~ Your Colorado Land and Cabin Connection ~
~ Your Colorado Land and Cabin Connection ~
CHOOSING YOUR MOUNTAIN HOME – THINGS TO CONSIDER
Seasonal or Full-Time ACCESS to the property - Will you be using your home year-round, and if so, will you need 4-wheel drive or a snowmobile to get there in winter? Some Neighborhood Associations plow roads, some roads are plowed by the County, and some are not plowed above a certain elevation. Private driveways are plowed by the homeowner. In some cases you may have to share the plowing expense with neighbors. Deep, slick mud from snow melt in the spring can be hazardous and you can easily become stuck. There is no easy solution for this except to drive on it early in the morning or in the evening when it is frozen.
Altitude – High elevation means less available oxygen. This can cause shortness of breath for some and extreme breathing problems for others. Please check with your medical professional. Most people will eventually acclimate, and it is best to take it easy for your first couple of days or weeks until you feel comfortable. Read more about How to Prepare for Altitude.
Proximity to Medical Services – If you have a medical issue that requires frequent access to emergency healthcare, we can search for mountain homes near a facility.
Fire Safety – Map of Fire Stations in Colorado - Fire Station Map
Emergency Services - You may not have any way to reach them during a power outage, so BE PREPARED! Have an understanding of FIRST-AID and a FIRST-AID KIT. Know your nearest neighbors. Know where the nearest medical facility is. Have back-up essential medications. Research Emergency Preparedness.
Cell, TV, and Internet Service – Some areas still don’t have nearby cell towers, others rely on expensive satellite TV service, and some have limited internet bandwidth or access. Certain providers are better than others in certain areas. We are happy to find out for you.
Security - If you only use your mountain home in the summer, you may want extra security. Gated communities, such as Forbes Park and Wagon Creek Ranches in Southern Colorado, have a monitored electronic front gate and limited or locked road access, providing a level of security.
Power Outages - Be sure to have food and water, back-up generator, batteries and a portable radio, flashlight, fully charged battery-bank phone charger, essential medications, and extra blankets. This list is by no means inclusive. There are many websites with Emergency Preparedness Kit suggestions.
Solar Power - If you plan to install solar panels, consider a home with a southward facing roof with full-time sun exposure. Solar panels can also be installed in racking systems or posts in the ground if there is a suitable 180 degree southern exposure. You may need to cut some trees down if necessary.
Firewood - There may be plenty of available firewood on the property you purchase. If not, and you plan to cut firewood in the National Forest, you will need a permit. Visit the USDA Forest Service website for firewood permit information. Or, you can order cords of pre-cut wood from a local supplier.
Drainage – When choosing a home, examine the position of the home on the lot, and look for natural drainage ways that might be likely to flood the driveway or roads during heavy rainfall or snow melt. Roads should have adequate drainage ditches along the sides with culverts under the driveways.
Camping Permits for Landowners - Having a permit to camp on your own land seems odd. However, camping permits serve 2 purposes:
Construction Permits- If you plan to install a driveway, septic system, or any other major improvements, you will need a permit from the Planning and Zoning Department of your County. See Useful Links Page for County Zoning links. Waiting for the approval and the permit may take awhile, so plan well in advance, as things move slower in rural areas.
DAILY LIFE IN THE MOUNTAINS
Wild Animals - We are living in their environment. Animals will find their way into any garbage or food you leave outside, in your car, or in your garage. Bears tear down bird feeders and may break into garages, cars, sheds, or anywhere you leave food. Deer and elk can be very aggressive if you or your dog threaten their calves. They can kill a dog with a strike of their hooves or a jab of their antlers.
Rodents are a fact of life. Again, we are living in their environment. Chipmunks, field mice, squirrels, packrats and other small animals will find their way into your garage and into walls of your home. Packrats love chewing on the insulation wrapping the electrical wiring in your vehicle. If you poison them with pellets, you risk a poisoning a predatory bird such as an owl or a hawk that preys on the disabled critter. Bait traps are ineffective, according to the website of Mr. Pack Rat. Please let us know if you have a good natural solution for getting rid of packrats!
Dust happens. It is not as prevalent in the winter time when the ground is covered in snow. This is the time to deep-clean your home of summertime dust!
Mud happens, and you can just as easily get stuck in mud as in snow.
Flies find their way into most rural homes. Fortunately, there are clear window stickers made by Catchmaster that the flies stick to, available on Amazon. They are around $15.00 for 12 x 4-packs and work incredibly well at sticking the flies so they are not all over the window sills and floor.
Bugs/Crickets like the indoors, too. Another product we like is Trapper Insect Traps, also on Amazon. $22.00 for 90 cardboard folding traps that you place around the house in corners.
Maintaining Your Mountain Property - The most important maintenance tasks to stay on top of (that we've learned) in mountain living are fire mitigation, snow removal, snow melt drainage, back-up power source, food and water storage, extra fuel supply, and keeping critters out of the garage and walls of your home.
Mountain Living Tools - Snow blower, chainsaw, log-splitter, hand saws, ladders, shovels, rakes, snow mobile or tracked vehicle, pick-up truck or utility trailer.