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The cost to live in Denver is rising and pushing some renters into the house-buying market, but forcing others out of their homes.

Maria Ledger can no longer afford her rising rent. She says it’s increased $200 in just the past year.

“Just talked to my leasing office yesterday,” said Maria. “They told me that it would be $1,394 a month now.”

Unable to afford the increase, Maria and her husband Rob are forced to vacate and look for cheaper housing. This is not the first time.

“We had to leave the other [rental] because that one is also sky high,” said Ledger.

The Colorado couple says they’ve been trying to break free of the Denver rental market altogether and buy a home of their own, but even that is proving nearly impossible. Maria says their last attempt to buy a house didn’t go well.

“There were three cash offers that came in. One was $30,000 over the asking price,” said Maria.

Denver renters are having a hard time making ends meet and spending more than a third of their monthly salaries on rent, according to a report from Zillow.

Ron Throupe is an Associate Professor at the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver. He says immigration from other parts of the country has created a high demand for rental units and leaving renters in the lurch.

“They lock you into longer agreements they can,” said Throupe. “The big question is how much new supply is going to come to this market to appease the demand.”

In the mean time, couples like Maria and Rob are frantically looking for an affordable option before they are locked in for another year.

“We have to cut back or I might have to work more overtime,” said Maria.

“You’ve got to save, but you’re spending money on rent, maybe more money on rent,” says Maria. “The question is: does your income rise faster than your rent?”