All you need to know to prepare for your move to Denver
While the Windy City is lauded for its many tourist attractions, signature food and drink, umpteen events and festivals to enjoy, and several recreational activities, it has been observed that Denver beats Chicago in the run for best places to live in the United States. For one, the weather in Denver is far better, with 300 days of sunshine, while Chicago would have about 80 to 100 days of pleasant weather at best. Moving from one home to the next can never be easy. But with some brainstorming, consults, scouting trips, and research, you will be able to carry this operation out seamlessly. Here is what you need to know while planning your move to Denver from Chicago.
Apart from its natural beauty, there are several reasons Americans are picking Denver as their new city to live in, no matter which part of the country they are leaving. And for a good reason. These are some of the benefits of living in Denver, Colorado.
Scenery: Denver has been dubbed ‘The Mile High City in the United States for a good reason. The stunning landscapes and scenery in Denver are immeasurable and breathtaking throughout the year. The changing seasons only add to its natural beauty. You can bask in nature’s glory in some of Denver’s parks like Mesa Verde National Park, Cherry Creek State Park, and Great Sand Dunes National Park.
Weather: Denver boasts pretty good weather, along with changing seasons, making it quite snowy in the winters but also warm and enjoyable in the summers, with about 300 days of sunshine in the year.
Outdoors: People who move to Denver naturally seek outdoor adventures and recreational activities because Denver is the ideal place to pursue them. There are many parks to choose from, skiing getaways during the winter seasons, whitewater rafting, trekking and hiking trails, hot springs, ziplining, and stunning mountain views for photographers.
Economy: Denver’s thriving economy makes it a very attractive city for working professionals, entrepreneurs as well as students who want to work in Denver’s prominent industries eventually. Many work opportunities are available for people, especially in the aerospace, technology, education, healthcare, telecommunications, and finance sectors.
Drinks: Denver’s craft beers are legendary and worth sampling beer lovers. Apart from its many breweries, Denver locals love the smattering of coffee shops all over the city, with dedicated coffee culture.
Cost of Living: Living in Denver is significantly cheaper than most major metropolitan cities across the United States. And with high-income jobs in prominent work sectors, you will likely have enough to subsist on and enjoy savings and activities.
Cost of Moving to Denver from Chicago
Like any move from one place to another, some variables determine your final moving cost. If you plan to hire a moving company, apart from their base rate, they will also consider how far you are moving, how much cargo you are planning to take with you, its weight and quantity determine how many laborers you may require during the move. There could also be additional costs based on any specific moving requirements you may have. But on average, you can expect your move to Denver from Chicago to cost you about $2,840.
Living in Denver is an excellent option for many, with stunning landscapes, umpteen eateries and venues to choose from, a robust education system, and a booming economy. With easy commuting and a host of activities, Denver will be worth the investment.
Renting an apartment in Denver for a:
One-bedroom apartment in the center of the city would be $1,200+ per month
One-bedroom apartment outside the center of the city would be $900+ per month
Three-bedroom apartment in the center of the city would be $2,100+ per month
Three-bedroom apartment outside the center of the city would be $1,500+ per month
Buying a house in Denver would come to about:
$4,027+ per square meter in the heart of Denver
$2,326+ per square meter outside the center of Denver
Where to live in Denver
No matter your budget and preferences, it is more than likely that you will find a place where you feel you are at home. Here are the best neighborhoods in Denver, which you can consider moving to once you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for.
Capitol Hill: The first choice for most newcomers, Capitol Hill is probably the most densely populated neighborhood in Colorado. There are plenty of eateries, bars, and people from diverse cultures and backgrounds.
Uptown: Historically known as North Capitol Hill, Uptown shares a lot of attractions with Capitol Hill, being adjacent to it. This trendy neighborhood is ideal for young working professionals and couples, with vibrant nightlife, hip restaurants, and bars.
Highlands: Offering a more residential or suburban vibe, Highlands is ideal for families, children, and working professionals. Offering a beautiful hilltop view of the city, Highlands gives you the best of both worlds – a relaxing suburb mixed with nightlife and dining.
Sloan’s Lake: If you would like to live just outside of the hustle-bustle of city living, Sloans Lake is an excellent option to find housing in. With Denver’s biggest lake smack in the middle of this neighborhood, you have the best of nature and outdoor recreational opportunities.
Baker: Identified by its famous Broadway Street, which runs south from Downtown in one direction. The road is lit up by eclectic restaurants and shops on either side.
Cherry Creek: Cherry Creek is a more upscale neighborhood, with the ritzy glamor of the affluent Denver locals. You will find apartment complexes and standalone homes for rent, but you may also spot the more luxurious accommodation keenly tucked away in invisible pockets.
Getting Around in Denver
Public transportation is convenient in Denver, along with affordable and easily accessible. Denver is somewhat walkable, so the most used forms of commuting are by foot or light rail. You could also hail down a Denver Yellow Cab during winter days when you don’t feel like braving the cold or order a cab from Uber or Lyft. Using the rail and bus services will take pretty much anywhere in Denver, probably quicker than it would take in a car. What’s more, two more transport options in Denver are free – namely, the 16th St. Free MallRide and the Free MetroRide, ideal for working professionals rushing during business hours.
Denver’s economic growth has been impressive and consistent over the years, placing this city in the rank of top economies in the United States. Prominent industries, with many job opportunities for locals to lap, include technology, information technology software, aerospace, bioscience, finance, energy, broadcast and telecommunications, healthcare and wellness, education, cannabis, and defense. Denver is fast emerging as a tech center in the United States, with a low unemployment rate, giving tech professionals more than ample opportunities to grow.
If you want to live comfortably in Denver, with enough to support your cost of living and have extra savings after that as well, then you would need to earn an average household income (or individual salary) of about $1,10,000. This would help you own a home or help cover rent, give or take a few thousand dollars. But the median salary earned in Denver is a contrasting $39,000. This is one city in the United States with one of the most significant gaps between median income and how much you need to earn to live well in Denver.
Denver is known to house a highly educated population, having over 160 public schools and about 220 private schools. About 41% of Denver’s population holds at least a Bachelor’s Degree or higher. The public and private schooling systems for children from K-12 are strong and solid, so families moving with their children can rest easy. The Denver Public School system works on location-based placements for its students. Parents would have to enter the area code to determine which public school their children could enroll in. There are several educational institutions to choose from for students seeking post-secondary education, including the University of Denver, Regis University, and the University of Colorado Denver.
Things to do in Denver
Living in Denver automatically means you 3iwll have a wide variety of outdoor activities to pursue and enjoy. So if you like having an active lifestyle, you can avail yourself of Denver’s many parks, mountainous trails for hiking and trekking, whitewater rafting opportunities, skiing seasons, and cycling. Apart from outdoor enthusiasms, there are botanical gardens, museums like the Denver Art Museum, the Red Rocks Amphitheater, Mount Evans Scenic Byway, Coors Field, Larimer Square for shopping, and more.
Moving from Chicago to Denver is a great choice, and even though there will be an adjustment period, it doesn’t have to be as cumbersome as one might think. With a good amount of research, planning, managing your finances, and finding your niche in Denver, you will settle in well and thrive sooner than later.
How much would it cost to move from Chicago to Denver?
The final cost of moving from Chicago to Denver depends on the size of the house you are moving, the weight and amount of household and personal items you are moving, whether or not there are any special items or specific arrangements required, how many laborers you will need when you plan to move and any additional costs. Also, the long-distance will be added to your final cost, especially if you hire a moving company. But you can expect the average moving cost to be $2,833.
Should I move from Chicago to Denver?
Moving to Denver from Chicago is an excellent idea because when you live in Denver, you get the best of both worlds: the facilities and infrastructure of a major city as well as the laid-back and relaxed quality of life in the lap of nature. If a decent work-life balance is something you seek, where you can experience both action and rest as and when you choose, then you should move to Denver.
Is Denver weather better than Chicago?
Both Denver and Chicago can be very cold. While the average weather in Chicago tends to be colder than in Denver, especially the highs, the weather at night is colder in Denver. Apart from that, Denver also gets a lot more snowfall than Chicago accumulating an average of 56 inches of snow versus Chicago’s 37 inches.
What is the cost of living in Denver, Colorado?
If you are moving to Denver by yourself and choose to live as a single person, then the average living cost in Denver comes to about $2,061 per month. If you are moving with your family (a family of four), your monthly living costs will increase to about $4,703.
What salary do you need to make to live in Denver? If you want to live comfortably in Denver, with enough to support your cost of living and have extra savings after that as well, then you would need to earn an average household income (or individual salary) of about $1,10,000. This would help you own a home or help cover rent, give or take a few thousand dollars. But the median salary earned in Denver is a contrasting $39,000. This is one city in the United States with one of the largest gaps between median income and how much you need to earn to live well in Denver.
Alex Sherr is the founder of My Long Distance Movers, a blog that provides moving information and resources for people who are relocating. He has more than two decades of experience in the moving and relocation industry, and he is passionate about helping people relocate smoothly and efficiently. When he's not writing or blogging, Alex enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children.