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Old 12-08-2008, 09:22 AM
8 posts, read 30,765 times
Reputation: 12


the flat valley is desolate- with scrub ground cover-traveling east from alamosa-
to fort garland- you begin to see some pretty coumtry-
likewise driving south to san luis- as soon as you head eastfrom san luis towards the towns of san pablo, chama and san francisco- you'll be in really pretty country-with trees, rivers, pastures, some rolling land rising up to the foothills- just gorgeous- there are people who relocated to alamosa without seeing the pretty costilla areas, then sold and movedcloser to the foothills.
as ive said- taos developers offered to buy the entire town of san francisco a few years back. they were turned down. would they have wanted to develop desolate land? it's beautiful.
it is economically depressed.
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Old 02-08-2009, 06:06 PM
7 posts, read 28,388 times
Reputation: 24
My wife I and I own 35 acres at Melby Ranch. It is absolutely gorgeous, but a little on the remote side. We had another 35 acres we sold to a guy who likes to hunt elk. We're thinking about using the property for summer camping as there is plenty of shade and a large lake nearby. We've also considered building a solar-powered cabin up there, but we're getting too old and lazy to launch another house project...
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Old 07-05-2010, 09:50 AM
3 posts, read 4,594 times
Reputation: 22
Default Melby Ranch

Came across this area on a motorcycle trip 8 years ago. I am a career criminal justice prefessional. I checked out Evan Melby with criminal and civil records checks prior to buying land. He is clean. I have had many personal encounters with him, and he is a good man, who bends over backwards for property owners and the community at large. We bought several pieces of property and I would challenge you to find more reasonably priced property anywhere in the western US that offers these views, this type of community, or access to all the different things to do around there. It is heaven on earth to us.

We ended up building and are off the grid, as it can be very expensive to run power to your property unless you buy a lot in an area in which it is already present. Doing this was no big deal. A few solar panels, a battery bank, an inverter, and a generator as back-up. If you visited our house you would never know we are off the grid unless I told you. Stove and fridge and propane, as well as the gas stoves we use to heat in the winter. Instant hot water heater runs on propane as well. We rent a 500 gallon propane tank with a very cheap per year rental fee. The cost of doing all of this is equivalent to square foot cost of building anywhere else. The home is insulated concrete foam, so it's passive heating and cooling is exceptional.

If you build smart......you will enjoy the experience. Most of the people who own land belong to a community co-op, for a small annual fee ($25). This co-op has done wonders. With the help of Evan Melby, this co-op has initiated a community center which holds frequent get-togethers, a small library, and a fire department.

Any who is critical of this place has no real experience there. The climate is mild, as far as I am concerned.....since we come from Minnesota. Any snow is usually gone within a few days, and the summer is great.

Note: it is dry and the sun shines almost all the time at over 8,000 feet......so sunscreen is a must outside.

If you are a city dweller and like that.......stay there. If you are looking for some privacy in a (for the most part) undiscovered part of the US, this is the place. The day trips, hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and interesting sites or day trips (old train rides)......seem to be limitless. We do not live here full time, but do spend at least 6 weeks a year here......and have barely scratched the surface of all there is to do.

Yes, San Luis and Costilla County are one of the poorest in the state, which means the cost of living is low. San Luis is 7 miles from the Mesa and has the shopping basics. For more extensive shopping we drive to Alamosa, Colorado or Taos, New Mexico, or Red River, New Mexico (great little ski town). Any of these is a one hour drive.

Land taxes have gone up in the last few years, whereas as few years ago they were dirt cheap.

Need a further endorsement? Want a builder referral? I would entrust my life to the contractor we worked with.......he was just that much of a professional.

Feel free to email me at Dayna1155@Yahoo.com
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Old 07-05-2010, 03:25 PM
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
Reputation: 7537
Originally Posted by Hipper View Post

Need a further endorsement? Want a builder referral? I would entrust my life to the contractor we worked with.......he was just that much of a professional.
Anytime a real estate "professional" says you can trust your life with them, RUN!

That's just a bit much.

Where do you get your water from?
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Old 07-07-2010, 10:34 AM
Location: Del Norte NM
529 posts, read 1,137,966 times
Reputation: 165
Originally Posted by predman View Post
Myself and my partner are looking at some land in Melby Ranch in a few weeks time. It seems from this (very) old thread that it isn't exactly a great place, or wasn't in 2006.

Can anyone update about Melby Ranch/San Luis area?

Alternatively, can anyone suggest a good place to buy land within a couple of hours of Denver to build a small weekend home on?


The Melby Ranch is an unincorporated area in the SLV. Relatively isolated and the houses are prone to break-ins.

I don't know what utilities are available but I don't think electricity is an option unless it's solar or generator.

Housing is expensive compared to wages offered. But when you compare Alamosa to Denver, it's a bargain. Right now, like everywhere else, the job market is tight.

You should visit the area before deciding to move there. Pueblo is a better choice economically, I think. You might look there too.

Good luck!
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:43 PM
3 posts, read 4,594 times
Reputation: 22
Have not been on this forum since my original post in July, 2010. I had cause to come back to it recently, as some folks who have land on Wild Horse Mesa (aka Melby Ranch), contaced me regarding building there.

I stand by my original post. There are new homes and cabins being built every year here, and if you check land values in Taos, which is about 60 miles away - you will see the land in the San Luis Valley (and Melby Ranch) is reasonably priced. I just ran into to Evan Melby this week, who advised that 17 septic systems went in last year - a clear indicator of building intentions.

There is a local self-established Co-op on this Mesa you can join for about $25 a year, which produces a newsletter and coordinates community events around the community center that has been built on the Mesa - kind of a central gathering social spot. They will also get involved politically in issues that affect people who live on the Mesa. I do not know if this is accurate, but I have been told that taxpayers on the Mesa now outnumber the locals in terms of $$$ paid in taxes. Therefore - the Co-op does have some significance.

I am at our property here as I write this - and am trying to understand any negative comments. This place is not remote, when you consider the number of people who are building here; everything from a 600K home that was finished last year to people who simply clear their land and permanently place an RV on it. There are several stores/markets in the little town of San Luis - which is less than 10 miles away. Major shopping is about an hour away.

Correction to wanneroo; I am a criminal justice professional, not a "real estate professional". Translation: I checked out any civil or criminal issues outstanding before we bought land here. Additionally, I do trust my life with my builder/contractor. We became very good friends during the building process. "A bit much"? If you have served in the military or law enforcement, you know that these types of bonds are built on experiences you share, integrity, character and trust. That is what I was expressing.

The San Luis Valley is one of the best kept secrets in my opinion, as is Wild Horse Mesa (Melby Ranch). The difference between buying land here, and other parts of the Valley is that this Mesa has/is developing into a community.

The building can be challenging because of all the rock - but if you build smart it does not need to be difficult. The only other drawback I can think of, for some people, is the altitude......which is about 8,000 feet. Predictably, about 20% of the population will experience some mild to moderate altitude sickness at this height. The "cure" is to drink lots of fluid and let your body adjust by limiting heavy physical activity - for 1 to 3 days.

Again, if you are considering this area, and Wild Horse Mesa (Melby Ranch) in particular - I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. I can be reached at Dayna1155@Yahoo.com.
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Old 01-03-2013, 03:30 PM
3 posts, read 4,594 times
Reputation: 22
updating my own post - new email address is terry@assaultprevention.org if you want further information from someone who has built here, been coming out here for ten years and has conducted business with Evan Melby.
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:13 PM
2 posts, read 1,643 times
Reputation: 14
Melby Ranch is a beautiful place. I have owned a home here for 2 years. It isn't the desolate place like some may try to make it out to be. If you want to be remote and off grid you can be, but if you want a property with power and water that is available also. Summers are generally mid 70s to low 80s and winters can be cold with an average snow fall of 20 ins. Not to bad I think. Quiet with lots of trees. Mule deer and Elk are abundant. Also if you own property on the ranch you have hunting rights to the nearly 37,000 acres the ranch consists of. I got my first Elk this year first day of rifle season, a nice 6x6 was dressed, quartered and hanging by 1:00 pm. Not bad for a first time Elk hunter. Don't believe the negative stuff you read from people who don't know what they are talking about, just as frogging said check it out for yourself.
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