Front Range Western Suburbs? (Golden, Applewood, Arvada)

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by error cooled, Jul 31, 2017.

  1. picard

    picard engage!

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    ^^^ ... and that's the difference between Denver and LA. Yes traffic isn't nearly as bad (*yet*) except when the weather is bad. No one here can handle driving in slippery conditions any more.
    But the recreational areas (mountains, trails, campgrounds, etc) are way more crowded than they are near LA. I have hiked on a weekend in the San Gabriel mountains and saw no one. Just like the way it was around here 25 years ago. The "Colorado Playground" within reach of the Front Range has become a zoo that is not worth the price of admission any more.
    After living here 25 years (and - if science funding continues just a bit longer - likely another 6-10) I have already decided that I will not spend my retirement in this area. Growth predictions are scary (talk 3 M extra people in the next 20 years)
    #21
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  2. Proveick

    Proveick Long timer

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  3. dgreen2321

    dgreen2321 Adventurer

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    Wow, talk about over-exaggerating.

    The traffic is average. I live in downtown Denver and it takes me 35 minutes to commute to Broomfield (near Boulder). I lived an equivalent distance from my office in Michigan and it took me anywhere from 1-2 hours to commute every morning. In Michigan. People who grew up here don't know what actual traffic is.

    It is NOT LA. I can't stand LA. I would never live in LA. Denver is by far more laid back than LA and jobs here tend to be a lot more laid back.

    Denver is not a big city and it's not overcrowded, unless you're used to living in Montana or some other state with a low population.

    Minimum 120 minute ride to go riding? You people are out of your mind.

    OP take this crap with a grain of salt.
    #23
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  4. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    Ditto!!! Denver and the surrounding area has piecewise personality and enjoyment that LA does not. Plus there is great riding close to town, such as trying yourself at Rampart, riding up Bear Creek Canyon, tooling through Red Rocks, up Mt. Evans, etc....
    #24
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  5. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    That I'm not going to argue with at all. Still can't comprehend why folks here have no ability to drive in the rain, haha.

    Exactly my point... because in LA it's practically impossible to even get out of the city in order to get to those recreational areas. So people just don't go. That, and the type of person that likes LA is likely not all that interested in out door recreation. I'm not saying it hasn't changed in the last 25yrs, because of course it has. I just laugh when people try to claim it's as bad as LA.

    I don't blame you. I'd NEVER recommend anyone to retire to the front range, or any major metro for that matter. Once you don't NEED a job I see no real reason to live in a major metro. However, sounds like the PO is a few years off from being able to retire, haha.
    #25
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  6. Graniteone

    Graniteone 3,2,1...Beer me!

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    I live in Golden and love it. I have lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and know what a shit show looks like and this ain't it. I would counsel you to shop as close to the mountains as possible for access and peace of mind. Look forward to seeing your old Land Cruiser around. I have a 77' 40 and a 83' 60.
    #26
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  7. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    I live in Wheat Ridge, right next to Applewood, (If you know where Applejack Liquor is, you know where Applewood is, it's just a neighborhood in Wheat Ridge)

    The pluses, we are in easy reach of the mountains and downtown. That is not to say getting through the weekend traffic is easy but we are ~10 min to the Hogback (where the mountains "start") and 20 min or less to downtown, using secondary roads.

    Meets your old neighborhood with trees/yards criteria, but like all of CO the closer to the mountains the more $$

    Wheat Ridge/Applewood does not have a walkable city center, but we're 10 min to olde town Arvada which does, but they are trying to make 38th Ave such a place. They do movie nights, trick or treat things etc....not quite there yet.

    Home prices. I have a 2k sq tri-level with a big (for Denver) yard that is ~1/4 acre, probably worth $450k now. Home across the street, same size, smaller yard 100% 1960's/1970'S interior, just sold for $436k. Go farther west 6 blocks into Applewood proper, your looking at $500k for a fixer upper, or $600-750k for move in ready.

    Good dirt, Rampart is an hour south, but crowded as it's close to Denver and Castle Rock. Jeep roads around Idaho Springs are 40 min west (if traffic is light) "Riding out your door" from the Denver area does not exist.


    While it IS getting crazy busy and crazy crowded here, Oldman kind of over exaggerates (sp) we have heavy traffic, but not gridlock around the clock. Look at the traffic cams on COTrip.org where you think you'll work and make your own call.
    #27
  8. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    Noted - will be asking for ADV discount ;)

    Got it, I'll head to Houston instead.

    I sincerely appreciate th intel. Evergreen and Conifer are on the radar as well if we can swing the commute. I'll add Morrison.

    I appreciate the realistic response.

    Thank you - looking forward to stopping by Slee with the 80.

    Great data points - thank you. We bought a 70 year old shoebox a few years back in a D.C. Suburb - hopefully the equity will alllow for somewhat decent options when we cash out.
    #28
  9. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

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    And to top it all off ................. after you unwittingly move here, the mountain lions are probably going to eat your dog! :gerg :grim :bite

    WELCOME !!! :imaposer
    #29
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  10. capulin overdrive

    capulin overdrive Been here awhile

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    Yup, same boat here. Had always planned to buy a second home in the hills for retirement. But I can't stomach summer crowds anymore, and scared winter isn't far off from being just as bad. And I'm already a 50 or south guy.
    #30
  11. wakewop

    wakewop Hucker

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    I've lived here my whole life (49yrs). Grew up in Applewood, Work in Golden, Lakewood, Lookout, Genese, Evergreen, every day. Certain roads have become VERY hectic with traffic as so many people have moved here and the roads/highways have stayed the same. Simply can't keep up. I avoid I25, 225, 270 like the plague. So glad I rarely have to use them. If I did, I would prob quit that job. Seriously.
    What Rodzilla has said about home prices in the areas mentioned is SPOT ON. OP mentioned he wants to make a lateral move mortgage wise. It would be extremely helpful if you could let us know what purchase price you are looking for and we could really be helpful with leading you in the right direction. As said before, the housing and rental market right now is absurd.
    Evergreen and Morison are not bad commutes, HOWEVER, if you find a cheap house it's going to be a shitbox. LOTS of crap shacks in Evergreen, Morison, and Golden. If they are newer, older but updated, they fetch a hefty price. Arvada is a nice place, and downtown arvada can be a fun to walk around. Pretty much plan on walking there because parking around or in the downtown area is pretty much impossible and frustrating. Lakewood also has an area called Belmar that might appeal to you for the town center thing. However, houses like you are looking for are older and the same rules apply as in the Applewood area. Pay to play.
    As you can tell from the other posts, you are going to have to drive to trails. Or ride with a plated bike. I would say 1.5 hours unless you want to go to Rampart on weekdays. Weekends are a life risking event there.
    #31
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  12. error cooled

    error cooled anything but asphalt

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    We would like to be around $450K or less, but could go up to $500K. Seems like that range has ok options in Arvada but not Golden proper.
    #32
  13. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    That's probably true at the moment. I wouldn't rent to long though. If the market keeps going the direction it's been going, that move will be less and less lateral, haha. I keep thinking it's going to plateau, but it hasn't happened yet.
    #33
  14. dirtydoug

    dirtydoug Been here awhile

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    #34
  15. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    Yes sir Golden is golden. Colorado School of Mines and museum, great little downtown area, North Table Mt., South Table Mt., and Lookout Mt. are all great hiking stuff with views of the region and overlooking cute little town below.
    #35
  16. Rodzilla

    Rodzilla Little short for a Stormtrooper

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    This is true. Homes are still selling fast. The desirable ones, in hours and often with bidding wars. The ones that stay on the market are 1) way overpriced and need a total gut job, 2) are located on a busy street or 3) have major structure defects.

    The last "Hot spot" was the highlands and little "bungalow" homes were selling for 500k, the push is going west so the whole Wheat Ridge, Arvada, Applewood area is likely to be the next "hot" area. Most of that region is aging out, lots of retirees (up until last year, we were the youngest family on our street in our late 40s) the area is turning over now.

    While the family and I would like to move up to one more bathroom and one more bedroom (a full basement would be nice too) since the kids are becoming teenagers, the step up from 3 bed/2ba to something bigger is a step from $450k to $600k+ and I won't be house poor.
    #36
  17. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    Road up to my sister's place yesterday,(her birthday). Trout creek Pass area. ~ 120 miles from my place in Denver. Spent the night and back this morning. The traffic was a solid stream both ways, most of the time. You couldn't pass, since there were no openings in the traffic, ether way. But it would not have been worth passing, since you would have had a car right in front of you again. so sit back and relax. We never hit over 50 mph from Bailey to Southpark. But that's ok, since that's the speed limit. 65 mph all the way across South Park, but gain, that's ok, that's the speed limit. And with the irresponsible drivers, a pretty good thing. We took her Jeep and went for a ride. Took a picknic etc. 2 of the parking areas off 285 were close to over flowing with trucks and trailers. There were places you could park, but not much. Plenty of side-by sides and aTV's on the trail, but doable. Coming home this morning traffic was light across the valley. Followed a Diesel Chevy pickup all the way. Had the WeeStrom pinned for much of it. I was in hopes he would get the ticket instead of me. We passed a lot of cars, but some were keeping up. I did see a few cops, but none had anyone pulled over. I lost him just before Bailey, and never saw him again until the road construction, and one lane road.
    I am spending some time in the L.A. area for work. More cars for sure, but the roads are made for it, and so traffic moves better. I think the traffic "personality" is a lot more consistent, so flows better. You don't have the aggressive idiot mixed in with the rural farmer etc. Or the east coast driver mixed in with the texas, mixed in with the tourist, mixed in with the Chicago driver. Like you have here. So it flows better. I stood on PCH in Redondo a few months ago @ 08:30 in the morning. Several cars at each stop light in both directions. At that time of day on the blvd's around here, you probably won't get through a stop light on one light change.
    Drove out to Van Nuys from Redondo to see a friend. Never below 45 mph all the way and back. You can't do that on the valley highway here any time during daylight hours.
    No I wouldn't live in L.A. but this place has become L.A. reincarnated, and sometimes worse.
    #37
  18. bobfab

    bobfab Long timer

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    Dude, i am in entirely the same boat. We would love to move out of our 3/2 house to something with 4 Br's and a full basement to accommodate out growing family, but just cant make the move and stomach the stress of attempting to participate in the fist fuck known as house buying in this area. It is so outrageously competitive, we just cant justify taking that on. We are leaning towards to putting a significant addition if the zoning allows; in that case lets keep up the market crazy.
    #38
  19. nmalozzi

    nmalozzi airheaded

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    "Next hot area"... it already is. We bought our home in Edgewater (which is pretty much Wheat Ridge) in 2013 for 170k and we regularly receive unsolicited offers in the 400-450k range. I find it odd that Arvada isn't seeing as much growth as the areas just to the south of it. That'll come though too.

    I hear you both on the issues regarding growing out of your homes. The Mrs and I bought our home with the intentions of it being a starter home, and a way to get into home ownership at a lower cost. Our place is 1100sqft 3bed (but really 2) 1 bath. We're expecting a little guy in November. So we are bursting at the seams trying to make room for him. We love the area, and would buy another larger home even on the same street if we could. I have no interest in fighting that hard or spending the money to do so. Thus, we are too looking at adding on. It will likely mean adding a second floor, which sounds like a nightmare to live through. I'm also looking into adding a small studio above our garage. I have so many single friends struggling to make rent in this market. If I could just help one of them save a few bucks it'd be worth it.
    #39
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  20. bmiller59

    bmiller59 Been here awhile

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    The original question is sort of like "Find me the perfect girl, beautiful, intelligent, an angel in public but a wildcat in the sack, has a six figure job oh and she loves moto" You find and marry her only to find out she's a screaming bitch.
    #40
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