Relocating to CO - Golden vs. Boulder? vs something else? — The Bump
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Relocating to CO - Golden vs. Boulder? vs something else?

Hello CO moms! We're planning to move our family to Colorado this coming winter. We both have jobs that allow us to work from home, so we don't necessarily need to be tied down to the bigger city, but I do want to consider the possibility that one of us could, at some point, end up looking for employment in the Denver area. I was hoping you wouldn't mind me asking a few questions while we try to make our final decision about where we want to live.

What do you know about the rail line being built from Boulder to Denver? I've found some information about it online, but thought that you guys might be a better resource.

Where should I look for information on schools? In OH we have district and building report cards, but I haven't been able to find anything similar on any of the CO DOE pages.

We'll be coming in later this summer to scout for neighborhoods and check out Golden/Boulder/downtown Denver. What neighborhoods in Denver city limits would be good for families? We like being able to walk to things and we like older architecture. Right now I have real estate alerts on Stapleton (even though it's newer), Capitol Hill, City Park, Cheeseman Park, Highland, Park Hill, and Lowry. Any thoughts?

Finally, do you have any good realtor recs? We have one we've been working with, but he's really pushing us toward the outskirt suburbs, and we either want to be in the city or in the mountains.

Thank you so much for any insights you may have for me!
Charlie 8.06.08
Emeline 5.28.13

My Blog

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Post-Baby PRs
Esri 5K 7.16.2014 - 21:30
Heart Half Marathon 3.16.2014 - 1:43:30
Canton City Marathon 9.8.14 - 3:30:56

Re: Relocating to CO - Golden vs. Boulder? vs something else?

  • You say you want to be in the city or mountains but Golden or Boulder are neither of those. I am confused. As far as Denver city limits I am partial to the Highlands. Never lived there but I love the vibe when I go to visit.
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  • Those neighborhoods are all good choices.  You say you are moving from OH so I'm not sure the cost of living difference but I moved from Indianapolis and the housing prices here shocked me.  Expect to spend $400k+ for a single family home in any of the neighborhoods you mention (homes can be $200k or less outside of the Denver city limits, depending on neighborhood).

    Olde Town Arvada, Edgewater, Olde Town Littleton are all good options as well that have downtowns but are closer to non-DPS schools (some Denver Public Schools are great, but most of my friends have moved out of the city when their kid turns 4 due to poor schools).  

    Re: the rail to Boulder, it's a big question mark.  The West line to Golden is already built and they are currently working on the rail lines to the airport and Arvada/Wheat Ridge.  I wouldn't bet on any others until they break ground.
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  • You say you want to be in the city or mountains but Golden or Boulder are neither of those. I am confused. As far as Denver city limits I am partial to the Highlands. Never lived there but I love the vibe when I go to visit.
    You're right, I wasn't very clear. We want to be in the Denver part of Colorado, but on the mountain side. The realtor kept trying to steer us east, to Brighton, and farther north, to Longmont.
    Charlie 8.06.08
    Emeline 5.28.13

    My Blog

     image

    Post-Baby PRs
    Esri 5K 7.16.2014 - 21:30
    Heart Half Marathon 3.16.2014 - 1:43:30
    Canton City Marathon 9.8.14 - 3:30:56
  • Those neighborhoods are all good choices.  You say you are moving from OH so I'm not sure the cost of living difference but I moved from Indianapolis and the housing prices here shocked me.  Expect to spend $400k+ for a single family home in any of the neighborhoods you mention (homes can be $200k or less outside of the Denver city limits, depending on neighborhood).


    Yeah, I know our housing costs are going to nearly double with any of the areas we're looking in. It's not the greatest thing to think about, but we've planned for it and we're expecting it, so we'll deal with it as it comes. Thanks for the info about the rails and schools!
    Charlie 8.06.08
    Emeline 5.28.13

    My Blog

     image

    Post-Baby PRs
    Esri 5K 7.16.2014 - 21:30
    Heart Half Marathon 3.16.2014 - 1:43:30
    Canton City Marathon 9.8.14 - 3:30:56
  • Longmont is just north of Boulder. Both Boulder and Golden are expensive. But it sounds like you are expecting that. Depending on what you told the realtor he may be steering you to Brighton and other areas out there because housing is extremely affordable there compared to Denver Golden or Boulder. Within Boulder single family homes usually start at $500,000.
    I do not have kids in school but agree about denver public schools. Golden is in Jefferson County Schools which are usually well regarded. So are Boulder Valley schools. Cherry Creek School District has a lot of good schools too.
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  • Hey I recognize you from BMB! Welcome to CO, it's a great state :)

    As for where to live, I think it's really going to depend on what you're looking for. We live out near Brighton and we love it. I work in Denver, and the commute, while not great, isn't as bad as I would have expected living in the burbs. A lot of my coworkers live in Denver proper and speak highly of quite a few of the areas you've mentioned. I have some issues with the stapleton area though.

    I'd be more than happy to discuss and answer any other questions if you've got any. Feel free to send me a PM since I don't always remember to check this board :/
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  • Boulder is vastly different than Golden.  

    I have lived in Fort Collins for 20 years and I love it, but if I had it to do over again, I would live in Boulder.  Tons of great restaurants and shopping, a lot of culture, close to Denver, close to the mountains.  It is the best of everything.  It gets a lot of flack for being "on another planet" or saturated with New Age hippies, but that's what I love the most about it! 

    If I were going to live in Denver, I like the Highlands.  
    Naniebeans
  • Check out coloradoschoolgrades.com for school rankings.
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  • I have lived in west Denver as well as southeast... if you are not wanting to be in the main city limits, I would look at West Arvada, which is very family friendly and more reasonably priced than Golden. Golden is beautiful and I loved living there but it was definitely over priced. I lived in East Arvada too but I would've loved to live in West Arvada and that is actually our ideal location long-term. DH works down south though so it makes no sense to live there for now. 

    Out of the other neighborhoods you listed, I prefer Highland the best. I lived really close to there as well and it's a pretty nice area and more family oriented than the others. I personally don't like Lowry at all. It's a very nice upscale area but it's completely surrounded by tough neighborhoods and it's not big enough to completely alienate itself from them. 

    As far as school ratings go, this is the website I use:


    You can search by different criteria and see the school ratings all across the state. 
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  • Thanks so much, everyone! We'll be coming out next month to do some driving around. I really appreciate your thoughts and resources.

    Crazycoffeegirl, Hi! How have you been? I'll PM you. And maybe come visit the BMB.
    Charlie 8.06.08
    Emeline 5.28.13

    My Blog

     image

    Post-Baby PRs
    Esri 5K 7.16.2014 - 21:30
    Heart Half Marathon 3.16.2014 - 1:43:30
    Canton City Marathon 9.8.14 - 3:30:56
    flyliceandcoffee
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