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Old 04-25-2012, 09:18 AM
8,317 posts, read 25,189,413 times
Reputation: 9067


Originally Posted by mjfeeney View Post
The risk is low ($10-15k), and the possibly of reward seems pretty high.
There's a sucker born every minute--and two to take him.
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Old 04-25-2012, 10:11 AM
11 posts, read 15,397 times
Reputation: 38
"Jazzlover: scaring tourists away one at a time since March 2007"
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Old 04-25-2012, 12:37 PM
9,817 posts, read 19,084,830 times
Reputation: 7546
I looked through several pages of those listings and they are either:

1. worthless scrubland
2. high alpine mining claims you couldn't live on
3. so isolated you'd need to form a National Geographic expedition to get to them

These lots have been selling for the same prices for over 20 years.

To me when you commit money into such an asset, it's not going to be a liquid asset, so that is essentially money that is gone. Spend more on a decent piece of land that is worth something and usable and you also stand a better chance of being able to sell it and use it.

Too many people get suckered by this feeling of they have to own land in Colorado, so they buy some scrubland and then it never gets built on or used and they can't sell it.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:41 PM
2,253 posts, read 5,862,227 times
Reputation: 2615
Wink That bargain alpine mountain house

Living in the back of beyond is not for everyone, but the price is right if one so attuned.

In looking at some of these old mining claims I notice that one had better not only like living at high altitudes, but will be carrying everything up the hill from the last known dirt road via mules, or if just walking maybe a line of sherpas. No services in power, water, sewer, or roads (way down below)—or likely to ever be (at least as provided by anyone else). But the annual property tax is fantastic.

Having looked into a few things like this I can reliably inform the prospective home owner that most people tend to want to have a garage—if not driveway leading to it. So count that option out. One would have to check with the county, but my supposition that even if miners of yore used to use an outhouse or lee of a tree, they would frown on that now. The only way you are getting a backhoe up there is by heavy helicopter; and even if so (and 10 acres or so to play with) in slope and peculation a conventional septic system might be out of the question; thus necessity of installing a recycling type which is more environmentally friendly, but also expensive. Water? Well, it snows a lot, but one might want to check the geology carefully for any seeps or springs, as the river is way down below, and who wants to drill (probably by hand) a well several thousand feet deep? Trash service? Same as the rest of your services: non-existent, and provided by you; like camping, everything you cart in you can later cart out (on that steep hiking trail of an access 'road').

For most people along about now, some of the romance has worn off. Try telling friends you live in Silverton, and after listening to all their whining and moaning about getting there via Red Mountain Pass or the like, THEN having to inform them that is the easy part, and still a drive of several miles up so-so dirt roads before they get to hike up half a mountainside to your home. But should keep the solicitors reliably at bay—if also anyone else.

I'm pretty sure most miners back then decamped from camp come winter, seeking solace and refuge in town. I suppose one could live out there year-round, if everyone in town thinking you are a loon (on rare occasion seeing them), and otherwise always a good chance—when getting up to or down from the house—to work on one's alpine skills.

Might be fun.
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Old 04-25-2012, 04:56 PM
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Here's a Colorado history lesson: For much of Colorado's history, the only people who lived away from small towns or cities were the people who HAD to live in remote areas in order to make a living--ranchers, miners, loggers, etc. Their existence out in those hinterlands was basic, sometimes primitive, and--often--only seasonal. That changed with cheap gasoline, better maintained roads, and some semblance of creature comforts in isolated areas. People now assume--wrongfully, in my opinion--that outlying areas in Colorado will continue to have good roads, year-round access, and decent infrastructure. Well, ever-higher fuel prices, the festering long-term crisis in public funding of services in Colorado, and the growing stagnation of middle-class income is going to lay waste to those assumptions. It is my prediction that the rural, isolated areas in Colorado are going to increasingly revert to what they were some decades ago--a place where the people living there do so because they HAVE to in order to make a living, not because they want to. I know the dreamers on this forum just flat do not want to believe or accept that, but reality has a real nasty way of not caring about happy scenarios that people want to believe.
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Old 04-25-2012, 05:10 PM
590 posts, read 2,017,734 times
Reputation: 417
I think many people look to these forums wondering if they can make it in rural Colorado. They may be unhappy with where they are at now and are exploring their options. Or they are nearing retirement and considering what they can do in the future. They've heard Colorado is a beautiful place to live and wonder if it is right for them. Others seem to think that rural living is just like living urban except with more land. I try to respond objectively to their questions.
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Old 04-30-2012, 10:33 PM
7 posts, read 16,111 times
Reputation: 27
Thanks for the info. I guess I will save for a while until I come up with another brilliant idea. I was really looking forward to be jazzlover's neighbor.
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Old 05-01-2012, 05:55 PM
12,867 posts, read 24,591,745 times
Reputation: 18900
Do you have a death wish? (If glares could kill...)
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Old 07-11-2012, 11:16 PM
171 posts, read 355,398 times
Reputation: 104
I've lived in both, Alamosa and Blanca. I've lived in town where we had awesome stuffs like Walmart, paved roads, and electrical poles, as well as out in the sticks living in a travel trailer with no utilities and walking miles with jugs of water from the public well. Here's my advice: interested in this area? FORBES PARK. Electricity: check. Snow plowing (for winter): check. You'll still get honky ass neighbors, half of which are crazy and occasionally a few who are running from the law (yeah, I've seen it with my own two eyes) even in the "rich" Forbes Park, but it's about the best thing available in the SLV outside of the northern valley by South Fork and what have you. Good views here, too, as well as trees. Rocky land, however. Good luck digging a well regardless of where in the valley you go if you decide to make this your second home. One nice thing about FP, you won't have vacant houses all around you from crazy people (literally) who picked up 5 acres for $200 a month, paid for 5 months and lived in a clapboard shack/trailer/van and took off, leaving all of their belongings behind, once the hellish winter came---Forbes is generally "above" all of that nastiness.

--Hope ya picked up on my sarcasm. Wouldn't go back except to visit friends from college and wander around to the cool/creepy vacant houses that often still have pots on the stoves and pictures on the walls. As a word of caution, you would have to be OUT OF YOUR MIND to go there looking for a full-time residence, unless you have a well established at-home business or a great job (more than likely either with the healthcare system, college, or other public schools) ALREADY lined up.
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Old 07-12-2012, 12:04 AM
Location: Pensacola, Florida
667 posts, read 655,598 times
Reputation: 438
Some very interesting and frank comments on this thread.

I've been that 'wide-eyed' window shopper from a strip-mall state dreaming about wide-open spaces and beautiful views. And I know some live in these areas and do well. I follow a guy's blog in the SLV. He's in the middle of no where but with a very modern off-grid home. But, I realize not all can be so lucky.

I appreciate hearing both aspects of living in these areas.
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