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Old 03-29-2019, 05:18 PM
 
188 posts, read 55,850 times
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I am glad to see the above comments. The travel times to big shopping are very real so you have to be prepared for that for many places in the West. The realtor I know in Dubois made a 6 hour round trip to Casper in Dec for her new computer... and the 6 hours was just the round trip driving time at 70 mph on the rurla highways! (Perfect for nowhereman to open up his 'vette but where would he stash the new computer? LOL) So think of online shopping and UPS/FedEx. No just running down to the shopping mall.

I personally am shopping Dubois and 2 other similar locations (1 in ID and 1 in MT) for reasons that line up a lot with the above thoughts... not for jobs but to retire. I also place a high value on dramatic mountain scenery and a view measured in many 10's of miles, and it fits the bill pretty well. Others may not be such scenery junkies. Having lived in very rural places, not having the 4 basics of shopping (simple clothing, groceries and pharmacy, lumber/hardware store, and car parts) is what I find inconvenient; having those basics within 10 minutes goes a long way for me. Others may want a lot more.

And it indeed will be part time retirement out there. My wife and I have discussed what would we do all the year in any of the more isolated areas, and have decided to try have both houses to jaunt back and forth between there and VA for a few years. 1 hour and 20 minutes from the Jackson airport with good year-round air service is part of that.

A good variety of restaurants may also be a problem in any rural place, for those who like eating out. (How long a drive is it from Worland to Cody, for example?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Site and location is as important a component of the asked price as the sq footage, trim levels, and amenities of these houses. When you're looking at houses in the Dubois area that have been in the market for $mid-6 figures for a long time, you need to be very careful about "why?" when it comes to the critical issues about the value/asked price. In their marketplace, one needs to be especially careful about the details of what you're buying in rural properties.
I was hoping this final point would come up and it applies in general IMHO in ALL rural areas in the continent. Being way out of the market average on size, price, etc., can make it tougher when it is time to sell in a rural market. There just are not all that many buyers in and coming through rural markets, and not much in the way of 'higher priced neighborhoods' with a regular customer base in the area. So if you get out of the average range, it can get hard to move. You see plenty of houses in that region where it is a nice retirement home, but is too pricey, has too few bedrooms, is too big, too much acreage, too many outbuildings, etc., and it sits on the market until the price goes down and down enough. The owners take a loss. So understand that and think about it when you buy in a small, rural market anywhere. There have been a few mid-upper 6 figure house move in Dubois in the last year or so, but many have not.

We're aware that we may take a loss buying/building a nice place in an area like Dubois, but that is where the prior real estate investment gains will fill that 'budget' item. I'll do the best I can to minimize that.

That's about all I got for you, nowhereman, except for land outside of Dayton. We have filtered everything else in WY out.... On to the next town!
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Old 03-30-2019, 05:11 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,717 posts, read 1,254,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm9stheham View Post
I am most familiar with Dubois so I hope can do a decent job on that one.

It is on the edge of the mountains, in a valley leading down from the west and the Teton, Yellowstone, Jackson area. That valley eventually widens out into the dry plains west of the Riverton/Lander area, north of the Wind River range. You are near the edge of the high grass and forest area, and merging into the drier lower areas. Right around Dubois there is a mix of badlands, high grass and forest areas, and some areas like level, dry plains So it has a lot more scenery variety in the immediate area than Worland or Greybull.

Dubois has a decent rural sized grocery store, a dollar store, a lumber/hardware store and at least one auto parts store. So you have most of the basics right there, just not any bigger shopping. 1.5 hours to a Walmart in Riverton. For big box stores, 3 hours east to Casper or 3+ hours west to Idaho Falls. Medical is fairly good in Jackson, which is about a 1.5 hour drive, on a highway that is kept clear in winter. Well as clear as you can keep a highway out there.... So Dubois is pretty rural and out by itself. Lots of places in WY/ID/MT like that!

Income is modest and a fair amount is tourist based; but tourism is not highly concentrated through Dubois like in Jackson or or Cody over in The Teton Valley. Local agriculture is modest. I would not call Dubois a rich town but it is not poor and rundown; it is not a regional trade center like Riverton. Just an old local town where a lot of railroad ties were cut up in the mountain forests in days past, and cattle were pastured in summer in the high grass areas, and that has continued on in time. I would less move there for job opportunities, and more to retire, or for a very quiet place to live.

Quite a variety of housing prices there as you can be down at Dubois proper or up on the mountainsides nearby. There are newer and older homes around and a variety of sizes from basic to moderate-sized 'western-luxury'; very few 'castles', not like Jackson WY. The prices vary pretty widely due to views, exact location, etc.

Here is one fairly nice home that seems to fit part your description in Dubois; down in the valley just west of Dubois proper. Only .52 acres and 1993 build date.
https://www.remax.com/realestatehome...002227968.html

Here is a simpler, newer house on the same street.
https://www.remax.com/realestatehome...324965531.html

Here one that is in a nice higher elevation area (nearly 8,000' elevation) a few miles out of town on a larger lot. 1995 build. Water supply here is reportedly very good. Garage detached.
https://www.remax.com/realestatehome...?lid=313281089

And here is a very, very nice home in that same higher elevation area:
https://www.remax.com/realestatehome...002227906.html

There are a few areas to be aware of IMHO: Union Pass has dramatic views in many places, but it is more a cabin-y type of area and a good water can be difficult to get; access is via a steep road with switchbacks so it is not for the faint-hearted. There is an area out to the west called Long creek that has winter access only via tracked vehicles.

Hope that helps!

https://www.remax.com/realestatehome...002227968.html
This one does fit me. You stand correct.




https://www.remax.com/realestatehome...324965531.html

This one is a pre-fab and here we avoid those. (though styling of this pre-fab is fine by me)
In all respects, Sunspirit does bring up a very valid point about getting a pre-fab in regard to the real estate practices in Wyoming where it is supposedly full disclosure here.

The rest of the houses are priced out of my range and log cabin style does not appeal to me.

As you have mentioned, there are are lots of places like this in Idaho and Montana but Wyoming has no State income tax for now and Montana even better has no sales tax for now.


Idaho has lots of nicer homes that appeal to me in style, age and size but alot of people are leaving from other states such as Oregon, Washington and worst of all CA.
I don't want to end up in the same place/situation I am trying to get away from that will turn into traffic congestion, long lines and urban sprawl.


(I just lost a pristine car a few weeks ago, I owned and special ordered 31.1 years ago because of these CA issues...) This vehicle was suppose to last me at least until I finally retire.



Then again there are other parts of Idaho which are rural too.


Maybe not Dubois but Sheridan or Cody still?


This all does help thank you for all that info.

Last edited by nowhereman427; 03-30-2019 at 06:16 PM..
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Old 03-30-2019, 06:48 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,717 posts, read 1,254,272 times
Reputation: 532
Quote:
Originally Posted by nm9stheham View Post
I am glad to see the above comments. The travel times to big shopping are very real so you have to be prepared for that for many places in the West. The realtor I know in Dubois made a 6 hour round trip to Casper in Dec for her new computer... and the 6 hours was just the round trip driving time at 70 mph on the rurla highways! (Perfect for nowhereman to open up his 'vette but where would he stash the new computer? LOL) So think of online shopping and UPS/FedEx. No just running down to the shopping mall.

I personally am shopping Dubois and 2 other similar locations (1 in ID and 1 in MT) for reasons that line up a lot with the above thoughts... not for jobs but to retire. I also place a high value on dramatic mountain scenery and a view measured in many 10's of miles, and it fits the bill pretty well. Others may not be such scenery junkies. Having lived in very rural places, not having the 4 basics of shopping (simple clothing, groceries and pharmacy, lumber/hardware store, and car parts) is what I find inconvenient; having those basics within 10 minutes goes a long way for me. Others may want a lot more.

And it indeed will be part time retirement out there. My wife and I have discussed what would we do all the year in any of the more isolated areas, and have decided to try have both houses to jaunt back and forth between there and VA for a few years. 1 hour and 20 minutes from the Jackson airport with good year-round air service is part of that.

A good variety of restaurants may also be a problem in any rural place, for those who like eating out. (How long a drive is it from Worland to Cody, for example?)

I was hoping this final point would come up and it applies in general IMHO in ALL rural areas in the continent. Being way out of the market average on size, price, etc., can make it tougher when it is time to sell in a rural market. There just are not all that many buyers in and coming through rural markets, and not much in the way of 'higher priced neighborhoods' with a regular customer base in the area. So if you get out of the average range, it can get hard to move. You see plenty of houses in that region where it is a nice retirement home, but is too pricey, has too few bedrooms, is too big, too much acreage, too many outbuildings, etc., and it sits on the market until the price goes down and down enough. The owners take a loss. So understand that and think about it when you buy in a small, rural market anywhere. There have been a few mid-upper 6 figure house move in Dubois in the last year or so, but many have not.

We're aware that we may take a loss buying/building a nice place in an area like Dubois, but that is where the prior real estate investment gains will fill that 'budget' item. I'll do the best I can to minimize that.

That's about all I got for you, nowhereman, except for land outside of Dayton. We have filtered everything else in WY out.... On to the next town!

ha ha! Very funny ...you got me there nm9stheham...on the 6 hr. trip to Casper but then again my Corvette does have alot of room for a two seater car and in the State of Wyoming would be a summer time car only. In December I don't think so.. I would actually probably not go anywhere with the kind of weather I may encounter in the month of December in Wyoming. Stay in a heated house.


Great idea on using on-line shopping.


Currently the Corvette is now my daily driver car (that wouldn't cut it in Wyoming) because of a unfortunate incident a few weeks ago definitely unplanned for.

Then again a Dodge Challenger R/T Scat Pack just the opposite of a Corvette with much more space in this car, which is a big car great for cruising the highways here (again a summer time car only in Wyoming)...

OR even the most suitable among above vehicles, a Toyota RAV 4 AWD in Wyoming but we will see as previously mentioned before we had a bad misfortune a few weeks ago.

On a brighter side of things we are both in a very similiar situation looking for a better life.
As you have mentioned looking at Idaho, and Montana too.

I want to keep an open mind to Idaho which seems to have more choices of the kinds of homes I like but everyone is moving there or at least to the Boise area. I personally would not go to Boise maybe nearby if there is less snow down there but there are places in Idaho that are nice but also get alot of snow like Bonners Ferry, Moyers Springs, Sand Point, Priest River, Weiser, Moscow etc.

Montana maybe East Helena, Libby, Scobey, Glascow, lots of small towns, I'm very open to ideas on this one but we will see on all of the above once we get to physically visit those areas.

I am well aware of how difficult it is to sell properties in these rural areas as my deceased best friend left this cesspool of a state (I now am stuck in until I retire) and moved to Grangeville, Idaho and in a 6 month period not one person came by to see the open house. I highly suspect it could have been because of the season that it was winter time. This was some time ago in 2010.
As well I see lots of homes for sale in Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming that have been on the market for up to 1 year.


Here the real estate market moves very fast and very very $$$$$(even bidding wars go on in this market here) but just like life is living in a can of sardines here, everything is so very fast paced here which is just another reason why, "We gotta get outta this place even if it's the last thing we ever do"........

Last edited by nowhereman427; 03-30-2019 at 07:06 PM..
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:15 PM
 
188 posts, read 55,850 times
Reputation: 170
You're surely welcome. I just answered about Dubois as I have gotten to know it a bit. Are prefabs an issue in CA due to the 'quakes? And fine on the log homes; we are mixed on that too. (We have actually looked at the last house linked.)

Hate to hear about the car.... was it an emissions issue that CA rejected? Or some mods? Don't share if it is painful to do so! I am just a car nut so I get curious....

So are you wanting to find a larger town with more stores in-town and closer to major shopping? Cody is not awfully far from Billings ( under 2 hours) and has a lot more to offer there than Dubois, Worland or Greybull. But as a general rule, the better the shopping, the house prices tend to go up, and Cody has some demand being nearer to Yellowstone (retirement homes). Impression from looking at Cody housing online.... it's gonna be higher than Worland or Graybull.

IMHO Sheridan will be similar from 1 brief stay and looking online: bigger town, more things and shopping, so house prices go up some. You can get a bit lower price near Sheridan up near Dayton but you are bakc to a bit more rural.

And how about work? Can you find that in a very small town? And do you want to get to 1 place and work and then retire there?

BTW, yes things move a lot slower in a rural area. But 2010 was bad all over. Sticking with a house that meets the entry home-owner level (the classic 3BR, 1.5 or 2 ba ranch home) moderately sized and priced is always a reasonable bet if you are going to eventually sell. But you may want more.

I guess the big thing here is to help you focus on some candidate areas for trip planning.
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Old 03-30-2019, 07:19 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
1,717 posts, read 1,254,272 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
of the houses referenced above, I'd suggest that #2 is a manufactured structure.

Not trying to pick on that one, but the floor plan/overall layout is suggestive of the typical architecture with a long axis and interior walls upon that center line. Pretty typical, and a lot of times real estate agents here will not advise of the construction details and/or codes to which a house has been built. Buyer Beware if this is a concern ask and be sure.

As well, please note that Dubois is in a real estate pocket surrounded by Teton, Washakie, and Shoshone NF's and wilderness areas, with the Wind River Indian Reservation (one of the USA's largest) on the eastern side. These areas very much limit the area for residential development and are a driving factor in the exclusivity of property offerings in fee simple in the area.

In my experience with Dubois, it's very much a poorer area with a smatterings of high end recreational/seasonal properties. It's the type of rural town where many of the "best" jobs are gov't employment at lower levels for year round employment. The other jobs depend quite a bit upon the tourist traffic. Take a moment and look at the statistics of household incomes in town. IIRC, it's lower than the statewide averages or mean.

There's limited business opportunities there due to the seasonality of the tourist traffic. Dubois is a gateway town to YNP and much of the commerce shuts down once the entrance is closed for the season. Outdoor activity has a limited season, too, for the fishing and hunting of the area. Once hunting season ends and/or access slows down at the end of the season due to weather, activity in town drops to the minimal level of the locals supporting the businesses. By comparison, Lander has much better winter time access and recreational opportunities so supports a larger winter commerce.

As I've related on C-D threads in years past, my first trip to Dubois was a fly-in camping trip to the muni airstrip to check out the area. Much to my surprise, I rounded that last bend on final and spotted 2 Piper Malibu's on the ramp. At the time, they were a brand new, rare, and expensive GA airplane. To see 2 of them was quite the shock. Later in my stay, I inquired about some local cabins down on the river and was shocked that they were in the mid $6-figure range, asked. Why? because Dubois has long been one of those "hidden" recreational get-aways from the old eastern money'ed set. For reference, I've got an 1880 published "Sportsman's Gazateer" and this area was touted as a premier USA hunting and fishing destination accessed by the trans-continental railroad and then a long horseback trek to the area. These were major recreational trips that only a few of the era could take the time and resources to access. Kinda' like Pecos, NM, or a Grand Lake CO setting these enclaves drive exclusivity and property values far above what they'd otherwise be for the area. Access to exceptional natural beauty, hunting and fishing is the key. To their credit, the touts and developers chose very well, it's a wonderland to visit but not so much in the winter. Cold and windy are two apt descriptions of the place much of the time; living here is a triumph of survival more than an enjoyable experience at times. That can be said of a lot of places in Wyoming, but perhaps they offer other amenities which offset their detriments.

Personally, I wouldn't make Dubois WY my primary residence unless I had the time/resources to be able to readily travel away from there, had year 'round access to my residence, and an assured adequate year-round domestic water supply to my place out of town. It's one of those places that ticks so many of the virtues of rural life in Wyoming, but it's a wee bit too isolated/remote and limiting for much of the year for me. It appears to me that at the population size that Dubois has remained for decades, that a lot of capable buyers have passed up this place for other options. Perhaps they see it in the same perspective as I do. YMMV.

PS: the really 'nice" places around Dubois that I've seen are in the $7-figure range. Site and location is as important a component of the asked price as the sq footage, trim levels, and amenities of these houses. When you're looking at houses in the Dubois area that have been in the market for $mid-6 figures for a long time, you need to be very careful about "why?" when it comes to the critical issues about the value/asked price. In their marketplace, one needs to be especially careful about the details of what you're buying in rural properties.

PPS: poster above has mentioned some realistic Dubois resident travel times for what many folk are the "routine" purchases for living in a rural Wyoming area. Are you prepared to deal with that as a normal component of living in this rural area? bear in mind that these aren't unusual or exceptional travel times/distances and needs/wants and for some towns in Wyoming, this would be a very convenient access compared to what those folk deal with.



I understand that Wind River Reservation has a very high crime rate?
Your personal reasons not to make Dubois a primary residence make sense to me.
What does sound good is that this is a protected environment to prevent development coming in. So you won't get like what happened here another 20,000+ residents that bring in more traffic and more crime.


You come up with some very good points. Thanks again.
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Old 03-30-2019, 08:06 PM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,415 posts, read 17,378,768 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nm9stheham View Post
And how about work? Can you find that in a very small town? And do you want to get to 1 place and work and then retire there?...
The majority of people who live in Ranchester, Dayton and Story do NOT work in those towns. Most are either retired or work in Sheridan. Of course there are jobs in those small towns, just not a lot of choice. Dayton and Ranchester both have jobs with the cities, bars, restaurants, service stations, at least one bank, etc. Most of the jobs aren't going to pay real high and there won't be a lot of openings, but there are jobs.

Dayton and Ranchester are only about 5 miles apart, and Sheridan is ~15 miles from Ranchester and Story.

Any of them would be nice if you're looking for something quiet and near the mountains. Homes in Story are generally fairly high priced, but it's more unique and picturesque.
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Old 04-01-2019, 02:08 PM
 
Location: Cabin Creek
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years ago living a a new prefab home , we had a pretty bad earthquake.. then I thought about the twists and turns they did bring the house up on to the hill and the lot set up for it.... my thoughts was it had handled way worse then the earth quake.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:26 PM
 
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Brings a point up that some may not be aware of....

A few of the more rural counties in this region have no adopted building code and have limited or no building inspections for residential construction. Fremont County WY, Custer County ID, and Granite County MT are 3 that I know of. Fremont County gives the option for the towns (Riverton, Lander, Dubois) to have a code and inspections, but the unincorporated county outside of those towns does not. So in those areas, you are dependent on the builder, or your own knowledge, for construction quality matters.

A manufactured home will be built to some code, per the sections specifically for mf'd homes. So they offer that, which may be of some advantage in those no-code areas. Now the foundation it goes on is another matter.
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Old 04-01-2019, 05:34 PM
 
11,256 posts, read 43,359,526 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jody_wy View Post
years ago living a a new prefab home , we had a pretty bad earthquake.. then I thought about the twists and turns they did bring the house up on to the hill and the lot set up for it.... my thoughts was it had handled way worse then the earth quake.
there's a very wide range of quality levels in the prefab home industry, ranging from base level mobile homes through to custom designed factory built houses to the latest and highest building codes.

hence the problem with so many "manufactured" homes on Wyoming sites, as they were built to mobile home code standards. Many have been set onto permanent foundations and then had additions built onto them which hide their origins.

I have two neighbors in these mobile home built houses. I get a laugh out of one, he still thinks it was a stick built house. A year ago, he had some electrical problems with some room lights and asked for my assistance in how to find the problem. Two wall switches had been wired to mobile home standards, with the wires dropped to the underside of the structure, routed along the metal frame, and then back up to the wall switch. It was the first time he'd been in the crawl space of the house and "discovered" that the framework still had the wheels mounted on the axles. The frame was set onto concrete piers to stabilize the structure before a skirting was wrapped around the foundation area. Mice had eaten the wires in the crawl space area, which created the open circuit. My neighbor was baffled why the wires hadn't been drawn through the studs, as in his prior stick built houses.

The other neighbor has added some rooms along one side of the house and skirted the entire exterior with log siding topping over a moss rock wall fascia. For all intents, it "looks" like a stick built house today. But I was there to see the double-wide mobile home delivered to the site when he first moved in. He's now added a sizable garage/workshop with concrete slab on grade floor, which adds to the perception that the house is stick-built. The tip-off today is to go into the crawl space and see the construction details; the house is really pretty flimsy. I can feel the bathroom floor flex when I'm in that room.

Several concerns for these mobile home houses:

1) they may be titled with the County and registered with DMV and require county taxes and licensing apart from county property taxes
2) they might not qualify for a conventional loan
3) they may depreciate like a motor vehicle instead of appreciating as a stick built house might in the local marketplace
4) they may be built to lesser code standards for plumbing, insulation, electrical, and structural items than site built code compliant housing

Of course, if it's a high end factory built house on a properly prepared foundation, many of the concerns may not be a problem.
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Old 04-01-2019, 07:34 PM
 
188 posts, read 55,850 times
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FWIW: In my post above, I meant to be referring to modular homes (rather than manufactured homes, on a trailer frame) as being to some form of building code. The one I linked for sale for nowhereman, I think, is likely to be a modular home, if not stick built. The garage is stick-built, per the photos in the property record. But, anyone would have to examine the house to be sure.

Having started my ownership life in 1974 in a manufactured home (14'x60' mobile home), I can attest to the 'quite' flimsy nature of things! Modular homes are a different animal, being somewhat of a production line version of stick-building.
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