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Old 09-13-2016, 09:19 AM
 
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Autumnsky, with the exception of Kremmling the spots you mentioned are very lightly inhabited spots on the road and not really towns, much less cities. None are in what I'd call NW quadrant (though technically I guess Kremmling and Parshall might just barely be if state was divided evenly instead of by terrain).


Kremmling is a small town, undergoing a fast growth spurt. It is still small but getting more viable for business / jobs. It is also one of the coldest places in the lower 48 states on some winter mornings.


In the northwest quadrant of state, I'd look at Meeker, Craig for more jobs / services / activities and possibly Rifle if you can find a place you can afford. Rangely wouldn't appeal to many but it has some things that might appeal to a few (cheaper land prices, harsh but sometimes pretty open range / desert, a small college).

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-13-2016 at 09:34 AM..
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
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Originally Posted by autumnsky45 View Post
My husband and I are planning to retire to Colorado. We currently live in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where the elevation is only about 1500 feet. We are hoping to find some property in the northwest quadrant of Colorado to build on. I'm looking for a city/county that has cool summers (below 80 average, if possible), and I see that most of the places there with cooler summers are at the higher elevations (over 8000 feet). My question is this: Does the body become accustomed to higher altitudes easily? I've read about elevation sickness and I'm a little nervous. Some of the places I'm seeing with affordable property include Florissant, Guffey, Hartsel, Kremmling, Lake George, Parshall, and a few others. Can someone offer me any advice about the elevation adjustment and/or and thoughts about the cities I've listed? Thank you so much!
The northwest corner of the state is one of the least populated and coldest areas of the state during the winter. With the exception of Kremmling and Parshall, none of the towns/wide spots in the road you've listed are in the northwestern part of the state.

The only "cities" with any sizable population in NW Colorado are Rifle, Craig and Steamboat Springs. The rest are small towns like Meeker, Rangely, Walden, and Kremmling.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:38 AM
 
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CybrSlydr are you in a place you are comfortable with for time being or are you still shopping for different / better?
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:42 AM
 
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Walden is very cold in winter, small and getting smaller (losing population at a significant rate) but if you like small & cold and could make a living, it might be nice. Beautiful surrounding land & water.
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Old 09-13-2016, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Seattle
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Thank you CybrSlydr, for sharing your experience with elevation change. I'm glad you're home safe and sound. And thanks so much for the link you posted. I was talking with a coworker today and it turns out she is from Loveland, Colorado, and she said pretty much the same thing you did, that within a few weeks I should acclimate okay.

Hello Arrby. Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge of the area. I'll attempt to answer your question, including what my husband is looking for and what I am looking for. First of all, my daughter and her husband will be moving to Colorado in a couple of years, also somewhere in the northwest quadrant, but not quite sure where yet. This is certainly one of the factors in our choosing Colorado. My husband wants a mountain view, with at least 3 acres of property (more if we can afford it), preferably without neighbors too close by. We'd like to be within 2-3 hours of either Denver or Grand Junction (it doesn't matter which one). I want cooler summers (below 80 degrees if possible). It doesn't matter to us how cold the winters get. And, as I said, we'll be retiring, so we don't need to find employment. We're both homebodies, so we don't have plans to get out and do much. Just a Walmart and/or a Safeway within a half-hour drive would be nice. We're looking for more of a conservative area and a lower crime rate. The cities/towns I listed in my initial post are some of the ones I found on the city-data website that offer the cooler summers I want and also the affordable land. I was also considering Cripple Creek, Fairplay, Livermore, Red Feather Lakes. I hope this gives you an idea of what we are looking for.
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Old 09-13-2016, 09:33 PM
 
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Livermore is another spot on road but probably 40-45 minutes to a Safeway / WalMart.
Cripple Creek about the same. Fairplay a little longer in good weather, longer still in winter. Red Feather Lakes, at least an hour in good weather. In the first group Florisaant and Lake George are within a half hour of a Safeway in good weather but the rest are more like 45 -75 minutes in good weather.


Most of the locations will be closer to 3 hours to downtown Denver, worse during commuting hours and weekends.

Cripple Creek, with its economy based largely on gamblers and drinkers, has a well above average crime rate.


Don't care about cold? Ok, you have more cold weather experience than many. As long as more than 50 days below zero on average in Kremmling is ok (making the average worse than the worst Sioux Falls has seen in nearly 40 years). Not as bad in the other places, fortunately but still frequently 20 zero degree nights or so.


Not that it really matters but none of these are considered NW quadrant locally. Most use the contitential divide as the marker between east and west and I-70 for north and south.


I kinda forgot you mentioned retirement. The job issue will be more for your daughter and son in law to deal with. Few good paying jobs outside bigger cities and resort towns unless you have special skills and luck into an opening.

Good luck with your choices.

Last edited by NW Crow; 09-13-2016 at 10:46 PM..
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Old 09-13-2016, 11:12 PM
 
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Somewhere around -30 deg. f. everyone cares about the cold.

I am not sure there is any regularly inhabitable place in Colorado which does not get above 80 deg. f. at least occasionally. Anyone know? Leadville would come close, but it goes over 80 deg. once in a while even there at 10,200 ft. But if your concern is air conditioning, we do not need it here in Teller County as it stays warm such a short time in the afternoon. Most days a few hours in the low 80's is welcome to warm the house up.

Forty minutes from Wal-Mart or Safeway may need to be closer than you imagine. It really depends upon the neighborhood you select and the type of roads on which you travel, but think in terms of 25 miles at most.

Of the place names you mention, Florissant would be my first choice (I include the entire area from Lake George to Woodland Park in this) except for one issue: it is at best only marginally in the northwest corner. Almost the exact center of the state, in fact. However, the road network to that area is good with both highway 24 and 9 taking you in that direction. As an alternative I believe I would start with Grand Junction and work outwards until I found what I wanted. As noted the actual communities are few and it should be fairly easy to home in on the location most attractive to you.

Not everyone will understand your husband's desire for a view of mountains - but I do. I sometimes breakfast on the front porch in the dead of winter just to look at them even after these many years. There is no substitute for going out to look for yourself. Road trip!

Every rural sub-division I know is full of empty lots owned by people with dreams of "someday". It is much harder to develop raw land in rural Colorado than people believe possible. Contractors and sub-contractors prefer to work where there are lots of people wanting to build - like actual cities. I would try and discourage any friend of mine from buying a lot today to build on it "sometime". It can be done, obviously, but you really want to know what you are getting into.
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Old 09-14-2016, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Seattle
16 posts, read 38,126 times
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Thank you all so much for the information. Looking at a map only tells me how many miles it is to get somewhere; it doesn't tell me how long and/or difficult those miles might be. It's nice to hear from people who actually live there. I suppose I was generalizing when I said the northwest quadrant of the state. Basically, we just don't want to go much further south or east than Colorado Springs. One reason we are looking at the Hartsel area is that I keep finding tons of affordable property there. I'm beginning to wonder if I should really be so concerned with finding cooler summer temperatures there. I just don't like the 90-degree days we get here in the summer and I find myself not enjoying the outdoors anymore because of it. As I get older it seems my body just can't handle the heat. My husband likes the look of Grand Junction, but I'm not finding affordable property there, at least so far. And I have a feeling my daughter and her husband will probably end up in Denver or Colorado Springs, due to employment access. My son-in-law works construction and he already has a few connections out there. My husband retires in 2 years and our plan is to get an apartment in Colorado initially, so we can see for ourselves the areas that might be good to live. We are planning to go with a modular home, so we'll have it built and then moved to the property. Arrby, I understand what you are saying about developing raw land, and frankly, the thought does concern me a lot. This is not exactly what I want, but it is my husband's dream. Honestly, I'd much prefer to live in an established neighborhood, but he wants to be out in the country.
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Old 09-14-2016, 09:38 AM
 
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It is a little confusing, and nothing brings clarity like a personal visit. It would hurt nothing at all to begin your search now, but you will want to develop a fund of information on topics like water rights, mineral rights, home owner associations, county code restrictions, road maintenance, fire mitigation, and regulations on spacing between house, well, and septic system.

Modular homes can be constructed to be very energy efficient. There are also a lot of log home builders who essentially assemble a kit on site. Some of them do really excellent work. That still leaves finding contractors for well drilling, septic, site prep, foundations, and so forth, so know what they will do and what they expect you to provide.

Hartsel. No. Just no.
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Old 09-14-2016, 01:30 PM
 
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In Hartsel I'd be especially careful about water access and utilities in general.

Lake George averages zero 90 plus degree days. Kremmling 2. Grand Junction almost 60. Cedaredge 25.
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