Stand-out Places to Live in Colorado
When choosing a best place to live, top considerations cited by websites like livability.com are outdoor access, cultural activities, and great places to eat. Colorado offers all the desirable marks of outdoor adventures and notable worldclass ski resorts and national parks, a laid-back lifestyle and vibrant social scene. Plus the state’s economic prospects continue to be excellent. Statewide, Colorado’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.3% in December from 3.5% in November, reaching its lowest level since July and remaining below the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.5%, according to a survey of households by the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment. Additionally, the state has one of the lowest residential property taxes, with an average rate of 0.49%, while per capita personal income was about $70,706 in 2021, compared to the nationwide average of $64,100, reports Travelandleisure.com. Some areas within the state stand-out, according to rankings by Travelandleisure.com. Here are the top places to live in Colorado Travelandleisure.com.
No. 1 Colorado Springs
As both scenic and affordable, Colorado Springs tops the Travelandleisure.com list. It’s the second biggest city in the state – which is good for economic opportunity -- and it’s nestled under Pikes Peak and has a more relaxed feel. Amenities include excellent restaurants, top-rated schools and sports facilities and good employment rates. Prospective homebuyers may also find the Colorado Springs market more affordable than Denver’s. According to data by Realtor.com, the median listing price for a single-family home was $490,000.
No. 2 Boulder
Boulder’s desirability is long known and the challenge to find affordable housing shows it. But the area offers a low unemployment rate of 2.6%, according to November statistics reported by the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, while the national unemployment rate was 3.7% in October and November. The city offers rich outdoor activities like hiking, biking and skiing, a vibrant social and dining scene, and is home to the University of Colorado.
No. 3 Denver
Colorado’s largest city, Denver has been a magnet for millennials looking for strong job prospects and a lifestyle that provides social and cultural activities and close proximity to outdoor adventures. Housing prices have escalated, but Travelandleisure.com writes that “residents still have access to one of the most affordable real estate markets in the Centennial State (the median listing price in September was $645,000).”
No. 5 Fort Collins
With a median list price of $596,500 in September, Fort Collins ranks among the top 10 most affordable communities in Colorado. A strong economy and low unemployment, high quality of life, thriving craft brewery scene, athletic events, the benefits of being home to Colorado State University, miles of hiking trails, and green spaces make the town one of the most popular places to live in Colorado. The remainder of the list includes: • No. 4, Durango: Located in southwestern Colorado, Durango offers a small town feel with approximately 20,000 residents and epic mountain experiences. • No. 6, Grand Junction: The city’s Western Slope locale offers a Rocky Mountain style wine country with 30 local wineries and stillaffordable housing costs. • No. 7, Aurora: Situated 10 miles from downtown Denver, Aurora has homes priced less than Denver on average at $525,000, but still offers all of the benefits of its surrounding metros. • No. 8, Pueblo: The city gets less snowfall than other areas of Colorado and offers a typical home price in September of $460,000, according to Realtor.com. • No. 9, Highlands Ranch: This suburb south of Denver is noted for excellent schools and high-paying job opportunities.
Learn more about Colorado’s top places to live at: travelandleisure.com/best-placesto-live-in-colorado-6832133.
For more on Colorado’s employment rates see: cdle.colorado.gov/pressreleases/press-release-coloradoemployment-situationdecember-2022.
Tom Kalinski is the broker/owner of RE/MAX of Boulder, the local residential real estate company he established in 1977. He was inducted into Boulder County’s Business Hall of Fame in 2016 and has a 40-year background in commercial and residential real estate. For questions, e-mail Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org, call 303.441.5620, or visit boulderco.com.