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Old 03-18-2012, 08:44 AM
 
276 posts, read 583,293 times
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I moved to Durango about a year ago and wasn't sure what to expect. Here's my take on the town right now.

Pros
  • Weather: The weather during the winter was about what I expected it to be, but the summer and fall were awesome. The temperature didn't get above 90 degrees once, and there wasn't much rainfall until mid-August. Growing up in Pueblo, I was used to temperatures being 90+ for most of the summer, so this was really refreshing.
  • Natural beauty: Don't need to elaborate much here. This is a BEAUTIFUL area.
  • Lots to do outdoors: Can't complain about having 3 lakes and a ski resort within a half hour of where you live.

Cons
  • Too Expensive: I knew that Durango was an expensive place to live, but I had no idea that it was this expensive. I'm paying $800 a month for a 1-bedroom cracker box that isn't even in the city, and this is considered cheap for the area. If you want to live in the city, be prepared to fork over $1,000+ a month for a decent place. Another thing I've discovered is that the majority of the working class of Durango live outside the city. There are 10 people who work at my office, and 9 of the 10 don't live in the city. The majority of my customers live outside of the city, too.
  • Tourism: I understand that tourism is what drives the local economy, but as a local, it can be really frustrating. Parking in the downtown area is a nightmare and it's next to impossible to find a table in a restaurant on a Friday or Saturday night. In addition to that, most restaurants are fairly upscale and not worth the money you'll pay for a meal. Tourism affects everything, gas prices are always higher than the state average and groceries are outragous (I spend $75-100 a week for the basics).
  • Isolation: Some people like the fact that Durango is isolated, but I would like to be within an hour or two of a big city. Albuquerque is 4 hours away, Denver is 7 hours away, and Phoenix is 8 hours away. Granted, you have Farmington, NM an hour to the south and GJ 3 hours to the north, but It'd be nice to not have to drive so far.

Durango would be a great place to live if it weren't so expensive. But, if you're like me and have to work for a living, Durango isn't a feasible place to live. Even the surrounding areas (Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, Hermosa, etc.) are out of the question if you want to live here long-term, IMO.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:12 AM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,141,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durango Bound View Post
Tourism affects everything, gas prices are always higher than the state average and groceries are outragous (I spend $75-100 a week for the basics).
Is this really do to tourism, or more to the fact that Durango is really isolated (like you explained) so it costs stores/gas stations more to ship things in from distributors? Do the prices fluctuate significantly in the summer? That would indicate that increases were being driven by tourism (although gas prices go up everywhere in the summer, so maybe not a good indicator for gas).

otherwise good, informative post.
I love to visit Durango, but always envisioned it would be a hard place to actually be able to live.
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Old 03-18-2012, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
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It may be expensive by rural fly-over country standards, but compared to what you'd pay for rent around most big cities and along the coasts it seems not unreasonable. Are there really any other desirable places to live where rents are cheaper? You pretty much get what you pay for.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:55 AM
 
1,051 posts, read 1,575,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
It may be expensive by rural fly-over country standards, but compared to what you'd pay for rent around most big cities and along the coasts it seems not unreasonable. Are there really any other desirable places to live where rents are cheaper? You pretty much get what you pay for.
I would agree. We'll be making our move to Durango is about 15 months and I've been looking at rentals just to see what's out there and for what price. Truthfully, the rents are pretty much in line with what I would pay here in Pittsburgh if I wanted to rent a house or apartment, whether in the city proper or in the suburbs.

I can't comment on gas prices but I've bought groceries there (at the Walmart & City Market) and didn't really see a big difference there either.

I think that the bigger story there is the lack of higher paying jobs and what cost of living you may be used to in the area you moved from.
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Old 03-18-2012, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,196,177 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoButCounty View Post

I think that the bigger story there is the lack of higher paying jobs and what cost of living you may be used to in the area you moved from.
You're right on the money here! I have some friends who are relocating to Durango from Bend, and they both are taking a significant pay cut. On top of that, they are struggling to find a place to rent that's within their budget. I hope they make it, because I know Durango will be a good place for them if they can.
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
2,139 posts, read 5,483,318 times
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Durango is not a 'big city.' In fact, it is quite small as far as cities go.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:41 PM
 
Location: SE Portland, OR
1,167 posts, read 2,141,510 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoButCounty View Post
I think that the bigger story there is the lack of higher paying jobs and what cost of living you may be used to in the area you moved from.
Exactly, and the OP moved there from Pueblo (which has to have one of the lower COL in the state of Colorado), so I guess I could understand a sticker shock. On the flip side, someone moving from Durango to Boulder, might say the same thing!
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:55 PM
 
12,842 posts, read 24,468,229 times
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Good to hear back from the OP.
When I considered moving to Durango (with a desire to be in the Mountain West but consider myself quite a town person, not city or rural, and saw a job tailor-made for me with a huge pay cut), I did look at buying a house in Forest Lakes. If I sold my house here in the East, I could have done it, and would have had the same kind of life I have here- driving 30 miles at night to a job (although the road would be a lot more dangerous, and the job was the only one for many miles around) and high costs for basic stuff. Not sure where the daydream of more horseback riding would come in.
I decided then that Durango was not for me, certainly not while a working person, and likely not as a retiree.
Lovely area, though, that's for sure.
I ate lunch at a great Nepalese restaurant, and was the only patron there on Labor Day weekend, when the Harley-Davidson annual run was in town. The owner was disgusted, "All they do is line up and get drunk on beer." I did wonder how many people would be interested in eating at a Nepalese restaurant, although the food was terrific. I guess if I lived there, I'd factor in my own interest in lunches out at interesting places, however occasional it would be. I doubted the restaurant was going to make it, tourists or no.
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:03 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 1,118,600 times
Reputation: 1927
[
>>>>>Durango would be a great place to live if it weren't so expensive. But, if you're like me and have to work for a living, Durango isn't a feasible place to live. Even the surrounding areas (Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, Hermosa, etc.) are out of the question if you want to live here long-term, IMO.[/quote]<<<<<

What about the housing recession? Has there been a spike down of housing prices in Durango? Are there any houses available to buy on "short sale"?
I would think that there would be some screaming buys in housing right now at this time..
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Old 03-18-2012, 06:52 PM
 
276 posts, read 583,293 times
Reputation: 443
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chaffeetrekker View Post
[
>>>>>Durango would be a great place to live if it weren't so expensive. But, if you're like me and have to work for a living, Durango isn't a feasible place to live. Even the surrounding areas (Bayfield, Ignacio, Mancos, Hermosa, etc.) are out of the question if you want to live here long-term, IMO.
<<<<<

What about the housing recession? Has there been a spike down of housing prices in Durango? Are there any houses available to buy on "short sale"?
I would think that there would be some screaming buys in housing right now at this time..[/quote]

Did some searching on Zillow the other day and couldn't find any houses in Durango for under $300K. You can find some decent buys in the area for between $125K and $175K, but that'll get you nothing more than a 20-year old modular home that's about ready to fall apart. There's some houses in the $200K-$300K range in the Forest Lakes subdivision 10 miles north of Bayfield, which is where several people I work and do business with live.

You can find lots of overpriced condos and townhomes in Durango and in the DMR area as well, maybe worth the money if you're going to use it as a vacation home, but not worth it if you want to live there 12 months out of the year.
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