10 Best Affordable Boulder Suburbs to Live in 2024

Key Takeaways:

– Boulder, CO is a Rocky Mountain paradise with beautiful views and numerous outdoor activities
– The median home sale price in Boulder is around $1,070,000 and the average rent is about $2,987
– Redfin has compiled a list of the top 10 affordable Boulder suburbs that are all less than 26 miles away from the city center
– Federal Heights is the most affordable suburb with a median home sale price of $346,000 and is 19 miles away from Boulder
– Sherrelwood is the second most affordable suburb, located 21 miles southeast of Boulder
– Shaw Heights is the third most affordable suburb, only 18 miles away from Boulder
– Westminster is a slightly more expensive option with a median home price of $485,000 and is 20 miles away from Boulder
– Berkley is another affordable suburb with a median home price of $510,500 and is 21 miles away from Boulder
– Gunbarrel is a recognizable Boulder suburb with a median home price of $525,875 and is only 8 miles away from Boulder
– Thornton is a great alternative to Boulder with a median home price of $542,475 and is 26 miles away from Boulder
– Frederick is an affordable suburb known to many Boulder residents and is 22 miles away from the city
– Dacono is a convenient suburb with a median home price of $569,500 and is 21 miles away from Boulder
– Longmont is the last suburb on the list, with a median home price of $570,394 and is 16 miles away from Boulder.

REDFIN:

Boulder, CO, is a Rocky Mountain paradise with picturesque views of the foothills and the Flatirons. With countless outdoor activities, museums, art galleries, and the CU Boulder sports teams, it’s no wonder Boulder is also home to about 104,200 people. If you’re moving to or living in Boulder, expect the median home sale price to be around $1,070,000, and the average rent in Boulder to be about $2,987.

If those prices are out of your budget, don’t worry. We’ve got options to help you find a home. Redfin has collected the 10 best affordable Boulder suburbs to consider living in. And the best part is that they’re all less than 26 miles away from the city center. That way you can live nearby without paying the price of living in Boulder.

#1: Federal Heights

Median home price: $346,000 
Average sale price per square foot: $286 
Distance from Boulder: 19 miles
Federal Heights, CO homes for sale 
Federal Heights, CO apartments for rent 

With a median home sale price of $346,000, Federal Heights claims the first spot on our list of affordable Boulder suburbs. About a 19 mile drive away from downtown Boulder, Federal Heights is home to roughly 14,400 residents. If you’re considering moving to this area make sure to explore Camenisch Park where there are trails, sports facilities, and fishing spots.

#2: Sherrelwood

Median home price: $433,500 
Average sale price per square foot: $213 
Distance from Boulder: 21 miles
Sherrelwood, CO homes for sale 
Sherrelwood, CO apartments for rent 

Taking the second spot on our list is Sherrelwood. About 21 miles southeast of downtown Boulder, you can hike the Flatirons and Boulder Creek Path in just a quick drive. Living in Sherrelwood, you’ll want to check out Sherrelwood Park and the nearby water tower on Elm. When living in this suburb of 19,200 people, you can also spend time exploring the charming downtown.

#3: Shaw Heights

Median home price: $452,500 
Average sale price per square foot: $164 
Distance from Boulder: 18 miles
Shaw Heights, CO homes for sale 
Shaw Heights, CO apartments for rent 

Just 18 miles away, you’ll find the suburb of Shaw Heights. There’s plenty of picturesque and outdoorsy activities to take part in when living in Shaw Heights. Make sure to visit one of the many local shops and attractions if you move to the third most affordable suburb. 

#4: Westminster

Median home price: $485,000 
Average sale price per square foot: $239 
Average rent for an apartment: $2,120 
Distance from Boulder: 20 miles
Westminster, CO homes for sale 
Westminster, CO apartments for rent 

Only slightly more expensive than Shaw Heights is the suburb of Westminster. About 116,300 people live in this Boulder suburb, where you can explore the Butterfly Pavilion, enjoy outdoor activities at Standley Lake Regional Park, which offers boating, fishing, hiking trails, and scenic views, and visit the Westminster Promenade, an entertainment and dining district with shops and restaurants. Westminster is also a great area to consider if you’re also looking to be close to Denver.

Sunrise over the Flatirons in Boulder Colorado.

#5: Berkley

Median home price: $510,500 
Average sale price per square foot: $320 
Average rent for an apartment: $2,199 
Distance from Boulder: 21 miles
Berkley, CO homes for sale
Berkley, CO apartments for rent 

Drive 21 miles outside of Boulder and you’ll find the suburb of Berkley, another great area to add to your list. Home to 12,600 residents, this affordable town can be a great choice for people looking to remain close to Boulder without paying the price for a home in the city. Living in Berkley, you can explore the Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area and nearby Clear Creek Valley Park.

#6: Gunbarrel

Median home price: $525,875 
Average sale price per square foot: $368 
Average rent for an apartment: $2,230 
Distance from Boulder: 8 miles
Gunbarrel, CO homes for sale 
Gunbarrel, CO apartments for rent 

A recognizable Boulder suburb is Gunbarrel, where the median home sale price is about $500K less than in Boulder. With just about 9,600 people living in Gunbarrel, it’s a great suburb to consider moving to. You’ll have easy access to what makes this suburb unique, so make sure to check out the scenic hiking trails like White Rocks Trailhead and Sawhill Ponds, explore the Twin Lakes Open Space, and stop by one of the many local cafes.

#7: Thornton

Median home price: $542,475 
Average sale price per square foot: $225 
Average rent for an apartment: $2,456 
Distance from Boulder: 26 miles
Thornton, CO homes for sale 
Thornton, CO apartments for rent 

Next on our list of affordable Boulder suburbs is Thornton, which is only a 26 mile drive into the city center. With a population of roughly 141,900, living in Thornton is a great alternative to Boulder. If you’re going to call this suburb home, plan time to visit the Trail Winds Recreation Center, which offers a variety of recreational facilities, including a pool, fitness center, and sports courts, check out the Thornton Arts & Culture Center, and play golf at one of the courses.

Aerial photo above Boulder Colorado on a clear day looking southwest towards University of Colorado and Flatiron Mountains and the city of Boulder with Highway 157 (Foothills Parkway) cutting across the foreground

#8: Frederick

Median home price: $558,976 
Average sale price per square foot: $228 
Average rent for an apartment: $2,674 
Distance from Boulder: 22 miles
Frederick, CO homes for sale 
Frederick, CO apartments for rent 

If you’ve lived in Boulder for a while, it’s likely you know of Frederick. This affordable suburb is home to roughly 14,500 residents, so you’ll have a fraction of Boulder’s population while remaining only 22 miles from the city. Be sure to check out the charming downtown Frederick, and explore Centennial Park that hosts a hot air balloon festival. 

#9: Dacono

Median home price: $569,500 
Average sale price per square foot: $181 
Distance from Boulder: 21 miles
Dacono, CO homes for sale
Dacono, CO apartments for rent 

Without traffic, you’ll be in downtown Boulder in about 30 minutes, making Dacono a great place to buy a house in. Close to 6,300 people live in this suburb, but there’s always something new to explore in Dacono like watching a NASCAR race at Colorado National Speedway.

#10: Longmont

Median home price: $570,394 
Average sale price per square foot: $259 
Average rent for an apartment: $1,994 
Distance from Boulder: 16 miles
Longmont, CO homes for sale 
Longmont, CO apartments for rent 

Taking the last spot on our list of affordable Boulder suburbs you’ll want to consider moving to is Longmont. Without traffic, you’ll find yourself in Boulder in roughly 16 miles. This suburb has a population of 98,900 and you can explore St. Vrain State Park, known for its lakes, fishing opportunities, birdwatching, and scenic natural surroundings. Make sure to wander through Downtown Longmont, featuring historic architecture, local shops, restaurants, and cultural events, and check out the Sunflower Farm. There’s always something to check out while living in this awesome suburb.

Methodology: Affordability is based on whether a suburb’s median home sale price or average sale price per square foot is less than Boulder and under a 26-mile drive from downtown Boulder. Median home sale price data and average rent price from the Redfin Data Center during December 2023. Population data sourced from the United States Census Bureau.

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Property Chomp’s Take:

Boulder, Colorado, is a true Rocky Mountain paradise. With its breathtaking views of the foothills and the iconic Flatirons, it’s no wonder that this city has become a sought-after destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. But Boulder is not just about its picturesque landscapes; it also boasts a vibrant cultural scene, with numerous museums, art galleries, and a thriving community of artists. And let’s not forget about the CU Boulder sports teams, which add an exciting element to the city’s atmosphere.

With all these appealing features, it’s no surprise that Boulder is home to approximately 104,200 residents. However, the city’s popularity comes at a cost. The median home sale price in Boulder is around $1,070,000, and the average rent is about $2,987. These prices may be out of reach for many people, but fear not – there are affordable options available nearby.

Redfin, a popular real estate platform, has compiled a list of the top 10 affordable suburbs to consider living in if you want to be close to Boulder without breaking the bank. These suburbs are all within a 26-mile radius of the city center, allowing you to enjoy the proximity to Boulder without the high price tag.

The first suburb on the list is Federal Heights, located about 19 miles away from downtown Boulder. With a median home sale price of $346,000, Federal Heights offers an affordable option for those looking to settle near Boulder. The suburb is home to approximately 14,400 residents and boasts amenities such as Camenisch Park, which offers trails, sports facilities, and fishing spots.

Sherrelwood, the second suburb on the list, is situated about 21 miles southeast of Boulder. With a median home price of $433,500, Sherrelwood provides an attractive alternative for those seeking affordable housing options. The suburb offers easy access to popular Boulder attractions like the Flatirons and Boulder Creek Path. Sherrelwood Park and the charming downtown area are also worth exploring.

Shaw Heights, located just 18 miles from Boulder, takes the third spot on the list. With a median home price of $452,500, Shaw Heights offers a picturesque and outdoorsy environment for its residents. The suburb is known for its scenic activities and also boasts a range of local shops and attractions.

Westminster, the fourth suburb on the list, is slightly more expensive than the previous options, with a median home price of $485,000. However, it still offers a more affordable alternative to living in Boulder. With a population of approximately 116,300, Westminster provides plenty of amenities, including the Butterfly Pavilion, Standley Lake Regional Park, and the Westminster Promenade.

Berkley, the fifth suburb on the list, is situated 21 miles outside of Boulder. With a median home price of $510,500, Berkley offers an affordable option for those who want to remain close to Boulder without the high cost of living in the city. The suburb is home to 12,600 residents and offers attractions such as the Lowell Ponds State Wildlife Area and Clear Creek Valley Park.

Gunbarrel, a recognizable Boulder suburb, takes the sixth spot on the list. With a median home price of $525,875, Gunbarrel provides an affordable housing option for its approximately 9,600 residents. The suburb offers easy access to scenic hiking trails, such as White Rocks Trailhead and Sawhill Ponds, as well as local cafes and the Twin Lakes Open Space.

Thornton, the seventh suburb on the list, is located 26 miles from Boulder. With a population of roughly 141,900, Thornton offers a great alternative to living in Boulder. The suburb features amenities such as the Trail Winds Recreation Center, the Thornton Arts & Culture Center, and several golf courses.

Frederick, the eighth suburb on the list, is known to many Boulder residents. With a population of about 14,500, Frederick offers a fraction of Boulder’s population while remaining only 22 miles from the city. The suburb’s charming downtown area and Centennial Park, which hosts a hot air balloon festival, are worth exploring.

Dacono, the ninth suburb on the list, is located 21 miles from Boulder. With a median home price of $569,500, Dacono offers an affordable housing option for its close to 6,300 residents. The suburb offers attractions such as watching NASCAR races at the Colorado National Speedway.

Last but not least, Longmont takes the tenth spot on the list. Located 16 miles from Boulder, Longmont provides an affordable option for those looking to live near the city. With a population of approximately 98,900, Longmont offers attractions such as St. Vrain State Park, Downtown Longmont, and the Sunflower Farm.

In conclusion, Boulder, Colorado, is undeniably a Rocky Mountain paradise with its stunning landscapes and vibrant cultural scene. However, living in Boulder can be quite expensive. Fortunately, there are affordable suburbs nearby that offer a more budget-friendly alternative. Whether you choose Federal Heights, Sherrelwood, Shaw Heights, or any of the other suburbs on the list, you can enjoy the beauty and proximity of Boulder without paying the high price of living in the city center.

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