100 Real Estate and Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 81)

mountain-suburban living in Metro Denver

Many people moving to Colorado are captivated by the purple mountain majesties and develop this driving desire to live on a mountain top. Well, maybe not a mountain top, but at least somewhere in "them thar' hills". The fact is that the mountains are beautiful, and many people want and do live in the near mountain suburbs. There are, however, a few considerations.

First, consider the commute. Living in Evergreen or Conifer and working in the city means you must drive into the sun morning and night (the mountains are in the west), over winding mountain roads, sometimes in the snow. The further up a mountainside you live, the more winding roads you and yours get to drive on. If you OK with a sometimes difficult drive, then read on.

Property is generally more expensive in the mountains than in the suburbs. Part of this is building costs, part is land value, and part is desirability. You will simply get less house fo the money in the mountain areas.

Critters. Of course it can be argued that critters are everywhere, (a small brown bear was spotted in Highlands Ranch in May) but there bunches of critters that call the mountain area home. After all, they were there first; it's us that keep moving in on them. Evergreen is famous for its own herd of 200-300 elk, which pretty much go where and when they wish, the where meaning the area you like to think of as your back yard. The local deer populations eat anything and everything green, and deer sleeping on your front pouch is not as much fun as you might think. Small pets left outside at night become dinner for coyote, and the occasional mountain lion. OF course, people learn to live with the critters, and you can also.

Water delivery and sewage disposal means you must care for a well and septic systems in most cases. While some areas have water and sewage systems, in most cases, you will drink well water, and waste will be treated in a leeching field/septic system. If you have no experience with well and septic, we suggest you familiarize yourself with those facts of life in the mountains.

As the west continues to face drier weather conditions, and population densities never before experienced, the threat of wildfire becomes a serious issue. Decades of fire prevention have led us to overgrown vegetation, and houses are literally surrounded by tinder dry woods. As a home owner, you must follow the advice of local fire agencies in keeping trees and brush away from your home, making it defensible against wild land fire.

Still want to head for the hills? Great! The foregoing is not offered to scare you off, but more to make you aware that mountain living requires a bit more effort than living in the neatly manicured neighborhoods of suburbia. For most people, it is an acceptable trade-off. Just as long as you understand what you are getting into, living in the near mountain suburbs can be a wonderful lifestyle. Read more on Colorado Lifestyle Choices

Subscribe to Denver Dwellings