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Old 02-25-2008, 09:55 AM
 
Location: CO
2,591 posts, read 5,988,228 times
Reputation: 3407

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althea View Post
. . .


My biggest concern are the schools, and community. . .

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 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.
Sorry, I don't know much about Pagosa, so can't make that comparison, but need to ask why your daughter would have to commute to go to school in Boulder for junior and senior high, if you're living in Nederland. Nederland Jr./Sr. High (part of Boulder Valley School District) is in Ned.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:10 AM
 
88 posts, read 272,325 times
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There is no way I am putting my sixth grader in with high schoolers. Most of my friends with kids in junior high and high school commute to Boulder for school and I am not sure I want to go that route.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:23 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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Pagosa Springs has changed greatly in the last 20 years, and mostly not for the better, in my opinion. Other posters have commented that it is turning into a resort being heavily marketed to part-time residents from out of state--an assessment with which I wholly agree. If the asinine ski area mega-development proposed by a Texas billionaire comes to fruition on top of Wolf Creek Pass, Pagosa's transformation into a "resort ghetto" should be about complete. I have posted repeatedly that I believe that kind of "community" is inherently socially unhealthy, especially for children. You may query my other posts on the subject.

I have said several good friends who have lived in Pagosa. All but a couple have moved elsewhere, disgusted at what the town has become. Of course, they were old-line Colorado natives who do not embrace the "plastic ranchette" or trophy house lifestyle that so many transplants seem to want.

One other current problem in Pagosa is that the county financial situation is a total wreck. A lot of county employees have been laid off and services curtailed because of it. This while property values and sales tax revenues have been robust. What will happen as property values stagnate or decline and sales tax revenues get pinched (which I firmly believe they will) is anybody's guess.

I also posted earlier that I believe high fuel prices (both for gasoline for vehicles and propane for heating) are going to very negatively affect relatively isolated locales like Pagosa Springs. My personal opinion is that we could easily see $4 per gallon or more gasoline this summer. I think that is reaching the point, given the deteriorating economy and pinching of discretionary spending that comes with it, to start really biting at Colorado's recreation economy this year.

I have posted elsewhere that people who actually have to work in a local economy and try to make a living there should take with a great big grain of salt the glowing report of how wonderful some Colorado mountain town is that is made by someone living there who is a retiree with a substantial income from elsewhere. If you don't have to worry about actually making a living in one of those places, a lot of them would seem great.
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Old 02-25-2008, 10:28 AM
 
88 posts, read 272,325 times
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I have to say that the Wolf Creek expansion is very worrisome, as is the county's lack of funds. I just sold my house in Bend, Oregon and that is exactly the path that town is taking as well. Mt. Bachelor is disgusting, and the town is broke. Home prices are in a free fall and the place is going to hell quickly.

I'd love to stay in Boulder, but prices are high, real estate is something I won't be able to invest in, and frankly, I am at a loss.

Isn't there a nice little mountain community somewhere where these things aren't an issue?
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:05 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althea View Post
I have to say that the Wolf Creek expansion is very worrisome, as is the county's lack of funds. I just sold my house in Bend, Oregon and that is exactly the path that town is taking as well. Mt. Bachelor is disgusting, and the town is broke. Home prices are in a free fall and the place is going to hell quickly.

I'd love to stay in Boulder, but prices are high, real estate is something I won't be able to invest in, and frankly, I am at a loss.

Isn't there a nice little mountain community somewhere where these things aren't an issue?
In all candor, I think about the best you can hope for in Colorado is a community relatively close to the mountains, but not in them. There are very few mountain communities in Colorado that don't have big affordability issues. Those that might be more affordable--and they are few--usually have some other problems to go along with them--Leadville and Victor could be examples of that. Get anywhere near a ski area and affordability and the local "social" structure gets to be a problem. Wanting good schools filters out a bunch more towns.

A few towns that I like--but all still with overpriced real estate markets, in my opinion, along with limited local employment or work options. I think most of these have at least passable school systems:

Westcliffe--nice town, but small and very limited services unless you drive to Canon City or Pueblo.

La Veta--lovely locale for scenery, but most services require driving to Pueblo. Few jobs. Schools might be iffy.

Rye/Colorado City--pretty area. Services all in Pueblo. Working probably means commuting to Pueblo. (That high-priced gasoline problem again.)

Gunnison--one of my favorite towns, but colder than hell in winter (often lows below -30 this winter). Real estate can be very overpriced. Very limited jobs.

Salida--nice town, but getting pretty overpriced. On the plus side, probably one of Colorado's most centrally located towns to mountain recreation in any direction. Much local employment is seasonal jobs.

Buena Vista--see Salida. Pretty much reliant on Salida for local services.

Canon City--another of my favorite towns, but little snow and hot in the summer. Some people don't like all the prisons there, but they do provide stable employment.

Monte Vista--a nice and still relatively affordable community. Few jobs, cold winters, and schools might be iffy.

Montrose--nice town, growing too fast, limited job opportunities.

Delta--see Montrose. Also, little snow. Quite hot in summer. Even worse job situation than Montrose.

Paonia--see Delta. Also fairly isolated, not as hot as Delta and prettier. Large coal mines nearby.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:11 AM
 
88 posts, read 272,325 times
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There is no perfect place is there?

I went to school at Western State College,
and had thought about Gunnison, but way
too cold. All other towns you mentioned are
way too isolated for me, and Salida is an okay
place, but it never really resonated with me
in all my years in Gunnison/Crested Butte. I
don't want to raise her in a ski resort either,
and don't want to pay those prices, which is
why Pagosa has always appealed to me.

I work anywhere there is an internet connection,
but I am a single mother and don't work 24 hours
a day and am not making big money, so a place
like Pagosa is appealing. Ski area, mountains, kids
activities, four corners area, reasonable and falling
real estate prices, wildlife, etc.

I am really unhappy at the price I got for my house
in Bend, but am trying to remain grateful that it
actually is moving towards closing at all.

Something will come up, and while I hate to move
too far away from Boulder, the idea of actually
owning a home again, especially in a beautiful
part of Colorado, is appealing.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:37 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,785,875 times
Reputation: 9132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Althea View Post
There is no perfect place is there?

I went to school at Western State College,
and had thought about Gunnison, but way
too cold. All other towns you mentioned are
way too isolated for me, and Salida is an okay
place, but it never really resonated with me
in all my years in Gunnison/Crested Butte. I
don't want to raise her in a ski resort either,
and don't want to pay those prices, which is
why Pagosa has always appealed to me.

I work anywhere there is an internet connection,
but I am a single mother and don't work 24 hours
a day and am not making big money, so a place
like Pagosa is appealing. Ski area, mountains, kids
activities, four corners area, reasonable and falling
real estate prices, wildlife, etc.

I am really unhappy at the price I got for my house
in Bend, but am trying to remain grateful that it
actually is moving towards closing at all.

Something will come up, and while I hate to move
too far away from Boulder, the idea of actually
owning a home again, especially in a beautiful
part of Colorado, is appealing.
Fellow Western State grad myself.

I'm not sure about your comment about some of the places I've mentioned being too isolated--if you are thinking about Pagosa Springs. Pagosa can be pretty darned isolated, especially in winter. I, too, never gave Salida a lot of thought until I did some business-related work there some years back. I came to realize what a neat location it had to some of Colorado's most outstanding geography. I wish now that I had relocated there permanently then (before real estate went insane), but other life issues intervened. I'm not so enamored with the tourist, yuppie, trophy house vibe that is starting to infect the area now, but that is pretty much pandemic in anyplace in Colorado from the Front Range west, with fairly few exceptions.

If you want to be closer to the Front Range and less isolated, have you thought about Palmer Lake? It has the blessing and curse of some water supply problems, so Palmer Lake itself is not growing as wildly as the surrounding areas. It still has a small town feel and I think the Monument schools are probably OK. Charles on this forum can probably give you more particulars--he lives in Monument, I believe.
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Old 02-25-2008, 11:54 AM
 
106 posts, read 340,695 times
Reputation: 189
My IL's live in Pagosa, the lack of money that the county has is not a good situation. Their road is barely getting maintained, with all this snow we've had recently, they were literally snowed in for days before their road got plowed. I had heard from a local real estate agent that the homes sales are so dismal in Pagosa right now between of the county and the housing slump, that Prudential was shutting down it's office over there. I haven't confirmed that rumor though. It's not a matter of the county simply being short a little money, but literally millions in the hole, it was so bad that they fired 65 employees, that is a large number for such a rural county, that it really makes you wonder what it going to happen and how things going to get maintained.


I would be wary of buying in Pagosa right now, if you do really like it, then maybe considering renting a house for a couple months and see how everything is going.There are many activities for children in Pagosa, this is published in Pagosa and it's full of ads for various things. Pagosa BRAT Summer 2007 (http://pagosabrat.com/winter08/winter08.html - broken link)
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Old 02-25-2008, 12:33 PM
 
88 posts, read 272,325 times
Reputation: 51
Isolated to me is like living in McCall, Idaho, where it was a 2 hour drive just to get to a bigger place, and then you were only in Boise. At least in Pagosa, you can get to Durango.

I am definitely not going to buy any property or a home now or in the immediate future. First, I've got to close on my house in Oregon, and second, I've got to find a place to live with a good school system for my daughter.

Heck, maybe I'll just get an RV and go to Mexico in the winters, and find a cabin in the mountains somewhere for the summers!
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:44 AM
 
88 posts, read 272,325 times
Reputation: 51
Hey All -

It's mid March now and I am wondering if there are any new thoughts on Pagosa, Pagosa real estate and raising kids in Pagosa.

I am trying to stick it out here near Boulder, but the high cost of housing is making it very difficult.

I've looked at virtually every other small community in Colorado, and New Mexico as well, and can't come up with anything better (more affordable with a somewhat decent school system) than Pagosa. I realize that Pagosa is isolated, but at least there are programs for the kids year around and a ski area nearby.

Some of the other small town have absolutely nothing for kids to do and the school reviews are dismal.

Please keep your opinions and thoughts coming.

They are much appreciated.
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