denver cost of living

What is the Cost of Living in Denver?

Did you know that Denver was founded in 1858 and has been growing ever since? Today, Denver has more than 700,000 inhabitants, and, by the fact that you clicked on this article, you may be considering becoming a Denver inhabitant yourself. However, moving to and living in Denver is not as simple as packing up your bags and leaving because you need to consider the cost of living.

Depending on where you live now, the cost of living in Denver may be above or below what you’re used to (or it may be about the same). Whatever the case, comparing home prices and considering the cost of food, transportation, and more are all important before you decide to move. After all, there’s nothing worse than moving to a new city only to find that you are burning through your savings by simply living there.

But before we explore the cost of living in Denver, let’s explore why you might want to move to and live in Denver in the first place.

The Benefits of Moving to Denver

Even though Denver was founded in the 1800s, it is quite a young city compared to the much older metropolises found on the East coast. More than that, the people who live in Denver tend to be young as well. Denver’s inhabitants mainly consist of young professionals as well as growing families with children.

The majority of people aren’t over the age of 44, making Denver a fashionable and lively city. You can see that by taking a walk or a drive through Denver’s downtown area. There are always new buildings being built or renovated, ensuring that the city remains modern rather than run-down.

There are also plenty of things to do in every neighborhood of the city. High-quality Restaurants are extremely popular throughout the city. From BBQ to vegetarian food to exotic cuisine, there is a restaurant for everyone, no matter your taste preferences. There are also plenty of opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors due to the abundance of parks in the area.

There are plenty of parks with lakes where you can spend the day fishing or go out on your boat. There are also areas with tennis courts and other areas to play sports with your family, friends, or new people you meet in the city. These parks often hold various events and activities from cultural events to concerts and more.

Denver is also famous for its very low unemployment rate, so finding work shouldn’t be a concern once you move to the city. New job positions and companies in downtown Denver are always opening up. If you have children, you should know that the schools throughout Denver are some of the best you’ll find in all of Colorado.

While all this sounds great, how much does it all cost?

The Price of Housing in Denver

Besides food, most people spend most of their money on housing. Whether you’re buying a house or renting an apartment, money is always an important issue. The main thing you need to know when considering the price of housing in Denver is that the price can vary depending on what part of Denver you’re looking at.

For example, Greenwood Village is a very affluent neighborhood in Denver. It used to be lush farmland but has recently been built up into a luxurious suburb. It is filled with trails, parks, and it has a very inviting and tight-knit community.

If you have a family or plan on starting a family, a Denver neighborhood like Greenwood Village might be ideal, but only if you have a large budget. This is because the cost of a house in Greenwood Village tends to average around $800k to $900k. There are a few other neighborhoods in Denver that range around this price for houses, but you shouldn’t be too discouraged.

In many other cities, cheaper housing usually means you’re buying into an unsafe and run-down part of the city. However, this is not the case with Denver. Most of the neighborhoods surrounding Denver have been gentrified and are in great shape, even if the housing prices are lower than other neighborhoods.

Of course, if you can afford to move into a neighborhood like Greenwood Village, there’s nothing stopping you. But you shouldn’t think that all of Denver is as expensive as these more prestigious neighborhoods. For that reason, it’s important to do plenty of research on the different types of homes and locations in Denver before you buy anything.

If you don’t know much about Denver yet, hiring a local real estate agent to show you around might help.

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The Details of the Housing Price in Denver

You will find that your options for Denver homes are highly varied. In certain neighborhoods, you might be able to get your hands on stunning historical homes. These homes such as Tudor homes maintain their old-fashioned look, and there’s no need to worry that living in these historic homes would cause you any trouble.

Most of these older homes have been completely remodeled. So, by buying a historical home, you would be able to have both the old-fashion style with the new-world amenities and luxuries. However, you shouldn’t expect historical homes to be cheap.

They are often large and, being historic, they are more precious than ordinary homes. There are also condos and duplexes throughout the various Denver neighborhoods. This is not to mention all the thousands of apartments you might find in the downtown area.

There are even ranches and estates on the outskirts of Denver if you really want to go crazy. If you want a simple single-family home, there are some neighborhoods that offer such homes for around $400k. While this may sound a little pricy to you, you should keep in mind that the price of housing in Denver is a little bit more expensive than the national average.

However, with all the options for entertainment and work, the price is often worth it. But what about the prices for rent? If you want to get a one-bedroom apartment in the heart of Denver, you should expect to pay around $2,100 per month.

Of course, the farther away you get from the city center, the more money you can expect to save. Many of the neighborhoods around Denver offer cheaper rent and home prices and your work commute to the downtown area would still be very short.

The Cost of Utilities in Denver

Whether you decide to rent an apartment or buy a house, the price of your property or rent is not the only thing you’ll need to consider. The cost of utilities can also take a large and shocking chunk out of your budget if you didn’t factor them in before. Most places have more or less the same utilities: water, electricity, gas, cable TV, telephone usage, and more.

Depending on where you live, you may also need to pay utilities for garbage collection and security systems. Utilities are things you cannot live without, especially if you’re a remote worker (and Denver is full of remote workers). Even if you’re not a remote worker, you’ll still need water to clean your dishes and electricity to see where you’re going in your own home.

Fortunately, you won’t have to worry too much about the cost of certain utilities because the weather in Denver tends to be very temperate and agreeable. For example, if you lived in a cold, snowy area, you’d spend a lot of money on heat to keep yourself from freezing. In contrast, in very hot areas like Arizona, you would be blasting the air conditioning for most of the year which could cost you thousands of extra dollars in utilities.

Denver’s winters tend to be very mild and if it snows, it doesn’t stick around long. If you want to save money on heat, you can easily get away with wearing a sweater inside the house for a little while until it warms up again. You might not be as lucky during the summer since summers in Denver can get hot.

Even so, you should know that the average energy bills in Denver are $105.51. Considering the national average of $166.22, you’ll save money.

The Cost of Food in Denver

After you’re done comparing home prices, it’s time to consider the price of food in Denver. As in any city, you could keep a strict food budget and limit how many times you eat out every week (if you bother to eat out at all). Sure, doing this could save you some money in the long run, but is it really worth it?

Denver is famous for its culinary scene. Every neighborhood has its favorite restaurants and downtown Denver is overrun with them. As mentioned before, there is a restaurant for any kind of craving you might have, even if you are a very picky eater.

More than that, the restaurants in Denver are not just places to eat but experiences as well. This is because most restaurants in Denver are not strict about dress codes or reservations (although there are some high-class restaurants in the area if you prefer them). The common theme of Denver is a love for the great outdoors, so it’s not too surprising that many restaurants incorporate the outdoor theme in some way.

Many restaurants have outdoor seating where you can enjoy the 300 days of yearly sunshine. There are also plenty of food stalls throughout the city where you can pick up a tasty burrito or burger and sit down in the grass or on a bench to enjoy your meal. You might be thinking that all this sounds great, but if it’s too expensive, it’s not worth it.

However, you’ll be glad to know that the majority of restaurant food in Denver is not very expensive at all. The average price of a meal is around $16 (not including dessert, appetizers, or drinks). Food from food stalls tends to be even cheaper and just as delicious.

But what about the cost of groceries?

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Factoring in the Cost of Groceries

Sure, you might be able to get away with not eating out if you really want to save money (although it might not always be worth it considering Denver’s phenomenal culinary scene). Even so, no one can go without buying groceries. Whether you need eggs, milk, bread, or vegetables, you might be surprised to find out that the cost of groceries in Denver is not that bad.

Because the price of housing in Denver tends to be higher than the national average, you might mistakenly start to believe that everything else in Denver will be similarly expensive. However, this is not the case. If you move to the Mile High city, you will find that you can actually save money compared to the cost of groceries in other cities or states.

In fact, you’ll find that the average Denver grocery bill is around 2% lower than the national average. So, even if you spend a little extra money on your housing and utilities, you can expect to save money on your food. For example, a dozen eggs bought at a Denver grocery store will only cost you around $2.45.

Milk, bread, bananas, and ground meat all range between $1 and $6, depending on how much you’re buying. If you really wanted to save some money and refused to go out to eat for an entire year, you would expect to spend around $3,792 when eating from home. Many people from other cities and states throughout the country would be envious of such an affordable number!

Even if you decided to go out to eat once in a while, your total food spending for the year would still be very affordable. The amount you spend depends on what kind of restaurants or stores you buy your food from.

The Cost of Transportation in Denver

The great thing about living in Denver, especially downtown Denver, is that it is not absolutely necessary to own a car. When you live in the heart of the city, you will find that your apartment is near to your job as well as restaurants, theaters, museums, and parks. With everything within walking distance, there wouldn’t be much need for a car and you could save a lot of money by getting rid of yours.

If you decide you want to get rid of your vehicle and then find you have to travel somewhere you can’t get to on foot, don’t fret. There are plenty of public transport options such as buses that you can use. These transportation options can get you anywhere you need to go in a short period of time, and they are quite affordable.

Most of these local transportation methods will require you to have a monthly pass that costs around $114. Considering that you would be saving on gas, car insurance, car maintenance, and more, that’s a very affordable price. But what if you need to go farther out from Denver such as to an airport?

Local transport methods won’t take you that far, but luckily, there is a solution. You can upgrade the ordinary monthly pass to unlock regional transit for you. This upgrade will cost you $200 instead of $114 per month, but that’s still a very small price to pay.

If you really want to save on money (and want to get plenty of exercise) you can ditch the transport pass and choose to walk everywhere. But this is only feasible if you live downtown which is in itself an expensive venture due to the price of rent. So, what if you do decide to own a car in Denver?

The Cost of Owning a Car in Denver

Owning a car is expensive in general, but it can be more expensive in some cities than in others. The price of owning a car tends to increase depending on how many people you have in your family as well. When you factor in the price of gas, car payments, car insurance, and maintenance as a single car owner, you should expect to pay around $4,900 per year.

However, if you have a partner and a child, that cost could easily reach $10,000 per year or more. Again, owning and caring for a car is not a cheap task, especially if you plan on growing your family. However, what you should know is that the price of gas in Denver is actually 6% cheaper compared to the national average.

So, despite the other costs you might face in terms of driving and maintaining a car, you can look forward to saving on the cost of gas. This is a big benefit depending on how long it will take you to drive to work. On average, a person living in Denver will take around 35 minutes to work.

This is because most jobs are located in the center of Denver and most families and young professionals tend to live in neighborhoods outside of the center. If your job is farther than 35 minutes away, driving to work may be too expensive for what it’s worth. In this case, you might want to consider using the local transport system to save money.

This is especially true during the winter months. While Denver winters tend to be mild and short-lived, there are times when the winters can be momentarily brutal. This is because the roads can ice over and make daily commutes much longer than they should be.

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The Cost of Entertainment in Denver

No one moves to a new city just to stay inside all day, especially when Denver is the city in question. There are endless possibilities when it comes to all the things you can do in this city. As mentioned before, there are plenty of parks that you can visit.

In these parks, you can spend the day fishing, boating, playing sports, or going on a picnic. If you have children, these parks also tend to have playgrounds so all the kids in the neighborhood can come together and play. This is not to mention that you can use the public grills to cook up some delicious food that you can share with family and friends.

The benefit of the parks in Denver is that most of them don’t require any extra money to enter. Only if there is a special event in a park such as a music concert might you need to pay a fee for entry. But this is not always the case.

There are plenty of great music events such as the City Park Summer Jazz Series that are completely free. There are also plenty of places where you can go hiking, camping, and bike riding. If you want to take a short drive out of Denver in the winter, there are also plenty of places to go skiing and snowboarding.

So, if so many of Denver’s activities are free, what kind of entertainment can you expect to spend money on? If you plan on seeing a movie at a theater, you should expect to pay around $12.50 per ticket. If you want to join a gym, a membership costs around $43.

However, you could easily save money by skipping on the gym membership and going outside for a hike instead.

Everything You Need to Know About the Cost of Living in Denver

If you were debating whether or not you should move to Denver before reading this article, you should now know that living in Denver can be a very rewarding and even affordable experience, depending on your choices. When it comes to the cost of living in the Mile High city, you might spend a little extra on housing but save a lot on food and entertainment.

If you can’t wait to move to Denver, contact us here.