Escape From New York -- Go to Denver

Welcome to another installment of Escape From New York, in which I find new cities, and homes, for New Yorkers priced out of the real estate market.
Today we meet Jamie and Paul, a writer and therapist, respectively, with two cats (and no kids … yet) ready to leave their 550-square-foot one-bedroom in Sunnyside, Queens.


Despite its close proximity to the subway and New York City and having a great super and management company, the apartment is too small ("the dishwasher doesn't even open fully," says Jamie) and too dark. Also, "the nearest park is completely paved over."

And, as Jamie says, "there's just no future in New York City, no possibility of ever being a homeowner unless you're a millionaire."

Their must-haves: They want to live where they can own a car, have easy access to nature and cultural, culinary, and ethnic diversity they've loved about New York. Let's try to give them that, plus walkability, bike-friendliness, and some sort of public transit. The location must have winter. (They're in luck -- most people want the opposite.) And the cost of living needs to be reasonable.

Their deal breakers: Humidity -- they've had enough. Rude people (bye, New York). And anything resembling a suburban townhouse.

Their goal: A freestanding single-family home with a backyard (it doesn't have to be giant), garage, dining room, and basement. They'd like a guest bedroom and an office. They're also hoping for "close enough to a city to be convenient, but far enough that our (currently nonexistent) kids can play in the street." And sunlight.

Their budget: $300,000 to $400,000 -- a little less if they're farther out of the city.

Jamie and Paul, a little birdie tells us you've been pondering humidity-free, nature-filled Denver, so let's send you there! There's good food, 300 days of sunshine, and bike lanes.

The press has lately been filled with stories of how pricy Denver is, but I found plenty of adorable options under $400,000. Here goes:

Address: 4828 W Hayward Pl

Price: $399,900

This one should do it. Garage? Check. Outdoor space? Check. (Plus deck with views!) The 1,592-square-foot ranch has three bedrooms, two bathrooms, leaded stained-glass windows, and a walkout basement. In case you're wondering who lived here before: "Previous owner was very 'artsy.'"

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Address: 4488 Pecos St

Price: $319,900

It's sort of shotgun-does-modern. It has "all new stainless steel appliances, cabinets, flooring, windows, carpet, doors," as well as "hand scraped solid hard wood flooring." A modest 1,222 square feet (way bigger than your current pad, though), with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. It, too, has a garage.

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Address: 2469 Lowell Blvd

Price: $388,000

Wait, don't say it: I know you nixed attached homes off the list, but this one's worth a look (and it's attached on only one side!). It feels like a house and has three bedrooms, 1.5 bathrooms, lots of sunshine, and a yard. Also, yes, a garage. The fireplace, alas, is decorative. Be aware: It's being sold "as is."

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Address: 3427 N York St

Price: $379,900

Here's some real potential. A remodeled bungalow, with a fireplace, renovated kitchen, a finished basement, and a two-car garage. Also, it comes with a $2,000 carpet allowance.