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Old 08-22-2013, 04:36 PM
 
2,305 posts, read 5,866,105 times
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Was wondering if there's anyone who can tell me a little bit about the area between Pagosa Springs and Chama (along 84). I see online that there are quite a few acreage parcels of land for sale in communities like Cool Springs Ranch, Alpine Lakes, etc. for pretty decent prices. Is it just really slow growth? Is this undesirable area?

My parents fell in love with Pagosa Springs and have been looking at some land/property (probably for retirement). They also love Durango and Santa Fe. Just wondering about this area, because when I drove through that area, it was gorgeous!! Is there skiing in Pagosa Springs in the winter?

Any insight would be great!
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Old 08-23-2013, 10:27 AM
 
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A lot of times these parcels end up never being developed and many people's retirement dreams never happen because:

1. For a lot of year above 7000 feet the weather is harsh, windy and cold. More so than most Americans experience in the more temperate places most people live. In these climates for more than 9 months a year the temps can drop below freezing at night.
2. Getting water and utilities hooked up to a piece of rural land in Colorado can be very expensive.
3. Older folks not used to high elevation climates struggle as they age to deal with dry air and lack of oxygen. In addition if they have any health issues, good medical treatment can be a long drive away.
4. If you are looking to do a new build home, trying to find good, reliable contractors in an isolated area is not easy.
5. Houses can cost a bit more to build in order to stand up to the demands of harsh weather and UV rays.

All things to consider and I am sure there are more I am not thinking of.

My recommendation to people is to try before you buy. Find a rental in the area for six months or a year, see how you really like it. Driving through and going ooohhhh pretty is one thing, actually living there is another.

For most people building a retirement spread is a one shot deal financially in that most people only have limited funds and are not multi millionaires and even if they are don't have the liquidity to buy homes all over the place. If you sink a lot of money into a property and then realize living in high mountain CO is not for you, 2nd home/retirement home real estate is notoriously difficult to sell, especially if you want to recoup your costs. Everyone wants their own dream, they don't want to buy yours.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:12 PM
 
Location: OKLAHOMA
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It is high up there like 8000 plus feet but I love it high. Chama is 8000 so all that property is around the same. There is an hour drive between the two towns but it is simply beautiful. I've been looking at that area for years. I think you would have to love winter (which I do). Be a little self sufficient. As wanneroo pointed out, health could be a problem. a few years back (we go to Chama every year) my husband had a fishing accident and it wasn't easy finding a doctor to stitch him up.

I've been looking at water issues too. Living on a ranch I have ponds, springs and never think about water but I've seen a few homes where water has hauled in that to me would be a nightmare. I can handle lots of stuff like snow, below freezing temps but water is one I'd like to do without.

If one is to rent you would have to find a rental in Pagosa because between Pagosa and Chama I doub't you would find something. Pagosa has more to offer than Chama with restaurants, ski lodge and closer to Durango but I personally prefer Chama.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:21 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,196,196 times
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Search this website for Pagosa Springs in the title.
Search only Colorado.
Many threads.
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Old 08-23-2013, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
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Good advice!
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:08 AM
 
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Pagosa seems to be feast or famine on the moisture deal. It can also snow a bunch there. We have friends that lived there for 20 yrs. They can get feet. The good news is that the sun shines and often the snow melts fairly fast. Pagaosa supposedly logs 280some days plus of actual sunny days! Look up the stats on the place. They get 100 inches of annual snowfall. Flagstaff gets 100 inches or so as well, however I wouldn't call that a bad winter either.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debbie at bouontiful View Post
I've been looking at water issues too. Living on a ranch I have ponds, springs and never think about water but I've seen a few homes where water has hauled in that to me would be a nightmare. I can handle lots of stuff like snow, below freezing temps but water is one I'd like to do without.
A lot of times on these 35 acre parcels even with a homeowners association that can provide water, water will often dry up into a trickle in the summer, which is why many people will have cisterns. The cisterns themselves of course have to be cared for and maintained so the water doesn't turn into sludge.

Tap fees just to hook up into homeowners association supply can run into the 5 figures, not to mention other costs.
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Old 08-24-2013, 10:56 PM
 
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Thanks for they replies. I would only really worry about theater issue. They love winter. My mom keeps her house between 60-65 year round and lives in Texas. My parents are somewhat survivalists, and would live to live off the land as much as possible. High altitude doesn't bother them at all.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:12 PM
 
Location: Betwixt and Between
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Water. Water. Water. Did I mention water? I used to own land in Pagosa. It's beautiful but if it's cheap, there is probably a problem getting water. Find a property that you like, then talk to your prospective neighbors and ask them about their wells. It's a beautiful part of Colorado, you just have to be careful about where you buy.
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Old 08-24-2013, 11:21 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,527,350 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhafer View Post
Thanks for they replies. I would only really worry about theater issue. They love winter. My mom keeps her house between 60-65 year round and lives in Texas. My parents are somewhat survivalists, and would live to live off the land as much as possible. High altitude doesn't bother them at all.
What exactly do you mean my living off the land?

This isn't the place for agriculture. Growing seasons are short in the mountains and depending on the elevation there isn't really one at all. Water and water rights are a major, costly issue in Colorado.

If they are looking to live off the land with animals and growing their own food, I'd strongly suggest the mountains in the eastern USA with a more temperate 4 season climate and plenty of water.

As an example I technically could live off the land here in the mountains of PA. I have tons of fresh water, deer and other animals on the property, I could fish the trout out of the pond behind the house, I have tons of wild blackberry and raspberry bushes, a garden with plenty of veg that could be expanded quite a bit, blueberry bushes, over 20 apple and pear trees that produce thousands of fruit every year and even 5 acres of corn planted right now.

Almost none of that would be possible living up in the Colorado mountains. The climate and the water situation would not cooperate.
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