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Old 11-26-2008, 09:01 PM
1 posts, read 4,552 times
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My husband and I are planning a trip to Melby Ranch in three weeks. Can anyone give more information regarding the properties there? Also, the year around weather. Someone mentioned that water could be an issue is that true? Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2008, 09:10 PM
8,317 posts, read 25,120,672 times
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Originally Posted by MyZahar View Post
My husband and I are planning a trip to Melby Ranch in three weeks. Can anyone give more information regarding the properties there? Also, the year around weather. Someone mentioned that water could be an issue is that true? Thanks.
Pretty much a way to relieve gullible out-of-staters of some of their money. 'nuff said. Climate = Dry and cold. See Alamosa stats on Weatherbase .
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Old 11-27-2008, 09:35 PM
Location: South of Denver
291 posts, read 1,885,297 times
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Welby Ranch has been trying to sell out their tracts for many many years. There's a reason. Desolate, cold, and almost void of services. It's a nice place to own a lot and pitch a tent a couple weekends each summer. Winters, while not necessarily snowy, can be brutally cold.

If you're looking for a cheap place to live, find established homes near towns and installed utilities, with trained EMT's, Sheriff, etc. The San Luis Valley towns already mentioned in this thread are good, but for a larger town I'd head south to Espanola. You get cheaper housing because it is a poor area, but definitely warmer.
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Old 12-02-2008, 06:09 PM
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As a 10 year owner of 73 acres in Melby Ranch, I suggest that "jazzlover" take the time to check things out before spewing tripe about something he has no clue about.

In '98, I flew in to Melby's airstrip looking for a free buffalo burger at a fly-in BBQ he was having that weekend. I took the gratuitous tour of available properties and wound up hooked. I returned to my metro Denver home that day with a 35+ ac. lot packed with trees (ponderosa, pinion and cedar) along with stunning views of the Sangre De Cristo mountains to the east and Mount Blanca to the north. The lot also slopes down (around 100' in elevation) to the east of the property with cool rock outcroppings everywhere.

While vacationing there a few weeks later, I became so attached to the area that I purchased another 35+ ac. lot right next to the first one. Also with the same veiws, trees and topography.

Sure it's wilderness property, especially with heards of wild horses and Elk around, but that is exactally what I was looking for. It's kind of like being a settler in the old west that one would imagine. The cyotes bark and howl in the distance like clockwork at sunset. The night sky stars and Milky Way are so clear, they feel like they're in your face.

Evan and the gang have always been most friendly and helpful. Should you decide to visit, the lodge may not be some Rocky Mountain ski chalet villa but it's comfy enough and the staff treat's you like royalty.

In the time that I've been there, Evan has developed some smaller lots (also with views and trees) that have water and power. It was to my advantage as he had to border my land with power to get there. Now all I have to do for my future cabin is run a few poles to get electricity to the building site. Installing well and septic is a no brainer and typical with rural properties.

If you need gas and food, SanLuis is a 20min. drive away. It's a sleepy little town and Colorado's oldest.

A volunteer fire station was recently constructed, calming concerns of the insurance companies.

I'm not sure what my property has appreciated to (even in this economy) but I've been told it's a fare amount and been a great investment.

So don't be afraid to check it out if you want a real piece of the west for your own.

Last edited by archge; 12-02-2008 at 06:20 PM..
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Old 12-04-2008, 10:43 PM
Location: Denver
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Anything south of San Louis would be too far to drive to work. There is one hospital in Alamosa and generally speaking the valley area is underserved with medical facilities yet wages are low. If you were going to live in the valley, I'd go for Monte Vista or Del Norte, small towns with facilities and you could drive to Alamosa. The valley has a tendency to be hot in the summer and with very cold blasting wind, esp in Alamosa off Mount Blanca, in the winter. Yet it does have an appeal even with that. I would try renting there for a while before buying myself.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:10 PM
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costilla county is cold as hell in winter. a man i know says that it's not nearly as cold as wisconsin.but for us california lightweights it's cold.from san luis east into the mountains it's extremely scenic. there are a series of very old hispanic towns-it's like taos was before outsiders came in. more out of area people have been moving in the last few years. there's very little work there. it has a growing artist colony.
the summers are cooler than most places. it's an hour north of taos-
within reach of those ammenities. i have a house in san luis.
after remodeling we've spent 70,000 on it. it's 1500 sq. ft. on two lots in town. city water and sewer. well. trees.
certain properties (like mine) come with la sierra certification- you get a set of keys to a 75,000 acre forest (near by)- you also get a lifetime supply of free firewood- once a year you get enough 'till next year.
you get rights to harvest standing timber for your own personal use. these rights are a result of a u.s. supreme court ruling regarding an old mexican land grant.also free rights to graze livestock. so you're buying a way of life- not just a house.
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Old 12-05-2008, 12:42 PM
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i personally feel that it's a magical place, but not for every one.
item from the new york times travel section " the old west that i came to santa fe and taos to see i found in the little town of san luis, colorado." it has a future. that said- the nearest big food store is 35 miles away in alamosa. it has a clinic with an m.d. and dentist
but not really enough medical care. land and housing are CHEAP!
it has charm, like living in a foriegn country as i've heard said.
if you buy land with forest certification AND irrigation rights-
you'll be making a good investment for the future
one more thing- this year most hunters bagged their elk in the first half-day.
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Old 12-06-2008, 02:18 PM
Location: Arvada, CO
719 posts, read 2,308,891 times
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Originally Posted by Alamosa cowboy View Post
If you want to move to a comfortable part of Colorado with affordable prices, you need to look at Alamosa or Monte Vista. I would not move to Melby Ranch. Melby is south of San Luis, which is a dying town. San Luis has a reputation for being a little gnarly. I own some land near San Luis not far from Melby Ranch and I haven't developed it for more than five years because I can't get power lines to it.

Conversely, I own land in Alamosa that I just purchased and it has all of the utilities and I am already in the process of developing it.

You are talking about the San Luis Valley, a gorgeous, only just-now being developed part of Colorado. The valley is flat and there is little snow on the ground in the winter, compared to the gigantic heaps of snow on the peaks. Melby Ranch is in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristos. You will deal with alot of snow-related travel issues coming over those peaks and foothills when it snows. You will have virtually no travel problems living in Alamosa and Monte Vista because the valley floor is mostly flat. It will be cold here in the winter and cool in the summer, but you'll love the ambience.

Plus, Alamosa is a short drive to Santa Fe down Highway 285, which is passable all winter long because it goes down the valley floor. The only time you'll have an issue is if there is a blizzard.

I love Alamosa. It has all of the chain restaurants, a big WalMart, a multi-screen movie theater, a nice hospital and a terrific college. There is considerable growth going on in Alamosa. San Luis' only restaurant just closed.

Anyway, I hope this helps.

All hat and no cattle.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:18 AM
8 posts, read 30,780 times
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Default my zahar

all new power lines must be underground which is expensive-wouldn't off grid solar be better? the san luis valley sits on a huge aquafer- the only place with well drilling problems is melby ranch- why would you buy there?

with rights to keys to the the 75,000 acre la sierra forest for lifetime free firewood, rights to harvest standing timber, free grazing rights in the forest -(all come with certain properties) -- and then free grazing rights on the vega next to san luis proper- and good elk hunting- you've got a pretty good deal- high taos prices have reached north to questa- artists are moving in- you put all that together with the pretty country- and the unique history and culture- all for dirt cheap- and san luis doesn't look that bad.
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Old 12-07-2008, 11:34 AM
Location: Virginia
1,938 posts, read 6,196,695 times
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I used to live in Saguache, on the northern end of the valley. I have learned that some love the area and others hate it. It does get cold in the winter and I didn't think too bad in the summer. But then again, coming from AZ, I remember thinking that I couldn't get warm enough.
If you are used to the city life, with lots of options in everything, then the San Luis Valley way of life won't appeal to you. The valley in general is a small town atmosphere, everyone knows everyone...even between Monte, Alamosa, and surrounding towns. Job outlook isn't great, nor is starting a business. So, be sure you aren't seeking wealth or a richer way of life monetarily when you get down there.
Additionally, it is quite dry there. Don't think of rolling pastures of grass, think tumbleweeds. Closer to Del Norte, you will see your trees. Otherwise, Alamosa in general is pretty desolate.
As always, please visit the area for yourself. Your opinion counts most, not ours!
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