Is Golden right for us?

Asked by Melissa, Golden, CO Sun Apr 22, 2012

We are looking to move our family (with 2 small children) to CO. We will be visiting this summer and are looking for some guidance on areas to focus on. We have lived our lives in Chicago and NYC and we are ready for a change of pace. We don't want to be in a cookie-cutter suburb, on top of our neighbors, like we are now. We need some breathing room and nature (want to look out our windows and see trees and maybe some mountains vs. our neighbors garage), more small town vs. big city feel, but still want good schools, and proximity to amenities & denver (~withing 30 miles ideally, for my husbands job). golden seems like the i right? are there other areas to consier? any input would be GREATLY appreciated. melissa

Help the community by answering this question:

+ web reference
Web reference:


Bard, , Golden, CO
Tue Dec 10, 2013
There's a lot of difference between visiting a city as a tourist and living there. You can get caught up in the dream which is a lot different than the reality of living there day by day.

It's my suggestion that you ask more questions when you consider a city. Also consider the police force, fire dept. the strength of the city codes, both residential and commercial and how often the snows are cleared from the streets. You're in luck here, Golden's got a great volunteer fire dept., an outstanding police force, and a code enforcement policy that is regularly generating complaints.

I have lived in Golden for 30 years and have seen it change for the better. The main drive, Washington, is thriving and busy, whereas once it was noisy with motorcycles and empty shops. The city planners and city council have done a great job improving that area. Along with that have come increased housing prices and more of the cookie-cutter housing projects that you might be wanting to avoid.

Golden is very green and wants to continue to become more so. The family atmosphere is strong and the people who live there are young and wealthy. But when I read from brokers that Denver is 30 miles away, it's just not so. I live on Green Mountain and it takes me just as long to drive into Denver as it takes me to drive into downtown Golden. There are no malls and 2 grocery stores The area of Lakewood that butts up to Golden is blighted. Plus, the idea of a Western town is a tourist dream. The days of me seeing ranchers in their trucks and spats are long over.

Follow the advise of those brokers suggesting southwest Arvada. Stay away from the new highways being built and don't let anyone sell you a house near the old uranium testing area along Hwy. 93 that is now a wildlife refuge. Only those of us who have lived here for decades will tell you such things. And brokers will pooh pooh what I'm saying.

Oh, and if you live in Golden City proper, you have to love the smell of the brewery. There's no way of getting away from it. Nobody mentions that. Those brokers who are mentioning surrounding areas are making great suggestions.

CoSprings in another part of the state, a different lifestyle and a different growing climate.
3 votes
I am in currently renting in West Arvada and plan to purchase in the area this year. Thanks for the great Bard. Very helpful and insightful.
Flag Fri Jan 17, 2014
Allison Dick…, Agent, Evergreen, CO
Tue Dec 17, 2013
Hi Melissa ~ You have chosen a great state to relocate to. I was born and raised in Staten Island, NY and moved with my husband and three boys to Evergreen, CO in 2008. I was seeking the same things that you are searching for.
There are parts of Golden that are charming and not so cookie cutter, but for the most part, homes are still close together and the schools vary with their ratings. There are parts of Golden such as Lookout Mountain and Genesee which may be more of what you are looking for.
Other towns to consider are Evergreen, Conifer, and Morrison. A great way to search for properties and get the most updated listings is it is directly linked to the Denver MLS.
If you need additional assistance, just ask!
0 votes
Lake Bishop, Agent, Denver, CO
Sun Jan 27, 2013
Golden is an awesome town... I have spent a lot of time in Golden and it is defiantly a unique town with a lot of its own culture. Close to fishing, Hiking, Skiing etc. yet it is close enough to Denver that it isn't a problem to get to work.
0 votes
Bev LaDuke, Agent, Centennial, CO
Wed Nov 28, 2012
Hi Melissa,

Not knowing your price range, you may want to Consider Arvada, Lakewood and Wheatridge for the extra land space and better value for you money. Golden if very expensive for what you get. Arvada has a very charming Old Town, Lakewood has a new large Town Plaza, with lots of large parks and biking trails.

Let me know if I can help guide you through the maze. I specialize in the Jefferson County area.

Bev LaDuke
MRE, ABR, GRS, CRS,e-pro
0 votes
Sue Priest, Agent, Franktown, CO
Mon Apr 23, 2012
Golden is a lovely community and it is very close to the mountains. Downtown Golden certainly has an old western town feel. I personally grew up on Lookout Mountain and went to high school in Golden. There have been few changes in the downtown area in many years. Access to employment and to the mountains is very good. There is a range of home prices, styles, and areas that would offer you choices. You could go a short distance into the foothills either to the west or to the north.

It could certainly be a consideration. There are other areas that could offer you the type of lifestyle you seem to want: Lakewood, Green Mountain, Littleton, Ken Caryl Valley, Roxborough, Morrison and going north into Arvada.

Schools vary from area to area, but can be easily checked out on the internet.

I would love to show you any of these areas and send you information in the meantime.

Please let me know if I can help you in any way.

Best wishes,
Sue Priest
Avalanche Real Estate
303 548-0643
0 votes
Thanks Sue. We've narrowed our search mainly based on internet research and word of mouth from friends, but having perspective from someone who is actually from the area is invaluable. With that said, we have also heard great things about Colorado Springs-would that be a good fit as well? To give you a little more insight into our vision for this home....we want outdoor space, trees and mountains preferably and indoors, we want an open layout that has modern features (stainless steel/granite or the like/updated baths/etc and our willing to renovate if the layout/location/price right. So Golden or Colorado Springs or look at them both? And how has the market been in those areas? Are things moving or sitting for awhile? As for proximity to town, how do they stack up? Again, thanks for your input...
Flag Mon Apr 23, 2012
Trisha Grose, Agent, Conifer, CO
Sun Apr 22, 2012
Golden is fabulous! My office is located in downtown Golden and I love it! There are still neighbors close by in many neighborhoods though - you have to look around to make sure you find the right neighborhood!

You could also consider Evergreen - there are a lot of great neighborhoods with fabulous views from almost every home. The schools are wonderful too. Mandy you are about 30 minutes to Denver.
0 votes
Sue Umberger, Agent, Golden, CO
Sun Apr 22, 2012
It sounds like Golden would be a great fit for your family. Golden is easily accessible to Denver and the surrounding metro areas. The Golden scenery is small city life nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. The city itself has many things to do and has activities throughout the year. You can go online to the City of Golden website and see the yearly activities that happen annually. There are not a lot of homes for sale under $400k. But, if you are looking in the price range above you will see some activity. Another valuable resource is Jefferson County website.

Another great place to live and is easily accessible to Denver and Boulder is Arvada. I live in Arvada and you can still see the mountain range from my advantage point near beautiful Standley Lake. Please let me know if I can give you more information. Sue Umberger, Century 21 Golden West.
0 votes
Brian Quarns…, Agent, Golden, CO
Sun Apr 22, 2012
Hi Melissa,

Great Question! Golden is a wonderful town and there are many opportunities to capture some breathing room! Also, a great place to raise your children! Additionally, Denver is only 20 minutes away, coming from Chicago and NY you may appreciate the Denver Center of Performing Arts and museums so readily available.

I live and work in Golden so let me know how I can help!

0 votes
I was reading this because we are considering moving to Golden, but I read that crime was higher, do you find this to be true?
Flag Sat Apr 20, 2013
Shannon Mill…, Agent, Evergreen, CO
Sun Apr 22, 2012
Golden is one of many great towns for you to consider. Evergreen, Morrison, Conifer, Pine, and some areas of Littleton are also great possibilities. If you have more details of what you are looking for I would be happy to send you some listings to look at. I have 3 children of my own (ages 8,6 and 3) and love the schools here. If you would like information on any of these towns or schools in the area I would also be happy to send you information for that. The market has been really improving in the foothills and homes are moving fast so homes that you see on the MLS may not still be available when you arrive, but you should at least be able to get an idea of what type of a home you can find and familiarize yourself with what communities may have to offer you. Good luck with your search and let me know if there is anything I can help you with!
0 votes
Marlo Bisbee, , Golden, CO
Sun Apr 22, 2012
Golden is a great location for all of the reasons that Mike P. mentioned. If you want a more open, natural setting I would also put Genesee and Lookout Mountain on the list. They are off I-70 at a bit higher elevation than Golden - approximately a 25 minute commute to downtown Denver. Consider north Evergreen, too. It's a beautiful mountain community with great schools, natural beauty and wildlife -- closer to the ski mountains also. (Downtown Denver is an easy commute -- 35 minutes.)
0 votes
Mike Papanto…, Agent, Arvada, CO
Sun Apr 22, 2012
I think you will find Golden litterally and figuratively a breath of fresh air. It sits in between some mountains and feels like you're living in a small mountain town, yet it's actually a suburb of Denver. It's within 20 minutes of downtown Denver. The old west feeling main street in Golden, Washington Ave. is loaded with quaint shops, restaurants, pubs, barber shops, etc. During the summer months, there is always some event going on in which they close off Washington to traffic and make it a pedestrian and event centric street.
The schools are good, the weather is great and you are within minutes of getting on the highway to the ski areas.
Golden housing prices are a bit higher, especially if you live close to the downtown area but it's worth it. If you'd like more information about the lifestyle in Golden, I'd be happy to send it to you.
I live about 10 minutes from there and we enjoy the atmosphere and it's certainly not going to give you that cookie cutter feel of a suburb. Instead, you'll feel like you're living in an old west town but with the amenities of a current, vibrant 2012 town.
0 votes
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Home Buying in Popular Golden Neighborhoods

Email me when…

Learn more