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Old 12-14-2007, 09:05 AM
 
65 posts, read 281,103 times
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Cool Aspen

We are considering a move to the Aspen area. We are wondering about schools, kids, neighborhoods, housing, weather ETC...

We do not have to live "in" Aspen but would need to live with in driving distance.

Is the Drive from Glenwood to Aspen open all year?

Maybe even Basalt.

We would like a home as opposed to a condo or Townhouse. I know the prices are strong there, but where would be a good community to look for the kids and schools?
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:47 AM
 
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My friends with families who tried to live full time in Aspen found it to be a less than satisfactory experience. The town is geared to the part-time residents, the winter ski party atmosphere, or the very affluent with other requirements. Unless your family is truly very affluent, you'll not readily find "playmates" for your children.

The schools, while well funded, have a serious problem with the disruption of classes due to the sporadic attendance of many of the students ... families that travel out of the area for frequent and extended trips, for example.

The towns heading towards Glenwood have a more stable family oriented population, and the school environment there is better.

However, it's still a very expensive area to live in. Finding an "affordable" single family home may be a challenge, if not outright "daunting" experience. "Tear down" single family houses on a lot in Aspen went well past the million dollar mark over twenty years ago. Unless you have a lot of capital to bring with you or a sizable independent income, you'll not be making house payments on what you can earn in Aspen ... even if you want to live in Basalt, Carbondale, or along the down valley corridor.

The climate is typical mid-Colorado mountain living ... cool to cold winters, warm summers, with very comfortable spring and fall temps. Snowfall can range from severe dumps in storms to some years with fairly minimal amounts overall. The summer rainstorms and thunderstorms can be very intense, but then the sun comes out and it's spectacular countryside.

Overall, it's a beautiful place, with lots of interesting forests, streams, hot springs, old mines, Reudi Res and other small lakes, hiking, fishing, bicycling, climbing ... it's pretty spectacular.

For the most part, the road from GSprings is kept open, well plowed all winter season. But the current traffic load makes the commute to Aspen a challenge in "peak" traffic times in the AM and PM, it can easily take well over an hour due to traffic density. The valley bus service is your best bet in the winter, since it has special lane privileges and can bypass a lot of the traffic ... even with the route stops, it's still generally faster than a car.

With the markets in Aspen and downvalley, shopping for regular essentials is not too much more expensive than the front range of Colorado. But your other shopping will tend to be a bit more expensive ... and a lot of it is very upscale for goods and services.
Dining in Aspen ranges from more expensive than you'd see in other places to quite expensive.

Overall, I'd say you'll be better off for "family" living to head down to the GSprings area.
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Old 12-14-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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Thank you very much.

We have looked in Basalt and Glenwood as well. I think the driving is not a problem because I will spend time on the road anyway.

GTG I'll be back in a bit.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-14-2007, 10:39 AM
 
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Most "normal" Coloradans refer to Aspen as "Disneyland," or as "another planet"--my personal favorite. It is a playground for the super-rich--as the saying goes, Aspen is a place where the billionaires chased the millionaires out. sunsprit decribed it all pretty well. Of all of the towns in Colorado, Aspen is the absolute last one I would ever remotely consider living in--even if I could afford it.

There is no way I would want to try to raise kids in that phoney-baloney atmosphere. Glenwood is probably the most "normal" town in the Roaring Fork valley, but is still pretty darned expensive as far as housing, fuel costs, etc. There are much better places to live in Colorado that don't cost half as much.
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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I was in Snowmass Village last summer and it took me nearly an hour just to get from there to downtown Aspen in the middle of the day. The four-lane road from GS to Aspen narrows down to 2 lanes, and the speed limit drops to 25 mph through town. It was horrible!

The drive from GS to Snowmass was easy, but I can't imagine trying to get into Aspen every day, and especially for work. Winter is probably even worse!
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Old 12-14-2007, 12:51 PM
 
Location: South of Denver
291 posts, read 1,419,377 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnut View Post
We are considering a move to the Aspen area. We are wondering about schools, kids, neighborhoods, housing, weather ETC...
I could on & on about Aspen, but I will share one notable story. I worked with a young lady who moved out of Aspen after having lived and grown up there. She had a nice job and a good social network. But she moved to Denver for one critical reason: "Drugs were too easy to get."

Partly due to the nature and economic position of "locals", drug availability was just too easy and too ingrained in the culture. My friend felt if she tried to be an average kid in the Aspen area, she to would see drugs in a different light, and that scared her...right out of town.

Yes, the affect is less as you move down valley.

BTW, rt 82 rarely closes, however, statistically, that stretch of highway had, last reported 2 years ago, a higher rate of fatal car accidents than any other identifiable stretch of highway in Colorado. It has improved since it was widened, but it is still perilous.

Aside from that, I agree it is a beautiful area with extensive outdoor activities. They even have a yacht club on Reudi.
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Old 12-14-2007, 02:58 PM
 
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Ah, yes ... many fond memories of sailing out of Aspen Yacht Club at Reudi, camping out on the lawn, watching the lake, camp dinners with a lot of great folks.

Has to be one of the toughest lakes to sail in the whole country.

Typical wind pattern in the AM is light and East to West, down the valley. That fades, and the wind starts coming up the valley, over the dam. The first puff is just a light little dance upon the water .... then the next puff comes a few minutes later. As time goes on, the puffs get stronger with a shorter interval between them. On an average summer day, the puffs are soon blowing whitecaps, waves, and are very strong ... but still distinct puffs of very strong intensity.

In a high performance planing dinghy, it's a hoot ... and a lot of work. The water is cold, and it's a wetsuit lake for sure ... going over is part of the sailing there. It's a lot more predictable than Dillon Res, and smaller/narrower .... you must be prepared mentally and physicaly for the violent conditions that will happen almost every day.

A historical note ... the original fleet of boats sailed/raced at AYC was the Lightning class, a 19' centerboard sailboat, which ... at the time ... didn't have flotation or self-righting/rescuing characteristics in any but a few of the boats built up until then. Having been a Lightning racer/owner since the early 1960's, I brought my boat to Reudi, once. Big Big BIG MISTAKE. Do not plan to sail this lake with a boat that isn't easily handled after a capsize in high winds. AYC members found this out early on and moved on to other high performance dinghy class sailboats, which were much more appropriate boats for the lake and much safer.

This is also not a good lake for small powerboats with minimal freeboard and rough water ability, if you're thinking about fishing there. Surface conditions and winds are simply too violent. This is the same reason it's not a suitable lake for water skiing, plus it's a narrow, deep, and very cold lake.
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Old 12-14-2007, 11:04 PM
 
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Wink If you can love it

Aspen is a lovely town. At least I've always enjoyed visiting, although never living there. I knew people who lived in Carbondale, itself quite nice, who loved to dish Aspen, and I always felt such sentiment in part from no more than envy. Aspen has many obvious charms, but they would fade very quickly if you could not easily pay for them.

Yes, one might feasibly drive in from Glenwood Springs, any season of year, but it would be far more pleasant as the day trip or excursion you make when desired. A lot of people, the one's who actually work there, drive that distance or even further removed. So one might, although more as a matter of necessity than desire.

Really, anything along the Crystal or Roaring Fork rivers would be lovely. Basalt, Aspen, Carbondale, Glenwood Springs, take your pick. Each different, and all expensive. Of course in this Aspen takes the cake and Queen.

So if you like it, you'll probably love it. But only if the financial means. Anyone else actually working there, by and large, would have a far easier time of it somewhere else.
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Old 12-15-2007, 08:58 AM
 
65 posts, read 281,103 times
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First, Thanks to all that have responded. I do appreciate your insight and will take everything into consideration.

I am not sure we would live "IN" Aspen. I would actually like to live just outside of town on 15-20 acres. If we could not find a suitable home on acreage, we would build one.

I have heard the drive from Glenwood can be daunting at times. I think that is more than I would want to drive everyday. But Snowmass, Basalt or Carbondale might be more suitable choices. I have driven from Glenwood to just north of Aspen and that particular day it was a very pleasant drive. It was not rush hour, however.

The Roaring Fork valley has a lot to offer anyone who enjoys the outdoors, that is a given. If you could live anywhere along the river and could reasonably afford to do so what would be the logical place?

The ideal location would be on 15-20 acres close enough to town and schools yet not in the backyard of someone else. We will more than likely end up building our own home. I am thinking we may lease a home for a year (if we can find one) and seek out an acreage building site.

Any ideas on how we could find a year long lease on a four bedroom 3 bath home in that area?
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Old 12-15-2007, 09:11 AM
 
7,993 posts, read 15,556,390 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnut View Post
First, Thanks to all that have responded. I do appreciate your insight and will take everything into consideration.

I am not sure we would live "IN" Aspen. I would actually like to live just outside of town on 15-20 acres. If we could not find a suitable home on acreage, we would build one.

I have heard the drive from Glenwood can be daunting at times. I think that is more than I would want to drive everyday. But Snowmass, Basalt or Carbondale might be more suitable choices. I have driven from Glenwood to just north of Aspen and that particular day it was a very pleasant drive. It was not rush hour, however.

The Roaring Fork valley has a lot to offer anyone who enjoys the outdoors, that is a given. If you could live anywhere along the river and could reasonably afford to do so what would be the logical place?

The ideal location would be on 15-20 acres close enough to town and schools yet not in the backyard of someone else. We will more than likely end up building our own home. I am thinking we may lease a home for a year (if we can find one) and seek out an acreage building site.

Any ideas on how we could find a year long lease on a four bedroom 3 bath home in that area?
15-20 acres anywhere near Aspen could run you into the MILLIONS OF DOLLARS! River frontage would add a million or so more. The median home price in Aspen is over a couple of million, and I haven't even checked on that for awhile. Like I said, IT'S ANOTHER PLANET. Don't believe me? Check out a few real estate websites . . .
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