You did not mention whether you were looking to buy or rent, so I'll cover both.
Rush hour on Santa Fe can be slow(40-50 min), but if you can travel outside those times is fine(20-30 min)
Lite rail is definately the way to get downtown anytime of day or night. All light rail parking fills up fast, Downtown Littleton is one of the worst. Be able to walk to lite rail is quite a selling point for housing and because of that; more costly.
If you think you'll take advantage of the shops and restaurants in downtown Littleton 3-4 times a week; you're right live there, but there are not a lot of rentals available on a regular basis. Homes for sale are realtively small, and more expensive than a mile or two away.
You may want to also look at the area at the next stop north and south of Downtown Littleton; Mineral or Oxford Stations.
Mineral has a large townhome development called Southpark where there are usually a couple of units available for either sale or rent. Right now, both however are usually snapped up ina day or two.
The Oxford station is surrounded by small 1950-60's homes, once again usually a couple available both ways.
You can easily walk to light rail and avoid the parking problems all together from both of these areas.
There are other issues like schools, shopping ,crime rates that might come into play. so getting with someone familiar with the areas will make things go smoother.
One of the things that make Littleton-Littleton is coming up next week. Western Welcome Week!
Check it out: http://www.westernwelcomeweek.org
Good luck and call me if you'd like to talk.
Littleton is a great place and the Denver light rail system is awesome! My website offers a great search tool for buyers. It offers school and neighborhood info as well as much more, even "walk score". It populates straight from the MLS so no "already sold" houses listed like some internet sites. Feel free to sign up at LaneTeamDenver.com or call me and I can help you set up your search and get you in touch with several top lenders so you can hit the ground running when you get here.
I live in SouthPark Littleton at the Sante Fe/Mineral Aspen Grove Light Rail Location.
One rail stop from Arapahoe Community College, Old Littleton Shops & Restaurants, and SSPRD Recreation Center. 25 mins via rail to downtown Denver!! Close to Hospitals, Littleton, Swedish, Skyridge locations. Easy access to C-470 for travel to DIA (40 minutes) or I-70 to the mountains (20 minutes)
Driving down town depends on time of day and whether you can use the Carpool lane, must have at least 2 people per vehicle. Non peak hour the drive time from Mineral is 30-40 minutes, peak hour is 45-60 minutes to the 16th Street Mall. Check out http://www.coloradodot.info/library/Brochures/HOVbro.pdf
Carpooling is a economical and green alternative, we have many neighbors who carpool to work, down town, together and share the ride/costs.
Light Rail is the most popular option for down town commuters from Littleton, who don't want the stress of driving and the cost of parking/gas.
Check out the fares and schedules for the C and D lines from Littleton to Down town Denver.
There are many wonderful Littleton neighborhoods close to, or walk to, Light Rail, please don't hesitate to contact me if I may help you in any way with your housing needs. 303-931-5853
Jan Baer Realtor, Broker Owner, BAER Realty LLC
Many of my employees live in Littleton. They absolutely love living there. It is a great balance of suburban life, and Downtown Littleton adds a unique charm with a small city feel to the neighborhood. Littleton is easily accessible to Downtown and several other major areas within Denver Metro in as little as 20 minutes.
Good luck and welcome!
You have several replies to your question here, but thought I would answer as well.
My office is at the corner of Main St and Nevada in downtown Littleton. It's a convenient and fun area to live with the shops, restaurants, and fun events throughout the year. The lightrail ride from Littleton Station to 16th St Mall is about 40-45 minutes. A lot of people take advantage of it and can be crowded at times. The Mineral Station is also close just south on Sante Fe with plenty of parking.
If I can assist you further, feel free to contact me.
Colorado Home Realty
My office is located in downtown Littleton next to Arapahoe Community College and the Downtown Littleton Lightrail station. From my office and In normal traffic, by driving, the commute time is about 18-20 minutes. Peak rush hour, I would allow another 15-20 minutes for the surges.
If communting by light rail, the commute is about 32 minutes. No parking issues and expense. It's pretty reliable and it allows for catching up on emails and reading.
The 16th Street Mall also provides a free shuttle which travels up and down the mall to enjoy the many attractions.
The Littleton station does fill up fast. I believe the ride is 30-45 minutes.
Littleton is a great place to live. When I first moved to Colorado in 1991, I lived about 1 1/2 miles west of the Littleton station.
I would be glad to help you find a home in the Littleton area.