U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 01-15-2010, 03:52 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,346,492 times
Reputation: 186

Advertisements

Quote:
Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Bluntly, you will likely just about starve in Durango. The type of work you say you want to do is low-wage work, and Durango is no low-cost place to live. Some of those ex-Durango natives I know, none of them spendthrifts by any means, left jobs there paying $50K or more per year (and there are very few of those paying that much around Durango) because they were falling behind financially. Most people growing up in Durango can never afford to even buy a home in their own community. The few I know that have been able to stay there either bought their home decades ago or inherited one from their parents. That is the harsh reality.

Re-read my post about agriculture. It's a very difficult, capital-intensive business in which to try to make a living. It's virtually impossible in places like Durango because land prices are many times in excess of what that land can EVER produce in agricultural production. That's why ag--except as a money-gobbling hobby or a corporate tax writeoff is largely dying in much of Colorado outside of Colorado's Eastern Plains.

You are firmly in the grip of the "Paradise Syndrome" and it is a financially devastating disease for most people.
You're right, the growing season is very short at 6500' in La Plata County. Alamosa is even shorter at 7500' + greater radiational cooling due to overall less cloud cover.

However, Durango and Alamosa summers are reasonably warm and comparable to Southwest areas with successful permaculture and organic farming operations such as Flagstaff and Santa Fe, NM.

Land is cheaper in SW Colorado, compared to these other locales.

You can check out first frost / last frost / growing season dates at the Western Regional Climate Center in Reno link:
Index Page Colorado And The West
Colorado
Durango Spring
DURANGO, COLORADO - Climate Summary
Durango Fall
DURANGO, COLORADO - Climate Summary
Freeze Free Probabilities
DURANGO, COLORADO - Climate Summary
(if agricultural links do not work note sidebar to left of main frame)

However, having lived in those other places, Flagstaff, Santa Fe, and Albuquerque, these are all "unwelcoming" places -- where if you don't have connections by way of your family, the local college(s), or other organization(s), then it's difficult to get hired.

They are also expensive, because they all have urban growth boundaries (UGB) that increase the cost of living by way of decreasing the supply of housing. When I first went to Albuquerque in 2006, you could rent a place for $500 to $650 a month. 3 years later, after they passed their growth management act, add 30% to that. As of last summer when I visited Durango, they did not have an UGB (Boulder does, and is more expensive).

Durango isn't expensive outside the city limits, and there are even some reasonable rentals in town. I'd rather live on acreage anyway. And, at least Superwallmart and Kroeger are in town w/ cheap groceries, along with several very good independent health food stores. There's no Superwallmart in the competition: Santa Fe, Flagstaff, and Boulder.

And, 4.6% unemployment in Durango is still very low, one of the lowest of all mountain towns I've seen. When I look at "The Durango Herald" on-line, there are always several times more jobs posted than the other locations.

The Durango cost of living in terms of rent is much less than similar mountain towns, including Flagstaff, Boulder, and Santa Fe. Ft. Collins = similar to Durango; Alamosa might be the lowest due to the lowest rents and the San Luis Valley also has low unemployment.

If someone can assure me that Durango-Bayfield-La Plata County will be friendly to outsiders, and entrepreneurs, then it could prove to be the last decision after making many mistakes moving in the SW. Another similar place w/ low unemployment and horticulture is Ithaca, NY at about 6%. Compare that to Eugene, Oregon at 11%; Bend, Oregon 15%.

Do you think they would hire me since I have no local connections?

Last edited by CCCVDUR; 01-15-2010 at 04:36 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 01-15-2010, 04:18 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,346,492 times
Reputation: 186
Default Durango Only Place Hiring Even Among Big Metros

Quote:
Originally Posted by 80skeys View Post
I guess my question to you is: why does all this matter? If the only thing you're interested in is picking a town to move to and work, then all you need to know is that if you move to Durango, you're going to find yourself working in a restaurant, hotel or something else in the service industry. That's it. Period.
However that's not the only reasons for moving to Durango. I don't like big towns, and I'm into the arts and outdoors. I'd love to work in horticulture, forestry, or in a tourism related industry.

You're right about service work in Durango. However, most places do not have service jobs and are not hiring. Colorado and New Mexico are doing very well and are hiring. However, in Phoenix, Vegas, L.A., San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, Eugene, Reno, etc. nobody is hiring.

So what do you think? Durango looks like the only place that is hiring, even among the big cities! 40 jobs in Friday Jan. 15 2009 paper -
The Durango Herald - Durango Classifieds

Durango's economy will remain in much better shape than the competition, because tourists come from New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado, states that haven't been hit by the recession nearly to the extent as the West Coast, Upper Midwest, mid-Atlantic, and New England.
Colorado's economy will remain strong in part because of geopolitical forces pushing energy independence.

As for Tahoe real estate prices crashing, yes they have. South Lake Tahoe: 500K to 300K and you can rent a cabin for $600 all utilities paid. The biggest catastrophe I've seen is Palm Springs, CA: from $350,000 down to $130,000 according to City-Data.com, and you can rent a poolside apartment also for $600 all utilities paid, but not be employed - 14% unemployment!

Last edited by CCCVDUR; 01-15-2010 at 04:35 AM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2010, 05:45 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
If someone can assure me that Durango-Bayfield-La Plata County will be friendly to outsiders, and entrepreneurs, then it could prove to be the last decision after making many mistakes moving in the SW. Another similar place w/ low unemployment and horticulture is Ithaca, NY at about 6%. Compare that to Eugene, Oregon at 11%; Bend, Oregon 15%.

Do you think they would hire me since I have no local connections?
Do you need to be in the Southwest? You mention those other places not in the Southwest so I'd assume you'd be open to something else. Have you thought about Virginia? We have low unemployment and a strong economy, excellent and relatively inexpensive land for agriculture with plenty of water and the people here are quite friendly and open to outsiders. No altitude issues and the growing season is relatively long (USDA zone 7). We have great farm bureau folks in each county who will help you get started when you're ready to do that. Taxes are reasonable (@5% income and sales tax).
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2010, 06:30 AM
 
857 posts, read 1,346,492 times
Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Do you need to be in the Southwest? You mention those other places not in the Southwest so I'd assume you'd be open to something else. Have you thought about Virginia? We have low unemployment and a strong economy, excellent and relatively inexpensive land for agriculture with plenty of water and the people here are quite friendly and open to outsiders. No altitude issues and the growing season is relatively long (USDA zone 7). We have great farm bureau folks in each county who will help you get started when you're ready to do that. Taxes are reasonable (@5% income and sales tax).
North Carolina also has reasonable unemployment, as does New York State outside of NYC. I do like the idea of the east coast, however, I can't travel that far because my car will need $3,000.00 in repairs within the next 1000 miles (or else it will break down), and I'd PREFER to use part of that amount to buy a new mountain bike!

There are, however, OTHER areas in the Western US of consideration, including the Front Range in Colorado, where the growing season is a LITTLE longer (and warmer). And, Oregon, however, economic conditions are horrible and just getting worse. (States with high foreclosures have the highest unemployment.)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2010, 07:11 AM
 
Location: Sunnyvale, CA
4,888 posts, read 8,901,170 times
Reputation: 2435
Quote:
Originally Posted by POhdNcrzy View Post
Nice thread here. No one has mentioned the fact that the US pop. has grown by about 20-30 million just in the last 15 years or so. I can't see housing prices going down too much more just because of the population related demand pull. Similarly, those expecting crashing stock markets and doom may be disappointed if perhaps the "funny money" system actually just keeps on going.
Nobody can predict what economy and markets will do. It's pointless to try.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-15-2010, 07:29 AM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
Reputation: 6815
Funny money will be back as will the real estate market. Just a matter of when.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 05:29 PM
 
621 posts, read 909,677 times
Reputation: 396
OK...you have a lot of points you made in your post that need to be quantified. I'll try to answer some of these:

The cost of land in the Durango area has the appearance of being lower, but you have to be very very careful here. If the price seems too low, there is usually a reason. It could be without water, absolutely completely without water.... OR, it may have bad water from the limestone and methane underground. It may have seasonal access or strange covenants.

If someone can assure me that Durango-Bayfield-La Plata County will be friendly to outsiders, and entrepreneurs, then it could prove to be the last decision after making many mistakes moving in the SW.

Do you think they would hire me since I have no local connections?


Durango/Bayfield are friendly to outsiders ONCE YOU GET HERE. If you are attempting to find work before moving, it is a very closed community. People get stars in their eyes and idealize Durango and unless you're in the area, have a higher "flight" risk to employers.

You had mentioned earlier that you do bike repair, and though that's a skill that's rare in other areas, in Durango area it's at a different level. Durango is a Bike mecca with people like Ned Overend and Bob Rohl living here. I believe in total we have 6 world class bikers living in and around Durango. I know two bike shops that have top level bike mechanics working there allowing room only for the low end tech.

The tourist areas and grocery chains are usually hiring, but finding higher levels of work with a living wage is a challenge. Many people find they have to have more than one job to survive..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 09:23 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
Reputation: 7537
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Keep in mind though that "people with money earned elsewhere" also includes telecommuters working remotely. For example a lot of IT and other service companies have people living all over the country who can do their jobs from anywhere assuming they have decent internet and phone connectivity. This segment of the economy is generally better educated, a group that is experiencing a much lower percentage of unemployment than the less educated and working class segments. Some of Durango's lower unemployment could be a function of its demographic skew toward this segment. It's a place people choose to live, rather than have to live for work related reasons.
I really don't believe there are that many people out there in the Colorado mountains that do that. At least full time anyways. I have known some telecommuters out in the mountains and still they often have to travel for some reason and Durango isn't the easiest place to get in and out of.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 09:35 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
Reputation: 7537
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAVA1990 View Post
Gotta put this in some perspective though. The total workforce of the entire county is only about 25,000. There will always be enough folks from the multi-millions in the big cities wanting to relo to that type of place to keep it going.
Really?

Pull the real estate numbers from Eagle County for the last few years and see. At least what the real estate developers and realtors like Slifer, Smith and Frampton are selling.

The decline started in 2007 and in Sept 2008 everything just stopped.

I was told the financial details of the money inflows for real estate in Eagle County a few weeks ago, can't remember exact #'s now, but essentially for 18 months the whole market has totally died. Just totally stopped. There are a hell of a lot of $5 and $10 million mortgages apparently that are falling into foreclosure as well. I heard there was one house built for nearly $20 million that just went for a fraction of that.

There are still people with "real" wealth out there but I can tell from having worked for the mega rich, they are usually a bit more down to earth. The flashy types are the ones that really pumped a lot of money into the Western Slope in recent years and those guys are gone. Or will be as the overleveraging catches up to them.

In Vail for all the horrendously ugly multi million condos they are still constructing or have constructed in recent years, there are few sales anymore. What they hoped for was rich Russians, Indians, Brazilians and Chinese to come in and buy, but that hasn't really come off either.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 01-17-2010, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Everywhere and Nowhere
14,131 posts, read 26,250,313 times
Reputation: 6815
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
Really?

Pull the real estate numbers from Eagle County for the last few years and see. At least what the real estate developers and realtors like Slifer, Smith and Frampton are selling.

The decline started in 2007 and in Sept 2008 everything just stopped.

I was told the financial details of the money inflows for real estate in Eagle County a few weeks ago, can't remember exact #'s now, but essentially for 18 months the whole market has totally died. Just totally stopped. There are a hell of a lot of $5 and $10 million mortgages apparently that are falling into foreclosure as well. I heard there was one house built for nearly $20 million that just went for a fraction of that.

There are still people with "real" wealth out there but I can tell from having worked for the mega rich, they are usually a bit more down to earth. The flashy types are the ones that really pumped a lot of money into the Western Slope in recent years and those guys are gone. Or will be as the overleveraging catches up to them.

In Vail for all the horrendously ugly multi million condos they are still constructing or have constructed in recent years, there are few sales anymore. What they hoped for was rich Russians, Indians, Brazilians and Chinese to come in and buy, but that hasn't really come off either.
I'd venture that Eagle's quite a different type of home market than La Plata. It's more second home/ski resort oriented which is where the worst problems are right now. Median home prices are much higher in Eagle. La Plata likely has more primary residents, such as old-timers, regular working folk and retirees. La Plata's not as glitzy or pricey a place to relocate but still highly desirable as a place to actually live day in and day out. I'm note sure you can really compare the two.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Options
X
Data:
Loading data...
Based on 2000-2016 data
Loading data...

123
Hide US histogram

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > Colorado
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top