it not be an issue at all.) We're looking at potential employment in South Boulder (me) and the "Denver metro region" (he).

We've noticed while looking remotely at rental properties (and those for sale) that Boulder seems to be quite expensive, Aurora not so much. We're not too hip to living somewhere achingly suburban (i.e., the Denver equivalent of Chicagoland's Schaumburg), but we're not completely sure we want to pay the premium to live in the People's Republic of Boulder either.

If anyone believes that more information about us as people is necessary, please let me know; I'll keep an eye on the thread. Thanks for any and all help!
posted by smich to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You're right - boulder is very expensive. Aurora is clear on the other side of the metro area, and would be a pain to drive to Boulder every day.

What do you mean when you say "Denver Metro Region" as far as potential employment? That may help triangulate.

I'd suggest you look at Westminster, Arvada, Wheat Ridge, and maybe Golden and Broomfield. All are on the West side of the Metro Area, and offer a straight shot into South Boulder via highway 93.
posted by jazon at 8:26 AM on June 14, 2006

What jazon said plus Louisville, Superior, Erie, maybe even Longmont.

Or if you've always wanted to be a hippie and don't mind a serious white knuckle drive to work in the winter -- Ned, aka Nederland.
posted by m@ at 8:47 AM on June 14, 2006

A word of warning - secure those jobs before you get out here. My wife and I moved out from LA in mid-May, and we're still searching. It's a slow job market, even for experienced professionals. We bought a place in Englewood (just south of Denver), and we're noticing that the Denver area is incredibly dog-friendly - you shouldn't have much problem finding a place that won't let you have a dog. Not many smokers, but I doubt you'll get much flak for your habit - restaurants still have "smoking and non-smoking" seating, but I hear that might end on June 30th.
posted by salsamander at 9:02 AM on June 14, 2006

"Denver Metro Region" = whatever job site my b/f's assigned to…blue-collar work often seems to be rather vague as regards location but he has a car and is used to lengthy commutes (although not of the "serious white knuckle" variety.) His job's pretty much waiting for him at this point.

As far as work for me goes, I do have something lined up already, to bide the time while I study for (and hopefully pass) the Colorado bar in February 2007. So we're good on that front.

I guess my biggest concern is how suburban do areas like Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Broomfield, Louisville, and Englewood actually feel? We're not hippies, although we both have dreads. We don't need to go out every night, but we need to play our music (old-school industrial, 80s, darkwave) loudly at times. We're a mixed-race couple, and don't want to catch any BS for that. We'd NEVER have considered a non-Chicago address (nor even a non-312 area code location, as far as I've been concerned)…

Are there any neighborhoods in northwest Denver that might be considered "up and coming" or have a lively arts community? I think that's where we'd be most comfortable….

Thanks, folks, for your thoughts thus far!
posted by smich at 10:06 AM on June 14, 2006

You might want to look at the Highlands area of NW Denver. It seems to be the young, trendy area right now. (Because of that though, it's a bit on the pricy side.) I'd say the epicenter of this neighborhood would be around 32nd and Lowell or around there.
posted by split atom at 11:39 AM on June 14, 2006

You'd be okay in any of the places mentioned so far. You would probably consider Arvada, Wheat Ridge, Broomfield, Louisville to be "suburban" they are well developed communities with big trees and such (even though there is a lot of new development in the area). Driving into Boulder or into Downtown denver isn't hard at all, so you'd not be away from "culture".

How important is it to be near Boulder? Louisville, Broomfield, Westminster are the closest. You sound like you'd fit into the Boulder area just fine.

And race shouldn't be an issue at all.
posted by jazon at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2006

Denverite here, also in Englewood. I have family that lives in Boulder, and I can make it to their homes in under 45 minutes, when traffic is light and moving well.

One thing that you have to realize is that traffic in Denver is nothing like Chicago or LA -- it's not nearly as bad. You will still see some slow downs, but it's not all that bad, and will be getting better... the T-Rex construction project due to be finished in November.

I would agree with everyone else in thinking that you should be looking for somewhere in the middle. Boulder is really kind of a small town that is really spread out, but there are only a couple of ways in and out of town, so traffic can get ugly.

Speaking for Englewood, it's a great community. Suburbia at it's finest. Prices are a little high in comparison to some of the surrounding areas, but you can find a sweet little house for sale or for rent without too much hassle. Just make sure you find a place with air conditioning (*grumble* lying landlord *grumble*).

I know some people who live in Broomfield and Westminster, and they're really happy. Their only complaint is that the developers in the area are building huge houses on tiny plots of land, so that there's about 10 feet of grass separating you from your neighbor. Personally, I moved from Los Angeles so that I could have some space, not so that I could look into my neighbor's kitchen while I'm washing dishes.
posted by Jim T at 5:01 PM on June 14, 2006

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