Buying a Cabin in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado

Purchasing a Colorado Rocky Mountain Cabin

Finding and purchasing your own Rocky Mountain Cabin get-a-way can be an exciting life changing experience. Having a hub to look forward to gathering with family, a fishing and hunting cabin to get together with the guys, or a full time mountain lifestyle, is a thought that many more have entertained than those who have actually pulled it off. While we might agree that the idea is very appealing, the process of executing our plans can be more challenging.

Mountain Cabin in Snow
Land for sale in colorado

These little fellers were right in our front yard on a beautiful snowy day in the Florissant Colorado Mountains

Obsticals to Owning a Colorado Rocky Mountain Cabin

Let's start by looking at some of the obstacles people run into when considering owning a cabin in the mountains.

 

Finding the Funds for a Second Home in Colorado

First, of course, would be having the funds available for your cabin endeavor! Considering purchasing your cabin as a second (rather than primary residence) creates more challenges than the most obvious one. Even if you can afford the additional expense of a second residence, the cost may be more than anticipated. Bank rates and taxes are typically higher for second, income, and recreational properties, than for a primary residence. Other expenses that are often overlooked are the upkeep on both the interior and exterior of the cabin. In the high elevation of the Colorado Mountains, UV exposure demands that home owners stay vigilant on the sealing of their log homes and wood decking regularly. Also consider the cost of the winterizing of your cabin (unless you do it yourself),. Depending on how frequently you visit, this could be a plumber visit multiple times per year. Colorado winters demand a good plan for avoiding frozen pipes etc.  Of course, there are the additional utility cost, insurance, and potentially neighborhood HOA fees. Fire insurance is also something that should be inquired about when purchasing a mountain home. In the mountain areas of Colorado it may be higher than you expected.

Some people offset these extra expenses by simply choosing to rent out their cabins part of the year. Check to see if VBRO owner rentals are allowed in the areas you are considering. These short term rentals have become a very popular source of extra income for many Colorado mountain property owners. You may also want to go the route of a seasonal rental program with one 6 month renter per year. (We offer property management services here if you need them!)

To avoid the higher interest rates associated with a second home or income property, some people consider giving themselves a loan via the equity in their primary residence. Paying cash may also be a consideration for some. Looking at the Colorado real estate market as an investment has been an exceptionally good move for many over the last several years, as our property values have been escalating steadily.

fly-fishing in the snow

Living Full Time in the Colorado Rocky Mountains

If you are considering going all in on the Rocky Mountain life, you may be asking yourself about the potential obstacles to full-time mountain living. We lived in the Teller County Rocky Mountains for some time. The word that always came to my mind to describe it was simply "MAGICAL!" I L-O-V-E-D it! The climate, the wildlife, and the slow and casual pace of life was very enjoyable to both of us. Never having to take off your cowboy boots for even the most formal meetings... priceless. The biggest obstacle that many people faced in living there could be summed up in one word, "JOBS!" Or the lack of them. If you can not work from home, most of these mountain towns are pretty isolated from industry in general. There are typically a collection of restaurants and a few small business in most of these Colorado mountain towns (at best!). Some of the bigger ski towns have more business but most of it revolves around the ski tourism. So either you must stay within a practical commute to a larger city (in our case, Colorado Springs or Denver), be able to work remotely, or be retired. If you are planning to work remotely, at least for now, most of us must also consider the accessibility to internet and phone services. Fortunately, the satellite options continue to improve and we were able to successfully work remotely even in an area without land-line internet or phone services.

Commuting to town for groceries or work related needs can get taxing. However, if you are taking advantage of the proximity to the fly-fishing, hiking, winter sports etc. then you may actually be saving commute time from trying to enjoy these activities weekly from town.

deer through window

Friendly visitors outside our windows in the Florissant Colorado Rocky Mountains

Jumping In - Overcoming the Obsticals to Buying a Colorado Rocky Mountain Cabin

While the obstacles to buying a vacation cabin or primary residence in the Rocky Mountains may be real, we found the rewards to overcoming them were simply worth it! We currently live in Colorado Springs to be near family but we plan to return to our mountains again one day very soon. Living in the Rocky Mountains feels like living an extended vacation even while you are working. If you would like some help considering the move, we are here to help! Check out our brand new featured page of Colorado Mountain Cabins for Sale . 

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