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Old 10-28-2013, 12:54 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,279 times
Reputation: 10

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I too just bought a 5 acre tract just outside Blanca. It isn't too far from town. It is beautiful out there, but yes I have had endless nights of sleep thinking about this purchace. I don't need electricity out there, though my wife and I will likely run solar/wind power with a backup gennie. Water is the ONLY reason why I almost didn't purchase the land. I would like to have a well, but given the water problem it could dry up. We have decided, when we move out there, we will install two 2500 gallon water tanks. Given our current water usage, with three kids, we could probably last two months before needing to refill. I have a trailer and a water tank so I can haul my own water. Our family lives in NW Arizona so we know very well about DRY/DROUGHT and hauling water. The only difference for us would be the harsh winter vs. the broiling hot summer. I'll take the -30 over 110-120 degree temps.

My only reservation about moving out there sooner rather than later is the fact we still have kids in the home and I have to work. Jobs out there are scarce. The place where I work now would give me a transfer to Alamosa but overall employment is still dependant on the economy and if they closed down or began laying people off, there would be no way to pay for heating the home or paying for the wood to do so which is what we wanted to do. A water boiler was the idea since we could reuse the same water over and over as it heats the home. Were not %100 sure on this since lumber might be scarce as well, if not now, at some point. Building an energy effficient home facing south to collect solar heat for the home, plus for solar panels, was the plan and would make a huge difference. We also considered a home partially or fully below ground which would offer the best insulation from the elements and leave the desert with one less house blocking the view of the valley.

No matter what we end up doing, we have our 5 acres with views of Mt. Blanca and were not selling it. I'll slowly develop the land for retirement if I have to, but one day it will be my home.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:40 AM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,479,886 times
Reputation: 927
[quote=Stdyhand;31994018]. I'll take the -30 over 110-120 degree temps.

Me too!!
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:55 PM
 
3 posts, read 5,115 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry2161 View Post
my LLC has just purchased 76 acres in SLV and plan on starting construction in the spring. I am in the process of building an earthship for our community, what are the biggest obstacles we face?
I am a carpenter by trade and have been building for 25+ years, we have a solar tech, and other specialists involved as well as base labor. The well costs and water quality is an obvious concern, 20 below? stay indoors? what about the wildlife?
Did you end up moving to SLV? I'd love to meet potential neighbors. I'm skilled in Electricty, energy and heat generation. Love to learn more woodworking.
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Old 01-11-2014, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Indiana
2 posts, read 3,827 times
Reputation: 14
I picked up another five acres in a more accessible location, ease of travel. This may end up being where I build a homesite.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:05 AM
 
Location: Bethel Springs TN
11 posts, read 18,498 times
Reputation: 15
Default Buyin in San Luis Valley

Hi we are just signing the papers next week on 5 acres in the valley..it has a creek on it..and says no restrictions..can anyone give advice or clues on building..we will be doing our own building and going solar & wind but not sure about needing any permits to build our own. Please let me know asap as if its too costly will not sign..yes on fixed income.
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Old 02-14-2014, 04:16 AM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,150,426 times
Reputation: 14009
Quote:
Originally Posted by witdove View Post
Hi we are just signing the papers next week on 5 acres in the valley..it has a creek on it..and says no restrictions..can anyone give advice or clues on building..we will be doing our own building and going solar & wind but not sure about needing any permits to build our own. Please let me know asap as if its too costly will not sign..yes on fixed income.
Before I'd "sign the papers next week" on this place ...

I'd be checking two places about that water:

1) with the folks that have control over the water resource instead of the agent/seller's representations about surface water rights and use for your domestic consumption. Likely the State Engineer's office will know who owns the water rights to this source. IF the seller cannot give you copies of a water right permit (in advance!) so that you can verify permitted water use for this parcel, run run run run as fast as you can away from this deal.

2) with folks who have the historical delivery records for this water source; ie, what is the flow history of this source? Does it dry up during certain months of the year? are there other folks who are permitted to use this water source who can call upon it ahead of your water right and dry it up (keep in mind, they can be upstream or downstream from your point of diversion)?

Unlike riparian areas of the USA, such as TN ... where water is where you find it and you can put it to beneficial use as you please ...

Water rights in the arid Western USA are a whole 'nother deal. Surface water on your property does not confer any right to use the water from that source. Somebody already owns those rights and you'd best be very sure that your parcel has a legal right to that water AND that the water source is functionally available for your use. "says no restrictions" is kinda' a clue that things may not be quite right, because normally there is a specified amount of volume that can be taken (and flow can be a limitation, too). Verify Verify Verify ... do not take anything for granted, and don't assume anything that the seller is telling you to make this sale is truthful, especially about water.

PS: pure reliance upon only solar and wind to power a place year round in this area could be very problematic, especially in the winter months.

Do not make the mistake of thinking that rural and isolated Colorado living equates to inexpensive COL. You will pay a price for your rural existence in this area. IMO, if you haven't done a site tour of the property before a purchase, do not buy the place .... no matter how glowing the things you hear from the seller that are what you want to hear about the property, or pictures of beautiful terrain, etc. Most of the subdivision sellers in the area, especially contract to deed sellers are experts in misleading folk from out of the area what they have to sell ... playing upon your assumptions based upon real estate that is familiar to your area of the country.

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-14-2014 at 05:22 AM..
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:09 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,953,040 times
Reputation: 9432
Sunsprit summed it up very well, and there's little I can add other than to note that climate change is only going to make the water situation worse. As it is, a big fight is shaping up over water rights to the Rio Grande and its drainage. The San Luis Valley has some of the lowest temperatures in the state - Alamosa doesn't call itself "the land of cool sunshine" for nothing.

Talk with the people who would be your new neighbors and go into the county offices to find out just what "no restrictions" actually means. Better to spend some time doing thorough research than be stuck with a worthless parcel of land that you can't get rid of.
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Old 02-14-2014, 07:41 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,099,702 times
Reputation: 9065
Having a creek on the property means nothing. Without a decreed water right, and a senior one in these drought years, you won't be able to use a drop of it--FOR ANYTHING. These 5-acre "deals" are only for gullible suckers about 99.9% of the time. They've been bilking people out of their money for these nearly worthless tracts for about 50 years now. For the record, I likley know more about the San Luis Valley than anybody on this forum. I know people all over the valley (and have for over 40 years) and I'm in the valley very regularly on business. I also know plenty about water rights and the water situation in the valley. Walk away--no, run away from this "deal."
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:06 AM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,778 posts, read 3,479,886 times
Reputation: 927
The laws in Colorado must be so different than OK. I have a creek running down the middle of my ranch and I can't imagine not using it. The cows would die without it's water. I've even dammed it in certain areas so it is pond like in the middle of summer.

I looked at a piece of property in Chama, 11 acres in the Ticonderoga area and almost laughed at the real estate agent when I asked about water he said I could ask a neighbor if he would share. Share, he would be nuts to share! None the less I knew then why that beautiful piece of property with incredible views was so cheap. No water!
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Old 02-14-2014, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Bethel Springs TN
11 posts, read 18,498 times
Reputation: 15
Thank you all so very much!! I am making some calls this morning..it isnt a pretty piece of land but yes the price is attractive with the low monthly payment. I appreciate it so much for everyones help. I will start calling and see what I can find out..before we sign anything!!!!
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