8 Affordable Cities in Colorado: Budget-Friendly Places to Live in CO

Cheapest Cities to Live in Colorado

Colorado's stunning mountain ranges, rich culture, and endless outdoor recreation make it a popular destination in the U.S. From skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and camping in the summer, there's always something to do in the Centennial State. Whether vacationing or moving to Colorado, there are abundant communities and regions to choose from.

Living in an affordable city in Colorado can help individuals save money or spend it on unique experiences they won't soon forget. From affordable real estate to exciting cultural attractions, these inexpensive Colorado cities offer a high quality of life that's hard to beat.

Greeley

Aerial View of Greeley, Colorado

Situated roughly 30 miles southeast of Fort Collins and less than 65 miles north of Denver, Greeley offers a mix of affordability and proximity to a major metro area. It’s the tenth most populous city in Colorado, home to approximately 110,000 people. The blend of affordability and convenience to both natural areas and big cities earns Greeley a spot on many lists of the best cities in Colorado.

An affordable real estate market keeps the cost of living in Greeley relatively low. Townhouses, condos, and single-family homes are available at a range of prices, though they generally fall between $250,000 and $700,000. The rent in Greeley is also reasonable, with an average monthly cost of $1,400 for 800 square feet of living space. By comparison, Denver’s average monthly rent is $2,000, while Boulder’s is $2,500.

Greeley’s strategic location near Fort Collins enables residents to enjoy the perks of a major metro area while residing in a more affordable setting. Some of the most popular things to do in Greeley include visiting Island Grove Regional Park, combining dinner and a show at the Kress Cinema & Lounge, and exploring the scenic Poudre River Trail. The Greeley Stampede is a major attraction, welcoming rodeo enthusiasts for over 100 years. Additionally, Greeley has a thriving arts community, with numerous galleries and public art installations throughout the city.

Cortez

Located in Montezuma County in Colorado’s southwestern region, Cortez is an ideal destination for those seeking a blend of affordability and outdoor adventure. Rich in history, the area is home to many prehistoric sites, including the Canyon of the Ancients, Hovenweep National Monument, and Mesa Verde National Park. As one of the most affordable cities in Colorado, homes in Cortez typically start in the low $200s for a 1,000-square-foot rancher and range up to the high $600s for three bedrooms and 3,000 square feet. The average rent of $1,200 per month is 40% below the national average, 

Cortez is located less than 50 miles west of Historic Downtown Durango. Given the town’s proximity to more than 600 acres of parks, trails, and archeological sites, the roughly 9,000 residents of Cortez enjoy abundant outdoor recreation. This includes hiking through Hawkins Preserve, where visitors can explore the stunning views of Sleeping Ute Mountain, walking through Parque de Vida, or cycling through Phil’s World, which offers over 60 miles of singletrack mountain bike trails.

Pueblo

Historic Arkansas Riverwalk in Downtown Pueblo, Colorado

Pueblo is located at the Arkansas River and Fountain Creek confluence, about 112 miles south of Denver. It’s known for its large-scale steel production, hence the nickname “Steel City,” and is home to around 110,000 residents. Pueblo boasts a range of affordable housing options that help residents minimize their living costs in Colorado, including many ranch- and craftsman-style starter homes, with prices ranging from $100,000 to $400,000. For those willing to spend more, there’s a luxury market of mountain modern homes and pueblo-revival estates that cost around a million dollars. The average monthly rent for a spacious one- or two-bedroom apartment in Pueblo is $1,200.

Living in Pueblo is more affordable than living in a big city but still provides access to urban amenities when needed. The downtown area is lively, with a picturesque riverfront that offers boat rides on the Arkansas River. The city has unique attractions and activities, such as an annual hot-air balloon festival, the Colorado State Fair, and Lake Pueblo State Park.

Fort Collins

Fort Collins is a northern Colorado city, home to Colorado State University. Founded in 1864 as Camp Collins, it has a population of roughly 170,000, making it the fourth most populous city in Colorado. It’s known for its extensive hiking trails, bike paths, and proximity to some of the best camping sites in Colorado, which provide easy access to outdoor activities. Home prices vary widely depending on location, size, and features. However, they generally range from $200,000 to $600,000 for a detached single-family in the Craftsman style and two or three bedrooms. The city’s average monthly rent of $1,500 facilitates an affordable yet high-quality lifestyle, with many modern dwellings to choose from.

Due to its location at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins provides easy access to world-class hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. An active downtown filled with shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions makes Fort Collins even more appealing to residents and visitors. Additionally, the city has a thriving arts scene, with several museums, galleries, and theaters. These include the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, Bas Bleu Gallery, and the 1,200-seat Lincoln Center.

Colorado Springs

Colorado Springs is an Affordable Big City to Live in Colorado

Colorado Springs presents an enticing option for those considering a move to Colorado’s most affordable cities. It has a population of around half a million, half the size of Denver. However, it is the largest city in Colorado in terms of area. This means that residents can enjoy urban amenities, access to beautiful open spaces, and some of the best hikes in Colorado at nearby Pikes Peak.

Home prices in Colorado Springs are reasonable despite the city's proximity to Denver, making it an excellent option for those looking to buy or rent a home without breaking the bank. Condos, townhouses, and single-family homes can range in price from $200,000 to $700,000, depending on their location and amenities. For luxury home buyers, spectacular mountain view estates can list for up to $4 million. The average rent is $1,500 per month for 800 square feet of living space.

Colorado Springs residents enjoy affordable living, breathtaking mountain views, abundant schools, and a wide range of recreational activities. The city boasts top-rated attractions such as the Garden of the Gods, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Training Center, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, and the iconic Pikes Peak.

Other Affordable Cities in Southwest Colorado

Southwest Colorado offers numerous affordable cities such as Bayfield, Mancos, and Dolores. These towns are located near Durango and provide a charming rural-suburban atmosphere.

Bayfield is an excellent choice for those seeking an affordable town in Southwest Colorado. This picturesque community offers a lower living cost than larger cities in the state. Homes in Bayfield list from the $200s to the $900s. Homes in Mancos and Dolores are also affordable, with small-town atmospheres perfect for those who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. Home prices in both locations generally fall between $300,000 and $700,000.

Moreover, Southwest Colorado offers proximity to outdoor recreational opportunities, such as hiking, fishing, and camping. The region's major airports include Cortez Municipal Airport, Durango-La Plata County Airport, and Telluride Regional Airport.

Deciding Between Colorado’s Most Affordable Cities

When deciding between the most affordable cities in Colorado, it’s essential to consider the overall cost of living. This can vary significantly by location, so it's crucial to research the average housing prices, transportation, and proximity to Colorado’s national parks and attractions. Additionally, knowing Colorado's tax system can be helpful, including income, property, and sales taxes.

With insights into these factors, deciding between Colorado's most affordable cities should be easier and more informed!

If you're ready to move to Colorado, call Colorado Property Group of RE/MAX with Durango Homes for Sale at (970) 946-0601 to reach a local real estate agent who can help you find your dream home.

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