To Buy a Cabin or Not (CO or WY)

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by tmz1m, Oct 22, 2017.

  1. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Long timer

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    What about a cabin in Utah. Some areas are pretty spectacular with a similar climate, access to backcountry riding and skiing, etc.
    #81
  2. tmz1m

    tmz1m Been here awhile

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    I love UT, just a bit far for regular trips. I live just north of Denver so we're keeping the drive to 2.5 hours one-way.
    #82
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  3. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Long timer

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    Looks like I’ll be moving to Northern Utah around the first of the year. Might need a winter cabin in St.George some day!
    #83
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  4. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    No


    Agreed, but for those that sled it might be ideal.
    #84
  5. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    A remote cabin south of Moab would be sweet. In the general area of 3 Step.
    #85
  6. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck

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    Are people from WI allowed to post in here? :lol3

    The title of this thread caught my attention on my homepage. Sorry for barging in. I have gone through this scenario a couple of times. If I may...

    I'm 20 years older than the OP. My two kids are grown and gone. I divorced 7 years ago. Back in the late '80s...I was married with no kids...my dad was eyeing retirement and purchased a parcel of land in northern WI, just off Lake Superior, with the intention of retiring in 10 ten years and relocating there. The land was cheap enough that I bought an adjacent parcel with the thought that I could camp on it, ride on it, and someday do the cabin thing. It was a new thing for me and my wife at the time. She went up with me maybe 2-3 times, while I used it quite a bit the first couple of years...cutting trails on the parcel, riding the power line cuts, and staging dualsport rides from it before it was the 'in' thing. Once the newness wore off my wife was done with going. When that happened then my ability to sneak away for long weekends became difficult without causing issues at home. Even parcels of timber need attention so I found that late in my ownership that my only visits were WFO trips up and back for maintenance, thus using the free time I did have. Wasn't much longer that kids were in the picture and riding up north wasn't in the cards. I ended up selling the property.

    Fast-forward a few years to two kids. We did the membership lot thing at a gated lake community an hour away so we could use the lake for boating, swimming, and skiing. Same kind of thing...felt justified to use it, and maintenance dictated visits at times when it wasn't convenient. It was a relief to sell the property and be out from under the act of balancing cost vs. benefit vs. justifying all of it.

    Fast-forward 20-ish years so and I'm now in my early 50s, divorced/single, and spending much of my free time riding in the dualsport heaven of northern WI, and the Michigan U.P., thinking how cool it would be to have a place 'up north' again. I looked at several places...from bare land, to shacks, to dedicated vacation properties, over the course of two years. I ended up walking away from a pretty sweet deal last year because I kept circling back to things that never quite settled with me...namely being tied down to one place with my free time, feeling justified to use it, and the costs/time involved to maintain it. I can borrow a couple of cabins, and buy a lot of nights in cheap mom & pop motels up there, for far less than owning something - and I can come and go as I please without feeling obligated to use it.

    I chose to take the money involved with owning a vacation property and put it to use here at home to become debt-free as quick as I can. I will, and I think this is probably true for most people, be much farther ahead overall by doing that.

    As your kids age you there will be activities with them that will not allow you the getaway time you think you'll have. Make sure you've accounted for that, accounted for the expenses of money and time involved, (Both will cost way more than you're figuring. I guarantee it.) and plan on going alone to maintain it on work-only weekends when you don't really want to.

    I'm not trying to rain on your parade. I'm just offering a perspective of logic rather than one of excited emotion. :beer
    #86
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  7. oldmanb777

    oldmanb777 Just say NO to socialism!

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    Very accurate description! :thumb Once the "honeymoon" is over, it becomes more of a burden. And yes it costs much more than you ever figured it would.
    Took the dog out for a walk this morning. Monday morning, The "citidiots" as they are called, raced back to the disaster on the front range last night. So very pleasant here this morning. I would guess occupancy this weekend was maybe 10-15%. Probably less than 5% right now. Basically only the full timers are here.
    Yes its the "off" season, but still. You have a $400,000 asset sitting here burning through a couple grand a month, that only gets used 2 or three days a month. Before long it becomes a ball and chain, then gets run down, then foreclosed. Normal progression of things around here.
    #87
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  8. _CJ

    _CJ Retrogrouch

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    Having recently sold my "dream property" in the mountains, this is pretty much how it's working out. Didn't really realize what a distraction it was, or how much time it was taking up. Doubling down on our residence now, working to get it paid off, and fixing it up so it's ready to sell at a moment's notice....we're getting there a lot faster, and while I didn't realize that property was a monkey on our back, it's nice to be free of it. Looking back, it's not just the property tax and time spent on maintenance, etc. but also the fact that the money that was tied up there could have been invested and appreciated at about 4x the rate it did with the property.


    .
    #88
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  9. Bultaco206

    Bultaco206 Back-to-back motos suck

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    Exactly.

    When I sold my first place up north I just always assumed I'd have another. It was always a dream of mine to have a place in the Northwoods. I'm 'that guy.' But I'm also a realist and when my dream kept getting sideswiped by logic I had to stop and really take a long, hard look at it. It just wasn't fiscally, or physically, responsible. Maybe the OP can justify it somehow. But I know very few that can when the principles of real life are added to those dreams.

    In my case I'm actually able to enjoy riding up there even more because I don't own something. I'm free-er. Best thing I ever did was walk away from making the offer I was scheduled to make. I suspect the same holds true for CO or WY.
    #89
  10. DirtDad

    DirtDad Green Chile Guru

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    This has been a very interesting thread. I too have always dreamed of owning a place in the mountains to get away from the city. I happen to own a piece of land in a small community called
    Amalia, which is just 1.2 miles south of the CO border near the Sanchez Reservoir. I bought this property over 20 yrs ago with grand intentions of building my dream get away home. It is
    paid for, has been for 15 yrs! Close to excellent fishing in the Rio Costilla, not sure about riding, I have never really spent much time on the motorcycle up there. I have two boys, ages 18 and 11.
    I have taken my boys camping, fishing, hunting, for most of there lives. I have owned an RV that has allowed us to have some fantastic times in the woods. Because the wife would not sleep in a
    tent! I have been camping along the Costilla river for yrs, and every time we are up there we pass by our property and imagine how cool it would be to have a place there. We also have a favorite
    place to camp near Cuba NM, that offers excellent hunting and isolation from people. We can shoot till our hearts content, and ride our toys without a soul to worry about. Probably frequent this
    place 4 to 1, compared to Costilla.

    So, I am finally at a point where I could look into getting a home placed on my property. The funny thing is I am not too sure now!
    Reading this thread has me a little concerned about being tied down to one place. I am sure I would find some great places to ride if I spent more time up in Amalia.

    So, I am rethinking my plans. Maybe I should just make a really nice RV pad in Amalia, with full hook up, power, water, and septic, with a cool structure to provide added
    shelter. Something very simple. Then maybe in five years I can revisit the idea of building. I really like the diversity that my RV offers.

    My older son is in college now. He told me just the other day that he really enjoyed all the times we went camping, and he has fond memories of both places that we would frequent. I always wanted
    a place for him to enjoy but could never really afford it. But it is nice to know that I have accomplished pretty much the same thing with our RV. He loves going to the woods, Fishing, Hunting,
    Hiking, Riding, etc....
    #90
  11. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    Closed in the winter, but WYDOT is talking about keeping it open. Numerous people store cars at a ranch at the bottom of the hill and sled in.
    #91
  12. Boricua

    Boricua Been here awhile

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    Right between san luis and questa? 45 min from red river, 40 min from the wild rivers recreation area and rio grande national monument. Just an hour to Taos. Sounds like a sweet spot to me. Been across those parts many times while riding northern nm.

    Sent from my XT1635-01 using Tapatalk
    #92
  13. DS Hobo

    DS Hobo Adventurer

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    My family owns vacant land with pines/aspen and a trout stream near Idaho Springs and a log home near Bailey. Our kids are grown and the feeling is unanimous that time spent together in a tent (and later a pop-up camper) was the best. Our camper has been all over Colorado, Wyoming and Utah. One favorite memory is 'speeding' over Vail Pass in a $900 van with two bikes and pulling the pop-up at 30 mph. My son looks over at me and asks,"Dad, are we going to make it to Moab?". My response,"I don't know." We still laugh about it.

    The memories are what remain; those memories are created by the people involved. The important factor is the family together. Not every trip was ideal. The difficult trips bring forth more laughs and guffaws now at Thanksgiving dinner than the "perfect" trips do.

    Get a good camper and get out there; explore. You're an adventurer. Pass it on to your kids. Enjoy the short time you're given in this life.
    #93
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  14. MotorcycleWriter

    MotorcycleWriter Long timer

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    I'll probably buy some land and put a cabin on it when my kids finish college. But by then I'll be broke and have to save up. By then I'll be 65 and I'll have missed my chance. Oh well, I got a good-lookin', fun wife and three kick-ass sons. I guess that's something.
    #94
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  15. Mikehusa

    Mikehusa Been here awhile

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    I honestly did not read through this whole thread so this may have already been mentioned.

    I had a similar situation at about your age. I reluctantly purchased a motor home instead. It was one of the best decisions I ever made. My family was always stimulated with the adventure, set up an hour from the house or travel 3 days away, it didn't matter. Kids in sports, we took that instead and had the comfort of home between games.

    Looking back now my adult children say those are their fondest memories of growing up, I knew all along they were for me. My wife often worked on her laptop with a hotspot.
    The first one we bought was a well worn 15 year old model with high mileage, we put over 40K on that in the year and half we owned that one.
    #95
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  16. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Oh yeah? Plowed year round.
    What are the chances?
    #96
  17. nwcolorider

    nwcolorider NWCOLO

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    Had a meeting in Baggs the other day, town of 400 had 200 there.
    WYDOT instigated the meeting.
    We will see.
    #97
  18. Merfman

    Merfman Trustin' my cape...

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    Looks like many have had a similar experience as I... we had a condo at Copper Mountain for a few years. Loved skiing there and figured we'd take a few day trips to different places to ski since we were already in Summit County. Loading/driving up every Friday night quickly became burdensome. Started working 4-10's so we could go up on Thur night, come home on Sun morning. Better but still burdensome. As far as taking day trips... when given the choice of rising early, packing the vehicle, driving somewhere else to pay parking, trundle to buy lift tickets and fight unfamiliar crowds vs walking 100 yards to the lift after coffee... easy choice.... it sounds romantic but after a bit becomes a chore. Good luck with your decision!
    #98
  19. ConcreteCowboy!

    ConcreteCowboy! n00b

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    I support it, cabin in the mountains, nothing too fancy, with endless recreation, Do It! If you get sick of it I will buy it as long as its bad-ass! lol

    I live in Conifer, a secluded cabin with acreage and work 40 min away in DTC. Good living up there. Bon-fires and beer! ATV to the neighbors or mailbox. Sleep on the balcony. Herds of elk pass thru. Hunt on horse back right from the house. Lifetime supply of firewood. Sit in the hot-tub, enjoy the stars and city lights. Cant see another neighbor from my place. Ya better have heavy equipment for the winter and good tires on your truck, but who doesn't want a tractor!? Lack of immediate dirt-biking and snowmobiling is the only downside.

    So yes find a lil place, where you can ride and snowmobile from your property, that would be amazing. A friend has a cabin in Wyoming we do just that in your price range. Wish more buddies had a getaway cabin. I'm the usually the only one and have friends and family from all over the world come to visit, relax and enjoy!

    But I still want a toy hauler so I can explore other amazing areas in the Rockies!

    You only live once so follow your dreams!
    #99
  20. Daboo

    Daboo Been here awhile

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    I haven't bought a cabin...but have thought about a number of other situations much like you're doing. Here in the Seattle area, the trend is more to buy a boat. The dream is to spend wonderful time out on the water, sail around the San Juan Islands. Relax in the evenings. Etc. But like other recreational activities like buying a motorhome, what happens is that the recreational item gets used a lot the first summer. Every weekend, you're out enjoying the time. When the next summer comes around, you spend a little less time enjoying your recreational item. The summer after that...much, much less. The summer after that...it collects dust. In the case of RVs...they become a monument in your driveway and in the Seattle area, lots of green mold grows on the outside. In the case of boats...you spend all your time maintaining the boat and paying for moorage.

    The cabin idea is great...but I would look for a rental. Whatever the cost is...it is far less than what it will cost to buy a place...maintain it...and someday try selling it. If it was that popular of an idea, there would be lots of cabins to chose from. The other thought that comes to mind, is if you spend a lot of time at this cabin...will you get bored with one location? Renting gives you the opportunity to move around to different areas.

    The RV thought isn't bad. I'd just look at a used model. Depreciation is huge on them, and they often get very little use. You can also rent an RV to see how you like it. Again, the cost may seem high for a rental, but you get a chance to see if this works for your family and you can walk away from it if it doesn't work out.

    Chris