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Old 06-18-2016, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,618,037 times
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Salina is on a river and has a small hospital. I don't know anything about the schools, though. $1200 for rent is probably too low for your needs. You could peruse the Chaffee County Times or Mountain Mail for classified ads to get an idea of rental costs.

Most of the small towns in the mountains rely on tourism for survival. However, there is a difference between the ski towns and the river rafting/kayaking towns like Salida and Buena Vista. Yes, they get crowded in the summer, but they don't lose their small-town feel.
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Old 06-18-2016, 07:51 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming of Hawaii View Post
Salina is on a river and has a small hospital. I don't know anything about the schools, though. $1200 for rent is probably too low for your needs. You could peruse the Chaffee County Times or Mountain Mail for classified ads to get an idea of rental costs.

Most of the small towns in the mountains rely on tourism for survival. However, there is a difference between the ski towns and the river rafting/kayaking towns like Salida and Buena Vista. Yes, they get crowded in the summer, but they don't lose their small-town feel.
Very true on Salida. It's a great town. The job thing will be the tough part.
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Old 06-18-2016, 09:20 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,191,290 times
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We've seen this situation presented many times on this forum ...

The problem is that folk from higher density population areas of the USA, typically low altitude riparian climate zones with large population centers where the "rural" areas adjacent benefit from the regional economy think that Colorado and the West (in general) presents the same situation. Living "out in the sticks" is less expensive yet allows the best of both worlds ... nearby access to outdoor recreation and retains good access to entertainment, medical, shopping, and schools due to the economic center adjacent. Water is taken for granted, there's a lot of it and rivers/creeks/lakes are just another feature of the area ... rural or city. Dense forests and secondary ground cover are taken for granted, too.

For whatever reasons, many folk from these areas assume that the same situations will present in the Rocky Mountain region. One of the biggest disconnects for them is that the states they come from have little Gov't owned lands which cannot be developed and do not pay local taxes.

Unfortunately, this paradigm is way off the mark in the arid West. And it ignores that much of the Colorado area's desirable lands for recreation were "discovered" by the Eastern money'ed set over a century ago and bought up for their private recreation in large tracts much as land in the Adirondacks was purchased way before then. Couple that with the substantial portion of the state land mass that is Fed owned ... managed by the BLM, FS, or Nat'l Parks ... and you've put a lot of pressure on the remaining land area to be productive for the "masses".

The result is that the combination of attractive land with mountain vista views, nearby access to recreation (especially on public lands) ... with water, forest cover, minimal population in a rural setting ... has become highly desirable and expensive due to the mainly tourist economy that drives the local costs of development (on limited land available). With some brief forays years ago in gold/silver mining, and some other mining (moly, lead, aluminum ore), most towns in the mountain region based on that were severely boom/bust outfits ... and most of them with any appeal for outdoor recreation have become tourist based economies as the population pressure in Colorado has pushed up the threshold of prices for the limited resources.

The bottom line is that Colorado's economic picture and population pressures on rural areas have long ago made the "desirable" areas very to extremely expensive. So the benchmark for somebody from out of the area who thinks that a SFH would be "reasonably" priced at $1,200/mo is simply way out of line with the realities and costs here. Rural living here is not "less expensive" than city life, it's more expensive due to many limiting factors. Having all the attributes of "rural living" but ready access to the benefits of a major population/economic center ... including good schools, major medical facilities ... simply isn't in the cards here.

Further, many folk who "assume" what awaits here in Colorado and do so without visiting to check out what's really available are doing so on the basis of a "disneyized" picture of what's here. The reality is far far different than what they think ... hence the "own a piece of the old west" marketers success in selling raw land parcels for ridiculous amounts of money to the gullible folk who see the ads, low money down, contract to deed sales and never understand how difficult it would be to ever get real useage of their land. Many of those land sales end up in default and the money spent is all forfeited back to the seller when the buyers quit making payments on their purchase contracts. One reads about such outcomes here on the forum or web all the time ... folk getting out for pennies on the dollar or simply walking away from their "investment".

PS: even the more affluent "mountain towns" in Colorado, those high profile top of the charts expensive places ... have relatively poor performing public schools. I've known many families with youngsters in those towns to send their kids to the private schools in the area. As well, I've known a number of former teachers from those school districts who were equally dissatisfied with the professional options they had in such school districts and left them to teach in the schools along the Front Range of Colorado. If a good quality education for your children is a priority, the public schools throughout Colorado's rural tourist communities may not be a wise choice. The "top rated" school districts in this state are predominantly in the more affluent residential areas of the Front Range cities ... and $1,200/mo is in the range of a 1-bdr apartment housing cost these days.

Also, many folk moving into this area don't foresee the significant costs of utilities in the local 4-season climate zone; ie, it's a lot colder and windier here than in the low altitude climate zones. Heating degree days has a significant impact on monthly living costs in what can be a 6-month winter season. Even if you think you'll just gather wood and heat your place with a woodstove, you may be in for a rude awakening as to what that will cost to do ... if you don't buy your wood, but plan on getting a FS permit and cutting and transporting it all yourself, it doesn't come "for free". It's a lot of work, too.

Last edited by sunsprit; 06-18-2016 at 09:32 AM..
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Old 06-18-2016, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,618,037 times
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Thanks, SkyDog for correcting "Salina" to "Salida"

Great post, Sunsprit!
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:57 AM
 
242 posts, read 285,913 times
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Don't let the same folks here (who couldn't hang and always paint the doom-and-gloom picture of Colorado) scare you away.

I do agree that a visit would be very wise before you place all of your eggs in the CO basket. When you do visit...keep in mind that a vacation isn't reflective of daily life here. Folks work and slave and all of the same trappings of life are here. Many of those trappings will be more expensive here. For starters, the $1200 a month figure was about what folks were paying in the 90's for a single family house.... in the mountains these days, $1200 a month is trailer park rent...and you might even need to own the trailer to get costs that low.

Your occupations are in favor right now. Construction is booming up here in the hills. I heard yesterday that Chaffee County (where Salida is located) has issued 300+ building permits so far this year. Even so...from afar it's hard to tap into the local job scene. Home prices in salida are UP......but there are still bargains to be had in the surrounding areas (IMO)...most of which feel far more "rural". (it's all out in the sticks though...with limited (like the one grocery store in town other than Wal-Mart) shopping and amenities. It ISN'T the Front Range...and it isn't the city...and that is 100% why we live here. LOL. (I couldn't live there/wouldn't live there if you paid me)

The tourist towns can grate on you....just a ton of foks wandering around with full wallets jacking prices up...but they are a necessity and after living in a tourist town (Vail) for 30 years you come to know that they are the reason YOU live there and they don't. LOL. We chose less income and more housing costs to have the lifestyle....skiing/hinking/camping/etc...all right outside the door DAILY. None of the driving in bumper-to-bumper crap like so many Front rangers are forced to do... again...not for us....and we saw that from the get-go....that is why we moved to the mountains rather than the city....

no regrets here. All of the energy you put out will eventually come back to you if you want it bad enough to make it happen

good luck in your quest......
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Old 06-19-2016, 11:29 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,191,290 times
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rainbow demon wrote:
"Folks work and slave and all of the same trappings of life are here. Many of those trappings will be more expensive here. For starters, the $1200 a month figure was about what folks were paying in the 90's for a single family house.... in the mountains these days, $1200 a month is trailer park rent...and you might even need to own the trailer to get costs that low."

In spite of your "don't let the same folks here ..." assessment, YOU JUST IDENTIFIED THE BIG OBSTACLE that presents for the dreamers who think that living out in the sticks, especially the desirable mountain areas of Colorado ...the costs of living far outstrip the income abilities of most regular folk.

Folk can "dream" all they want ... but the economic reality is that they still must be able to pay the rent and the rest of the costs of living there. If they can't, they can't. End of story.

Last edited by sunsprit; 06-19-2016 at 11:50 AM..
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Old 06-19-2016, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,904 posts, read 6,496,831 times
Reputation: 7353
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Demon View Post
Don't let the same folks here (who couldn't hang and always paint the doom-and-gloom picture of Colorado) scare you away.

I do agree that a visit would be very wise before you place all of your eggs in the CO basket. When you do visit...keep in mind that a vacation isn't reflective of daily life here. Folks work and slave and all of the same trappings of life are here. Many of those trappings will be more expensive here. For starters, the $1200 a month figure was about what folks were paying in the 90's for a single family house.... in the mountains these days, $1200 a month is trailer park rent...and you might even need to own the trailer to get costs that low.

Your occupations are in favor right now. Construction is booming up here in the hills. I heard yesterday that Chaffee County (where Salida is located) has issued 300+ building permits so far this year. Even so...from afar it's hard to tap into the local job scene. Home prices in salida are UP......but there are still bargains to be had in the surrounding areas (IMO)...most of which feel far more "rural". (it's all out in the sticks though...with limited (like the one grocery store in town other than Wal-Mart) shopping and amenities. It ISN'T the Front Range...and it isn't the city...and that is 100% why we live here. LOL. (I couldn't live there/wouldn't live there if you paid me)

The tourist towns can grate on you....just a ton of foks wandering around with full wallets jacking prices up...but they are a necessity and after living in a tourist town (Vail) for 30 years you come to know that they are the reason YOU live there and they don't. LOL. We chose less income and more housing costs to have the lifestyle....skiing/hinking/camping/etc...all right outside the door DAILY. None of the driving in bumper-to-bumper crap like so many Front rangers are forced to do... again...not for us....and we saw that from the get-go....that is why we moved to the mountains rather than the city....

no regrets here. All of the energy you put out will eventually come back to you if you want it bad enough to make it happen

good luck in your quest......
I would hardly paint myself as one but the doom and gloom posters. I'm quite the opposite most of the time. I'm just trying to me a realist here.
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Old 06-22-2016, 06:20 AM
 
242 posts, read 285,913 times
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I still say that folks can still make it work if they truly want to. There's a wide range of options. Everyone is seeking something different and can afford something different. Some folks want town life...some want to be out of town a bit farther. I've seen comments here about not being able to find a place in Salida for under 300K....yet just 12 miles east I just watched a 1300 sq ft on 10 acres next to a year round creek/at the base of the Sangres sell for less than 180K. 3 lots....2 of them highly resellable for 50K each....leaving the owner with a house and a good 3 acres for about 75K. Nobody even looked at it til my neighbors did and bought it on the spot. It's an older house....needs some love but is in great shape for being 50 years old. No, it isn't in town....but again....everyone wants something different and not everyone wants to be in town.

The point is that it can be done. You just need to make concessions and decide it's what you want to do.

good luck all.......
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Old 06-22-2016, 08:51 AM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,191,290 times
Reputation: 14905
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Demon View Post
I still say that folks can still make it work if they truly want to. There's a wide range of options. Everyone is seeking something different and can afford something different. Some folks want town life...some want to be out of town a bit farther. I've seen comments here about not being able to find a place in Salida for under 300K....yet just 12 miles east I just watched a 1300 sq ft on 10 acres next to a year round creek/at the base of the Sangres sell for less than 180K. 3 lots....2 of them highly resellable for 50K each....leaving the owner with a house and a good 3 acres for about 75K. Nobody even looked at it til my neighbors did and bought it on the spot. It's an older house....needs some love but is in great shape for being 50 years old. No, it isn't in town....but again....everyone wants something different and not everyone wants to be in town.

The point is that it can be done. You just need to make concessions and decide it's what you want to do.

good luck all.......
the fallacy you present is projecting your outlook of "need to make concessions" to live here.

The reality is that the OP, like so many other posters here ... has an entirely different paradigm of what is here. They are still under the illusions of their assumptions based upon an entirely different area of the country with a completely different economics/climate.

Yes, dreamers can "make it work" if they will go to the extremes needed to deal with the economic realities here. The reality for most of them is few can "make the concessions".

The OP is not some college kid willing to be a "ski bum" for a year or two and live in shared housing and scrimp to get by and work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet while realizing that they will just be marking time when it comes to savings and economic security for their future, let alone buying a needed car or other major purchase or dealing with a medical situation for a family. This thread is about a family wanting to set roots here ... and the reality is that it takes money and a decent income to do so.

PS: one deal that crops up out of hundreds is the exception to what most folk will find here. So your neighbors lucked out on that, but what's the likelihood that more such deals will present for the OP? Even at that, do you think that the OP has the financial ability to have done this $180,000 deal on an old house needing work? The final cost would likely be a lot more than that. If the OP had said we've got $X's for a down payment and so much stashed away for anticipated living costs until we get established here and here's what we do for a living, then maybe they'd have a basis to work from.

Again, I point out the obvious ... it takes a certain amount of money to make it here. If the OP doesn't have it, no amount of dreaming or wishing will substitute for that. When the rent is due, it's due. You either have it or you don't. BTDT, I've had to evict more than a few folk through the years ....
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,873 posts, read 9,618,037 times
Reputation: 4942
+++ sunsprit. So what if there is one deal out there for those willing to "pioneer". If someone comes on this forum stating that they are looking to be out of town and willing to take on a major fixer, then they will get different answers. There's always "deals" to be found, but that's not the norm for people looking for their dream home in Colorado. Most of us here are trying to be helpful and give realistic advice to people. You just see things a little differently, Rainbow Demon.
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