Where to Buy (Even) Now
Sure, things are tough around Denver, but good options exist—if you know where to look. We've found 14 neighborhoods offering safe bets in a shaky market. Plus, real estate insiders dish on up-and-coming areas where deals abound.
Boundaries: Colfax Avenue, Sixth Avenue, York Street, Colorado Boulevard
The Neighborhood: What began as a streetcar suburb in the early 1900s is now one of Denver's most popular urban neighborhoods. Congress Park, a 17-block-by-nine-block area just east of downtown, often lures families with school-age kiddos with its large Denver Squares, Victorians, and bungalows. Both Detroit Street and Seventh Avenue Parkway display spectacular dream homes, while the intersections of 12th Avenue and Madison Street and 12th Avenue and Elizabeth Street bask in their proximity to retail districts—Shells and Sauce, Chef Zorba's Greek Restaurant, and Peter's Chinese snuggle in at Elizabeth, while Wildflowers gifts, Pudge Bros. Pizza, Berenices salon, and Under the Umbrella Café prosper at Madison. As an added bonus, Congress Park rests adjacent to Colorado Boulevard's riot of convenience, as well as the hospitals at Ninth Avenue.
Why It's a Safe Bet: It's a city-adjacent location, Teller Elementary receives high-achieving marks, retail abounds in every direction, and the area's namesake park offers recreation, including a swimming pool.
Average Sale Price: $408,000; down 2 percent from 2006 to 2007
Neighborhood Organization: www.congressparkneighbors.org
Meet a Neighbor: Michele Foust
Outreach Chairman, Teller Elementary School PTA
Neighborhood Resident: 11 years
Loves: "Even though we are living in an urban area our neighborhood feels like a small town. I know a lot of people who walk to school and to the pool. Most of our children's friends live within a five-to-six-block radius, and my world is a five-minute commute. Don't underestimate how easy your life gets when you live seven blocks from your neighborhood school."
Doesn't Love: "I wish more people would go to the neighborhood schools. I wish more of our young neighborhood families would have their parents' mentalities and trust the schools in their backyards. Then I would know all the children I see and our neighborhood would be a more tight-knit community."
Advice to Prospective Buyers: "It's a ritual. On Friday afternoon, you have to go to the Daily Scoop [ice cream shop]. We all walk over after school. There's always something like 20 kids playing outside."