Colorado : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Looking for answers about Colorado

Short History Scenario:

I am a country girl raised 1/2 my life as caretakers on a small farm and then my dad got enough money to buy some property and we lived a modified homestead lifestyle. I turned 19 and moved to Alaska. Lived there two years and married a military man who was raised mostly in small towns, but definitely not part of the homestead lifestyle. Hubby got out of the Navy and I convinced him to move back to Alaska. We lived there 10 years. At times we lived without running water and electricity, however, he got into the plumbing trade and construction and we always had to be apart or live where the work was. I can't torlerate the cities. I mean I can't handle them at all. I am somewhat of a loner and recluse and do not handle crowds well at all. Because of several issues (physical and otherwise) we left Alaska. We are on the debt treadmill and knew we had to go somewhere to make good money for a while. We spent last winter in the Vail, Colorado area, of all places. We knew we did not want to stay there so we began looking all over the western US for someplace to live knowing full well that hubby would probably have to go back to Colorado to work. We found a place in Northwest Colorado and fell in love. Moved here and hubby did have to go back to Colorado. I was sure I could find at least a minimum wage job here, but did not realize that the folks here hire friends and family and you are an outsider even if you have been here for 20 years. My husband is encouraging us (the kids and I) to move back to Colorado so that we will at least be within driving distance and we can all be together on the weekends. However, I thorougly checked out Colorado while we were there last winter (drove the whole state and looked at rent/property prices in the whole state) and we could find nothing that was affordable.

I would appreciate any words of wisdom from those of you who live in Colorado as to where we might be able to find an economical place to live that is not over-run with people. You have to keep in mind that I like remote, remote, remote. I realize that is probably impossible and I will have to learn to deal with it, but I can't take the big city life. I need a compromise!

-- Tammy (, September 18, 2000


Tammy , most marriages won't last long distance .I think you both need to look into moving some place were you can be together and he can find work .

Do job searches on your pc for different areas .Most if not all states have a job bank .If you find someplace that looks like there is work then go farther with a realestate agent to get an idea on the market .You can also check with other employment companies like penski .

Does he belong to a union ? If so thats the way to go .Union guys stick together no matter what state you are from .

-- Patty Gamble (, September 18, 2000.


Went back and re-read my post and realized I said we moved to Northwest Colorado. I meant we moved to Northwest Montana. So now we are 1200 miles apart.

I know the distance is hard on a marriage. When we lived in Alaska, many times hubby had to work in the oil fields on the north slope and we were apart for several months at a time (3 months was the longest).

His employer there in Vail is offering him part of the company if he stays. Carrer-wise he feels that he has no choice because we need the money so badly. I thorougly checked out anything within driving distance of the area he is working in when we lived there and there is nothing reasonable at all. We had a "great" deal and were paying 1200 dollars a month for a hole in the wall apartment which someone broke into one night while were sleeping (that is another story).

I feel trapped! It's all because of debt, too. If you are not in debt, don't get into debt! I have always been a miser but hubby is a big spender. Opposits attract!

And he is not union.

-- Tammy (, September 18, 2000.

Unfortunately you have run into 'the homesteader's dilemma.' There is an inverse relationship between the more an area is attractive for homesteading and the availability of good paying jobs. I don't know of any solution to it.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, September 18, 2000.


How many kids and what ages? Vail is a high dollar tourist town, no way you'll find anything reasonable around there to rent. What are your job skills? Could you do caretaker work? You would need excellent references, but it might be something to look into - an apartment is often provided as part of the job. Not all of the homes/lodges are right in the city. You might try going to the state's employment office, often a part of the unemployment office - and see what they might have in ranch or caretaker work. Ranch would be more remote, but if it were a dude type ranch; you would soon be into people overload. Good luck with whatever you do.

-- Polly (, September 18, 2000.

Caretaker work is a good idea and one I should look into.

I have two children, a boy and a girl, ages 10 and 11 respectively.

I worked for the State of Alaska at the Legislative Information Office for 5 years and have excellent references. I have NEVER had any trouble getting work right away until we moved here. I have applied for everything within driving distance and have never even received an interview. I know I can work in Colorado, as they are begging for good help but even with what I can make and what my husband can make it doesn't do too much to offset the cost of living there.

I know there are not any "Good" answers, but I appreciate your help. Just talking about it a little helps. The caretaker idea is one I will look into.


-- Tammy (, September 18, 2000.

Tammy, if you can find some way to check the bulletin board at the local hospital, you might find some (rich!?!) doctors looking for caretakers or even house-sitters. (Temporary, but would give you a local base from which to work while you looked for something more permanent.) A friend of mine works at our little local hospital, and used to have all the house-sitting jobs she could handle that way. Some were fairly long term, too. Another place to check would be a university campus, as sometimes professors go on sabbaticals for a year and need someone to keep an eye on their home while they are gone. There is also a magazine (I think) for caretakers and the people who hire them. Try an on-line search. Hope you can find something!

-- Kathleen Sanderson (, September 18, 2000.

Tammy: I live in Colorado, on the eastern plains, about 30 miles east of Colorado Springs. Pretty much any of the larger cities are expensive, now, due to the influx of folks moving from other states. In the smaller towns, and around them, you can still find reasonable places. We purchased our place 6 years ago, 10 acres and a house that was a real fixer-upper, for 49,000. Had to put in a barn, garage, lots of fencing, water lines, electric lines, etc., as well as the remodeling. In my husband's home town, on the Nebraska border, north of us, houses run about 35,000 or so in town. All depends on what you are looking for. If you want, email me with questions, or requests and I will try to help you. I can send you a classified section of the paper, or some of the real estate booklets that are handed out. Jan

-- Jan in Colorado (, September 18, 2000.

Boy do i feel your pain! I'm from So CA and my hubby is from So TX. We met & married here in the Denver area. The prices have gotten so out of control that we are despertaly seeking to relocate as soon as I finish nursing school. 10 years ago my parents bought a nice 3 bdrm home with a big barn & 10 acres in the Parker area for $120,000. 2 years ago it apprased for over $250,000!!! My husband and I recently bought our 1st home, a run down older modular on 1.3 acres (livestock zoned) about 1/2 hour from Denver and in a crappy area. How much did that cost us... $125,000 and it was a steal compared to everything else. Our goal is to use sweat equity and make some $$$ before we find a more affordable location to call home. We've been thinking of OK, but I am so in love with the desert type places (Arizona, New Mex, So Utah, Nevada, etc).

As for finding a job, I can't say we have had too much trouble in this hot market...but I *NEVER* tell folks where I'm from until I know them. Unfortuantly, I have made that mistake before and had to listen to jokes about "Californication" and how all us "foreigners" are ruining their state. Hmmm...and I thought we were all Americans?!?

-- Elle (, September 20, 2000.

Thank you for your input everyone. My husband and I talked about it at great length and decided that we would just continue as we are now. It is hard being apart but the kids are adjusting well here in Montana (they did not in Colorado) and we all really, really like it here. Hopefully we can get our debt under control in a year's time and be able to have hubby back up here with us. I was really down about the whole situation but I did receive a call for an interview and found out about another job possibility, so things are at least looking up in that respect. I have also found a place to rent where I can save $150 off of what I am paying now.

Thanks once again for your help.

-- Tammy (, September 21, 2000.

Try Weld County, CO and NE Colorado around Sterling or Brush. Moved to CO in '71 to Weld county in '74. There's still good deals around but you'll have to search. DW

-- DW (, September 24, 2000.

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