Is Moving to Denver Worth It?

Skiing, Altitude, Recreational Marajuana

Despite its unaffordable housing, proximity to the University of Denver and University of Colorado – Denver and the city’s burgeoning food scene are enough to make up for it.

These factors along with consistent job growth and a generally thriving cultural scene combined to cause something of a population boom in Denver. As more and more people flood into the city, making space for yourself to make the move can seem like a daunting task.

Fortunately, we’ve done some of the legwork for you and prepared a guide with all the essential information you’ll need before relocating to the Mile High City.

Moving to Denver, CO

Photo Credit: Sharon Molleurs

Everything about relocating to Denver

Mile High City Snapshot

Before you get bogged down in the details, check out this video of some of the more breathtaking sights around Denver.

Denver’s Varied Neighborhoods

Denver is a city with a lot of neighborhoods, which means it’s hard to cover everything succinctly.

Denver Neighborhood Map

Because of this, we’ve found it best to break the city up regionally into Central, East, North, Northeast, Northwest, South, Southeast, Southwest, and West Denver. Each of these regions can contain multiple neighborhoods which all have unique vibes, strengths, and weaknesses.

By our estimation, Denver has well over 80 neighborhoods, which should give you plenty of chances to find one that fits your personal style, needs, and budget.

So, when starting your search for an area to buy or rent, your first concern should always be whether or not you can afford it. This map from Trulia does a pretty decent job of showing how much you should expect to pay throughout the city of Denver.

Denver Apartment Rental Map 2018

Here’s how the regional pricing breaks down

  • If you’re looking for affordability, you can expect to pay between $1,200 and $1,500 in places like Northern Denver, Park Hill, and Southeastern Denver.
  • Neighborhoods like Washington Park, Five Points, and Baker fall more towards what passes for mid-range rent prices, ranging from $1,500 to $1,900
  • And if you’re okay paying for high-end housing, you’ll find $1,900 to $1,700 rents in areas along the lines of Cherry Creek, Golden Triangle, and Lodo.

But while pricing is an extremely important factor, you’ll also want to consider whether or not you actually like living there.

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Where in Denver are people like me living?

Picking a place to live has a ton of factors, but most of them are meaningless unless you actually enjoy your environment. The tools at Esri can help you to narrow down locations based on whether or not they share your demographics.

Denver Neighborhood Demographics

The tool is super simple. All you do is plug in a zip code (we used 80202 for downtown Denver) and the site shows your the three largest demographic subsets along with a bunch of other useful info.

Denver Median Age

Now, when you figure out which area best suits you, you can try to figure out how you’ll be getting to work.

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Expect Long Denver Commutes

As Denver’s population grows faster, overall commutes throughout the city get longer and more frustrating. This fact has lead to Denver having one of the most stressful commutes in the country.

While the average commute time in Denver is shorter than the national average, 22.9 minutes is still a bit longer than most people would like. This is reinforced by the fact that only 73% commute via car regularly, which is far fewer than most other cities.

But if so few people are driving to work, how are they getting around?

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Denver is pretty great for walking and biking

Denver is fairly walkable, has passable public transit, and is solidly bikeable.

Denver Walk Scores

With a very solid walkscore of 61 along with work being done with the Downtown Denver Partnership, Denver is fairly accommodating to those looking to navigate the city by foot.

The fact that there are so many walkable cities to choose from (and the fact that residents of those cities are very happy) is pretty solid evidence of how easy it is to get around.

Unfortunately, you won’t fare as well if you want to ride the bus.

Public Transportation in Denver is…fine

Denver has a 47 public transit score which isn’t spectacular, but it isn’t awful either.

Denver Bus Map

Both busses and rail systems are handled by the Regional Transit District (or, RTD).

As with so many cities, the public transportation is fine for getting around downtown, but the further you get from urban areas, the less reliable coverage becomes.

Of course, part of the reason service hasn’t been expanded could be that ridership is fairly low but with so many other solid options, who could blame them?

Denver is super bike-friendly

A 71 bike score is very good for a city of Denver’s size.

Denver Bike Map

The city of Denver is extremely accommodating to cyclists, providing a Bicycling in Denver guide on the city’s official website and ensuring that the RTD offers bike and ride services with their bus routes.

This infrastructure has caused a strong cyclist community to rise up throughout the city through organizations like Bicycle Colorado. The city is so passionate about two-wheeled transportation that it has its own Bicycle Cafe.

So now that you’ve got an idea of what getting around Denver is like, it’s probably a good time to look at crime rates.

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Crime Rates in Denver

Big cities have a ton of advantages, but the more tightly packed an urban area is, the better chance you’ll find that it has a high crime rate. While these statistics should be taken seriously, it’s important to keep them in perspective.

Denver Crime Map

With that said, Denver may seem like a high-crime city, but it’s pretty on-par with areas that have a similar population.

According to NeighborhoodScout, Denver has a crime score of 9 (with 100 being the safest possible score) so…yeah.

Overall, crime rates in Colorado have been on the rise over the past few years but (despite some spikes in specific incidents) crime in Denver has at least remained steady.

With that in mind, you’ll generally find that most areas are safer than the statistics imply as long as you maintain situational awareness, know when to steer clear of certain areas, and avoid putting yourself in situations you know could become dangerous.

So, with all that in mind, let’s get down to putting a roof over your head!

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Looking for Apartments in Denver

If you’re in search of an apartment, your first concern should be narrowing options down to those that have the amenities you’ll need.

Denver Average Temperature

One of your biggest considerations will be accounting for the weather in Colorado, which runs the gambit from very cold to pretty hot throughout the year.

You’ll definitely want a place with heat and air conditioning to get you through the more extreme highs and lows of the seasons.

And while you’re planning your heating and cooling needs, it might be the right time to start thinking about the average cost of utilities in Denver that you’ll be paying.

And, while the city is fairly walkable, it’ll be much more convenient if you can find a place with a washer/dryer.

Finding Denver Apartments

Look, nobody wants to slog through all of the listings necessary to find a place to live but you’ll want to use every resource at your disposal to find the best place that fits both your needs and your budget.

We’ve gone ahead and compiled some of our favorite resources here to help make the process go a bit quicker:

A few more moving resources:

  • If you’re looking to hire a moving company to help you move to Philadelphia we created a list of the best interstate movers.
  • Or, if movers are out of your budget be sure to check out our list of best moving pod companies. They’ll be cheaper but still allow you to avoid some of the hassles of moving.
  • Lastly, if you need to ship a car be sure to have a look at our list of best car shipping companies.

Denver’s Rental Market

Overall, the Denver rental market in 2020 is on a bit of a downturn.

Over the six months, the average rent in Denver has decreased by 2.7%, which really is something.

Denver Rent Change

On top of the stagnant (but still fairly high) rent prices, the median apartment vacancy rate is sitting at a meager 3.41%.

So, with rent higher than the national average and a vacancy rate that’s much lower, it’s fairly safe to say that Denver isn’t very renter friendly.

Rental Law in Colorado

So, with a not-so-great rental market in Denver, you’ll want to pay special attention to who you’re renting from. Some landlords are just waiting to take advantage of their renters, so make sure to know your rights.

Now, if renting isn’t quite your speed, you’ll want to look at some of Denver’s varied suburbs.

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Finding a Home in Denver’s Suburbs

If you’re in the market for some stability in your living situation or just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

The 2018 median home value in Denver is currently sitting around $407,100, and is expected to increase 4.6%within the next year.

Since prices won’t get better any time soon, it’s important to make sure you find a suburb you’ll want to stay in for a while. Below are a couple of our favorite Denver suburbs.


Littleton Houses

The town of Littleton may be a bit outside of the city, but it makes up for the long commute by featuring a plethora of amenities that’ll add some convenience to living out in the ‘burbs.

The town features plenty of shopping and dining options, a beautiful historic downtown, and a focus on community with local events and block parties.


Centennial Houses

Centennial is a town that’ll be very appealing to nature lovers, with its proximity to Cherry Creek State Park and it’s many mountain views.

Centennial features a ton of housing options with a wide range of prices to fit all lifestyles. Plus, the town is full of shops, restaurants, and even has its own amphitheater.

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Now that you’re ready for your move to Denver…

Use our moving cost calculator to estimate your moving costs to Denver.

Also, if you are coming from out of state, be sure to have a look at our state-state moving guide for more info and tips.

Parking Permits for Moving Vehicles in Denver

Depending on where in the city you’re moving, you may need to get the okay from local officials before parking a moving vehicle by your new home.

Check out the city’s website for info on Denver Parking Permits when you’re planning your move.

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Some finishing touches to put on your move to Denver…

Congratulations, the hard part’s over! You’re all moved in and are officially a resident of Denver. Now, let’s take care of the last few logistical details associated with moving into a new town.

  • Voter Registration: This is one of the most critical and most often overlooked aspects of moving to a new city, so be sure to have a say in your community and register to vote in Denver.
  • Driver’s License: Since you’re already registering to vote, you might as well get an updated driver’s license so that you have a form of identification with your new address on it.
  • Out of State Vehicle Registration: If you’ve brought a vehicle with you from a different state, you should probably get some Colorado license plates too.
  • Trash and Recycling: You’ll also want to make sure you set up trash and recycling services as soon as humanly possible.
  • Meet New People: Making new connections is the single hardest part of moving. Fortunately, the internet can be helpful here with sites like Meetup for connecting with people who share your interests and r/Denver that’ll show you what’s going on around town.

Meetup Denver

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Things to Do in Denver

Denver is a big city with plenty to see and do. If you want to get a general feel for what the city has to offer, a surprisingly solid starting point is the Denver tourism website.

Needless to say, Denver has a ton of examples of Colorado’s natural beauty that’ll be sure to please nature lovers. The Denver Parks and Recreation department has a great guide to all of the city’s outdoor activities.

If you’re in the mood for some Colorado couisine, Denver has a plethora of dining options including Basta, Bar Dough, and Uncle.

Or, if you’re looking to unwind with a beer or cocktail, check out Golden Moon Speakeasy, Saint Ellie, Falling Rock Taphouse, or any of Denver’s diverse bar and lounge options.

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