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Moving to Denver

Moving to Denver will suit those who love an outdoor, adventurous lifestyle. Great skiing, snowboarding, trekking and kayaking is all to be found within a short distance of the city. Being so high up has its advantages, but some may find being a mile above sea level can get take a bit of getting used to.

Moving to Denver

Source: Flickr | Jed Scattergood

Denver, the capital of Colorado, is the largest city in the Rocky Mountains region of the United States. Sitting at an altitude of 5,280 feet (1,600 m) above sea level, Denver earns the title of "The Mile-High City".

Nestled between the Great Plains and the stunning Rocky Mountains Denver is a great base from which to explore the beauty of the US interior. Denver is also one of the fastest growing cities in the US.

Located at the centre of the US, Denver is a convenient hub from which to explore the rest of the States. In fact Denver has the fifth-busiest airport in the world (based on aircraft movements), which ensures flights to either coast are relatively cheap.

Living in Denver

Source: Unsplash | Matthew Clark

Then there’s the other kind of high. Yes, marijuana is legal in the state of Colorado and has been since the beginning of 2014. In fact there are over 100 weed shops in the city of Denver alone. The good news is that crime is reported to have dropped since marijuana was made legal.

Jobs Market

The city itself is home to more than 600,000 people and the wider metro area has a population of nearly 3 million. Built out of cattle and mining, Denver embraces its cowboy heritage, but today the main industries are telecommunications, technology, travel and tourism.

The wider metropolitan area of Denver-Aurora-Broomfield is ranked fourth on Forbes list of 2014 Best Places for Business and Careers. The biggest corporate employers include Centura Health, Comcast and United Airlines.

At present the average disposable income in Denver is $3,258 (£2,102).

Property in Denver

Compared to many other major metro areas, Denver offers a low cost of living. The median price of homes currently listed in Denver is $370,000 (£226,868) while the median price of homes that are sold is $286,395 (£175,615). The median rent price in Denver is $1,650 (£1,012).

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Record rent hikes are reported in Denver, being pushed up by young professionals in the Downtown area. Some apartments in Downtown cost more than $3 per square foot to rent, more than double the average price for other parts of Denver.

Neighbourhoods

When choosing a neighbourhood to live in Denver, you are going to want to consider commuting times and options. Due to its rapid expansion Denver has had problems keeping up with developing the infrastructure needed.

At the moment it is generally a driving city and public transport has been sparse outside of Downtown. The good news is that the city is undergoing a massive transport expansion programme, to be completed in 2017.

New light rail lines have been added, including the West Rail Line, which opened in April 2013. A further six lines are under construction, in addition to extended bus lines and Park and Ride schemes.

Denver

Source: Flickr | Jeffrey Beall

If you are a cyclist then you will feel at home in Denver as the city boasts a strong cycling culture. There are more than 100 miles of bike lanes and more than 400 miles of signed bike routes. Denver also recently launched a bike share program and rides that are less than 30 minutes incur no fee.

Cycling in Denver

Source: Flickr | Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Denver is a bustling city but there are plenty of green spaces in the forms of parks and gardens. If open spaces are important to you then you might want to consider living in the neighbourhood of Washington Park, which boasts one of the largest parks in Denver, of the same name.

  • Family Friendly: Country Club - This area has the lowest crime rates and an excellent public school district but it is also one of the most expensive neighbourhoods as a result.
  • Hip and Trendy: LoHi (The Lower Highlands) - Home to the LoHi Music Festival and the Navajo Street Art District, LoHi is a trendy hub with a great mix of rooftop bars and street fairs.
  • Upmarket: Belcaro - Belcaro is known for its ranch style homes and quiet streets and offers high-end property.
  • Up and Coming: Cole - Close to future light rail routes with unique period architecture, Cole is worth checking out.

Schools and education

Denver Public Schools runs 162 schools and currently enrolls around 82,000 students. Top rated schools in the area include Bromwell Elementary School (Cherry Creek), Steele Elementary School (Washington Park), Girls Athletic Leadership School (Central), and Denver School of Science and Technology (Stapleton).

Denver Public Schools district contains six schools that received gold, silver, or bronze medals in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings.

School in Denver

Source: Flickr | Jeffrey Beall

Great Schools gives Denver a city rating of 5 out of 10 based on public school test results.

The oldest and largest private university in the Rocky Mountain region is the University of Denver. According to U.S. News Best Colleges for 2015, University is ranked 88 (tied) out of 201 places.

Cost of moving

The average cost of moving for a family of three from the following cities will cost approximately:

From Cost
London £1,515
Toronto £2,020
Dubai £4,985
Sydney £5,381
A day in the life

Whether it’s a workday or the weekend, the chances are you are in for sunshine. Averaging 300 days of sunshine a year, Denver is one of the sunniest cities in America. In the midst of winter you may have to contend with heavy snowfall but the average winter temperatures are warmer than those along the mid-Atlantic and in New England

Snowfall in Denver

Source: Flickr | Hiroyuki Takeda

The Rocky Mountain National Park is just one hour away from Denver and you will join locals and tourists alike for skiing and boarding in the winter, and kayaking and trekking in the summer. Once you have star gazed from the Rocky Mountains you will never want to live anywhere else in the world.

If, however, you are city-lover through and through then there is plenty to keep you busy on your days off in Denver. Start with a good lunch of Green Chili, the local speciality. There are loads of varieties and ways to enjoy this feast but in essence it’s a brown and spicy sauce made from pork and Pueblo or Hatch green chilies.

You probably want to wash this down with a beer and Denver is not going to let you down on this front. The city produces more beer than any other in the US. While Coors beer is the most famous export, if you are into craft beer and microbreweries then you will be very happy in Denver.

Drink a beer in Denver

Source: Flickr | Kate Borkowski

In the afternoon, head to the new wing of the Denver Art Museum, part of the Civic Center Cultural Complex in downtown Denver. It is the second largest performing arts centre in the US and highlights include its collection of Native American art. From the museum take a quick stroll to LoDo (Lower Downtown), a lively neighbourhood filled with art galleries, restaurants, bars and clubs.

Denver Art Museum

Source: Flickr | Gregory Hanrahan