renting buying when moving to denver

From Renting to Buying: How to Plan Your Move in Denver

Congratulations! After years of planning, sacrifice, dreaming, and planning, you are finally ready to stop renting and start building equity. Buying a home is a huge step, and if this is your first property, you might not be fully prepared to make the complete transition from renting to buying.

In addition to finding excellent local movers in Denver to help you chart a stress-free relocation, here are a few tips to help you seamlessly transition from renting to being a homeowner.

Is It Better to Rent or Buy When First Moving Out?

Many young people are flocking to Denver – and for good reason. The city has an active nightlife, several entry-level, well-paying jobs, and a robust housing market. However, if you are just starting out, you are probably asking yourself if you should consider renting – or if it is time to buy a house.

Here are a few telltale signs you are ready to make the leap into home ownership:

  • You have a steady job in a thriving industry.
  • You have a low debt-to-income ratio. Experts agree that a good debt-to-income ratio is below 36% for potential homebuyers.
  • You have plenty of money saved for a down payment and closing costs.
  • You have a great credit score.
  • You have enough savings to handle any necessary repairs for at least the following year.

Once you have your proverbial ducks in a row, you can start actively searching for your first house in Denver!

moving to denver

Is Moving to Denver a Good Idea?

Are you considering moving to Denver, Colorado? Buying a house is a huge investment, and if you are relocating to Denver for work, leisure, or simply enjoying a much-needed change of scenery, you need to consider if purchasing a home in Denver is a good investment.

Nestled at the base of the incomparable Rocky Mountains, Denver is a big city that feels like an idyllic small town. Denver, and the whole of Colorado, has evolved in the past few years, and in many ways, it feels like a new city. Colorado has always been innovative, from the state’s push to legalize recreational marijuana to its progressive, inclusive school districts.

There are abundant green spaces in the greater Denver area, and if you are a nature enthusiast who loves outdoor adventure, you will never have a dull moment living in Denver. Colorado is home to thousands of miles of hiking and bike trails, not to mention skiing, white water rafting, and canoeing.

However, be aware that although Denver is a great place to call home and one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, there are a few downsides to enjoying the mountain views of this impressive city.

Although the income growth in the Denver area is steady, housing costs are growing at a tremendous rate. The crime rate in Denver is higher than the national average and higher than other comparable cities, including San Francisco, Seattle, Portland, and Minneapolis.

Denver is known as the Mile High City for one simple reason: it sits approximately one mile above sea level or 5280 feet. The city’s high altitude is a genuine concern for people with chronic health conditions, so consult with your doctor before exploring Denver’s real estate market.

Denver Sports Teams

Living in Denver has its ups and downs. However, if you are a sports nut, there is no denying the attraction of Denver’s outstanding professional sports teams. From the Colorado Rockies to the Denver Broncos and Denver Nuggets – Denver is a sports lover’s dream location.

When you are done enjoying a game, visit one of the many bars and restaurants in the downtown Denver area. Remember, Denver is known for its beer and has even been called the “Napa Valley of Beer!”

rental vs homeowning
They say renting is “dead money” and there’s an element of truth to that. But while monthly mortgage payments are typically less than rental rates, you must prove to your bank that you can afford to make these payments over the next 30 years

Keep the Pros and Cons of Renting vs. Buying In Mind

Denver is at the top of your list – but you still aren’t sure if you should continue renting or if you should purchase a starter home. Here are a few of the pros and cons of both renting and buying. Hopefully, these simple tips will help you might the right decision:

mortgageAre You Ready to Make the Commitment?

Purchasing a home is a 15 to 30-year commitment. Buying a new home at any stage of your life, after university, after getting married, or even retiring is a major financial commitment. Make sure that you are not only secure in your current living situation – but can also handle the financial responsibility of owning a house both today and in the future.

rental marketThe Rising Costs in the Rental Market

The rental market is brutal, and it is becoming more challenging to find affordable housing in all big cities – including Denver. The average rental price for a modest one-bedroom apartment in the metro Denver area is approximately $1,970 a month!

This is much higher than rental costs in other comparable cities throughout the country. When you also factor in the additional fees, including parking, snow removal, and utilities, renting an apartment can often be more cost prohibitive than purchasing a modest home.

Contact a rental agent in the Denver area and discuss your options before deciding whether to purchase or rent.

family needsConsider the Needs of Your Family

Having children is a major life change – and a major reason why many young adults choose to purchase a home rather than rent an apartment. A home purchase provides more stability. As your children grow and enter school, you will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your children have a comfortable home in a familiar neighborhood.

Whether you decide to purchase a home or rent an apartment, the fantastic team at Denver Moving Group is there is help plan your relocation and ensure that wherever you wind up, your moving experience will be as stress-free as possible.

denver suburb

Neighborhood Comparison in the Mile High City

Denver is an ever-evolving, diverse city with several excellent neighborhoods to call home. However, if you asked the locals, they would tell you a handful of neighborhoods are the most desirable. Here are a few:

Washington Park

A popular neighborhood that is arguably the best in the city, Washington Park is known for being safe, quiet, and friendly. Situated in Southern Denver, Washington Park feels like a small town within driving distance of a big city! The housing costs in Washington Park are some of the highest in Denver, and there are fewer bars, restaurants, shopping centers, or grocery stores than in other areas of the city.

Downtown Denver

Most people move to a big city for a uniquely urban experience. If you attend the University of Denver or any other college in Colorado, moving to downtown Denver is the perfect way to experience the city. Lower Downtown, or “LoDo,” is an emerging neighborhood with some of the city’s best bars, restaurants, and the very popular Confluence Park.

Capitol Hill

Lovingly known as “Cap Hill” by the locals, Capitol Hill is one of if not the oldest neighborhoods in Denver. The area is picturesque, with tree-lined streets and statuesque Victorian mansions. The neighborhood provides easy access to the downtown area, and the rent is some of the most affordable in the city.

The only real downside to Capitol Hill is the parking. The neighborhood has some of the worst parking in the city. In most cases, you must purchase a parking pass if you want to call Capitol Hill home.

Cherry Creek

New residents of Denver often flock to Cherry Creek – and for good reason. The combination of high-end boutiques, unique architecture, the Cherry Creek Bike Path, and friendly people make Cherry Creek one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in the city. Unfortunately, Cherry Creek also features some of the most expensive home prices in the entire state.

avian coffee cherry creek

Researching Popular Denver Neighborhoods

Whether you are searching for your dream home near the Denver Tech Center or have your heart set on a modern one-bedroom with easy access to the Rocky Mountain National Park that features minimal ski traffic, always do your homework before you start packing and planning your new life in Denver. Research the school districts, crime statistics, and other amenities.

Finding a Home in Denver’s Suburbs

The median home price in Denver is $589,500, which is an approximately 2% increase from the past year. For many, living in the suburbs of Denver is a financially-responsible decision. Denver has several fabulous suburbs that offer easy access to the city and all its amenities. Here are a few of the best suburbs around Denver to consider calling home:

  • Derby, CO. The current median home price in Derby is around $411,000 – making it a much more affordable option. The city is a mere 20-minute drive from Denver and boasts an excellent school system and plenty of outdoor activities, including the South Platte River.
  • Northglenn, CO. A 20-minute drive from the city, Northglenn has much more affordable housing options. With a population of just over 38,000 residents, you can enjoy the simpler life of a smaller town without sacrificing the excitement of living in an urban area. Living in Northglenn can genuinely give you the best of both worlds!
  • Aurora, CO. Another excellent option for families, Aurora, CO, is located about 25 minutes outside downtown Denver. The average home price is once again less than Denver, at $486,500, and there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a Sunday afternoon in this fun suburb, including the Plains Conservation Center.

avian coffee cherry creek

Prepare Your Finances Before Purchasing a House

Did you know it takes the average American almost five months to find their dream home? This doesn’t even include the time it takes to inspect the house and close on the property. One key step in purchasing your first home in Denver is to have your finances in order. This will ensure each step of the process goes smoothly and the entire experience is as seamless and stress-free as possible.

credit scoreUnderstand Your Credit Score

First and foremost, check your credit score. Every American is entitled to a free credit report from all three of the major credit bureaus: Experian, TransUnion, and Equifax. Check for inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and any problems that could make it challenging to secure a mortgage. Take any necessary steps to repair your credit before submitting a mortgage application.

Pay off high credit card debt, pay down any secured and unsecured loans, and whatever you do, do not make any major purchases that could lower your credit score, such as a new car.

down paymentSaving For a Down Payment

No matter what your salary, job title, or credit score – most banks, credit unions, and every other lender will ask for a downpayment. The typical downpayment on a home is anywhere from 3% to 20%. A healthy downpayment sends a clear message to potential lenders: You are serious about home ownership and will not pose a high risk.

There are a multitude of simple ways you can save money for a downpayment. For example, take advantage of a strong economy and ask for a raise or get a part-time job. Cutting your expenses, from eating at home to skipping your morning Starbucks run, can also help you save money very quickly.

closing houseWhat Exactly Are Closing Costs?

The cost of purchasing a home can seem overwhelming, and while you are setting aside money for a downpayment, also remember to squirrel some extra cash away from closing costs. Closing costs cover the multitude of fees that come with closing on any property, including:

  • Taxes
  • Real estate commissions
  • Record filing fees
  • Mortgage underwriting and origination

The average closing costs are anywhere from 2% to 5% of the home’s price. For example, if the house costs $200,000, you can expect to pay from $4,000 to $10,000 on closing costs alone.

buying new apartment

A Guide to House Hunting in Denver

You are taking the plunge and hiring a long-distance moving company to relocate you and your family to Denver! You are excited to purchase your first home in the Denver area and just need a little help navigating the tricky Denver real estate market.

Whether you are moving to Denver, Portland, Seattle, or anywhere else in the country, you must follow a handful of easy steps to ensure the transition from renter to homeowner is smooth.

budget Understand Your Budget

Start with an in-depth, honest review of your current budget. Put that budget aside and start researching the actual cost of living in Denver. Denver has a relatively high cost of living, and even though the average wage in Denver is higher than the national average, you will still need to set aside at least 30% of your budget for the mortgage.

mortgage pre approvalObtain a Mortgage Pre-Approval

Looking for your dream home online is one of the most exhilarating parts of being a first-time home buyer. However, before you become too preoccupied with finding the perfect home, contact at least two to three lenders and secure a mortgage pre-approval.

This pre-approval letter will not only show Denver homeowners that you are serious about purchasing the property, but the pre-approval also gives you a price range.

locationIt’s All About Location

There is an old saying in real estate about the importance of location. Consider not only the square footage and number of bedrooms and bathrooms but also the neighborhood and location of your new place. Choose an up-and-coming neighborhood in a great school district close to your new job, shopping, and a local grocery store.

realtorFind the Right Real Estate Agent

You’ve researched, obtained a pre-approval mortgage, and are comfortable with your credit score. Now it’s time to contact a real estate agent. Choose an established agent who knows the Denver area well and has the skill set to negotiate the best price for your first home in Colorado!

denver moving group

Ready to Make the Leap? Contact the Professionals at Denver Moving Group

Moving is an overwhelming experience, especially if you are already stressed by the prospect of home ownership. You need a partner that can help you navigate the complex process of moving long-distance. At Denver Moving Group, we understand how taxing finding the right movers can be. That is why when you are ready to start packing and moving, we will be there to guide you through every step of the process.

A Full-Service Denver Moving Company That Can Meet All Your Needs

With several decades of serving our amazing customers throughout the Denver area, the pros and Denver Moving Group are highly-trained, skilled, and very knowledgeable about the Denver area. We can help you prepare for moving day – and beyond.

Services We Offer

In addition to comprehensive long-distance moving services, we also offer packing and short-term storage. Need help learning how to pack your belongings? Or even better, want to work with a moving company offering packing services? Our fantastic team will do whatever it takes to make your move as simple and straightforward as possible!

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Our team are on standby, waiting to take your call for a free moving quote. Contact us today!

Contact the Team at Denver Moving Group Today!

Are you ready to start your adventure in Denver? Contact us immediately for a free quote on all your moving needs, including packing, moving and storage, and for some helpful moving tips from the experts!

Picture of John Brikertalli

John Brikertalli

John is a mover since he can't remember when. As a son to a family of movers, John has experience in all moving aspects. Contact us and ask John about your next move.

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