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Old 06-07-2012, 08:58 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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I about split a gut laughing when the OP said he wanted something "within a half-hour" of a ski area. Unless he is willing to spend millions to get a suitable property for his horses and cattle, 3 hours plus would be a more reasonable estimate. It is clear that the OP has no realistic idea about what having land suitable for livestock really means here in the Rocky Mountain West, and no real idea about the limitations that Colorado's geography places on such endeavors, both in physical or financial practicality.

To find a suitable property that would meet the OP's needs at a cost that is anything near to or less than where he is now would require him to be well out onto Colorado's eastern Plains. Even the western valleys of Colorado or down in the San Luis Valley would likely be out of financial reach to meet that criteria. And NONE of those places are withing "30 minutes" of a ski area. As I said in my original answer, but put more bluntly here, the OP is going to have to trade off something to live in Colorado or the surrounding states. Chuck the livestock and live close to a ski area (still likely much more expensive than where he is now), keep the livestock and live well away from the mountains and ski areas, and be willing to travel long distances (i.e., hundreds of miles) to be able to rodeo regularly.

Does anybody actually study geography anymore?
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,757 posts, read 4,399,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
LOL, reading the comments about looking for such a property to meet the wish list of the OP ... and coming to Wyoming ...

Essentially, the only place in Wyoming with acreage for horses/arena/cows that would approach meeting the 30 minutes to a ski area and rodeo venue is around Jackson.

Good Luck on finding anything affordable ... and I note that the OP was concerned about the high cost of living in NY as a reason to be leaving there.

I asked a friend from upstate NY about the costs of living there compared to Front Range Colorado expenses ... he lives in the Fort Collins area in a subdivision, not a place where he can keep livestock, let alone enough land to build an arena ... and his comments were to the effect that rural NY was substantially less expensive than Colorado. He's going "back home" as soon as his years of service vest his retirement at the company he works for and he can retire with SS and his defined benefit plan. He can't afford to live in Colorado on that income, but he can live in rural NY with the proceeds from the sale of his Colorado house to buy an acreage in NY.
I have a few friends from that east coast as well, and they all say basically the same thing, it is not really cheaper to live in the desirable areas of the state, especially when the pay rate is calculated into the equation.

the other thing I always notice is peoples misunderstanding of what Colorado and even Wyoming really are. About half of each state is mountains, with the other half plains. For many people it seems as if they believe the mountains and ski resorts are throughout the state, and therefor everybody lives within a few minutes of the ski resorts, has great mountain views, and gets plenty of snow.

If you want to buy cheaper farm land you will have to go out to the eastern plains or undesirable areas of the mountains like Craig, but good luck getting water with that land. Depending on the provider and source of the water is can go for up to $6,000 a share, and you will need somewhere around 5-6 shares to irrigate each acre of land. Of course you should also buy some extra shares, as if the dry years you will only get a part of each share you own, and while I don't know what it is this year, 2-3 years ago some people only got 15% of their water share rights.

Now a place like Craig fits what you are looking for as far as location, but I doubt it is cheaper to live in. Land goes for $4,000-6,000+ per acre, if it has a livable house that often that gets added to the price. Now you are going to need much more land in Colorado then many other areas as the vegetation does not grow as well or as much as they do in areas of the east coast.

Add in the higher prices for gas and food, as it all has to be trucked in from hundreds of miles away, and you do not have a cheap area to live in. You really must come and spend some time in the area you wish to move, in order to get a better understanding of what you are up against, farming/ ranching is not easy in Colorado any more.
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:17 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,450,212 times
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jwiley wrote:
farming/ ranching is not easy in Colorado any more
Was it EVER easy?
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Old 06-07-2012, 09:35 AM
 
Location: Eastern Colorado
3,757 posts, read 4,399,040 times
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Originally Posted by CosmicWizard View Post
jwiley wrote:
farming/ ranching is not easy in Colorado any more
Was it EVER easy?
true it has went from hard to horrible, as the population growth has added to the cost of land, and more importantly the cost of water. Most of my family has gotten out of the farming/ ranching business over the last 15 years, and are thrilled they got out when they did. considering I am the 5th generation born here in Colorado I don't think it is hard to figure out my family had farming in our blood.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:02 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwiley View Post
true it has went from hard to horrible, as the population growth has added to the cost of land, and more importantly the cost of water. Most of my family has gotten out of the farming/ ranching business over the last 15 years, and are thrilled they got out when they did. considering I am the 5th generation born here in Colorado I don't think it is hard to figure out my family had farming in our blood.
More and more farming and ranching families in Colorado that are serious about farming or ranching as a profitable business are leaving Colorado for other states. The economics are just as you describe--land in Colorado is now too expensive for most people to farm or ranch. Too expensive to buy if they don't have the land and too expensive to resist selling out for development or for tax shelter operations if they do have the land.

A fellow I know is a great example. He had a ranch of around 3,000 deeded acres in Colorado. He sold it a few years ago and, with the proceeds, bought a nearly 10,000 acre ranch in the Dakotas. He can run nearly triple the amount of cattle on the same investment in land. For him, a no-brainer decision. But, that is an economic tragedy in Colorado over the long-term. Agriculture is one of the few "renewable" productive industries in this state, and one that is not based on unsustainable consumption of finite natural resources, not dependent upon frivolous real estate speculation, or not wedded to destroying the natural beauty and historical heritage of the state in order to exist.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:17 AM
 
Location: Burlington, Colorado
347 posts, read 689,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I about split a gut laughing when the OP said he wanted something "within a half-hour" of a ski area. Unless he is willing to spend millions to get a suitable property for his horses and cattle, 3 hours plus would be a more reasonable estimate. It is clear that the OP has no realistic idea about what having land suitable for livestock really means here in the Rocky Mountain West, and no real idea about the limitations that Colorado's geography places on such endeavors, both in physical or financial practicality.

Which is why I suggested the OP really consider that things may just be best in the NY mountains where they are, it sounds like they have a pretty nice setup there. I don't know why people insist the grass is always greener elsewhere... human nature I suppose.

If you insist on moving out west... perhaps Williams Arizona will be a little better fit, though you still better bring some money, but at least you won't need millions.
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Old 06-07-2012, 03:11 PM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,139,178 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwiley View Post
(snip)

If you want to buy cheaper farm land you will have to go out to the eastern plains or undesirable areas of the mountains like Craig, but good luck getting water with that land. Depending on the provider and source of the water is can go for up to $6,000 a share, and you will need somewhere around 5-6 shares to irrigate each acre of land. Of course you should also buy some extra shares, as if the dry years you will only get a part of each share you own, and while I don't know what it is this year, 2-3 years ago some people only got 15% of their water share rights.

(snip)
Perhaps a good time to explain again about "water right shares" for folk from riparian states where they can take water for granted ...

A "share" in a water source only provides what water is functionally available in a given year, as opposed to ...

Purchasing a given amount of water measured in acre-feet or net number of gallons per share.

It's all dependent upon the functional water available each year from the water right source that the water company owns. It's also dependent upon how the water is delivered; ie, for some water companies, the water may come to your property in a ditch that serves multiple properties. You can put a "call" in for your water, but if the ditch is dry because other folk aren't taking delivery at the time, recognize that there may be significant losses of delivery to your property. What counts is not the water that is delivered to your place for beneficial use, but the amount of water released into the delivery system at the source for your use. Typically, folk will schedule to take water delivery around the same time, so the losses are minimized.

So, a given "share" might entitle the owner to an acre-foot (for example) of water ... if the water company has a 100% full source. But if the source is only 20% full in a year, then the amount deliverable per share is proportionately reduced.

That's why it's prudent to buy more shares ... and if possible, from multiple water companies ... than you anticipate using in an average year. Come a shortage of water in a year, you'll need to be putting in a "call" for all your shares to get as much water as possible to meet your irrigation requirements.

Without that irrigation, you've got a patch of dry land ... and Colorado has a lot of desert climates which cannot produce without that irrigation water.

The pressure on water ... inter- and intra- state ... has been compounded many times over the last decades. With more population growth throughout the state and the region, with the Fed water compacts demanding water to be delivered to other downstream states, Colorado has essentially oversold the available water. Throw in a drought year, and water supplies can get very scarce ... especially with so many Colorado cities having bought ag water rights to fulfil their community domestic water supplies. No water = no growth, no development, which has been an anethema to many front range cities in recent times. This is a serious enough issue that municipal water sources have been threatened from time to time with running out of domestic water for the residents ....
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:23 PM
 
874 posts, read 923,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
A fellow I know is a great example. He had a ranch of around 3,000 deeded acres in Colorado. He sold it a few years ago and, with the proceeds, bought a nearly 10,000 acre ranch in the Dakotas. He can run nearly triple the amount of cattle on the same investment in land. For him, a no-brainer decision. But, that is an economic tragedy in Colorado over the long-term. Agriculture is one of the few "renewable" productive industries in this state, and one that is not based on unsustainable consumption of finite natural resources, not dependent upon frivolous real estate speculation, or not wedded to destroying the natural beauty and historical heritage of the state in order to exist.
What's with all the hate toward mining and oil and gas? I'll remind you that people didn't first to Colorado to raise cattle, they came to rip the mineral wealth out of the mountains.
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Old 06-07-2012, 04:42 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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Originally Posted by wong21fr View Post
What's with all the hate toward mining and oil and gas? I'll remind you that people didn't first to Colorado to raise cattle, they came to rip the mineral wealth out of the mountains.
I'm a strong supporter of mining and energy production. That does not change the fact that it is an extractive industry of a finite resource. Unfortunately, mining and energy production tend to be relatively economically unstable industries compared to agriculture--a "boom-bust" economy that can be challenging one in which to exist for a community. I should know, I spent many years living in communities that depended on both mining and agriculture. Agriculture was relatively stable, mining came and went. All of that said, I would take either over rural Colorado's increasingly "funny-money" F.I.R.E. tourist/retiree/recreation economy that is largely built on a foundation of sand.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:32 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
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I understand the OP completely.

They have either seen pictures/video or have seen the high elevation areas with trees and streams and are blown away by it. They can imagine themselves living up there, able to pop out and ski anytime they want, or go horseback riding across their acreage and think of course there must be some moderately sized cities up there too to provide all those services they have gotten used to.

The problem is all of the nice real estate and ranches able to support animals tend to fall into the multi million range. Even 40-50 miles from Vail, Steamboat, Breck, nice looking land with water, can run into 7 figures.

Colorado real estate to me is horrendously overpriced. Personally I think places like Idaho and Montana would offer more value for a western lifestyle. And if you are really into rodeo, Colorado isn't the place. Oklahoma and Texas would be more the place for that. I used to ride when I was younger in those states and the rodeo scene is ever present.

What I would recommend is set a budget of what you can afford, then do some looking online for properties in your price range, then come out and have a look to see if all you want is going to be available at that price. The biggest issue I think for anyone buying more than a couple of acres in Colorado is water.
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