by Larry Hotz, Senior Editor and Denver Realtor since 1978
Denver relocation isn’t automatic. Families can spend weeks or even months researching and asking questions. Believe me, for the last 30 years I’ve heard all the questions from home buyers moving to our city. I have reduced these questions to the David Letterman top 10 questions about Denver relocation.
Of course, the number one question is about Denver neighborhoods. But then, about half the questions I get about Denver neighborhoods.
But let’s start with the number 10 most asked question by families moving to Denver.
10. Do I need a four-wheel-drive vehicle in Denver? Maybe. If you live in the western foothills or if you have a job where you have to get to work no matter what you might want to consider buying a four-wheel-drive vehicle. But it’s not like we have a lot of snow days in Denver. Most snowstorms are gone the next morning when the sun comes out. But we do get one to three major snowstorms every year that can keep you in your driveway until you shovel it out and make secondary streets difficult without four wheel drive.
9. What neighborhoods are best for walking? Most suburbs are not pedestrian friendly except for walking the kids to school or to the park or swimming pool. But, downtown Littleton and Arvada have thriving downtown areas with shops and restaurants. City neighborhoods with high Walking Scores include Cherry Creek, Lo-Do, Highlands and Washington Park.
8. What suburbs have luxury homes? Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village and Lone Tree are close-in suburbs with estates and many expensive homes. Further out, Evergreen, Boulder and Castle Pines Village are good choices. Other Denver suburbs have luxury real estate too. But, those communities are best known for exclusive neighborhoods.
7. Are Denver suburbs close to the mountains for skiing? Some are! Lakewood, Evergreen and Golden can knock 25-25 minutes off the skiing commute from Denver’s south suburbs. But, even the south suburbs are less than 90 minutes from world-class skiing.
6. Do I have to worry about forest fires in Denver? Certainly, that is not an issue in the City. Some of Denver’s most distant south and west suburbs have had forest fires during our drought years. That was the case in 1999-2002. But, the fires did not touch many homes except those isolated in the mountains. Insurance can still be somewhat more expensive in those areas.
7. How about tornadoes? Yes, we get occasional tornadoes. But, they tend to be small, “trainer tornadoes” and rarely touch ground. Occasionally, roofs can be damaged but they are usually less than 25 yards in width. Tornados on the plains in eastern Colorado, Nebraska and Kansas can be a mile wide and destroy whole communities. So, we really don’t worry about tornados in Denver. Still, we have occasional tornado warnings that we heed by taking shelter. Thankfully, we have basements in Denver.
5. What are taxes in Denver? State income tax is 5%. Sales taxes range from 3-7.8%. Property taxes are lower than most states. A rough rule of thumb is about 1% of the value of the home per year for property tax. In Denver itself, property taxes are even lower.
4. Is there mass transportation downtown. Yes. There are express buses from most suburbs. Light rail runs from Littleton in the southwest corridor and from Lone Tree in the southeast corridor. Englewood, Greenwood Village, Centennial and Denver neighborhoods all have stops.
3. Where are the best schools? Denver suburbs tend to have the best schools although some Denver city schools are highly rated as well. Here is a good article on the highest testing schools in Denver and the suburbs. Cherry Creek Schools, Douglas County Schools, Littleton Schools and Jefferson County Schools are all highly rated. So, is Boulder and Broomfield.
2. What neighborhoods are kid friendly? All the suburbs with good schools are crowded with tons of children. Many of those neighborhoods have neighborhood parks and pools. Most have shopping, amenities and activities for kids nearby too.
And…the Number One most asked question about Denver relocation is….. (drum roll, please)
- What neighborhood is best for me? That’s the hardest to answer. Highlands Ranch is the most popular suburb with families moving to Denver but there are many, many good choices. That is why I wrote “Neighborhood Finder”. I wanted to be able to ask questions before suggesting any particular neighborhoods. Or, if you take brief survey below, I will send you back Neighborhood Reports on the neighborhoods that might be best for your particular circumstances. Or, just call me on my toll-free cell phone, 877-378-8213, and we can discuss your situation. Either way, the best neighborhoods for you will be based on your own circumstances and criteria.
Let me know your unanswered questions about Denver Relocation. Maybe your question will make next year’s Top 10 Denver Relocation questions!
So, Give me a call or use Nieghborhood Finder to find the best neighborhoods for you and your family!