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Are you thinking of moving to Colorado from another state? Or maybe you want to move in-state but aren’t sure which city to choose.
In this podcast episode, we explore the pros and cons of living in any of the big cities on the Front Range: Denver, Boulder and Colorado Springs.
It’s a question that affects both newcomers and natives: Where should I live in Colorado?
1. How do you choose the best places to live in Colorado?
In 2013, we moved to Aurora, which is a suburb of Denver, to be closer to family members who were going through some medical issues. That’s when we got our first taste of living in Colorado, and we fell in love.
With all the cool cities and suburbs to choose from, we felt somewhat overwhelmed by the choices. Maybe you feel this way too!
Do you want to live in downtown Denver? Do you want to a slower, cheaper lifestyle living in Colorado Springs? Or maybe you want to be closer to nature in a city like Ft. Collins or have a more balanced lifestyle of Boulder?
There are definitely no shortage of options! To answer these questions, we suggest starting with a simple checklist. Some of the things on our own list for finding the best places to live in Colorado along the front range, were:
- To be close to mountains
- To have access to a healthier lifestyle
- An environment that promoted more adventure and less work (and less stress!)
- Closer proximity to family and friends
- And to get outside and explore easily.
Ultimately though, you want to create a checklist that fulfills the lifestyle you’re wanting to create, while doing what’s best for you. That’s what we did!
2. What is the average cost of the popular cities in Colorado?
In 2018, that state of Colorado grew by 80,000 people, making it the 7th fastest growing state in the country! That’s just slightly less than the entire size of the city where we used to live in Texas.
Many of those people move to the Front Range of Colorado and in particular — the Denver metropolitan area. Because of this, cost of living has increased slightly with home prices are rapidly increasing as well.
In comparison, Colorado Springs is a much more budget-friendly place for first-time home buyers with an average of $272,000 — which is almost exactly what we paid for our starter home.
3. What should I know when moving in-state?
The Boulder, Colorado lifestyle is one-of-a-kind and we enjoyed every minute we lived there for three years. When we first started our search for buying a home, we quickly discovered that Boulder was completely out of our budget.
The city is very centrally located and has breathtaking views, but the amount of house and land you get for the money doesn’t always work. Plus, towards the end of our time in Boulder we started to feel a little cramped. The city backs up to the foothills and makes everything feel much more compact.
So, we looked into living in Denver again. But we quickly realized this also wasn’t much of an option for our budget and personal needs. In just those short three years of living in Colorado, the Denver market had ballooned into something only slightly less than what we were paying in Boulder.
We had to look elsewhere.
That’s when our sights shifted south to my hometown of Colorado Springs. In this city, there are less people and more room to grow. Plus, the housing market is much cheaper — which was very appealing to us as first-time home buyers.
Thanks to the help of our friends and family, it was a pretty smooth transition moving from Boulder to Colorado Springs at the end of 2018.
4. What are some tips for moving to Colorado from another state?
If you’ve ever moved from one place to another, you already know that the logistics of moving are often hard and expensive. Even more so when you’re moving across the country to another state!
When we first started thinking of moving to Colorado, our main motivation was to have a healthier lifestyle that promoted adventure, less work and a better climate for outdoor living.
During the time of quitting her day job to become full-time self-employed, Carrie had gained 30 pounds in Texas. Most of this was due to working long hours and not having an environment that promoted getting outside. Texas is hot, y’all!
We also enjoyed traveling and visiting many different places, and Texas made it more difficult to accomplish this. It’s a very large state, and traffic is always abundant, so travel days are long and hard.
After planning and saving money, our idea for moving to Colorado from another state took an additional year longer than we previously planned. But it was all worth it!
Colorado makes it easy to live off grid and the lifestyle is much more health-centric. Everyone who lives here enjoys being active and it’s easy to get outside daily!
Some things we didn’t expect when moving to Colorado, is that living at high altitude is a lot different than living at sea level. This is something not a lot of people realize, until you visit here.
Altitude sickness is a real thing! And it can be really brutal until you’re used to the high altitude. But more on that in our next episode.
On the flip side, it’s pretty easy to get integrated into the lifestyle. Colorado’s outdoor activities and general adventure attitude means you can quickly make new friends and become part of the community.
In each city that we have lived in along the Front Range, we were able to slip right in and feel welcomed — even if the prices of housing were a lot more than either of us expected.
5. How has Colorado grown and expanded over the years?
As a native of Colorado, and being away from this state for nearly a decade, I was really able to appreciate all it had to offer. I came back and fully experience the impact of all the growth my home-state experienced in this timeframe.
Of course, some of the growth and expansion has been good, and some not so great, while other things have mostly stayed the same!
With any population growth comes “the sprawl”. The towns getting bigger and bigger with more infrastructure and less nature.
Towns along the Front Range, specifically, are backed up to the west against the mountains, which leaves the east plains as the easiest place to build and expand. It’s not as picturesque here, and the lifestyle is much different than being close to the mountains.
With more people comes the inescapable traffic which means there is a lot more trash, and longer commutes. Higher demand of houses can often mean less inventory and the cost of buying a home continually increases along with the general cost of living.
But growth isn’t all bad. The Colorado food scene — particularly in Denver — is growing and really developing into its own unique style and cuisine. And what usually comes with unique cuisine is a unique culture as well.
Colorado is establishing itself as being just as dignified and a young city as other places in the country. Here we are able to experience a variety of museums, plays, and exciting activities daily!
But one thing that has stayed relatively the same are the people. They remain friendly and welcoming — even to great amount of change.
The lifestyle, for the most part, still remains as I remember it! The healthy, outdoor-centered way of living takes paramount above all else. And to me this is the number one reason there is such a draw for others to move to this great square state.