Is Denver, CO a Good Place to Live? 10 Pros and Cons of Living in Denver

Denver, nicknamed the “Mile-High City,” stands as a hub, fulfilling residents and visitors with its majestic mountain vistas and delicious culinary experiences. Yet, the question remains: is Denver a good place to live? Amidst its promise of abundant outdoor escapades, career opportunities, and active lifestyles, Denver also poses unique challenges like drought risk and high cost of living. In this Redfin article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of living in Denver to help you decide if it’s the right place for you.

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Denver Colorado

Quick Facts about Denver

Median home sale price $620,000
Average monthly rent $1,814
Walk Score 61/100
Transit Score 45/100
Bike Score 72/100

1. Pro: Stunning natural scenery

Denver is renowned for its breathtaking natural scenery, with the Rocky Mountains serving as a stunning backdrop. The city’s proximity to nature offers endless opportunities for outdoor activities, making it a haven for adventure. Whether it’s a weekend hike in the nearby foothills, skiing at world-class resorts like Aspen and Vail, or a day trip to explore the scenic beauty of Rocky Mountain National Park, there’s plenty of things to do.

2. Con: High cost of living

One of the downsides of living in Denver is the high cost of living. With a median home sale price of $620,000 and an average monthly rent of $1,814, housing prices have surged in recent years, making it challenging for many to afford a home. Rent prices are also on the rise, and everyday expenses such as groceries and utilities can be higher than the national average.

3. Pro: Thriving job market

Denver has a robust job market with opportunities in various industries, including technology, healthcare, and finance. The city is home to several major corporations such as Arrow Electronics and Lockheed Martin, as well as numerous innovative startups like Ibotta and SendGrid, providing ample employment options. The presence of a diverse job market ensures that residents have multiple career paths to explore.

4. Con: High altitude

Denver’s high altitude, at 5,280 feet above sea level, can pose challenges for residents, particularly those unaccustomed to the thinner air. The reduced oxygen levels can lead to altitude sickness, causing symptoms like headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Additionally, the high altitude can exacerbate respiratory issues and make physical exertion more difficult. If you’re planning on moving to this city, you’ll want to take time to become accustomed.

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5. Pro: Proximity to the mountains

Denver’s proximity to the mountains offers residents easy access to stunning natural landscapes, including the iconic Rocky Mountains, which provide countless opportunities for outdoor adventures such as hiking, skiing, and snowboarding. Whether it’s hitting the slopes at popular ski resorts like Breckenridge and Keystone during the winter months or exploring scenic trails in nearby national parks like Rocky Mountain National Park during the summer, the proximity to the mountains makes Denver a good place to live.

6. Con: Unpredictable weather

Denver’s weather can be quite unpredictable, with rapid changes that can catch residents off guard. The city experiences all four seasons, but the weather can shift dramatically within a single day. For instance, it’s not uncommon to see snow in the morning and sunshine by the afternoon. This unpredictability can be challenging for those who prefer more stable weather patterns.

7. Pro: Crowded attractions

Denver’s popularity as a tourist destination means that its attractions, such as the Denver Zoo, Denver Art Museum, and Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, can often become crowded, especially during peak seasons. Long lines and crowded spaces may detract from the overall experience for both residents and visitors alike, particularly those seeking a more tranquil or intimate outing.

8. Con: Smoke from wildfires

Denver’s proximity to wildfire-prone areas in the western United States means that the city occasionally experiences smoke from wildfires, particularly during the summer months. This smoke can lead to poor air quality and health concerns for residents, especially those with respiratory issues.

9. Pro: Active lifestyle

Denver, one of the most bikeable cities in the U.S., promotes an active lifestyle, with numerous parks, recreational facilities, and fitness centers. The city’s layout encourages walking, biking, and other forms of physical activity. Events like the Colfax Marathon and the Denver Century Ride attract individuals from all over. The emphasis on an active lifestyle contributes to the overall well-being and health of its residents.

10. Con: Limited water resources

Water scarcity is a growing concern in Denver, as the city relies heavily on snowmelt from the Rocky Mountains for its water supply. Prolonged droughts and increasing demand have put pressure on these resources. Residents are often encouraged to conserve water, and restrictions may be implemented during dry periods. This can be a significant drawback for those who are used to more abundant water availability.


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