For several years, El Paso County and the surrounding area has been one of the fastest-growing areas in Colorado based in terms of population size. A significant number of people are moving from out-of-state urban areas to start a new life surrounded by the natural beauty, affordable cost of living and welcoming environment of small western towns like Monument, Larkspur, Black Forest, and the other cozy towns North of Colorado Springs like Elizabeth, Franktown and Parker.
This trend has only strengthened in the past year amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as former city-dwellers seek smaller and safer communities with more room to grow and enjoy life. Monument and nearby hamlets like Larkspur provide a welcome change after dealing with crowds, heavy traffic and expensive living costs for years.
Moving to El Paso or Douglas County
In general, there are numerous distinct reasons why prospective homeowners from New York and California are eying these areas as their new communities of choice. For the past four years, the Greater Colorado Springs area has ranked in the top five of the U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Places to Live” in America. For example, although a relatively small city, Monument has plenty to offer by way of its local amenities, job market, public education and surrounding environment. Here are a few of the top reasons to consider Monument—or the general Tri-Lakes area—as the next place to design and build a custom home:
1. Balance of Rural-Urban Living
Although growing, Monument remains a fairly small town, with a population of about 7,400. Larkspur is even less populous, with only a few hundred permanent residents. As a result, homeowners in Monument get to enjoy a close-knit community vibe and less traffic on a daily basis. Some people are drawn to this environment as a result of the pandemic and the desire to escape the congestion of cities like Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago. Other lifestyle changes—such as adding children to the mix or the desire to start a new career—have also prompted former urbanites to seek out a change of pace in places like Monument. That being said, these areas are robust in terms of what they offer those seeking a slower pace of life while still being close to the bigger cities of Denver and Colorado Springs. There is plenty to do within town in terms of shopping, dining, entertainment and outdoor recreation.
2. Centrally Located
Another desirable aspect of places like Monument, Larkspur, and Black Forest is their central location in the foothills of the Colorado Front Range. The greater Colorado Springs metropolitan area has a collective population of approximately 700,000. Conveniently situated on Interstate 25, Monument is only about 23 miles from Colorado Springs and 50 miles from Denver. It’s easy enough to commute to one of the larger cities for work, running errands, enjoying some nightlife or visiting widely acclaimed attractions, such as the Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens and the Downtown Aquarium. If you’re traveling daily for your job, you can explore public transportation to get you to and from Colorado Springs, Downtown Denver or the Tech Center.
3. Natural Beauty
With the mountains providing a grand backdrop, the Tri Lakes area brims with the type of natural beauty found only in the wild west. Compared to the bustle and crowds of the big city, these towns offer ample space to purchase residential real estate, build a custom home and set down roots in an area blessed by a stunning landscape. Among the natural attractions that add appeal to the area are Monument Rock, just west of town, and Monument Creek, which flows south from Mount Deception through Pikeview and Monument. Beautiful ponderosa pines fill the Black Forest region.
4. Outdoor Recreation
Colorado experiences four distinct seasons, including snow in the winter and cozily warm summers. This allows for a variety of outdoor activities. Close by, Palmer and Monument Lakes are easily accessible recreation spots for hiking, fishing, and picnicking. Mount Herman provides spectacular views of the Colorado Front Range with plenty of hiking and mountain biking locations. Pike National Forest is just west of the town, and the perfect destination for hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking. On any given day, you can go golfing at one of the dozens of nearby courses, including the Country Club at Woodmoor or Kings Deer; visit the Garden of the Gods, a majestic public park located in Colorado Springs; or bike, hike, or run the historic Santa Fe Trail. Monument, Larkspur, and Black Forest are also located about two hours away from Breckenridge, Frisco, Vail and other historic towns at the base of the Rocky Mountains that are well known for their ski resorts and year-round alpine activities.
5. Affordable Cost of Living
Cities are expensive, and growing more so. That lends itself to a very specific type of lifestyle that may not necessarily be what you desire long-term. For prospective homeowners, Monument, Larkspur, and Black Forest offer a relatively lower cost of living without dampening your quality of life. For example, the cost of living in Monument is about half that of San Francisco and roughly 40% below that of New York City, according to bestplaces.net. You have more freedom to achieve the standard of living you desire for your family when you build a home in the Colorado Front Range.
6. Quality Public Education
Monument is part of the Lewis-Palmer School District 38, which also serves the other Tri-Lakes communities of Palmer Lake and Woodmoor, along with select areas of Colorado Springs. Lewis-Palmer is a highly rated public school district with a 96% graduation rate, strong academics, a welcoming learning environment, relatively low student-to-teacher ratios and a diversity of athletic programs and clubs. This is a draw for people coming from larger cities who have children or plan to in the future. Monument is also home to Monument Academy, an award winning and highly sought after charter school offering K-12 education across 2 campuses.
Moving to the Monument, Larkspur, or Black Forest Area
Although the pandemic has provided an impetus for numerous city-dwellers to seek a change of scenery, the Colorado Front Range has experienced continual growth over the past several years by virtue of the quality of life it has to offer. A wealth of natural attractions, highly rated public schools, a strong business community and other elements make Monument a desirable place to live. If you’re considering a move, let our team at Gowler Homes help you find the perfect piece of real estate and design your new custom home. Free from the constraints of an urban environment, you have the ability to create the type of house you’ve always wanted, filled with unique features and open-concept living spaces.