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Old 08-02-2017, 05:28 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,401 posts, read 39,713,740 times
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having lived~30 yrs in each (CO and WA) and being rural / AG centric / sustainable...

Your options DO NOT exist in the 2 choices of CO (you don't want extensive snow / cold) and WA (You don't want gray winters)

There is a BIG difference in the states and so it depends on your specific intent.

Sunny most of the yr and nice mtn centric recreation (but significantly cold (winter + snow) and often BROWN) = CO

LOTS of water (from the sky, sea, and rivers) and drizzle 200 days / yr = We_tern WA. Eastern WA has less rain, but more snow and gray winters.

Gardening is superb in WA (due to rain and mild temps)
CO is a challenge for sustainable gardening (wind, hail, DRY, High pressure on RESTRICTED Water Needs)

WA is very PRO energy / sustainability and has legislation in place allowing Rainwater collection AND selling power back to utility through sustainable options.
Solar Washington, Advancing Solar Energy in Washington State

If you want to GROW plants and have Ocean, Inland waters, + mtns, WA is great (I fly away for sun frequently / a few times / month).

If you want SUN... NM / CO is a better choice. There are a few 'Banana Belt' / gardening / fruit areas in Colorado. That might be best (If you have water )

Both areas enjoy a high influx of new residents with LOTS of money. so... the price of admission for desirable locations / properties will be expensive. I hear Arkansas, OK, LA, MO are still affordable and decent climate (but muggy).

Luv WA and CO for non-muggy!
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:41 PM
 
5,311 posts, read 2,757,146 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by votz View Post
Hi All,

I'm looking to buy 20+ Acres of property (the more the better) and permanently relocate to either rural PNW (Washington state) or rural Colorado and wanted to know what areas would be best suited for my needs, any help would be great!

I'm ~30 years old, and the area must be projected to be livable in the next 50 years, according to climate change predictions. So far I've been looking into Sequim/San Juan Islands/possibly Bellingham in WA but land costs seem a little prohibative. I'm becoming more interested in Colorado but don't know a lot about CO. I'll be building my own house myself with either cob, cordword, "earthship" or timber framing construction and I'll be growing my own food in greenhouses. I'll be location siting based on winter azimuth sun angles, to maximize passive heating and cooling and using runoff water catchment, greywater, and composting toilet systems (not interested in septic). The idea is to create a "luxury" eco-village bed and breakfast/event hosting "camp" type place to host weddings and/or corporate retreats that can then in turn fund an artist residency. Must have fairly easy all-season road accessibility and ideally within half a day's train/bus/drive to a major airport. Must be very "scenic" and located in a progressive state.

I'm moving from Chicago, IL, mainly because it's much too gray/brown here in the winter and I'm no longer interested in living in cities. Having two week spans of complete overcast is not uncommon here in the winter, and I've been suffering from SADD and Vitamin D deficiency since I've lived here (~6 years). I'm very sensitive to sun/clouds/light - I love a cozy cloudy rainy day peppered here and there (too much sun every day makes me a little too wired for my liking), but I can't live in a predominantly overcast area, even if it's for one-season (i.e., one season very grey with the rest being sunny). I'd like to be closer to hiking/canoeing/outdoor adventures as well. National parks are a must. Also, I have Endometriosis so I need to be within 2-3 hours from a major hospital with high rankings for gynecological departments. Also, while I enjoy snow and generally don't mind the cold, I'm not interested in having freezing winds/rain/sleet/-30 to 15 degree F days anymore. I enjoy 4 seasons and ideally winters would be green, a little snowy and stay in the 20-40 degree range, summers preferably mild, low-ish humidity (not muggy) and green. No scrub brush for me! Many trees/lakes/waterfalls please.

So, to recap, here's what I'm looking for:

- Lush GREEN Forest (preferably year round), Mountain views, Sunny-Partly Cloudy 280+ days a year, access to lakes/rivers/national parks
- Not humid/muggy in summer or clammy in winter
- Four seasons, but none of them "extreme," I like snow but not the freezing cold!
- Projected to have stable drinkable fresh water sources for next 50 years
- Terrain relatively inoculated against increases in wild fires, drought, landslides, flooding
- No or very minimal misquitoes/ticks (they love me)
- 20+ Acres for under 200k (the more the better)
- Area hospitable to off grid living
- Secluded but within 30 mins of small town and 2-4 hours of a major city with highly ranked gynecological/reproductive hospital departments.
**LGBTQ State Protections, Legal Recreational Marijuana Use A Must** Progressive tax structure a plus.

I'm also open to hearing about other states but I'm pretty set on PNW and CO as possibilities, *not* interested in Northeastern/Southern/Midwest (already lived there both rurally and city wise - they're great, but not for me!.

Thank you so much!
So your most important criteria are LGBTQ protection, recreational pot, and "progressive" politics? Your combination of that and other items just SCREAMS Puget Sound area.

That's where the mild seasons, lush year round green trees and plentiful water exist. Those items rule out CO right away. That part of WA also meets your medical proximity requirements.

You are allowed to collect up to 2 barrels of rainwater in CO. That is all. Water rights is a complicated issue, and the state is pretty dry and getting dryer overall. FORGET about year-round lush green forest in any normal year! The seasons include cold and snow, as well as high heat, sometimes extreme at both ends. Inoculated against wildfires, drought, landslides, flooding--HAHAHAHAHAH! Are you joking?!!??! Mosquitoes aren't bad in most places but are horrible in some. Ticks exist, and they sometimes drop on people from tree branches as well as jump from tall grasses and brush. Land costs vary, depending on potential for agricultural use and water rights. Most places require approved septic system.

Yup, WA for your list.
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Old 08-02-2017, 07:32 PM
 
174 posts, read 108,072 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davebarnes View Post
No, you are not.
You are looking to buy 35+ acres in Colorado.
If you don't know why this is the case, then learn about water.
I'm not sure how Colorado works, maybe Dave knows but is that consider Agriculture?

Where I'm from (Goes by the county in my former state) if you owned 40+ acres it was consider agriculture and the taxes were cheaper than if you bought a small home on 1/2 acre.

My parents owned a 3000sqft home with 2 huge shops and 52 acres, they're property taxes were cheaper than my 1400sqft house on a 1/3 acre. Ha

Definitely pay attention to that stuff!!
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
3,049 posts, read 2,077,790 times
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IMO, 20+ acres under $200k ,with 50 years of water, off grid friendly, and a couple hours of a top rated hospital are the key parts of derailing this effort even if everything else is negotiable. But lets dissect the rest of the list as a lot of it is not obtainable in Colorado

-Lush GREEN Forest (preferably year round) -no. We are an semi-arid environment where water is as valuable as any mineral pulled from the earth. Yes,some valleys may have water with lush looking aspen forests, but they are either national land or have been occupied for 150+ years and will be far beyond your price point.
-Mountain views-mostly. Half the state is high plains prairie with no mountain view at all.
-Sunny-partly cloudy 280+ days of sun- yes
-Access to lakes/rivers/national forest - yes, but not the types and quantity of lakes and rivers you are familiar with in the mid-west. We do have a lot of national forest.
-Not humid/muggy - yes, we usually average 10-25% humidity, although lately we've been bouncing around between 80-100% with 70* dew points thanks to the monsoonal flow. It has made things green this year though.
-Four season but none extreme - sort of. We can get snow from October to April, but not constantly. Depending on locale, winter can be very cold and summers can be very hot. Not Wisconsin cold and not Arizona hot, but we do get extremes. We also get damaging hail, are 2nd in the nation for lightning deaths and get the occasional tornado as well.We also get the occasional low magnitude earthquake. We to get spring, summer and fall also. Sometimes for a few weeks each, sometimes for a couple of months. Weather here is HIGHLY variable.
-projected to have stable drinkable water for 50 years - yes in the metros, questionable in some rural areas, almost impossible at your price point and expectations. All water that falls from the sky, melts from the snow, flows in the creeks, or sits in a lake belongs to somebody, even if it is no one in Colorado. As a headwater state, every state downstream has a claim on the water here to some degree.
-terrain immune from fire/drought/landslide/flood - no. Maybe not all in one place, bet we have all of these in Colorado, along with accidental toxic waste discharges from abandoned mining efforts from 100 year ago.
-no or minimal mosquitos - no. We also have biting flies, ticks, wasps, scorpions, a variety of spiders, and other stinging and biting insects.
-20+acres for under $200k - maybe, but not within the requirements of the rest of this list. If land is hospitable, its is expensive. If it is cheap, there are very good reasons for it, usually lack of water , in a slide zone, or a 10 year flood zone.
-hospitable to off grid living - unlikely. It isn't impossible, but so many people are tiring of the marginal to slipshod construction that seems to follow many off grid living attempts that a vast number of the counties here are zoned or are increasing enforcement of zoning. This means all construction will have to met minimum requirements for building codes, electrical, water, and wastewater.
-secluded but within 30 mins of small town and 2-4 hours of a major city with highly ranked gynecological/reproductive hospital departments- no, not at your price point with your other requirements.
-**LGBTQ State Protections, Legal Recreational Marijuana Use A Must** Progressive tax structure a plus. - We do offer some protections for LBGTQ, we do have legal recreational weed, we are not a bankrupt state, but we are struggling with infrastructure in the metros. Rural areas can be even worse off. It may also be worth noting that while all of the above are found in the state, there are still vast expanses of it than lean heavily conservative and the majorities of the major metros are large enough to sway policy that other parts of the states may not agree with. However, it is also a very western thing to have a libertarian slant of live and let live, so rural CO can be very accomodating or very unfriendly place depending on how you approach it and where exactly you locate.
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Old 08-02-2017, 11:29 PM
 
3,806 posts, read 3,987,784 times
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If you look at WA, maybe track down this woman
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Ix11VQ8f7uY
For inspiration, practice advice, if she'll share it. She is on various other social media. Off the grid but commercial venture.
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Old 08-03-2017, 09:13 AM
 
4,657 posts, read 1,326,609 times
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A few things:

1. Most of Colorado is brown most of the year, with a brief green period in May or so in wet years.

2. If you want to be able to use water on your property, you will need to buy 35 acres or more, per water regulations.

3. You can find property under $200k in south central Colorado.
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Old 08-03-2017, 10:49 AM
 
447 posts, read 574,557 times
Reputation: 788
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Rabbit
Your options DO NOT exist in the 2 choices of CO (you don't want extensive snow / cold) and WA (You don't want gray winters)
I came here to make this same point. OP can have green, gray, and mild or OP can have sun, cold and snow. Can't do both.

Quote:
- Lush GREEN Forest (preferably year round), Mountain views, Sunny-Partly Cloudy 280+ days a year, access to lakes/rivers/national parks
- Not humid/muggy in summer or clammy in winter
- Four seasons, but none of them "extreme," I like snow but not the freezing cold!
- Projected to have stable drinkable fresh water sources for next 50 years
- Terrain relatively inoculated against increases in wild fires, drought, landslides, flooding
- No or very minimal misquitoes/ticks (they love me)
- 20+ Acres for under 200k (the more the better)
- Area hospitable to off grid living
- Secluded but within 30 mins of small town and 2-4 hours of a major city with highly ranked gynecological/reproductive hospital departments.
**LGBTQ State Protections, Legal Recreational Marijuana Use A Must** Progressive tax structure a plus.
Sounds like heaven, OP. If I could find acreage with mountain views and forests with lakes and rivers nearby, where it was mostly dry and not humid and experienced no natural disasters, there weren't many bugs, winter wasn't that cold and the whole setup was only a few hours away from a major city and cost less than $200k, I would have moved a long time ago. I mean it completely non-sarcastically. You just described heaven-on-earth. You will - absolutely - have to compromise a significant portions of your 'wants' because what you're looking for doesn't exist. If I'm wrong please let me know so I can move too!

I'm going to simplify your list a bit:

1. Beautiful Scenery. You want mountains, forests, rivers. Lots of green. National parks nearby, etc.
2. Dry, Four Season Climate. No muggy summers, clammy winters. Low amount of bugs. Abundant sunshine/no gray winters.
3. Convenience. Property has to be within a few hours of a major city for health services and large, international airport for guests.
4. Budget. Property has to be fairly cheap.
5. Politics. Property has to be in a state with progressive politics - LBGT rights, recreational marijuana, etc.
6. Sustainable. Property needs to be able to grow food in greenhouses and have water access for a long time.

If you'll rank those and decide which is the absolute most important and which you are the most flexible/forgiving about, people can help you. As it is, I don't think there's a place in North America that fits that description.

The closest thing I think you could find would be rural northern California. Scenic, rural and secluded. Lower latitude for longer growing season. If you're far enough away from the ocean the winters aren't super-gray like they are west of the cascades in Oregon and Washington. Legal weed, strong liberal lean to state politics. Biggest problem would probably be finding a decent place anywhere near civilization. And/or solving water rights issues. Cities big enough for basic services and shopping shouldn't be a problem.

Finally, as a general rule anywhere in the country - you can choose 2 out of scenic, convenient, or cheap. I'm sure there are exceptions, but they're rare.
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Old 08-03-2017, 11:43 AM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,140 posts, read 1,930,958 times
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You can find parcels in CO that are less than 35 acres that might either have an existing well, or for which you can get a permit for a well. They are less common, but do exist. If you look through land listings, of course you will see lots of them at 35-40 acres because of the current laws and permitting for wells.

One thing that hasn't been mentioned is the pine beetle. Lots of the western U.S. pine forests are being killed by the pine beetle, and so what looks like a nice forest today could be mostly killed at some point in the future, much less than 50 years out. It seems likely a lot of these forests may eventually burn and then start the cycle over as an aspen forest. If you have a very long timeline you could look for land that's already burned, which will be cheaper, and also safer from fire for a while. Then you can watch the forest evolve during the rest of your life.

The biggest problems I'd guess are dealing with the water laws, and building codes (if you want to build some unconventional structures from cob, rammed earth, etc).
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Mars City
5,091 posts, read 2,108,098 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by votz View Post
I'm moving from Chicago, IL, mainly because it's much too gray/brown here in the winter....

So, to recap, here's what I'm looking for:

- Lush GREEN Forest (preferably year round)
Colorado wouldn't be a match, based on the above. Washington would be though.
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Old 08-03-2017, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Austin
140 posts, read 83,940 times
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I moved to Washington last year and a lot people think it will end up just like Colorado but theres some pretty big differences. Like Oregon, its a major tourist destination and they set things up here to seem rather expensive so it wont fill up as fast. Of course thats in vain because, although theres high sales tax, how does that effect some multimillionaire who doesn't have to pay state taxes? If you have that kind of money it actaully comes out being a pretty affordable market and a lot of real estate vampires, mainly the Chinese, are sucking it up faster than Ive ever seen anywhere else. A big difference though is that Washington really has their public lands in check, and the states very good about protecting public interest towards that end. Not near as many McMansions being thrown up near your favorite wilderness area. Colorado just sold out that kind of interest long ago to the highest bitter. Its not anyones fault really. It just filled up long before it became an issue. Some of the best public land in the nation there but its almost completely surrounded by cookie cutter condos, some penetrating deep into the forests, and personal use is becoming a hot button issue as well. A guy in Winter Park told me you can hardly hunt in the Arapaho anymore without setting off bells and whistles. The locals are now weary of gun noise or "the possibility of stray bullets", as he put it to me. I know its happening pretty much everywhere these days but it sure is hard to watch. Picture the day you have to pay off some yuppie just to take Junior fishing at the "public" lake of your choice.
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