Photo Credit: Tomasz Stasiuk
Just an hour south of Denver, Colorado Springs is a relatively affordable city with plenty to offer for just about anyone. From nature lovers looking to experience the Garden of the Gods or some fantastic mountain views, to cadets attending the U.S. Air Force Academy, and even those excited to take advantage of Colorado’s dispensaries (for 21+ residents.)
Whether it’s people coming for the natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains, the booming industry around marijuana legalization, or to be around one of the most fitness-focused cities in the country, it’s clear that Colorado Springs has a lot to love.
To help you make sense of each aspect of the city and feel prepared before making the move, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide with all the most vital information you’ll need.
- Which Colorado Springs neighborhoods are most affordable?
- Which neighborhood in Colorado Springs is the best fit for me?
- How long is the commute in Colorado Springs?
- How’s the walkability, bikeability, and public transportation in Colorado Springs?
- How dangerous is Colorado Springs?
- Where can I find apartments and houses in Colorado Springs?
- How much will it cost to move to Colorado Springs?
- Don’t forget, all of these things need updating!
- What’s fun to do in Colorado Springs?
And if you’re looking for more info on moving to Colorado Springs, check out our Colorado Springs move cost guide.
- The population in Colorado Springs is 498,879, making it the 39th highest populated city in the United States.
- The 2021 average monthly rent in Colorado Springs is $1,316 with prices very close to US national average.
- The Springs is relatively affordable for a city of its size, with a single person’s estimated monthly costs totalling $2,080 according to Expatistan.
Check out this sweet drone footage of some of The Springs’ beautiful scenery.
As the second largest city in Colorado, Colorado Springs is a city with over 100 neighborhoods, meaning it has a wide variety of areas to fit almost anyone’s specific needs.
Whether you’re a student at the University of Colorado Colorado Springs or Colorado College, or you’re just looking for some peak real estate in a good school district, you can make this big city feel like a small town depending on which neighborhood you’re rocking in.
To better look at the city, it helps to divide it into basic regions (Southwest, South/Southeast, West, Northwest, Northeast, North, Powers, East, and Central) as seen on the map below.
When selecting an area to buy or rent, it’s important to know if it matches your vibe–but also you’ve got to know if you can afford a life in that neighborhood.
The rental hotspot map from Truila shows that, generally, rent in The Springs is more expensive in the more centralized regions and gets less expensive as you move further from the center of the city.
- The less expensive areas in the city are going to be places like Venetian Village, East Colorado Springs, Village Seven, and Stratton Meadows which will have rents in the $850-$1100 range.
- Places like Skyway, Northeast Colorado Springs, and Southeast Colorado Springs fall more into a middle price-range meaning that rent here will run around $950 to $1,300 per month.
- And if you want to live in a higher-end area of town, rent is going to run $1,300 and higher in areas like Central Colorado Springs, Briargate, Interquest, and Northgate.
And now that you know where you will and won’t be able to afford, you can look into whether or not you actually like these places.
When trying to decide where to live, it’s difficult to know exactly what an area’s vibe is like. Fortunately, Esri has developed their Zip Tapestry tool for doing just that!
It’s incredibly intuitive. To demonstrate, we’ve searched the zip code for Downtown Colorado Springs (80903) and Esri pulled up the three largest demographic sections in the area along with a ton of other useful info.
So, once you’ve decided you like a place, you’ll also want to figure out how feasible it’ll be to get from there to work every day.
As with many cities of this size, most people in The Springs are going to be getting around primarily by car, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The state of Colorado has some pretty horrible commutes, but Colorado Springs’ commute time is almost five times faster than the national average.
In general, commute times in Colorado Springs are pretty great, clocking in at a 22 minute average.
Even though roughly 88% of residents drive, Colorado Springs has a decent selection of alternative commuting options to choose from as well.
Colorado Springs is sort of walkable, has decent biking infrastructure, and has very weak public transportation options.
The Springs has a 35 walk score, which isn’t the worst, but it’s fairly weak compared to many major metropolitan areas.
Fortunately, efforts are underway to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety throughout the downtown area which should improve the city’s overall walkability.
And speaking of cyclists…
The Springs is bike-friendly
Of all its alternative transportation options, Colorado Springs bikers are in the best position with a bike score of 45.
Aside from the infrastructure improvements, the city does a lot to encourage biking in Colorado Springs like hosting Bike to Work Day and the Mayor’s Community Bike Ride as part of Bike Month in June.
Colorado Springs is also in the process of updating its bicycle master plan which will help to further encourage two-wheeled transportation throughout the city.
Unfortunately, the busses don’t fare quite as well…
Public transportation in The Springs is pretty weak
The bus system in Colorado Springs isn’t great… Scoring a meager 19 transit score.
The primary source of public transportation in The Springs is handled by Mountain Metro which offers bus services throughout downtown and the surrounding suburbs but doesn’t really extend into residential areas.
To their credit, Mountain Metro does offer assistance with other alternative commuting options such as bike lockers, bike-to-bus services, and park and ride options.
So, now that you know what getting around the city’s going to look like, it’s time to look at its crime rates.
At first, the crime situation doesn’t look super promising…
According to NeighborhoodScout, The Springs has a crime score of 7 out of 100 (with 100 being the safest possible score).
That might seem fairly low, but it’s actually on par with other cities of similar sizes.
Things seem a bit better if you look a little deeper into the data and notice that the total crime rate is only 13% violent crime. So although the rate is high, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s highly dangerous.
Generally, residents of Colorado Springs consider it a pretty safe place.
And now that you have a baseline understanding of the city, it’s time to find a place to put all your stuff.
The first step when looking for apartments is determining what you’ll be spending on utilities.
Due to its high altitude, Colorado Springs experiences a fair amount of chilly weather, although things get toasty in the summer too.
In order to contend with the cold winters and a couple of months of heat, you’ll definitely want to be renting a place with heating and air conditioning.
When thinking about heating and cooling needs, also consider your monthly electricity cost so that you can adequately budget for your apartment’s utilities.
And due to the city’s low walkability, it’d be a good idea to make sure you have a washer/dryer somewhere in-unit or nearby.
Where to look for apartments in Colorado Springs
Apartment hunting can be a pain no matter where you’re looking, so it’s best to use every resource at your disposal to make sure you find the best possible fit for your needs.
We’ve gathered a few solid sites that we think serve as good jumping-off points for finding apartments in the Springs.
Colorado Springs rental market
The 2021 rental market in Colorado Springs isn’t great for renters…
Also, Colorado Springs vacancy rates have decreased by.94% as of the latest recorded data, which is substantially lower than the national average.
Colorado Rental Law
Renting in The Springs is expensive enough the way it is. To avoid paying any more than you need to or getting swindled by an opportunistic landlord, brush up on your rights as a renter in Colorado.
Here are some of the most useful laws for renters to keep in mind:
- Colorado Required Landlord Disclosures
- Colorado Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines
- Colorado Tenant Rights to Withhold Rent
- Colorado Landlord-Tenant Laws
Now, if you want to settle down in an area that’s a bit more suburban, The Springs has plenty to offer.
Colorado Springs has a ton of natural beauty, which makes finding a new home in a picturesque suburb to settle down in incredibly easy.
In 2021, home prices in Colorado Springs have a median value of is $388,907 which is a 19.7% increase from the previous year.
Among Fort Carson and Manitou Springs, here are a couple suburbs in The Springs that stood out to us:
Old North End
Located just north of Downtown, the Old North End is one of the trendier areas of town featuring a ton of historic homes both large and small. Primarily appealing to established families, doctors, professors, and lawyers, the Old North End’s charm comes at a relatively high price.
People wanting to be somewhat removed from the city will find a lot to love in Pleasant Valley. What was once one of the most expensive neighborhoods in The Springs has become fairly affordable. The area is particularly attractive to new families who are drawn to its ranch-style homes and proximity to the Garden of the Gods.
Use our moving cost calculator to estimate your moving costs to Colorado Springs.
Also, if you are coming from out of state, be sure to have a look at our state-to-state moving guide for more info and tips.
Parking permits for moving vehicles in Colorado Springs
You’ll also want to figure out whether or not you need special permission to park moving vehicles or containers near your house before making your move.
Colorado Springs has a thorough Oversize/Overweight Load Permits page with the info you’ll need.
The laborious moving process is so close to being over! All that’s left to do is take care of a few last logistical matters and you’ll be able to officially call The Springs your home.
- Voter registration: Please, don’t forget to register to vote after moving! It’s super important and helps you build a connection to your community.
- Driver’s license: You’ll want to get a new Colorado driver’s license within 2 weeks after you move.
- Out-of-state vehicle registration: And if you’re bringing a car with you, you’ll need to get a Colorado license plate.
- Trash & recycling: As soon as you can, make sure to get set up with Springs Waste Systems to make sure your trash doesn’t pile up on the front lawn.
- Make friends and meet new people: It’s not easy making connections in a new town, but thanks to resources like Meetup which helps people with similar interests get connected and r/ColoradoSprings which is great for keeping up with what’s happening around town.
Get used to the high elevation: Colorado Springs is 6,035 feet above sea level, so give your body some time to adjust.
When getting a feel for a new city, sometimes the best place to start is their official website. Colorado Springs has a pretty solid site devoted to sharing info on upcoming events and general things to do around town.
Explore the historic district of Old Colorado City, the NORAD Cheyenne Mountain complex just half an hour from the Peterson Air Force Base, or make a weekend getaway to the Broadmoor destination resort.
Those in search of places to unwind won’t be disappointed by the selection of bars and distilleries in Colorado Springs like Axe and the Oak Whiskey House, Goat Patch Brewing Company, and Distillery 291.
And as we stated earlier, The Springs is a haven for nature-lovers with many Parks, trails, and open spaces that will provide any outdoor activity junkies with fresh air and beautiful vistas.
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