Ever since Mike and I “discovered” this rural section of southern Coloradoin 2013, we’ve been wondering why others aren’t moving here. Come to find out, they are! The realtors in the La Veta area and here in Walsenburg are having record months lately. And why not? The beauty of this place in spring is astounding!
I asked Susie here at Acorn Realty about the local market when I saw that we had 12 home sales in the small town of Walsenburg in April, selling for everywhere from $20,000 to $200,000. She’s excited to see so much interest in our area, and attributes her improving sales figures to the baby boomers, who know a great deal when they see one!
Also, as the county has begun to allow more marijuana grow operations, business has certainly picked up. In fact, we should have quite a few more jobs here in the next few years, and they should pay well.
At present this county is such a mix of welfare cases and hard-working families, rundown and well-kept homes. But the homes west of Walsenburg have fantastic mountain views, and with land and home prices so reasonable at present, I cannot imagine that it won’t grow quickly.
We experienced the most intense thunder storm yesterday in the foothills west of Walsenburg in southern Colorado. A half inch of rain in an hour and the lightening was amazing! We have lots of great progress up at our custom home. Who knew drywall could take a few weeks?
We found an excellent local man, Ron Pino, to do our drywall. He started out working with his Dad when he was only six! He works alone and is doing an incredible job for a very reasonable price. He’ll start texturing the walls today and then we can begin painting the interior.
Not the most exciting part, but it all has to get done!
We have been collecting all the parts we will need to complete the interior of the house. You try to sit down and think of EVERYTHING you need to finish a house inside. It’s tough! Luckily Mike is extremely detail oriented… thank goodness!
In the meantime we met a woman who is one of the original members of the Libre Commune north of here. Libre was established in the early 1970s as an artist community, with lots of unusual dome homes. There are still some members in the area. If you have any interest in this topic, check out the book Huerfano: A Memoir of Life in the Counterculture.
We are invited to go visit some of the original homes up there! How cool is that?
Yes, we are keeping busy meeting new people everyday, and enjoying a different view of life on the long and winding road into rural America…
Yesterday was a wonder! It started out so badly, with terrible dreams the night before of horror and torture, but I went back to sleep and woke up refreshed.
Since there would be no workmen up at our new home in the foothills, Mike and I took a bottle of champagne and a picnic lunch up to just enjoy the results of so much expense and stress over the past ten months.
When I finally had a chance to relax completely in the midst of the drywall pieces and dust, it hit me:
We are actually going to be living up here very soon! I am going to wake up everyday to look out on this amazing view, enjoying each change in the clouds and weather!
It started to snow a bit as we left. I have learned through a number of backpacking trips how quickly the weather can change at high altitudes. And sure enough we went from this lovely, snow-capped scene to a mini-snow storm in just a few minutes!
To give full credit where credit is due, Mike was the one with the vision and faith to pull off this amazing retirement coup. He noticed the Spanish Peaks along Highway 160 back in 2005 when we took our first road trip together to Durango. He remembers thinking even back then how nice it would be to live somewhere down here eventually.
The man has so much vision and faith in his own abilities to manifest his dream! If it had been left up to me, I would probably still be looking at the neighbor’s house across the street in Fort Collins.
As we continue building our new solar home from scratch up in the foothills west of here, it often occurs to me why most don’t put themselves through this process ever in a lifetime.
And I discovered only recently, the reasons why others might not want to build their own home can be the same reasons why we wanted to.
The most obvious one is the constant decision-making! Since I’ve never done this before, I hadn’t thought so far as to realize we would need to chose every single detail of both the outside structure and the inside finishes.
How lucky am I to have a recent subscription to HGTV!
Many would not like this process, but that is also the best reason to build your own solar home. From choosing the exact angle the house faces and the thickness of your slab, to window choices, flooring and the type of supplemental heating, these are the factors that determine the comfort and future price of operating your home. If you don’t control these factors, passive solar will not work.
Then if you feel the need to raise the fire-resistant level of your home, even more factors arise. It sometimes boggles my mind! Luckily Mike has quite a bit of experience in building from scratch plus amazing research skills!
Still and all the expenses just keep going up and that can freak a person out at times. It is certainly much more expensive than your home in the suburbs, not to mention the inconvenience of moving into a rental for eight to ten months while the construction is going on…
What makes it all worthwhile? Views like these from every room in the house!