• $725   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $1252   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $1904   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  southwest US)

93% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Some errands can be accomplished on foot. 5
commuters surrounding you on all sides
commutable to more expensive city, winter recreation, snow sports, stunning views, bicycle-friendly, parkland, nature preserves 6
that brewery you found, techies with families and dogs, paragliders, rich af white people, middle-aged startups, popular hiking spot, quiet stoners, rich marxists, flatirons, and best sandwiches ever are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Boulder roommate rundown:

Boulder is its own college town with a unique vibe that's also more or less a suburb of Denver.

Because of all the folks commuting back and forth from Denver? And then also all the folks commuting back and forth from Boulder too?

Meaning, the commuting is somewhat two-way, but more from Denver because Denver costs more.

Shorter version: If you're a commuter, you probably just gotta do what you gotta do, this advice is not for you. If you're NOT a commuter, figure out when commuters tend to be on the roads near you. Then avoid them for the entire duration.

What else is different about Boulder?

1. A bunch of dudes tends to plunge into a reservoir. Nude. On New Year's Day.

2. Then, a bunch of dudes that we can't prove aren't the same dudes tends to run around buck naked except for shoes on their feet and pumpkins on their heads. On Halloween.

3. Boulder always sports an unusually high percentage of college students as residents.

Are #1, 2, and 3 all saying the exact same thing about Boulder, but from different directions?

There's a case to be made.

The rest of the Boulder roommate lowdown:

  • small college town, about 100,000 - Boulder's roommate population is younger and better educated than the national average because it's always some large percentage college students.
  • Boulder is 25 miles northwest of Denver, at the base of the Rocky Mountains and more than a mile above sea level. Boulder's scenic snowcapped mountain views are so prized it's illegal to mess with them as they enacted an ordinance to limit the height of new buildings back in the 1970s.
  • There's a whole lot of commuting, mostly back and forth from Denver. If a Boulderite doesn't work or study in Boulder, they probably drive to Denver, it's about 30 minutes. Similarly, about 1/2 the jobs inside Boulder are filled by folks commuting from outside it, usually from Denver. The take home: If you don't like being on the road, avoid all of these commuters while they're causing heavy congestion.
  • Boulder is a little over an hour's drive from several of the top-rated ski resorts in the country.
  • Boulder is more bicycle-friendly than most towns, now well known for their grade-separated bicycle paths integrated into a network of lanes, tracks, and on-street routes including pedestrian underpasses.
  • Boulder is home to the main campus of the University of Colorado (the state's largest university), Naropa University, and Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts.

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Boulder's:

  • Nature Preserves: Boulder is surrounded by thousands of acres of nature preserves featuring mountains, rivers and forest. Opportunities abound for hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, and wildlife watching.
  • The Bolder Boulder: Hosted every year since 1979, during which over 50,000 joggers, runners, walkers, and wheelchair racers compete in the 5th largest road race in the world.
  • The Plunge: Hundreds of citizens plunge themselves into the freezing Boulder Reservoir every New Year's Day since 1983. Rescue workers armed with hot tubs will be standing by to revive you and your roommates.
  • Every Halloween between 1998 and 2008, several dozen folks ran around downtown Boulder buck naked except for shoes on their feet and pumpkins on their heads. Then in 2009 the whole Naked Pumpkin Run was threatened with legal repercussions. Many reboots have been attempted, so nude dudes with hollowed-out pumpkins on their heads are still considered semi-normal . . .

    . . . but only on Halloween.

    If you and your roommates go naked pumpkinhead native you should never run by your fellow Boulderites on Thanksgiving too as that would not be socially acceptable.

Here's the city of Boulder's Landlord, Tenant, and Roommate Resources, which you'll hopefully never need if you choose the right roommates.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.

7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.