Boulder's municipal government has systematically bought up land around the city to create a green belt. These open spaces protect the city from the miles of sprawl that can be found in Boulder's neighbor, Denver. Great, right? Well, yeah, in theory, but in practice, things are a bit trickier.
If possible, start your search at the beginning of the summer to beat the housing rush, and don't be shy about negotiating with landlords to get a lease on your terms.
Downtown Boulder is home to the Pearl Street Market, an open-air shopping center with four blocks of independently-owned boutiques, restaurants and bars. Apartments near Pearl Street Market are newly renovated or developed condos and complexes. Expect to pay between $1600-1800 for a two bedroom in this area. Newer, luxury developments can cost up to $2000 for a two bedroom.
The Hill, another hot spot, has rents for two bedrooms that generally run between $1300-1600.
The southern area of Boulder is more recently developed than the northern regions. This means lots of ranch-style homes and newer shopping centers. Finding rental homes in this area can be challenging. However, the far southern reaches of the Table Mesa area frequently have a number of affordable single-family rentals, generally ranging from $1200-1400 for a two bedroom. Table Mesa also has the added benefit of being the closest part of Boulder to Denver, making commuting in and out of the city slightly easier. North Boulder also has less suburban-feeling neighborhoods, including the Westminster section of town.
As many Boulder residents commute to work in nearby Denver, rush hour is a big event along the I-36 and I-25 corridor. But, Boulder hasn't gotten the reputation of being an incredibly livable city by resting on its proverbial laurels! Recent developments in HOV lanes have helped ease congestion considerably, cutting commuting time during rush hour to between 35-45 minutes.
Additionally, Boulder has a local community bus service that ferries passengers around town, and also connects with the RTD, which operates express buses into downtown Denver for both the daily commuter and the Boulder resident heading out for a night on the town.
But why bus or drive when Boulder is such a walkable and bike-friendly city! There are over 300 miles of bike paths, bike lanes and off-road routes that make commuting around the city by bike safe and easy.
Now that you know the ins-and-outs of beautiful Boulder, you're ready to find an apartment. Happy hunting!