The realities of high country living.

treeguy64

Hari Om, y'all!
Location
Austin, TX.
Well, as with so many things in life, as Janet and I get deeper into our search for houses in the Colorado High Country, we're finding that things aren't as amazing as we originally thought they'd be.

First off, all water one uses in the luxury look houses, outside of town, comes from your own cistern. Oh great, that's just what I want, not. I can foresee an aged me hauling myself out of the house, in the middle of a freezing night, to try and figure out why no water is coming out of the tap.

Then, septic systems are the rule, as well. I've had experience with these systems through my clients who have them in million dollar properties, outside of Austin. Many bad stories I've been told. Many.

Let's not forget propane tanks. Yeah, no propane, no gas service in your house.

The above gets worse when you consider occasional heavy snowfall, making roads impassable, making service deliveries impossible.

Also, most of the houses outside of town are on the slopes. Retaining walls hold up some of the piers, that hold up major parts of the houses. Great. When I've spoken to real estate agents, asking for copies of foundation reports, that can, possibly, assure me of the safety of such structures, I can hear the crickets in the background. Same thing happens when I ask about a soil property report. Yeah, again, great.

Let's not forget the increasing bear and mountain lion sightings, as the construction of the very houses we're interested in, disrupts the natural environment of these species, and forces them into more contact with people.

No, Janet and I decided, last night, that we're not going to buy on the slopes of Woodland Park.

I'm sure some of you who live/have lived surrounded by the wild outdoors, will tell me that I'm probably blowing things out of proportion, in the above. However, even our rough and tough Gary is now a city dweller, after his mountain man existence in Oregon. While a younger me might eagerly take on the challenge of a great outdoors living experience, the aging me is telling me to be a bit more careful and locate in town, in a house with city water, sewer lines and gas.

Our search continues.............
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
Living in the mountains can be a drastic change in "lifestyle". As you noted, just the conveniences most take for granted....water, sewer, heating, etc., etc., is completely different....the "infrastructure" just doesn't exist. If you still want the pleasure of being near the mountains, you might look at places like Loveland....close to the mountains, good facilities, reasonable prices, etc. I have relatives scattered all over the Front Range, and they all love it. The Denver area can be quite expensive, but some of the smaller towns aren't too bad.
 

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Location
Oregon
I'm sure some of you who live/have lived surrounded by the wild outdoors, will tell me that I'm probably blowing things out of proportion
Not at all
We pretty much knew these things going in
...and steeled ourselves for it

But, after a few years, the adventure looses it's charm, and grim dogged grit occurs most waking moments

Yeah, water, shelter, heat, food
Needful things
One finds oneself working thru most the daylight....and, not uncommonly, into the night to retain those needful things.

Pretty though
 

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Location
Oregon
Let's not forget the increasing bear and mountain lion sightings
A very real concern

Noticed, after a few seasons, cougars were more present in late fall and winter, when most the deer migrates to lower elevations.
Gorgeous beings
Just not into them being close when jaunting to the outhouse at night
The glare of their eyes when flashing a light is rather unsettling

Same with the smaller cats
Wasn't that rare to hear or see one jump down from the cabin roof

Wolves became quite present that last couple years we were out there
 

toffee

Senior Member
Location
uk
think reading your post tree guy --- you was not cut out for country living --which I could see being in the mountains
could be dangers--- I live in rural settings nothing compared to what u would have - but I moved 3 yrs ago to a county that has septic tanks ' no gas -bottle tanks if needed - so different to what we was used too.. we are a little secluded ' living near growing fields in the UK.
yes pretty summer /spring /but bitterly cold winds ' occure quite often from the Norfolk coast - but no cougars lol.. just rats badgers - rabbits etc and the lovely pheasants ' odd deer comes in sometimes ..iam still trying to get used to all this .. but I can see your point !
 
Well, treeguy64, if you cross the street, you could be crushed by a run away steam roller. Or maybe blown to smithereens by a leaking gas main. But who wants to stay on the same side of the street for life? There are going to be perils, and you have to accept living with the odds of them happening. But I have a well and a septic system, which have worked for about 30 years. There have been problems, like when the pump froze, and pipes broke. Everything is easily fixed with cash. That's why most home owners live in poverty.
 

treeguy64

Hari Om, y'all!
Location
Austin, TX.
Original Poster
I can fix 99% of the things that go wrong with any of the houses I now own. I don't think it's a matter of not being cut out for country living, or not wanting to take a chance in the wild, so much as it's a begrudged acknowledgment that I'm getting older, and with advancing years, I cannot be the same as I was in my younger days, if I want my life to go smoothly, heading to the finish line.
 

hollydolly

SF VIP
Location
London England
think reading your post tree guy --- you was not cut out for country living --which I could see being in the mountains
could be dangers--- I live in rural settings nothing compared to what u would have - but I moved 3 yrs ago to a county that has septic tanks ' no gas -bottle tanks if needed - so different to what we was used too.. we are a little secluded ' living near growing fields in the UK.
yes pretty summer /spring /but bitterly cold winds ' occure quite often from the Norfolk coast - but no cougars lol.. just rats badgers - rabbits etc and the lovely pheasants ' odd deer comes in sometimes ..iam still trying to get used to all this .. but I can see your point !
Come back home Toffee, I'll put the kettle on.... :D
 
Tree, sorry didn't understand your question. I live in what is considered a rural area of Northeastern PA. I just came out of an "assisted living home", and I am physically able to be alone. There isn't much of a support system here. I can still drive, otherwise it would be a definite ****ing hassle to continue to live, here. in PA. If you're stuck out on some mountain in Colorado, as your medical needs increase, and ( as you guess) your physical abilities decrease, there may not be a support system for you. I think your right to be worried about that. Maybe having neighbors, stores, services is better than the woods and scenery.
 

Gary O'

Well-known Member
Location
Oregon
it's a begrudged acknowledgment that I'm getting older, and with advancing years, I cannot be the same as I was in my younger days, if I want my life to go smoothly, heading to the finish line.
Bingo

It's good to have experiences living in the back woods

Now, it's really good to have those experiences.... in the past
 

C'est Moi

Dishin' it out.
Location
Houston Y'all
I can fix 99% of the things that go wrong with any of the houses I now own. I don't think it's a matter of not being cut out for country living, or not wanting to take a chance in the wild, so much as it's a begrudged acknowledgment that I'm getting older, and with advancing years, I cannot be the same as I was in my younger days, if I want my life to go smoothly, heading to the finish line.
Sounds like us. We talk about buying acreage around Bastrop or thereabouts and building a "barndominium." Then we remember that we don't really want to care for a lot of property anymore. So we'll just stay here in our familiar home and take trips in the RV. :D
 
Some of the 'realities' can be mitigated depending on your budget. First, I've had well and septic for 40 years along with my neighbors. We don't have any stories to tell --- I don't know what these 'millionaire property' folks have for problems. A septic system isn't rocket science as long as you've done a proper perk test, and there are alternative systems for bad soil. A well is simple as long as you have researched the ground below. As far as gas. you can, of course, have all electric if you can afford the solar array and storage you need. There are very efficient heat pumps for heating/cooling, storage technology has taken huge leaps in the past 10 years, especially with 'power walls'.
You're on your own with the animals...............................
 

Leann

New Member
I live in a rural area. There are mountains in the distance, expansive state parks nearby, rolling farmland that produces some of the best fruits and vegetables I've ever had, good clean air, a respected medical system that serves the needs of the community and little crime that is probably blunted by frequent police patrols. Deer are a frequent sight as is the occasional black bear. My home has a well and septic system which I had never had before in a house. I've practically rebuilt this place (well, I mean I paid contractors to do the work). It's a solidly built home. And I basically love it here. So what's my issue?

Home prices here tend to stay pretty level so I don't expect my house to appreciate dramatically in value. Now that the repairs and remodeling are done and I wouldn't have to do much more to make this house ready for sale, I'm thinking of moving in a few years to a more urban area. I live too far from my family and should probably move closer in towards either of my daughters or near my brothers or sisters. I don't think it's feasible for me to stay here by myself forever. I love it here but I also have to be logical about it. Better that I prepare for the finish line (as TG said) than age in place here where it will only get more difficult over time.
 

Patio Life

Member
Nine years ago, during the crash, we started looking for our last home. I had very specific wants so we could age in place. What I could easily manage at 57 would not be possible at 77. The property had to have all of the easy buttons I could think of and then what made me happy. We found our spot and 8 yrs later are still very happy.

What will you need in 10, 15, 20 yrs? Start there.
 

Capt Lightning

Senior Member
Here in rural Scotland, having your own well and septic tank is not uncommon. Of course we don't have bears or cougars here - only badgers, deer etc...

One of the worse problems is that resources are becoming increasingly allocated to towns and amenities withdrawn from rural areas. As a result, public transport, doctors surgery, shops etc .. are disappearing from rural areas.
 

hollydolly

SF VIP
Location
London England
Here in rural Scotland, having your own well and septic tank is not uncommon. Of course we don't have bears or cougars here - only badgers, deer etc...

One of the worse problems is that resources are becoming increasingly allocated to towns and amenities withdrawn from rural areas. As a result, public transport, doctors surgery, shops etc .. are disappearing from rural areas.
It's happening here in the semi rural south... just 20 miles from Central London...yet we can't get a bus after 5.30pm to and from the nearest market town which have just recently been withdrawn after years of buses running up until 11pm at night...albeit hourly!
I'm fortunate that I don't need to take a bus..but there's a lot of elderly here who don't drive, so they're stuck at home after 5.30pm..madness !!
The supermarket in town is open 24 hours, most other stores are open 'till 8pm, and even more important is that people can't take Dr or dental appointments after 5pm, so people who don't drive , have to walk several miles.. or take a cab!!
 
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Ronni

The motormouth ;)
Location
Nashville TN
I think you’re smart to consider these issues. My approach to my living situation is to make decisions that take into account being able to age in place for as long as I possibly can.

Ron and both are realistic about the future. We’re in good health right now and while we do as much as we can to reinforce that with a healthy lifestyle, there is much that is out of our control.

I think you’re wise to give consideration to your ability to maintain/repair your home environment as you get older. It just makes sense to be mindful. It isn’t about being tough or manly or anything else.

None of us are bulletproof even though I personally felt like that in my earlier years. Age and life experience has given me a good dose of humility and the recognition of my own limits, not from a victim mindset but just as a reality of life!
 

treeguy64

Hari Om, y'all!
Location
Austin, TX.
Original Poster
Some of the 'realities' can be mitigated depending on your budget. First, I've had well and septic for 40 years along with my neighbors. We don't have any stories to tell --- I don't know what these 'millionaire property' folks have for problems. A septic system isn't rocket science as long as you've done a proper perk test, and there are alternative systems for bad soil. A well is simple as long as you have researched the ground below. As far as gas. you can, of course, have all electric if you can afford the solar array and storage you need. There are very efficient heat pumps for heating/cooling, storage technology has taken huge leaps in the past 10 years, especially with 'power walls'.
You're on your own with the animals...............................
The houses are on cistern systems, which I mentioned, not wells. There are many problems that go along with cisterns, not the least of which is having a cistern empty on a Saturday night, and that's TROUBLE,........ right here in River City! (Thanks, Music Man!)
 

Don M.

Well-known Member
Location
central Missouri
We're coming up on about 17 years of living in the deep woods, and it has been great. We have an excellent well, a good septic system, and the house is total electric....I supplement the Winter heating costs by harvesting some of the dead trees every year, to feed a big outdoor wood furnace....so the utility costs are reasonable. However....we are getting older, and I can see the day coming when taking care of this place is more than I can handle. Knowing that the day will come, we periodically check the housing, etc., in a nice medium sized town about 30 miles away that has all the facilities we should need as we grow older. Plus, its centrally located to where the kids/grandkids have all migrated to, so we can easily keep in touch. "Age" and health are certainly things that need to be considered as the years pass.
 


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