View Full Version : Maybe becoming a northsider?

05-20-2009, 02:51 PM
So as Jacki and I consider where to move for our first apartment and then hopefully house in the not-too-distant future, I'm thinking maybe northside will be the way to go. My work is in Aurora near Cherry Creek Reservoir, and a lot of her teaching jobs have been in the Jeffco/Westminster school districts. Neither of us like living in high urban areas (I live near Fiddler's Green currently and she lives on the DU campus where one side of her apartment faces University); our ideal situation (may be a few years down the road) would be a small acreage that doesn't see traffic all the time and you don't have to negotiate a bazillion stoplights to get to/from home.

So I'm thinking maybe I should be looking in the Broomfield-ish area. In addition to maybe having a good chance at finding something along these lines, it would give us reasonable proximity to the mountains, good schools/community, and the commutes hopefully won't be too bad. I arrive at work around 7 and leave around 4 normally, so taking Hwy 36-->I-270-->I-70-->I-225 shouldn't be too awful bad. East-West in Denver sucks no matter if you use C-470, I-70, Hampden or 6th ave, and I-25 is still (always) horrible.

Thoughts? I know looking more east might get us there, but that's an awful long distance away from our roots on the west side of Denver/Golden/Boulder. South would be an option if Jacki could get jobs in Douglas County, but then real estate goes through the roof (as if it isn't already in Denver).

I don't know...

I think ideally we would like to live up in Conifer...but my daily drive is prohibitive of that, at least now where my job currently is at.

05-20-2009, 03:54 PM
Broomfield to your work = 45+ minutes...prob an hour most days...I25 north of downtown is brutal both ways.

check some parts of Lakewood...I am looking at a house in north lakewood (Yes Treeroot, I may be a neighbor!) and love some of the areas...lots of parks and quiet areas to pick from...

05-20-2009, 04:03 PM
Is Romer's old place still for sale :) - Maybe he'd let you rent it out :hill:

Close to Cherry Creek...Jacki would be driving west in the morning, east in the evening which always seems lighter traffic wise and avoids the nasty sun glare we get at various times during the year.

On a more serious note...this will be a tough decision as one of you is going to have a long commute unless you find something in the middle or change jobs. If you don't mind the commute then go for location...Otherwise, maybe find a happy medium for the time being. Since you will be renting you don't have to decide yet where you'll want to call home...

Basing where you are going to live on where you work can by tricky unless you have a pretty safe job and don't plan to move...You could pick a place 10 mins from work and 3 years from now you'll change jobs and be 2 hours from work...

Personally, I'd pick an area you want to live in, find a nice place, and then deal with the rest as it comes up. Chances are you will move 2-3 times between now and when the little ones come :D

05-20-2009, 05:14 PM
I lived in Lakewood for my first year working here. The drive across Hampden (35-40 minutes) really took it out of me, I think it was mostly the stoplights. Now I'm 20 minutes from work on a really bad day, 10 normally, and I definitely understand how nice it is to be close to work.

05-20-2009, 05:27 PM
What about Old Town Arvada? I love it down there... though I-70 both ways can really bog down, particularly at Wadsworth.

05-20-2009, 05:49 PM
I spent 10 years fighting traffic in Chicago. For 7 of those years, I drove to work, sitting on Lake Shore Drive breathing exhaust fumes and listening to the radio. It did no good to get frustrated -- that's simply the way things were.

Since moving to the Denver metro area in 1997, I have held three jobs. All of these jobs were no more than 3.5 miles from my house.

That means if I leave home at 8:00, I'm actually at my desk at 8:15 (including parking the Cruiser, climbing several flights of stairs, throwing my lunch sack in the refrigerator, etc). If I'm driving this at a non-commute time, I can do it in 10 minutes.

If I need to go home for lunch, I can do so.
If I want to meet a contractor at my house to discuss something, I can do so.
If I forgot something at home that I need, I can make a quick trip to go get it.

If/when you have kids, this becomes even more essential.

I go to nearly every school play, awards ceremony, program, field day, "Lunch on the Lawn," etc. Most of these are held during the school day. Because my office is only 10 minutes from the elementary school which my kids attend, I can easily leave the office at 1:50, be on time for a 2:00 play in the classroom, and be back to the office by 3:00 p.m.

It means a lot to my kids to have their daddy at their events. If my commute was an hour each way, I would see all of these events on TV after the fact.

I also drop off the kids at school many mornings so my wife can go to work earlier. This is a big benefit if you have two working parents, as we do at the present time.

My advice:

1. If Jacki is still not settled into a full-time job, don't let that dictate where you live. Teaching jobs may be harder or easier to come by in some areas over others, but opportunities for teaching gigs exist everywhere, especially for good people.

2. Look for a peaceful place to live near YOUR work that you can both live in for one year after marriage. Maybe that's the place you're already living in. Don't spend too much time stressing about how much you like it, since it's a temporary arrangement.

It will be especially nice to live near home during your first year of marriage. When your wife calls you to say that you should come home because she is cooking an awesome dinner, you can be there in 10 minutes to help set the table.

3. After you move into your new place, start looking immediately for a house. Spend as much time as you need looking -- don't be rushed by an eager real estate agent into buying. Find a place that you'll be happy to live in for 5 years. Most people move every 5 years on average, and your first house usually won't be your last.

There are beautiful neighborhoods everywhere throughout the Denver metro area. Many of them are 200 houses tucked down a side street that you have never seen. Some will back to green belts with great views and streams. Older houses will have big lots with wonderful back yards with mature trees.

Come check out my neighborhood. Go see Old Littleton. Take a look at the houses in old neighborhoods just south of Hampden. There are really cool, peaceful places to live near where you work -- you don't need to move to Broomfield to find them.

4. Buy as much house as you can afford, but don't stretch it to the breaking point. It's OK to be a little "house poor" for a year or two -- your salary growth and inflation will both make the payment easier in future years. But don't spend so much money that you can't go away for a 3-day ski vacation (or whatever) when you want to. You'll be newlyweds, and you should spend as much time doing cool stuff together as possible.

At some point in life, you may find yourself in a situation that requires commuting: you live in Longmont, have teenagers in high school, and you get a job in the Denver Tech Center. At that point, you may have little choice. But right now, you have a choice. Don't waste hours of your life sitting in a car + money on fuel when it's not necessary.

05-20-2009, 06:25 PM
You know I use to work at Lockheed on the west side, not North Though. I didn't have a huge problem going to work or home. It was always the poor bastards going the other way. Have you ever seen westbound C470 in the afternoon, its a parking lot. It may be different north to south, just pointing out its not just the distance but which way the traffic is flowing.

When Bonni and I got married we moved up by Aurora Mall so Bonni could be closer to work. A year later we had Rachel and Bonni . . . retired and became a stay at home. This left me with the long commute from the Aurora Mall to Waterton Canyon. It sucked and that was in the 80's before the traffic got bad.

Just think of the time you lose in that long drive and the wear and tear on your vehicle. Like Matt said, there are a lot of little neighborhoods tucked away that people don't know is there. Mine has close to acre lots and a mix of housing values and styles.

Just up the street is the little community of Foxfield. Lots of neighborhoods. Do some searching on the real estate websites and then drive around and check them out and find one that feels right to you

05-20-2009, 06:52 PM
I pesonally love living close to work (10min by car, and 40 by bike)... but allison drives to golden each day.

I love being able to come home for lunch, see the dog, and pick up th etruck parts I need to take to the store later after work...

It's one of th ereasons I think living in the mountains is out for us right now.

05-20-2009, 08:30 PM
Hulk had some sage advice.:thumb:

Before moving to Colorado I was an airplane commuter living near the Napa Valley of Northern California. We had a fantastic life, great community, superior neighbors, acreage, and a house that appreciated significantly in the time we lived there. My wife never would have left if it was up to her (I still hear about this).

I would leave for the San Francisco, Oakland, or Sacramento airport every Sunday or Monday and come back on Friday. On the best day this was a 2.5 hour commute. I hated it; it was absolutely miserable; but I loved where we lived.

Anyway, I got transferred to headquarters (Westminster) and we tried to recreate our rural lifestyle. This was pretty tough. We looked all over the place and found a great house on acreage at the top of Coal Creek Canyon that was very affordable for us. However, the thought of 12 hour days plus a 60 to 90 minute commute was unacceptable.

After much looking, I found a place 15 minutes from the office on some acreage in Broomfield. We moved here and like it a lot.

Now, I love the fact that I am so close. As Matt mentioned there are many perks when you have kids if you are close. I really enjoy it. BTW-I am now 25 minutes from DIA and its great.

Choose wisely Matt, you have a great deal of flexibility in your life right now; it's an asset.:)

05-21-2009, 09:51 AM

Hulk is spot on.

I have two kids and I am a single parent. I live 3 blocks from my son's elementary school and 2 miles from my daughter's HS. I currently work from home, but used to commute 45 mins+ each way for about a year and half which was killing me.

Quality of life, quality of family does not involve a lengthy commute!!!!!

05-21-2009, 11:45 AM
Great stuff above... hey we should start a "if I were to do it all over again..." thread, maybe two, one for our new class of graduating high school seniors, the other for our newly weds..

05-21-2009, 01:55 PM
the other for our newly weds..

That one could backfire.....;):bowdown::Princess:

05-21-2009, 03:43 PM
Matt... I live in N. Broomfield and commute to Longmont. My wife commutes from Broomfield to Aurora (Children's Hospital - Fitz). She ends up taking the toll road nearly every day because 25 S in the morning is a parking lot and 270 has so many potholes that cars slam on their brakes just to try to keep the wheels on their cars!!!

We absolutely love Broomfield, but it is NOT quick to the mountains (until they complete the loop thru Golden) and nearly every day we wish we lived closer to work!!! Think about it...a half hour commute means you're giving away 1 hour of your life every day!