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For many Americans, choosing the perfect place to live can seem like a fruitless, even downright impossible, undertaking.
Often times, you will be left having to decide what you prioritize the very most in life. For example, what if you are a nature lover, but also find it necessary to be near a big city for the employment opportunities and cultural adrenaline rush? Well, you can go ahead and scratch Wyoming from the list. You might as well scratch New York City while your at it; there’s not much nature in the concrete jungle.
There is a place in the United States that offers a little bit of everything: Colorado.
Colorado boasts one of the most breathtaking landscapes in North America. Captivating mountain ranges are abundant in The Centennial State, most notably the Rocky Mountains. Ski resorts like Aspen, Vail, and Telluride offer snow-capped peaks in the winter and lush forest sceneries during the spring and summer. Colorado is also home to canyons, deserts, and rivers – including the world-famous, roaring Colorado River.
Colorado’s natural beauty is undoubtable, but what if you’re looking to launch a career? Colorado has recently been mentioned as one of the elite states in the U.S. to start a small business. In 2015, Colorado recorded the 11th highest per capita personal income in the country at $51,940.
In Colorado’s formative years, the economy was largely dependent on the state’s abundant natural resources and agricultural production. While those sectors still thrive today, Colorado’s economy has become diversified to now include flourishing government, technology, and financial sectors. Denver’s financial district is often referred to as the “Wall Street of the West.”
Colorado is also home to a very favorable tax policy. The state features a flat income tax rate, bases taxes on taxable income not adjusted gross income, and allows residents to claim a sales tax refund when state revenues exceed state constitutional limits.
In summation, Colorado provides ample reasons to call the state home, including natural beauty, thriving economic sectors, and generous fiscal policies.
So for those potential homebuyers looking to settle in The Centennial State, LendEDU has provided a list of the 100 best Colorado communities for homebuyers. Using licensed data, we have analyzed hundreds of Colorado towns and cities according to important home-buying factors such as population projections, income projections, value of real estate, and crime rates.
Below, you will find the 100 Colorado communities recognized by LendEDU as the best places in the state for homebuyers. In general, Colorado is a great place for homebuyers, but these towns and cities are the very best of the best.
Interactive Table & Map Featuring Colorado’s Best Communities for Homebuyers
All data that was used in this report has been licensed by LendEDU from Onboard Informatics’ city-level database. That database provides ZIP codes, city names, county names, and all of the relevant metrics that were using this report, such as population projections. Overall, more than 500 towns and cities in Colorado were analyzed. A population cutoff was established at 2,000, which means that any Colorado community with a population below 2,000 was immediately eliminated from further analysis. Ultimately, 100 towns and cities made the final list.
The list of relevant metrics included median household income and five-year projected household income, median household sale price, current population levels and five-year projection population levels, and crime risk as an index score.
Those aforementioned metrics were used to determine the category scores for four different categories. The scores in each of those four categories were then summed together to get the final score, which was indicative of a community’s conduciveness to homebuyers.
Population Score (40-point weight, listed in table as “Pop.”)
A high population score meant that people were moving to the area thus making it more desirable and valuable, so higher population growth was viewed as a positive ranking factor. In order to determine each city’s population score, the percent difference between the five-year population projection and the current population was calculated. Each percent difference was ranked on a percent scale against the entire field of cities and towns in Colorado. Each percent rank was multiplied by a weight of 40 points to find the population score for a respective city or town.
Income Score (20-point weight, listed in table as “Income”)
A high income score meant that the median household income of an area was growing substantially. Higher income growth was seen as a positive factor when determining the rankings. The income score for a city was determined in the same manner as the population score; however, current household income and the five-year income projection were used during calculations.
Value Score (20-point weight, listed in table as “Value”)
A high value score indicated that residents were making comparable incomes to the median value of a home in a respective area. A ratio closer to or above one was seen as a positive. Determining the value score was simple: divide the median household income by the median household sale price, setting up a value ratio. Each ratio was ranked on a percent scale against the field, and each percent rank was multiplied by a weight of 20 points to find each respective value score.
Crime Score (20-point weight, listed in table as “Crime”)
A low crime index was considered a positive ranking factor, so communities with lower crime indexes were more likely to rank higher. For reference, the crime index is an integer value. A lower crime index means lower risk of overall crime. The national average crime index is 100. If an area has an index greater than 100, then the area has an above average risk of crime. If it is lower, then there is a lower risk of crime when compared to the national average. In order to find the crime score, the percent difference between a town or city’s given crime index and the national average was found. Each percent difference from the national average crime index was ranked on a percent scale against the field. Each percent rank was multiplied by its weight of 20 points for the crime score.
After each town and city in Colorado was given a category score for each of the four categories, its four category scores were summed together to calculate the final score. A higher final score meant a better place for homebuyers and resulted in a higher ranking on the list and vice versa.
See more of LendEDU’s Research
Author: Mike Brown