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Moving to Colorado in June, need rental advice

HeraldSHeraldS Registered User regular
My girlfriend and I are moving to Colorado in June and we have just begun to look at renting a house out there. We visited last March and spent the better part of a week in the university area, which we loved. She's looking into a culinary program in the city and I've got a few prospects I'm exploring in the downtown area, so we'd like to be somewhere near there without spending an arm and a leg. Would prefer single family homes over apartments or condos- any suggestions on good areas and/or the best way to look from North Carolina? Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Honestly, when moving this far - get airBnB or something similar for a week or two when you plan to move and use a storage unit or PODS (or similar) to keep your stuff in the meantime. This will give you time to explore the city and find out where you really want to be on a regular basis. Also, plenty of places won't rent to people long-distance, especially considering Denver and Boulder have pretty hot housing markets right now.

    Juliusnoir_blood
  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    The rental market here is red hot right now. As in the construction of new properties literally cannot keep up with demand. As a result, anything near downtown is going to be crazy expensive. It got so bad that both my sister and best friend bought property because the mortgage was cheaper than rent.

    I know that doesn't help much, and I can expand on more specific neighborhoods when I get to a computer, but yeah. Rent is nuts.

    BFzWh4r.png
    xbl - HowYouGetAnts
    steam - WeAreAllGeth
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  • see317see317 Registered User regular
    Deadfall wrote: »
    The rental market here is red hot right now. As in the construction of new properties literally cannot keep up with demand. As a result, anything near downtown is going to be crazy expensive. It got so bad that both my sister and best friend bought property because the mortgage was cheaper than rent.

    I know that doesn't help much, and I can expand on more specific neighborhoods when I get to a computer, but yeah. Rent is nuts.

    To give an example of the housing market (it's not just the rental market), my brother put his townhouse up for sale after his renters moved out and day 1 had multiple showings and offers.

    Granted, some of those were probably looking for properties to rent, but an offer's an offer.

    I'd suggest looking at areas near the light rail. That will get you a much larger area to look in for single family house, while still giving easy access to downtown.

    Ringo wrote: »
    Well except what see317 said. That guy's always wrong.
  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    anything within a reasonable distance of downtown is going to be pricey. I live in RiNo and it's getting developed like whoa.

    with that said, there's a lot to enjoy in Denver to make it worth the cost

    the trendy/expensive areas are Wash Park, LoDo/Ballpark, LoHi (between Highlands and downtown), Uptown, and Cherry Creek. Highlands is very much a hipster neighborhood but it's large enough and just far enough from downtown that you can still find a decent deal. Park Hill is kind of the same.

    if by "university area" you mean by DU, there's some neat stuff there on University but other than that it's a little more suburban. it's really geared toward students from affluent families so that comes with a lot of price gouging and shitty landlords. that said, most of them are looking to rent a room rather than a house so you won't have as much competition.

    I'd look at Highlands, Baker (just off South Broadway), and Park Hill as potential areas. more homes than apartments, and plenty of stuff to do. you'll see screaming deals out in Aurora but that's for a reason, avoid them unless price is your number one concern.

    it also kind of depends on what you're into. if you plan on spending most of your free time in the mountains (hiking/skiing/climbing/whatever) then anything with decent access to I-70 is all you need. if you're the foodie type, downtown access would be really nice for you. if you enjoy craft beer it's everywhere. and yeah being near the light rail is a huge plus, something like half a million people moved to CO since pot was legalized a year ago and traffic has gotten substantially worse. it's so bad right now.

    oh, gimme some time
    show me the foothold from which I can climb
    yeah, when I feel low
    you show me a signpost for where I should go
  • firewaterwordfirewaterword Satchitananda Pais Vasco to San FranciscoRegistered User regular
    Louisville is awesome. About half way between Denver and Boulder (a bit closer to Boulder though). Would be my number one pick if I were moving out there. That said, I imagine the housing market is probably insane there. But yeah, it's pretty rad.

    Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
  • PriestPriest Registered User regular
    edited January 2015
    So reading the OP, it never explicitly says Denver. It talks about 'University' area, so in my mind this could be Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins, as all three downtown areas have tech presence and universities.

    Just want to get that cleared up so we make sure we're giving the right advice~

    No matter what, what everyone said about rental prices applies to the entire Front Range (area extending from Colorado Springs to Cheyenne), they're all going through the roof. Rental prices in Colorado have increased on average by 80% since the recession. You're unlikely to be renting a home in any area unless you're prepared for rent to be $1600+ a month. This is more true once you're within 30 miles of Denver. (Edit: By Home, I mean stand-alone structure with yard. Condos/Duplexes much cheaper)

    I recommend city-data.com as well, it has been helping me in my search to move from Fort Collins to Seattle. This is purely anecdotal, but I feel one problem Colorado is running into is surging home/rent prices with fairly flat wage/salaries. I'm moving to Seattle because rent in the suburbs is roughly equal to Fort Collins & Denver, but I get paid 35% more.

    I know many people who can't afford the inner core of Denver / Boulder will live in Westminster - it's a fairly middle-class suburb right in between the two cities, and provides decent access to both cities. If you're in Tech at all though, you'll be on the wrong side of town, as most major tech jobs in Denver are south of Downtown.

    If you don't already have 2 vehicles, you will probably need them. None of the cities in the Front Range have public transit like you see on the coasts. There is lightrail that will get you to the stadiums and DU, but it's still pretty limited. The Metro is only really effective inside Denver proper, and you likely won't be living there on one income.

    Also: Avoid Commerce City. Heavy industrial area east / northeast of Denver, not particularly pleasant to live in. Be prepared for vanilla valley. I'm not sure what your cultural background is, but Colorado is very, very Caucasian with our primary minority being Latino. Unlike the large cities on the coast, Denver & the Front Range really doesn't have any cultural centers to speak of with regards to minorities. I will say however that Colorado is a very friendly state. Boulder can get a bit uppity, and Fort Collins can get a bit red-necky. If you don't mind a 45 minute commute, Longmont has lower housing costs than Denver/Boulder, but is only slightly farther out from Denver than Boulder. The city is also booming with expansion.

    Priest on
    AresProphetHeir
  • DeadfallDeadfall Registered User regular
    Also check out Arvada, my neck of the woods. Right off the highway, ten minutes to Denver and the commuter rail is opening up later this year with a direct line to downtown. Still somewhat pricey housing but considerably less than renting/owning in the hotter Denver neighborhoods.

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    Priest
  • davidsdurionsdavidsdurions Your Trusty Meatshield Panhandle NebraskaRegistered User regular
    I'm 3 hours from Denver, we should be doing quarterly meetups or something people.

    Anyhow, if it is Fort Collins or Boulder, I'd suggest looking at Loveland as a living place as the commute isn't really all that much worse than trying to drive around in one of the towns and it is really my favorite city on the front range. Too far for Denver though, and I think the OP is wanting Denver because I recall there being a decent culinary program there in downtown Denver.

    If it were me, I'd look at the ends of the light rail for rentals and just use that as my commute to downtown.

    PwH4Ipj.jpg
    Priestsee317
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Just as general advice, there's no shame in renting a small apartment or condo in a big city. That's just the price you pay for living in an urban area, and every urbanite does it, or has done it.

    iTNdmYl.png
    AresProphet
  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    hsu wrote: »
    Just as general advice, there's no shame in renting a small apartment or condo in a big city. That's just the price you pay for living in an urban area, and every urbanite does it, or has done it.

    it's becoming more and more common for older homes in trendy neighborhoods to get demolished, and have a 3-4 unit condo built on the lot. a couple of those have gone up on my street in the last year.

    more lucrative to rent out, that way. and less upkeep for the landlord than renting out a whole house

    the upshot is that a lot of these are pretty nice on the inside, since they're brand new.

    oh, gimme some time
    show me the foothold from which I can climb
    yeah, when I feel low
    you show me a signpost for where I should go
  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    I moved to the Denver area myself a little over a year ago. I wouldn't say I've been super successful in finding the right apartment so far, so I'll stay quiet on that side of things, but a meet up sounds like it could be fun.

  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    Priest wrote: »
    So reading the OP, it never explicitly says Denver. It talks about 'University' area, so in my mind this could be Denver, Boulder, or Fort Collins, as all three downtown areas have tech presence and universities.

    Just want to get that cleared up so we make sure we're giving the right advice~

    No matter what, what everyone said about rental prices applies to the entire Front Range (area extending from Colorado Springs to Cheyenne), they're all going through the roof. Rental prices in Colorado have increased on average by 80% since the recession. You're unlikely to be renting a home in any area unless you're prepared for rent to be $1600+ a month. This is more true once you're within 30 miles of Denver. (Edit: By Home, I mean stand-alone structure with yard. Condos/Duplexes much cheaper)

    I recommend city-data.com as well, it has been helping me in my search to move from Fort Collins to Seattle. This is purely anecdotal, but I feel one problem Colorado is running into is surging home/rent prices with fairly flat wage/salaries. I'm moving to Seattle because rent in the suburbs is roughly equal to Fort Collins & Denver, but I get paid 35% more.

    I know many people who can't afford the inner core of Denver / Boulder will live in Westminster - it's a fairly middle-class suburb right in between the two cities, and provides decent access to both cities. If you're in Tech at all though, you'll be on the wrong side of town, as most major tech jobs in Denver are south of Downtown.

    If you don't already have 2 vehicles, you will probably need them. None of the cities in the Front Range have public transit like you see on the coasts. There is lightrail that will get you to the stadiums and DU, but it's still pretty limited. The Metro is only really effective inside Denver proper, and you likely won't be living there on one income.

    Also: Avoid Commerce City. Heavy industrial area east / northeast of Denver, not particularly pleasant to live in. Be prepared for vanilla valley. I'm not sure what your cultural background is, but Colorado is very, very Caucasian with our primary minority being Latino. Unlike the large cities on the coast, Denver & the Front Range really doesn't have any cultural centers to speak of with regards to minorities. I will say however that Colorado is a very friendly state. Boulder can get a bit uppity, and Fort Collins can get a bit red-necky. If you don't mind a 45 minute commute, Longmont has lower housing costs than Denver/Boulder, but is only slightly farther out from Denver than Boulder. The city is also booming with expansion.

    My wife and I recently moved to Longmont from Austin, TX. Long story short, we absolutely love it. Prices aren't bad, incredibly friendly town that's definitely expanding a ton with newer restaurants, halfway decent events going on, very close to Boulder, and yeah even the drive to Denver isn't bad as long as you know when to go to avoid traffic. Plus, if you're into hiking places like Estes/Rocky Mountain National Park are super accessible.

    camo_sig2.png
  • HeirHeir Registered User regular
    And yes, a meetup would be fantastic.

    camo_sig2.png
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