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Old 12-23-2007, 04:31 PM
 
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My early retirement should happen in 2008, and I've been planning to relocate to Colorado for about 5 years. I have 3 areas in mind;
Cripple Creek/Divide/Florissant or Bailey or the Canon City area.
I originally thought about the Buena Vista/Salida/Westcliffe area, but I'm unsure about major shopping there. (I'm sure there's a store in every small town where you can buy milk, bread, etc. I'm curious about larger chains like Home Depot, Best Buy etc.)

I won't need to work, and I can spend up to $330k for a house with some acreage. I'd like my neighbors houses to be situated some distance from mine. I'm not concerned about the school systems. I would be interested in; what the local residents are like, info about the weather, high speed internet availability, close mountain views (I already know that much about the B.V/Salida area).

If anyone can give me some first hand information about the 3 areas listed above, I sure would appreciate it.
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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Bailey will be the closest to major shopping; lots of new stores in Confier/Aspen Park, or of course just a short drive into Denver. Finding what you want for $330,000 may be hard, but it is a buyer's market right now.

Canyon City is about an hour and a half out of Colorado Springs, which would be the closest major shopping. I'm not familiar with the town itself, so hopefully someone else can chime in.

Divide is just a short distance from Woodland Park and the wonders of Wal-Mart, and another half hour into Colorado Springs. Cripple Creek is less than a half hour away from Divide (in good weather) and you could probably find some very nice homes there. There appears to be a lot of growth there.

We just purchased in Buena Vista and really like the BV/Salida area.
But you say that you've already checked that area out.
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Old 12-24-2007, 02:50 PM
 
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Cripple Creek lives and dies on the casinos. It has a pretty rigorous climate, being situated at 9,000 feet plus elevation. There is still a large gold mine operating nearby at Victor. Divide on toward Colorado Springs is basically "mountain suburbia" of increasingly high-priced homes on small (5-35 acres) acreages. Ditto with Bailey and Conifer, as one heads toward Denver from those two towns. Divide, Bailey, Conifer, and other areas near to them are all within the foothills life zone with a lot of ponderosa forests--most of them overmature, overcrowded forests subject to increasing mountain pine beetle infestations. Several major fires have burned near those areas in the last 10 years or so, and there probably will be plenty more. Lots of dead and dying trees around.

Canon City is 45 miles from Colorado Springs (and NOT a 1 1/2 hour drive as another posted suggested--about an hour is more accurate). Canon is still very much a separate community, and a pretty nice one, in my opinion. It is mild there in the winter, though the summers can get pretty hot (over 100 happens a few times just about every summer). Canon City's major "industry" (besides tourism) is the state corrections system. Numerous prisons are located in or near Canon City. Also, the "Supermax" federal prison is just down the road near Florence. That facility houses the nation's most dangerous convicted criminals.

Of those places listed by the OP, I would pick Canon City. Canon City is also the most affordable as far as real estate prices go.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 12-24-2007 at 04:12 PM..
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Old 12-25-2007, 09:48 AM
 
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Thanks to those who posted replies.
To "Dreaming of Hawaii"; B.V was one of my original choices and may well be my 1st choice if I can find what I'm looking for. I'd like to know some of the positives and negatives about life there.
To "jazzlover"; I would ask your advise as a real estate person, where would you suggest as a relocation choice? You seem to like Canon City, but remember, I don't want to live in town or a semi crowded subdivision with neighbors close by. I'd like some privacy (which forested land would provide-but then there is the fire issue), I enjoy mountain views and am not partial to the "plains". Although, I have seen areas up to 250 miles East of Denver, on Realtor web sites, with reasonably priced houses and many acres. As a horseman, this could be a plus. However, my main reason for relocating to Co. is for the mountain views. Perhaps purchasing property on a "plains" area close to the mountains would suffice. Any ideas where I should look?
I have seen posts here and on crime rate web sites about a high assault/robbery rate in some small foothill towns. Are there any local folks who could advise me about small towns that are somewhat free of those types of crime?
As for forest fires, originally I wanted to relocate to Evergreen/Conifer, until I saw them burning on TV a few years back. Were those fires caused by people or natural events? Anyways, those fires caused me to look for other areas to live. I haven't heard about these fires in or near B.V. or Divide, or in Bailey itself, but then I don't receive local Co. news.
Lastly, I have lived at a low elevation all my life. Can any relocators tell me about their symptoms of moving to and living in a 8000-10,000 ft. elevation? What can I expect and how long until the body acclimates to it?
I appreciate the info from posters on this site. I won't allow myself to visit Co. until my retirement. I prefer to wait until then, so I can live and travel within the state for a while before making a purchase. That is why the info provided by you Co. folks is much appreciated.
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Old 12-25-2007, 05:40 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,846,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VanCleef View Post
Thanks to those who posted replies.
To "Dreaming of Hawaii"; B.V was one of my original choices and may well be my 1st choice if I can find what I'm looking for. I'd like to know some of the positives and negatives about life there.
To "jazzlover"; I would ask your advise as a real estate person, where would you suggest as a relocation choice? You seem to like Canon City, but remember, I don't want to live in town or a semi crowded subdivision with neighbors close by. I'd like some privacy (which forested land would provide-but then there is the fire issue), I enjoy mountain views and am not partial to the "plains". Although, I have seen areas up to 250 miles East of Denver, on Realtor web sites, with reasonably priced houses and many acres. As a horseman, this could be a plus. However, my main reason for relocating to Co. is for the mountain views. Perhaps purchasing property on a "plains" area close to the mountains would suffice. Any ideas where I should look?
I have seen posts here and on crime rate web sites about a high assault/robbery rate in some small foothill towns. Are there any local folks who could advise me about small towns that are somewhat free of those types of crime?
As for forest fires, originally I wanted to relocate to Evergreen/Conifer, until I saw them burning on TV a few years back. Were those fires caused by people or natural events? Anyways, those fires caused me to look for other areas to live. I haven't heard about these fires in or near B.V. or Divide, or in Bailey itself, but then I don't receive local Co. news.
Lastly, I have lived at a low elevation all my life. Can any relocators tell me about their symptoms of moving to and living in a 8000-10,000 ft. elevation? What can I expect and how long until the body acclimates to it?
I appreciate the info from posters on this site. I won't allow myself to visit Co. until my retirement. I prefer to wait until then, so I can live and travel within the state for a while before making a purchase. That is why the info provided by you Co. folks is much appreciated.
First, I am not a "real estate person." Don't tar me with that brush. To answer some of your latest questions. The Hayman fire, arguably the worst in Colorado history, burned within just a few miles of Bailey and Conifer. The Buffalo Creek fire was not far away, either. There is plenty more dead and dying timber waiting to burn up there. Conifer and Evergreen are going to get hammered one of these days, too--it's just a matter of when, not if. The same goes for the Woodland Park area. They've had some fires up around there, too. All such fires may be caused by humans or nature (and both have caused some of the "notable" big fires). A forest ready to burn usually isn't very picky about the ignition source. Man-caused fires are often worse because they tend to start at the bottom of valleys and burn up the slopes, whereas lightning-caused fires tend to start near ridgetops and often don't burn downslope. But, in the case of a "mega-fire" that has a huge fuel source, it probably won't matter. They make their own wind and weather. About all anyone can do with them is get the hell out of the way.

I have posted elsewhere about the insanity of trying to have horses on 35 acre "ranchette" in Colorado's semi-arid to arid climate, unless you plan to be buying and hauling hay for them most of the time. There are numerous places on the Colorado plains, not that far from the mountains, where there are bigger acreages. The question is--how far do you want to be from towns, shopping, doctors, etc. People don't want to acknowledge it, but living "out in the sticks" by choice just for the hell of it--and not because it's where you make your living--may become quite unattractive in the coming era of $5 or $6 per gallon (or more) fuel. Much as I love "country living" (having been an ag person back when), I have forsaken it because I don't think it's going to be very viable over the long-term, except for those folks (read: farmers and ranchers) who actually make their living out there. "Ex-urbia" is going to be a dying lifestyle.

I have posted elsewhere on this forum about rural Colorado crime and law enforcement issues.

Finally, adjusting to altitude. If you are in good health, with no existing respiratory or heart problems, you should be able to fully adjust to Colorado's altitude within a month--maybe less. Where many people have problems is if they have pre-existing conditions affecting their heart or respiratory system (that they may not even know about, in some cases), then move to high altitude. My advice would be to get a thorough physical before relocating, and to spend several weeks here on vacation to see how you deal with altitude, low humidities, and intense sunshine at a high altitude area. I've seen a lot of people move to Colorado to retire, only to have to leave in a very few years when they faced a medical reality of, "Move to lower altitude, or else," because of heart and lung problems.
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Old 01-01-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Colorado
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Hi, I can speak about Canon City & Bailey area because I've lived in both. Bailey has your mountain views (big time!) but much, much harsher winters than Canon City. Canon has VERY mild winters - it is called the banana belt of Colorado and it is true! Canon is also more affordable than Bailey area by far. I own a 2300 sf home 4b/2b very nice inside & out, huge yard and I paid under $150,000 for it in Canon City. There are no comparables to that in Bailey. For that price in Bailey, you are looking at a small 2b 1b "rustic" cabin with no garage. But Bailey is gorgeous. Then again, Canon area is very lovely too. if you are a horseman, I would say Canon is your best bet. There are many farms & ranches around here and the people here are very agriculturally based. You can absolutely find what you are looking for in the Fremont county region for your stated price range. In fact, that will get you a pretty nice spread.
ps. I agree with you on the eastern plains. affordable but flat and no mountain views. feels like Kansas rather than Colorado
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Old 01-01-2008, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
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We bought a house in Buena Vista for future retirement. We like the area because of the location and the beautiful views. BV and Salida just down the road attract a lot of reitrees because they are in a "banana belt" weather-wise. Salida has a vibrant arts community that is also very attractive. I don't know about the availability of acreage for horses, tho.
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Old 01-04-2008, 09:40 PM
 
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Thanks to all for the replies. I've been away for a few days, and have just found time to read them.
sesamekid wrote, "Canon is also more affordable than Bailey area by far."
I'm curious if you were referring only to the real estate market, or everything else, such as the price of food, propane, gasoline etc?
I'd also like to know if you could give me any info about Pine?
As far as my horse interest goes, I may own one horse but will most likely board him somewhere other than on my property. Since I'll be living alone, there won't be anyone to care for him if I become ill.
jazzlover mentioned the forest fire aspect of certain areas, and I thank him for reminding and enlightening me. I have been speaking to realtors in my areas of interest about this problem. Hopefully we'll find a suitable property with fairly close mountain views, away from being in the middle of a fire zone.
dreaming of hawaii--I agree with you about the scenery around B.V., and it would definitely be my first choice. The problem seems to be the lack of my type of house/property. I have seen a few nice properties, but they are either out of my price range or have less than 1 acre. I'm curious about HOA fees. I'd hate to buy a retirement home in a community where I have to pay a fee, and have that fee rise yearly while being on a fixed income. Eventually that fee could become more than I could handle financially.
Thanks again.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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HI, I moved to Canon City from Flagstaff, Arizona about a year ago. I bought a nice 3bed 2bath house in a very nice area of town for 150,000. Canon is a good bit warmer than Flagstaff and is also a lot cheaper. Both my neighbors are also from Arizona and we all love it here. I live on the Northwest side of Canon up against the hill and a block away from my subdivision we have lots of open fields with horses. Two nights ago I looked out my front window and about ten feet from me was a small herd of deer looking back. Out my back window I have an excellent view of the mountains on the Southwest side of the Pikes Peak area and out the front door the Wet mountain range is pretty close. I'm also within 10 minutes of Home Depot, Wal-Mart, Safeway and a lot of other stores in a older downtown area that is being renovated and fixed up. I like Canon because I'm only an hour from the mall and big city shopping in Colorado Springs and in the other direction I'm about an hour from Salida and all it has to offer. There is even a dirt back road from north Canon to Cripple Creek that is only a 25 mile drive and a paved road to Cripple Creek that is about 10 to 15 miles further. They both take about an hour to drive. We have smaller pinons and junipers where we live but at the south side of Canon City next to the mountain you can get close to larger pines if that is what you are looking for. As for affordability Canon City is better than Salida or Buena Vista because it is closer to Pueblo and Colorado Springs. When I first moved here I was somewhat apprehensive about the many prisons located outside of town but their affect on the town seems to be very minimal and if you don't work there you won't think about them much.
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Old 01-06-2008, 08:27 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 17 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Canon City has a population of ~15,000, so obviously is a small city. You can be out of town in minutes. You would def find the rural feel there. To the east are COS and Pueblo (Pueblo directly west on Highway 50, COS slightly NW), mountains in all other directions. Even COS and Puelbo are ~1 hr away. If you are looking for small city in a rural area, it's about as good as it gets in Colorado. The only other place I can think of that meets those criteria is Gunnison, and it's kind of far from major medical facitlities, which are important once one retires.

Quote:
I'm curious if you were referring only to the real estate market, or everything else, such as the price of food, propane, gasoline etc?
I doubt there's much difference. Gasoline is more expensive than in Denver, but that's to be expected in a small town, and it is a matter of cents per gallon.
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