Visited Durango!!! (Colorado Springs, Arriba: house, buy, contractors)
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... Does anyone know of areas where you can be close to rivers and have the option of buying some acreage? Names of area or sub divisions, are they wooded?
I will try to answer the rivers and wooded subs question since I know about it. I am not familiar with the other questions you asked but hopefully Erin will touch on that or someone else. By the way great post Erin!
Durango and Bayfield have lots of running water with creeks, rivers, streams, even lakes in the area so you wont have any trouble finding a place with water. Some areas are Junction Creek, Pine River, Lightner Creek, Animas Valley, Vallecito Lake, Lake Durango, Lake Lemon, Florida River are some in the area. Wooded subs are Forest Lakes of course, Edgemont Ranch, Shenandoah, Durango West are a few. Pagosa also has lots of wooded areas and lakes. Oh yes, north of Durango in the Bakers Bridge area has tons of pines and on up to Rockwood and Needles. Keep in mind as you keep going north of Durango or east of Pagosa, you will get increasing more snow because you climb up higher and higher but the views are beautiful.
BodenTA, thanks. No, not in tourism, I just love the area and hope to one day move there. I live in Farmington, New Mexico but I dream of Durango and learn all I can about the area. I am fortunate to have some great friends in Durango who really help me too.
Hey again bigglynals! I am happy to try and answer your questions...sorry it wasn't in a more timely manner!
I have lived in FL for almost three years now and really love (almost) every aspect of it. From the main entrance of FL to Bayfield is seven miles. So, depending on where you live in FL and the weather, the drive can range from ten to twenty minutes. Bayfield has two (very small) grocery stores, a couple gas stations, a coffee shop, pharmacy, a few restaurants, hardward store, etc. You definitely can get by without having to drive all the way to Durango for most things. The drive to Druango is about thirty minutes. Its a beautiful drive and not at all like a city commute. Traffic is usually not a problem at all either. In the winter, if it has snowed, the drive can take a bit longer. The road from the Hwy to FL (CR 501) can be an ice rink! But if you take your time, its really not a problem.
The HOA in FL is so so...again, depending where you live in FL. The further "up" you get, the less they do to maintain roads (which are all dirt). And plowing in the winter can be an issue if you are really "up there" on the mountain. There is no trash service, you have to haul it yourself across the CR-bummer but liveable.
I can't speak for everyone but my neighborhood is awesome! I know and am friendly with all my neighbors. We have all helped each other when car issues arise, or electric or any other weird things happen. In fact, I have even borrowed milk from one of my neighbors!!
I have three dogs that all pretty much "run free" (like most of the pups around us) and in three years, the only incident I have encountered is a porcupine. (On a Saturday night at 11:30PM no less!!!)
FL is affordable, by Durango standards, which means you will get the best buy for your buck here, but it still isn't a great deal! Housing is not cheap anywhere around here, but you can find some deals in FL. That may change in the next few months though. The town of Bayfield is no longer issuing water taps for new structures due to the over use of the water treatment plant here, so there won't be anymore building here for a while. No one really knows how long...could be weeks, but most are saying years.
I hope I helped a bit with your questions. If you have any other questions, let me know...I'm more than happy to share what I know!
It looks like we may be renting at the beginning, so we can check out FL a bit more. None of the roads are paved? Also, no trash service for the whole area? What a pain. Guess you can have your cake & eat it too. Thanks!
My husband & I just got back from a trip up to Drgo. He had a couple of job interviews that we're crossing our fingers on. Anyway, we checked out the new community center. AWESOME! Besides the standard gym equipment, it had 2 great pools (1 lap, 1 radical kid pool), pool/ping-pong tables, cafe, indoor track, rock wall, outdoor water playground for the kids in the summer, tons of activities year -round. For $500/yr for a whole family, it's worth way more.
Everyone was SO NICE! Everyone we talked to was smiling & friendly. Even the pizza guy & I had a nice little conversation. Downtown was so laid back w/ great restaurants (ie., Ken & Sue's). Parks everywhere! Access to the Animas trail everywhere you turn.
We checked out some houses too. We loved Durango West. There are 2 neighborhoods, not sure which is D.West I & D.West II? That is in our price range right now. We checked out Bayfield too. It was different than I expected, but nice. It was a bit too flat in some parts. But we'll look into Forest Lakes subdivision. We like the "woodsy" feel. If anyone knows of a subdivision that is tucked away in the trees & is somewhat affordable let me know.
The new Mercy Hospital is huge. We didnt see the 3 Springs development, but then again we didnt drive up that way; just from what we saw from the road. Im curious to see what that's looking like. Im hoping the lots arent too small.
We're hooked. As soon as we get the word back from those interviews....it's so nerve-racking.
Just thought I'd share our great experience w/ anyone looking into Durango!
Durango West II is on the north side of 160 and is a newer, more expensive subdivision with larger lots, fewer dogs. Durango West I is just west of DWII, but on the south side of the highway, smaller lots, lower real estate. No offense intended, but some of the homes are less well taken care of than DWII.
I_LUVNM should work for the Durango Chamber of Commerce. It's obvious that she loves Durango. She and I spar regularly on this forum about the pros and cons of Durango. I used to love Durango--one of my favorite places anywhere. It has some fantastic mountains around it and a lot of history (though development is definitely negatively impacting that in many places). For many of those visiting the area, it looks like paradise, especially at first blush. Kinda like meeting a drop-dead gorgeous woman, marrying her, then finding out later that she is "high maintenance." For me, that kind of sums up Durango.
First, real estate is EXPENSIVE. Maybe if you come from a high-priced area, it seems reasonable, BUT--if you have to rely on the local economy for your living--real estate in Durango is NOT reasonable. I guess as long as you bring a pot of money with you, it's OK.
Second, water. There is a fair amount of running water around Durango--nice to look at. BUT, unless you have the water rights to be able to use it, looking at it is all you are going to do. There is a fair amount of the water supplies, especially in the rural part of the county, that are "shaky." Water will eventually squelch LaPlata county's growth, but not before a lot more damage is done with rural sprawl, and not before a lot of stuff that should have never been built, in fact, does get built.
Finally, those trees. Yeah, they are pretty. People like to build in them. BUT, as quite a few people found out in 2002, there are one hell of a lot of those trees that are ready to burn. The 2002 fires are just a preview of coming attractions. Most of the West has a real problem with a century of fire suppression combining with several years of ongoing drought and a mega-infestation of pine beetles. The combination is turning forests, especially the ponderosa forests prevalent around Durango, into tinder boxes. It's only a matter of time before some more "mega-fires" burn thousands of more acres in the region. People who want to live in these areas don't want to hear this. Too bad. As a forester friend bluntly told me several years ago, "People can stick their head in the sand about building a house in the middle of a tinder box, but it won't keep them from getting their *** roasted when the forest burns up."
I've beat the dead horse already in this forum about what will probably happen to places like Durango when our consumption-drunk, energy-intensive lifestyle literally runs out of gas, so people can read that elsewhere.
Good to hear you are still kickin there Jazzlover. I see your optimism has gained momentum. Alot of Colorado is forests and forest fires can happen anywhere in forests and yes the plains have them too, look at Oklahoma and Texas, very few trees but all the grass still burned down many homes. So fires happen anywhere, like the massive huge fire that struck your good ole state of Wyoming at Yellowstone, remember that one? California has fires everyday it seems too. Durango is a wonderful city and the real estate isnt as expensive as Boulder and no where near the expensive homes of California. I dont know Jazzlover, it gets real old going through this time after time with you but good to know your ticker is still working.
Jazz lover, I'm in total agreement with you.
Its bookoo bucks if you want to live in/around durango
but thats all the people who are moving in.. $$$
Water... not much and the state sells most of it off to NM...
Fires.... just wait Forest Lakes is going to be a fun one when that place goes.
NO adaquate fire breaks, lots of consumables to help keep it burning..
then when it finally does burn, all the people will sue the city...
Its going to be a dry hot summer.. hold on tight.
I really like Durango, but Durango has become a place where real people
can't make a living. When McDonalds is paying more than personal assistants... something is wrong with the dynamics...
It seems strange to me, I see tons of middle class people living there and even those ski bums are still there as are the single young guys, the working single moms, etc. It aint Aspen. It aint Pueblo either. It is somewhere in between.
OK, here I am, having logged out and gone, I get a call and it one of my Durango friends who reads my posts, since she knows Durango alot more than me, her living there a good part of her life and helps keep me on the right track with the right info on questions and she was clearly upset over Jazzlover and the last post he made on Durango. Well, she told me to add, and that is why I am now logged on again and since she is a chicken s*** and wont do it herself, (I am just kidding, love ya dear), so here is my added post. OK, Jazzlover you pick on Durango over and over and people in Durango are getting pissed off. You are wrong alot of the time. Durango itself isnt in pines and the city gettting burned up is clearly blown out of proportion. Yes there are some dense forest areas like Forest Lakes but they are few and far between and I myself would know, if I decided to live in a thick forest area, that is a risk, but Durango itself is not in that zone. She cant understand why you arent picking on say Estes Park or Winter Park, or Woodland Park or the Black Forest or on and on. Most of Colorado could fall in the forest fire zones. Even the eastern plains or the Front Range with all the tinder grass falls in fires zones. So she asks kindly, which is more than I can say, to please stop picking on Durango and if you have complaints about say forest fires, keep them in the generic Colorado has forest fires, Colorado has rich tourist resorts, etc. because she said she has come across more than a few people irked at your constant Durango complaining. She also was wondering if since your posts seem to reflect a distaste for liberals, that is why you pick on Durango, since Durango has been taken over by liberals, by and large. The hellfire prophecies you preach coming to Durango, she thinks reflects that theory of that. She and I as well are very glad you chose Wyoming as your place of residence. Enjoy it and have fun as we do here. Lighten up.
Oh by the way, she said her and her boyfriend BOTH together only make $28,000 or so and they do quite well in Durango, so if they can make it on that, anyone who can budget can make it too.
Picking on Durango? I have said many times that I consider it one of the prettiest places in Colorado! No, the city of Durango itself does not "sit in the pines," but there are one heck of a lot of people living around Durango in places that do. As to the fires, yes, there are plenty of places in the state that face the same issues about building in fire-prone forests. Some of them have had fires (like the Durango area did in 2002) and a lot more will. Unlike some of the posters on this forum (and, I_LUVNM, I do NOT put you in this class--you actually know what you are talking about) I actually have worked and associated with foresters and others who know PLENTY about the fire potential in Colorado. For them, it isn't "if" or "maybe," but WHEN and WHERE.
I have also have business friends and acquaintances who were at "ground zero" for the fires in Durango, as well as the Hayman fire near Denver. Another fellow I know got to "enjoy" the summer of '88 at Yellowstone as a firefighter.
The Durango area is certainly not alone in growing in ways that have not been especially intelligent in Colorado--as they say in the military, that is "a target-rich" environment. Still, the Durango area has some real issues, partly because of its popularity and that it has grown so explosively. There are lot of houses built in fire-porne areas. Some very expensive homes have been built north of Durango in the Animas River floodplain--an area that I PERSONALLY witnessed in flood in 1970. (That area also flooded in 1909, 1911, 1949, 1951, and 1957, plus a few other years that I can't recall offhand.) Maybe I should post my photos that I took on September 6, 1970 that show the "lake" that extended from about the Animas Air Park clear to Hermosa--with only the highway out of the water (and just barely). LaPlata county can hardly claim itself a poster child for "smart growth" (that term being an oxymoron in Colorado, anyway).
Lastly, I still have friends in Durango--long-time residents. Several of them truly lament what has happened to their community in the last 20 years or so. I have several more friends who grew up in that area and left--in part because they did not like what the place had become.
As to my politics, I am a social moderate, fiscal conservative, ardent conservationist. I am what some like to call a "Teddy Roosevelt" Republican. I have friends all across the political spectrum.
I happen to think that these forums are a place where people can read the "point/counterpoint" about places and make their own judgements. If I want the "sugar-coated" version about a place, I can read the Chamber of Commerce stuff. I used to write some ad copy--I know how that works. People here can post their own opinion, whatever that is. That makes these forums valuable.
Alot of what you say in regard to Durango rings true to me. Nevertheless, IF I could afford to live there living the lifestyle I'm accustomed to...I'd probably be there right now.
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