The simple, and unexpected, answer: There is no city of Highlands Ranch.
Yes, you read that correctly.
As my team learned the hard way (see our legal battle with Shea Homes), Highlands Ranch is not a city at all. Instead, it is simply a Trademarked Name and subdivision in Douglas County, and a part of unincorporated Littleton, Colorado.
I know that sounds crazy. Especially since just about every single addressing system in America has Highlands Ranch listed as a city (there is even a Highlands Ranch Post office). On every real estate search engine you will find a city listed for Highlands Ranch Homes. But none of that changes the fact that legally, there is no Highlands Ranch city.
So, if you're searching for Homes in Highlands Ranch, and you perform a search for "Highlands Ranch Homes," you will not see every listing in the area. You see, many agents simply enter the legal address into the MLS. And, as I stated before, the legal address for any home in the Highlands Ranch area is "Littleton."
That means you have the potential of missing out on a number of homes in the area you want to live in.
So what do you do? You can either: 1.) Try to get all of the real estate agents to learn the complicated issue (which would be as easy as herding cats into a pool of water) or 2. You can refine your search using our tips.
Here's what to do: If you are searching for a home in Highlands Ranch, choose both "Littleton" and "Highlands Ranch" in the city area. Then add a zip code to your search query. (Highlands Ranch zip codes are 80126, 80129 and 80130). This will ensure that no matter how the property was entered into the MLS, you will see every home located in Highlands Ranch.