I grew up on a small ranch in Golden, Colorado before it became the populated suburbia you recognize today. My family raised goats and Arabian horses, and we had land that seemed endless when I was younger. For me, it represented freedom, tranquility, and opportunity. Then, I grew up, moved out on my own, and started my career as a real estate developer and master electrician in Denver. But, I never forgot what it felt like to own land and have my personal slice of freedom in my backyard.
In 2007, I finally decided that I wanted it back. I relocated my family from the Denver area to my family’s land in Cedaredge, on the Western Slope of Colorado. I spent the following years refurbishing the property, digging ditches, building barns, corrals, and equipment sheds, and eventually getting my start in Western Colorado realty.
Now, as a broker and the owner of United Country Real Estate Western Land & Lifestyle Properties, I have the privilege of helping people list Colorado properties for sale so other people can experience the joys of Western Colorado too. If you’re thinking about moving to Western Colorado, here are five things I wish I had known when I was in your shoes.
1. You Get the Benefits of Colorado without the People
Colorado is known for its mountains, nature, wildlife, rivers, and year-round recreational activities. Unfortunately, Colorado is also mostly known for these things near the Denver metro area.
Western Colorado has all of these advantages in excess, and the best benefit is that you can enjoy them without traffic, lines, crowds, and people. While Western Colorado accounts for 33% of the state’s land area, it only accounts for 10% of the population.
2. Winter Doesn’t Slow You Down
The Grand Mesa, one of the world’s largest flat top mountains, is also one of the best spots in Western Colorado for winter recreational activities. With an average annual snowfall of 350 inches, the Grand Mesa is home to 30 miles of Nordic skiing trails, downhill skiing at Powderhorn Ski Resort, dozens of snowmobiling trails, the annual Summit Challenge Sled Dog Race, and more. Here, you never have to sit inside and mope about the weather!
3. Property Taxes are Low
While real estate prices in Colorado are climbing, residents still enjoy low property taxes, and the same goes for Western Colorado. Property taxes in Delta County are roughly 0.35% compared to a state average of 0.49%
4. You Hate Driving in Denver More and More Each Time You Visit
When you live in rural Colorado, you get used to traveling on nearly empty streets, commuting from city to recreation without traffic, and never having to drive for longer than 15 minutes to get to and from work. In the city, you could sit in an hour of highway traffic on your way to and from the office. Every time I’ve driven in Denver since I moved to Western Colorado, I’ve wondered more and more about how I used to do it every day.
5. You Get to Live Where You Play
Perhaps my favorite thing about living in Western Colorado is that I never have to leave my house to experience its beauty. The mountains and open sky are in my backyard, the Grand Mesa is only a few minutes away, and the area is rife with other mountain ranges, open spaces, and things to do.
Bonus – You Should Have Moved Sooner
The final thing I wish I knew before moving to Western Colorado is how much I was going to love it. It’s the best of everything Colorado has to offer at your fingertips – national forests, monuments, parks, opportunities, and a thriving Western Colorado realty landscape.
If you’re looking to capitalize on Western Colorado’s real estate industry while it’s still a bit of a hidden gem, let me know how I can help you buy and sell everything from luxury cabins to in-town homes, to trophy ranches. Take a look at some of my current listings here.