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5 Pros and 5 Cons of Living in Highlands Ranch, Colorado in 2022

Pros and Cons of Living in Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch is an extremely popular Denver suburb with over 100,000 residents. It has quite the reputation of being one of the nicest suburbs in the state of Colorado. There are definitely pros to living in this city, but it also comes with some cons.

This article is here to help you decide if living in Highlands Ranch is the right fit for you in your situation.

The Pros and Cons of Living in Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Pros of Living in Highlands Ranch

  1. Great Communities & Neighborhoods
  2. Open Space, Mountain Views, Recreation, & Parks
  3. Nice Weather With Four Distinct Seasons
  4. Centralized Location
  5. High Livability Score

Cons of Living in Highlands Ranch

  1. High Cost of Living
  2. Colorado’s Most Expensive Suburban Housing
  3. Rapid Growth & Traffic
  4. Repetitive Homes & Communities
  5. Extreme HOA’s

Continue Reading to get more details, tables, and pictures of these pros and cons so that you can have all the information you need to know whether Highlands Ranch is right for you or not!


Landon Bellum - REALTOR
Landon Bellum
(303) 800-2952

Hello, I’m Landon, the creator of this blog!

Landon Bellum is a REALTOR® and the Marketing Manager at MODestate. He helps people buy, sell, and invest in real estate throughout the Greater Denver and Colorado Springs areas. He also helps people find exceptional realtors throughout the United States to assist them with their real estate needs no matter where they are.

Landon graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management – Marketing from BYU-Idaho with a minor in Latin American Languages. He is a competitive pickleball player and loves strategic board games that last 3+ hours. Landon is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

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Pros of Living in Highlands Ranch

1. Great Communities & Neighborhoods

Best Highlands Ranch Neighborhoods to Live in

Click Here For Our Full Article on These Top 11 Neighborhoods

Highlands Ranch is well known throughout Colorado for having some pretty stellar homes and communities. There are top-notch places to live in this city that are unlike anywhere else. The communities are very open and spacious, generally surrounded by open fields and forests. Highlands Ranch neighborhoods often have some great views of the Rocky Mountains as well!

These neighborhoods are great because they are filled with top-performing Colorado schools. They are also located around 25-35 minutes away from Denver which makes commuting a breeze. Entertainment and recreational areas are all over the place and easy to get to. There are also fantastic trails for biking and walking around just about every Highlands Ranch neighborhood.

Below are our top 11 neighborhoods in Highlands Ranch to live in. We added a section in the table to help show the general differences in pricing for each area.

NeighborhoodMedian Home Price
1. Westridge $655,000
2. Rock Canyon $785,000
3. Northridge $595,000
4. Eastridge $575,250
5. Verona $522,840
6. Highlands Ranch $637,500
7. Kentley Hills $675,000
8. Backcountry $1,400,000
9. Firelight $600,000
10. Indigo Hills $600,000
11. The Hearth $715,000
Watch my video breakdown of Highlands Ranch’s top 11 neighborhoods to live in

2. Open Space, Mountain Views, Recreation, & Parks

Highlands Ranch Pros and Cons

Many Denver suburbs are well known for being immersed in open space and having great views of the Rocky Mountains. Highlands Ranch is no exception! Highlands Ranch has 70 miles of hiking, biking, and walking trails. Residents of the city absolutely love the scenery that comes with living in Highlands Ranch.

Many neighborhoods in Highlands Ranch like Rock Canyon, Indigo Hills, Westridge, and Backcountry are located in wide-open areas full of great trails and parks.

All the areas are well-maintained with a number of areas for picnics and plenty of areas to explore.

Here are some great parks in the area:

  • Bluffs Regional Park
  • Roxborough State Park
  • Rampart Range Recreation Area
  • High Line Canal Trail
  • Westlands Park

Highlands Ranch is not a boring place to live. There are a number of places to entertain yourself. For example, Three Freaks Brewery is an amazing place to visit if you are fond of drinking different kinds of Beers. This place is famous for its tasty and diverse Beers Menu. Grist Brewing is another attractive place for locals as well as tourists of Highlands Ranch. This place offers amazing patio space to soak up some sun while looking at amazing mountain views.

There are a number of shops, restaurants, and breweries in Highlands Ranch making it the best place to live as well enjoy! Park Meadows Mall is just minutes away and has some of Colorado’s best shopping and dining.

3. Nice Weather With Four Distinct Seasons

Highlands Ranch Pros and Cons

The weather in Highlands Ranch is moderate compared to other Colorado cities and cities in the United States. There are four very distinct seasons which gives residents something to look forward to throughout the year.

Colorado actually has more sunny days a year than the state of Florida does on average, so you can expect clear skies and sunshine throughout the year, even during the colder winter months. This does a great job keeping the snow off the ground and helps with icy roads.

Summer

Summer in Highlands Ranch is great. You can expect temperatures in the 75-95 degree range. It very rarely gets hotter than 95 degrees in the city which a lot of residents love. It is just hot and sunny enough to enjoy each day and spend time outside, but not quite hot enough to prevent you from any outdoor activities.

Winter

Winters in Highlands Ranch are pretty interesting. Yes, it snows a fair amount, but due to the high amount of sunny days that Colorado has the snow doesn’t stick around for long. In fact, it is very common for it to snow like crazy in the morning and then be mostly gone in the afternoon during the winter. You do need to be careful at night time though. The sunny days can melt the snow that turns to black ice at night.

You can expect temperatures to be around 40-50 degrees during the winter in Highlands Ranch if the sun is out. If it is cloudy and snowy outside then temperatures will most likely be in the 20-30 degree range.

It can definitely be way colder than that but it isn’t too common. When the wind and cold fronts come in Highlands Ranch temps can drop into the 0-19 degree range. It is even rarer for the temperature in Highlands Ranch to go below 0 degrees.

Spring

Springtime in Highlands Ranch is just phenomenal. Things are starting to warm up and leaves, trees, and vegetation is starting to flourish. The temperatures slowly start to get warmer and start climbing above the 50-60 degree range.

Fall

Fall is just fantastic in Highlands Ranch. Trees and leaves start changing to beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow. Coming out of the summertime, the cool autumn air feels nice and fresh. It is just cool enough for sweater weather!

4. Centralized Location

Downtown Denver is just 30 minutes of drive from Highlands Ranch. The Denver Tech Center, Colorado’s economic powerhouse, is even closer! That is where many Highlands Ranch residents work.

You can also get to the base of the Rocky Mountains within 25 minutes and Chatfield reservoir is about 20 minutes away.

Highlands Ranch is also surrounded by Colorado’s other most popular suburbs like Castle Rock, Lone Tree, Parker, Littleton, Castle Pines, and Centennial. You can get to anywhere in these suburbs from Highlands Ranch in anywhere from 10-25 minutes.

5. High Livability Score

The livability score of Highlands Ranch is higher than the national average. Statistics show Highlands Ranch has a livability score of 76 out of 100. This score ranked in the 84th percentile when compared with other areas of the US. This is a very high score and shows that Highlands Ranch is a fantastic place to reside. It is a great choice for many types of people with many different lifestyles.

Cons of Living in Highlands Ranch

1. High Cost of Living 

Expensive living is one of the major cons of living in Highlands Ranch. And when I say expensive, I really mean it. The home prices in Highlands Ranch are seriously high as compared to other cities in Colorado and insanely high compared to other US states. Housing, Grocery, and Transportation are the three really expensive aspects of living in this area on the cost of living index.

To put things into perspective, the average household income of a Highlands Ranch resident is $110,221 which is double the US average of $53,482. In order to live comfortably in the city, you really need to have a six-figure income.

It is almost like there is a premium cost for just being in the Highlands Ranch area that makes things more expensive. However, do keep in mind that Health and Utilities are well below the state and nation’s averages in terms of cost of living.

Cost of LivingHighlands RanchColoradoUSA
Overall138.2121.1100
Grocery103100.7100
Health91.495.8100
Housing209.2166.1100
Median Home Cost$663,300$488,600$291,700
Utilities94.398.4100
Transportation114.9106.7100

2. Colorado’s Most Expensive Suburban Housing

Highlands Ranch Homes for sale

As mentioned above, the cost of living in Highlands Ranch is extremely high and a big part of that is due to the housing situation. It is so far above average that we wanted to break that down here even further.

The median home price in Highlands Ranch is 127% higher (MORE than double) than the national average and 36% more expensive than Colorado’s average. It is one most expensive Denver suburbs to live in. For example, you could get the same sized home in the southern United States for $291,000 but if you’re in Highlands Ranch the price of that home would be in the $600,000s.

Highlands Ranch’s home prices are quickly getting to California’s level, which is making it harder and harder for people to settle down there.

3. Rapid Growth & Traffic

Highlands Ranch is quickly becoming the most popular Colorado suburb to live in. The city just passed having 100,000 residents and that is still growing exponentially. Due to this, the town is starting to feel a bit tighter and traffic is slowly getting worse. This is something to keep in mind because at this point this growth is only going to continue, and the traffic is bound to get worse.

4. Repetitive Homes & Communities

Highlands Ranch Pros and Cons

Another con of living in Highlands Ranch is there is not much diversity when it comes to homes. As we already mentioned that Highlands Ranch is a planned community which means the chances of historic and different kinds of homes are very low. Most of the time you are only going to find look-alike homes in the sectioned communities. “Cookie Cutter” homes would be a good way to describe a lot of the communities here, which come across as boring and unoriginal to some.

Also, the city is filled with mainly single-family and luxury residences, so if you’d prefer to find a condo or townhome in Highlands Ranch there is not as much to find as there is in other suburbs.

5. Extreme HOA’s

Highlands Ranch is a metro district and is mostly funded by the property taxes you pay or the homeowners association fines people might get for not following some specific rules for living in the district. In short, all of the Highlands Ranch is a part of the Homeowner’s Association and there might be some strict rules on how your home should look or for what purpose it should be used.

This really limits the options that you have in things like what color you want to paint your house and what kinds of trees you’d like in your yard. Sure, lots of places have HOAs, why is Highlands Ranch different? Well, this city has a very specific look and feel that it is going for, so in general, the HOA rules, regulations, and restrictions are quite strict.

Also, this is the major reason why the living cost is so much higher in Highlands Ranch. The HOA community costs additional money and it is quite expensive in this town.

Are the Highlands Ranch HOA’s the worst things in the world? Not entirely because they allow the residents to access incredible rec centers and other events.

More Information on Highlands Ranch

Highlands Ranch is one of the best suburbs in Denver Colorado. Located in Douglas County, Highlands Ranch has a population of 105,631. Living in Highlands gives this amazing sparse sub-urban feel.

Another thing to notice here is that Highlands Ranch ranks in the top 10 places when it comes to the best place to live in the US. Whether you search for “Best places to live in America” or “Best suburbs for professional Americans” you will always find the Highlands Ranch on the list there.

Finding the best suburb to live in Denver Colorado is not that easy. Because every town has its good and bad sides and those depend on personal preference. However, Highlands Ranch will always get your attention, all thanks to its amazing homes, mountain views, entertainment areas, biking trails, amazing scenery, etc.

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Landon Bellum

Landon Bellum is a REALTOR® and the Marketing Manager at MODestate. He helps people buy, sell, and invest in real estate throughout the Greater Denver and Colorado Springs areas. He also helps people find exceptional realtors throughout the United States to assist them with their real estate needs no matter where they are. Landon graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management - Marketing from BYU-Idaho with a minor in Latin American Languages. He is a competitive pickleball player and loves strategic board games that last 3+ hours. Landon is also fluent in Spanish and Portuguese.

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