I was recently surfing the web for Denver real estate related news and I came across this forum thread where the initiator wanted the group's feedback on living in Highlands Ranch vs. living is Castle Rock. I found the responses fairly interesting so I though I would write a little piece based on this very topic, by both summarizing the commmetns and consensus of this particular forum group, as well as adding some of my own thoughts on the matter.
My Favorite Reponse:
"You should visit and evaluate both areas, including Parker. The best way to determine whether a community/city is right for you is personal...you buy for emotional reasons...Castle Rock is a city and the seat for Douglas county, Highlands Ranch is a subdivision in unincorporated Douglas County. Highlands Ranch is closer to Denver, DTC, and has a district suburban feel...Castle Rock is closer to Colorado Springs and is more "small town.hometown" vibe."
Besides offering come great objective information, this response also addressed the issue that I consider to be at the core of home-buying, the emotional feel that a certain community induces. I chose to invest in Real Estate in Highlands Ranch and while there are plenty of great objective reasons why I chose this community to call home for myself and my family, there are plenty of intangible elements that can only be explained by a gut feeling.
The General Consensus:
Reading through the comments, most of the responders were hesitant to commit to one place over the other, tending to offer the advise of "check both places out, and see which you like the feel of more". While this is certainly good advice for anyone who is searching for a place to call home for their family, I do think that there are some tangible reasons why each place may be better suited to a given home buyer.
Highlands Ranch, as the commentor above mentioned, is closer to the city and the DTC, which is a big deal if you work in Denver, as your commute time and costs will be reduced drastically. On the flip side, if you are looking to be out of town a bit further, in more traditional small town setting, and a longer commute is not an issue for your, Castle Rock may just fit your needs. The schools and safety of both places are top notch, making either place an ideal place to raise a family. I have to conclude that the only way for anyone considering these to places to make the right decision for them is to visit each, and see what their feelings tell them.