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Old 11-05-2017, 08:13 PM
355 posts, read 734,869 times
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We are looking for a permanent move for year-round living.

We have fallen in love with Steamboat Springs, the home prices - not so much. Even in stretching our budget up $700k we can't find a decent place that meets our needs (2+ BR + yard for the dogs, garage) . Inventory is low and prices are outrageous. So my dear Coloradans, help me find something else if it exists!

We have a 14 year old. So schools and "walkability" is important. When we were living in SS, he loved the free shuttle that took him all over town and access to things to do.

Small town:
I hate traffic, big box stores. I love main street parades and just a feeling of community where you are proud to live

Bike trails, a downtown, hiking, moving water, a GREAT library, music and entertainment. Does not have to be a Ski town (I know Steamboat Springs biggest draw LOL)

Not super important. We are retired and will take a "odd job" to fill our time when we are not enjoying the outdoors.

Green & lush. I love trees, nature and animals

Some other places we checked out but didn't fall in love with:
Boulder- too expensive, we are "under-educated" and felt like it was "too young" for us
Fort Collins- Crowded. That poor town has been completely ripped apart by too fast growth
Evergreen - Beautiful, but missing something.
Idaho Springs- ditto. Does not seem family oriented.
Blackhawk - Too remote
Nederland - Too small, remote, nothing to do outside of going into Boulder
Durango- Too "college town" for us. Missing "community-feel" that I am longing.

Thank you in advance.
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:21 PM
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Green and lush?
I suspect there will not be a lot of answers from the Colorado forum. From other discussions, I gather there is no place in the state that is green and lush, certainly not for long. I love the descriptions of OP's ideal place. Please let me know where it might be!
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Old 11-05-2017, 08:22 PM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,947 posts, read 20,190,335 times
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Breckenridge is the closest town similar to Steamboat.
Salida, maybe. Not that green. Ski at Monarch.
Pagoda Springs.
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Old 11-06-2017, 07:52 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
3,046 posts, read 2,076,221 times
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You may find yourself compromising on a point or two. The whole reason desirable places are expensive is because they are desirable. Lower cost usually equals lower interest, which may be due to the lacking in at least one but probably several of your requirements. Lush also is a tough thing to find in CO. If you consider Steamboat lush, then yeah, you may be able to find that, but Steamboat also is surrounded by highly irrigated farming to create that feel. Not everyplace with have that similar attribute.

Suggested places to look at; Florence, Canon City, Buena Vista-Salida-Chaffee County, Gunnison, Montrose, Ouray, Pagosa, Avon, Palisade, Fruita, Glenwood Springs, Alamosa-Monte Vista, Creede, Trinidad, Frisco, Silverthorne.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:01 AM
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Breck might work at upper end of your housing budget.

Pagosa Springs sounds better to me if you want better real estate prices (though it can vary wildly by sub-division and what your neighbors are like) and less hectic. There are pretty rich people (20-30%?), poor people (40-50%?) and some in middle but maybe a bit less than normal. Pretty big winter possible of course. Library is ok to good for small town. Modest public transit during weekdays (not sure about weekends. think it stops at 6-7 pm). Pagosa has some brew pubs, local music (and a few festivals). It will probably trend toward being more like Steamboat (especially if the big proposed resort above Wolf Creek ever gets built) but right now it is probably more like SS was 20-30 years ago.

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-06-2017 at 10:18 AM..
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:02 AM
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,389 posts, read 39,704,721 times
Reputation: 23408
BC Canada

or... in western USA... MT (Columbia Falls is nice) or WA.

Wenatchee, WA has most of what you want (regional bus service and bike trails are great) and comes with NO INCOME tax and FREE FT college for your 14+ year old (during HS yrs)

Summer wildfire threat, Leavenworth (Estes Park of WA) is nearby, (Within the county commuter bus line) as is skiing.

Colorado... Carbondale / Glenwood.

Palasade for a small spot.

Buena Vista and Salida for medium sized towns in rural counties.

Some would consider Bend, or Sisters, OR as an option. Tad crowded, but nice areas nearby. OR is NOT tax friendly for retirees.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:23 AM
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Wenatchee WA is super dry but you can change that going 1/2 hour or more into the forest. Bend, not quite as dry but similar situation. Columbia Falls MT might be a decent buy, assuming you were ok going into Kalispell or Whitefish for stuff beyond the basics. Hamilton MT might be worth considering. Sheridan / Bighorn WY might be too dry for you but is good in most ways. Sandpoint Idaho has similarities to Steamboat but lusher climate & flora. Red River and Angel Fire NM are small but might work for some.

Conifer or Bailey could work for some too. If you are ok with small town or driving to the city. Estes Park? Manitou Springs? Woodland Park? Eagle?

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-06-2017 at 10:52 AM..
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:24 AM
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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I also think Salida and BV, but not green and lush at all.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:47 AM
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Boise, Park City, Tahoe / Truckee, etc.
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Old 11-06-2017, 10:55 AM
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As always a lot depends on how much downtown & entertainment you want. Music? There are places were you get the same few local acts over & over, places with that and a few regional & national acts per year or bigger deal places. Few places will have a great library unless it is at least a moderate sized city or a wealthy resort town.

Durango, or most of it, doesn't feel that much like a college town to me. The school is there but it is off to the side, not front & center.

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-06-2017 at 11:08 AM..
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