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Old 08-28-2016, 01:00 PM
 
16 posts, read 28,761 times
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My girlfriend and I are in our late 20's / early 30's and are considering a move to Salida. We love the area and are wondering if there are any other people in our age group that have made the move there and made it work personally and professionally. Obviously we know the job situation won't be easy, but I am self employed and my girlfriend is open to pretty much any kind of job until she finds what she wants.

Any input on living in Salida, making a living / life in a town of 5,000+, and the general Salida lifestyle would be much appreciated. Thanks!!
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Old 08-28-2016, 01:28 PM
 
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
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TheMountainMail.com: The Mountain Mail | Salida, Chaffee County Colorado, breaking news, entertainment, sports, classifieds

The Chaffee County Times: The Chaffee County Times | Buena Vista, Chaffee County Colorado, breaking news, entertainment, sports, classifieds

City of Salida, Colorado

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Move to Salida, Colorado | Singletracks Mountain Bike News
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Old 08-28-2016, 02:34 PM
 
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It sounds calculating and it is... make acquaintance / friends with lots of people- your age and older- and see if there are opportunities for work, good housing or meeting other people. You don't want to be too forward / pushy but knowing people can come in handy in many ways, some you don't anticipate ahead of time. Maybe you help yourselves, maybe you help friends. And a new place, small place can feel better if you know folks. Assume it is on you to initiate. Some may do so with you, but probably more so if you appear outgoing.


For more housing options, a personalized housing wanted pitch on Craigslist and / or local newspaper is probably worth trying. May have a take a first place that is just ok and then try to find better. Be ready to move fast if you see something you like.


Work when it is time to work and play with a clear mind when you need / can play. Don't slowmo work with distractions and don't ruin play with serious concerns.


My 2 cents.

Last edited by NW Crow; 08-28-2016 at 02:51 PM..
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Old 08-28-2016, 03:23 PM
 
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Can you find jobs there and afford the lifestyle you want?
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:56 PM
 
16 posts, read 28,761 times
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Thanks for the input so far. We are hoping to further our careers once we get there but yes for now we have the income to make ends meet. Salida seems like it will be amazing and is obviously beautiful but we want to make sure that we can have enough professional opportunity for this stage in our lives.

We are considering a few larger cities (i.e. Boise and Bend OR) but are attracted to the smaller feel of Salida. Neither of us have lived in a small town so im not sure what to expect since we are not retired.
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Old 08-28-2016, 10:00 PM
 
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Your income will need to be able to support about a $200k mortgage at minimum. There's precious little under that, unless you're looking for raw land.

And as far as professional opportunity is concerned, you'll need to make your own.

Don't get me wrong; I love Salida, in fact we just got back after spending the afternoon there. I was shocked by how much the real estate market has jumped there this year.

I suspect the author of Top 10 Reasons NOT to Move to Salida, Colorado | Singletracks Mountain Bike News/ is a trust fund kid.

You can come downstream to Cañon City and find a house for one third the price of Salida. Same whitewater experience. Lots of single track, hiking, rock climbing. You might not find much in the way of professional opportunities in Cañon, but prospects might be a little better in Pueblo, 40 miles east, or Colorado Springs, 45 to 55 miles away.

I won't sugar coat the Cañon City - greater Fremont County experience. The biggest employers are the various state and federal prisons. (Supermax in Florence is about ten miles away.) I do think such a high concentration of prisons infects the psyche of the community, even if you rarely interact with the prisons. Tourism is important here, but that probably isn't the most stable for full-time employment unless you're high up the food chain. It is a bit of a retiree area (I think Salida may be as well) and it doesn't have a terribly progressive feel. At least that's what I've perceived based on nine years here.

You may get a different take by talking to some of these folks: Fremont Adventure Recreation
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Old 08-29-2016, 06:52 AM
 
242 posts, read 285,821 times
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Employment is available in the area....but "careers" are few and far between. $10-$12 per hour is standard fare for most jobs
Self-employment would be a good back up/way to go if what you do will mesh into the experience overall.

Rents/homes are cheaper in the outlying areas than "in town". It all depends on the experience you want...how far you are willing to commute... and how picky you are overall. There's everything from crazy priced "town homes" in town (that don't fit in with the local/historic homes at all)...to cabins and small trailers on acreage outside of town.

It's a compromise to live up here in the hills vs. the Front Range. You have to WANT IT. Costs across the board are usually more...home prices are more than the local economy can support in most cases...but the sacrifices are worth it for those of us who have made mountain living our way of life. Yes it's cheaper in the city....but then you'll be like the rest of the weekenders who spend, spend, spend to come up here for a day or two and then talk about how expensive it is "to live in the mountains"..... ;-)

You should have no problem finding 20-somethings-30-somethings to hang/party/experience it all with. There's a very vibrant art scene here...and the entire town is involved on many levels with the festivals and the events that go on all Summer here. It's an interesting mix of folks, for sure....

I wish you well.... we did the same thing in the mid-80's (just moved and let things fall into place without worry)

No regrets here. I wouldn't live anywhere else.....and I'm dizzam glad I didn't cop out and end up on the Front Range as many here will tell you that you need to do to make it all work.

You are both young...you can do this if you want it bad enough.

Good luck!
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Old 08-29-2016, 08:56 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,902 posts, read 6,494,653 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iowegian3 View Post
Your income will need to be able to support about a $200k mortgage at minimum. There's precious little under that, unless you're looking for raw land.

And as far as professional opportunity is concerned, you'll need to make your own.

Don't get me wrong; I love Salida, in fact we just got back after spending the afternoon there. I was shocked by how much the real estate market has jumped there this year.

I suspect the author of Top 10 Reasons NOT to Move to Salida, Colorado | Singletracks Mountain Bike News/ is a trust fund kid.

You can come downstream to Cañon City and find a house for one third the price of Salida. Same whitewater experience. Lots of single track, hiking, rock climbing. You might not find much in the way of professional opportunities in Cañon, but prospects might be a little better in Pueblo, 40 miles east, or Colorado Springs, 45 to 55 miles away.

I won't sugar coat the Cañon City - greater Fremont County experience. The biggest employers are the various state and federal prisons. (Supermax in Florence is about ten miles away.) I do think such a high concentration of prisons infects the psyche of the community, even if you rarely interact with the prisons. Tourism is important here, but that probably isn't the most stable for full-time employment unless you're high up the food chain. It is a bit of a retiree area (I think Salida may be as well) and it doesn't have a terribly progressive feel. At least that's what I've perceived based on nine years here.

You may get a different take by talking to some of these folks: Fremont Adventure Recreation
While I agree with a lot of this, I would hardly say that the whitewater experience in Cañon City is the same as Salida. Whitewater is an ingrained part of the culture in Salida and Buena Vista. It's not in CC.
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Old 08-29-2016, 09:27 AM
 
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I loved Salida when I visited. I do think about getting a second home there when I'm older. I work from home, so I COULD live there if I wanted to sell my house in the Denver area. But here's the thing - if I lose my current work-from-home gig, I would be SOOL and would have to at least move back to Denver.

And I think "career advancement" might be hard in that area.
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:24 PM
 
128 posts, read 163,692 times
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I'm in the same age bracket as you, OP, and I relocated to Salida from the Midwest a year and a half ago. So far it has worked out extremely well for me, but I will be the first to admit that my experience has had a great deal of dumb luck to it and should not be held as a gauge for what you should expect your experience to be.

I would agree with all of the points that everyone has already made:

Work - Jobs are easy to get, but hard to find for ones that pay enough to cover the cost of living here. Housing is a killer, especially compared to local wages. As posted above, most jobs pay between $10-12 an hour. In terms of professional development, there are opportunities here depending on your line of work, but they are few and far between and pay far less than Front Range wages. That said, it IS possible, just difficult.

Housing - You'll be hard-pressed to find a two bedroom rental for less than $1100 a month. They exist, but they're scarce and go off the market within a day or two of becoming available. Most people our age in town either live in shared housing with roommates, are fortunate enough to have a good paying job, or are independently wealthy. Rent WILL go up every single year, by how much depends on your landlord. I've heard of rent going up as little as $50/month to over $400/month in a single year. It's competitive and expensive. If you find a good deal, don't plan on ever leaving it.

Local Culture - Salida is easily the best place I've ever lived in terms of community. The people here by and large are friendly, outgoing, hard-working, genuine, and fun. People here really care about this place and do their best to help out their community to improve it for everyone. Neighbors are eager to lend a hand when you need help, and bartering is almost the unofficial 'unspoken' way to get things done. It's a great place to be.

Small Town Life - It's hard for me to tell you what to expect for this, as I grew up in a town the same size as Salida. There are certain things are just characteristic of small towns, regardless of where in the US you are. Expect everyone to know your business, for better or worse, once you've plugged yourself into the community. That's just how it goes. Don't take it personally, because it applies to everyone. Also, the small town pace is a real thing. Expect lots of chit chat with acquaintances and neighbors in grocery stores. If you're into that, you'll love it. If you're not, it might be tough to adjust to.

Night Life - Salida's night life is certainly more lively than that of Buena Vista, but don't expect anything like you'll find in bigger cities. Most restaurants are closed by 9, and most bars / pubs are closed by 10 (except on weekends). People our age here generally don't last in town long, as they're mostly seasonal employees, so (depending on who you meet) it might be harder to establish lasting friendships than you might like. Still, there are a good amount of young people that have been here for several years and don't seem to be going anywhere soon.

Overall, Salida is a fantastic place to live, but that comes at a price. Whether or not it's worth it is up to you and your priorities for this point in your lives. For me? I've not regretted it for a single moment.

If you've got any questions, feel free to PM me. I know that I never could have made it without the research and advice that I received from the helpful people here on this forum.
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