Where you choose to live is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. Colorado has many great cities that top all kinds of lists, like Best Place to Raise a Family and Best Place to Live and Work.
With so many great options, it’s difficult to decide. Here are five factors to consider to help narrow it down.
Colorado has fairly low income taxes. Middle-income earners have a tax burden of 8.73 percent, and high-income earners 7.26 percent—the 17th and 16th lowest, respectively. And, don’t forget to take a look at the tax credits and exemptions offered in Colorado.
The state sales tax rate in Colorado is 2.9 percent, but local sales tax ranges from 0 to 7.5 percent, depending where you are in the state. Compare local sales tax rates here.
Employment Opportunities & Cost of Living
Overall, Colorado is a good place for jobseekers. The unemployment rate is only 7.0 percent, compared to 7.3 percent nationally, and the state is adding jobs at an annual rate over 2.0 percent.
When considering a city’s job market, research some of the major employers in town and find out if they are hiring. Take a look at some important statistics, like the growth rate of the working age population (people 16+); the unemployment rate; and the cost of living. Finally, find out how your current salary will fare in another city.
Real Estate Value
Home prices remain high across the Front Range, but some industry experts believe the market may be cooling off, if only a little. One sign of that Colorado’s real estate market might be chilling out is a decrease in offers above list price for the most sought-after market segment—homes between $150,000 and $350,000.
Real estate values also differ depending on the type of property you are considering. Between May and June, this year the average sold price for a detached, single-family home rose .94 percent to $424,609, while the average price for condos actually dropped .21 percent to $260,243.
For homebuyers with school-age children, quality public schools are a must. Colorado ranks 21st in the nation and received a “C” grade in Education Week’s annual Quality Counts Report.
But quality varies considerably across the state, and even neighborhood to neighborhood, tending to be higher in the suburban and more affluent communities. In Denver, a school choice system allows students to apply to attend schools outside of their districts. See how the schools in your Colorado city measure up.
Every Colorado city has a unique personality. Deciding where you fit in best is highly subjective and depends on what you look for in a hometown. Do you love the artsy vibe of Loveland; the family-friendly fun of Reunion; the excitement of city living in downtown Denver; or the wholesome, outdoor-loving Boulder?
To know if you belong in a city, you really have to spend some time there. Even if you are a Colorado native, act like a tourist in town. Go to the visitor’s bureau, checkout the museums and historical landmarks, and walk around the downtown as well as the residential areas.
And when you’re ready to take the next step and buy (or sell) a home in Colorado, contact us to learn more about how we can help.