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Reviews & Comments

Lakewood, CO

The area is going downhill - 7/24/2017
If you ask anyone who has lived in the Denver metro area the last decade they will tell you the entire area is going downhill as it transforms before their eyes.

Overall crime is increasing (10% last year, 5% this year), a current housing shortage and ridiculously high rent (plus increased burglaries from people trying to make ends meet) and home prices that are bound to come crashing down again, floods of people from all states invading for either the hope of a job or cheap legal marijuana or illegal aliens flocking because Denver is a still a sanctuary city handing out freebies, a poorly run democratic government that robbed basic infrastructure funds to fund obamacare and other fat and then had the nerve to push for a tax hike to make citizens pay for their management mistakes (if they don't get their act together it's trending towards becoming another epic failure democratic run state like Chicago or Baltimore and a host of others in decline with high crime from bad management and failing infrastructure).

But you don't have to take my word for it, just hit up the CrimeReports website. Use the filters and go back 6+ months, you'll see the crime bleeding out more and more into the suburbs. The general dividing line for city crime used to be around Federal Blvd, years later it crept to Sheridan Blvd, now it's creeping way west past Wadsworth and Kipling St. And the population keeps booming, sadly not offset with more police presence. A ripe situation that is being ignored by the local democratic government, it seems they want to attract a lot of lower class citizens to boost their voter base. A win for the government, a loss to good citizens that want a safe and clean place to live and raise kids.

If you just visit Lakewood briefly, it looks pleasant. But if you hang around a year or so you'll discover that all of those cute lakes are actually highly contaminated and trying to walk around goose droppings is near impossible. And the traffic has at least doubled the last few years, but the infrastructure funds that were mismanaged never made it to expanding roads or fixing potholes. There was a news article put out a few months back that estimates the horrible road conditions to cost Denver area drivers around $1-2k per year in repairs from potholes and wasted gas idling on roads meant to handle half the traffic. The sad side effect of that is that road rage has also increased, and drivers make more daring moves trying to jump ahead or beat stoplights. The entire state has road issues, and it's a long running joke that you can always tell when you cross into Colorado from any neighboring state because of the sad condition of the roads and the endless construction cones that hang around forever and seem to never have active workers. I'm not sure if CDOT is understaffed or if that's why the state touts the "Colorful Colorado" slogan due to the bright orange cones.

If you absolutely HAVE to work in the Denver metro area, Lakewood and Littleton should serve your needs just fine for housing/shopping/entertainment. The commute to anywhere is generally terrible, that's not area specific. That 5 mile commute can take 30+ minutes on a good day between the traffic jams and endless road construction and dodging bicyclists on the road that seem to get joy out of blocking the flow of traffic. If you like to ski it's also a decent area to be in since you aren't far from jumping onto 470/70.

When I first moved here many years ago I was excited about the mountains and going camping, only to be majorly disappointed every year because campfires are banned everywhere because Colorado is a high desert tinderbox all summer. The other thing you'll notice, and this depends where you are moving from, is that most people around Denver avert their gaze instead of saying hello and generally keep to themselves and put up high privacy fences. Probably typical of a city, but very noticeable if you are moving from a smaller friendly community.

If you move anywhere in the Denver metro area you should also do research on hail. Adjust your insurance comprehensive coverage so that windshield replacement cost is zero or less than $100. Most people who drive regularly have to replace their windshields annually due to extreme hail or the winter rock chips CDOT drops on the highways. Learn where to park quickly in case of golf ball or softball sized hail, know where the nearest parking garage or car wash is for quick protection from the elements. The last hail storm this year did around 1.5 billion in damage to homes and vehicles. Because of the regular storm damage you can expect to pay a higher insurance premium if you move to the area. Storms are fast and can be furious. There are occasional tornadoes and down-bursts (May through July is the target window for violent freak storms), mostly east of I-25 but some have hit in and around Lakewood (just Google Denver tornado history to see), but with smartphone weather notifications you'll be prepared plus when extreme weather is approaching plus every local school has a siren that blares and verbal recorded instructions to seek cover.

Denver's air is usually stagnant and the pollution just hovers above the area (very visible brown air if you go up to the mountains and look down), so even with a small bit of rain your vehicle will be covered with a film of brown filth. Oh, and learn to wear sunscreen. The high elevation puts you closer to the sun and your chances of getting skin cancer are around 30% higher.

In summary, if you had to take a job in the metro area Lakewood would be okay but always keep an eye out. If you had a choice to take a job elsewhere or are retiring I'd recommend looking around the Longmont area or perhaps Centennial. Or go well south, the Castle Rock area is still in good shape. In the metro area, definitely avoid Aurora, Englewood, and Commerce City as their crime rates tend to be much higher.

Good luck in your search, I hope this honest review of the good and bad was helpful in some way. I do hope the Denver area can figure out how to handle the overcrowding and infrastructure and crime issues before it's too late.


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