Moving to Denver, What You Should Know!
I am what you would call a transplant although some people have said to me that if I have lived here longer than 5 years then I am no longer called that. Everyone knows I am a transplant as soon as I speak, there is no use trying to hide the accent!
Being a transplant I have a pretty good grasp on why people would want to move here and some things they may not understand before moving here. However, I wanted more than my feelings and opinions on the matter so I went in search of answers to the question “what do you wish you knew before moving to Denver?”.
What You Should Know Before Moving to Denver?
I got on facebook and asked many of the groups and communities I am involved and live/work in what their thoughts were and here were some of the most common answers.
The Outdoor Activities – Outdoor activities and adventures are plentiful just a short drive from Denver. Hiking, biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowshoeing, running, we have it all and more!
The Weather – Many people think we have really harsh winters. Yes, we have snow but it usually melts the next day and we also have wonderful 60 degree days throughout winter. Summer is hot but dry so you don’t drip as soon as you walk out the door.
Pet-Friendly – Denver is extremely pet-friendly. There are great dog parks, plenty of dog lovers, plenty of restaurant and brewery patios that allow you to bring your dog, pig or cat on a leash!, yep I have seen it all!
Beer – The options here when it comes to beer are amazing! There are breweries throughout all the suburbs and many of them are within walking distance of neighborhoods. They are not just pet-friendly but many of them are kid friendly with that English pub kind of vibe.
Eating Out is Cheaper – This too depends on where you came from, if you come from a big City like San Fran, Chicago, New York then you are going to find you can eat out at a really nice restaurant for much cheaper.
Lots of Sunshine – I know this has to do with weather, but it deserves its own spot. It is true that we have a whole lot of sunshine in Colorado, I have pale skin and have to slather sunscreen on all year long, however, my seasonal depression has also disappeared. The Sunshine for the win!
Trails, Trails, Trails – There are trails or easy access to trails in most neighborhoods, especially if you live in the suburbs. It is so easy to get on my bike and ride, no more having to load up the car. Many people said they loved the access to trails from their neighborhoods.
Four Seasons – You do get four specific seasons here. Snow in winter, greening up in Spring, hot summers and beautiful colors in the Fall.
Kids Activities – The Zoo, Science and Nature Museum, Parks, Amusement Parks, Playgrounds, Shopping, Community events, if you are moving with a family there is always something to do with the kids in Denver!
Sports Teams – Denver has a slew of professional sports teams including Football, Baseball, Hockey, Soccer, and Lacrosse!
The In Between
Kindergarten – Yep this one came up a lot. A lot of our school districts have half day kindergarten which is free, however, if you want full day kindergarten you have to pay for it!
School Districts – Some people said the schools were worse while others said they were much better from the states they lived in previously. I think it totally depends on what school district you are in as to your opinion on this. Be sure to check out different school districts and visit schools before moving here.
The People – I got both responses on this one, some people don’t think the people in Denver are friendly, and there is a bit of resentment from natives about all the people moving here. I have to say though I usually just see this on facebook groups more than anything. I have built some of my best friendships here though, wonderful people that support me and are just plain fun!
The City Living Isn’t the Same – While Denver is growing some people that have moved from big cities don’t feel like it is an easy city to access, they don’t feel there is a lot of diversity and it is just not the same as the big cities on the East and West Coast.
It’s Dry – Yep Denver is a very dry climate and if you have come from a humid area it can be a shock to the system. Some said that their skin is very dry but others said they enjoyed not being soaked by the humidity and that their hair looks much nicer in this climate ;).
Legalized Marijuana – Yep I had to bring it up and people tend to have very strong opinions. Some people like that they can easily get access and enjoy while others did not appreciate all the people it has attracted, the smell and the fact that people use it everywhere, even at family friendly events.
The Altitude is No Joke – If you are a regular runner or exercise freak and you move to the 5280 state, be ready for a big adjustment, it can take a while to build that lung capacity back up again. It also means we get some wicked pressure systems as weather fronts move in. On the upside, the views and the mountains and the weather!
Housing is Expensive! – This is one I hear most from people that have moved from the midwest, I get it, we moved from St Louis where our house cost $97,000 when we bought it, here the same house would be in the $350,000’s. If you are coming from the East or West coast you may disagree and think it is pretty affordable. You should know though that the average rental price in Denver for a 1 bedroom is $1250 and up, that is in the suburbs and may not be in the nicer parts of a town.
Traffic – Denver may not be Los Angeles or Hawaii but it does have its fair amount of traffic issues. In the past five years, the roads are a lot more congested, even those side roads that we used to love taking, so I totally understand where the dislike for this comes from.
Red Light Runners – To go along with the traffic, there are a lot of red light runners in this state. Sit at that red light longer than you usually would or you may find yourself in an accident.
Childcare Costs – There was a general consensus across the board that childcare costs are higher here and that you have to get on a waitlist for any place that has a decent reputation.
It’s Windy – Yep, I will vouch for this one. It is windier than I imagined it would be when I moved here, especially in the spring and fall.
It is Not Green – Many people move here and realize that Denver can be pretty brown compared to those high humidity states. This has to do with the dry climate and the fact that we don’t really see a whole lot of rain. If you are a person that thrives on greenery and rain, it might not be a great choice.
If after reading all of this you think I have missed something please leave a comment!
If you think Denver might be a great fit for your family, like it really has been for mine, feel free to fill out the contact me form below, I am a realtor that works in the Denver and North Denver areas and if you think the South suburbs might suit you better I have someone that can help with that too!