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Old 05-23-2018, 01:42 PM
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth
5 posts, read 3,184 times
Reputation: 12


Hi there,
I've probably spent 85+ hours reading through posts to gain as much information as I possibly can but I still need help! I worked in Highlands Ranch from 2003 to 2013 and absolutely loved it. I was born and raised in the hot humid south so CO was heaven to me, for a lot of reasons. But, in 2013, family tragedy struck so I sold my house and moved back closer to home to help out. I'm living (if you can call it that) in Dallas right now and I'm desperate to get back to CO. Problem is, it has become so expensive there! I want to live in a more rural area so maybe it's still possible to get back there on my new budget. I should also mention that I have a 12 year old daughter who will be going in to the 7th grade next year - she will, of course, be moving with me. I can work from home so jobs aren't a factor.

Below is a list of what I'm looking for in a property and town. I'm hoping that a few people with extensive knowledge of the state might be able to point me in the right direction

1) Rural area. What I really mean is not suburbia. I'd like to have at least half an acre of land, if not 1-2 acres. I don't mind having neighbors but I would rather not walk out my front door and be at theirs. But not so rural that I have to drive an hour to get to the grocery store. Ideally, I'd like to be within a 15-20 min drive to the nearest store (closer is fine too, but 20ish mins max).
2) Climate. My daughter and I absolutely love the snow. One of the things we really enjoyed when living in the Denver area was the weather - the fact that there are seasons is fantastic. We aren't afraid of the cold and we welcome the snow so those two things aren't a negative for us. However, I would like to have a decent sized garden. I've read that CO in general isn't the best place for growing your own food but I assume some places are better than others. I did have friends in Denver who had small raised gardens that did very well when we lived there.
3) Good School District. Not much more to elaborate on this point
4) Land available for purchase. I would like to buy some land (budget $12k or less) in an area that allows mobile homes for a period of time while I build a small house (1000 sq ft or so). I would also like the property to have access to water, which I've heard is such a problem in some areas there, and power (power isn't a deal breaker since I could use solar panels but I would prefer power lines).
5) Safe area. It will just be my daughter and I so, a low crime area is a must.

What have I not thought about? I'm sure there is something, if not a few things! I really really appreciate you taking the time to read this and provide any insight you have

Thank you!!!
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Old 05-23-2018, 01:51 PM
424 posts, read 176,153 times
Reputation: 645
Buying land with the ability to put a mobile home on it, but in a good school district is going to be hard. Anything around the Denver area is probably out of your price range unless you look out towards maybe Elizabeth or Kiowa east, southeast of Parker.

The western slope might have some options, but they tend to underfund schools so there's that.

Colorado is quickly moving out of a lot of people's price range. A sad fact.
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:09 PM
5,003 posts, read 6,678,903 times
Reputation: 4517
Where will you work?
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Old 05-23-2018, 03:31 PM
Location: Dallas/Fort Worth
5 posts, read 3,184 times
Reputation: 12
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
Where will you work?
From home
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Old 05-23-2018, 06:08 PM
Location: Western Colorado
10,519 posts, read 11,623,635 times
Reputation: 24168
Look at Cedaredge, Paonia, Ridgway (expensive though).
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Old 05-23-2018, 07:25 PM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,112 posts, read 18,707,927 times
Reputation: 20404
Crime is everywhere.
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:45 PM
92 posts, read 141,340 times
Reputation: 198
Parts of the San Luis Valley meet some of your criteria, but not all.

- Cheap land. Some of the cheapest in the state. Essentially every parcel in the valley has mountain views of the Sangre de Cristo range. This is a plus compared to anywhere on the Front Range where you would find cheap land (much further away from the mountains out that way).
- Some of the cheap land can be found in sub divisions that have water and power ran to each parcel. (The KV Estates and the Baca Grande in Saguache County are two examples that I personally know of).
- Nearly anywhere will allow mobile homes. Some counties or areas have no building codes at all. Others have restrictions, but typically the land out here will permit what you're looking to do without much trouble.
- Good availability of high-speed internet thanks to local internet providers. Cell phone reception can be spotty, but companies like Ciello and Colorado Central Telecom are great and can provide high speed internet nearly anywhere in the valley. This would make working from home easy for you to do out here. Many do just that.

- Crime. The crime rates really differ from community to community, but we're so remote out here that local law enforcement is pretty much strapped to handle most issues. I've never experienced any crime in the year that I've lived in Saguache County, but I know that drug use, burglaries, and domestic violence are happening out here. Some areas are much safer or much more dangerous than others.
- Remoteness. We're at least 3 hours from any major population center, and that's a deal-breaker for anyone needing city amenities of any kind (healthcare, entertainment, arts, etc).
- Garden. Having a garden out here takes a ton of effort and water. If you were serious about growing your own food, I'd definitely look at winter-proofing a greenhouse. Growing anything outdoors can be tough depending on where you live. It's a very short growing season.

Neutral, Area-Dependent, or other Info:
- Depending on where you buy out here, 'town' could be 10 minutes away or 45 minutes away. The towns out here might also be much, much smaller than what you're hoping to be near as well. Alamosa is the hub, with roughly 10,000 people. Other towns with some amenities include Monte Vista, Del Norte, Saguache, and Crestone - but Alamosa is where you would go for anything beyond groceries.
- Schools. I'm not a parent and have heard mixed reviews about the schools across the valley. I hear great things about the schools in Moffat and Crestone, but know very little else about the rest. If you consider looking out here, I'd ask around for more information on the various school districts. I wish had more information for you.
- Climate: We get the snow (although not this year!) that you love so much, and summers are generally very mild compared to the Front Range. We also get extreme wind from time to time and there can be long and frigid cold snaps. But for the most part, it's sunny and very dry year-round.
- Utility access is entirely dependent on where you look at buying. If it were me, I wouldn't want to rely on a well out here but many do. I chose to buy in a community with central water and sewage.
- The landscape is very stark and for some it is too desolate. There's a great deal of variation in the landscapes of the San Luis Valley, but most of it is flat and covered in rabbit brush and other similar vegetation, with little water and few trees. I personally love the terrain out here, but everyone has different preferences.

PM me if you'd like to know more about life out here, and good luck with your search.

Last edited by interloper1138; 05-23-2018 at 09:10 PM..
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:49 PM
Location: Denver CO
18,975 posts, read 10,032,914 times
Reputation: 27746
Originally Posted by otowi View Post
Where will you work?
Originally Posted by Utellme66676 View Post
From home
Interloper mentioned it but you should add stable high speed internet to your list of musts
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:31 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,320 posts, read 4,348,520 times
Reputation: 15239
In Colorado: Rural, a place with snow, cheap land ($12k for 1/2 acre), good schools and safe.

I don't think it exists.

Cheap places don't have the means to provide good schools and they typically have too much poverty which has a high correlation with crime.

I think the OP is dreaming.
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Old 05-24-2018, 04:59 AM
3,302 posts, read 911,548 times
Reputation: 2012
I have messaged the OP directly, but for everyone else, it exists, in Westcliffe/Custer County. Great small town, without a resort and all the yuppie BS that accompanies it. You will not find high-end boutiques, fast food restaurants, sprawl, traffic, condos, etc, which have ruined many mountain towns.

What you will find a small town that is still a real town and still a functioning town, with things for everyday use, such as the grocery store, hardware store, butcher, bakery, etc as well as some unique features such as a neat little radio station and the performing arts center/movie theater.

Of course, there is the ever present Sangre de Cristo range dominating the horizon, which is unspoiled and uncrowded and best of all, the property in the area is affordable.

If anything, the area needs a few more residents - but not too many more, so take a look and see what you think.
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