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5 things to know before moving from California to Denver

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In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of Californians packing up and moving to Denver, Colorado. This trend can be attributed to factors such as Denver’s more affordable cost of living and thriving job market. Likewise, the desire to avoid the high taxes and crowds of California is pushing Golden State residents to Colorado. This article will introduce things to know before moving from California to Denver. In this way, you will arrive at a more confident decision about relocation. Also, with suggestions from the best movers in California, you’ll find out the easiest way to prepare for that move.

Main things to know before moving from California to Denver

Denver is the capital of the state of Colorado and also the largest city in the state, with a population of over 700,000 people. It is located in the central part of the state, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. As a major transportation hub, Denver has a diverse economy focused on a wide range of industries. These include telecommunications, healthcare, finance, and technology. It is also home to a large tourism industry, thanks to its numerous attractions, cultural scene, amazing culinary scene, and numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation.

high buildings in Denver aren't rare which is one of the things to know before moving from California to Denver
Moving from California to Denver can bring many benefits

According to, California ranks second in the number of residents moving to Colorado. Although the reasons for moving can be varied, personal or business in nature, what most often prompts California residents to move to Denver are:

  • Cost of living
  • Job market
  • Weather and climate
  • Lifestyle and culture

Whether you’re moving from California to Denver solo or with your family, you’ll find what you need because Denver has so much to offer.

Cost of living is one of the things to know before moving from California to Denver

When you plan to move, it is very important to take into account the cost of living in that town. This will help you decide to move and prepare enough funds to start in the new city. The cost of living in California is generally higher than in Denver. As a matter of fact, according to a report by NerdWallet, the price of life in San Francisco is up to 62.6% higher than in Denver. The main factors contributing to this cost difference are housing, transportation, and food.

couple sitting on the floor with notes in the hands talking about the things to know before moving from California to Denver
There are a lot of things to know before moving from California to Denver, so research them well

Housing costs

Housing costs are significantly higher in California, especially in cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. The median home price in San Francisco is around $1.35 million, while Denver’s median home price is around $500,000. Rent is also higher in California, with San Francisco being one of the most expensive rental cities in the world.

It’s good to know that the most expensive neighborhood in Denver is Cherry Creek. It has a significantly higher median home price of $3,488,577 and a median rent of $1,696. However, the Mile High City can offer several decently priced neighborhoods. Among them are Washington Park, Park Hill, Fort Logan, and Berkeley.

Transportation costs

Transportation costs are also higher in California due to the steep prices of gasoline and tolls. Denver has a well-connected public transportation system that offers affordable rates for commuting. The city’s Regional Transportation District is composed of buses and trains and can get you anywhere you want to go. Other transit options include Free Mall Ride, Free Metro Ride, Flatiron Flyer, and Access-a-ride.

Food costs

Food costs are generally higher in California due to the state’s agricultural industry and higher demand for organic and locally sourced food. However, Denver offers a lower cost of groceries compared to coastal cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles. According to, grocery prices in Denver are just 1.9% higher than the national average. Several websites can help you calculate the cost-of-living difference so that you can plan your budget accordingly. These include Numbeo,, Bankrate, SmartAsset as well as CNN Money, and Zillow.

fruits and vegetables with prices
Research the prices of groceries, housing, health care, and transportation before you decide to move

The tax system in Denver

California has a more complex tax system than Denver, with higher rates in many categories. The income tax rate is 13.3%, while Denver has a rate of 4.63%. Also, California has a state sales tax rate of 7.25%, but local taxes can raise the rate to as high as 10.25%. In Denver, the sales tax rate is 4.31%. And finally, California has a corporate tax rate of 8.84%, while Denver has a tax rate of 4.63%. As you can see, moving from San Francisco to Denver will save you a lot of expenses regarding the tax system.

Job opportunities in Denver

Denver has many business opportunities in a variety of industries. Construction is one of the fastest-growing industries in Denver, but you’ll also find work in healthcare, technology, tourism, and education. Denver is home to several multinational technology companies, such as IBM, Google, and Microsoft. And among educational institutions, the University of Colorado Denver and Regis University offer various jobs. The highest paying job is Orthopedic Surgeons, with an average salary of $317,850. You can see the salaries of other professions as well as job offers on the website.

Weather and climate are also important things to know before moving to Denver from California

California has a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers. On the other hand, Denver has a semi-arid climate with four distinct seasons. The city is located in the high plains region, with an average elevation of 5,280 feet above sea level. This results in cooler temperatures in the summer and colder temperatures in the winter due to the thinner atmosphere at higher elevations. The city is also known for its sudden and unpredictable weather changes, so it’s important to be prepared for all types of weather when living in the area.

street of Denver covered with the snow
Denver is known for its snowy winters

Denver’s lifestyle and culture

Denver’s lifestyle and culture are characterized by a deep appreciation for nature, community, and creativity. Denverites love spending time in the great outdoors, whether it’s hiking in the nearby Rocky Mountains, skiing and snowboarding, or simply strolling through one of the city’s many parks. Contrarily, Californians enjoy surfing, beach volleyball, jogging, and sunbathing. It may affect the disruption of your daily routine after moving, but it does not mean that you will be bored.

A fun thing to know before moving is that a thriving music scene in High Mile City caters to a wide range of tastes. California is known for its Hollywood movies and TV industry, while Denver is famous for its live music, art, and cultural festivals. Another difference is reflected in the food culture. It varies a lot between these two states. California has a diverse food scene, offering cuisine from around the world. In contrast, Denver has a strong Western culinary influence, with dishes that include steak, bison, and Mexican food.

The best way to plan and prepare for your move

Planning and preparing for a move can be a lengthy process. Give yourself enough time to research and organize all the details. A good rule of thumb is to start at least 2 months in advance. One of the most important things is choosing the right moving company. Research the options and read reviews to find a reputable moving company. Get quotes from multiple companies and make sure they are properly licensed and insured. The American Moving and Storage Association offers a directory of reputable moving companies. If you don’t have time or don’t want to pack everything yourself, consider hiring a packing service from California intrastate movers. Be sure to notify important parties, such as your utility companies, banks, and the post office, of your new address.

Two movers standing in the room with cardboard boxes in the hands
Find reputable movers to ensure a smooth relocation

These were the main things to know before moving from California to Denver

Moving can be a rewarding experience, but it’s important to do your due diligence and make an informed decision. Take the time to research all things to know before moving from California to Denver. Also, consider seeking advice from professional moving companies, real estate agents, or financial advisors to ensure a smooth and successful transition. The city of Denver can offer a lot of benefits but think about all aspects of the move before making a final decision.

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