Boulder has many different neighborhoods with different price points, architecture, amenities, and vibes. Here is an overview of the lay of the land so you can start to get your bearings:
If you want to be in the hustle and bustle of Boulder and do not want to deal with Boulder’s worsening parking problems there are all kinds of housing options in downtown Boulder – condos, townhomes and single-family houses. But there is not a lot of bang for a buck downtown – in 2019 the median single-family home price was $1,300,000 with an average home price of $1,472,000. The medium attached dwelling price downtown was $547,500 with an average price of $732,000.
A historic part of Boulder, large homes many with great porches were built in the late 1800s early 1900s. A lot of the homes look their age on the outside but most have had facelifts on the inside creating modern feels with old charm. The centerpiece of the neighborhood is Mapleton Avenue – the Park Avenue of Boulder – a wide, tree-lined boulevard. This area is very coveted because of its walkability to downtown as well as to hiking trails.
This neighborhood lies to the east and northeast of East Pearl and was one of the first areas people settled in Boulder. It’s proximity to Downtown makes this area very appealing and the price tag for housing is generally lower here than on the west side of downtown with comparable walkability to shops and restaurants – just with more modest homes and less accessibility to trails as you are further away from the Foothills.
This quaint neighborhood with narrow streets and an abundance of trees is snuggled between the base of the Foothills and the Boulder Creek and is a stone’s throw from downtown – though you have to cross a very busy Canyon Boulevard to get there. This area is home to Eben G. Fine park – a summer hotspot and there are trails outside the homes’ doors. Some of the homes back to Boulder Creek – which creates a lack of privacy but a nice ambiance.
This area is a 10-15 minute drive to downtown but has the great access to trails, open space and fabulous views. It is also has the easy access to get to the High Country because of it’s southern location along highway 93 Boulders gateway road to I-70, C-470 and I-285. This neighborhood has homes mostly constructed in the 1960s and 1970s and has a very typical suburban feel from that era on the lower part of the mesa but as you climb the hill the architecture and street layout becomes more intriguing. There is one shopping center in this area, Table Mesa Shopping Center, that has grocery stores, a nail salon, restaurants, a pharmacy – the essentials.
This neighborhood, originally built as a Boulder suburb in the 1950s and 1960s with young servicemen returning from war, young scientists and college students attending the University of Boulder in mind, is a enclave of small ranch or split level homes conveniently located between Highway 36 and Broadway. Originally built en masse to be affordable to young families, this area is still one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Boulder with homes starting in the mid-600s. And though people have started to pop tops and modernize these simple ranch and split-levels the feeling of this area has not, at least yet, completely regenerated. Martin Acres is very bike-able neighborhood, has easy access to major thoroughfares, is located on the RTD bus route and is close to the Table Mesa shopping center.
The air is crisp, there are Evergreens out the homes’ windows and wildlife in the backyards – you feel like you are far from a city in the Boulder Foothills. The roads are windy and can get snow packed, so being on a bus route in the foothills is key because the roads will be plowed more often. If you are hearty and up for a more “wintery” lifestyle, you can definitely get more for your money up there.
The Newlands, centered around North Boulder Park which has a baseball field, playground, room to set up slack lines, play Frisbee and/or read a book, has a very motley and expensive housing inventory. This neighborly feeling neighborhood s ideally located a close walk to the Ideal sopping center and downtown is a 20 minute walk to downtown and backs-up to the Mount Sanitas, Red Rocks, Dakota Ridge trails.
This area has the historic Chautauqua Park with all it’s beauty, trails, restaurant, general store and concert, lecture venues in it’s backyard. chautauqua has curvy streets, lots of trees and traditional and victorian homes speckled with modern and funky properties that sit on larger than normal lots for most areas in Boulder. Expect price tags from the mid-$1,000,000s and up. It is an easy bike ride to downtown, but not such an easy bike ride back home as the Chautauqua neighborhood sits on a hill.
Great views, a lot more land and more bang for your buck are the attractions of living in East Boulder. Lots of people have horses, chickens, goats, etc. in their backyards. It is “rural”ish living 10-20 minute drive from downtown. As of March the average sales price in this area for a single family home in 2019 was $1,014,395.
North Boulder is a hodgepodge of “new” (built in the early 2000s) housing developments, a “new” Uptown with coffee shops and restaurants, storage facilities, mobile home parks and homes that sit on large lots. A road biking haven with easy access north on highway 36, a popular road biking route.
A fringe area of Boulder located to the Northwest of the city, people migrate to Gunbarrel to find cheaper housing while keeping a Boulder address and good beer – Gunbarrel is home to many craft breweries including Avery Brewing Company. Gunbarrel is also home to the Boulder Country Club, making it a hotspot for avid golfers who want to live near the club to make it convenient to drive their golf carts to and from the golf cart. Large corporations have headquarters in the area including Celestial Seasonings and IBM. There is no true town center in Gunbarrel, making it not for everyone, but the bike path system does makes it easy to ride right into Boulder proper. Gunbarrel was annexed by Boulder is the 1960s and most of the housing inventory was built mid-1960s – mid-1970s.
Louisville, a 20 minute drive from downtown Boulder, has a modernized historic mining Old Town (downtown), with tons of charm, town events, box stores on the outskirts and an influx of people wanting to live there. In 2018 the median house price was $614,950, up 36.7 percent since 2014. Close to downtown the housing inventory is a mix of homes that have been expanded and modernized and small bungalows but as you get further from Louisville’s epicenter the housing inventory becomes subdivision homes.
A 24 minute drive to downtown Boulder, is a cozy town that is slowly turning into a “suburb” of Boulder. There are lots of old homes in Lafayette with new builds/developments sprouting up. The median home price in 2018 in Lafayette was $510,000.
28 minutes from downtown Boulder with a population of about 90,000, is a city in and of itself with many diverse neighborhoods within it. Longmont’s large downtown has a western feel, many tech companies and high-speed fiber internet capability for everyone. Longmont is the least expensive of Boulder’s surrounding areas.
I know that crucial information to any is left out of this posts – schools! Good Good Realty or any real estate agent cannot discuss this under The Fair Housing Act but here is a link to check out school ratings https://www.greatschools.org/colorado/boulder/schools/ and here is a link to Boulder County School District
Check out our Good Good Map for more details about these neighborhoods and other neighborhoods. You may also want to read our Moving To Boulder article if you’re new to the area and considering Boulder as your new home.
Good Good is a Boulder area real estate agency. We specialize in helping good people find the perfect Boulder home. We’re low pressure but high touch. If you’re looking for a real estate guide in the Boulder area, we may be a good fit. Give us a call if you’d like to chat. We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about the Boulder area or give you a tour.
Katie (Good Good Founder) | 720.415.4914 | Katie@goodgoodrealty.com