BOULDER – Given the density and crowdedness of our fair (and expensive) city, it’s not uncommon to hear the locals grumble about what Boulder has become: “It’s lost all its funky charm.” “It’s the new Palo Alto.”
People who have lived here more than 10 years remember when it was easy to find a downtown parking space, when you could walk into a restaurant and be seated almost immediately and when you could get through a traffic light in one round. Basically, when you could get through the day without being annoyed all the time. You could also afford to
rent a place or buy a home at some point.
“Oh, what happened to the Boulder I loved?” you hear some say. I say it is now to be found in Nederland. Like it or not, all of our front range cities have grown up. And while Boulder has become Palo Alto-esqe, Nederland has become like old Boulder. In the last 15 years, its amenities have improved – such as restaurants, shopping, music venues, rec centers, schools – but it still retains that casual, funky mountain town charm in a killer natural setting.
Boulder’s residential real estate costs have sent folks running to the hills, literally, especially people from out of state suffering from sticker shock. When they get there, they’re pleasantly surprised. Besides Ned and all it offers, there’s all the outdoor amenities right out one’s back door that one doesn’t get in an eastern plains subdivision: miles of trail systems (maybe 44 miles more with the proposed Magnolia Trails project) and acres of national forests to use for hiking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, hunting, fishing and off-roading, as well as downhill skiing and snowboarding and cross-country skiing at Eldora Mountain Resort. What’s especially wonderful about living around Nederland is that while you may be just a few minutes from the city, your home can feel like it’s in its own private forest with incredible, long-range mountain views. That’s something hard to find in Boulder at any price.
As more folks are heading to Ned, so are local home developers. High quality, attractive new homes are now more readily available. The best new options address fire mitigation – always a concern for folks in the mountains and foothills – and provide utilities (buried phone lines, water, sewer). No having to truck in water or deal with septic systems.
It’s easy to understand why folks “Head to Ned” for the best in Colorado living. At least for the next 20 to 30 years. Then folks will be lamenting about how great Ned used to be.
Karen is the owner and managing broker of KL Realty which is currently representing the Caribou Ridge development in Nederland, caribouridgehomesites.com.