There’s a the age old question everyone thinks about when they decide to move to a city in Colorado:
Should I buy a place or rent?
Well, we aren’t here today to solve that problem for you exactly. We are just assuming you’ll do the right thing and a buy a place 😉
And while we are happy to tell you the best place to live in Colorado, this analysis is going to tackle the question of the best place to buy a house as an investor. That is we are going to try and determine the up and coming cities in the Centennial State.
To do that we are going to look at places in Colorado that are growing faster than average, but where home prices are below average. In every day terms, the ‘deals’.
The best deal in Colorado at the moment? That would be Edgewater according to our analysis.
Here’s a look at the top ten places to buy a home in Colorado:
- Edgewater (Photos | Homes)
- Thornton (Photos | Homes)
- Firestone (Photos | Homes)
- John (Homes)
- Longmont (Photos | Homes)
- Englewood (Photos | Homes)
- Loveland (Photos | Homes)
- Frederick (Homes)
- Westminster (Photos | Homes)
- Wheat Ridge (Photos | Homes)
The methodology that wen’t into this can be a bit complicated, so we’ll break it down for you in as much detail as we can below.
How do you determine the best places to buy a home in Colorado?
We were in real estate for almost five years and have been working on this site for another three. Suffice is to say, we’ve put a lot of thought into what goes into finding a good place to buy a home.
So all that thinking has come to this moment where we get to spell out how we’d approach finding an up-and-coming place to live in Colorado. Put differently, the analysis will try to find places in Colorado with undervalued homes relative to pent up demand.
To do that we looked at the most recent American Community Survey Census data for 2012-2016 and compared it to the previous vintage (2011-2015). Specifically, we used the following criteria:
- Y-o-Y Change In Population (People want to live here)
- Y-o-Y Change In Median Home Prices (People are willing to pay for it)
- Home Prices Relative To The State Average (It’s still kinda cheap)
We want places that are growing, have seen home prices increase in recent years, and are still ‘cheap’ for Colorado with the following caveats:
- Home prices had to be within 20% of the state average (Much lower than that and you get to some of the more dangerous places)
- Home prices increased in the last year, and
- Above 5,000 people (Bigger cities have more data points)
So of the 450 cities and towns in Colorado, only 16 places made it through our initial filters to even be considered.
We then ranked each place from 1 to 16 for the criteria mentioned above with 1 being the best for that criteria. We averaged the rankings to create a ‘best place to buy’ index with the place having the lowest index being the best.
Turns out that Edgewater is the best potential gem in the not-so-rough in the Centennial State.
Read on for more on these places.
Edgewater was named for its lakefront location at Sloan’s Lake. The town was incorporated in 1904.
Thornton consisted solely of farmland until 1953 when Sam Hoffman purchased a lot off Washington Street about seven miles (11 km) north of Denver. The town he laid out was the first fully planned community in Adams County, and the first to offer full municipal services from a single tax levy, including recreation services and free trash pickup. Thornton was named in honor of Former Colorado Governor Dan Thornton.|The Thornton Community Association (TCA) was formed in 1954 to help guide the new community’s development. By the end of 1955, Thornton had 5,500 residents in over 1,200 homes. The TCA was instrumental in Thornton’s 1956 incorporation as a city. Oyer G. Leary was elected the first mayor.
The town was named for Jacob Firestone, a landowner. The town was incorporated in 1908.
Longmont was founded in 1871 by a group of people from Chicago, Illinois. Originally called the Chicago-Colorado Colony, the men sold memberships in the town and with the proceeds purchased the land necessary for the town hall. As the first planned community in Boulder County, the city streets were laid out in a grid plan in a square mile. The city began to flourish as an agricultural community after the building of the Colorado Central Railroad line arrived northward from Boulder in 1877. During the 1940s, Longmont began to grow beyond these original limits.|During the 1960s the federal government built an air traffic control center in Longmont, and IBM built a manufacturing and development campus near Longmont. As agriculture waned, more high technology has come to the city, including companies like Seagate and Amgen; Amgen closed its Longmont campus in 2015. In April 2009, the GE Energy Company relocated its control solutions business to the area.
The history of Englewood begins in 1858, when gold was discovered on what came to be called Little Dry Creek by William Green Russell, an early settler of the high plains. Two years later, Thomas Skerritt, considered to be the founder of the city, established a home in the area, which was called Orchard Place. Four years later the first road connecting Denver and Orchard Place was created by Skerritt himself using his own plough. In 1879 the first telephone arrived in the area.
The city was founded in 1866 along the newly constructed line of the Colorado Central Railroad, near its crossing of the Big Thompson River. It was named in honor of William A.H. Loveland, the president of the Colorado Central Railroad. The city was founded one mile (1.6 km) upstream from the existing small settlement of St. Louis, the buildings of which were moved to the site of Loveland. For the first half of the 20th century the town was dependent on agriculture. The primary crops in the area were sugar beets and sour cherries. In 1901 the Great Western Sugar Company built a factory in Loveland, which remained as a source of employment until its closure in 1977. During the late 1920s the Spring Glade Orchard was the largest cherry orchard west of the Mississippi River. At that time the cherry orchards produced more than $1 million worth of cherries per year. A series of droughts, attacks of blight and finally a killer freeze destroyed the industry. By 1960 cherries were no longer farmed. In the late 20th century, the economy diversified with the arrival of manufacturing facilities by Hewlett-Packard, Teledyne, and Hach, a water quality analysis equipment manufacturer. A new medical center has added a substantial amount of employment in that sector as well.|On September 12, 2013 a historic flood affected numerous areas in Colorado. It rained heavily for 4 consecutive days, causing most rivers and creeks to overfill their banks. Estes Park received 8-12 inches of rain, causing Lake Estes to overfill its banks. This prompted a lot of water to be released out of the dam causing the Big Thompson River to swell. The flooding River caused sections of U.S. Highway 34 to collapse. Route 34 is the main highway from Loveland to Estes Park. The Big Thompson caused major flooding in Loveland, and caused numerous road closures because of flood waters. The Loveland/Fort Collins area received about 4 inches, which is relatively less significant compared to the amount of rain other places received. This flood is said[according to whom?] to be worse than the Big Thompson Flood of 1976. It also being called a 500-year flood. Five people were killed in the floods from the Cedar Cove neighborhood in the Big Thompson River Canyon.
Initially named McKissick for the mine owner, Frederick was renamed when the daughters of Frederick A. Clark, a land owner, laid out the town site in 1907 and named it for their father. Incorporated in 1907, the Town of Frederick began as a coal mining town attracting immigrants from Italy, France, Greece, Turkey, several Slavic countries and Latin America. The Frederick Coal mine closed in 1928.
Gold discovered in the South Platte River Valley in 1858 brought national attention to the area that would become Westminster, Colorado. The promise of fortune and the Land Act of 1862 encouraged many settlers from the east to make Colorado their home instead of heading on to California. Before the settlements came, wildlife like antelope and buffalo made their homes in this area. There is also evidence of Arapaho Indians near the Crown Point (Gregory Hill) area.|After the first permanent white settler, Pleasant DeSpain, built his home in 1870 on 160 acres (near what is now West 76th Avenue and Lowell Street), the area became known as DeSpain Junction and began attracting other settlers including horse breeder Edward Bruce Bowles who was instrumental in constructing the town’s train depot in 1881. In 1885, Connecticut real estate developer C. J. Harris arrived in DeSpain Junction and began buying up land. Soon the town was renamed Harris, but was also known as Darell Park.
10. Wheat Ridge
Although Wheat Ridge is a relatively young incorporated city, it has a history based on agriculture and the community?s location along regional travel routes. It grew from a popular rest stop for travelers during the Gold Rush of the late 1850s to an agricultural and suburban community known as the ?Carnation City? in the mid 1900s. As the residential areas of unincorporated Jefferson County grew to provide housing to the Denver workforce during the 1950s, the major transportation corridors extending from Denver developed with commercial services. During that era, the formation of numerous utility and fire protection districts provided these unincorporated areas with urban services. Eventually, due to the increasing annexation pressure from nearby municipalities, Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969.
There You Have It – The Best Places To Purchase A House In Colorado
There’s our analysis of the best places to buy a house in Colorado. And, to be clear, we aren’t necessarily saying these places are the best places to live, just that it looks like they might be in a couple of years based on the data.
In fact, every place in the following table meets our criteria, so even though it may not look super long, remember we started off with all 450 places in the state.
So if we’d could rent or buy in these cities, we’d definitely buy.
For more Colorado reading, check out:
- 10 Safest Places In Colorado
- 10 Most Dangerous Cities In Colorado
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Colorado
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Buy A Home In Colorado