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Old 09-23-2011, 07:34 PM
 
9,694 posts, read 11,831,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShellKing View Post
Let me repost and be more specific with my numbers (since saying FAR LESS than a million wasn't clear enough):

What about something on Hastings Mesa, Wilson Mesa, Horsefly Mesa near Ridgway, CO? You can get a cabin/home on 5+ acres with gorgeous views for $205,000. The hospital in Montrose is 35 miles away. Ouray, Ridgway, Montrose & Telluride all have school districts.
There is no doubt in certain areas you can get places for a couple of hundred of thousand, but you are living either in an area that is economically depressed or out in rural areas. As someone who has family going back several generations that has owned Colorado mountain real estate out in the boonies all over the mountain part of the state, there are many issues involved.

1. Access in winter. Sounds easy but someone has to maintain your local roads, county, township or property owners association, not always reliably and at a cost. And then access into your own property. Even in the more high desert areas, they are going to get moisture in the winter and a bit of that can turn dirt or gravel roads or access to your property into a slop.

2. Distance to town. 2 hours to a major city or town like Denver or Grand Junction sounds easy but that is a whole day trip at the end of the day. A lot of other small towns 30 minutes to an hour away, might have minimal services, a small supermarket, a few restaurants, hardware store. Again it's a trip that adds up. People always say about the Rockies, "hey you can commute". Sure. Great advice from people that have never had to drive 2 lane mountain roads for 2 hours a day commuting. As someone that was a professional driver on those roads for 7 years(600k miles) and a winter driving instructor for several years, my advice is if you have to do that, find something better to do. Driving on winding roads in 50 mph winds, on ice, in whiteouts, at night, with wildlife, other vehicles, tractor trailers, accidents, for 1 to 3 hours a day, not recommended.

3. Jobs. Good luck. Most good jobs are hard to find and already eaten up by those in the local queue. There is minimal industry. Seasonal tourism, some small mining, maybe some oil and gas, a bit of agriculture, 2nd home construction and maintenance, some services. Bring your own job, wealth or try to create your own job.

4. Water. I know for a fact on some of those mesas near Ridgway reliable water is a problem. I had relatives that sold their land and several people they knew sold theirs because of the water issue on those mesas. Water is always an issue when you live rurally. Just because water may be abundant nearby, doesn't necessarily mean you have rights to it. Buyer Beware.

5. Isolation. A lot of these places, as I have said you are on your own. Any fire, police or health emergency can get interesting and it's not like living in a town or city. There is a good reason why 90% of Colorado's population clusters on the I-25 corridor and the remainder mostly cluster together in various towns.

Every single situation is going to be different, because every property is different and in a different location. Regardless of any anecdotal situation, all of these issues should be considered and addressed before buying out in the rural boonies of the Colorado high country.

You really should be intellectually honest with yourself, say if you look to live on some mesa, whether you have the water access you need or whether you really want to drive on a 2 lane road that is snowbound at times in the winter or whether you have a job to pay for all of that. All questions most people don't seriously think about which is why rural Rockies real estate is constantly turning over, lots and homes sit on the market for years and get turned over to the next dreamer that comes along.

And in the mountains the areas with the jobs or places that are considered desirable real estate, they are going to be expensive. So that is the trade off, you might find a "real job", but then pay a premium to live nearby.
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Old 09-25-2011, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Pensacola, Florida
595 posts, read 339,417 times
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Wow, Gem. Such Optimism you're hearing. LOL. But, at least you're (we're) getting all viewpoints.
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Old 09-26-2011, 03:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PcolaFLGuy View Post
Wow, Gem. Such Optimism you're hearing. LOL. But, at least you're (we're) getting all viewpoints.
Yes it is helpful and I'm certainly greatful for all the feedback I've gotten...just would prefer more people focus on what I have asked rather then on what I haven't...I'll try a more simple question and depending on my responses expand to other questions...here goes:

Can someone please list which small towns (not suburbs) are the closest ones to Denver that have mountain views?
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Old 09-26-2011, 04:43 PM
 
4,749 posts, read 8,339,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemcraver View Post
Yes it is helpful and I'm certainly greatful for all the feedback I've gotten...just would prefer more people focus on what I have asked rather then on what I haven't...I'll try a more simple question and depending on my responses expand to other questions...here goes:

Can someone please list which small towns (not suburbs) are the closest ones to Denver that have mountain views?
You want a different answer other than the great answers about living in the mountains. I know you want, like other people, to validate your dreams but reality is reality.

Now on to question...small town...mountain view, not suburbs and the closest to Denver. I am not being sarcastic in this answer as I have given it much thought. It was an intellectual exercise in considering what is and not a suburbs. So listen or do not listen, but it is meant with the best intentions. All is based on my long experience here and my opinions, which I am sure will not agree with all.


You got to remember that a suburbs can be difined as a town that is considered part of the statistical metro area and/or a place where people commonly commute to the central city for their job. It is helpful, partly, to use the RTD expansive district which has commuting buses to define a suburbs. Since Colorado has very large metro areas and they are large because these cities serve a wider expanse of the western lands.

So the areas that are not considered suburbs would be, in my opinion, generally these areas counterclock wise concentrically past the suburban areas of Denver:

North: past Longmont
Northwest: past Nederland
West: past Evergreen
Southwest: past Aspen Park
South: past Castle Rock
Southeats: past Elizabeth
East: past Bennet
Northeast: past Lochbuie



If you look North, then keep in mind that you will go into the same issue that of suburban definition with towns that are consider suburbs of Fort Collins/Loveland. That does not mean bad because there are some great little towns such as Berthoud. There are some really nice little towns along the I-25 corridor. I would suggest Firestone, Frederick and Dacona. These towns are somewhat surburban commuting but have a small towns feel with a view.

If you look Northwest, then there are no towns with a mountain view because they are in the mountains and are too close and Boulder is considered a suburbs of Denver. Hygiene is suburbs but a nice little town. I would suggest strongly that you look into Eldorado Springs, south of Boulder, west of 93. You will be in a Canyon which is noted for Rock Climbing and there is State Park right in the Canyon and is close to amenities in Boulder and Denver but is considered a suburbs, yet very unique. There is not view but you are right against high cliffs. However, it gets dark early.

If you look West, there are no towns with a view as they are, again, in the mountains and lack a view. Evergreen is a suburbs of Denver.

If you look Southwest, past Aspen Park, all are in the mountains, no view. People commute from Aspen Park by RTD to Denver.

If you look South, past Castle Rock then you run into towns that are becoming part of the suburbs of Colorado Springs. Much are extremely expensive and yuppified.

If you look Southeast, then you can find small towns with mountain views that are not part of the suburbs: Kiowa, Elbert You could look at Elizabeth but I think it has become,again, too yupified and expensive.

If you look East, then you again find small towns with a view. They would be:
Strasburg, Byers. Yet, I have worked with people who have commuting from these towns to Denver but let us stretch my rules for these towns do have a small town feel and a great view.

If you look Northeast, then perhaps Fort Lupton, Hudson, Keensburg Interesting Towns and definitely reflect the great culture of the Great Plains.

So, what I am saying that is the best towns with a mountain view that are near Denver are probably exclusively on the Eastern Plains. That does not make it bad because the Great Plains have their own great characterisitics in Culture and certainly topography.

Remember Colorado does not have small idyllic pastoral towns like other states. The towns on the plains are hard working agricultural and ranching towns not fancy ritzing little towns. However, I like them.

My pick, out of my list to fit your criteria would be Berthoid, or the triple towns of Frederick, Dacona, Firestone. I also like Fort Lupton. Strasburg to the east is a very nice little town and starts to break away from the metro area.
Berthoid, I do like because it has more an example of idyllic town but has got somewhat expensive, in the last few decades, as the Northern Colorado has become more desired with the exposure of Fort Collins as the "best" on many lists.

What is the closes, well, I would say the triple towns with Dacona being the closest. I lived in Niwot when I first moved to Colorado from Texas, 33 yrs. ago. I am orginally from New York. Niwot , now, is an expensive suburbs of Boulder-so I ruled that out. I can remember that I enjoyed going east and exploring the little towns on the plains. I liked those triple towns. Yes, they have grown much bigger with tract developments for commuters but they still have a small towns feel.

The farther you go east, you will find more towns, more isolated and more divorced from the metro area. I think that the Eastern Plains are more an example of authentic Colorado then many of the phony, yuppified, expensive enclaves in the mountains.

Take your sense of Artistic Talent and become enriched by the Great Plains. I enjoy the author, Willa Cather, and her stories of the plains of the past and much is still the present. Saying all that, I would get as far away on the Eastern Plains that would help develop your talents and not think about being close to Denver and the allusion of moutains with a view; think about being close to the land that is precious--The Great Plains.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 09-26-2011 at 05:12 PM..
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Old 09-26-2011, 07:27 PM
 
9,694 posts, read 11,831,008 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemcraver View Post
Yes it is helpful and I'm certainly greatful for all the feedback I've gotten...just would prefer more people focus on what I have asked rather then on what I haven't...I'll try a more simple question and depending on my responses expand to other questions...here goes:

Can someone please list which small towns (not suburbs) are the closest ones to Denver that have mountain views?
Livecontent did a pretty good job.

As I have said many times, Colorado is either very urban/suburban or very rural. There isn't the wide spread of varying population centers that you find back east. That makes it difficult for people to find that middle ground.

There is no magic answer, if there was everyone else would already be on it. Everyone wants the same, nice job, cheap living, mountain lifestyle. To live in Colorado, at least one of those 3 things has to go and maybe 2. Just the way supply and demand works. You want the liberal latte city amenities, prestigious hospital and a job, but yet 30 minutes away want a rural lifestyle with outdoor activities and your own property with meadows and streams. Not gonna happen unless you can afford the Aspen lifestyle of mega millionaires.

The best thing for you to do is to actually take a trip and see it for yourself and then compare back to your research and perhaps what people have written on this forum over time. And probably best of all finding employment possibilities first and then using that to narrow down where you live.

A lot of times when people have said stuff to me, I haven't gotten it 100% until I have seen it in person and then it all clicks and even if I didn't agree with what they were saying, I could understand perhaps why they saw it that way.
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Old 09-26-2011, 09:00 PM
 
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wanneroo sums it up in the two posts above pretty well. Recently, I spent several days on another business trip through a fair chunk of rural Colorado and northern New Mexico. Quite bluntly, it's a pretty damned depressing sight if one is looking at it through the eyes of anyone who remotely thinks that they are going to make a living in the local economies. Over just this summer, I've seen the number of empty storefronts multiply alarmingly in just about every town I've been to. The fractious split between the "haves and have-nots" is becoming even more pronounced in Colorado than other places. The idle rich are still doing pretty much what they always have done in "cartoon" resorts like Aspen, Telluride, etc., but anyplace that is relying on the middle class for an economy is getting slammed.

Construction is pretty much in the coma that it has been in for over a year now, and I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future. About the only area of the rural Colorado and New Mexico economy that is not struggling severely is the natural gas fields. Want a job in the rural Colorado economy of 2011?--then you better figure out how to weasel one there--just know that there are a jillion people, both local and not, competing for every damned one of them (even though many of those jobs entail hard work, time away from home for extended periods, lots of travel, ungodly hours, etc.).

It pretty much boils down to this: you can probably find a job and employment--though not without difficulty--if you are willing to locate in one of the craphole metro areas of Colorado, and put up with all of the problems and inconveniences of living within proximity of a couple of million people. Or, if you bring a big income or one big s***load of money with you, you can live as one of the idle rich in one of Colorado's frequently socially dysfunctional resort towns. Or, for a fortunate few, you can live in a smaller community if you are fortunate enough to have a job and income that is not location-dependent, and you can stomach the inconvenience and travel that some of those jobs can require. Or, you can compete with jillions of other people for the relatively few (and now continually shrinking in number) of jobs available in rural Colorado, and understand that even if you land one of them, you will probably make less money than you will most places with living expenses (especially for housing) that will be more expensive than many places. That's the reality of rural Colorado, not the swarmy crap that a lot of people post--most of whom either a) don't live in rural Colorado, b) haven't had to make a living in the local economy in rural Colorado, c) have a big fat retirement or accumulated wealth from someplace else so that they don't even have to work, or d) just like to blow smoke up people's skirts because they might gain personally from it financially.

Last edited by jazzlover; 09-26-2011 at 09:12 PM..
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:14 PM
 
902 posts, read 1,177,717 times
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Gemcraver,

You might want to take a look at Douglas County (especially west or south of Castle Rock if you want to be close to the mountains). It isn't for everybody but there a lot of folks have chosen it, enough to make it one of the counties with the fastest growth rates in the nation over the last decade. Too much growth / ruined? That is for you decide. There could be spots you'd like to live and jobs in town or in the great big neighbor to the north or the pretty big neighbor to the south.

The first place you live in Colorado doesn't have to be the last / only place. Get a foothold somewhere then maybe with local references and local knowledge you can find a a place further out you like better and a way to make it work.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-26-2011 at 11:33 PM..
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Old 09-26-2011, 11:24 PM
 
Location: Pensacola, Florida
595 posts, read 339,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post

If you look Southeast, then you can find small towns with mountain views that are not part of the suburbs: Kiowa, Elbert You could look at Elizabeth but I think it has become,again, too yupified and expensive.

If you look East, then you again find small towns with a view. They would be:
Strasburg, Byers. Yet, I have worked with people who have commuting from these towns to Denver but let us stretch my rules for these towns do have a small town feel and a great view.

Livecontent

These are the areas I'm focused on but what a GREAT post Livecontent!

I'm thinking of temp or one full year (summer) in Aurora - close to these towns - and using that time to find where I really want to be for my next summer as I'm looking to snowbird.
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Old 09-27-2011, 05:33 AM
 
27 posts, read 38,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PcolaFLGuy View Post
These are the areas I'm focused on but what a GREAT post Livecontent!
I second that, wonderful post...MUCH appreciated...narrowing down these areas will make it much easier to research and visit. Thank you very very much.
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Old 09-27-2011, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Pensacola, Florida
595 posts, read 339,417 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by livecontent View Post

Take your sense of Artistic Talent and become enriched by the Great Plains. I enjoy the author, Willa Cather, and her stories of the plains of the past and much is still the present. Saying all that, I would get as far away on the Eastern Plains that would help develop your talents and not think about being close to Denver and the allusion of moutains with a view; think about being close to the land that is precious--The Great Plains.

Livecontent

This is pretty dang inspiring.

I'm almost 'anti-Mtn.' after your post! But don't wanna shout that too loudly. Folks will start moving there in droves and screw it up.

Then I read Jazzlover's post and fell back down to earth. Boo. LOL. The truth is though, jobs are hard to find everywhere. Glad I'm looking to rely on technology to bridge that gap for myself. I'm a freelancer in several different fields that allows me to live anywhere.

Last edited by PcolaFLGuy; 09-28-2011 at 12:01 AM..
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