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Old 01-22-2013, 11:45 AM
 
129 posts, read 216,312 times
Reputation: 143

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Hello all. I have read about 40 threads across the site before registering, but now I think it is time I pose my question so I can here some personal opinions on your thoughts for my family. A little background: we're a young educated family, no children yet, but there will be one or two some time in the next 5 years. We've lived here in Colorado for the last 3 years. Spent some time in Greeley, but mostly in Boulder. Currently renting outside of Boulder, which is OK, but it is very expensive, and we could easily be affording a house at this point in just about any other location compared to the rent we are paying.

Our hobbies, which we are VERY dedicated to, include all forms of fishing (river, backcountry, canoe), backpacking and hunting, usually on the weekend. When its ugly outside or no time to get out, we are avid board gamers. That might sound odd to some of you, but trust us, board gaming has changed a LOT in the last 10 years. We currently help run a group in Boulder that sees dozens of people playing every week.

From my research, it seems like our dream home is going to be extremely difficult to achieve here: A three bedroom house with some room to work ( I have tools, but nowhere to use them in our current place ). 35 acres bordering public land, a few goats and chickens, a small garden, maybe a pond. Near enough to a population center that we can find some people to play games with us. Preferably in one of the more mild climates, as I am "solar powered" and my wife grew up in southern AZ.

But here is the kicker, I have a fairly secure job working remotely, and I make a "good" salary ... I don't need to worry about job prospects, which is usually the problem with any town off the front range.

So, with that, we're trying to get realistic with what we can achieve in the next 5 years. Some places we're going to have to cut out the land, others the outdoors access. So far, I have identified some options:

1.) Salida:
Con: Expensive real estate, low population (especially our age)
Pro: Awesome weather, excellent outdoor access (right in/outside town!), good chance of finding something close to town with acreage

2.) Montrose:
Con: Not much in town, Far from Denver airport, conflicting political views? (even though we hunt, we're pretty liberal)
Pro: Warm, decent outdoor access (not 15 minutes, but a ton within an hour), Fairly cheap

3.) Some front range town north of Denver
Con: Drive far to outdoors or share it with a million other people, forget land and animals, probably be in a subdivision, HOAs
Pro: Can be cheap, great restaurants, already have friends here, access to the plains lakes, easy access to airport, more job security

4.) Fort Collins
Con: One way to the mountains (Poudre Canyon), expanding very rapidly
Pro: Good outdoors access close to town, Old Town is nice

To us, anything south of Longmont/Boulder is essentially Denver. Louisville/Broomfield/Westminster/Arvada are all the same. However, it is the "easy" option. Some options that are probably right out:
Too cold: Silverthorne, Gunnisson, Kremmling, South Park
Too dirty / rundown: Pueblo, Rifle
Too close to my parents: Glenwood Springs
Access Sucks: Castle Rock
Nice but way too expensive: Steamboat, Aspen
People weird me out: Colorado Springs
And Denver proper for about 67 reasons

Alright, there you go, hopefully something we can work with. Now is your chance to refute the above claims, provide other options I hadn't thought about or lambast me for being fickle. Also, feel free to ask more questions, and I hope I didn't bore you!
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:50 AM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,444,172 times
Reputation: 1247
Montrose would be best. I'm not sure why you don't think it is not much of a town. It has a Wal-Mart Planes fly daily from Montrose to DIA. Ridgway has world class fishing. There is plenty of land out there for livestock, and even more if you head towards Hotchkiss/Paonia.

And who cares about political views? I'm as right-wing as they come, and I live in the heart of Obamaland .
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:01 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,941 posts, read 20,184,988 times
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1. Boulder County.

2. Buena Vista
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Old 01-22-2013, 12:57 PM
 
19 posts, read 31,696 times
Reputation: 45
From your list, I second Montrose. Montrose is a decent sized town with retail, restaurants, a main street, etc. Most conveniences can be found there. Grand Junction is a 2 hour drive or so away for the stuff you can't find. Outdoor recreation is easily found in all directions from Uncompahgre Plateau, San Juans, Grand Mesa, etc. Not specifically sure about property bordering public land, but you can find larger acreage plots in the area.

As far as politics, Montrose is certainly more conservative than Boulder (what isn't?), but it is hardly a bastion of either stripe politically. If you need a fix of off-the-wall, lefty, utopian thought just head to Telluride.
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Old 01-22-2013, 01:41 PM
 
129 posts, read 216,312 times
Reputation: 143
Just wanted to say thanks to all those who contribute on this thread.

Buena Vista .... love that place, I kind of lump it in with Salida, but worry it is a little too small town for my wife.
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Old 01-22-2013, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Western Colorado
11,044 posts, read 12,394,760 times
Reputation: 25940
Montrose "not much in town". Have you even been there? Population about 15,000, all the retail shops (including Target, JC Penny's, WalMart, Home Depot some very nice local shops on Main Street), and some VERY nice restaurants including The Stone House and Camp Robber. Far from DIA, well it has it's own airport with flights daily, and the GJ airport is only a couple hours away. Conflicting political views? Who cares. There's a mix of everything. It's too big for my tastes but I love visiting Montrose and if I wanted a bigger town, that would be my first choice. Weather is not too hot in summer, not too cold in winter. All the outdoor recreation you could ask for is in your backyard including The Black Canyon, Ridgway State Park, Blue Mesa, even close enough to the Grand Mesa.

I agree with the above poster, want insane aging hippies, there's Telluride, and Paonia.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: Cole neighborhood, Denver, CO
1,123 posts, read 2,444,172 times
Reputation: 1247
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethehighcountry View Post
Just wanted to say thanks to all those who contribute on this thread.

Buena Vista .... love that place, I kind of lump it in with Salida, but worry it is a little too small town for my wife.
My wife and I love the Ark valley as well, but real estate prices are just so out of whack with reality it is just unrealistic. Western Slope is your best bet.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:31 PM
 
825 posts, read 1,603,774 times
Reputation: 1239
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovethehighcountry View Post
People weird me out: Colorado Springs
The people in Colorado Springs "weird" you out? The populations of Colorado Springs, Fountain, Falcon, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, Black Forest, Palmer Lake all "weird" you out? 600,000 people and they all "weird" you out?

Sorry, can't help you.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:45 PM
 
129 posts, read 216,312 times
Reputation: 143
Whoa Jim, chill a little man ... I did ask for people to disagree, but let's be nice about it.

I have spent only two hours in Montrose, stopping for lunch on my way to Ice Lakes. That's the main reason I am asking about it here. I mean seriously, its on my list of top places! Not sure where people got the idea that I'm looking for hippies ... but if you read the threads on here about Montrose, it is conveyed that is a conservative atmosphere. I'm pretty Moderate in my beliefs, and I just prefer when people are open to discussion rather than blindly committed to certain ideas. I spent plenty of time in upstate NY, PA and FL to know I wouldn't make it among certain types of people, and that's all I'm trying to avoid. If Montrose is a mixed bag .... awesome, one thing to remove from the con list.

I don't want to offend anyone with my comments. I'm just trying to make the search easier. Colorado Springs, for example ... I have at least 4 friends that live there, but every time I am in town, I'm bombarded by all this religion, anti-Obama, military etc, its just not for me. It doesn't mean I have something against the people there. Its also growing far too rapidly for my interest.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:52 PM
 
129 posts, read 216,312 times
Reputation: 143
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrby View Post
The people in Colorado Springs "weird" you out? The populations of Colorado Springs, Fountain, Falcon, Old Colorado City, Manitou Springs, Black Forest, Palmer Lake all "weird" you out? 600,000 people and they all "weird" you out?

Sorry, can't help you.
My experience with Colorado Springs has been the area inside the I-25 / Academy BLVD loop. I welcome you to give me cause to re-evaluate my position, especially on the areas outside of this district.
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