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Old 07-02-2016, 01:39 PM
 
144 posts, read 108,351 times
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Let me know your thoughts about conclusions that I've come to regarding looking into the possibility of moving to Colorado for retirement (DH and I are currently both still working full time), buying a vacation condo in Colorado, or renting in Colorado in the mountains in the summer. Also let me know if you have any ideas for me I haven't considered regarding living in Colorado in the summer economically -- under $6000 for housing close to mountains with two bedrooms/two baths and a balcony or patio -- some private outdoor space.


We used to live in Denver -- Washington Park in the late 80s. We moved to a St. Louis suburb in 1989 and live and work there now. In the back of our minds we thought maybe when we retire we'd move back to Denver for the cultural amenities, great climate, and mountain access. Recent visits and housing prices tell us it's too expensive now, there is more traffic than we'd like, and with greater traffic and population those nice little day trips to hike at RMNP just really aren't day trips anymore. On our last trip I saw a house in Evergreen that would have been right in our price range that I really liked - was the right size and style and everything, but we really and truly for a permanent move thought Evergreen was too remote for us.


For affordable places to move with amenities / enough cultural activities and reasonably close mountain access (I'm talking a budget of around $350,000 and a move in ready three bedroom/ two bath place), it looks like Longmont (kind of far from Denver and an IT interview I did there when we first moved to Colorado at their turkey plant gave me perhaps a false negative impression of the place because of the awful smell near the plant), Fort Collins, or Colorado Springs could work. What I don't like about those options, though, is that we have a 20 year old who isn't financially independent yet. He might be living with us for some time and where we live now would offer him way better job opportunities than these areas while he is starting out. Do you have other thoughts on places to consider in or out of Colorado? Boise, Idaho on paper looked pretty good. Montana places (Bozeman) with amenities had the same issues for job opportunities I saw in Fort Collins -- educated people who want to stay competing for some pretty low wage jobs.


It's really the summers that we love so much in Colorado and don't like in St. Louis. We used to ski a lot, but aren't into that anymore. For most of the year, we really like St. Louis. We vacationed in Estes Park/RMNP last summer. This year we are staying in the Keystone Ranch area -- freebie house through my husband's company we just couldn't pass up. And next summer 2017, we are looking to hit Salida and Crested Butte, two places we have never visited that sound pretty charming.


So my next brainstorm was -- what about buying a vacation condo in a ski area that we could rent out in the winter and stay in, in the summer. From what I'm seeing, though, a vacation condo does not look like a good investment and looks like too much of a financial drain -- expensive prices to start, management fees take 30 to 50% of rents, forecasts of no to modest appreciation, and tax wise it appears that you can't depreciate the property if you use it for more than 14 days a year. It's something that someone might do because they want to and have the money -- but too expensive an option for us if it's not a good investment option -- too rich for our blood.


So next I looked at rentals. Short term rental places were expensive in cities I looked at. Plus you'd have the expense of renting furniture, moving furniture in and out, etc. And selection of properties was pretty limited too. The great mountain communities (the places where you would like to be in the summer with a nice supply of great condos) have good tourism in the summer and charge vacation rental prices for nice condos. My overall conclusion was that probably what would work best for us and be best from a financial stand point would be to just travel for four weeks in the summer, spend time getting there and back and rent a nice condo or condos for three weeks or so -- plenty of good options in the $200 a night range, which are vacation prices and high, which is why I'd only be looking at a month get-a-way each summer. Nice, but certainly not as nice as being in a great climate near the mountains all summer long.


If DH really wanted to and put in the initiative to investigate places and make a move, I'd certainly go along. He usually relies on me, though, to do all that. At the moment, though, it looks like I'll be a regular Colorado vacationer in this state rather than a resident.


For a few weeks in the summer, a more remote mountain community would be just fine. For a permanent move - I'm a city girl who likes to be in a book club, have a choice of churches, have lots of work or volunteer options, be reasonably close to good theatre / concerts, be in a big enough place where there are other strong tennis players to play tennis with - tennis league options, etc.


Would love to hear your thoughts on conclusions I've come to. I'd also love to hear your thoughts and opinions if you have other suggestions I might want to look into further and consider. DH and I both think of summers in Colorado as heaven on earth. lol
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:23 AM
 
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Visiting for a couple weeks this summer and next sounds like a good way to start your way back into the state.

Crested Butte is nice for a vacation, but given what you said about housing budget, that is as far as it will go there unless maybe you find a timeshare. Salida is getting more pricey but not as much as almost anything in CB itself. Maybe could find something in your price range 30-50 miles from CB.

You might like Summit County and if you can keep getting access to Keystone that might be simplest and about as good as anything else. But compare and contrast in 2017 if it doesn't win you over yet.

You are probably wise not to get into own / rent out if you are not really sold on the economics. Though you could re-visit issue in 3-5 years, if you firmly decide where to be.

If Evergreen looked too remote for longer stays or purchase and Longmont was too distant from Denver as well, maybe look in or outside Golden. Prices are pretty high, so you either have to accept smaller or older than maybe the idealized place. Manitou Springs could be worth a look for being quasi in the mountains and yet very near Colorado Springs for your activities and son's needs too. It is also possible that renting 3-6 months in Castle Rock could give you access to Denver, Castle Rock and the mountains without paying mountain community prices.

If you haven't visited Boise yet, you probably should, especially before making a purchase decision. You might find the citylife / mountain access to be what you want or you might say it is too dry for your tastes. A few Boise metro neighborhoods are above your desired purchase price but many more will be within it than in Denver metro. SE Boise is worth a look. Neighborhoods in Colorado Springs itself are probably worth a look too if you want to stay in CO.

Last edited by NW Crow; 07-03-2016 at 12:54 AM..
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Old 07-03-2016, 01:04 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,401 posts, read 39,713,740 times
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For retirement, consider a full service community with good access to your recreation and hobbies, and also commutable.

I think your idea of a winter sublease might hold merit if you find the right area, but.... Will require a lot of research and number crunching. While you are young retirees, get out anf try a lot of communities till you find your match.

As a 30 yr ex-NoCO country kid, I can appreciate your quest. I consider CO a good place to visit (shoulder seasons) and many excellent areas to do that. I have chosen the PNW mtns for summers, and Hill Country TX for winters. I kerp rural acreages in each destination. The main homes are rented out FT, and each location has a free cabin, shop, and cheap car for us,nso we fly between at will. (And Colorado is directly between, so visit frequently.) $25 airfare to Den from TX or PNW at the moment makes it ez.

Longterm, I will eventually sell main places on contract and rent where and when ever I choose. (I do a lot of international living and travel, so being near a cheap airport is important to me). Also I prefer small college towns for music, entertainment, classes, more diverse economy and higher rents.

Colorado summers can be very busy, Salida, Buena Vista, Gunnison, is where I would first look.
Utah, WY, MT, ID, WA, SD (& BC and Alberta) are all higher choices than CO for me. (I grew up on a ranch near Estes, too many people can detract from your summer rest.)

Try a few places and see what fits You.

Many early retiree friends summer in CO as camp / park hosts (not always restful, but can be very interesting, and some campgrounds are very nice places to summer, much, much better than a condo. Summer mornings with mist coming off the stream or lake.., evenings of bright stars and no city lights are spectacular in Mtns. Other retiree friends work as PT staff at mtn camps (usually in winter / off season).

Others do 'equity share', part ownership in a multi tenant property. (With rights to some units during slack months),

I have found property values to often be falsely elevated in desired resort destinations, rental management fees can gobble all the income and more. Be sure to run all the numbers (including opportunity costs). A high cash flowing commercial property of equivalent value in St. Louis or Denver might spin off adequate positive cash to rent summer cottages where-ever your heart desires.

Many options, give some a try!
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:50 AM
 
144 posts, read 108,351 times
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NW Crow, Thanks so much for posting and your community suggestions. That gives me more ideas of places to consider.


StealthRabbit, Thank you too for all your insights and ideas. // I never thought about the idea of being a campground host, but that actually sounds quite appealing. Three summers ago we camped at Yellowstone and I fondly remember the hosts there. // And gosh I have to say I understand the appeal of the Pacific NW mountains and Alberta in the summer. We stayed in a home in Canmore one summer vacation (I kept on saying -- boy this reminds me of Colorado -- but then it is the same mountain range) and a condo in Victoria for a week one summer too and thinking back, my family was ready to move to both places lol. // My brother and his girlfriend live in Idaho Falls, and his girlfriend has a cabin in Driggs, ID where they spend a lot of weekends. // I think the reason why I've looked at Colorado more than these other states areas is familiarity (having once lived in Denver) and easy access cheap flights to Denver from St. Louis and/or a way shorter drive to Colorado from where we live -- A straight 14 hour shot from St. Louis.
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Old 07-03-2016, 09:46 AM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,882 posts, read 29,310,762 times
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Have you considered an RV?
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:41 AM
 
144 posts, read 108,351 times
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2bindenver, Funny that you just mentioned that. Interestingly enough today after seeing the suggestion of being a campground host is the first time I've ever considered that. Growing up we did tent camping, the pop up camper, and then when I was in high school the motorhome. DH and I have just done the tent camping and have more recently hitting the early 60s (DH) and me 55 switched to cabins and condos.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:26 PM
Status: "Celebrating 30 years as a Broker" (set 19 days ago)
 
Location: Just south of Denver since 1989
10,882 posts, read 29,310,762 times
Reputation: 7085
Also, take a look at Truckee CA - 40 minutes to Reno.
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:40 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,196,196 times
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Salida, CO
Hospital
Close to Monarch ski area
Affordable
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Old 07-13-2016, 12:55 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,527,350 times
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Evergreen, remote? If you find that remote you will not enjoy the mountain towns away from Denver. When people talk about Colorado there should be two distinctions, you either live on the prairie or desert floor with a view of some mountains or you actually live in them, it's two different things.

Sounds like you should firm up what your plans and goals are before proceeding further. I'm hearing buying a house to an RV and every imaginable and unimaginable option in between. If I'm confused reading the original post I can only imagine how confused the OP and her husband are.

Ski town condos have been covered here extensively over the years. There are lots of threads filled with info. Mostly they are poor investments except for savvy local people with connections and local knowledge.

If you want to rent for a summer in a mountain ski town, easy to do. Summer doesn't fill up condos with destination travelers like winter does and there are deals to be had. Basically where in the winter people will rent by the nightly or weekly basis, many condo owners are very open to month to month renters in summer rather than the odd chance of a traveler booking for a few nights here or there. Basically contact the property management agencies in the town you are interested in or search rentals online via VRBO or other sources, contact people and do a deal. I have done it myself and it is very simple and low hassle. You pay month by month and have a furnished condo. All you have to do is turn up, enjoy yourself and then go home at the end of summer. At least the ones I have stayed in they have everything from washer/dryer, utilities taken care of, cable tv/internet, fully outfitted kitchens with utensils, etc. Why people persist with all these other hassles of ownership, complicated life arrangements and all that is hilarious.

Personally myself I enjoy places like Idaho or Montana or even parts of Washington State and Utah more than Colorado these days. Colorado has been overrun with so many outsiders it has lost it's identity and uniqueness and IMO cost to value ratio is no longer good. But if you like city then of course the Denver area can suit that.
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Old 07-16-2016, 05:07 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,140 posts, read 1,930,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo

If you want to rent for a summer in a mountain ski town, easy to do. Summer doesn't fill up condos with destination travelers like winter does and there are deals to be had. Basically where in the winter people will rent by the nightly or weekly basis, many condo owners are very open to month to month renters in summer rather than the odd chance of a traveler booking for a few nights here or there. Basically contact the property management agencies in the town you are interested in or search rentals online via VRBO or other sources, contact people and do a deal. I have done it myself and it is very simple and low hassle. You pay month by month and have a furnished condo. All you have to do is turn up, enjoy yourself and then go home at the end of summer. At least the ones I have stayed in they have everything from washer/dryer, utilities taken care of, cable tv/internet, fully outfitted kitchens with utensils, etc.
Exactly this. With just a few minutes of effort I found a 3 br in Steamboat for $70/night (monthly rate in summer) on vrbo.
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