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Old Yesterday, 03:07 PM
 
19 posts, read 25,852 times
Reputation: 25

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Hello!

My husband and I (early 30s) spent close to 7 hours on I-70 yesterday getting back to Longmont from Glenwood Springs. Every time we go anywhere, no matter the season, we sit in traffic and it is just becoming unbearable. We spend most weekends climbing, camping, and skiing. I would love better access to all these activities without the insane congestion that has become the FR.

I have spent a few years looking into some options for us and admit I am all over the place. We have even discussed Montana, but it seems scarier to relocate to a whole new state.

I know we will need to do more serious scouting and rent a place to make sure it's a good fit. We plan on starting a family within the next year. Otherwise, we are left-leaning politically, and enjoy spending time outside, so we'd hope to meet some like-minded folks. It would be nice to ski front-country at a resort sometimes without a hellish drive. Cultural life is not as important to us, although we like to see live music. While I do enjoy museums and good restaurants, we rarely go down to Denver (mostly because of traffic). In the 10 years we've lived here we have seen the front range explode with growth, which is great for our home value, but otherwise awful.

We would like to be near a town with some basic services and an actual town feel (rather than urban sprawl). I'd prefer to be out of the suburbs and either in town or have some land and space just outside town.

We are both currently teachers, although my husband may be looking at a career change. There may be an option to work remotely for one or both of us.

We've spent time in Salida and love it there. We have family in Basalt and also like that area, although we could not afford any housing and feel we may not "fit in" with the millionaires. El Jebel is more affordable but I don't know much about it. Ridgeway looks like a beautiful little town. I'm also curious about the GJ area - mainly Fruita and Palisade. We LOVE the desert and Utah, so it would be a big perk to be closer. We have friends in the Durango area as well, but it seems to be growing too fast and getting expensive just like the front range.

Any suggestions between these places? (Salida/Aspen Valley area/GJ area/Durango) Or maybe somewhere I've missed? THANKS!
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Old Yesterday, 03:24 PM
 
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,656 posts, read 9,184,010 times
Reputation: 4562
You've picked some good places. Now it's time to do more research. Obviously, if you can't find work, then you can't live there, so work should be priority number one.

With the smaller towns, jobs will be scarcer. And there will be a lot more competition. From that standpoint, maybe GJ would be a good place to start. Did you see the other current thread here about GJ: Need Current Info on Grand Junction. Also look at this recent thread about Ridgway (no "e"): Ridgway Colo

And while you are researching jobs, you should look around at housing prices. I know that in Buena Vista (just up the road from Salida), prices have gone through the roof. The vacant lot we bought two years ago has more than doubled in price. Part of the problem is low inventory and part of the problem is that a lot of people want to move there.

I live in BV in the summer and love the area. Ticks a lot of your boxes. I also really like Cedaredge outside of Grand Junction.
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Old Yesterday, 04:44 PM
 
5,033 posts, read 6,747,694 times
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You can avoid I-70 and still live on the Front Range - Colorado Springs, Pueblo, etc.

How big of a city do you want to live in? What amenities are must haves? Do you still need mountains? What can you afford?
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Old Yesterday, 04:45 PM
 
495 posts, read 209,486 times
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Been down this road. Jobs should be #1 then, consider access to your recreation/interests, housing costs, weather and things that are easy to overlook: medical/hospital access, retail/grocery shopping, local economy, near a major airport.

There are some great small towns in Colorado that will get you out of traffic, but then you have to drive for almost everything else you need on a regular basis. I think Grand Junction should be one to investigate. Big enough for two hospitals, a good airport, plenty of retail, lower than average housing costs for Colorado and close to a zillion outdoor activities.
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Old Yesterday, 05:21 PM
 
93 posts, read 143,467 times
Reputation: 208
Teachers can't afford to live in Salida on the school district's wages. It's a problem here and a few are near homelessness despite being cherished members of the community. Many live in shared housing. The city is trying to come up with a solution, but don't hold your breath for that.

If one of you makes enough from a remote gig, you might be able to make it work with a local teaching job.

I'm extremely fortunate to have a good job in the Arkansas Valley, but I moved to the San Luis Valley because Salida just wasn't worth the expense anymore.
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Old Yesterday, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,380 posts, read 4,426,001 times
Reputation: 15459
Left leaning and Rural don't usually go together.

I've got Progressive friends living in Manitou Springs whom you would probably like. From there, trips to Breckenridge go over Hoosier Pass, avoiding that I-70 parking lot.

Try a visit.
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Old Yesterday, 05:41 PM
 
175 posts, read 81,298 times
Reputation: 707
Quote:
Originally Posted by COcheesehead View Post
Been down this road. Jobs should be #1 then, consider access to your recreation/interests, housing costs, weather and things that are easy to overlook: medical/hospital access, retail/grocery shopping, local economy, near a major airport.

There are some great small towns in Colorado that will get you out of traffic, but then you have to drive for almost everything else you need on a regular basis. I think Grand Junction should be one to investigate. Big enough for two hospitals, a good airport, plenty of retail, lower than average housing costs for Colorado and close to a zillion outdoor activities.
I think this nails your best choice in western Colorado. Grand Junction has far more amenities for its size than smaller Colorado towns (you would never find two jobs in Ridgway; it doesn't even have a decent grocery store), GJ is a more affordable housing and rental market, and finally, GJ has a more desert-like landscape, which you have expressed an interest in. If you husband has to retrain, it even has a college to boot. For outdoor activities, you are within reach for Utah and western Colorado.

The only thing that doesn't fit is "left leaning" (IIRC, Ouray County is the only blue county in the western slope?) I still think it is a good fit, definitely worth exploring.

Last edited by townshend; Yesterday at 05:47 PM.. Reason: .
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Old Yesterday, 05:45 PM
 
77 posts, read 15,148 times
Reputation: 213
Cortez.


Close to everything. 14ers, Four Corners, Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly, Moab, Mesa Verde. You can get a nice house with acreage out of town just a few miles.


They have openings for elementary and secondary teachers right now.
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Old Yesterday, 06:05 PM
 
44 posts, read 40,924 times
Reputation: 120
I've lived in GJ for 24+ years and honestly I don't think the political leaning is an issue. I'm somewhat right of center but from I can tell there are people all over the place politically here.
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Old Yesterday, 06:22 PM
 
12,890 posts, read 24,620,533 times
Reputation: 18940
Quote:
Originally Posted by townshend View Post
...

The only thing that doesn't fit is "left leaning" (IIRC, Ouray County is the only blue county in the western slope?) I still think it is a good fit, definitely worth exploring.
Ouray County was light blue in the 2016 election, San Miguel was dark blue (Telluride). The rest of the Western Slope was bright red.
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