It is no secret that moving and living in Denver is not cheap.  The cost of living in Denver has a index score of 128.7.  If you are not familiar with the cost of living index scoring system, a score below 100 means the cost of living is cheaper than the national average, and a score above 100 means a city is more expensive.

True cost of living in Denver

Denver scores relatively low on most of the categories used for the cost of living index.  Again, using the national average of 100, Denver scored the following:

Groceries  101.9

Healthcare 92.5

Utilities 96.2

Transportation 116.1

Miscellaneous 102 (these costs include clothing, restaurants, entertainment, etc.)

The one number that pushes Denver over the national averages is housing costs.  Denver received a score of 184.3, this is well above the national average.  This includes the median cost of renting and owning a home, however it does not include taxes on a property.  The median home price in Denver is over twice as much as the national average of $231,200.  In the Denver Metro and surrounding areas, the median home price is between $420,000 and $465,000.  For renters, you can expect to pay any where from $1300 – $2500 depending on the area.  Affordable housing has been a concern in Colorado, due to the rising cost of land and construction.

Consider Northern or Southern Colorado

There are options if you want to move to Colorado for all it has to offer.  Northern Colorado is growing.  Fort Collins, Greeley, Loveland and Longmont offer an median housing price of $285,400, with renters paying on average $1,120.  Located north of the Denver metro area, these thriving cities are anywhere from 60 minutes (Fort Collins) to 20 minutes (Longmont) from Denver on I-25.

Southern Colorado (Colorado Springs) is also a great alternative for housing in Colorado.  The median home price is $222,100, and the median monthly rent is $958.  Colorado Springs is a short drive, anywhere between 45-60 minutes from Denver on I-25 or HWY  83.