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Old 11-18-2012, 10:51 AM
 
66 posts, read 114,926 times
Reputation: 71

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We are looking for our ideal place to buy a little chunk of land (3+ acres), maybe with a house already on it, and are looking for suggestions.

Our goal is to have a place with a modest little house where we may eventually move or retire, and visit on a semi-regular basis until then. I would consider buying a little chunk of vacant land to gradually build on, or find a house on a few acres. We are currently living in Upstate New York, where we are probably anchored for some years for job reasons. The taxes, weather, congestion, and general stress of the Northeast are slowly dragging us down. And we find the wide open vistas, sunny skies, and laid-back attitude of the West to be very appealing.

I was originally looking in New Mexico, thinking that it might be a bit less-discovered (i.e. cheaper) than other western states, and also warmer, being farther south. But the really beautiful areas in New Mexico seem to be sparse, and expensive. By contrast, Colorado seems to have a lot more classic Rocky Mountain towns, and real estate doesn't seem to be any more expensive than New Mexico, in some places. It's a bit colder, but the drastically increased sunshine compared to the Northeast could make a huge difference.

So I'd like to be out in the country, but not too far from at least a tiny town. Halfway decent shopping and an airport within an hour or so would be a big bonus, too. I really want to be on a hill with a view, and don't care if the terrain is a bit difficult, or if it's on a dirt road. I'd need some sort of reliable water, even if I have to drill deep for it. Water is more important to me than grid electricity.

Poking around on Zillow, it seems a lot of property for sale out west are these developments of tract housing, or semi-developed "ranches" or "ranchettes" (yuck), which strike me as bunches of city slickers trying to play cowboy. (I know that is exactly what I appear to be, but I did grow up in the hills in farm country, even if I am currently a suburban slug.) Gated communities, golf communities, neighborhood associations- big turn-offs.

So I'm looking for some general ideas on places to look. The outskirts of Denver (Conifer, etc.) look pretty cool, but maybe a little too developed, and I wouldn't mind getting cheaper. So suggestions on other areas to look would be great, including other states. For instance, I also really love the beauty of the Idaho mountains, but am afraid that might be getting a little too cold.

My criteria summarized:

Great scenery
Modestly priced
Low taxes
Low bureaucracy
Uncrowded, but not extremely remote

Thanks for any suggestions!

David
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Old 11-18-2012, 10:56 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,174 posts, read 20,955,081 times
Reputation: 4258
I would suggest Salida.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
463 posts, read 978,594 times
Reputation: 421
+1 for Salida (or Buena Vista which is a half hour closer to Denver metro area) BUT ONLY if you don't need a job and are self supporting (retired, trust funder,etc,etc). Moderate pricing will be difficult but the RE market here is tanking and prices are slowly dropping. Be patient and choose wisely.
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:42 PM
 
20,836 posts, read 39,046,511 times
Reputation: 19073
We might even add Canon City, about an hour from Colo Sprgs or 45 minutes to Pueblo.

Further west, one might look at Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, Ouray, Delta, Montrose, Rifle, etc, but it becomes a case of the 'eye of the beholder' on issues like "modestly priced" and "not to remote."

For sure we can rule out Durango, Telluride, and the main ski towns on the affordability factor.

Colo Springs has all the OP seeks, though at 400,000 it probably fails on being "uncrowded." But just up Ute Pass from COLO SPGS is Teller County and Woodland Park (for which we have several threads).
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Old 11-18-2012, 12:51 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 27,013,351 times
Reputation: 6824
Why don't you just find a place in a more rural section of the Northeast? You'd be able to visit it more often.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:00 PM
Status: "Nevertheless, America's baseball team -- Roar, Tigers, ROAR!" (set 25 days ago)
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
12,307 posts, read 7,454,188 times
Reputation: 15885
I'm curious as to anyone's input as to what might have happened to Minturn.

I've been a railroad buff all my life, and Minturn (half-Greek; half-Mexican; all Rio Grande) was a pretty fair attraction among the fraternity of the Iron Horse until the line over Tennessee Pass was abandoned (actually "mothballed") for economic reasons by owner Union Pacific, about fifteen years ago.

It's been over twenty vears since I last passed through. While the town had a well-deserved rough-and-tumble reputation, the same held for Salida, and for the same reasons. There were, at one time, some hopes for recreational development -- Minturn is at a higher elevation than Salida -- but the market is probably well-saturated by now, due to the dormant economy.

Last edited by 2nd trick op; 11-18-2012 at 02:16 PM..
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,616,291 times
Reputation: 4942
Just drove through Minturn last month. It's a mixture of old timers, lower rent housing for ski area workers, and higher end vacation homes. Main street looks to be doing well, with the normal mixture of tourist stuff, restaurants, car repair, etc. the planned development that was going to happen just outside of town (can't remember the name) evaporated with the failing global economy. Due to its location -- squeezed between the river and a mountain, growth is understandably difficult.

OP, not sure you will find a small town that is remote, with a small bureaucracy, close to an airport and decent shopping. I always promote Buena Vista and Salida as small towns with great scenery. There is a regional airport in BV, but for commercial flying you'd have to go to Colorado Springs (an hour and a half) or Denver (three hours to DIA).

But small towns in Coloardo are like small towns anywhere -- "decent shopping" needs a larger population base. While BV has a mid-sized grocery store, we go to Salida for Safeway and WalMart. Low taxes and low bureaucracy means less infrastructure (you need your own well versus town-provided water, schools are not as good, maybe even police and fire services are diminished).

Please spend some time looking through the threads here about water in Colorado. It is in limited supply and strictly regulated. It's not simply a matter of drilling your own well; some pieces of land come without water rights.

Last edited by Dreaming of Hawaii; 11-18-2012 at 01:35 PM.. Reason: Added info
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,049 posts, read 12,398,038 times
Reputation: 25945
Paonia, Cedaredge, Ridgway, Montrose County, Hotchkiss, Delta County.
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Old 11-18-2012, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Bend, OR
3,296 posts, read 8,421,317 times
Reputation: 3321
Quote:
Originally Posted by db4570 View Post
We are looking for our ideal place to buy a little chunk of land (3+ acres), maybe with a house already on it, and are looking for suggestions.

Our goal is to have a place with a modest little house where we may eventually move or retire, and visit on a semi-regular basis until then. I would consider buying a little chunk of vacant land to gradually build on, or find a house on a few acres. We are currently living in Upstate New York, where we are probably anchored for some years for job reasons. The taxes, weather, congestion, and general stress of the Northeast are slowly dragging us down. And we find the wide open vistas, sunny skies, and laid-back attitude of the West to be very appealing.

I was originally looking in New Mexico, thinking that it might be a bit less-discovered (i.e. cheaper) than other western states, and also warmer, being farther south. But the really beautiful areas in New Mexico seem to be sparse, and expensive. By contrast, Colorado seems to have a lot more classic Rocky Mountain towns, and real estate doesn't seem to be any more expensive than New Mexico, in some places. It's a bit colder, but the drastically increased sunshine compared to the Northeast could make a huge difference.

So I'd like to be out in the country, but not too far from at least a tiny town. Halfway decent shopping and an airport within an hour or so would be a big bonus, too. I really want to be on a hill with a view, and don't care if the terrain is a bit difficult, or if it's on a dirt road. I'd need some sort of reliable water, even if I have to drill deep for it. Water is more important to me than grid electricity.

Poking around on Zillow, it seems a lot of property for sale out west are these developments of tract housing, or semi-developed "ranches" or "ranchettes" (yuck), which strike me as bunches of city slickers trying to play cowboy. (I know that is exactly what I appear to be, but I did grow up in the hills in farm country, even if I am currently a suburban slug.) Gated communities, golf communities, neighborhood associations- big turn-offs.

So I'm looking for some general ideas on places to look. The outskirts of Denver (Conifer, etc.) look pretty cool, but maybe a little too developed, and I wouldn't mind getting cheaper. So suggestions on other areas to look would be great, including other states. For instance, I also really love the beauty of the Idaho mountains, but am afraid that might be getting a little too cold.

My criteria summarized:

Great scenery
Modestly priced
Low taxes
Low bureaucracy
Uncrowded, but not extremely remote

Thanks for any suggestions!

David
Curious as to why water is most important to you? I understand the water issues in the west, but wondering if it's important because you want clean drinking water, or because you think you'll want it for irrigation? If it's the latter, you might think about gardening issues in the higher elevations of Colorado. Some places, such as the Western Slope suggestions and even Buena Vista and Salida, you can probably garden with some frost protections in place. Others however, such as Conifer, Woodland Park, etc. might be tough unless you have a greenhouse and deer/animal protection.

I definitely agree with Salida/BV area but it's further from an airport than you want. Montrose and Ridgway are both great places too look and you have a small regional airport in Montrose.
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Old 11-18-2012, 02:37 PM
 
Location: Black Forest, CO
1,510 posts, read 2,224,294 times
Reputation: 1480
Guffey, and that general area, might be another one to take a look at.
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