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Out-of-towners and those looking to relocate to the People's Republic of Boulder always ask for recommendations on Boulder neighborhoods, and that's a tough topic to address. Neighborhood selection is extremely subjective which, honestly, depends completely on individual lifestyles and how those lifestyles will be best supported.
However, since I'm a gluton for punishment, and since I've been asked by home buyers for neighborhood recommendations twice in the last week, I thought I'd put together a few metrics around identifying some of the best 'hoods in town. Then I'll be able to (relatively) objectively weigh the pros and cons of the different areas in Boulder in which to live, which I'll do over the next 5 weeks.
First, though, I need to explain how this is going to work.
Step 1 - Decide on the most common considerations amongst any Boulder neighborhood.
But how does one go about identifying the most common considerations of any given neighborhood? Well, after some careful thought, I decided to let our clients decide. So I asked Syd and Brian, "why do most folks move to Boulder, and what do most people love most about living in the best town in Colorado?"
The criteria on which I finally decided are all based around those things with which Boulder living is synonymous: health, sustainability, community, beauty, innovation, active lifestyles & the outdoors.
All of the neighborhoods will be ranked in the 6 areas identified below on a scale from 1 - 10.
A 10 indicates paradise for someone interested in the given criteria. For example, if one wants a very affordable neighborhood, then that person should look for a 10 in Category 6 - Affordability. This would be Aurora Terrace - basically the last place in Boulder where it MIGHT still be possible to find a home for less than $300,000.00.
A 1 indicates a miserable failure in any given category. For example, if one wants to live in a beautiful neighborhood, then that person should avoid the neighborhood that scores a 1 in community aesthetics. This might be a strip of poo-poo-brown townhomes built in 1972, stuck between a car dealership and a trailer park (you know who you are, and it's a good thing you repainted!)
1. Walk Score - Walk Score is a number between 0 and 100 that measures the walkability of any address based on its proximity to neighborhood amenities.
2. Proximity to Boulder Mountain Parks - General proximity to the City of Boulder's mountain parks with access to hiking, biking, climbing, fishing, paddling, & other outdoor recreation.
3. Proximity to Downtown Boulder - General proximity to all of the shopping, dining, arts, music & entertainment for which Downtown Boulder is so famous.
4. Community aesthetics - This one might be the most subjective of all, so you'll just have to deal with my opinion of beauty. I'll be considering homes, parks, vegetation, trees & architecture, amongst others.
5. Percentage of rentals vs. owner-occupied - Let's face it. Boulder's housing stock is around 51% rentals and it's also a town of two colleges. Many of the neighborhoods that are closer to CU Boulder or Naropa are mostly rentals, and many renters don't make great neighbors.
6. Affordability - This is the value piece. Boulder is expensive, and the fact of the matter is that many of the people who want to live here just can't afford to. There are a few pockets of value left in this town of low supply and high demand, though, and this criterion will identify the bang for the buck.
I'll be adding links and cleaning this one up over the next few days as I begin my research, so check back next week for more info, and look for our rankings to begin on Tuesday, April 19th.
Each Tuesday thereafter, I'll be adding the next best neighborhood in town in which to live, so come on back on a weekly basis, and let me know what you think about our choices.
Of course, if you want to leave your opinions of the best spots in town, please leave them in a comment and how you chose the way you did.
Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.