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Should You Buy or Rent in Denver?

Moving to Denver? When it comes to finding a home, there are a lot of factors to consider before you decide whether you’ll rent a home or buy a home in Denver. Start by asking yourself these questions:

  • How well do you know the Denver metro?
  • How long do you plan to stay in the Mile High City?
  • Can you afford to buy in your preferred neighborhood?

Now that you’ve thought about these questions, you’re ready to begin your research! Explore the pros and cons of renting vs buying in Denver below!

Jump to: Best Places to Buy a Home in Denver | Best Places to Rent a Home in Denver

Reasons to Buy in Denver

Homeownership is a big responsibility and investment, but if you’re ready to plant some roots and settle down into your forever home, it’s worth it. Here are some advantages of owning a home in Denver!

Good Investment

Denver has one of the hottest housing markets, and it’s a market that favors buyers, too. The city ranked 13th for overall real estate investment and development, and experts believe there’s a strong return on investment with the Denver real estate market because the city is forecasted to continue to grow over the next ten years.

Low Mortgage Rates

In 2020, mortgage rates fell to a historic low at 2.78% and have continued to fall. While low mortgage rates do usually come with higher processing fees, if you plan to stay at your new house for more than four years, you’ll end up saving money with low mortgage rates.

Earn Equity

Real estate investments are one way to help grow your financial assets. While money paid into rent is money you’ll never see again, mortgage payments can help build equity ownership. That means, when you invest in Denver real estate, you can build equity in your home.

Low Property Tax

Did you know Denver is one of the largest cities with the lowest property tax? Compared to other big cities like San Antonio, which has a property tax rate of 1.85%, Denver’s 0.49% property tax is an easy bill to pay. If you’re looking to buy a home in a big city but don’t want to pay big-city taxes, the Mile High City is a great option!

Get More Space

Considering the average size of an apartment in Denver is around 841 square feet, homes for sale in Denver provide more living space. Recently built Denver houses average over 2,400 square feet, which means you’ll have extra space to create a workout room, home office, toy room, or whatever you need!

Customize to Your Style

When you own a home, you’re able to customize the space exactly how you want because you’re no longer bound to leasing agreements. Not only can you do simple fixes like paint the walls or mount your TV, but you can also design a Pinterest-worthy mudroom, landscape your yard, and work on other major remodels!

Put Down Roots

If you’re looking to settle down, raise a family, and be part of a community, buying a home may be the right choice for you. You can get to know the neighborhood, build lasting relationships with neighbors, and get involved with your local community.

Best Places to Buy a Home in Denver

Below are the Denver neighborhoods you should check out if you’re interested in buying a home!

  • Centennial
  • Central Park
  • Cherry Creek
  • Hampden South

Centennial

Single-family home in Centennial, CO for sale. Photo by Instagram user @madisonprops.

Photo via @madisonprops

  • Home Price: $339,300 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 53% of Colorado cities

Centennial is one of the best suburbs to buy a house in the Denver metro. Over 80% of the residents own their homes, and the dense suburban area is perfect for families and retirees who want a quieter place to live. This Denver suburb is home to top-ranked schools like Homestead Elementary School, Newton Middle School, and Arapahoe High School, so families won’t have to sacrifice good education opportunities by moving here. Also, Centennial has tons of attractions, including local parks, restaurants, and coffee shops.

Central Park

  • Home Price: $469,300 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 27% of Colorado cities

Central Park is an urban redevelopment project that consists of 12 individual neighborhoods. The area offers a wide range of housing options at every price point in order to create a diverse community that any family or young professional can afford. Potential homeowners can choose from a variety of homes, including ranch-style houses, rowhouses, townhomes, and more. The area is also home to Central Park, one of the largest parks in Denver, and several running trails, playgrounds, neighborhood pools, and award-winning schools!

Cherry Creek

  • Home Price: $663,500 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 55% of Colorado cities

Cherry Creek is a more affluent residential area in Denver with upscale single-family homes and a well-rated school district, making it an ideal neighborhood for families and retirees. Residents have access to a vibrant shopping scene with malls like Cherry Creek Shopping Center and local boutiques at Cherry Creek North, which has more than 400 stores. In addition, you can find a number of art galleries, a renowned yearly arts festival, and some of the city’s best restaurants in Cherry Creek!

Hampden South

  • Home Price: $277,859 median purchase price
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 65% of Colorado cities

Hampden South is known for attracting members of Denver’s growing tech scene. The area is recognized as one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods and offers a wide range of real estate options from traditional family homes built in the ’70s and ’80s to high-rise condos. Nearby Cherry Creek State Park offers boating, wildlife viewing, camping, and more. Hampden South also boasts a thriving nightlife with local hot spots that often draw singles and young professionals to the area.

Reasons to Rent in Denver

Not sure if you’re ready to buy a house? Renting in Denver has its benefits, too! Renters can find more affordable options, move from neighborhood to neighborhood, and search for the amenities they want.

Explore the City

If you’re new to Denver, renting is a great way to get to know and explore the city’s 78 neighborhoods before settling down into a more permanent residence. Since many rental options are available with 12-month, six-month, or even month-to-month leases, you can try out living in different areas without difficulty.

Find Top Amenities

Looking for a heated indoor pool? A fitness center? A balcony with a view? Renting Denver apartments means you can find the amenities you want! Denver has seen an increase in demand for apartments throughout the city, even in the suburbs. As a result, new apartment buildings have popped up throughout Denver with modern appliances and unique community amenities.

No Maintenance Costs

A top benefit of renting a home is the fact that maintenance costs are usually covered in your rent. Whether it’s fixing a running toilet or shoveling multiple inches of snow, landlords and rental companies typically have someone to take care of it for you. If your schedule is hectic or you simply don’t want to worry about home maintenance issues, renting may be perfect for you.

Fewer Living Expenses

Since rental properties are often smaller than residential homes, the utilities generally cost less. You’ll spend less money heating an apartment during the winter than you would a house. You’ll also spend less money on insurance. The average cost of renter’s insurance in Colorado is about $165 per year, whereas homeowner’s insurance costs around $1,200 per year.

More Flexibility

Not sure how long you’re staying in Denver? Renting provides much more flexibility when it comes to moving than buying does. The length of a lease is much less intimidating than that of a 30-year mortgage. Plus, you don’t have to worry about selling your home if you need to pick up and move quickly!

Best Places to Rent a Home in Denver

Below are the Denver neighborhoods you should check out if you’re interested in renting a home!

  • Capitol Hill
  • Highlands
  • LoDo
  • RiNo

Capitol Hill

Apartment complex in Capitol Hill. Photo by Instagram user @moderacaphill.

Photo via @moderacaphill

  • Home Price: $965 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 4% of Colorado cities

Capitol Hill is one of the more affordable Downtown Denver areas and is perfect for young professionals. Around 80% of residents in this dense urban area rent their homes. This Denver neighborhood is described as soulful, bustling, and gritty, with a mix of historic and hip, and it’s home to independent bookstores, retro diners, late-night pizza stops, and an electronic music venue. Residents will find a variety of recently built apartments, refurbished condos, and renovated lofts throughout Capitol Hill.

Highlands

Brick apartments with a Tudor-style office in Highlands, Denver. Photo by Instagram user @highlands32.

Photo via @highlands32

  • Home Price: $1,015 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 35% of Colorado cities

Located in the heart of downtown, the Highlands neighborhood is split into three major sections: Highlands Square, Tennyson Street, and Lower Highland (LoHi). All three areas have a variety of modern apartments, rowhouses, renovated lofts and condos, and more. Highlands Square is known for its trendy boutiques, coffee shops, local breweries, and restaurants, while Tennyson is recognized as the “Cultural District,” and has independently-owned businesses like BookBar and Denver Cat Company lining the street. With all these unique areas of the Highlands, you’re sure to find a great place to rent!

LoDo

View of two Denver apartments from the pool and hot tub amenities that come with a rental agreement. Photo by Instagram user @union_denver.

Photo via @union_denver

  • Home Price: $1,342 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 83% of Colorado cities

LoDo, or Lower Downtown Denver, is the city’s oldest neighborhood and has plenty of restaurants, shops, and public transit options via Union Station. Renters in LoDo will find a range of rental homes with breathtaking views and good walkability. Plus, this Denver neighborhood is a great place to live if you’re a sports fan! You can catch the Colorado Rockies (MLB) at nearby Coors Field or the Denver Nuggets (NBA) and Colorado Avalanche (NHL) at nearby Ball Arena.

RiNo

Contemporary apartments in RiNo, Denver, CO. Photo by Instagram user @camdenrino.

Photo via @camdenrino

  • Home Price: $ 1,017 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 0% of Colorado cities

Known as “America’s Most Improbably Cool Neighborhood,” River North Arts District (RiNo) is northwest of LoDo and has become more popular among renters over the years! Residents will find trendy renovated apartment spaces in repurposed warehouses and factory buildings—some of which also house restaurants, art galleries, breweries, and music venues. Plus, the buildings lining the streets feature a number of murals done by local Denver artists, which gives this Denver neighborhood a unique vibe.

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Whether you plan to buy or rent in Denver, Extra Space Storage has convenient self storage facilities located throughout the Mile High City. Find a storage unit near you!

Neighborhood and Suburb statistics from AreaVibes

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