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Old 09-08-2009, 12:56 PM
Location: Houston Texas
104 posts, read 575,248 times
Reputation: 121


Originally Posted by Mike Weber View Post
Don't be completely put off by the replies here, but take them to heart. It can be done, but not easily. My wife and I moved to Frisco the day after our wedding, with no jobs or friends there. We found work, lived cheaply and saved lots, while playing a ton. We eventually saved enough to buy land and build a home near Keystone. We moved to Fort Collins a few years later because we got tired of the long winters, short mountain biking season, transient nature of the community, and we wanted a more family oriented palce to raise our kids.

Summit County was a great place, because of the play opportunities and proximity to Denver. We never skied on weekends, and always drove I-70 in the opposite direction of the traffic jams.

As for starting a family, we waited and got some of the playing out of our systems first. Expenses are higher in these areas, and having a family multiplies this. Also, Summit was OK while the kids were little, but the kids have to be pretty grounded when they get older to avoid some of the sidetracks that can be found in a resort area.

Jerry has a good point that Co Springs has some great views of the mountains, but has more opportunity.
What a great story...I would love to be able to do this...of course I'm 27 with a wife a 3 year old and a 1 year old...so its a little harder.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:26 AM
Location: OKLAHOMA
1,783 posts, read 3,600,552 times
Reputation: 942
So what would a good retirement town be? I am thinking of Pagosa Springs but what about Trinidad. Trinidad seems cheaper is it because of appearance. I will be there next week so I'll take a look at route 12 near Weston for prices. Some of those 35 acre homes seemed reasonable. I'll be selling a cattle ranch in eastern oklahoma so do not at all mind rural in fact love it.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:18 AM
Location: Na'alehu Hawaii/Buena Vista Colorado
4,868 posts, read 9,603,659 times
Reputation: 4912
Lots of people chosing the Salida/Buena Vista area for retirement. The Arkansas Valley does get busy with tourists in the summer, but the weather is pleasant year-round and the scenery is awesome.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:37 AM
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,826,387 times
Reputation: 9316
debbie at bouontiful wrote:
So what would a good retirement town be?
One persons good is another persons bad. Until you provide YOUR definition of a good retirement town, your question will be difficult to answer. Any specific town may be a good retirement town for some, and not so good for others.
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Old 09-12-2009, 09:22 PM
15 posts, read 155,855 times
Reputation: 19
No one has mentioned the Durango area, which might fit the bill...not "towering" mts overhead, but certainly nearby access and whatnot. It's not cheap though; it's not Telluride, but it's not cheap. You didn't mention size of town you're looking for...if you're looking for really small towns, of course, Silverton fits your request to a T (and housing prices there are coming down like many places...this year a <5yr old new home, 3BD, 2BA sold for under $200K...very cheap for there). Anyway, my 0.02.
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Old 09-12-2009, 10:50 PM
9,830 posts, read 19,513,473 times
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Unless you are a polar bear places like Silverton that happens to have the shortest growing season in the USA are not realistic towns to live in.

Much of what I found people unprepared for in Colorado is the high elevation, the dry air, intense sun and cold weather.
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:12 AM
68 posts, read 148,474 times
Reputation: 107
Default Livable mountain towns in Colorado

I am going to back Jazzlover in terms of how tough it is to make it into (or in my families case "Back to rural Colorado") The whole first year SUCKED in many ways other than after living back in WI for 4 years everyday sort of felt like a dream vacation just atking the dog for a walk each morning overlooking the valley. Getting settled IS tough, and for us it was tough with little debt, 10 grand in hand, and two jobs making 45k a piece. Which as you might have read on here before, the public sector (ei governement-type jobs such as law enforcement, teaching, public works, DOT, USFS, BLM, USGS, etc) is really the best way to go unless you have the proverbal "wad" of cash you bring with or have a SWEET off-shoot gig that provides 95% security. Most of us aren't trust funders or coming with the wad from selling real estate elsewhere like there still was 5 yrs ago.

We had to buy a little 1908 rat-hole while we built hoping to got we could clean it up and dump when we finally constructed a REAL house. The reason and #1 obstacle in having a respectable life in the damn mtns - housing costs. Maybe we are just too idealistic, but for me I have to have some privacy, mountain bike trails right out the back door with dogs on no leash so long as they don't chase the deer; so living in a condo, apartment, or on an extremely crowded street in the middle of town just isn't my idea of fun.

Part of making the money you do clear last IS staying the hell away from Steamboat, Aspen, Vail, Telluride, Breckenridge, etc. You need to stay on the edge if you will and enjoy a day in those places when you can. An hour to 1 1/2 hrs away is about perfect we have found. That way you house will "only" cost you $300k istead of $500k+ :-) The main reason we had to build (in our little town anything worth having wa $425 or so, and that is 90 minutes from Steamboat or Glenwood Springs/Aspen

Steamboat: Think Yampa, Hayden
Vail or Breck: Think Leadville or Fairplay (if you like your views coupled with a very cool summer and blustery winter)
Aspen: Good Luck with that hour to 1 1/2 away!
WinterPark: As Jazz said North Central Colorado will be an inferno the first summer we don't gather enough rain - I wouldn't do it.
Telluride: Maybe you are a cop or teacher and you live in Naturita? Pretty isoloated though.
Salida: If you can actually find a decent job their is SWEET. You can find reasonable land over the hill in Villa Grove (maybe) or down the Arkansas in Cotoapaxi. Problem is commuting on icy roads and filling the tank. My wife and I live a mile from the center of our town. We can bike to work...

ONE LAST THOUGHT. Gilpin County between Black Hawk and Nederland. TOTALLY overlooked by millions of people. Close remote. Access to everything down below but IN THE MTNS BABY! We were both teachers their which meant bennies, casual mtn attire, and SHORT commute as we worked IN the mtns.

Downside: Cool summer, lots of wind at night in the winter, casino element in Black Hawk, brown cloud can on occassion creep up the hill but pretty mellow (not a lot of ozone really makes it to 8500 ft+), occassion gang-bangers, crotch rocket guys zipping along the Peak to Peak road being idiots, and sightseers driving 25mph. Also, you may have to work in the cities below however the commute is doable to Golden, Arvada - Denver is a hike. Oh! And snow that drags on thru April, May, and June! Count on upslope storms in Spring. We NO LIE got 92 inches in 2002 in 50 hours. Couldn't hardly get out to make our Spring Break reservations in Sedona. Every snow plow within 25 miles had broken just trying to clear the Peak to Peak highway. The 3 feet that Golden received look like a skiff :-) A summer day 75 degrees can drop to 39 with 2 inches of sleet on the ground in matter of 10 minutes. Again NO LIE. Welcome to living @ 9000ft east of the Divide.

Upside: Tons! Beautiful mtns and forests. Tons of USFS land all around. A cool little ski hill just west of Nederland. Access to shopping (Sam's club etc) and some city life (if you care) down below. Never FRIGID but again there is some wind. Awesome summers (just carry a fleece any month if you venture into the hills toward the divide). Mtn biking! Mtn biking! Mtn biking. Elk hunting that no one bothers to do in area 39. Access to DIA if you need it. Laid back people who are helpful but mind there own damn business. Small town feel without living in a weird bubble. Last, that harsh yet wonderous weather is what keeps it an option for regular people who just love the smell of an Aspen grove in their backyard......

The more I sit here writing about the place, the more I realize that was one of the best places I ever lived! Maybe I will wait for the principal job to open at the elementary school in Nederland?

Hope this mess gives you something to go on??? Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2009, 08:27 AM
68 posts, read 148,474 times
Reputation: 107
Default Liveable Mountain Towns in CO?

About Gilpin County. Live smack dab in the middle between Ned and Rollinsville. Don't live in Ned or down toward Blackhawk. And do NOT build or buy a house in Lodgepole pine as it may all die due to beetle (FIRE!) or on a ridge or in an open meadow. A big view or an area without trees means WIND in that country.

I second guessed myself when I hit send on previous message. Why share how great Gilpin is? We probably will never go back though the more I think hard about it and the #1 reason honestly IS the #@%^ing WIND! Hurricane force no lie. Usually at night and pretty much a winter phenomenon. Have friends there with an anemometer on their deck that regularly clocks 100mph+ each winter. 114mph was the highest they've seen yet. You cannot leave a grill or chairs out on a patio or deck unless you want to pick them out of the forest each morning. It really is gorgeous there but that wind is like nothing I have EVER experienced. My wife did hate the stuff. That has got to be what keeps Denver out of Gilpin!? IF anybody does move there, build 8inch walls NOT 6 inch, insulate insulate and again DO NOT go for the best views. If you can see the Divide in all likelihood you will experience wind. Finally a word on Eldora Ski Area. Great hill, can get great snow especially late season. In December it is pretty much rocks and wind. We used to call in Icedora until February when the real snows came. We also joked about what "Eldora" really meant. Spanish for the wind just ripped my face off and left it hanging on a fence post out in Fort Lupton! Funny ass hell! Good luck!
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:17 PM
Location: Westminster
2 posts, read 11,089 times
Reputation: 10
Nederland/Central City/Black Hawk area has work for people in the gambling industry. Lots of opportunity to moutain bike, etc. There is a trail fron Eldora Ski area in Nederland that goes over the mountains into Winter Park, which claims to be the mountain biking capital of the world.

Denver has lots of suburbs with good views of the mountains without being in them but a short car ride gets you there. NW and SW areas have the best views but rentals etc will be cheaper in NE/NW Aurora on the east side of Denver.

Good luck to you. I am from TX and it is a good place to be from don't ever want to live there again.
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Old 09-13-2009, 07:51 PM
90 posts, read 598,258 times
Reputation: 44
Having lived in the Houston and Bryan College Station area for the first 37 years of my life, I can guarantee you will not ever look out on Denver and mistake it for Houston.

Yes, face east and there's a whole lot of flat plains. Just turn around and take a deep breath. We live in Highlands Ranch and in 20 minutes are hiking along streams in the mountains at Bear Creek. Be sure to visit yourself and check out the west side of Denver before deciding its just too much like Houston.
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