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Old 07-07-2007, 04:50 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,436 times
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I'm not worried about losing money on my investment in Pagosa. Of course, we bought there in 1991, and got 5 beautiful acres with 180 degree Continental Divide views for a great price. I plan on dying there at the age of 96, sitting in my rocker, so I'll let my kids worry about the resell value.

Unfortunately, even though we bought 15 years ago, we still haven't figured out a way to afford to live in Pagosa. Since buying we were blessed with a couple of kids. The dream house has been designed, we know a great builder in Pagosa, and now we might be ready to start building. My big concern at this point is the school system. I would love to hear from Pagosa residents who have had experience with the school system there.

Although we visit Pagosa once or twice a year and love it, I'm concerned about rumors of the Religious Right in Pagosa. Has that presented a problem for anyone? I was happy to see that Pagosa stood up recently for the couple that had a Peace Symbol wreath for Christmas, and actually hung their own Peace Symbol on the clock towere. However, I've heard stories in the past that if you don't belong to "the church", you might find yourself discriminated against. We are spiritual, not religious. And even though I was born and raised in Texas, I certainly don't agree with politics there. I'm a double whammy, native Texan that has lived in California most of her adult life. However, my heart has always been in Pagosa, ever since we stumbled upon the town back in '91 and bought property within 24 hours. We were actually looking for land in Durango, which was already overpriced and scarce. We didn't even know Pagosa Springs existed, until we came upon it on the 160. It was love at first sight. Fate!
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Old 07-07-2007, 08:02 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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There is a lot of Colorado that looks like paradise to outsiders who show up in the summer. It's no surprise that the realtors take all of the marketing photos when things are green for that 3 months or so. Some people can even afford to only show up during that 3 months of summer to enjoy their property (one heck of a lot of Texans in that crowd). But if you are living in a place like Pagosa Springs, or any other of several dozen mountain towns in the wintertime, the reality, as Bob Winners posted, can be a heck of a lot different. Some people adapt to it just fine, but a lot don't. I posted my advice elsewhere on the forum: If you're thinking of moving to Colorado, come spend a couple of weeks in early March. If you can stand that, when it's still cold and snowing when most of the country is seeing spring, then you might make it as a year-round Coloradan. And, more than a few Colorado natives hold the opinion that if you don't live in the state year-round, you're not a real Coloradan, no matter what your license plate says. Oh, for the unitiated, whether it's due to global warming or just normal climate variation, Colorado has not had a real "tomcat" of a winter for a number of years. Even the big "blizzards" on the Front Range this past winter, though fairly rigorous, were not that uncommon in years past. The old-timers say we are long overdue for some bad winters. Specifically as to Pagosa, I had a friend who lived there years ago who remembered one winter when he could walk out of his second-story window onto snow--it was about 6 feet deep on the level, and drifted to 8 or more on the leeward side of his house. The snow on Wolf Creek was around 20 feet deep on the level, with drifts to 30 or more in places. (And a TEXAN wants to put a $%^##$$!!! mega-development up there!)
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Old 07-07-2007, 09:29 PM
 
Location: SW Colorado
147 posts, read 560,245 times
Reputation: 87
Quote:
Originally Posted by starsoul View Post
I'm not worried about losing money on my investment in Pagosa. Of course, we bought there in 1991, and got 5 beautiful acres with 180 degree Continental Divide views for a great price. I plan on dying there at the age of 96, sitting in my rocker, so I'll let my kids worry about the resell value.

Unfortunately, even though we bought 15 years ago, we still haven't figured out a way to afford to live in Pagosa. Since buying we were blessed with a couple of kids. The dream house has been designed, we know a great builder in Pagosa, and now we might be ready to start building. My big concern at this point is the school system. I would love to hear from Pagosa residents who have had experience with the school system there.

Although we visit Pagosa once or twice a year and love it, I'm concerned about rumors of the Religious Right in Pagosa. Has that presented a problem for anyone? I was happy to see that Pagosa stood up recently for the couple that had a Peace Symbol wreath for Christmas, and actually hung their own Peace Symbol on the clock towere. However, I've heard stories in the past that if you don't belong to "the church", you might find yourself discriminated against. We are spiritual, not religious. And even though I was born and raised in Texas, I certainly don't agree with politics there. I'm a double whammy, native Texan that has lived in California most of her adult life. However, my heart has always been in Pagosa, ever since we stumbled upon the town back in '91 and bought property within 24 hours. We were actually looking for land in Durango, which was already overpriced and scarce. We didn't even know Pagosa Springs existed, until we came upon it on the 160. It was love at first sight. Fate!
We've lived in Pagosa almost three years now and enjoy it very much. Moving down from the front range (Colo. Springs) it proved to be quite a change - but very much for the better. Our son began the 7th grade when we moved here and we were at first hesitant about the school system too. However, it has been a great experience for him. The classroom sizes are small and teachers, at least from our experience in the middle school, are very good. I have heard from other parents that the elementary school also has some great teachers. Families and the community as a whole are very involved in the schools here which is much different from the schools system we came from in Colo. Springs.

Now as far as the "religious right", you might be confusing the Springs as in Colorado Springs vs. Pagosa Springs(?). Coming from Colorado Springs I am very familiar with the conservative Christian environment there, and Pagosa is no comparison. While there are several churches here, there is no pressure to "belong" to a church or be part of any religious group. I think you will find more of the type of people that stood up for the Peace Symbol wreath than of the other type.

As previous posters mentioned we do get a lot of snow here but it adds to the beauty of the area in the winter, as well as some great skiing. I've spent three winters down here now and actually think the front range winters can be worse than here. The last two years we have had 0 snow days for the school kids - front range kids (where we moved from) had somewhere between 5-10 snow days last year. I think the difference is that we don't get the wind in the winter that causes the drifting and blizzards. It is really peaceful when it snows here - going outside in the evening for a walk and watching the snow silently fall is almost surreal. Prior to moving to Pagosa, my husband and I made many trips to the area over the past 15 years. Many of those were during the winter months and only one time that I can remember having a problem getting over the pass (Wolf Creek) which had been closed because of the snow. CDOT does a great job of keeping roads clear.

Lots of folks from Texas, California, Florida, New Mexico, and Louisiana have moved here, some are full time residents and some are part-timers. I'm sure you would feel very welcome here.
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Old 07-08-2007, 05:41 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,436 times
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Thanks, Coloradoan! Like you before your move, we've spent weeks and months at a time in Pagosa, when the snow was up to your butt, and when I helped clear our land in the month of July. Our property is 9 miles out Piedra Road, and then a couple of miles into the foothills, gorgeous Pagosa Peak Estates. We've driven it January-October - I think out in that area April was probably the scariest, because of sliding in the mud from the runoff. Fortunately, we got our road built into our property a few years ago, so its not as hard walking in as it used to be.

I really appreciate your information about the schools. Unexpectedly we've moved back to Burbank, after 8 years relocated to the Salt Lake area, and now my kids, 5th and 8th graders, are getting used to the larger schools of Burbank. Fortunately, Burbank has its own school district, not LA, so the schools are the best in So Cal and offer alot of advantages as well as diversity. I myself was raised in a small town, and I remember the "city kids" who moved in during High School and what a hard transition it can be for them. Sounds like you moved at the perfect time for your boy, what I had hoped for with mine. We were all set for the move to Pagosa, when my husband got a fantastic job back in Burbank. I never expected to come back to CA, but sometimes you have to go where the money is.

I'm also grateful for the information about diversity in religion and acceptance. After living 8 years in Utah, the last thing I want is for my kids to be discriminated against once again for not belonging to a specific church. During the time we've spent in Pagosa, we've met some great folks, but they all seemed to belong to the same church, and we've heard negative remarks from a guy we were considering buying a business from there, so I just wanted to check.

As it looks right now, our kids might be practically grown by the time we make the move to Pagosa permanently, but we are going to start building our dream home within a year or so. I know in my heart I will live out on my "hill" until the day I make my transition.

I'm looking forward to our summer trip to the Springs in a couple of weeks. Its always so hard to leave Pagosa. Thanks again for your insight.

Polly
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Old 07-09-2007, 07:30 AM
 
Location: SW Colorado
147 posts, read 560,245 times
Reputation: 87
Polly -

Your land is in a beautiful area! You will have gorgeous views no matter how you situate the home that you build. We're over in the Pagosa Lakes area and spend a lot of time hiking around Piedra Falls and Williams Creek. It's great to be 5 minutes away from national forest land!

I too think it would be difficult moving a child who is going into high school to a new area - especially when coming from a larger school that you enjoy. Fortunately the middle school transition went well for my son and he did meet some great kids that really helped him fit in.

The weather should be great for your trip in a couple of weeks - I hope you have a great time!
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Old 07-09-2007, 04:37 PM
 
2 posts, read 5,287 times
Reputation: 12
We get about the same amount of days of sunshine as they do. One drawback is that we have a paved bike trail here void of cars that goes for miles which is excellent. [/quote]

About those 300 days of sunshine that Pagosa advertises.... it probably could also be fairly stated as 300 cloudy days. The weather does change rapidly! I'm not complaining, necessarily. I like it!

Pagosa residential roads are mostly gravel. The infrastructure is paved, but there are lots of gravel roads too. Also, Archuleta county is experiencing some serious financial problems and is cutting back on primary services such as road service. Don't know how long this will continue.

Bottom line, come visit and take it all in. Take your time and rent, don't buy until you get to know the market.
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:50 PM
 
24 posts, read 76,752 times
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I was just over in Pagosa Spgs this last weekend and I was shocked- it seems as if everyone is selling land, homes, etc... Signs everywhere, realtors everywhere, the place is flooded with properties for sale, mostly in planned communities with covenants, HOA fees, etc.. It makes me wonder what it'll be like when the dust settles. The place itself has a feel that it is not as much of a 'small town' as it is a resort community that is being very aggressively marketed. Part-timers and tourists predominate, and it feels rather empty (to me) in regards to 'community'. I had lived in nearby Mancos and Durango for seven years and they both had a very nice small community feel - even though there were some second home owners, there was still a solid core of year round locals. Pagosa seems to be in some sort of massive marketing drive to outsiders who may end up living there for a couple months a year, get bored, then sell it off. I was looking at pagosa as a place to live, but I don't know what the local community will end up like after this huge real estate push.
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:21 PM
 
Location: SW Colorado
147 posts, read 560,245 times
Reputation: 87
Well, last week was a really busy tourist time here with the 4th of July events going on. The whole summer has a lot of tourists in the area and also during the ski season. If you didn't feel a sense of community during your visit last week you must not have gone to the parade, the rodeo, the art fair in the park, the fireworks, etc., etc., These events as well as numerous other events throughout the year take a huge number of volunteers - all local community members that take a lot of pride in the town.

There are a lot of properties for sale, mostly townhomes for 2nd homeowners. However, the area is growing like crazy and places seem to be selling. The area is roughly 50/50 with full time residents and part-timers. It is one of the few "resort" areas that is still relatively affordable in the state, but who knows how long that will remain. If the Village at Wolf Creek (ski resort) goes through it's predicted that property values will sky rocket around here. Time shares are also popular for those that visit for only a few weeks of the year.
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Old 08-15-2007, 12:03 AM
 
2 posts, read 6,902 times
Reputation: 10
GC57,

So what are your thoughts on living in McCall? I'd like a small, alternative community where it is easy to meet friends (as a single person). Is it isolating in the winter there? Restaurants any good?

Thanks
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Old 02-25-2008, 09:42 AM
 
88 posts, read 272,325 times
Reputation: 51
Hey everyone - I haven't posted for quite awhile, but I am still seeking your impressions of Pagosa Springs, especially in regards to raising children there.

I recently put my house up for sale in Bend, Oregon and in a giant leap of faith, moved to a small mountain town outside of Boulder. My house is under contract, finally, for 60K less than I was asking in August and it looks like we are moving towards closing, but one never knows. Here I sit in Nederland, CO with my daughter in 2nd grade, looking around at all the shaks for sale for 300K. Boulder, obviously is much more expensive and with 2 dogs and 2 cats, my hope of finding a decent rental are diminishing rapidly.

So, my thoughts go back to Pagosa Springs.

We'll be headed over there in a couple of weeks to look around, but I am seeking opinions before we go.

I really want my daughter to be in a place where we won't have to move again for a long time, and from what I see, the prices are still coming down in Pagosa and even though I got so little for my home, I still might be able to buy there.

My biggest concern are the schools, and community.

I love Boulder, I am a liberal, I do lean left, and I do not want to live in a place, like Bend, where I was an outside for my opinions or beliefs. I get along with people of all denominations and live and let live, but I am not involved in organized religion and don't want this to be an issue.

I want to live in a place that is friendly, accepting and where my daughter, who is latina, will not be judged by the color of her skin.

I do NOT want to be an outside because I don't attend church on Sundays.

I do want an environment that will foster my daughter's love of animals, the outdoors and the arts.

If I stay where I am, she'll have 3 more years in the elementary school, and then we'll have to commute to Boulder for junior high and high school. I am not sure I want to go that route. I like the idea of the Archuleta school district and how they divide their classes into K-4, 5/6, 7/8 and 9-12. (I think that's how it goes, their website is really bad, so I can't tell for sure) but I know nothing about the schools and how they really are.

I am okay with a small town, if there are things for the kids to do. Right now, if I want to get my daughter in to theater or other extracurriculars, I've got to drive to Boulder and I am just not sure how many days a week I want to make that trip.

I hate to leave this area, because I have so many close friends here, but at the same time, I've got to get somewhere where we can settle in and start living our lives. By that, I mean, getting involved in the community, getting my daughter going in the things she loves, and just getting unpacked. We've moved so many times that I am tired of it and long to get settled, for my daughter's sake and mine.

Any opinions, ideas and thoughts are greatly appreciated.
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