Southern Colorado Land/Homesteading : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am currently living in Denver and am serious about buying land in Southern Colorado. I'm looking for general information about areas where land is still relatively cheap (is this laughable?), and that are conducive to homesteading, alternative building etc. Any advice, words of wisdom, experience is greatly apprecitated. Thanks!

-- Marcy Mitchell (, September 25, 2000


Marcy, we lived in Colorado for a few years recently and were looking for land. One of the problems we ran into was water usage. There are laws about whether wells can be used for irrigation, agricultural use, or just household, even on larger acreages. We found it to be too restrictive, so we came where water is much more abundant, and not being fought over. Also, look at covenants very carefully. We ran into several situations where you couldn't do just anything you wanted to on your own land. All sorts of restrictions on size of housing, building materials, number of animals, etc. Good luck, though. There is gorgeous land out there, and I'm sure you can find what you want. Just be ready to ask a million questions.

-- melina bush (, September 25, 2000.

Hi from NM, Marcy. We are currently preparing for a move to Jaroso, in the far southern San Luis Valley, altho I can't tell you about exact prices, since we are buying this from my husband's family at their "family rates". But the area hasn't been too discovered yet, probably because it's usually listed as the coldest in the nation & the winds are horrible. I'm ok with that because it doesn't sound like the kind of place another WalMart or apartment complex will be built on my horizon! Before this became available, I was wanting to search out the Walsenburg area. As for water, I'm hearing that these big ranches have been divided up in 35 acre parcels because you need at least that much to qualify to dig a well. I don't know if that's for household use only or agriculture. Check into it. Jaroso is right on the NM border & used to be a fairly prosperous alfalfa & barley growing region, but I also believe Costilla County is one of the poorest in Co. San Luis is the oldest established town in Co (mid-1800's, I think), but the Spanish people have actually been in the area for over 300 years. Lots of local culture & close-knit folks, but friendly; very worried about their water rights & water quality at the moment, as they may be ruined by local logging. While the area is flat sagebrush prairie, it is bordered all around by mountains & beautiful. Hope I don't turn too many people on to it! Oh, by the way, we DID look at 40 acres north of San Luis for only $16k; it was sagebrush and was bordered by a car graveyard on one side, but had a maintained county road and electricity there. Sounded too good to be true, so... if you're interested, e-mail me and I'll give you a contact. Well, good luck to you.

-- debra in nm (, September 27, 2000.

Haven't prices gotten CRAZY here in Colorado?!? My husband and I bought a 1.3 acre place with a rundown Modular in Lochbuie, CO last winter. This area is NE of Denver right by Brighton, and has a crummy reputation. It was all we could afford so we took it. Like Marcy, we would love to move to a more rural area in southwest CO. Unfortunately, making a living can be tough in some of those smaller towns. My hubby is a former car mechanic and now is a stationary engineer/boiler operator. I am a nursing student. Our hope is that we after I finish school we will be able to find affordable property in a somewhat remote area. Luckily, most of these smaller towns are hurting for nurses and the pay is decent.

-- Elle (, October 01, 2000.

Beautiful Colorado is indeed a difficult place to buy land and earn a living. Seems the cost of living is not offset by the pay received. We lived there last winter and wanted to buy land, but after driving all of the state and looking at real estate (except for the plains areas as we are "mountain" people)we determined that we would never be able to afford the type of land we wanted in Colorado. We found a lovely place in Northwest Montana where we hope to be able to buy property, as it is still reasonable. The children and I are living here and hubby is working in Colorado until we can get some of our debt taken care of.

The best of luck to those of you looking for land in Colorado. I believe it can possibly be found, but it will take lots of research.

-- Tammy Hall (, October 01, 2000.

My husband and I bought 12 acres in extreme southeastern Colorado six years ago for $35,000. Besides 12 acres, it also had an adorable 2 BR/1 BA stone house, a 2 car garage, a shop, a barn and corrals, a well house, a 10 x 40 chicken coop, a storage building and a building used as a school by the German family who built all of this stuff. Oh, and I forgot to mention that it had a foundation, septic system, electricity and water where a doublewide trailer had been and 124 trees. (Anyone who has been to southeastern Colorado knows that the trees were worth a fortune!) Everyone here thought we paid way too much for this place, but we thought it was a bargain! We lived in the rock house until we could afford to build on the foundation where the doublewide had been. We've been in the new house for four years and mother and father-in-law moved into the rock house. We love it! Small schools for our kids (95 students K-12), lots of family and friends, beautiful sunsets, and peace and quiet! One drawback, though, it sure is hard to make a living here. My husband spends a lot of time away from home working (directional drilling in Amarillo, TX - 160 miles away). We're farming some, but so far the drilling is supporting the farming. Hope once we get some equipment and land paid for, the farming will actually make money! Land is definitely a good deal. We bought 160 acres of farmland for $205 an acre. Only 15 inches of rainfall a year, so crops are somewhat limited. If we could just find a market for tumbleweeds, we'd have it made! Good luck in your search. We used to work around Denver in the summer every year. Beautiful flowers and great cool nights, but we were always ready to leave the big city when it was time to go!

-- Darla Strickland (, October 29, 2001.

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