The Top 6 Reasons Why People Regret Moving to Colorado

Overcrowded tourist destinations, congested traffic, and expensive housing costs are just a few things that cause some to regret their move to Colorado.
Written by Melanie Krieps Mergen
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Overcrowded tourist destinations, congested traffic, and potentially dangerous wild animals are just a few things that cause would-be residents to reconsider moving to Colorado. Living and housing costs are on the rise, too, making popular areas in the state less financially viable for some.
There’s plenty to love about Colorado—which is why it has been one of the country’s
fastest-growing states
over the last decade. But of those who have decided to call this state their next home, not everyone has ended up happy with their decision. 
Courtesy of
Jerry
, the
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car
and
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shopping, here are some common reasons that cause some people to regret moving to the Centennial State.
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1. There’s tons of tourism

If you decided to relocate to Colorado, the gorgeous natural scenery probably played at least some role in your decision-making. 
But those breathtaking views and trails are also what makes Colorado a huge year-round draw for tourists, bringing tens of millions of people into the state each year. Those constant crowds can make it more difficult to enjoy some of the spaces you may have moved to Colorado to be closer to. And while certain tourist destinations have their off seasons, plenty of people still flock to Colorado in the winter for skiing and other winter recreation. 
While the influx of tourists brings in tens of billions in revenue to Colorado, being such a popular tourist destination can come with certain setbacks, like more congested roadways, living costs getting driven higher for locals around tourist towns, and having to deal with the consequences of tourists who don’t respect the local natural resources.

Consider instead: Alaska

If Colorado is appealing to you for its natural wonders, but local tourism numbers are just too much for you,
Alaska
is home to some of the country’s most breathtaking—and also some of the least-visited—
national parks
.  

2. Congested traffic and bad drivers can get old

Booming population growth and a huge tourist population mean many Colorado roads can be frequently overcrowded.
Denver
is actually considered to have the 15th-most congested traffic out of United States cities, based on data from INRIX’s
Global Traffic Scorecard
.
With so many out-of-state transplants and tourists, you’re also likely to encounter drivers who aren’t used to navigating Colorado’s tightly winding mountain roads, which is bound to make the frustrating aspects of traffic congestion even more so. 

Consider instead: North Dakota or Connecticut

If you’re looking for a state where you don’t have to worry about rush-hour traffic congestion,
North Dakota’s
sparse traffic, flatter topography, and infrastructure quality generally make it worthy of consideration. On the other hand, if you’re more concerned about being surrounded by safe drivers,
Connecticut
tends to rank highly in that category.

3. There are lions, coyotes, and bears—oh my!

Potentially dangerous animals like black bears, mountain lions, coyotes, ticks, black widow spiders, and rattlesnakes all call Colorado home, so you’ll have to share some space with them. For the most part, many of these species tend to be avoidant of humans, but you shouldn’t discount the odds that you could encounter one when hiking or biking your favorite trails.
It’s possible you might encounter them in your own backyard, too, which could be a safety risk for you as well as for kids and pets. This can especially be a possibility for newer housing developments encroaching on what have been wild spaces. 

Consider instead: Vermont, New Hampshire or North Dakota

If living in a state with a large number of potentially dangerous animals brings you too much anxiety,
Vermont
, North Dakota, and
New Hampshire
are three states that reportedly haven’t had any reported
animal attack cases
since 2000.

4. Housing costs are on the rise

One of the aspects that has made Colorado such a popular state to relocate to has been its relatively reasonable cost of living for the quality of life it can offer. As of the second quarter of 2022, Colorado has an overall cost of living index of 105.1 from the
Council for Community & Economic Research (C2ER)
, implying that living costs in Colorado are about 5.1% more expensive than the national average.
While general costs might not stray too far from national averages, Colorado’s housing costs are another story, which rapid population growth and an increase in luxury housing projects have played roles in. 
The cost of living index when it comes to housing specifically in Colorado is 122.7, or 22.7% more than the national average. 
According to data from Zillow’s
Home Value Index
, the average home value in Colorado, as of August 2022, was about $585,000 compared to a national average of about $356,000. Compared to a national average rent of about $1,700 per month, Colorado’s average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is about $1,900, according to
rent.com analysis
.

Consider instead: West Virginia or Mississippi

If you’re looking for a more affordable place to buy a house, the average home value in West Virginia is about $140,000, and the average home value in Mississippi is about $168,000, according to Zillow. Their overall cost of living indexes is well below national averages at 88.5 and 84.9, respectively.

5. The climate isn’t for everyone

You can expect a good number of sunny days in Colorado, but that isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. In combination with that, much of the state of Colorado is very dry, with the average annual rainfall statewide being just 17 inches, although that varies depending on location and elevation. Generally, higher elevations tend to get more precipitation.
Colorado’s low humidity levels can be uncomfortable for some and could make you more prone to dry skin or chapped lips. Ultraviolet radiation increases with altitude, making you more at risk for sunburn year-round, making sunscreen even more of a necessity. Long story short, Colorado might force you to readjust your skincare routine.
Acclimating to a higher-elevation city can be a challenge, too—your body has to adjust to lower oxygen levels, which takes longer for some than others, and extended bouts of altitude sickness can be too much for some to tolerate.
On top of this, weather conditions can be highly variable—temperatures can range widely in the span of a single day, and storms can sometimes develop without much warning.

Consider instead: Oregon or Hawaii

If Colorado has you missing rainy, overcast days, certain parts of
Oregon
and
Washington
, as well as Connecticut and Alaska, can offer you just that. If you generally prefer warmer, wetter weather, consider Hawaii or Southeastern states like Louisiana and Mississippi.

6. Wildfire risk brings too much heat

Colorado’s dry climate and high winds can also make certain areas of the state particularly susceptible to wildfires. 
According to
FEMA’s Risk Index
map, a number of Colorado counties have “relatively moderate” risk levels for wildfires, with some of the higher-level risk counties being found in the central and western portions of the state, including El Paso, Jefferson, Huerfano, Montezuma, and Mesa Counties. Climate change is projected to make Colorado drier and warmer over the decades to come, which could further exacerbate wildfire risks.
Higher wildlife risks can sometimes mean higher insurance costs on homes that are already more expensive than national averages, a risk that not every prospective Colorado resident will be comfortable with. 

Consider instead: Maine or Vermont

If you have a low tolerance for wildfire risk, consider a state like
Maine
or Vermont, which have some of the lowest rates and risk levels for natural disasters.

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