The Ultimate Guide to Moving to Denver

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There are tons of reasons to move to Denver, such as its booming job market, outdoorsy lifestyle, and growing food scene—but be prepared for a higher cost of living, unpredictable weather, and an altitude that you’ll definitely need some time to get used to. 
In recent years, Denver has been one of the country's fastest-growing large cities, and it's easy to understand why. Located along the Rocky Mountain Front Range, Denver is surrounded by beautiful scenery and has immediate access to some of the best skiing and rock climbing in the world. 
Before you pack your things and head to Colorado, consider whether living in the Mile High City is truly what you want. Jerry, the top-rated app for car and home insurance, is here to help you figure things out.
We've put together the definitive guide to moving to Denver with everything you'll need to know before you arrive, as well as some tips on how to make the move as easy as possible.
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What you need to know about Denver before you move

Denver is one of the nation's fastest-growing cities, with about 100,000 individuals having moved there in the last seven years. Now home to over 760,049 residents, the city has a thriving food scene, numerous outdoor opportunities, and a vibrant downtown center.
It’s considered one of the best places to live in the country, but you'll want to make sure the city's lifestyle and climate are right for you. 

1. Cost of living in Denver won’t break the bank—yet.

If you're coming from a big city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, Denver's cost of living will appear relatively affordable. However, as a result of Denver's tremendous growth, the cost of living has risen as well.
The cost of living in Denver is around 14% higher than the national average, with real estate being the most important factor driving this figure up—housing is 38% higher than the national average. Rent in Denver is currently $1,838 for a one-bedroom apartment and $2,466 for a two-bedroom. Rent prices fell slightly during the pandemic, but they are quickly rising again. 
Utilities, however, don’t account for a major part of housing costs—the average electric bill in Denver is around $78 per month, below the national average of $107. 
Similarly, groceries and utilities are just below the national average. A loaf of bread costs around $3.30, a gallon of milk is $2.11 and a carton of eggs costs $1.49. If you feel like picking up a Big Mac meal, it’ll set you back about $9
And on the plus side, the median salary is $74,000, and the minimum wage just rose to $12.56 at the beginning of 2022.

2. The job market is booming

Speaking of salaries, Denver has a rapidly growing job market. Because so many great companies want to be established in Denver, higher-paid roles are available—but this comes with increased competition.
Denver aspires to be "Aerospace Alley" (their take on Silicon Valley), with big corporations such as The Boeing Company, Raytheon, and Northrop Grumman establishing outposts here.
With startups like Baker Technologies and more established organizations like Google and HomeAdvisor calling Denver home, the tech scene is also flourishing. And, as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use, Denver’s cannabis industry is a major employer.

3. Crime, like rent, is on the rise

As a big city, Denver has a relatively high crime rate—but you’re far more likely to deal with property crime than any type of violent crime. Denver’s property crime rate is 26.6 per 1,000 residents, while violent crime is 3.1 per 1,000 residents.
Car theft, specifically, is up 27.9%, with 6,498 in the first 6 months of 2022 alone. If you intend to bring your car to Denver, make sure to equip it with anti-theft gear to help keep it safe.
With that in mind, most areas are safer than statistics suggest, as long as you know which parts of town to avoid after dark. The neighborhoods of Lincoln Park, Cheesman Park, and Civic Center have some of the higher crime rates in Denver.

4. It’s a top city for families, but is even better for your four-legged friends

In 2022, Denver ranked in the top 50 cities for families in the United States. However, renting an apartment located downtown is probably not the best area to raise a kid—neighborhoods on the edge of downtown that are commutable may be a better fit.
It’s worth noting, though, that there are actually more dogs than there are children in Denver. With so many hiking trails, dog parks, and pup-friendly patios, it's no surprise that Denver is regarded as one of the most dog-friendly cities in America.

5. Biking is one of the best ways to get around

While the average commute time in Denver is less than the national average, spending 22.9 minutes in a car is still a little longer than most people would prefer. However, only 73% of residents commute by car on a regular basis, which is far lower than in most other cities.
The city is super bike-friendly, with a Bicycling in Denver guide available on the city's official website. Public transportation isn’t the most popular choice and should work if you’re just looking to get around downtown. Denver is also pretty walkable!

6. Denver sees more sun than Miami!

Denver sees around 245 days of sunshine every year, and the U.S. average is only 205 days. There’s relatively low humidity in the summer, which makes for wonderful, sun-filled days and pleasant, comfortable evenings. In August, the average daily high temperature is 86°F.
Winters are pleasant, with an average daily high of 45°F, although days exceeding 60°F are not unusual. While most people think of Colorado as a ski state, snow doesn't last long in Denver, so golf courses and outdoor cafes can stay open year-round.
Another thing to remember about Denver weather is that it can change on a dime. It could snow one day and be in the 70s the next—temps can change by 40degrees in a few hours due to the altitude.

7. It truly is the “Mile High City” 

If you're familiar with Denver, you'll know it's also nicknamed the Mile High City. What you might not know is the origin of this well-known moniker. 
The Mile High City got its name from its elevation of 5,280 feet (or one mile) above sea level. This is clearly a source of pride for Denver residents—but it may take some getting used to when you first arrive. Be sure to drink water to avoid altitude sickness! 

Does Denver live up to the stereotypes?

There are a couple of things Denverites are known for: they despise traffic, love the sun, can be snobby about their beer, and were practically born with skis on. Denver, for the most part, does live up to its reputation as a sunny, ski-loving, craft beer-drinking, laidback city.
Additionally, Denver is one of the few places in America with a professional football, basketball, baseball, and hockey team, so expect to see fans everywhere. And residents don’t just stop being active once the ski season is over—whether it’s rock climbing, hiking, or biking, people here love to spend their summers enjoying the outdoors.
Key Takeaway A higher cost of living and property crime balance out direct access to the outdoors, favorable weather, and a flourishing culinary scene in Denver.

Finding a place to live in Denver

If, after reading the list above, you decide that you really do want to move to Denver, you'll need to look at a few neighborhoods to narrow down your housing search. In case you don't know, here are some of the most notable neighborhoods in Denver:
  • Most iconic neighborhoods: Lower Downtown, Capitol Hill, Five Points
  • Best neighborhoods for families with kids: Washington Park, Greenwood Village, Centennial
  • Best neighborhoods for foodies: Highland, Berkeley, North Capitol Hill (or Uptown)
  • Best neighborhoods for car owners: Green Valley Ranch, University, Baker
  • Most affordable neighborhoods: Congress Park, Aurora, Hilltop
Monthly rent will be high if you live alone, so if your budget is limited, consider looking for roommates to help with costs.

Moving to Denver checklist

After you've located your apartment and paid your security deposit, go to the hardware store to load up on tape and boxes for your big move. Check out these tips for a smoother moving experience.

Before you go

Before you move, be sure to: 

After you get there

You're not finished when you move into your new house! Take the following measures to help you settle into your new Mile High life:
  • If you moved to Colorado with a car from another state, make sure to register it and update your insurance
  • In terms of insurance, be sure to get renters' insurance to safeguard yourself and your possessions (and your wallet!)
  • Make changes to your mailing address, voter registration, and healthcare info
  • Explore your new digs! Get a grasp on the nightlife, restaurants, coffee shops, and dog parks—and don't forget to look for the best late-night takeaway

How to save on car, renters, and home insurance in Denver

Rent in Denver is becoming increasingly expensive, so it's critical to cut costs wherever you can. And, you might not know it, but you’re probably already spending too much on your auto insurance plan. If you want to save money on car insurance, the Jerry app is a good place to start.
After providing you with a comprehensive cross-analysis of the best policies across providers, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to. Even better—Jerry will help you bundle your home and auto policies for maximum savings!
“I moved states recently and my old provider didn’t cover me anymore, so I tried using Jerry. They handled everything from fetching the quotes to purchasing the new policy. Now I save $30!” —Kay J.
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FAQs

Everyone’s personal situation is different, so we can only give you a bit of guidance. If you’re not fond of rent that’s a little higher, weather that can change on a dime, and all the other perils of a big city, then moving to Denver might not be for you. But you’ll also be surrounded by some of the best scenery, be able to enjoy countless amazing eateries, and enjoy the sun almost year-round—if that sounds like your dream city, then it’s definitely worth moving to Denver.
Experts estimate that you should earn at least $53,928 per year or about $4,500 per month to live comfortably in a one-bedroom apartment in Denver.

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