Fort Collins is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States and it has one of the most stable housing markets, too. The growing city boasts a small town atmosphere, but also offers high-tech business campuses, flower-lined alleyways, an award-winning university, and thriving locally-owned businesses. We understand, though, if you need a little more convincing before you pack up and move here so we’re here to help.
From details on the housing market to national rankings and even the local events and places that will make you fall in love with FoCo, we rounded up the 11 most convincing reasons you should consider moving to our hometown.
Fort Collins is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States. On Livability’s 2018 list, it ranked number 14 bringing it up two spots from the 2017 list! In fact, Fort Collins has made the list every year since 2015 thanks to our community of tech giants, employment opportunities at Colorado State University, the thriving microbrewery industry, the arts scene, the educational opportunities, our countless independent restaurants, and the bounty of outdoor amenities.
In addition to Colorado State University, Fort Collins has high-ranking public and private secondary schools, and the median income for families tops $100,000. Livability ranked it the number one Colorado city to raise a family and WalletHub ranked it in the top ten. And amongst WalletHub’s top ten, it has the highest socio-economic ranking!
In the city, kids can enjoy the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery, local treats from Mary’s Mountain Cookies or Revolution Artisan Pops, and eats from The 10 Best Family-friendly Restaurants in Fort Collins.
As one of the hottest markets in the state of Colorado and one of the most stable in the country, Fort Collins homes are expected to keep appreciating steadily in value. Thanks to the steady increases in job opportunities and the resultant population growth, we have plenty of people buying homes — but not so many that the city is overwhelmed. In fact, Realtor.com ranked Fort Collins the number one stable, growing market in the US. SmartAsset ranked it third in 2017 and WalletHub ranked it in the top 20 best markets of 2017.
For specifics on the Northern Colorado market, check out our Annual Report for end of year 2017.
But you’re not in Denver. That means home prices are generally more affordable, the housing market is more buyer-friendly, and you’re not in the hustle and bustle of the big city. Though Fort Collins is one of Colorado’s large cities at more than 160,000 people, it maintains its small town feel. You can escape to places like Jessup Farm Artisan Village or Old Town Fort Collins which was one of two main streets to inspire Disneyland’s Main Street, USA attraction! And, if you want to be in the Mile High City for a day, it’s just a quick, one-hour drive.
Seriously, it’s based on science. In 2017, National Geographic, Gallup and New York Times best-selling author Dan Buettner ranked the 25 happiest cities in America. The study measured 15 metrics including everything from eating healthy and financial security to civic engagement and even dental checkups. Each factor influences residents’ feelings of security and happiness. Based on these scores and amenities, Fort Collins landed the number four spot out of 190 metropolitan areas across the country! We even rounded up our own reasons FoCo is one of America’s happiest cities.
Fort Collins has been an Arbor Day Foundation Tree City, USA community for nearly 40 years. That’s the second longest streak on the entire list of Colorado communities! It has also been ranked in Value Penguin’s top ten most environmentally-friendly cities.
Looking for examples? In 2017, the City of Fort Collins put the finishing touches on the brand new Pitkin Bikeway turning five miles of ordinary low-traffic streets into a five-mile corridor going through the heart of Colorado State University. Including dedicated signals to facilitate safe crossing at major intersections, the bikeway promotes biking around town and increases pedestrian and bike safety. If you’re looking for a bike, check out Fort Collins Bike Share! The first hour is always free.
Maybe it’s the small town feel, maybe it’s the environmentally-friendly culture, maybe it’s just the amazing people. Whatever the reason, Fort Collins loves to support the community by shopping, eating and drinking local. Whether you’re choosing from more than 400 restaurants, more than twenty local breweries, or any number of year-round farmers’ markets and local boutiques, you’ll soon come to love the local flair of FoCo as much as we do.
For tips on the best places to go and neighborhood guides in every category, check out our other posts on Northern Colorado Speaks.
Photo courtesy of Bohemian Nights, LLC
During the summer, people come from all over the region to attend Fort Collins’ free festivals and events. For a short list, check out the Lagoon Summer Concert Series, Bohemian Nights at NewWestFest and the Old Town Car Show. We’re also home to Fortoberfest in the fall, the Lucky Joe’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Old Town Irish Party, and First Night Fort Collins on New Year’s Eve.
In addition to free events, there is always something taking place in the city. Check out our NoCo event calendar to a list of events you can attend throughout the year.
We would be missing out on a huge aspect of FoCo culture if we didn’t mention the hiking, biking, running, rock climbing, kayaking, cross-country skiing, camping and even sledding opportunities right here in town. As the home of the Horsetooth Half Marathon, dual Equinox Half Marathons, the new FORTitude 10K, and countless 5K races throughout the year, the city knows how to make fitness fun.
Our hometown hero New Belgium Brewing is one of the many reasons Fort Collins has grown into the bustling, local and environmentally-friendly city that it is today. Now, we have more than twenty craft breweries in the city limits from giants like Odell to neighborhood favorites like Zwei. Check all of them out on The Ultimate Guide to Fort Collins Craft Breweries.
You can even pair your local craft beer with charity through the Fort Collins Ale Trail app! Download the free app to use the map and to learn about participating breweries. Then, you can pay $20 for a Trail Pass and get discounts and prizes for visiting your favorite places! That money goes directly to the participating organization of your choice. Get more information here.
When we say it’s growing, we’re not just talking about the housing market; we’re talking about the job opportunities as well as the number and the variety of things to do. In just the last few months, Fort Collins has seen huge, grand openings like Ginger and Baker, The Elizabeth Hotel and Washington’s downtown. Alone, these three businesses have offered two new music venues, three new restaurants, two rooftop cocktail bars, a teaching kitchen, a luxury hotel, two food and wine markets — all locally focused.
Just like Fort Collins, our business and our real estate agents are hyper-local. Because of this, they’re the best resources for information on the local housing market, the neighborhoods, and even what to do for fun when you get here. You can find the perfect agent for your family right now, or you can start simply on our Buyers’ resources page. There, you’ll find frequently asked questions, market information, details on loan programs, first-time buyer tips, and more.
And of course, if you have any other questions, you can contact us directly.