Moving To Colorado Springs - Your Complete 2021 Guide
Moving to Colorado Springs, CO, and want a quick rundown (or reminder) of everything you will want to know?
We will quickly cover all of the need-to-knows of Colorado Springs, Colorado living, and have you better prepared for your move to Colorful Colorado. We will cover the frequently asked questions (FAQ's), surrounding areas, schools, taxes, crime, and more. Let's get Into it!
FAQ's - Things To Know About Colorado Springs
What County Is Colorado Springs In? El Paso County
How Many People Live In Colorado Springs? Colorado Springs Population is 478,221 in 2019 (approximately 713,000 in El Paso County, CO). Making it the 2nd most populous city in Colorado, behind Denver
How Big Is Colorado Springs? 195 square miles making it the largest city in El Paso County (El Paso County being 2,130 square miles)
How High Is Colorado Springs? Colorado Springs Co elevation is 6035 feet
What is Colorado Springs Elevation Vs Denver? Colorado Springs is @ 6035', making it 755 feet higher than Denver @ 5280'
What Is Colorado Springs Area Code? 719
How Many Military Bases Are In Colorado Springs? 5 military installations
Are There Any Colorado Springs Alias'? Commonly referred to as "The Springs," "Front Range," "Southern Colorado," and "Olympic City"
Why Is Colorado Springs referred to as Olympic City USA? Because we are Home to the USA Olympic Training Center Colorado Springs
Is Colorado Springs A Good Place To Live? YES! Among several other reasons and accolades, US News & World Report Ranked Colorado Springs #1 Most Desirable Places To Live for 2018-2019
History Nugget - Who Founded Colorado Springs? General William Jackson Palmer in 1871
Colorado Springs Real Estate Market
The Colorado Springs real estate market here is extremely active and has been for several years now. The area's popularity and draw are evidenced by the inability for supply to catch up with the demand, and all indicators do not show this slowing any time soon.
Frankly, the secret is out - Colorado Springs is one of the last tourist destinations that offers residents and visitors so much while remaining affordable. Most tourist-like locations are too costly to live in and offer limited views and activities, but that is not the case for Colorado Springs. It is still, for now, affordable to live here, views for everyone, and there is plenty to do here, regardless of the season or person.
Beyond the 243 sunny days a year, the ability to enjoy any outdoor activity and sport for any season (except for surfing, obviously), the incredible weather in all four seasons, the majestic views of Pikes Peak and the Rocky Mountains, “The Springs” has also been ranked nationally for several sought-after qualities.
Most recently, Colorado Springs ranked nationally for the following accolades:
- #1 “Most Desirable Places To Live” 2020
- #1 “Best place For Veterans To Live” 2019
- #1 “Hottest Real Estate Market” 2020
- #1 “Fastest Growing City for Millennials” 2018
- #2 “Best Places To Retire” 2018
- #3 “Best Places To Live” 2019
- #5 “The 10 Best Cities For Jobs” 2019
The Average Cost Of Living In Colorado Springs
According to the data, we are 4.5% higher than the national average's cost of living. In comparison, the state of Colorado is approx 21.4% higher than the national average.
Colorado Springs is lower than the state’s cost of living averages in every category and lower than the national averages in every category, except for housing/home costs, which would likely be attributed to the area's insatiable demand.
Colorado Springs & Surrounding Areas
Here's The Deal:
When considering the best places to live in Colorado Springs and even neighborhoods in Colorado Springs, it is essential to know about the surrounding cities and areas as some may better fit your needs and wants.
The surrounding cities and areas include Monument, Falcon, Peyton, Fountain, and Manitou Springs. The majority of these areas residents work and play in Colorado Springs daily as the commute time does not differ that much from commuting within city limits.
Monument, just North of Colorado Springs, features a forested terrain that is the classic picture of Colorado living. It does not have as much of a commercial presence as the rest of “the city”, making it perfect for those looking for more secluded living, with potentially more acreage & larger lot sizes, rolling hills, and surrounding nature.
Falcon, East of Colorado Springs, is the start of Colorado’s eastern plains. Though you are in the plains you still have the mountain views in the distance, but without the rolling hills and heavily treed areas. This makes for beautiful sunrises and sunsets!
Peyton is very similar to Falcon, as it is just east of Colorado Springs. It is a little bit further out than Falcon and offers the opportunity of acreage making it a great place for solitude and a gorgeous golf course.
Fountain, South of Colorado Springs, is home to Fort Carson Army base, the largest military base (fort) in the area. Fountain continues to grow as its popularity continues to rise.
Manitou Springs, CO
Manitou Springs, West of Colorado Springs, is a charming town nestled at the foothills of the Rockies, is full of unique, locally-owned businesses and a thriving culture of its own. Its quaint and delightful surroundings, plus lack of commercial presence, makes for a cozy local hometown feeling.
Commuting & Travel
The average commute time in Colorado Springs is approximately 25 minutes, from one end of the city to the other. Of course, the time of day or weather can affect this, but fortunately, "The Springs" is not so big that you would have to contend with the typical big city, bumper to bumper traffic.
Colorado Springs To Denver Commute
The average commute time from Colorado Springs to south Denver is about 45 minutes via I-25 and can vary depending on the time of day, rush hour, and your destination. Downtown Denver tends to average approximately an hour and 15 minutes.
Because of the relatively short commute (compared to other cities), Denver's significantly higher home prices, and it's overwhelming size, we have many who work in Denver but choose living in Colorado Springs vs. Denver.
Colorado Springs To DIA (Denver International Airport)
It takes about an hour and 20 minutes to get to the Denver International Airport but once entering south Denver; you can take the E470 toll to save some time.
For those that fly often, some services offer transport via shuttle from Colorado Springs to Denver Airport.
Colorado Springs Airport
Located in the southeast part of the city, at Powers and Milton E. Proby Pkwy, the airport offers residents and visitors a more quick and convenient way to travel.
The smaller, easily accessible, and easy to navigate airport offers plenty of flights through its major airlines Delta, Frontier, American Airlines, and United.
Soon, Southwest airlines may also be available at the Colorado Springs Airport, as they are currently in talks.
Colorado Springs Weather
The weather in Colorado Springs is simply unbeatable, and contrary to popular belief, we are by no means an arctic tundra. Jokingly, we put a little blame on Coors Light's frozen Rocky Mountain commercials for that misconception.
When we do get snow, you can count it melting off within a day or two because of the amount of sunshine we get. So unlike other climates, you will not have to find somewhere to put the snow for 3-4 months.
The chart below shows the average temperatures and snowfall for each month, all of which are mild and make for beautiful days and comfortable evenings, especially in the summer months.
Monthly Average Temperature In Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs Snow & Rain Totals - Monthly Averages
Hazardous Weather In Colorado
Additionally, Colorado does occasionally experience hazardous weather conditions. These occurrences are mostly related to high winds, hail, winter freezes, and wildfires.
High winds can happen at any time of the year, but our windiest days tend to be in the Winter and Spring seasons. On some occasions, we have high wind gusts that can be strong enough to blow over fences and rough up some trees.
Each winter, we will have a cold front or two come through and drop the temperatures below freezing. This really should not be a concern for you, as with some common quick and easy precautions, the winter freezes should not cause you any issues.
Hail storms can sometimes be an issue for us and are most common in July and August's hotter summer months. Of course, it is usually only damaging when the hail is the size of a quarter or larger, but it can take a toll on rooftops, cars, trees, and more when it is large hail.
Lastly, with our dry climate, wildfires can occur close to home if conditions are right. You will see fire danger scales displayed in front of all the fire stations and forested parks, so people are aware of the caution they need to take.
These scales measure the potential fire risk based on the climate for that day, including dryness, temperature, and wind levels.
Colorado Springs School Information
There are currently ten school districts in Colorado Springs/ El Paso County, encompassing 51 public elementary, middle, and high schools and 29 private schools.
Thankfully, "The Springs" school system offers an incredible option of “choicing” your student into a school or school district outside of the school zone you reside within.
Choosing and getting into the school district best suited for your student does not have to dictate where you live. So home prices, the lack of available homes, your desired home type or community, etc. will not prevent your student from the opportunity to be enrolled in the school that will allow them to flourish.
Keep in mind this has to be approved by the district, and you would be responsible for transportation to and from the school if you are outside of that school zone’s bus routes.
Military Bases In Colorado Springs
Here in Colorado Springs, we are the proud home of 5 prevalent military installations: Fort Carson Army Post, The Air Force Academy, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, and Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station.
With such a large military presence here (approx 16% of the population being Veterans), you will experience a substantial appreciation for our soldiers here.
You will likely see a proud display of the Stars & Stripes throughout the area and year-round, as Colorado Springs people honor and pledge their support for those required to be away from loved ones and in harm's way when serving our Country.
U.S. Army Fort Carson
Fort Carson is a large Army base in southern Colorado Springs, extending to Fountain, CO, that has drawn more popularity and housing demands for both areas. The base is home to countless divisions and groups of the Army, Colorado Army National Guard divisions, and Army Reserves.
The United States Air Force Academy
The Academy, located in northwest Colorado Springs, is where Air Force and Space Force cadets are educated and groomed for their careers in the service and beyond.
Outside being a globally recognized military academy, the base is also a popular tourist spot. The base and its famous Chapel have up to a million visitors a year, making it one of the largest tourist destinations in Colorado Springs.
Peterson Air Force Base
Peterson Air Force base is located in the southeast part of town and shares an airfield with the Colorado Springs Airport.
Peterson AFB is currently picking up new roles within the military, as Peterson AFB now has a significant role in the new Space Force branch.
Schriever Air Force Base
Schriever Air Force Base sits just a few miles east of Peterson AFB and is also taking on an essential role in the United States Space Force branch of service.
Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station
Cheyenne Mountain, Air Force Station, is located in southwestern Colorado Springs, within Cheyenne Mountain itself. The impressive base is fully independent and self-sufficient, with its own power plant, water supply, and climate control.
Though its official title is now the Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, it is still known best, even by locals, as NORAD.
The North American Aerospace Defense Command center works in conjunction with other regions to defend North America, maintain air sovereignty, provide aerospace warning, including potential missile incoming, and even tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve (seriously).
Hospitals In Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs is home to several nationally ranked health centers, hospitals, and children's hospitals and a relatively new and impressive VA Center.
In total, there are four full-scale hospitals, with Memorial Health and Penrose St. Francis, each with a location south/ central and north to provide easy access to residents in all areas of the city.
Colorado Springs Tax Rate
Taxes in Colorado Springs are on par with national averages and depending on where you are coming from; you could very well experience savings when it comes to your taxes.
Colorado State Income Tax
Colorado’s state income tax is a flat rate of 4.63% and, unlike Federal Taxes, does not vary based on income level. Everyone pays the same state income tax rate, no matter the household income.
Colorado Springs Sales Tax
The total sales tax rate in Colorado Springs is 8.25%. This tax money is then broken down and distributed to city, county, and state governments.
Colorado Springs Property Tax
The property tax rate in Colorado Springs is 7.96%, which is then multiplied by the mill levy of .054454 to determine your annual property taxes.
Typically, you will find that the El Paso County Assessor's Office assessment is less than the home's actual value when selling.
Example for calculating your Assessed Value & Estimated Taxes:
$350,000 (Market Value As Assessed By El Paso County) x .0796 (Current Residential Assessment According To The County Website)
Equals= $27,860 (Assessed Value)
$27,860 (Assessed Value) x .054454 (Mill Rate) =
$1,517 In Estimated *Deductible Taxes Due Annually For A $350,000 Home
Seniors in Colorado Springs
In recent years, Colorado Springs has become a popular retirement community. There are many assisted living homes and neighborhoods and complexes reserved for 50+ year-olds. These neighborhoods and developments allow for a quiet, peaceful living for the retired residing in Colorado Springs. We were even voted as one of the best cities to retire in.
There are also plenty of discounts that seniors can take advantage of! Aside from the senior discounts at countless restaurants, stores, and entertainment places, there are also discounts on things like taxes!
El Paso County, which includes Colorado Springs, enacted a bill that gave eligible senior citizens a significant discount on their property taxes.
The Senior Homestead Exemption Act offers people over 65 years old a 50% discount on the taxes made for the first $200,000 of their property.
To be eligible, you must be at least 65 years old at the time of application and have lived in the property as your primary residence for at least ten years.
For example, assuming you meet the discount's requirements, if your home's market value is $200,000, the first $100,000 is exempt from property taxation. As you can see, this is a considerable discount for seniors that can save a ton of money on taxes!
Marijuana In Colorado Springs
As many people know, Colorado was one of the first states to legalize medicinal and recreational marijuana. Amendment 64, passed in 2012, was the bill that changed what Colorado Springs is known for to now include "pot."
Jokes aside, only medicinal marijuana can be purchased within Colorado Springs city limits and requires a medical card given out by licensed doctors.
Recreational marijuana, on the other hand, must be purchased outside of city limits and is currently being sold in dispensaries as close as Manitou Springs, CO, and Pueblo, CO.
The taxation on marijuana, both medicinal and recreational, is 15%, nearly double the regular sales tax rate. This inflated sales tax generates hundreds of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year for the state ($302,458,426 in 2019).
On a personal note, many locals, like ourselves, had concerns about the legalization of marijuana and how it would potentially affect our daily lives.
Fortunately, now that it has been legal for several years now, we have yet to notice any of those concerns being a reality. Aside from driving by the occasional dispensary and catching a whiff, you'll likely not even notice anything different.
Crime In Colorado Springs
Although Colorado Springs is already a large city that is still experiencing incredible growth year after year, the crime rate has, fortunately, maintained lower crime rates than many cities smaller in size and population.
In 2018, there were 5.5 violent crimes per 1000 people. Violent crimes can include but are not limited to assault, homicide, and robbery. The state average for violent crime rates is 3.97 per 1000 people, making Colorado Springs slightly higher than the state average.
Property crime can include theft, vehicle theft, and burglary. Per 1000 people in Colorado Springs, about 33.5 people experience property crime. On a state level, approximately 26.72 people per every 1000 become victims of property crime, then on a national level, about 22 out of 1000 experience property crime.
Overall, Colorado Springs is still tracking fairly close with state and national averages for crime rates. Of course, some feel the increase in the average crime rate over the last few years is due to the rapid growth Colorado Springs has been experiencing over the past several years.
We hope this information has assisted in what it's like to live in Colorado Springs, CO. It will quickly become evident to most as to why you commonly hear, “Colorado Springs voted best city to retire” or “Colorado Springs best places to live,” best places to visit, etc.
All in all; it is a beautiful city and a great place to live, raise a family, work, play, and retire. That said, let us be the first to welcome you. We look forward to being your neighbor.
Colorado Springs, wiki | USAFA | Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station | Peterson Air Force Base | Schriever Air Force Base | Fort Carson | Colorado Springs Tax Budgets | Homebuilding in Colorado Springs hits 13-year high in 2018 | Business | gazette.com | Colorado Springs Weather | El Paso County Tax Assessor | https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/PropertyTaxCalculations.pdf | https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/Motor%20Vehicle%20Registration%20Fees.pdf | https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/revenue/colorado-marijuana-tax-data | https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/