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Old 07-15-2012, 01:03 AM
 
1 posts, read 1,373 times
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I've seen similar moving posts, but they still left lots of my questions unanswered, so I thought I might start a new thread for advice.

We are a family of three children (4 yrs, 2.5 yrs and 4 months) and two adults, and we are very much wanting to move to Colorado, but we have no idea where. We are upper lower class, but not lower middle class in terms of income. We are currently in North Little Rock, Arkansas so it's going to be a long-way move, but we aren't planning on moving in the next 2 or 3 years, but sooner than 7 or 8 hopefully. I figure the sooner I start planning and asking questions the better.

Of course, we want to move somewhere safe for a family (good schools, neighborhoods and friendly people) where we can get out and enjoy the city/tourist attractions (hiking, snow-capped mountains, coffee shops, museums, scenic highways, creeks/rivers/lakes, kid's activities, restaurants) but also somewhere quiet, away from the big city noise. We plan on building our own house at some point (probably have a trailer-home to start with) so we want land outside of the city, but we also plan on breeding Huskies for a living and adding a lake to the property, so we'll need a lot more than just a couple of acres. We want to stay within 30-45 minutes of Denver and also Estes Park (I plan on trying to work in the National Park, or at least a State Park). I thought Boulder, but I hear it's both good and bad and more expensive than some other towns. I've seen places near there like Nedarland, Rollinsville, Eldorado Springs and Ward, but I hear little to nothing about any of them.

Any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated. I will try to check this thread at least once a month.
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Old 07-15-2012, 10:06 AM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,844,788 times
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ghanlon03 wrote: I will try to check this thread at least once a month.

That gives me 30 days to try to come up with a good response.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,880 posts, read 9,627,732 times
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1. It's not possible to be 30-45 minutes from both Denver and Estes Park. For example, it's at least an hour from Nederland to Estes Park and at least an hour from Denver to Nederland.

2. Trying to figure out what you want. You want to be 30-45 minutes outside of Denver, with several acres for raising dogs and putting in a lake????? And this place also has to have good schools? I can't believe that you really think that you can find this if you've spend any time at all reading these forums.

3. Water is a scarcity in Colorado (there are threads on this,too). If you don't own water rights, you can't just "put in a lake". You can't even collect water in a cistern.

Why are you wanting to move to Colorado? Have you spent much time here? Maybe you need to spend the next 7 to 8 years exploring the Front Range.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:26 AM
 
20,852 posts, read 39,080,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanlon03 View Post
.... We want to stay within 30-45 minutes of Denver and also Estes Park ...
That statement really means you need to center on Longmont and surrounding areas.
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Old 07-15-2012, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
2,394 posts, read 4,302,906 times
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What is your budget? The front range is going to be significantly more expensive than anywhere in AR.

Ward is veryyyy small, you could drive through it in less than 30 seconds and not notice you did. Nederland is pretty small also, but at least has a grocery store, some restaurants, etc.. It's not 30-45 minutes away from Denver though (counting the center). It's at least an hour, at the best of conditions. With snow packed or blizzard conditions that might be 2-3+ hours. It's also at least 1 an hour to Estes Park, 100% on twisty mountain roads

I love hiking also, especially in some of the areas around Ward, but I'd rather drive from the metro area than live up there and drive down to the metro area even more often
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:18 PM
 
Location: Burlington, Colorado
347 posts, read 714,578 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanlon03 View Post
we also plan on breeding Huskies for a living and adding a lake to the property,
Folks on here will argue about the realities of your other desires... but I think we all will agree this one is 100% not going to happen in Colorado. The state can't even keep water in their own lakes. If this is important... you better stay east of the Missouri River.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,427,116 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanlon03 View Post
I've seen similar moving posts, but they still left lots of my questions unanswered, so I thought I might start a new thread for advice.

We plan on building our own house at some point (probably have a trailer-home to start with) so we want land outside of the city, but we also plan on breeding Huskies for a living and adding a lake to the property, so we'll need a lot more than just a couple of acres. We want to stay within 30-45 minutes of Denver and also Estes Park (I plan on trying to work in the National Park, or at least a State Park). I thought Boulder, but I hear it's both good and bad and more expensive than some other towns. I've seen places near there like Nedarland, Rollinsville, Eldorado Springs and Ward, but I hear little to nothing about any of them.

Any help or suggestions would be very much appreciated. I will try to check this thread at least once a month.
I have to agree with others here in regards to the lake. Unless you manage to find property with water rights (which is going to cost you an arm and a leg, especially anywhere near Denver), this isn't going to be a reality at all. Water rights in the west are very different than the east.

Also, in regards to working for the National Park, do you have a degree in natural resources or something similar? Are you currently working for the park service? I can tell you, that to get a job for the park service (unless it's concessions or something like that) you will need at least a bachelor's degree, and probably a master's, in a natural resources related field. Not only that, Rocky Mtn. is one of the pinnacle parks to work at in the country. Most people who work for the parks service have spent their entire career trying to land a job with this park. It's highly unlikely you'll just be able to get a job there.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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This post must be a joke! Putting in a lake, making a living breeding Huskies. All on a low income. Yeah right.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:49 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,537,020 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghanlon03 View Post
Of course, we want to move somewhere safe for a family (good schools, neighborhoods and friendly people) where we can get out and enjoy the city/tourist attractions (hiking, snow-capped mountains, coffee shops, museums, scenic highways, creeks/rivers/lakes, kid's activities, restaurants) but also somewhere quiet, away from the big city noise. We plan on building our own house at some point (probably have a trailer-home to start with) so we want land outside of the city, but we also plan on breeding Huskies for a living and adding a lake to the property, so we'll need a lot more than just a couple of acres. We want to stay within 30-45 minutes of Denver and also Estes Park (I plan on trying to work in the National Park, or at least a State Park). I thought Boulder, but I hear it's both good and bad and more expensive than some other towns. I've seen places near there like Nedarland, Rollinsville, Eldorado Springs and Ward, but I hear little to nothing about any of them.
That is pretty much what everyone wants and those that have those conditions in the foothills/mountains around Denver are either grandfathered in in terms of family land or property passed down, or they have above average income. My family has had land and homes in that area for generations so I know a little bit about it.

For starters, Boulder is pure city that sits mostly on flatland next to the Flatiron mountains. Nothing in the immediate area of Boulder is cheap. Don't be confused by distances on maps either. Once you climb into the mountains, they twist and wind back and forth and once off the main highways many roads are dirt/gravel and take a while to negotiate.

Most basic homes in that area of Nederland, Rollinsville, Ward, Blackhawk, up in the mountains etc. are going to run $200K-$500K. You can get unimproved 1 to 2 acre lots for $35k to $60K. To get a decent parcel of land from 20 to 40 acres you are looking at $300k to $1 million. To improve that land to make it livable you'll probably have to spend tens of thousands or more. You'll need road access, water and utilities plus have to clear a patch of land that will support a house foundation.

A lot of the land for sale has restrictive covenants which means no mobile homes and because of the rural and rugged terrain, getting utilities up to your property, especially water, is a pain. So most blocks of land bond together in property owners associations or HOA's, so you can have fire protection, water, security, snow plowing, road grading, utilities, etc. A lot of times those fees can be hundreds of dollars a month.

Some points to consider if you are wanting to live in the mountains(7000 to 10000ft):

1. A few people have mobile homes, but for 9-10 months of the year the temps at night are below freezing and mobile homes are not the best insulated or suited for these conditions of high wind, snow and cold.

2. Water, where and how do you get it and at what cost? Wells often run dry in the summer or have very low flow rates, requiring a cistern and the maintenance there of. Or to tap into piped water supply, you'll have to pay thousands or tens of thousands for the tap fee and other fees to have a steady water supply. As an example one tap fee for an association up there is $16,000.

3. The building season is short and finding contractors to come up to the hills is not easy.

4. A lake is not realistic, a pond, maybe. But you'll have to find a way to excavate it(these are the Rockies) and a way to keep it filled, especially the first year or two when man made ponds have a lot of leakage.

My recommendation is you'll need to triple or quadtriple your income to make it work as well as bringing a six figure sum to the table(not to mention a big mortgage) to be able to own more than a few acres and a home.

If not, to find a livable house up there for a family you are looking at $250K, more like $300k-$350K. And that is an older home that might need work. There are cheaper dumpy cabins but not realistic for a family shivering at 5 degrees at night.

Mostly before you get any other ideas, you should visit first and become an expert on the area, such as visiting in January and visiting places like Rollinsville or Ward at that time of year.

The problem I think a lot of people have is they expect conditions and the ease of doing things in a place like Arkansas readily transfer to high elevation Colorado and they do not.

Realistically you are either going to be living in a regular suburban neighborhood down in the Denver area or living on a rural parcel with the associated cost of doing so. You can't have both at the same time.
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Old 07-15-2012, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,844,788 times
Reputation: 9316
The original post(er) has the markings of another one post wonder to me!

Last edited by CosmicWizard; 07-15-2012 at 01:58 PM..
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