Things You Should Know Before Moving to Fort Collins, CO -
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Things You Should Know Before Moving to Fort Collins, CO

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Just at the base of the Rocky Mountains foothills, the northern city of Fort Collins Colorado has magnificent outdoor views in tandem with well known geographic landmarks. If you're looking for city full of sunshine and plenty of outdoor recreation, you probably don't need to look any further.

Contemplating relocation to this mountain city? If so, take a look at the following guide for tips and information regarding Fort Collins - make your transition an easy one! Be sure to get a free moving quote here at for any moving services you may need to move to Fort Collins.

Fort Collins Climate

Since Fort Collins is situated at the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, it has a typical semi-arid climate and is over 5,000 feet above sea level. Summers are warm to hot with some thunderstorms in the afternoon, but the city experiences very little rain annually (approximately 16 inches per year).

The city has four distinct seasons, with winters being mild to cold and averaging 59 inches of snow annually between early September and the end of May.

Residents of this Colorado city will generally experience about 300 days of sunshine each year.

Fort Collins Neighborhoods

There are a lot of things to consider when deciding on living in or around a specific neighborhood when relocating. You'll need to find any area that best fits the parameters of your lifestyle. In Fort Collins, you'll find plenty of residential areas perfect for raising families with sidewalks and high quality schools. The city is also driven by business, so you'll have the option of plenty of apartments and condos in proximity to the downtown area if you're relocating for work.

Historic residential areas are scattered throughout the busy downtown area of Fort Collins, right by Old Town Square and Oak Street Plaza with restaurant patios, window-shopping and live performances throughout the year. CSU is located downtown, with plenty of apartments and condos that offer yearlong leases for college students, teachers and more.

The southern part of the city has had the most recent growth in terms of housing and population, with lots of shopping and picturesque upscale homes complete with green parks and recreation.

Registering Your Car

Once you are either gainfully employed in the state of Colorado, reside in Colorado for over 90 days or own a business in Colorado, you must register your out-of-state vehicle within 90 days. Once becoming a resident, you have 30 days to qualify for a Colorado driver license.

If your vehicle was titled out-of -state, a Colorado law enforcement officer, motor vehicle dealer or emissions testing station must fill out the Verification of Vehicle Identification Number form. You will need this form, your current registration, proof of Colorado Vehicle Emissions, Proof of Insurance, payment of taxes and fees, and secure proof of identification. For more information, visit the Colorado DMV webpage.

Fort Collins Schools

Poudre School District serves the K-12 public education in the city, and is the second largest employer in Fort Collins. The district has four major high schools, several middle schools and charter schools and over 30 elementary schools. Ridgeview Classical Schools (charter) was rated top 10 in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in 2008.

Fort Collins is home to the Institute of Business and Medical Careers, Front Range Community College and the highly popular Colorado State University, which offers many vocational programs for high school and continuing education classes.

Fort Collins Employment

A mix of manufacturing, service industry businesses and education support the economy in Fort Collins. Recently, some high-tech companies have relocated to the city to utilize the research facilities at Colorado State University, the city's top employer. CSU is responsible for almost 7,000 jobs, followed by Hewlett Packard at over 3,000, and Poudre Valley Health System, also over 3,000.

If beer is your drink, you might have some luck trying the brewing industry since Fort Collins is the largest beer producer in Colorado. Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company is located here, along with several other breweries.

As of late 2012, Fort Collins' unemployment rate sat at a mere 5.7 percent, significantly lower than the national average, and job growth in the area is positive.

Living Costs in the City

The average home price in the city is approximately $250,000, with starting prices around $110,000. However, larger homes with bigger properties can stretch to over $1 million or more. One-bedroom apartments generally start around $750 and upwards, depending on the size of the unit and utilities and/or amenities included in the rent cost. Many one-bedroom apartments can go for $1,500 per month.

Depending on where you're relocating from, you may see a rise in cost at the gas pump, with prices approximately $0.20 more than some mid-west or eastern states. Utility costs are slightly below national average, and can range anywhere from $100 a month to $300 a month based on the size of your home and how often you run the heat or air conditioning. Generally, residents will have higher bills for running the heat in the winter.

Fort Collins Moving Resources

Moving and storage companies are ready and willing to help you with your move to Fort Collins, whether you're moving from out of state or from another county in Colorado. Make sure you get estimates from multiple moving services before you commit to hiring any (at least three estimates). Check back to our guides for tips on how to choose your moving service wisely with important questions to ask, differentiating between types of estimates, and mistakes to avoid. Visit the following pages at to get quotes for the following services:

Fort Collins Transportation

For public transportation users, Transfort serves the city for bus routes with over 12 routes throughout the city Monday through Saturday, save for major holidays. There is a FLEX regional bus route that connects Fort Collins to Loveland, Berthoud and Longmont. In addition, the city is well equipped with a 24-hour taxi service provided 365 days a year through Northern Colorado Yellow Cab, with courier and paratransit services offered.

If you'll be driving, Fort Collins' streets are in a grid formation, with Interstate 25 running north and south. US Highway 287 is another busy highway also running north and south through the middle of the city. Biking is also another popular and very practical option, since there are almost 300 miles of bikeways in the city, with a Bicycle Library located downtown that lends bikes to those wanting to explore Fort Collins.

Culture & Contemporary Life

Whether it's wandering through the Art Deco buildings in the downtown district of Old Town Fort Collins or visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park, this city is alive with outdoor activities for everyone. You can enjoy a plethora of guided tours to learn about the history and culture of the area, and then learn to make your favorite beer with a brewing class hosted frequently within the different breweries.

For arts and entertainment, you'll have your choice between many different groups like the Fort Collins Symphony, Canyon Concert Ballet, OpenStage Theatre and Company and Opera Fort Collins. In addition, many events go on throughout the city year-round, like the Colorado Marathon, University Art Museum exhibitions and concert tours at the Lincoln Center.

Don't forget that the city is a college town, and CSU hosts a lot of events for college students and locals. Fort Collins cheers on the Denver Nuggets (NBA), Denver Broncos (NFL), Colorado Rockies (MLB), and Colorado Avalanche (NHL) in professional sports.

Fort Collins Relocation Tips

  • Give your body time to adjust to the altitude in Colorado. Stay hydrated and keep your skin protected from UV rays that are more intense at higher elevations.


  • If you enjoy outdoor activities, invest in a pair of skis, a snowboard or a kayak - you'll get a lot of use out of them!


  • Research employment before moving to the city. While unemployment rates are low, the cost to own a home is still considerable, and you will need the salary to support it.

Jenna Farmer  Posted by Jenna Farmer on April 24, 2013

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