Surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, Colorado Springs is driven by nature lovers, fitness, and the military. Around town, you’ll see men and women in uniform out and about with US Olympic athletes in residence for training. If you’re considering a relocation to Colorado Springs, learn more about the area in this guide.
Colorado Springs, with an altitude of 6,035 feet, is Colorado’s second-largest city. It may take you a few weeks to grow accustomed to the altitude and mountain lifestyle, but after living here a while, you’re going to feel much more fit when you go out of state to visit friends and family members.
Abundant outdoor adventures await in Colorado Springs. You can hike, bike, golf, jog, fish, raft, ski, snowboard, climb, camp — you name it. You and your loved ones can experience unsurpassable natural beauty at the Garden of the Gods, Seven Falls, or Palmer Park.
There’s plenty to consider about your new area before you make your move. What are the best neighborhoods and schools? What’s the job market like? How can you make your relocation easier? We can answer all of these questions and more.
Living in Colorado Springs, CO: What to Know Before Moving to Colorado Springs
At 464,474 residents, Colorado Springs is an ideal location for military families, construction professionals, students, retirees, nature lovers, and anyone else looking for a high-quality lifestyle in a beautiful mountain environment. The area promises outstanding schools and a thriving economy, not to mention incomparable natural beauty.
Pros and Cons of Living in Colorado Springs
Here are just a few pros of living in Colorado Springs:
- Active people love mountain life and outdoorsy activities, from camping to world-class skiing.
- This city is a fun and friendly community, with frequent local events and a sense of unity among its residents.
- Colorado Springs is a hotspot for healthy living, full of farmer’s markets and fitness centers.
- The cost of living in Colorado Springs is surprisingly affordable for such a great area, with a median home value about $30,000 lower than the rest of the state.
- This spot is a great location for small business owners or hopefuls because residents love to shop local and support small business.
- Colorado Springs often ranks in the top 10 cities for cleanest air in the United States.
Here are some of the downsides of living in the area:
- The altitude is a huge adjustment. You’ll need to drink more water and worry about sun exposure.
- Weather conditions can cause traffic blockage at times, especially with winter snowfall lasting through May some years.
- Driving can be more complicated for other reasons too, with potholes and damage being common due to the state’s weather conditions.
- CO Springs is not the best place for people who aren’t interested in fitness or outdoor adventures, because these activities dominate the area.
- The air is very dry and may not be ideal for individuals who have psoriasis, eczema, or dry skin concerns.
- Recreational marijuana is legal here, which can be a pro or con depending on your perspective.
- Property Tax: Smart Asset says that the average tax rate of El Paso County, home to Colorado Springs, is 0.52%. That totals an average property tax of $1,310 per year. Your property tax in El Paso County will be lower than Colorado in general ($1,560), and the nation as a whole ($3,028).
- Sales Tax: Avalara reports the average sales tax rate in Colorado Springs is 8.25%. The state of Colorado charges a 2.9% sales tax. The Colorado Springs tax of 8.25% is the combined state, county, and city sales tax rate.
- Income Tax: What should you expect to pay in income taxes in Colorado Springs? Colorado has a flat income tax of 4.63%, according to Smart Asset.
Housing in Colorado Springs consists of a good mix of owners and renters. 57.14% of the residents own homes or apartments, and 42.86% of them rent, according to Norada Real Estate. Homes have appreciated 4.63% over the past year, and inventory is down. Although it’s a seller’s market (June 2019), it may be a good time to buy as prices are predicted to continue to rise.
The median home price in Colorado Springs is currently $293,000, according to Zillow. This price is an enormous difference from the home price in Denver, which is currently $424,700. Rental prices are also affordable, at $1,118 per month, according to Rent Café.
Where are the most affordable places to live in Colorado Springs? Military Home Search has come up with some great places to start, including:
- Palmer Park, with homes starting below $100,000
- Cimmaron Hills, with many homes with prices under $200,000
- Stratmoor Hills, with prices ranging from $100,000 to $300,000
Cost of Living
Best Places reports the cost of living in Colorado Springs ranks at a 112.9 out of 100, meaning costs in this city are slightly more expensive than the nation’s average cost of living. Best Places says that groceries and health cost less, while housing is significantly higher than the nation’s average (but still much lower than the rest of Colorado).
Colorado Spring’s median income is $54,228, which is lower than the US median income of $59,039.
Weather & Natural Disasters
What is your ideal climate like? Visitcos.com describes Colorado Springs as an alpine desert, with lots of sunshine and low humidity.
The annual high temperature in Colorado Springs is 62.1 degrees Fahrenheit, and the annual low temperature is 35.8 degrees Fahrenheit. At high altitude, you’ll want to know more about temperatures because they can fluctuate so much. The first autumn freeze usually occurs around the first week of October, and the last freeze is around mid-May. Summers are warm, with about 20 days hovering around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Winters can be mild to cold with December and January being the coldest months. Winter temperatures average 30.8 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rainfall is 16 1/2 inches annually. You’ll see brief thunderstorms throughout the summer. Snowfall is around 39 inches, less snow than Denver or Salt Lake City. Snow often dries up quickly, but don’t worry—you’re going to see plenty of snow up in those mountains for snowboarding and skiing!
What are the most dangerous weather threats in Colorado Springs? Colorado Springs’ government website suggests that threats might include flooding, wildfire, landslides, and snowstorms. Some of the precautions you can take include:
- Keep posted on weather updates via your phone, radio, or TV
- Heed instructions given by emergency management or officials
- Ensure that your insurance covers these emergencies
- Have an emergency plan for yourself, your loved ones, and your pets.
Economy & Job Market
According to UCCS.edu, Colorado Springs ranked in the top 25 percent for GMP growth in 2018. The number of jobs increased by 3.9 percent last year alone, with the largest growth in health care, professional and technical careers, construction, and hospitality. This rapidly growing economy is projected to surpass Denver County by 2020.
According to Choose Colorado, some of the key industries in Colorado Springs include:
- Aerospace employment
- High-tech workers
- Start-up businesses
- STEM-based employment
If you’re searching for your dream job in the area, you’re in luck. Denver Post highlights a study done by WalletHub, which shows that Colorado Springs is the fifth-best city in the country for job seekers.
Construction is a booming field in Colorado Springs, and labor shortages are anticipated, according to Discover My Goodwill. The construction industry appears to be a promising sector for job seekers in the new future.
Andrew Hudson recommends the following for anyone looking for a job in Colorado:
- Secure a local phone number ASAP—potential employers want to see that you have already moved to the area
- Do your research about the companies you’re interested in, and the areas you’d like to live in
- Check out the local job boards in Colorado, including Colorado Nonprofit Association and Built in Colorado
- Network with friends, family, acquaintances, and alumni who live in Colorado Springs currently or have lived there in the past
- Plan a trip to the area
City-Data says that some of the largest employers in Colorado Springs include:
- Fort Carson
- US Air Force Academy
- Colorado Springs School District
- Memorial Hospital
Traffic and Transportation
Mountain Metropolitan Transport, a bus service which locals refer to as the Metro, serves Colorado Springs. The Metro serves Colorado Springs M-F from 5:20 a.m. to 10:40 p.m., Saturday 5:30 to 10:45, and Sunday 7:30 a.m. to 5:35 p.m., according to Trip Advisor.
Wikipedia has an extensive list of Colorado Springs’ major thoroughfares. Some of the roads you should be familiar with include north-south running I-25, east-west US 24, east-west State Highway 21, and north-south State Highway 83 that connects Colorado Springs with Denver.
Colorado Springs has its traffic concerns, but it’s much easier to get around than in Denver. For those who commute between Denver and Colorado Springs, you can expect some pretty heavy traffic, which can be frustrating to navigate during rush hour.
Walk Score gives Colorado Springs a score of 36, making it the 39th most walkable large city in the US. This is not a stellar score, but it means you’ll be able to do some travel on foot. The public transit score is 19, and Walk Score reports public transportation is still minimal, even with the Metro. Also, there aren’t many bike lanes, resulting in a bike score of 42, but the city’s Bike Master Plan is currently in the works.
What to Do
Any Colorado Springs resident will probably come to love the Garden of the Gods, a natural landmark of stunning red rock formations. You can enjoy the visitor and nature center exhibits, as well as Jeep and Segway tours.
Pikes Peak is another Colorado Springs attraction, and is called “America’s Mountain.” This unique pink granite mountain presents spectacular photo opportunities along with diverse hikes and climbs.
The Olympic Training Center is the active headquarters of the US Olympic Committee. The 35-acre complex has practice facilities for gymnasts, weight lifters, and swimmers. You can participate in one of the guided tours or check out the facility and the Hall of Fame on your own.
The military is a staple of the Colorado Springs lifestyle, and the United States Airforce Academy is another impressive place to visit. Explore the Honor Court, enjoy graduation ceremonies, and see some spectacular flying.
Families love visiting the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, where you can feed giraffes, ride the zoo’s chairlifts, and experience various animal encounters.
Schools and Universities
US News ranks Colorado as #11 in the nation for education on their rankings scorecard. They report that Colorado Springs features 51 public schools and 29 private schools, six of which are featured in US News & World Report’s Best High Schools.
Some of the best school districts serving the area include Cheyenne Mountain (the second best school district in all of Colorado, according to Niche), Academy School District No. 20, and Colorado Springs School District No. 11.
Educational opportunities go above and beyond high school in Colorado Springs. Based on information from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Education, the area offers a broad range of possibilities for higher education. Some of these opportunities include:
- Colorado College
- University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
- The United States Air Force Academy
- Pikes Peak Community College
- Colorado Technical University
- Colorado Christian University
Neighborhood Scout research shows that Colorado Springs is only safer than 11% of US cities. Chances of being a victim of violent crime are about 1 out of 187.
If you have little ones or safety is a major concern, there are plenty of secure neighborhoods in this outstanding area. Some of the safest Colorado Springs neighborhoods include Fort Carson, Black Forest, and Gleneagle.
Setting up your utilities can be a source of stress. The Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) website provides helpful tools and access to your utilities’ accounts, with ways to view and pay for your usage. This site is one of the best places to get started with your utility setup, as they provide different services to residents of Colorado Springs.
Energy companies in Colorado Springs include:
Water companies in the area are:
- Colorado Springs Utilities
- Manitou Springs
- The Park Forest Water District
- Stratmoor Hills Water and Sanitation Districts
- Widefield Water and Sanitation District
- Security Water and Sanitation District
- Donala Water & Sanitation District
- Cherokee Metro District
For trash disposal, contact:
Internet and cable providers include:
We recommend networking or asking your realtor, which utility providers to call based on your address. Otherwise, visit websites and call the service providers to determine which services are best for you. We hope the above links will help you find the best utility providers in your particular neighborhood.
Best Neighborhoods in Colorado Springs, CO
Where would you like to live in Colorado Springs?
The Broadmoor is a wealthy Southwest neighborhood of Colorado Springs with a population of 35,664. Many of the homes and buildings were built between the 1920s and 1940s. This established neighborhood is located south of the downtown area, west of I-25, and borders Norad and Cheyenne Mountain.
The Broadmoor homes range from historic properties with lovely landscaping and old trees to enormous modern residences. In Broadmoor, old barns on expansive farms plus updated amenities give a sense of tradition in a modern world.
Locals covet The Broadmoor due to its low crime rates and Cheyenne Mountain School District 12, the second-best school district in Colorado with schools like Broadmoor Elementary and The Colorado Springs School.
One of the top things to do in The Broadmoor is visiting The Broadmoor Hotel and Resort. You’ll have access to a full golf course, a fitness center, swimming pools, restaurants, and much more. Residents also love Bear Creek Regional Park and Cheyenne Mountain State Park for outdoor fun.
The median list home price is $485,000 based on data from realtor.com. Rent Café says the average rental price as of May 2019, is $1,147 per month, and some of the cheapest apartments available are in Broadmoor Park Tower and Broadmoor Park Terrace.
Northgate is on the northern edge of the city and is named for its closeness to the Northgate of the United States Air Force Academy, according to Springs Homes. This neighborhood of 3,515 is known for its abundance of retail shops and restaurant stops. It’s a quiet location, just far enough from the city, that’s excellent for families.
According to Home Snacks, Northgate’s median home value is $409,033. Extra Space says the median monthly rent is $1,430. These higher prices make sense when you consider the area provides lower crime rates than the rest of Colorado Springs and has a median income of close to $100,000.
If you’re looking for the best schools for your little ones, Northgate is the place to go. Some of their highly-rated campuses include The Classical Academy, The Da Vinci Academy, and the Air Academy High School. If you’re hunting for your dream home, you’re going to find a great mix of townhouses, apartments, custom homes, and patio homes for sale.
Some of the most exciting things to do in Northgate include:
- Fox Run Regional Park
- Magnum Shooting Center
- Monument Ice Rinks
- Atmosphere Gastropub
Love the city life? Briargate is in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. This buzzing neighborhood has a population of 48,215, with a median home value of $370,600 according to Zillow. The median rent price in the area is $1,950 per month, according to Trulia. Briargate is a master-planned community with affordable move-in-ready homes that are large with beautiful yards. Many of Briargate’s homes sit on a half an acre or more, right in downtown.
As you can see from the numbers, purchasing a home is preferable to those high rent prices. Briargate is a popular area, and homes don’t stay on the market very long, according to Your Colorado Springs House.
Things to do include shopping at Chapel Hills Mall, exercising at the YMCA, and exploring Venezia Community Park. Excellent schools serve this community, including Rampart High School. Plus, you are still close to the Air Force Academy.
If you’re looking for space without losing the privileges of living in the city, Briargate could be perfect for you.
Another neighborhood that offers plenty of open space is Black Forest. Many of these homes in this community are built on a few acres of property, according to Your Colorado Springs House. Black Forest sits where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, bordered by Highway 83 on the east, County Line Road on the North, and Woodmen Road on the South.
Parks in the area include Fox Run Regional Park and Black Forest Regional Park. Residents enjoy biking, hiking, and raising horses. Black Forest is a great place for families who appreciate being outdoors together but still want access to city life with amenities like movie theaters and fine dining.
About 14,188 residents call Black Forest home, according to datausa.io. The median property value is $478,700, showing 5.74% growth in home prices over the past year. The average rent is $1,396, which has decreased over the past year. Home ownership is 94.3%
Academy School District 20 and the Lewis-Palmer School District serve Black Forest. Schools include:
- Ray E Kilmer Elementary (rated 177th of 917 CO Elementary Schools by Schooldigger)
- School in the Woods (a specialized school for 4th graders selected through the lottery system)
- Pine Creek High School (ranked 32nd within Colorado, according to US News)
Those who dream of the outdoorsy Colorado Springs lifestyle will adore Rockrimmon. This grouping of neighborhoods is just north of the Garden of the Gods, between Rockrimmon Boulevard and Woodmen Road. Winding roads pass through the foothills, offer stunning city views from some properties, and keep this area a bit isolated from the hustle and bustle of downtown.
Rockrimmon has access to Mountain Shadows Park and the Air Force Academy’s Equestrian Center. You can do anything from horse riding to spelunking in this neighborhood. Other activities include sampling the beers at Trinity Brew, enjoying a casual meal at Marigold Café & Bakery, and honing your skills at Adventure Golf and Batting Cages. This neighborhood of 5,124 is only a few minutes from the downtown area so that you can experience city life at any given time.
Extra Space states that Rockrimmon has a median home price of $327,777 and a median rent of $971. These costs are relatively low compared to the previously discussed neighborhoods. Many of the homes in Rockrimmon were built in the 1970s and have distinctively retro features, but construction currently continues.
Families love that Rockrimmon is safer than 67% of the cities in Colorado. They are also satisfied with the highly-rated public and private schools here, including:
- Rockrimmon Elementary School
- Eagleview Middle School
- Pikes Peak Academy
- CIVA Charter High School
Old North End
If you don’t want to get too far away from the action of the city life, but also want a secure place for yourself and your family, check out Old North End. This small historic district of 9,276 residents is full of friendly neighbors, historic sites, and shopping options.
According to Extra Space, the median home price is $221,109, and the median rent is $819 in Old North End. These are excellent prices, especially for a neighborhood considered to be a safe Colorado Springs location with great schools, including:
- Palmer High School (ranked 138th in Colorado)
- Steele Elementary School (ranked a 7/10 on Great Schools)
- Divine Redeemer Catholic School
North End residents love spending the day at Monument Valley Park. You can enjoy an outdoor pool and soccer fields here. On Labor Day, don’t miss out on the unique Colorado Springs Labor Day Lift Off, complete with hot air balloon rides and thrilling competitions.
Old Colorado City
Old Colorado City is just minutes from downtown. The historic character featuring old-style shops and stores gives this area a unique vibe. This neighborhood is north of Colorado College between Weber and Nevada Street, and Uintah and Lilac Street.
Movoto.com says that some of the hottest spots locals enjoy include Rudy’s Country Store & Bar-B-Q and Thunder and Buttons II. Old Colorado City’s 2,130 residents also enjoy the art galleries, evening concerts, and charming boutiques that line the streets.
Zillow shows that the median home value here is $270,400, and Trulia reports the median rent per month is $1,450. You can certainly find your dream home here, whether you choose a single-family home or apartment. You children can attend these schools:
- Mountain Song Community
- West Elementary School
- The University School
- Bristol Elementary School
The schools in the area are rated lower than other areas in Colorado Springs, with Bristol Elementary School receiving the highest rating of 6/10.
According to Great Colorado Homes, Powers Corridor is one of the most active areas for real estate in all of Colorado Springs, and there are plenty of reasons for that. Powers Corridor is populated by 152,311 and is bordered by Powers Boulevard on the west, Marksheffel Road on the east, Woodmen Road on the north, and Colorado Springs Airport on the south. Located on the eastern edge of Colorado Springs, Powers Corridor is proximate to high-quality amenities like shopping, entertainment, and parks. There are loads of outdoor locations, including Stetson Hills Open Space and Springs Ranch Park.
An added benefit is this neighborhood’s proximity to both the Peterson Air Force Base and the Colorado Springs Airport, making Powers Corridor a top choice for military families.
You’ll find a variety of smaller single-family homes and larger ranch-style homes within Powers Corridor. The median home value, based on Area Vibes, is only $184,842 (which is about the US average). The median rent price is $1,112, which is just slightly above the median rent price in the US.
Students attend Falcon School District 49 and Colorado Springs School District 11. Just a few of these schools include:
- Vista Ridge High School (receiving a five on Great Schools)
- Skyview Middle School (receiving a six on Great Schools)
- Stetson Elementary (receiving a four on Great Schools)
- Evans International Academy (receiving a three on Great Schools)
Grab your clubs and enjoy public golf courses like Cherokee Ridge and Springs Ranch. You’re also close to the Sky Sox baseball stadium if you want to catch a game.
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Your move to Colorado Springs can be smooth and trouble-free with the right professional help. Take advantage of help with heavy lifting and moving that will mean less stress for yourself and your loved ones. Contact Great Guys Moving for free quotes, and we’ll connect you with the best movers near you.