For Those Considering Buying a House in Littleton
The suburban city of Littleton offers an idyllic mix of location, community and culture to its 45,000 residents. It was recently rated the No. 2 Best Small City in America by Wallethub.com and one of the Five Best Cities for Families in Colorado by Livability.com. In a recent citizen survey, more than 95 percent of citizens rated the quality of life in Littleton as “good” or “excellent” for reasons like scenery, outdoor access and schools.
Nestled near the foothills of Colorado’s Front Range, Littleton appeals to residents through its combination of beautiful natural landscape and award-winning cultural amenities for the perfect blend of mountain and city lifestyle.
Suburb Stats for Littleton, Colorado
Littleton has been quietly growing in recent years resulting in a steady increase of population, commerce and development. Unique in that the city is divided among Douglas, Arapahoe and Jefferson counties, Littleton is served by three public school districts, and its mailing addresses extend from its quaint old-town district to the remote Roxborough State Park, about 15 miles south of downtown.
Population of Littleton
Recently, the population of Littleton has been rising at a comfortable rate of about one percent per year while maintaining a median age of about 42 years old. Education is highly valued among residents, with 77 percent of whom hold at least a bachelor’s degree, and 87 percent of whom are employed in white-collar jobs like sales and management. The median household income here is about $65,000.
Average House Prices
Littleton’s median home value is around $284,000. Along with population and development, this number has also increased steadily over the past few years (up from $270,000 in 2010). Despite this increase it remains one of the more affordable cities in the region. The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,000 per month (up from $838 per month in 2010).
Average Housing Density by Neighborhood
There are more than 19,000 households in Littleton, the majority of which are owner-occupied. Housing options range from luxury apartment communities to subdivision homes to multi-million dollar estates. Some of the more prominent neighborhoods include the Heritage, South Littleton, Sterne Park, Goddard, Progress Park and Ketring Park areas, which reach to the south and east from Littleton’s historic downtown district. A collection of luxury homes are also located around Roxborough State Park, about 15 miles south of the city.
Commuting From Littleton
A recent citizen survey revealed that about 16,000 Littleton residents commute to work outside of the city. According to Livablity.com, the majority of residents drive to work, whereas about 7 percent use public transportation. Littleton is conveniently located near two light rail stations, providing residents and commuters with easy access around the metropolitan area.
From Historic Downtown Littleton, sometimes referred to as “Old Town”, it takes about 20 minutes to drive to Denver, about 45 minutes to the Denver International Airport, and about 15 minutes to the Denver Technological Center in Greenwood Village.
Raising a Family in Littleton
Littleton has a reputation as a great place for families to live, play and grow together thanks to a variety of top-notch schools, parks and cultural resources. Livability.com recognizes the city’s family-friendly aspects like “scenic beauty”, “active lifestyle” and “extensive menu of educational services, programs and activities” as some of the best in the state. Due to the city’s unique situation at the intersection of three counties, families have three public school districts and several private schools to choose from within five miles of the city center. The city’s 1,400 acres of parks and 200 miles of trails ensure that Littleton families stay active and healthy.
Childcare and Schooling in Littleton
Almost 36,000 kids are enrolled in school programs in Littleton with 40 percent participating at the elementary level. There are 18 elementary schools, 10 middle schools and three high schools across three public districts in Littleton giving families a great deal of choice when it comes to their child’s education. The city as a whole received an 8 out of 10 rating by Greatschools.org, part of which can be attributed in part to its unique variety of options.
Kid Friendly Activities in Littleton
Littleton offers an array of fun and enriching programs, amenities and events for children of all ages. Kid-friendly cultural activities include summertime art and history camps and interactive Kids Connection exhibits at the Littleton Museum; special reading-focused programming for infants, kids and teens at the Bemis Library, as well as the popular “Kid Olympics” obstacle course event; and a children’s theater program at the Town Hall Arts Center. In addition to seemingly endless access to parks with playgrounds, bike paths and hiking trails, there are also several recreation centers in the south metro area that offer youth sports programs.
What Type of Lifestyle Suits Littleton?
People who live in Littleton like to spend time shopping on Main Street, dining at local restaurants, sampling the goods at breweries, perusing art galleries, the theatre, and exploring local hiking trails. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the city’s well-preserved historic landmarks, which can be viewed on a self-guided walking tour. There’s so much to see and do in Littleton that people all over the Denver metro area venture into the town on weekends for a few hours of fun and entertainment.
Shopping and Dining in Littleton
The Main Street historic district in downtown Littleton houses a charming collection of pubs, cafes, restaurants, boutiques and art galleries making it the local’s go-to spot for window shopping and spending time with friends. One of Main Street’s most notable dining destinations is The Melting Pot, a romantic fondue restaurant housed in the historic Carnegie Library building. Other popular eateries include Merle’s, an American bistro; Smokin’ Fins sushi; Café Terracotta, a brunch spot; and the Old Town Tavern sports bar.
Additionally, a variety of ethnic cuisines can be found along Littleton Boulevard, and further south on Santa Fe Drive is where the innovative Breckenridge Brewery & Farmhouse can be found featuring a central, wraparound bar, farm-to-table restaurant, gift shop and spacious lawn with Adirondack chairs, yard games and fire pits.
Littleton is particularly well-known for its antique shops, many of which are located in and around Main Street, although serious shoppers should head to the Paris Flea Market, held on select summer weekends in the parking lot at the Aspen Grove shopping center. This outdoor mall also features a Tattered Cover bookstore, Alamo Drafthouse cinema and a good variety of well-known shops and restaurants. The more traditional Southwest Plaza mall also offers a small selection of basic shops and restaurants.
Culture and Arts
Littleton boasts several outstanding art, culture and history offering that add a lot of value to the community. The 39-acre Littleton Museum features two living history farms to depict pioneer lifestyle with hands-on activities. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, this cultural gem has a national reputation as one of the best local history museums in the country.
Other amenities include the Bemis Public Library, rated by 92 percent of Littleton citizens as “good” or “excellent” for its educational services and programs; the privately operated Town Hall Arts Center, housed in the city’s original city hall building, which offers a schedule of live theater performances and art exhibits; and the Hudson Gardens, Carson Nature Center and Chatfield Reservoir botanical gardens.
Littleton also does a nice job of fusing its historic and modern identities by honoring local heroes with war memorials and statues, and preserving sites like the gravesite of the notorious Alfred Packer at the Littleton Cemetery.
Outdoor Activities and Active Lifestyle in Littleton
Littleton residents are generally concerned about maintaining a healthy lifestyle. According to livability.com about 84% of people report living an active lifestyle, and 80% maintain a healthy weight (BMI), and 86% are non-smokers. Many people are drawn to live in Littleton because of its proximity and access to a multitude of recreational activities from hiking and biking to golfing and yoga.
For outdoorsy types, there are over 200 miles of trails and 1,400 acres of parks in Littleton, including the 878-acre South Platte Park along the South Platte River, featuring the Mary Carter Greenway Trail and several small lakes for paddling and fishing. This area is also home to the Carson Nature Center where guests can learn about the natural flora and fauna of Colorado. Just south of the South Platte recreation area sprawls the Chatfield State Park. Featuring a reservoir, campground, trails and a division of the Denver Botanic Garden, Chatfield is popular for boating, biking, jogging and fishing. Further south is the rugged, 3,300-acre Roxborough State Park whose jagged sandstone features are ideal for hiking and climbing.
Littleton also has a number of scenic golf courses including Raccoon Creek, the Littleton Golf & Tennis Club and the exclusive Columbine Country Club. The South Suburban Parks & Recreation department, which includes Littleton, maintains six rec centers, four pools and two ice arenas in the surrounding areas.
Littleton does a great job of organizing a year-round schedule of community events to bring people together. A weekly farmers market, monthly Paris flea market and “Littleton Rocks!” concert series provide opportunities for citizens to mix and mingle with their neighbors. Annual events like the Western Welcome Week (a week-long street fair held in August), a city-wide Mardi Gras, the Main Street Block Party in June, autumn Zombie Crawl and holiday Candlelight Walk encourage celebration of the changing seasons.
Hometown to Engineers
Littleton is home to several facilities for Lockheed Martin, America’s premier aerospace, defense and engineering firm. This engineering giant employs many Littleton residents and is one of the many major American companies who have chosen to move operations to Colorado in recent years.