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Old 09-26-2012, 11:51 PM
 
Location: NW Denver Metro
26 posts, read 41,902 times
Reputation: 28

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I've been looking into moving to Colorado since 2010, and I was hoping to have done so by the end of next summer, when our kids start kindergarten. With the economic climate (namely education) the way it is, that is becoming less and less of a possibility. However, I definitely want to retire there and if the right opportunity comes along before that point, I am wondering if it would be wise to have some land already secured under my name. All of the land I’m looking at is rural, but within reasonable reach of the city, so I am considering using it as a campsite during our annual trips there in the summer, and building when the time is right. As I understand, each county has various rules on this.

Anyway, here’s a little background: my husband is a high-school teacher with five years of experience. I'm not sure if it matters more in CO (it sure doesn't make him stand out where we are in TX), but he is bilingual - if that helps his chances in being considered for a position. I work remotely for a call center and would likely have the flexibility to move anywhere. Of course, since my husband is the one who brings in more income, I'd like for him to find something before we commit to this major change. I would certainly hope that it doesn't take 20+ years for us to finally make the move, but there is a narrow window of opportunity each summer to make this happen.

If anyone has any personal experience from a similar situation or any insight to offer, like major issues I’m maybe overlooking, I’d appreciate the advice. Thanks in advance.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:40 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,246,015 times
Reputation: 6815
In my opinion that's not a very good idea. Why pay taxes on something you're not using? You have no idea how your lives will change over the next 20 years. You may find by then you'll want to relocate somewhere else. Rural land is difficult to resell. The best thing you can do for your retirement right now is upgrade your job skills and put money away in an IRA or 401K. Yeah, life sucks in Texas but having a piece of dirt somewhere else isn't going to change that.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:04 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,621 posts, read 9,107,160 times
Reputation: 4492
I'm not really sure what your question is. You say that you want to buy a piece of land to hold onto until you retire, but then you talk about getting work in Colorado and not waiting 20+ years. Also, what is "the city" that you want to be within a reasonable distance?

If in fact you are wanting to retire in Colorado eventually, what do you see as the benefit for buying a vacant piece of land now? I would think that if you really do want to retire in Colorado eventually, you would do better to use your summers travelling around the state and spending time (i.e., a couple of weeks) in various locations to see what fits you.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:20 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,014,998 times
Reputation: 7537
Unless you are independently wealthy and just have piles of cash sitting around you have no idea what to do with, I would not recommend it.

It's seems like most of mountain or high desert Colorado is for sale and the industry for as long as I have been alive has traded off the dreamers. There are land lots even right above Denver in the foothills that were subdivided back in the 1950's and 1960's and they have never been built on. There are tons of lots and property that gets bought with big ideas and then eventually ends up for sale. The problem is that a lot of this real estate is what you could term boutique real estate in that it has limited use. It's usually too far away from jobs/businesses or too isolated where the cost involved in construction and connecting utilities is significant.

I think what happens is that people from flatland states like Texas don't realize the costs involved in building out a lot in the mountains. In Texas you sink a well or connect to a town water supply. Due to the solid rocky undulating terrain in mountain Colorado and harsh weather, it's not so easy and just to get water to a lot that is in the mountains within an hour from Denver can run you tens of thousands of dollars in tap fees and other costs.

Buying land you probably will not use will tie up capital that can be used elsewhere.

What I would do if you want to move to Colorado is first your husband needs to secure a job and then once you have that nailed down you can search within that geographic area for what you want. Especially if you choose to live up above 7000 ft, I would rent for 6 months to a year to see if you even like it as a lot of people have this fairy tale idea of what the mountains are like and the reality is different. Living at 9000 ft sometimes is not as fun or easy as people think. I think the job comes first and will dictate where you actually buy.

If you do like it and you have done a thorough analysis of what your costs are going to be in regards to construction then full speed ahead. Just for starters you need to do a detailed examination of how you will get water and how much it will cost, plus your other utilities, how you will access the property, especially in winter and also how the house will be constructed to deal with harsh cold, wind, snow and high UV rays at that high elevation.

I would take it one step at a time and not tie up capital until you are 100% sure with what you are doing.
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Old 09-28-2012, 05:46 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,754 posts, read 16,447,829 times
Reputation: 9287
wanneroo wrote: Unless you are independently wealthy and just have piles of cash sitting around you have no idea what to do with, I would not recommend it.

Ditto! Great advice in the rest of the post too.
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