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  1. #1
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    Relocating to Golden or maybe Boulder

    I just accepted a job offer in Boulder and am looking for a good place to live (moving from vancouver, wa). My wife and I are looking for a good place to raise a family and access to the mountains. Ideally, we'd like to be able to ride from home or have a short drive to the TH to enable before/after work rides.

    On paper, Golden seems like the perfect place with good access to Boulder and Denver, and good access to the mountains. What is Golden like as a town? From posts on this forum, I gather its a one of the great ridinng places on the front range, but also that it can be kinda rednecky.

    Any suggestions on neighborhoods to live in (for families)? I have talked to a couple of realtors, and they are pushing Lakewood and Arvada...which seem a little further from the trail. If you have any recommendations for realtors, please PM me as I'm having so-so luck.

    We're also considering Boulder, but of course its spendy and I'm worried about trail access (not much of a roadie).

    Any suggestions would be much appreciated! Thanks!
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  2. #2
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    +trails

    You can certainly ride to a number of trails in the Golden area, but yes the town is a little rednecky. I think Arvada would be an option but a little farther away from the mountains. I live in Boulder and if I'm heading for the hills, I usually have to drive up one of the canyons first to get to the trails, although there are a couple of trails you can get to from town - like Betasso. If you're working in Boulder, there's a lot of folks who commute into town these days so the traffic can be a little sticky depending on which route you take. You could also consider the small town of Lyons north of Boulder.
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  3. #3
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    Getting to Boulder from Golden is hit or miss. The 93 (The most direct route between the two towns) tends to get windy(like blow trailers off the road windy). In the winter I've been in zero visibility on that road. But the 93 is the most direct route, it isn't the only route. Also, Golden is a lot cheaper than Boulder. Golden has several areas. The downtown is quaint and getting rebuilt. There are a lot of Condos going in that are really nice. If you live closer to jails/Jeffco Center, it gets pretty dumpy. But if you live on the mountains - such as along the hogback or in Mountain Ridge, or North Table mountain, it gets pretty nice. North Table mountain has custom homes as well as some McMansions on the north side.

    For mountain ridge check out this site
    http://www.jeffcohomes.info/
    I'm not the biggest fan of Jim Smith (The realtor that runs the site) but he puts up good info.
    Theresa is another one who specializes in Jeffco.
    http://www.theresabozeman.com/
    KB Homes along the 93
    http://www.kbhome.com/Community~CommID~00840115.aspx

    I picked Golden because of easy access to the mountains, downtown, and freeways. The 70, 6, 93, 58, C-470 all converge here so if anything is messed up I can still get out. Four rights and a stoplight and I am at an open space park. Keystone and Winter Park are an hour away. Downtown is 20 minutes. As IndecentExposure put it - its the closest you can get to a mountain town, without being stuck driving the 70.

    Another way to go is look north to Longmont. Not as close to the mountains, but a lot of people who work in Boulder live in Longmont. For me it was too far to get to the mountains but it is another choice.

  4. #4
    lucky enough
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    If you're looking to be close to Boulder, but cheaper, try Louisville. I would favor that town over Longmont. It's closer to the mountains and would be a shorter commute to Boulder.
    "Don't take life so serious, son . . . it ain't no how permanent." - Porky Pine

  5. #5
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    SLCDawg,
    Do a search for Golden in this forum. You'll find many arguments for Golden. I live in Golden; used to live in Boulder and Evergreen as well.

    Golden is the bomb for the front range when it comes to a short recreation commute. Golden has a small mountain town feel to it, you'll walk downtown and something is always going on during the summer. For raising kids, its awesome. The things you can do with your kids and family will be related around mountain type things plus the basic kiddo stuff.

    The realistate is still within reason, probably half of what Boulder is, but it is gaining popularity. I ride a trail that is 2 minutes from my house. I can hike on a trail that is behind my house. You can rock climb 5 different area's within 10 minutes, kayak downtown on a course, paraglide on warm afternoons, or just stroll through down town.

    PM me for details.

  6. #6
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    If I worked in Denver I would move to Golden, but I work in Boulder. As a very bike commute friendly city you may want to take that into consideration. There is nothing quite as sweet as a 10-15 minute bike commute vs. 30+ minutes of aggravated driving at peak traffic times. You will have to drive to trailheads since the good trails are all pretty much out of riding range, but that is versus the garuanteed daily work commute.

    People either love, hate, or player hate Boulder. That is up to your personal preference, and you have to pay for the town if you like it. I found it cheaper to live in Boulder than to buy a 2nd car.
    Give 'da people 'da air.

  7. #7
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    Thanks

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the responses. We've been looking online at real estate and are definitely leaning towards Golden. We're hoping to find a house around $400...there are a lot more options in the Golden area.

    I checked out the links to the realtors, IvanLasston. Not sure how recent Jim's listings are...some of his Solds look pretty amazing for the price...I'm guessing they are from a few years ago.

    I talked to a buddy today who used to live in Lakewood. He was saying there was great access to trails...a lot of options within 30 minutes. Anyone have any experience living in Lakewood?

    Any other neighborhoods (or zipcodes) I should check out within our price range? Thanks again for the feedback. The wife and I really appreciate it!

    Looking forward to hitting some of these trails I keep hearing about.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  8. #8
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    Congrats on the job

    I think Golden has best access to trails in/near Golden, tho its not like there are that many trails. Its not like living in Crested Butte. We have mtbing here in Boulder but its mellower XC stuff, tho that's what I like. If you have kids, I am surprised you are not into road riding. I've got 1 and I don't have time to jump in the car and drive to a trailhead. CO has wonderful road riding. The commute into Boulder by car is pretty bad coming from any direction, tho 93 from Golden is not as bad as US 36 from Denver. 93 has a few stupidly placed stop lights that really slow everything down. There is a bus. And in bad weather they close 93 frequently due to snow/wind. Definitely put snow tires on your car in the winter. I don't know much about the schools in Golden but they are in the Jefferson County School District which is pretty good. Most of the schools in Boulder are very good. Are schools a consideration?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the responses. We've been looking online at real estate and are definitely leaning towards Golden. We're hoping to find a house around $400...there are a lot more options in the Golden area.

    I checked out the links to the realtors, IvanLasston. Not sure how recent Jim's listings are...some of his Solds look pretty amazing for the price...I'm guessing they are from a few years ago.

    I talked to a buddy today who used to live in Lakewood. He was saying there was great access to trails...a lot of options within 30 minutes. Anyone have any experience living in Lakewood?

    Any other neighborhoods (or zipcodes) I should check out within our price range? Thanks again for the feedback. The wife and I really appreciate it!

    Looking forward to hitting some of these trails I keep hearing about.
    I lived on the west side of Lakewood for about 7 years - right at the base of Green Mountain, actually. Access to trails is very good. Green Mountain was right out the back door which could be connected to Dakota Ridge, Matthews Winters, Red Rocks, as well as Falcon & Apex with a minimum amount of road work. Within 30 minutes you could be at Chimney Gulch, White Ranch, Deer Creek and Waterton Canyon. It was a nice central location. Be warned, however - Lakewood is a *really* big city. You can get yourself a looooong way away from the trails.

    $400K? How big a house are you looking for? Golden tends to be on the high side of the price range in the "western area suburbs." If you're looking for something under 2500 sq ft you should be able to find *tons* of stuff in west Lakewood and in the "suburbs" of Golden.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for the responses. We've been looking online at real estate and are definitely leaning towards Golden. We're hoping to find a house around $400...there are a lot more options in the Golden area.

    I checked out the links to the realtors, IvanLasston. Not sure how recent Jim's listings are...some of his Solds look pretty amazing for the price...I'm guessing they are from a few years ago.

    I talked to a buddy today who used to live in Lakewood. He was saying there was great access to trails...a lot of options within 30 minutes. Anyone have any experience living in Lakewood?

    Any other neighborhoods (or zipcodes) I should check out within our price range? Thanks again for the feedback. The wife and I really appreciate it!

    Looking forward to hitting some of these trails I keep hearing about.
    If you enjoy driving to the trails, then Lakewood is for you. Its a compromise in my humble opinion. It also makes getting to Boulder Really suck.

    IF you have to look into suburbs, look into Arvada. At least you're closer to Boulder.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    I lived on the west side of Lakewood for about 7 years - right at the base of Green Mountain, actually. Access to trails is very good. Green Mountain was right out the back door which could be connected to Dakota Ridge, Matthews Winters, Red Rocks, as well as Falcon & Apex with a minimum amount of road work. Within 30 minutes you could be at Chimney Gulch, White Ranch, Deer Creek and Waterton Canyon. It was a nice central location. Be warned, however - Lakewood is a *really* big city. You can get yourself a looooong way away from the trails.

    $400K? How big a house are you looking for? Golden tends to be on the high side of the price range in the "western area suburbs." If you're looking for something under 2500 sq ft you should be able to find *tons* of stuff in west Lakewood and in the "suburbs" of Golden.
    It may be on the high side, but I thought the first 3 rules of buying a house was Location Location Location.

    You can find houses under 400k in my hood. I have access to a trail within 2 minutes. We also have mtn biking partys in our hood (Had one just last weekend). We get a group together on thursdays to make a beer run down to the brewery (not Coors). Sure, I could get a mansion on the east side of town, but why?

    Hell, just yesterday I ran up to Keystone, made two runs, and ran home.

  12. #12
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Yeah - the northwestern suburbs would be much more conducive to commuting to Boulder. 93 is probably mostly a clusterf**ck to Boulder during rush, no?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    <snip>

    Hell, just yesterday I ran up to Keystone, made two runs, and ran home.
    Dude - Keystone is like 70 miles away. You *RAN* there?

    I would've at least ridden my bike there... of course, I hate to run.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    ...
    I checked out the links to the realtors, IvanLasston. Not sure how recent Jim's listings are...some of his Solds look pretty amazing for the price...I'm guessing they are from a few years ago.
    ...
    They are relatively recent. Looking at the website, I think at least the first four pages are from last year.

    I used this guy as a buyer's agent. He did a good job for me. Give him a call and give him your criteria and he can lay out some options for you.
    http://www.craigbiesterfeld.com/

    And I know I'm looking like a re-max pimp but they have a lot of the business in the area so that's what I had dealt with when I moved last year.

  15. #15
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    If you are working in Boulder, I think you will be happier living in Boulder. Commuting to Boulder is no fun. $400k get's you a decent place in Boulder. Louisville is a better choice than Golden I think, and is closer to Boulder.

    Golden's not bad, but bike commuting rocks, and riding from Golden to Boulder can be a bit windy most of the time. If you live in Boulder, Louisville (or surrounding areas like lafayette or longmont), you can ride to work.

  16. #16
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    Depends on how big a house you need/want

    I've got a mellow agent right next door to me in S. Boulder, you can pm me if you want. $335K will get you a small 1000 sq. foot house in S Boulder, $425-500 will get you a medium sized house in S Boulder. Yes it is a lot of dough, but it will only increase in value. S Boulder houses are not the nicest but they are OK, depends what you are used to, they are 60s & 70s built. The schools in S Boulder are some of the best in the state, and I would go so far as to say they rival any private school in the state. In fact, that is why a lot of people move to Boulder and pay the high prices, the schools.

  17. #17
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    some additional thoughts

    I just recently bought a piece of land in the foothills around Boulder Heights which I plan to build on w/in the next year or two.

    First of all, I agree with everything that has been said above and Golden is a great choice for accessibility, price, town, etc. We also looked in Golden, Evergreen, Conifer, Pine but ultimately selected Boulder because of the school system, commute, and my wife strongly preferred the diverse range of activities going on every weekend. Boulder is also close to some legendary rides around Nederland and off the peak to peak. I personally can't stress enough the importance of short commute... even a short 30 minute commute each way adds up to 250+ hours a year or 10 full days in the car!

    As if your search isn't hard enough I just wanted to add a few more considerations. If you're looking at the mountains around Golden, Evergreen, Conifer, etc. (so you're not on city water) just be aware that you're pulling water from a fractured rock well environment as opposed to an aquifer. This is not a bad thing but make sure that your well (and surrounding wells) pull a few gallons of water a minute. Many wells have run dry or pull under a 1/2 gallon a minute which may be a problem if we have a significant drought in the future. You probably think I'm nuts but try to sell a house with a dry well or live with hauling water! Schools of course are another big consideration. If you buy in the mountains, exposure is also key (a Northern exposure can be brutally cold and shady in the winter)

    Anyway - here are some links you may find useful (If you look in Boulder, PM me and I have a ton of additional information resources)
    School Info (CSAP test scores and rankings):
    CSAP Results: http://reportcard.cde.state.co.us/re...andHandler.jsp
    Rankings: http://www.schooldigger.com/go/CO/schoolrank.aspx
    Well Logs for the state (you can search by address or subdivision): http://165.127.23.116/website/lttool...?iw=600&ih=400

  18. #18
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    Yes, schools are very important to us. We have an 18 month old and are planning on a second...so elementary schools are in our near future. Our priorities are to find a great place to raise a family, and hopefully be close enough to do an after work ride once a week and get in a weekend ride without it taking up the entire weekend.

    We lived in Salt Lake for 9 years and loved the close access, but decided it wasn't the best place to raise a family. So we moved to the portland area for 2 years and its a better place to raise a family, but its a 60-90 minute drive to the nearest TH. Ideally, we want it all.

    Thanks for the links on schools and realtors. Coming from Portland, Boulder is very appealing. But, we're having a hard time justifying moving into a smaller home when our family is growing.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  19. #19
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    Hey slc,

    Check your PM's.

    R

  20. #20
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    I think your best bet is Boulder or Golden....if you know you will be working in Boulder for a while it may be worth living there, as you will have an easy commute. However, as far as being family orientated I would chose Golden over Boulder...we don't have kids, but can see how Golden would be a great place to raise a family.

  21. #21
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    Can you elaborate on why Golden would be a great place to raise a family? Seems like a dumb question...but we're trying to get a sense of the community.

    We're looking for a good family neighborhood/community. Lots of parks, sidewalks, places to take the kids and meet other families as well as good schools, low crime, etc.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    Can you elaborate on why Golden would be a great place to raise a family? Seems like a dumb question...but we're trying to get a sense of the community.

    We're looking for a good family neighborhood/community. Lots of parks, sidewalks, places to take the kids and meet other families as well as good schools, low crime, etc.
    That pretty much sums up Golden. Not that Boulder doesn't have that as well, but Boulder is much bigger than Golden and a college town. Golden does have the School of Mines, but hey it's the School of Mines, not exactly know for partying. Golden is community orientated, has good schools, they are currently building a new high school.

    But yes, has parks bike paths, family activities, like the good old Golden Christmas, movies in the park in the summer....etc. Don't know if you have seen the movie Funny Farm, but if you have that is what my wife calls the town. People are friendly and there are a lot of young families in town. If you are in your 30's with kids, well that is much of Golden.

  23. #23
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    Another vote to check out Louisville.

    It's a great place for families with kids--lots of other kids, good parks and rec facilities, and great schools. For commuting, it's a 30 min bike ride to downtown Boulder (with bus and relatively uncrowded driving options, too), and Denver isn't much farther. Though most of the popular trailheads are 30mins away by car, you can definitely get in a decent post-work 20 mile loop from town (hey, Marshall Mesa has gotten much better in the past two years).

    I'm biased, but I think Old Town Louisville is the nicest family neighborhood in Boulder County. Tree-lined, sidewalks, lots of parks, walk to the library/restaurants/pool, etc. The housing stock is mostly either quite old and small (turn-of-the-century bungalows) or newly scraped/remodeled (big, expensive), but there are some lightly upgraded old houses that might fit the bill. Or move slightly away from Old Town and there are quite a few 80s-90s era houses around $400k.

    Whatever you do, minimize the commute as much as you can. Front Range traffic turns to glue when the weather gets unusual (93 in snow or wind--gah!). Or when a holiday weekend arrives. Or for no reason at all.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg

    We're looking for a good family neighborhood/community. Lots of parks, sidewalks, places to take the kids and meet other families as well as good schools, low crime, etc.
    Lyons is cool if you want more of a small town feel (ie 1500 people, 1.5 sq miles). $400k will get you a decent sized house, too. The schools here are amazing, as is the community. More community pride and involvement than anywhere I've ever lived. It's not for everyone, though. Despite the fact that it's a great place to raise a family, you're 15-20 min from stores and most conveniences. About 45 minutes from Denver and 20 min from N Boulder. It's an easy bike commute, too. Used to take me about 45 minutes to ride to central Boulder (on a road bike )

    For what it's worth, Lyons has more park space per capita than any other town on the front range. Good mtb from your door, too - and that will be expanding over the next couple of years. If you want to hop in a car and drive 20-30 minutes you'll have enough riding to last you all summer. Crime? Pretty much non existant. It's like Mayberry.

    If it's important to you, there's significantly less buildings, roads, and sprawl compared to areas south of Boulder. Also, the trails around here are more raw, USFS backwoodsy stuff. Not like the man made wooden stair parks around Denver.

    Again, not for everyone, but if a small town mountain vibe suits your fancy, Lyons would be worth checking out.
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  25. #25
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    i've lived in both boulder and golden (currently the latter)...

    both are great towns nestled in the foothills w/ residents who love the outdoors. golden has better MTB options w/in minutes; boulder is by far the better road/commuter friendly town. however the biggest difference is culture-- boulder is a college town, and despite being in a "red" state, it isn't called "the people's republic of boulder" for nuthin'. because there is a tier 1 research university there, you get people from all around the globe flocking to live/work there. so the diversity is much broader (though the attitutude toward that diversity can be, um, lacking).

    golden was once the capitol of CO during the mining days of old... it has a small town feel and they work hard to preserve the "where the west lives!" motto despite the sprawl. being a relatively small town, there is a sense of community. there's also a world class educational institution there, but on a much smaller, more focused (engineering) scale.

    public schools (for the most part) in either boulder county or jefferson county are fine.

    to sum it up best: in boulder you can dine on vegan thai cuisine, catch the latest indy fare at the theater, and feel good about attending the annual "conference on world affairs".
    in golden you'll chow some excellent mexican food, catch "shrek 2" at an outdoor showing in the park, and feel nostalgic at the annual hot rod car show in downtown.



    i always expected i'd settle in boulder when we moved back home from NYC, but frankly the prices were too high and the traffic is just horrendous these days, especially when school is in session (i think CU has 30,000+ students). i personally really enjoy golden, and as i think was pointed out, from a car-oriented commute, the location is really nice-- 20 minutes north to boulder, 20 minutes east to denver, 1 hour+ west toward winter park and beyond.

    i worked in boulder for a while (while living in golden), and 93 isn't as bad as some would have you believe ('cept during a blizzard). there is a regional bus line that goes straight from golden to boulder though if you wanna leave the driving to someone else (and depending on who you took a job w/, you might even get a free "ecopass", so no fare for you).

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  26. #26
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    You are just going to have to come visit and spend a bit of time in the various communities. In the meantime, you and your wife should spend some time thinking about your priorities and what amenities and lifestyle factors are most important to you.

    I'm in Boulder and I love living here. I'm not eager to live anywhere else. My commute is 10 mins by bike, 15 mins by bus, and 25 mins on foot if a blizzard prevents riding or taking the bus. Boulder's major flaws are the cost of living, pretense (especially among certain members of the athletic community), and crowding/traffic. It's not the worst place to live if you love mt biking. We have quite a few mellow trails close to town (no need to drive), and Lyons, Golden, and Nederland are close enough to hit after work.

    Just to reiterate my first point, though. We can all go on and on and on to point out the advantages and disadvatanges of every town within a 30 mile radius of Boulder. There is nothing like first-hand experience, though. So come out here and spend a day and evening in each town. Ride the bus to and from Boulder. Do the drive during rush hour. Go to the grocery store. Go out to eat. Take your kid to the park. And above all, go for some rides!!!!!

    Good luck, and let us know what you decide.

  27. #27
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    Let me sum up the highway situation

    Everyone complains about 93. I've driven that and all other highways in the area. I'd like to sum everything up about this elusive highway.

    Hwy 93 is your best bet for going to Boulder. The options you have are Indiana, and wadsworth if you had to go that far east. With that said, everyone complains about the snow/wind on the hwy, yes it can blow over a few 18 wheelers every now and then, and the blizzard situ can get rough. These incidents account for possibly 3 or 4 days of the year... about 1% or less.

    Meanwhile, that highway flows. I hardly ever get bogged down in traffic (read none). I-25 is a disaster with both weather, accidents and traffic. the rush hour on N I-25 is horrible.

    Wadsworth is just as bad with all the lights, idiot suburbanites, and volumes.

    36 just sucks, period. Boulder NEEDs a hwy going through the town, but if that happens, some species of mosquito might be endangered, therefore they can't.

    I-70 and I-25, and 36 are shut down more than 93 with accidents, bad traffic and the same weather that shuts everything else down.

    When its bad.... stay home.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJP
    We have quite a few mellow trails close to town (no need to drive), and Lyons, Golden, and Nederland are close enough to hit after work.
    What trails? I'm sorry, but I lived there and didn't see any benefit to the mtb biking trail system. Boulder hates mechanical devices, and therefore don't like bikes on the trails. Hall Ranch is a focking joke, with every boulderite, longmontite and sorrounding communities going there. Crowded.

    I see more boulderites coming down to Jeffco.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    Lyons is cool if you want more of a small town feel (ie 1500 people, 1.5 sq miles). $400k will get you a decent sized house, too. The schools here are amazing, as is the community. More community pride and involvement than anywhere I've ever lived. It's not for everyone, though. Despite the fact that it's a great place to raise a family, you're 15-20 min from stores and most conveniences. About 45 minutes from Denver and 20 min from N Boulder. It's an easy bike commute, too. Used to take me about 45 minutes to ride to central Boulder (on a road bike )

    For what it's worth, Lyons has more park space per capita than any other town on the front range. Good mtb from your door, too - and that will be expanding over the next couple of years. If you want to hop in a car and drive 20-30 minutes you'll have enough riding to last you all summer. Crime? Pretty much non existant. It's like Mayberry.

    If it's important to you, there's significantly less buildings, roads, and sprawl compared to areas south of Boulder. Also, the trails around here are more raw, USFS backwoodsy stuff. Not like the man made wooden stair parks around Denver.

    Again, not for everyone, but if a small town mountain vibe suits your fancy, Lyons would be worth checking out.
    I looked into Lyons a while ago (Before we moved back to Golden). I didn't see it the same way you do. The Realestate was 150% of what it is in Golden, except you had less to choose from. I thought the Downtown area was weak due to the fact it was an intersection town that everyone wanted to get through quickly enough to make it to the mountains. I'm sure there's a fun community, there is anywhere you look, but the opportunities were much less. I'm sure that's changed (I know it has) with the additional population of the Boulder county area. You have great beer there, and as you said, biking in the same area.

    As for stairsteps? If you're bagging on the Jefferson county area, why? We have Golden Gate Canyon state park 15 minutes away.... backwoodsy as you call it.... nice. Everygreen and easy access to Summit county is great. I can make it to several trails that are way off the beaten path in less than 30 minutes.

  30. #30
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    IE, I had some bullet points made up to counter some of how you responded, but I changed my mind. Having read several of your posts about Golden, I know how you vehemently defend Golden as the only place to live and ride on the front range. I have no intention to change your mind. I am glad that you are happy there.

    I was simply trying to mention the fact that there are different types of lifestyles available on the Front Range, that's all. As Boulder and Golden are very different, also different are Louisville/Lafayette, Lyons and Longmont.

    slcdawg was inquiring about schools, family,community and riding so I tried to respond in kind. Lyons is certainly no Golden and that's why I mentioned that it's not for everyone (thankfully).

    No worries, though IE, we still have much in common. We love to ride bikes, feel passionately about where we live and ride, and we both reside in "intersection towns."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ignazjr
    IE, I had some bullet points made up to counter some of how you responded, but I changed my mind. Having read several of your posts about Golden, I know how you vehemently defend Golden as the only place to live and ride on the front range. I have no intention to change your mind. I am glad that you are happy there.

    I was simply trying to mention the fact that there are different types of lifestyles available on the Front Range, that's all. As Boulder and Golden are very different, also different are Louisville/Lafayette, Lyons and Longmont.

    slcdawg was inquiring about schools, family,community and riding so I tried to respond in kind. Lyons is certainly no Golden and that's why I mentioned that it's not for everyone (thankfully).

    No worries, though IE, we still have much in common. We love to ride bikes, feel passionately about where we live and ride, and we both reside in "intersection towns."
    I don't mean to be harsh, an a-hole, and I thought it would come across that way... it did. My bad, I'm the douche, and I apologize.

    I do think Lyons is a neat place. Everytime I go through it I stop for a beer... and its good.

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the info. My wife and I have been avidly reading each post!

    EJP - I agree, the best thing is to check in out in person. One part of the puzzle I didn't mention in the original post is that I have a second job opp we're considering. We're looking for all the info on Golden and Boulder we can get, to deterine if the boulder job is the way to go. Unfortunately, we won't be able to go there in person until after we commit.

    Thanks again for all the info. It sounds like both communities have a lot to offer.

    And, I have been to Lyons before, but not for mtn biking. Regardless of where we end up, I'm looking forward to bringing my bike up there.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    What trails? I'm sorry, but I lived there and didn't see any benefit to the mtb biking trail system. Boulder hates mechanical devices, and therefore don't like bikes on the trails. Hall Ranch is a focking joke, with every boulderite, longmontite and sorrounding communities going there. Crowded.

    I see more boulderites coming down to Jeffco.
    No trails here in Boulder that you would like. Also, since we have no mt bike advocacy, no new trails are being developed (sarcasm). You wouldn't like the new trails, either. Luckily, you live close to the trails that you do enjoy. However, since this is about slcdawg and his family, I suggested that he ride in the areas that he is considering so that he can see for himself. Perhaps he has different criteria and constraints than you or I might have.

    Isn't it great that so many of us enjoy the luxury of living where we have such a good quality of life? I am grateful every day.

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    preach it brutha'

    Quote Originally Posted by EJP
    Isn't it great that so many of us enjoy the luxury of living where we have such a good quality of life?
    amen!
    -
    .And following our will and wind . . .
    . . .We'll ride the spiral to the end
    and may just go where no one's been.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EJP
    No trails here in Boulder that you would like. Also, since we have no mt bike advocacy, no new trails are being developed (sarcasm). You wouldn't like the new trails, either. Luckily, you live close to the trails that you do enjoy. However, since this is about slcdawg and his family, I suggested that he ride in the areas that he is considering so that he can see for himself. Perhaps he has different criteria and constraints than you or I might have.

    Isn't it great that so many of us enjoy the luxury of living where we have such a good quality of life? I am grateful every day.

    Peace,

    EP
    ...and good quality beer

  36. #36
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    Not yer bruthah...

    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    amen!
    But sistah works for me! Might explain why I like Boulder's girly trails, too.

    IE, you need to come drink beer in Boulder! We have local breweries that are open after 6 and serve good food. No need to have pizza delivered, even. It would be a long poke for your Thursday cruiser run, though.

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    what about dawgs?

    So, the wife had a very important question. What is the dog situation like in Boulder and Golden? Can you take dogs off-leash riding or hiking? Are they even allowed on-leash?

    I know...touchy subject for mtn bikers. But, our dawg grew up in SLC riding almost every day. He really misses it.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    So, the wife had a very important question. What is the dog situation like in Boulder and Golden? Can you take dogs off-leash riding or hiking? Are they even allowed on-leash?

    I know...touchy subject for mtn bikers. But, our dawg grew up in SLC riding almost every day. He really misses it.
    In Jefferson Co your dog is welcome at all county parks, but he must be on leash. I would expect Boulder is similar, but don't know for sure.

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    Your dog can roam off-leash in most Boulder parks, but he has to watch a video first.

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    My take:

    Commuting to Boulder from Golden, Arvada, Lakewood, etc. would not be an option for me. Its just not worth the hassle, and if gas prices continue to rise its going to get very expensive. Jeffco doesn't allow dogs off the leash, which sucks for dog owners.

    Louisville offers a much easier commute because there are many routes into Boulder.

    Lyons is also a much easier commute and has a lot of riding a short drive up 7 or 36, Hall is not dog friendly but all the trails in Roosevelt Nat'l forest are.

    If you can, live where you work. I love not having to get in my car, its hard to put a price on that. Our societys willingness to commute a long distance to work is a huge problem, especially since no one uses public transportation. Is having a cheaper or bigger house worth wasting all that time and money in the car? Not for me... I could handle a 15 min. drive, but Golden will be 45 min to Boulder most of the time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Jeffco doesn't allow dogs off the leash, which sucks for dog owners.
    are you sure boulder does? i don't own a dog, but i recall when my sis-in-law moved to boulder a couple years ago from oakland she was bummed about getting harassed for off leash... that is until she found that "dog park" in north boulder.

    Quote Originally Posted by davec113
    Golden will be 45 min to Boulder most of the time...
    that of course depends on where in golden and boulder... granted i'm in north golden, but i can actually get to lyons in 45 minutes.

    that said, your point about excessive driving is noted.
    -
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    and may just go where no one's been.

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    Trail Access in Boulder?

    So, what kind of trail access do you have from the town of boulder? Riding or within a 15-20 minute drive? Looking at the trails on mtbr (which are usually way outdated), it sounds like mostly fireroads and short trails.

    Say I leave work at 5. Can I get in a 2 hour ride without having to drive to Lyons, Nederland or Golden?

    Right now, living in portland its an hour drive to the TH so riding (on dirt) after work is pretty much out of the question. I don't need the mack daddy of trails....but would like a couple of options to keep up fitness and still be fun.
    "Serves you right to suffer." -The Wife (after being 2 hours late)

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    Quote Originally Posted by gotdirt
    are you sure boulder does? i don't own a dog, but i recall when my sis-in-law moved to boulder a couple years ago from oakland she was bummed about getting harassed for off leash... that is until she found that "dog park" in north boulder.


    that of course depends on where in golden and boulder... granted i'm in north golden, but i can actually get to lyons in 45 minutes.

    that said, your point about excessive driving is noted.
    Boulder has many trails that allow dogs off leash... Marshall Mesa, Mesa Trail and most of its network (Chataqua, NCAR, Mallory Cave, etc...), Boulder Valley Ranch and the Res, but very few that allow bikes. There are a couple of dog parks too.

    Drive times can be lower than 45 min, but it depends on traffic, it will be over 30 min during rush hour for sure. Lyons sometimes takes 45 min. for me because I live in South Boulder, but 30 is typical. Unfortunately, this situation is getting steadily worse...

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    So, what kind of trail access do you have from the town of boulder? Riding or within a 15-20 minute drive? Looking at the trails on mtbr (which are usually way outdated), it sounds like mostly fireroads and short trails.

    Say I leave work at 5. Can I get in a 2 hour ride without having to drive to Lyons, Nederland or Golden?

    Right now, living in portland its an hour drive to the TH so riding (on dirt) after work is pretty much out of the question. I don't need the mack daddy of trails....but would like a couple of options to keep up fitness and still be fun.
    Betasso, Walker Ranch, Heil Ranch, Boulder Valley Ranch and Marshall Mesa allow bikes. The last 2 are very tame, but good for a winter ride. The first 3 still require a short drive or riding on pavement for a while to get to and are good but not technical. Hall is just a little further and has an intermediate rock garden section that is fun. I'm sure I'm leaving out some trails too...

  45. #45
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    remember, Betasso is closed to bikes Wednesdays and Saturdays.

    On the north side of town (close to IBM and Haystack Mtn) most (all?) of the trails are sight/voice control areas for dogs.
    Quote Originally Posted by MB1
    To differentiate riders by the type of surface frequented is IMO the height of foolishness.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    I lived on the west side of Lakewood for about 7 years - right at the base of Green Mountain, actually. Access to trails is very good. Green Mountain was right out the back door which could be connected to Dakota Ridge, Matthews Winters, Red Rocks, as well as Falcon & Apex with a minimum amount of road work. Within 30 minutes you could be at Chimney Gulch, White Ranch, Deer Creek and Waterton Canyon. It was a nice central location. Be warned, however - Lakewood is a *really* big city. You can get yourself a looooong way away from the trails.

    $400K? How big a house are you looking for? Golden tends to be on the high side of the price range in the "western area suburbs." If you're looking for something under 2500 sq ft you should be able to find *tons* of stuff in west Lakewood and in the "suburbs" of Golden.
    I also live just south of Green Mountain. I haven't 'driven' to a trail head in a couple of years - very content with the choices SS mentioned above. Just south of Green Mountain there's an off-leash dog park and new homes just getting started. While perhaps a little cheaper than Golden it's also another 10 - 15 minutes further from Boulder.

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    trails in Boulder

    You've not described what kind of mountainbiking you are looking for, and what kind of bike you ride. If you ride a rigid singlespeed you might be happy with the trails in Boulder itself. If you ride a Nomad, probably not.

    There are many options to ride a mtb from town without getting in your car. These trails are really XC, non technical trails, that require pavement to link them up, but I really enjoy them & ride them often. If you are looking for "all mountain" riding from your house in Boulder, I don't think there is much (tho I certainly see people riding Nomads & Moments around town). These rides are fun on a hardtail.

    Betasso--a fair bit of road & bike path to get to a 2.5 mile singletrack loop. I understand some people drive but I do it door to door, about 20 miles. An alternative is to go up 4 mile canyon, then up a dirt road (someone help me here on the name), drop down to Betasso loop.

    Wonderland Hill trail out to Boulder Res. & around Res, etc. Pavement & wide flat trail.

    Add E boulder trail to that & you've got over 30 miles of riding, trail, dirt road, pavement, etc.

    Mashall Mesa. Another 20 mile loop from town, road, dirt road, singletrack.

    Hall, Heil, Walker are all potentially ridable from town but most folks drive. These are more technical trails.

    Take the bus to Nederland, ride west Magnolia trails, or go up & over to Carabou, take Blue Dot, back down Magnolia, or the secret ways described on this board.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    So, the wife had a very important question. What is the dog situation like in Boulder and Golden? Can you take dogs off-leash riding or hiking? Are they even allowed on-leash?

    I know...touchy subject for mtn bikers. But, our dawg grew up in SLC riding almost every day. He really misses it.
    You are not dog owners you are a "Dog Guardian"

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    If you are working in Boulder but find it a bit to expensive or just not where you want to raise your family. I second the Lyons suggestion, unless you like to ski resorts, if that's the case then Golden's the place. Lyons is closer to Boulder (15 minutes to North Boulder and 20 to Pearl St.) but adds another bit onto the drive to I-70. There is mountain biking close to town and just outside of town there is plenty of National Forest land to walk your dogs without the burden of Boulder Counties dog licensing program.

    I'd strongly suggest a visit to the area around Boulder just because it is kind of unique and different towns cater to different kinds of people.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by slcdawg
    So, the wife had a very important question. What is the dog situation like in Boulder and Golden? Can you take dogs off-leash riding or hiking? Are they even allowed on-leash?

    I know...touchy subject for mtn bikers. But, our dawg grew up in SLC riding almost every day. He really misses it.

    Jeffco is starting to hand out tickets to unleash dog owners. They were doing so on the property behind my house. OTherwise, its wise to hike with a dog.

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    I would do Golden. Great small town community. Close to the mountains and lots of great trails. Quieter and more relaxed. Safe. There has been more "sprawl" over the past few years but it is still low key. Traffic is a non-issue wherever. Housing prices have risen in Golden but it is still cheaper than Boulder. CO has the highest increase in foreclosures at 31% and there is plenty of inventory everywhere you go so finding a home will just take some research but i'm sure you can find a nice home in your price range.

    I guess it depends on what you compare it to. I live between Chicago and Evergreen so anything in the Denver-Metro area is low key to me. I can drive from Littleton on the southside to Boulder up north in 45 mins. In Chicago I can't leave my subdivision in 45 mins and it often takes 2-3 hours to drive 30 miles! So ANYWHERE in CO is quiet to me.

    Good luck with your move to CO and whatever happens know that it will all be worth it for the natural beauty, active lifestyle, laid back attitude, and friendly people that bless this wonderful state.

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    If you are working in Boulder and can afford to live in town, in a neighborhood that you like, do it. I don't think it's worth the hassle to commute from Golden. Living and working inside the town of Boulder is a choice set up as far as commutes to work and access to the outdoors goes.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    If you are working in Boulder and can afford to live in town, in a neighborhood that you like, do it. I don't think it's worth the hassle to commute from Golden. Living and working inside the town of Boulder is a choice set up as far as commutes to work and access to the outdoors goes.
    Alright, I'll bite.

    I lived in and worked in Boulder. Personally, It is horribly expensive to the point I had to eventually live in Louisville. The whole area reminded me of Kansas-FLAT. I grew up in Kansas, and that sucked.

    The traffic sucks.

    You should live close to your recreational activities, not work. PERIOD. I'd rather commute to work than to play.

    I would have to live in Erie (yah, KANSAS) to have the same house I have in Golden. Besides, Golden is closer to a mountain town than boulder. Boulder is a social experiement surrounded by east costers (80% of BOulder is from the east cost). Boulder is also too uptight... oh yeah, and the traffic sucks.

    When are they going to put a real highway through that city?

    Sorry, I'd rather live in a town of 10,000 and have a sense of community than to scrape by in a city of 100k+ people and try to figure out how to get down to Jeffco to ride a bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Alright, I'll bite.

    I lived in and worked in Boulder. Personally, It is horribly expensive to the point I had to eventually live in Louisville. The whole area reminded me of Kansas-FLAT. I grew up in Kansas, and that sucked.

    The traffic sucks.

    You should live close to your recreational activities, not work. PERIOD. I'd rather commute to work than to play.

    I would have to live in Erie (yah, KANSAS) to have the same house I have in Golden. Besides, Golden is closer to a mountain town than boulder. Boulder is a social experiement surrounded by east costers (80% of BOulder is from the east cost). Boulder is also too uptight... oh yeah, and the traffic sucks.

    When are they going to put a real highway through that city?

    Sorry, I'd rather live in a town of 10,000 and have a sense of community than to scrape by in a city of 100k+ people and try to figure out how to get down to Jeffco to ride a bike.
    I'm not asking you to "bite," people are just suggesting other areas that the OP consider moving to within the Boulder/Denver metro area. It's a great place to live and very diverse. Not a Golden/Boulder pissing contest.

    All of your criticisms of Boulder, except for the size, are based on the fact that you couldn't/wouldn't pay to live there. Your right Erie sucks. If I had to live in Erie or Golden I would be right behind you choosing Golden. Speaking of which us Boulderites are wondering when there will be a real highway through Golden so we don't have to slowdown on the way to the slopes. If you feel that Golden has a real sense of community then I'll yield to you but it has as much if not more of a suburban sprawl problem than Boulder. If someone finds Boulder affordable I would choose it over surrounding communities if your job is in town.. Yes, it seems uptight and has a lot of dumb rules but I feel that the good outweighs the bad.

    I also suggested a smaller town that has more of a "sense of commmunity," I suggested Lyons.

  55. #55
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    Boulder's closed. Go to Golden.

    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    I'm not asking you to "bite," people are just suggesting other areas that the OP consider moving to within the Boulder/Denver metro area. It's a great place to live and very diverse. Not a Golden/Boulder pissing contest.

    All of your criticisms of Boulder, except for the size, are based on the fact that you couldn't/wouldn't pay to live there. Your right Erie sucks. If I had to live in Erie or Golden I would be right behind you choosing Golden. Speaking of which us Boulderites are wondering when there will be a real highway through Golden so we don't have to slowdown on the way to the slopes. If you feel that Golden has a real sense of community then I'll yield to you but it has as much if not more of a suburban sprawl problem than Boulder. If someone finds Boulder affordable I would choose it over surrounding communities if your job is in town.. Yes, it seems uptight and has a lot of dumb rules but I feel that the good outweighs the bad.

    I also suggested a smaller town that has more of a "sense of commmunity," I suggested Lyons.
    I laugh when people say Boulder has traffic. For you folks, Boulder's closed, full. Go to Golden or another city.
    just ride

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    Quote Originally Posted by MINImtnbiker
    I laugh when people say Boulder has traffic. For you folks, Boulder's closed, full. Go to Golden or another city.
    I agee that the traffic in Boulder is relatively non-existent once you figure out where not to go at certain times. It's kind of heinous but not compared to cities. I'm from the DC area and Boulder traffic is cake unless you try to leave town at rush hour. Then plan to sit in traffic.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    I agee that the traffic in Boulder is relatively non-existent once you figure out where not to go at certain times. It's kind of heinous but not compared to cities. I'm from the DC area and Boulder traffic is cake unless you try to leave town at rush hour. Then plan to sit in traffic.
    Exactly. And one reason I live in Boulder, and sometimes commute to Denver to work, is that there isn't a highway thru town!

    There were some other questions about dogs off leash. Yes, off leash is OK for most hiking in Boulder Mtn Parks. For riding, you have to go to the Nat'l Forest west of Boulder...meaning a 1/2 hour drive at minimum. But you can do some great long rides with your dog off leash, as long as you carry water or stick to the trails near streams.

    As far as riding here, yes most of the good stuff is west of town in the mountains, accessible by bus. Or drive to Hall Ranch if you don't have much time. I usually only go to Jeffco if I want to after work (I work in Denver) or from November - May when there is snow up high.
    just ride

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    Alright, I'll bite.

    I lived in and worked in Boulder. Personally, It is horribly expensive to the point I had to eventually live in Louisville. .
    Dude - it's been 10 years since you lived there. I'm sure that traffic has gotten better, houses have gotten cheaper, and people have gotten less uptight.


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    Sticky?

    Since this question pops up every few days, maybe there needs to be a sticky or an entire category: "Where to live on the front range?"

    BTW, Golden, all the way...unless you are a bazillionaire. The post that said there are decent houses in Boulder for $400K had me scratching my head. If decent is defined as a 3BD, 2BA 1000 sq. ft. ranch built in the 60's on a postage stamp lot with half of the neighborhood consisting of rentals inhabited by 7 consistently inebriated college students, then I guess you're right....your standard good condition 2000 sq. ft. house in a neighborhood of families(upper Table Mesa, for example) is more like $5-600K. Forget about anything west of Broadway and north of Baseline/south of Iris for under a million.

    The good news is that in either place, the real estate is just going to climb higher and higher. In 20 years you'll be cashing out in either place.

    The schools in CO are generally mediocre compared to say, Minnesota, but IMHO Boulder's are a little better than Jeffco's, and my kids have attended both. Boulder HS, Fairview, Ralston Valley, and Golden HS are all good schools though. If you look in Longmont, Google "Longmont gangs" first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkaredShtles
    Dude - it's been 10 years since you lived there. I'm sure that traffic has gotten better, houses have gotten cheaper, and people have gotten less uptight.


    Good point. I should move back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    I agee that the traffic in Boulder is relatively non-existent once you figure out where not to go at certain times. It's kind of heinous but not compared to cities. I'm from the DC area and Boulder traffic is cake unless you try to leave town at rush hour. Then plan to sit in traffic.
    No Doubt! I'm in DC right now and had the opportunity to hop on the computer to check some email. We drove from DC to Alexandria at 6ish tonight. Horrible. I wouldn't wish it upon anyone. I drive thru Boulder on 28th/36 everyday at 5:30 and it's a breeze compared to real traffic.

    Now, back to your regularly scheduled CO board...
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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    If you feel that Golden has a real sense of community then I'll yield to you but it has as much if not more of a suburban sprawl problem than Boulder.
    That's laughable! Golden is practically bounded on three sides by hills and/or protected open space , there's no physical room to sprawl (north is about the only direction, toward Boulder). Boulder County, however, is the epitome of sprawl. It's only a matter of time until there are homes all the way to Longmont, eastward swallowing up Louisville, Lafayette, Superior...

    I'd love to be able to live in Boulder (in a different life), but honestly, I wouldn't have the immediate recreational options that I do living in Golden, especially being a bicyclist.
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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by J\V
    That's laughable! Golden is practically bounded on three sides by hills and/or protected open space , there's no physical room to sprawl (north is about the only direction, toward Boulder). Boulder County, however, is the epitome of sprawl. It's only a matter of time until there are homes all the way to Longmont, eastward swallowing up Louisville, Lafayette, Superior...

    I'd love to be able to live in Boulder (in a different life), but honestly, I wouldn't have the immediate recreational options that I do living in Golden, especially being a bicyclist.
    What about the sprawl to the east that is all of the Denver Metro area? Not that you would want to head that way to enjoy the outdoors. Boulder has sprawl but the actual town of Boulder isn't that large or spread out. I'm biased since I live west of Lyons and the sprawl towards Lyons is fairly non-existent, but it is beginning to increase.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by IndecentExposure
    ...try to figure out how to get down to Jeffco to ride a bike.

  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    What about the sprawl to the east that is all of the Denver Metro area?
    I don't know, all I can see are these dratted flattop hills that are in the way!


    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    I'm biased since I live west of Lyons and the sprawl towards Lyons is fairly non-existent...
    You didn't happen to see or hear a helicopter fly over your house this evening after 7pm did you?
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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by concretejungle
    What about the sprawl to the east that is all of the Denver Metro area? Not that you would want to head that way to enjoy the outdoors. Boulder has sprawl but the actual town of Boulder isn't that large or spread out. I'm biased since I live west of Lyons and the sprawl towards Lyons is fairly non-existent, but it is beginning to increase.
    The town of Boulder/longmont/broomfield/westminster/louisville/niwot/erie/Thornton will soon close all the gaps.

    Boulder is a perfect example of sprawl. Even with their 2% growth rate, all the surrounding towns will soon close in at the rate of 50%. Boulder will soon be surrounded by republican suburbanites and will infiltrate that town with subways, mcdonalds, starbucks and home depots.... oh, wait, that's already happening.

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