By:
Guest Contributor
Posted:
March 20, 2024
Article type:
Moving Help & Tips
Applies to:
Local Moving

Top 5 Most Affordable Places to Live in Colorado Compared to Denver

So, you fell in love with Colorado? It’s a pretty neat place, we know. Our Rocky Mountain state often ranks as one of the best places to live in the United States, serving as a testament to the quality of life that attracts newcomers. That is why Bailey’s Moving & Storage is proudly located in Denver.  

As much as we love Denver and the business it attracts, city life is not the cheapest, nor is it for everyone. With so many twists and turns in the economy and the Rockies, we know the obstacles you will likely face while moving to Colorado.

We also understand that just because a location is cheap doesn’t mean it’s desirable, so we created a list of realistic alternatives to check out before moving to Denver. With a state that covers 103,641.9 square miles of land, you may be surprised about what lies beyond Colorado’s biggest city.

Explore Your Potential with These Cheaper Alternatives

Before scrolling through our list, remember that Denver’s median home value is $626,721, and the median cost of rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,679. For reference, our 2022 home value data was pulled from Zillow.com. For more pricing around Colorado check out their site.  

Grand Junction

  • Median home value: $383,870
  • Median cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment: $1,120
  • Monthly cost of living for one person: $2,970
  • Monthly cost of living for two adults and two children (family of four): $7,007
  • Population: 65,560

Known for its high-desert climate, Grand Junction is surrounded by 1.2 million acres of public land with easy access to the Rocky Mountains, arts and festivals, and plenty of modern amenities. The Mesa County city is 270 miles east of Salt Lake City and 250 miles west of Denver. It is close to the Utah border, so travelers often visit from out-of-state to check out the vibrant downtown and nearby Colorado National Monument.  

As for the economy, the Milken Institute ranked Grand Junction 57th out of 201 small cities for "Best-Performing" across America in 2021. That is a 24-rank increase from 2019.

For prospective college students, Colorado Mesa University offers a reputable campus northwest of the city with an enrollment size of nearly 11,000. Estimated tuition costs are about $8,852 per semester for Colorado residents.

Colorado Springs

  • Median home value: $476,721
  • Median cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment: $1,283
  • Monthly cost of living for one person: $3,108
  • Monthly cost of living for two adults and two children (family of four): $7,346
  • Population: 483,956

Known for its national treasure, Garden of The Gods, and home of the Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs is one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States.

With a rapid increase in business and population, Colorado Springs Utilities unveiled a plan to construct its next-generation, city-wide fiber network.  

Building the network is a significant stepping stone for the city; it’ll enhance its ability to attract and retain new jobs, pursue further educational opportunities, and help modernize every neighborhood.  

With an estimated completion set for 2028, the process will help Colorado Springs become one of the largest gig cities in the nation. There’s an overwhelming demand for more work, so it’s no wonder why the city ranks competitively in the top places to live.

Milliken

  • Median home value: $481,983
  • Median rental cost for all property types: $2,295
  • Monthly cost of living for one person: $3,366
  • Monthly cost of living for two adults and two children (family of four): $7,655
  • Population: 8,386

A member of Weld County, Milliken ranks among the ten safest towns in the state with a crime rate of 0.2. Since Milliken is a small rural community located about 50 miles north of Denver, you are less likely to find an apartment or condo.

Like many places in Colorado, Milliken's location offers nearby access to some unique activities and parks. This includes Mad Russian Golf Course, Boyd Lake State Park, and Flatiron Reservoir. If you are attracted to the arts, check out Chapungu Sculpture Park. The 26-acre outdoor exhibit features 80 stone sculptures surrounded by the bliss of nature. Chapungu resides in Loveland, but it’s only a 20-minute drive from Milliken, making it a great day trip for admirers of world culture.

Clifton

  • Median home value: $296,369
  • Median rental cost for all property types: $1,200
  • Monthly cost of living for one person: $2,970
  • Monthly cost of living for two adults and two children (family of four): $7,007
  • Population: 20,413

As another Mesa County candidate, Clifton, Colorado, is not usually an out-of-state mover’s first choice. However, sometimes it takes time to find the right home.  

Surrounded by reddish-brown undertones of flattop mountains, Clifton is sandwiched between Grand Junction and Palisade, making it part of the Grand Junction metropolitan area. Although it may be an extension, there is a stark contrast between Clifton and the city it neighbors. For example, Clifton is a quiet rural area with open skies, laid-back farms, and a vast-open landscape. Grand Junction offers more suburbs and commercial retailers.  

Serving as a gateway to Palisade and the famous peaches that are grown there, Clifton homeowners enjoy a cheaper cost of living due to a lack of activity from tourists. The nature of Clifton provides simple living with easy access to the city and plenty of festivals to choose from in Palisade.

Trinidad

  • Median home value: $216,567
  • Median cost to rent a one-bedroom apartment: $895
  • Monthly cost of living for one person: $2,891
  • Monthly cost of living for two adults and two children (family of four): $6,247
  • Population: 8,335

Located 250 miles south of Denver and 15 miles north of New Mexico, Trinidad is a small mountain city in Las Animas County. The county takes its name from Purgatoire River, originally called El Río de las Ánimas Perdidas en el Purgatorio, translating to "River of the Lost Souls in Purgatory."

Despite the ominous name, Las Animas offers some of the most affordable living in the state, with easy access to beautiful wildlife in areas such as Fishers Peak and Trinidad Lake. With many of the buildings downtown crafted of stone, the overall feel is vintage, which may explain why you will find a surplus of antiques and second-hand stores.  

Given the smaller population, there is less access to shopping malls, restaurants, and other commercial services, giving the area a more local feel compared to places like Denver. If you work from home and don’t value nightlife, Trinidad may be a good option for you.  

Prioritize The Necessities  

Everyone has different priorities, whether you are moving locally or across the country. With an abundance of ways to spend your free time in our beautiful state, you may wonder where you belong, so don’t be afraid to consider what matters most in your life. For example, someone who values skiing may fit well in Grand Junction or Clifton because those areas offer closer access to resorts like Powderhorn, Vail, Aspen, Telluride, and Breckenridge, whereas commuting from Denver to Colorado’s western slope would be a much farther drive.  

We know you are excited to get out and explore, and we’re excited to move you to your dream home, but first, make sure your dream home makes sense for you. Every town in Colorado has something unique for everyone, which is why Bailey’s would be more than happy to give you a free quote today!

The comparison criteria and corresponding sources include: