Moving to Denver is a dream for many people, but how much does it cost to live there? There are dozens of factors that influence the answer. You not only need to look at the cost of housing but also food, transportation, commute times, gasoline, and much more.
Different neighborhoods can be very different in cost of living. Some suburbs are much more expensive than others, especially when it comes to housing. They can also be closer to or further from where you work, which can be a major cost factor.
If you're relocating to Denver from another area, it pays to work with an experienced realtor who can help you know what to expect. They can help you find a home that's within your budget and in an area you can afford. Someone with expertise in the Denver area can help you understand all the costs that impact your life there.
Typical Home Prices in Denver, CO in 2019
Denver is a major city, and as a result there are a variety of neighborhoods that will have different home prices in the Denver metro area.
Overall, the median home value in Denver is $424,700, while the median price of homes that have recently sold in the area is $409,200. If you're willing to expand your search to the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood Metro area, you'll find an average home value of $407,900, and the median price of homes that sold recently is $399,600.
In both areas, the real estate market is cool, which means that it's more of a buyer's market than a seller's market. That can be helpful if you're moving into the area because it means you're less likely to face a bidding war on a home or have a home sell so quickly you miss out.
In Colorado, the real estate market is seasonal. That means that in winter there aren't a lot of homes on the market, but you may find a motivated seller and get a great deal. In the spring and summer, you'll find a lot of homes on the market but prices may be higher.
Work with your buyer's agent on finding the right home for you in an area you can afford. Home values are only part of the equation. Think about property taxes, too.
How Much are Denver, CO Property Taxes?
The great news about living in Denver, CO is that property taxes are significantly lower than other areas of the country. One reason for this is the Gallagher Amendment, passed in 1982. This law limits the share of the property tax base attributable to residential to 45% of the total.
The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights has also pushed down the total property taxes Colorado residents are charged. The average tax rate in 2019 for Arapahoe County is 0.704%, which is significantly less than the national average of 1.211%.
However, it's hard for homeowners to celebrate because although the percentage is low, property values continue to climb. As a result, the actual amount of property taxes paid each year has been increasing.
If you have a home in Denver at the median value of $424,700 in 2019, you can expect to pay $2,990 in taxes due by April 30th each year. You can break this into two payments if you prefer, one due February 28th and the other June 15th.
Interested in other Colorado real estate tax information? Take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Colorado Real Estate Taxes today.
Average Homeowner's Insurance in Denver, CO
Homeowner's insurance in Colorado is on the high side compared to other areas of the country. The average is Colorado $1,383 per year, but that figure will vary a lot depending on the home's size, exact address, and levels of coverage. Denver is lower than the overall state average, coming in at $1,192 a year.
The larger your home, the more you can expect to pay since you're protecting a bigger asset. If you have a lot of collectibles or specific assets to cover, your premium will be higher as well. Living in a safer area (where there's less theft or vandalism) will save you money on your insurance.
The top reasons for homeowner's insurance claims in Colorado are weather-related. Colorado's number one peril is wind and hail damage, which makes sense considering the mountains in the state and the severe winter weather. The second is water damage and freezing. Topping off the top five are property damage, theft, and fire and lightning.
If you add your insurance premium to your mortgage payment, you can expect it to add close to $100 a month to your payments.
Common Home Maintenance and Repair Costs in Denver
Setting money aside for home maintenance is a vital part of being a homeowner. You want to have money available when repairs are needed so you can take care of things before they get worse. Experts estimate you should plan to set aside 1% of your home's purchase price for repairs.
In Denver, you'll experience all four seasons, and that means you'll have spectacular beauty along with unique challenges. Plan for both hot humid summers and freezing cold winters — and the home maintenance that goes with those changes.
In the fall, you'll want to keep your yard and gutters clear. Winterizing your plumbing is a priority before the freezing weather hits. Have your HVAC checked as well — you don't want to be surprised with a broken heater during a cold snap! Make sure your house temperature never goes below 55 degrees, even if you're away or traveling.
In the spring and summer, you'll do most of your maintenance. Not only is the weather favorable, but the harsh winter can cause damage that needs to be repaired. Check your roof and gutters, check seals on doors and windows, and service your water heater.
Other Costs of Living in Denver to Consider
Other than these home-related costs, there are other expenses to keep in mind when you move to Denver. Expenses like groceries, healthcare, and utilities will be right around the national average. This varies based on your neighborhood and your specific situation.
Transportation costs are significantly above average in Denver. Because of the number of people moving to the area, traffic can be very congested. There is light rail but tickets can be more expensive than you expect, especially compared to other major cities. The metro system struggles to keep pace with the size of the city.
You should expect long commutes in most parts of the city — not only because of distance but because of how congested traffic is. You'll want to work closely with your realtor to find a home that's close to where you work and pay attention to the best routes to use on your commute.
Car insurance is expensive, which impacts transportation costs. The average cost per year is $1,263 for men and $1,355 for women.
As you can see, there are a lot of costs to think about when living in Denver. That's why it's so important to have a great realtor who can help you find the right home in the right area for your needs.
Find a Top Denver Real Estate Agent
When you're moving to a new area, a high-quality buyer's agent is an essential ally. They will be able to help you find the right house for you and negotiate for a great price. An experienced agent will also help you set realistic expectations about how much it costs to live in the neighborhoods you're targeting.
Not sure how to find a top-rated agent in Denver? Choose a Clever Partner Agent. These experienced agents know the various neighborhoods in the city and can help you find a great home. Our Partner Agents are highly rated and provide an excellent full-service experience.
Even better, when you work with a Clever Partner Agent you can get a $1,000 cash rebate toward your closing costs for home purchases over $150,000. Not only do you get top-notch service and experienced advice, but you get cash toward closing. It's absolutely a win-win.