I figured you would appreciate an answer from a non-agent. Per your criteria:
Almost all of the single-family homes within five miles of downtown are older, usually built between 1890 and the early 1900's. However, most of them command premium prices (minimum $275k for a 1000 sq ft bungalow, more likely $325-500K for a nicely turned-out and updated turnkey) because everyone wants to live there, though prices are dropping on average. If you think you'll be working downtown or in the tech center, I'd recommend West Washington Park area (within the Alameda/Logan/Louisiana/Downing box), as it's near the light rail, shopping/restaurants, and Wash Park (be sure to check out Wash Park if you're not familiar) and there are more single family homes there in the mid-to-upper 200's to the upper $300's as opposed to more expensive single f homes to the east of Wash Park, or condos (north of Alameda), though you can still go in either direction for smaller/larger properties. Otherwise, I'd recommend the Highlands area, immediately northwest of downtown. Lots of young folks moving in there, very trendy. You may also want to consider the Colfax and Colorado Sreet area to the east, which is a bit more edgy but in the midst of gentrification (the Tattered Cover Bookstore just opened near there, you must check that out also; there's one downtown as well.) Hit Zillow.com and use the zip codes below to search for specific properties in your price range.
West Wash Park zip code: 80209
If you are unsure of the areas and what they have to offer, it's always best to have a consultation with an experienced agent who can offer suggestions and help. Buying a home takes more research then looking at houses online! Have fun in your endeavors!
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Within five miles to south and east are areas like Cherry Creek, Congress Park, Park Hill, Hiltop, The Baker District, City Park, washington Park and Mayfair. On the west side of town the list of up and coming neighborhood is too long to list off.
I would be happy to help give you some ideas with a bit more info like the price point you want to be in and how old of a home? We have everything from mature neighborhoods to Victorians that are over 100 years old. I can be reached at email@example.com to provide areas that might be a good fit.
I have provided a link to my site for your convenience that has a Denver area map with neighborhood descriptions and prices.
Denver Lifestyleâ„¢ Real Estate
Also, I wanted to reiterate that the website I mentioned (recolorado) is not in any way tied to a realtor agency. Just some independent website where you can perform your search without hassles and registration. It does limit the number of homes returned to 50, so you might have to narrow your search if there are too many in the area for sale with the information you requested. We loved this site when we searched for homes because we could do it without having agents breathing down our throat or sending us junk mail.
The following are all Northeast Denver:
- Park Hill - an older beautiful neighborhood between Colorado and Monaco
- Stapleton - a new development with a mixture of new and older homes having an urban feel
- Mayfair (not really within walking distance of downtown, but not too far of a drive)
The following are all the NorthWest Denver areas I mentioned in my previous post:
- Sunnyside (mostly older homes with new homes being built on some of the scrapes)
- West Highlands (priciest but most well established of the nw neighborhoods)
- Potter Highlands
The following are downtown:
- 5 Points (not as safe, but up and coming with all of the new developments)
- Capitol Hill
- Cheeseman (quite pricey, but beautiful area)
South part of downtown:
- Baker Historic District
- Wash Park
- DU (near Denver Univeristy just south of wash partk)
There are several other neighborhoods that I couldn't remember to list, but those are good to start with.
Okay, hopefully that was fair information. :) I'm just particular to NW denver, since it's our neighborhood.
I'm not an agent but a downtown home owner. All of the neighborhoods previously mentioned are fantastic. Bonnie Brae and Wash Park are pretty expensive, so as a single woman, unless you are planning to rent or you have a lot to spend on a house, they might not be affordable.
We happen to live in Sunnyside, which is in the 80211 area, surrounding neighborhoods are Highlands, West Highlands, Grandview, Berkley, Regis, Sloans, and Potter Highlands. All these neighborhoods cover probably a 1-2 mile radius, some of the neighborhoods have great homes for less.
Sunnyside was voted one of 5 neighborhoods in the 5280 magazine (a local Denver magazine) as one of the hottest neighborhoods to watch because of several factors: It's 5 minutes from downtown - surrounding neighborhoods are rising fast - it's a 10-15 minute walk to the walking bridge that connects west Denver to downtown, several new lofts are going up in the area - and the lightrail is expected to come in on 38th ave, which will increase the value of the homes in surrounding Sunnyside and Potter Highlands. The prices of homes are extremely affordable, but are expected to rise over the next 3 years unlike other areas that are depreciating. Potter Highlands is close to the 32nd and Zuni shops that have rejuvinated the area, and West Highlands, being more established has several high end shops and boutiques. Berkely, Grand View, and Sloans surround West Highlands and the Tennyson street shops which have a first friday art walk in the summer months. A smaller version of the well-known Santa Fe art walks, but great nonetheless.
I would recommend a website called REcolorado.com where you can view homes by neighborhood that is for sale without having to register with an agent. You can type in sunnyside, berkley, highlands, etc in the subdivision field and narrow your search down to your price range, + of rooms, etc. This provides the MLS along with pictures and panos for some listings.
Best of luck!