Moving to a new location in America always brings about concerns related to budgeting and selecting a place that guarantees a high standard of living along with safety.
I’m confident that you’re here because you’re considering a move, so I’ve compiled a list of the most affordable places to live in Colorado. This aims to alleviate your worries and provide you with an accurate perspective.
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Table of Contents
Factors Influencing Affordability in Colorado
- Cost of housing: Some major towns in Colorado experience a low supply of houses and high demand, leading to an increase in prices.
- Employment opportunities and the job market: Places that have witnessed rapid growth in the tech ecosystem often come with a higher cost of living due to the demand for employees outweighing the available supply.
- Property tax: As reported by coloradosun.com, Douglas County might see a 50% hike in property taxes, increasing median home values. Consequently, towns in these counties are likely to experience a rise in prices.
- Cost of living: Coupled with inflation, the prices of gasoline, groceries, and airplane tickets also impact the overall cost of living.
Cheapest Places to Live in Colorado
1. Cimarron Hills
- Population: 18,619
- Cost of Living Index: 102.7(US average of 100)
In the eastern part of Colorado Springs, in El Paso County, south of Palmer Park Boulevard and north of Galley Road, sits Cimarron Hills.
Here, you can experience the hot harsh sun in the summer, with an average of 73.4°F, and a cool temperature of 33.8°F during the cold winter.
This 5.9-square-mile land is mostly home to people who serve the nation, with the majority of residents stationed at military posts.
Single-family neighborhoods like Constitution Hills and Northcrest are also great options for non-military residents.
In this area, you’ll find houses in the 60s to 80s American suburban styles. This inexpensive Colorado community has a quiet neighborhood with calmness in the air.
Moreover, proximity to Downtown Colorado Springs, the airport, the tech center, and budget-friendly homes are its major draws.
Houses in Cimarron Hills are priced below the national median home value of $204,900, starting their listings between $178,000 and $310,000.
The available types of homes here include split-level homes, ranch plans, and traditional two-story houses, often with multiple garages.
This affordable Colorado city has also seen new construction projects like The Springs by Robert Communities, as well as the Urban Collection at Palmer Villages, offer townhouses and more.
For shopping and dining options, residents often visit the First and Main Town Center, which is very close by.
Children have access to good schools; in 2022, Horizon Middle School received a Platinum Tier distinction from Jostens Renaissance Education for its commitment to high-quality education.
The Air Force Base, Space Force, and other military outposts like the United States Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, FedEx, Lockheed, and many more have been strong pillars of the local economy.
Recreational activities in Cimarron Hills include:
- Enjoy the view of Pikes Peak, Cheyenne Mountain, and amazing geological features like sandstone along the trail of Templeton Trail.
- Going cycling at Boeing and having lunch at The Airplane Restaurant, which is an aviation-themed restaurant.
- For book lovers, The Ruth Holley Library offers a variety of genre books
- Population: 16,260
- Cost of Living Index: 113.8 (US average of 100)
By Adams County sits Welby, one of the hidden gems of Colorado, where residents were primarily engaged in agricultural activities.
Located just 10 miles from Downtown Denver, its proximity to the North Metro Line and the Regional Transportation District (RTD) renders it ideal for its residents.
After the construction of the Valley Highway (I-25), industrial infrastructure began to take shape. The community works with a vision of attracting businesses and operating them here.
The community demonstrates a visionary approach to city development and growth. They hold regular community meetings, make investments, and maintain a positive focus on adapting to changing conditions.
The pedestrian-scaled streets, architectural designs, and the community’s commitment to long-term economic sustainability are all factors that will capture your heart.
The cost of living in Welby is 3% lower than the national average, with median home listings ranging from $241,900 to $348,750.
Undoubtedly, it stands out as one of the most affordable rural areas in Colorado, boasting an average household income of around $69,364, coupled with abundant outdoor opportunities.
For those considering relocation with their families, Welby presents an excellent choice, offering 12 five-star schools. Noteworthy among them are Welby Montessori School and Moneterry Community School.
According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s employment sectors report, Welby exhibits resilience in wholesale trade, construction, and agriculture.
Recreational activities in Welby include:
- The trail of Clear Creek Trail, Niver Creek Trail, the South Platte River Trail, and Twin Lakes Park is the trail to have an outdoor adventure
- Click the picture of the graffiti walls of Rotella Park
- Enjoy cycling at 36 Bike Path
- Walk like Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge
- Population: 109,193
- Cost of Living Index: 104.3 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 34.21 (per 1,000 residents)
Welcome to Greeley, an affordable town in North Colorado, home to the University of Northern Colorado.
Located in Weld County, this college town is situated 49 miles northeast of Denver and boasts an abundance of churches, earning it the nickname “City of Churches.”
The town’s diverse and inclusive atmosphere, fostered by the college and its open-minded residents, has attracted a variety of races and cultures.
While agriculture remains a pivotal pillar of the city’s economy, its strength is further bolstered by exceptional education and a thriving art scene.
However, for tech enthusiasts, the job market is somewhat limited, focusing primarily on healthcare, education, and agriculture.
The average net salary after taxes hovers around $2,611, while a one-bedroom apartment in the City Centre costs approximately $1,072.
This fastest-growing town in America is the least expensive place to settle in Colorado. Fortunately, its proximity to Loveland, Fort Collins, Cheyenne, and Wyoming serves as a soothing balm.
Greeley’s strategic location is perfect for embarking on leisurely road trips through the western and mountainous regions.
The town also offers a vibrant evening scene and is highlighted by the renown of WildWorks Brewing, which garnered national acclaim at the Great American Beer Festival for its craft beer.
Noteworthy is the city’s commendable police force, ensuring the safety and security of its residents. Homeownership is also attainable, with prices sitting 29% below the average home price in Colorado.
Recreational activities in Greeley include:
- During the summer, immerse yourself in the Greeley Stampede, a two-week celebration. Come fall, partake in OktoBREWfest, and in winter, revel in the Festival of Trees.
- Enjoy leisurely evenings engaging in conversations over delectable meals at The Greeley Chophouse or Fat Albert. Moreover, with over 165 restaurants to choose from, culinary options abound.
- Delight in open art group exhibitions. If you find yourself in Greeley between June and August, attending The University’s Little Theatre of the Rockies is highly recommend
4. Fort Morgan
- Population: 11,224
- Cost of Living Index: 85.8 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 34.18 (per 1,000 residents)
Have you heard about Fort Morgan’s feature on HGTV’s Home Town Takeover in its second season? Doesn’t that make you enthusiastic about considering this place as your new home?
Just 75 miles northeast of Denver along I-76, Fort Morgan stands as a promising hub of progress and economic advancement.
The town’s economic foundation is deeply rooted in agriculture and its interconnected industries. Individuals find employment at Cargill meat packing plants, the Leprino Foods cheese factory, or Smirks, among others.
For a single adult, the average annual cost hovers around $36,324, owing in part to the town’s cost-effective electricity rates for both commercial and residential use.
The housing prices, averaging around $158,200, are complemented by abundant greenery. Situated in Morgan County, this locale presents an affordable living option within Colorado.
Nevertheless, the town’s elevation at 4,324 feet contributes to its appeal as a burgeoning tourist destination, lending it a slightly less crowded atmosphere of late.
Recreational activities in Fort Morgan include:
- If you’re a fishing enthusiast, Jackson Lake is a must-visit.
- For car enthusiasts, a drive down I-76 Speedway every Saturday is a thrilling experience
- Enjoy a stroll across the Rainbow Arch Bridge, offering views of the South Platte River
- Embrace the outdoors with a camping trip to Riverside Park
- Population: 9,117
- Cost of Living Index: 85.5 (US average of 100)
- Crime rate: 33.99 (per 1,000 residents)
Cortez is an incredibly picturesque town nestled in Montezuma County, positioned between the Canyons of the Ancients National Monuments and Mesa Verde National Park.
Its name is derived from the breathtaking mountain vistas it offers, as well as its distinction as a hub for historical and archaeological wonders.
Noteworthy landmarks include the Hawkins Preserve, a sanctuary of natural beauty, and the residences of laborers who toiled on the construction of tunnels and irrigation ditches.
You’ll love to take a stroll along the town’s streets as it becomes a delightful experience, The pathways are graced by the presence of age-old cottonwood trees whose towering brings generously cast a comforting shade overhead.
What’s more, due to its alluring charm, thriving parks, a plethora of outdoor recreational activities, and expansive green spaces, Cortez has attracted a considerable number of retirees who are choosing to call this place home.
In terms of finances, the cost of living for a single adult in Cortez averages around $37,516 annually, with a minimum monthly rental cost of $737 for housing.
This economic haven in Southwest Colorado relies heavily on tourism as a driving economic force.
Visitors can savor the tranquil rural atmosphere, devoid of traffic congestion, leading to a stress-free lifestyle.
Additionally, the town’s proximity to an airport adds to its allure, making it an attractive destination for digital nomads seeking seamless travel opportunities.
These individuals often find solace in the local library situated on the fringes of Parque de Vida, where complimentary books are occasionally available.
For shopping needs, residents have convenient access to retail giants such as Walmart Supercentre and City Market, just a short drive away.
Recreational activities in Cortez include:
- Spend touring around the Lowry Pueblo, which is part of the Canyons of the Ancient National Monument
- Explore the 125,000-acre park with Ute Indians at Ute Mountain Tribal Park
- A weekend drive along the Trail of the Ancient Scenic & Historic Byway
- Athletics love to hit the trail of Phils World Mountain Bike Trail
- Population: 20,122
- Cost of Living Index: 89.3 (US national average of 100)
- Crime rate: 29.54 (per 1,000 residents)
Clifton is a beautiful town in Mesa County sitting outskirts of Grand Junction. It shares the country’s western border giving a golden opportunity to the residents to have great commute areas.
The major reason people love the place is its sense of close-knit community. Everyone knows each other and is very warm and welcoming.
Also, a moderate climate provides an ideal setting for cultivating a diverse array of fruits. Every resident has a backyard where they cultivate various types of fruits.
There are flourishing wineries, sprawling vineyards, and abundant orchards keeping you feel like you’re residing in God’s lap.
The place is surrounded by endless outdoor recreation like jogging, rollerskating, and biking and you’ll love soaking up a lot of sunshine
Also, you’ll be surrounded by good healthcare facilities – as Colorado Mesa University trains such a pool of efficient doctors and medical caretakers.
This is an affordable mountain town in Colorado where the median home value is around $138, 100 where an individual spends on average $36, 595 per year to reside comfortably.
Recreational activities in Clifton include:
- Hiking the trails of the James M. Robb Colorado River State Park
- Spending time enjoying air by Corn Lake and Connected Lakes and Fruita
- You can enjoy fishing or have a delightful picnic with your family along the tree-lined riverbank near the Colorado National Monument
- Population: 394, 941
- Cost of Living Index: 118.9 (US national average of 100)
- Crime rate: 49.43 (per 1,000 residents)
If you yearn for a Denver-adjacent lifestyle, look no further than Aurora. This Denver suburb, a mere 25-minute drive away, offers affordability that doesn’t compromise on convenience.
Nestled to the east of Denver, it spans a vast 163 square miles across Arapahoe, Adams, and Douglas Counties.
It developed itself in the fields of expansive airfields, Aurora has transformed into a gem that harmonizes urban living with its proximity to the great outdoors.
On weekends, you’re just under an hour’s drive away from the majestic Rocky Mountains, where hiking, skiing, and snowboarding await.
It’s no wonder BetterDoctor.com crowned Aurora as the most active city in America. Inhabitants are naturally inclined to utilize the abundant outdoor spaces, fostering an active lifestyle that nurtures both physical and mental well-being.
Often referred to as the “Gateway to the Rockies,” Aurora amplifies its appeal by curating a mix of urban refinement, culinary excellence, natural serenity, and a robust financial landscape.
With a plethora of 100 parks, multi-use trails, and expansive open areas, Aurora provides ample room to flourish.
Families find Aurora particularly enriching, with an abundance of schools and institutes of higher learning.
The beauty lies in the diverse environment that cultivates growth and knowledge, as Aurora proudly hosts residents from 130 countries.
Aurora’s workforce is centered around key institutions like Buckley Air Force Base, the Medical Campus, Children’s Hospital Colorado, the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and the University of Colorado Hospital.
It’s no exaggeration that Aurora offers a high-quality life with affordable housing options, often hovering around the $259,000 mark.
Recreational activities in Aurora include:
- Immerse yourself in the verdant oasis of Cherry Creek State Park.
- Experience the thrill of racetrack racing at Arapahoe Park.
- Indulge in shopping and dining at the vibrant Havana Street District
- Population: 5,228
- Cost of Living Index: 85 (US national average of 100)
Over the past few decades, Brush has proudly maintained one of the lowest crime rates, rendering it 93% safer than the average places across the USA.
The town’s allure lies in the embrace of lush green prairies, instilling a profound sense of rural charm and coziness.
Notably, it stands out as both one of Colorado’s safest havens and an economical place to call home.
For a single adult, the yearly expenditure hovers around $36,324, accompanied by a typical rent of $729. Residents, on average, earn approximately $56,078, with an annual property tax of $948.
Brush thrives as a melting pot of various racial and ethnic groups, fostering a diverse community.
Despite the absence of public transportation facilities, the town’s walkability mitigates the impact of this absence, making car commuting a manageable task. The populace is notably bolstered by the presence of schools and college students.
Recreational activities in Brush include:
- Seek solace in prayer by visiting numerous churches like Calvary Assembly of God, Trinity Baptist Church, Church of Christ, or New Hope Community Church.
- Treat your child to an unforgettable experience at the world’s largest carnivore sanctuary, The Wild Animal Sanctuary.
Strategies for Affordability
- Select a neighborhood based on the length of your commute to the grocery store, your children’s schools, recreational activities, and other necessities. Opting for shorter commute times will undoubtedly help you save on fuel expenses.
- Choose a house within a neighborhood that exhibits lower demand and a moderate supply.
- Invest in houses that are recognized for their efficiency and their commitment to minimizing environmental impacts
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FAQs: Cheapest Places to Live in Colorado
1. Are there any affordable retirement communities in Colorado?
A. Yes, in Grand Junction particularly in Clifton there are many affordable retirement communities. I remember visiting my grandmother staying at Solstice Senior Living, an independent affordable living community for seniors.
2. Which affordable Colorado towns offer access to outdoor recreational activities?
A. In the middle of Colorado, the Town of Grand County is gifted with outdoor activities like hiking, rafting, fly-fishing, tubing, biking, and so more.