With its breathtaking Rocky Mountain beauty and high quality of life, Colorado has attracted many new residents. The combination of job opportunities, beautiful weather, scenic views and a culture of wellness has proved irresistible to those who have flocked to the state.
- Be prepared to pay tolls when moving to Colorado.
- You do not need any moving permits but check on local parking restrictions before moving to Colorado.
- Avoid moving in the winter as Colorado gets heavy snowfall in the colder months. Roads also become icy, which makes for hazardous driving conditions.
- If moving to Colorado during the winter months is your only option, be sure to get your vehicle winterized by a professional mechanic. You should also make sure to have a charged cell phone with you at all times and remember to keep a toolbox, first-aid kit, and emergency provisions (including a blanket) in your vehicle.
- Always give yourself plenty of time on the road. Colorado weather can change quickly and without warning, and traffic congestion can lead to delays, especially around big cities or resort towns.
- Protect your skin from sun exposure with clothing, hats, and sunscreen even in the mountains where you may not think the sun is an issue.
Change your address online. To make your move from California to Colorado easier, consider changing your address online. It is easy to do, inexpensive, and will ensure that your mail arrives at your new home with you.
Cities and Metro Areas
If you’re in search of an active lifestyle in one of the most beautiful areas in the world, then moving to Colorado might be just the thing for you. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains is Boulder offers loads of outdoor recreation and is ranked high in education and health care. The economy in Colorado Springs is propelled by the military, tourism, and booming technology. The state capital, Denver, is nicknamed “Mile High City” and has an active arts and music culture, as well as numerous parks and other outdoor recreation choices. Grand Junction lies along the Colorado River and has become a major mountain biking destination for adventurers throughout Colorado and surrounding states.
Other cities to check out include Fort Collins, Aurora, Castle Rock, Lakewood, and Littleton.
Cost of Living
With its amazing natural surroundings, clean air and healthy lifestyle, moving to Colorado is an enticing prospect. However, it is important to understand that Colorado as a whole is in the top 20 most expensive states to live in, and certain cities like Denver have a much higher cost of living index than most.
The state of Colorado’s real estate market has been at an aggressive pace of growth over the last 3 years. The median sales price as of Sept 2022 was $549,900. If we look back at Sept 2019’s median price of $399,300, we can see the increase in the median price has only gone up 38%, which is an increase of 12.6% yearly rate. The rate of price increases for the last three years is about twice what is considered a normal rate of 6%.
Utility costs are slightly below the national average, while food prices have been on the rise in the whole Western Region, which includes Colorado. Gas prices are also lower than the national average.
Highways and Public Transport
Public transportation is available in Colorado’s Regional Transportation District, with bus, rail and light rail service to Denver, Boulder and nearby cities.
In winters, snow might lead to closed-off roads and bridges, while melting snow and spring rains can cause potholes and other damage to the road surface. When moving to Colorado, always remember to check with the Colorado Department of Transportation to see if there are any delays. Amtrak and reliable public transport in the form of intra- and intercity buses provide passenger service along the Denver route from east to west, as well as to a number of ski areas.
The climate is just as varied as its terrain. Overall, the Centennial State has a semi-arid climate, with cool temperatures and low precipitation that becomes less in the west of the state. In the east, winters are dryer, while spring gets the most amount of precipitation, and summer weather can vary from one minute to the next, with frequent heavy winds and severe thunderstorms with large hail. Summer temperatures range from 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and winter lows between 35 and 47 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on location and elevation.
There are a number of first-rate educational institutions in Colorado. Current school rankings (elementary, middle and high schools), campus and district zoning/location maps, information and reviews are available online for parents moving to Colorado:
- Elementary School: Three of the top-ranked elementary schools are Challenge School in Denver, High Peaks Elementary School in Boulder and Aurora Quest Academy in Aurora.
- High School: Ralston Valley Senior High School in Arvada, The Vanguard School in Colorado Springs and Telluride High School in Telluride are some of the best high schools in the state.
- Higher Learning: If you’re moving to Colorado, note that it is home to the United States Air Force Academy just outside of Colorado Springs, as well as the University of Colorado school system. Other notable schools are Regis University and Johnson & Wales, which are both situated in Denver.
Colorado Government Resources
If you’re moving to Colorado and need government information, Colorado’s Official State Web Portal provides many of the things you will need to know about your new state. Here are a few important facts and specific resources:
- Register to vote in person at your county clerk’s office or fill out the Voter Registration Form.
- You have 90 days to register your vehicle at your local County Clerk’s Office after moving to Colorado.
- You must apply for a Colorado driver’s license within 30 days of moving to Colorado.
- Find your local United States Post Office online.
- You don’t need a moving permit in Colorado.
- There’s no excise tax, but both the state and your city levy a sales tax when you buy a vehicle. For more tax information visit IRS.gov.
- Colorado has five toll roads.