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Old 02-14-2016, 03:34 PM
 
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Currently living in Denver looking to buy a house 100-200K in the mountains <2-3 hours from denver. I love extreme weather so that's not a problem. Any recommendations
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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"A house" is pretty vague. How many bedrooms, how much land?

With that said, how about Leadville?

133 EAST 11TH STREET, Leadville, COLORADO 80461 is for sale- Re/Max Aspen Leaf Realty

509 EAST 9TH ST, Leadville, COLORADO 80461 is for sale- Re/Max Aspen Leaf Realty

219 EAST 8TH STREET, Leadville, COLORADO 80461 is for sale- Re/Max Aspen Leaf Realty
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:56 PM
 
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a few observations as a long-time (34+ year) Colorado mountain areas and rental houses owner in resort areas:

1) your price range for a "house" is way low for anything that will have reasonable access to skiing

2) unless you're planning on using this property for a primary residence or most weekends throughout the year, it will not be worth the investment. You will inevitably spend a lot of time on upkeep, maintenance, repairs to keep in it decent condition while you are there. It's recreational use and "escape" value will be a very low ROI.

3) if you need to rent it out for cash flow, a house at this price point will likely not be a viable rental; ie, it will cost you more than it's worth in wear and tear, damage, inconvenience and costs in rental management, and loss of use than it will bring in. Taking care of a place 2-3 hours away from home as a rental/income property is not very practical ... take it from someone with years of doing so.

4) for most people, the ownership of a mountain property for occasional use is far better met by a hotel or condo stay for those times when you wish to escape to the mountains. You can get a nice place for a weekend for a nominal amount, stay, enjoy, and leave without any further obligations ... mortgage, utilities, insurance. And if the activities you are interested in vary by season, you get the freedom to stay where you'll have access.

5) "extreme weather" can equate to non-access for a lot of cheap mountain properties during the winter months; ie, you may not necessarily be able to get in/out of the place.

6) IMO, you're about 30 years too late to buy a house in the mountains in the distance away from Denver at your price range, even a small place.

7) you'll never know how many "friends" you have until you own a place in the mountains. When I started buying in the area, I had acquaintances and relatives I hadn't heard from in 20 years all of sudden become my "best buddy" and wanting to use the place. OK, I guess, if you're really good friends and want to spend the time together, you've got the space, and they can reciprocate with their places, but otherwise ... not.

The "best" advice I can give you is to rent when you wish to visit the mountains. You'll save money and have a happier recreational experience.


PS: don't forget that your Denver-mountain destination commute travel time/distance is greatly affected by inclement weather and the times that you leave Denver or return home. Traffic density/accidents/poor roads can really change the dynamics of convenience and access. When it's a chore to get to your place, you may find yourself not using it anywhere near as much as you think you might before buying it.

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-14-2016 at 04:36 PM..
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:59 PM
 
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Looking at a primary residence and with around an acre or more of land, doesn't have to be near ski areas.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co mtns View Post
Looking at a primary residence and with around an acre or more of land, doesn't have to be near ski areas.
A built house on an acre+ for under $200K? Maybe it's out there. I'm not aware of it. Instead of asking on a forum, you should be contacting mountain Realtors. They'll tell you if you're crazy or not.
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Old 02-14-2016, 04:48 PM
 
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What do you want to do there? What size house? What services, amenities, diversions need be close by?

Contrary to the nay-sayers there must be dozens of properties for sale in your price range if you need not be close to skiing. There will be many more for sale starting in mid-march as many realtors advise against listing mountain properties in the winter.

Last edited by Arrby; 02-14-2016 at 05:16 PM..
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Old 02-14-2016, 05:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by co mtns View Post
Looking at a primary residence and with around an acre or more of land, doesn't have to be near ski areas.
as a primary residence, do you need:

1) a job in the area, or will you be

2) commuting to the Denver area for work?

3) access to other amenities, such as medical, shopping, entertainment, restaurants?

and, lastly:

4) what are your requirements for a house? size, bdr's, ba's, amenities? do you need a laundry area, dishwasher, storage space/closets? winter road access?
'net connections/communications? utilities?


"Contrary to the nay-sayers there must be dozens of properties for sale in your price range. Just not close to skiing." ... LOL ... really? like, where?

it's been decades since such acreage with utilities, habitable house, year 'round access for a primary residence has been available in a reasonable radius into the mountains from Denver. With the Front Range corridor being built up long ago by the "dream" of so many folk to live in the mountains and commute to Denver, areas ranging from the I-70 corridor to 285 to the NE from Denver have long been built up with expensive properties catering to the affluent and a spill-over to the less than affluent. There was a time when Turkey Creek Canyon, and Evergreen and Conifer and Bailey were some distance away and moderately priced ... but not for years, especially with the most recent boom in Colorado Front Range development and population influx.

The shacks in Leadville and similar mining communities ... long into boom bust cycle busts at this time ... aren't good buys, and are typically high cost structures to keep habitable with aged plumbing/heating/electrical/structure/roofing demands; ie, the cost of acquisition isn't going to be the whole picture. Leadville-Denver isn't considered a commute, anymore than much beyond Idaho Springs or Georgetown (I had friends do that for years, but that's pre-traffic density of recent years) up to the tunnel isn't a practical commute ... yet housing prices along that corridor are pretty high.

As well, one needs to look at the costs of insurance for remote houses/structures, in light of the forest fires of recent decades. For some places without municipal or rural services, homeowner's insurance may even be a difficult item to obtain because the structures don't have access to a fire department. Unless you can write a check for the purchase, this could be a significant obstacle to buying a residence in the mountains.

PS: while not in the mountains, another area to consider might be the Deckers/Salida area due to similar "feel" to the area. Experiencing quite the push in prices these days ... used to be able to buy acreage for a couple thous/per, now it's around $7,000 - $10,000 commonly asked. But two houses on the market right now may be worth considering: 15890 Spruce, Sedalia ... but it's basically a 1.4 acre 2bd/1ba A Frame cabin with a sizable loft ... on the market 250 days with several price reductions, or 97 Hedges on acreage and a 2bd/1ba/3/4ba much larger house with 2/car garage ... numerous price reductions now down to $169,500, but note that it's been on the market for 495 days now (a red flag somewhere in this deal). Seeing a lot of more recent development pushing the $350-1 mil price ranges down this way. Close in, but still a grind for a commute to Denver if needed to work ... but without the ski or summer resort traffic on the roads.

But such is the Front Range real estate market these days. The "bargains" of yesteryear are gone. Note that the A Frame I mention above is a $256/psf property ... for an "A" Frame, simple structure! My point here is that low(er) cost housing near ... at 2 hours away ... to the Denver metroplex has long disappeared in the marketplace in any Westward direction from Denver.

Last edited by sunsprit; 02-14-2016 at 06:07 PM..
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
as a primary residence, do you need:

"Contrary to the nay-sayers there must be dozens of properties for sale in your price range. Just not close to skiing." ... LOL ... really? like, where?

it's been decades since such acreage with utilities, habitable house, year 'round access for a primary residence has been available in a reasonable radius into the mountains from Denver.
PPAR.COM, the Colorado Springs multi-list, shows 29 listings west of Pikes Peak with one or more bedrooms, one or more bathrooms, and one or more acres under $200,000, all well within three hours of Denver. PPAR will take in only a fraction of the potential listings that meet the OP's specifications.

Primary residence is stipulated - no commute. One (1) acre - not "acres" is stipulated. If you are looking to buy I can put you in touch with any number of real estate companies who can show you "where".

Within 3 hours of Denver (at least in theory): Canon City, Salida, Buena Vista, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Steamboat Springs, Walden, and from Walden north to the state line. This covers a lot of territory and many, many properties.

"House". This encompasses stick built, modular, mobile, and cabin. No age or condition was specified. Possibly none of these would meet your requirements, but one might be just what the OP is looking for.
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Old 02-14-2016, 06:32 PM
 
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I haven't reality tested on real estate sites (that is for you) but given your request I'd probably start searching around Jefferson, Hartsel and Lake George and then look further out if necessary. Maybe Guffey, Wetmore, Coaldale, Hillside, Cuchara, Gardner, Weston, Kremmling, Red Feather Lakes.

Last edited by NW Crow; 02-14-2016 at 06:41 PM..
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Old 02-14-2016, 09:09 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,058,636 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arrby View Post
PPAR.COM, the Colorado Springs multi-list, shows 29 listings west of Pikes Peak with one or more bedrooms, one or more bathrooms, and one or more acres under $200,000, all well within three hours of Denver. PPAR will take in only a fraction of the potential listings that meet the OP's specifications.

Primary residence is stipulated - no commute. One (1) acre - not "acres" is stipulated. If you are looking to buy I can put you in touch with any number of real estate companies who can show you "where".

Within 3 hours of Denver (at least in theory): Canon City, Salida, Buena Vista, Glenwood Springs, Leadville, Steamboat Springs, Walden, and from Walden north to the state line. This covers a lot of territory and many, many properties.

"House". This encompasses stick built, modular, mobile, and cabin. No age or condition was specified. Possibly none of these would meet your requirements, but one might be just what the OP is looking for.
you're right ... the OP's request is so general in nature as to allow a wide range of suitable locations, houses, construction, size, quality, utilities, water, and access to the needs of a primary residence, etc.

so places you've mentioned, which are at a huge variance of what I'd consider "living in the mountains" ... may qualify. For the most part, most of the lower priced properties of these locales aren't in the mountains.

No more than Boulder, for example, is a mountain town. It's adjacent to the foothills that lead to the mountains, but most of the town is on the plains, and some of the smaller developed towns to the nearby West are still only in the foothills. Perhaps that will be acceptable to the OP.

Similarly, a locale such as Buena Vista offers a wide variety of housing, ranging from the valley floor to the foothills to actual mountain areas. as Wiki mentions: "Buena Vista is located in central Colorado roughly midway between Salida and Leadville in the Upper Arkansas River Valley at an elevation of 7,965 feet (2,428 m)." Got lots of friends in the BV area, northwest of town ... but none in a mountain area although in forested hillside sites.

Same thing for Walden area. Walden sits in a pretty wide open valley area with a lot of wide open ranch space, rural properties ... but not in the mountains which are some distance away.

Or the 'boat ... the town starts on the West side of Rabbit Ears Pass, with some developments adjacent to the ski resorts. Again, for the most part ... Steamboat area residential properties with an acre that are within the OP's price range aren't going to be in the mountains, they're near to them If any, they'll be in the sizable down valley area heading West. But sub $200K acre SFH properties in this area are few and rare ... and the housing on them isn't something that I'd suggest somebody with a limited budget be buying unless they're into rustic. These places will define "fixer-upper" ... and from the ones I've seen, the sites would best be served by a 30-second application of a bulldozer and start over.


OP, understand that "inexpensive" and "mountain acreage" hasn't been cheap in Colorado for a long time. The search I did this afternoon on-line yielded a fair number of properties that were sub-$100K just a few years ago and they weren't hot sellers then. What's happened is a huge upswing in the population of the region with disposable income and perhaps a wad of cash to burn into rural properties for 2nd or vacation homes. Places like Leadville have gone up and down like yo-yo's with the local mining operations, and it's biggest recent draw has been as a bedroom community for the Vail Valley workers ... and it's not an easy commute. If you're only looking at the prices, a place like Leadville may seem attractive ... but if you actually look at what you're buying in terms of quality/condition/size/amenities ... you may be very disappointed.

Mrs. Sun and I spent over a decade (1989-1999) seeking out rural properties within the radius of Denver you describe for an equine oriented business concept we'd developed with another property in Wyoming. What we were looking for was cozy, reasonable condition housing with stable/corrals/barn areas with reasonable access to public lands/open spaces for folk with horses to have a mountain "weekend escape". Preferably a "ride out" property location so they didn't have to trailer their horses again for the duration of the stay. We were looking to spend not more than $250,000 per mountain property. Most of them would fit your description, some already had a corral or two and a few had a crude post barn structure for a couple of horses. Unfortunately, even then we weren't able to find properties that would work for us ... either condition issues, access issues, or due to unable to finance some because no services in the area. I had several RE brokers around the region aggressively seeking places for us ... they knew I was capable, qualified, and motivated to buy if they would but put a suitable property on the table. None were able to do so, and I'm still in touch with two of them who are mountain property specialists.

OP, if you've got more information to help narrow down your wish list, it would help the forum to better identify possible locations for you ....
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