Before taking the Lakewood leap, you should know a few key facts about life in Denver’s little bro. So without further ado …
Nothing greater than the Great Outdoors: With the Rockies sitting literally in residents’ backyards, hiking and mountain biking paths are plentiful, while skiing and kayaking/canoeing are viable options as well.
Weather's not just small talk: Temperatures fluctuate drastically in a single day in Lakewood, so that a sunny, 70-degree day in May will often give way to sub-freezing temperatures by nightfall. So don’t be surprised if the shorts and tank top you were wearing at noon are replaced by thermals and a parka by midnight.
No Stepford-style suburbia: Lakewood is an independent city with its own commerce, culture, and vibe, even if its proximity to Denver sometimes gives outsiders the impression the city is just a squatting place for Mile High suburbanites. In truth, Lakewood is a better fit for residents jonesing for an urban ambiance.
To drive or not to drive? That is the question: Obviously, if you live in Lakewood and work in Denver, you’ll need your own wheels, and you should be prepared to spend plenty of time behind them. Drivers average about 40 minutes commuting. The good news is that residents who live in certain areas (like the downtown/Belmar district) can very possibly live, work, shop, and play using nothing but a pair of walking shoes as their means of transportation.
A hoot (sort of) for night owls: A common concern for apartment hunters moving to a new city is that they won’t have anything to do after the 9-5 crowd calls it quits. Fortunately, while Lakewood isn’t exactly Key West, it’s not Monotony-ville, either. You have a choice of a variety of restaurants, corner pubs, sports bars, and live music hotspots to choose from, in addition to a smattering of karaoke joints.
A good portion (nearly 40 percent) of Lakewood residents rent rather than own, and plenty of apartments remain available (the area is dotted with houses and condos for rent as well). To become a proud renter of a sweet Colorado crash pad, here a few things you’ll need:
A willingness to live in some cheaply-priced pads: We hope that’s not asking too much of you! Many desirable rentals are available for a grand or less, and it’s common for leasers to find deals for multi-room units with all the amenities in the $1200 range.
The boring basics: We’ve said it a billion times, but be sure to have the proper documents in tow when you’re ready to fill out a renter’s app.
A careful eye: Apartment managers in Lakewood aren’t out to rip you off, but renters should read the fine print on their lease agreements closely anyway. Everything you need to know is included in these oft-tedious documents. So give your contract a close read before signing the dotted line.
Generally speaking, the Eastern neighborhoods in Lakewood offer renters the most economic deals! Eastern Lakewood rentals can be found anywhere from $600 or less to $1200 or more, depending on the size/style of the property.
The further west you venture into Lakewood, the more likely you are to find shopping centers, residential dwellings, and parks and recreational areas. Again, rental prices vary, but it’s not uncommon to find apartments and townhouses for $800 or less.
Finally, if you want to live in the thick of things, living quarters are available in the Belmar area, which is overflowing with eclectic shops, eateries, and rental units. The Lamar Arts District downtown offers new living spaces as well, so your choices for residences are plentiful.
Best of luck finding your dream dwellings in Lakewood, and welcome to the Rockies!