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  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by tuckerjt07 View Post
    Other than the Railyard and Lake Atalanta there isn't anything within riding distance there. Rogers is definitely where I would go for breweries and food but is a novelty for trails.

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    As others said, the Railyard and Lake Atalanta are best bet. Railyard is awesome, but it's very susceptible to rain closure. One thing you're close to in East Rogers is Hobbs State Park, which is one of the better XC rides (with some newly developed flow/jump lines on the War Eagle Loop). Definitely have to drive, but it's 20 minutes away and often gets overlooked due to all the newer "flashier" trail development around NWA.

  2. #202
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    Butte Montana

  3. #203
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    The real question is why are po dunk towns with zero opportunity jobs and insane housing price even a thing.

    Iíve even looked at the local Facebook job pages for these towns and nobody seems to be interested in outdoor activities itís simply locals that would leave if they had two nickels to rub together.

    One guy thought being a hotel desk clerk was a career and many are just people looking for odd jobs like laying visqueen under single momís trailers. These arenít insults but actual fact.

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    The real question is why are po dunk towns with zero opportunity jobs and insane housing price even a thing.

    Iíve even looked at the local Facebook job pages for these towns and nobody seems to be interested in outdoor activities itís simply locals that would leave if they had two nickels to rub together.

    One guy thought being a hotel desk clerk was a career and many are just people looking for odd jobs like laying visqueen under single momís trailers. These arenít insults but actual fact.
    Do you mean insanely low or high housing prices? If you're retired like me, you don't need a job.

  5. #205
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    The houses are over priced. What should be 120k is 420k

    Iím not retired

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeDee View Post
    Do you mean insanely low or high housing prices? If you're retired like me, you don't need a job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    I want to say it was 2016, and we stayed in Rodgers. Only visited Bentonville for the trails.

    I'd be really interested in suggestions for good trails within riding distance of the east side of Rodgers. I'm sure we'll be back soon.
    Have you ever spent anytime in Eureka Springs? It's quite the dichotomy, I like to refer to the area as a bunch of gun toting hippies with Hill Billy tendencies. I love it for vacations, and if you ride motorcycles or fish it's like Shangri-La. Although it would be hard to find work there. I'd think living between Bentonville and Eureka Springs could be just right

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  7. #207
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    Quote Originally Posted by 04 F2000SL View Post
    The houses are over priced. What should be 120k is 420k

    Iím not retired
    A house is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it; no more, no less.

    I'm not clear on the meaning of your previous comment, but I suspect I live it the kind of town you attempting to describe ... Durango.
    But beyond relatively expensive housing (not Telluride or Limon), people move and remain here for the outdoor opportunities, not matter what the financial impacts are.

    I believe that if the OP did not qualify their question with affordable, which is clearly a relative term, Durango would be all over these posts and for good reason.
    It is expensive because people want to live here, supply and demand, and not just because it has some of the best mountain biking available.
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  8. #208
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbrossman View Post
    A house is worth exactly what someone is willing to pay for it; no more, no less.

    I'm not clear on the meaning of your previous comment, but I suspect I live it the kind of town you attempting to describe ... Durango.
    But beyond relatively expensive housing (not Telluride or Limon), people move and remain here for the outdoor opportunities, not matter what the financial impacts are.

    I believe that if the OP did not qualify their question with affordable, which is clearly a relative term, Durango would be all over these posts and for good reason.
    It is expensive because people want to live here, supply and demand, and not just because it has some of the best mountain biking available.
    Tourist towns always have high priced housing. They attract wealthy folks that buy vacation homes. A place like Oakridge OR isn't a tourist town and has low priced housing; more or less the definition of a podunk town with few job opportunities, though I've never been there.

  9. #209
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    Affordable is a very relative term as well. Coming from a large city $400K is extremely affordable and most people can easily pay cash for such a house after cashing out equity on a home they have owned for just a few years. Even in the poorest area you can't build new for less than $200K for a standalone house. While labor may be cheaper materials costs are the same or even more in remote locations. The only reason that there are sub $200K homes anywhere is that the population is declining and there is more supply than demand. In the front range of Colorado, including water tap fees and other development fees, the absolute minimum to build and sell a single family home is now around $350K if you are very far from a downtown area and land is cheap.

  10. #210
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    Quote Originally Posted by onewheelwunder View Post
    Have you ever spent anytime in Eureka Springs? It's quite the dichotomy, I like to refer to the area as a bunch of gun toting hippies with Hill Billy tendencies. I love it for vacations, and if you ride motorcycles or fish it's like Shangri-La. Although it would be hard to find work there. I'd think living between Bentonville and Eureka Springs could be just right

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    Main problem with Eureka is lack of economy. Other than that, itís a pretty unique charming place. On top of that, theyíre opening 6 new legitimate downhill runs at Lake Leatherwood there which are intended to make it the top downhill destination between the Applachians and the Rockies. Semenuk has been sighted at the builds consulting on the designs.

    Theyíre also developing a whole other trail system there on the site of the Greaf Passion Play. Definitely a cool town, if you can find work or work remotely. Crazy, eclectic population. One of my best friends is from there, so Iíve spent a lot of time hanging with the locals.

  11. #211
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porkchop_Power View Post
    Affordable is a very relative term as well. Coming from a large city $400K is extremely affordable
    IMO, this is crazy as fk. Housing has gone absolutely ballistic in most places and families that could afford a house 20 years ago have no real hope of doing so anymore. These same type of families are not making 2-3x what they did back then, but the houses cost 2-3x more.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    As others said, the Railyard and Lake Atalanta are best bet. Railyard is awesome, but it's very susceptible to rain closure. One thing you're close to in East Rogers is Hobbs State Park, which is one of the better XC rides (with some newly developed flow/jump lines on the War Eagle Loop). Definitely have to drive, but it's 20 minutes away and often gets overlooked due to all the newer "flashier" trail development around NWA.
    We stayed in Rogers during spring break this year in lake Atlanta and had an absolute blast riding at Hobbs state park although war eagle trail was closed

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  13. #213
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porkchop_Power View Post
    Affordable is a very relative term as well. Coming from a large city $400K is extremely affordable and most people can easily pay cash for such a house after cashing out equity on a home they have owned for just a few years...
    had that is so freaking funny and out of touch. $400k is ALOT of money and most people don't have that kind of cash or equity. Alot of people have had any equity wiped out in the last 10 years. I know I do. If I am lucky I am at ZERO. If not I am still negative. $350k for new single family home around here is not even close to being true. It is ALOT less. And I love in a big city of jobs and lots of Mtb trails all over.
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  14. #214
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    had that is so freaking funny and out of touch. $400k is ALOT of money and most people don't have that kind of cash or equity. Alot of people have had any equity wiped out in the last 10 years. I know I do. If I am lucky I am at ZERO. If not I am still negative. $350k for new single family home around here is not even close to being true. It is ALOT less. And I love in a big city of jobs and lots of Mtb trails all over.
    A lot. Two words. Thank you.

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  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    A lot. Two words. Thank you.
    Grammar zea lot.

  16. #216
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Grammar zea lot.
    Not to derail, but we don't know each other. Not many of us do. Our only way to communicate is through writing. When you can't spell or use proper grammar, you come across as less than intelligent. Are you less than intelligent? Are you good with other people thinking you are a moron based solely on how you write? I'm not. You shouldn't be either.

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  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Not to derail, but we don't know each other. Not many of us do. Our only way to communicate is through writing. When you can't spell or use proper grammar, you come across as less than intelligent. Are you less than intelligent? Are you good with other people thinking you are a moron based solely on how you write? I'm not. You shouldn't be either.

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    I agree with you (but I'm funnier).

  18. #218
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I agree with you (but I'm funnier).
    Most likely true.

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  19. #219
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    Average home price in America can vary from 200-285k
    Average income for couples- $118k
    Average income for single- $35k

    Rule of thumb- income x 2 to 2.5 = how much house you can afford.

    Where do you fall?


    Here are my sources-

    New home price-
    https://www.census.gov/construction/...uspricemon.pdf

    Existing home prices-
    https://ycharts.com/indicators/sales...existing_homes

    https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_ex...ge_sales_price

    Average and Median Cost for A Pre-owned (Used) Home in The United States

    Average Sales Price of Houses Sold for the Unites States-
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/ASPUS

    Average Income-
    https://www.usatoday.com/story/money...come/93002252/

    https://www.fool.com/retirement/2016...me-how-do.aspx

    Earnings at every age-
    https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/24/how-...every-age.html

  20. #220
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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdaddy View Post

    Rule of thumb- income x 2 to 2.5 = how much house you can afford.
    That rule may be close to how much of a loan someone might be approved for, but it's far in excess of what most people should spend.

  21. #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    That rule may be close to how much of a loan someone might be approved for, but it's far in excess of what most people should spend.
    While I do agree with you statistics show a couples annual income is about half the average price.

    Back to the question of "MTB town with lowest cost of living", are we talking mtb only? I'd rather be in a ho-hum place not known for any one thing in particular with a decent mtb community/club.

  22. #222
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    That rule of thumb is way low and was tailored to a much higher interest rate environment. Rule of thumb now is probably closer to 4x income with 5x income in higher cost areas. There is also a huge difference where property taxes are low vs. high. A $400K mortgage (on a $500K house with 20% down) at 4.625% (latest average rate per FNMA) is only $2057 per month. Add $400 for taxes and insurance per month and it is still less than $2500 per month. Using the 35% of gross income for housing (what most mortgage companies use) this is only a $85K household income.

  23. #223
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    That rule may be close to how much of a loan someone might be approved for, but it's far in excess of what most people should spend.
    Are you saying that if you make $50K/year then you should spend no more than $100K for a house?

  24. #224
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    That is why the 2 to 2.5 rule is absolutely wrong. Using 4 to 5x it is $200K to $300K which is very doable on a $50K salary. Being in the finance industry I see these numbers all the time. Also, the absolute biggest issue (aside having $100K in loan debt for a liberal arts degree) is having a $600-$800K car payment per month because someone thought the needed a $50K new truck or car. And yes many places will approve people with $30K incomes for this type of car payment with 12% interest or more.

  25. #225
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    Which car?












    I think I need it.

  26. #226
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Which car?
    Quote Originally Posted by Porkchop_Power View Post
    $600-$800K car payment per month
    Damn, not a car Ö an F-35?
    Į\(į_o)/Į

  27. #227
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    I thought the rule of thumb was that monthly housing expenses should not exceed x% of your monthly income, where "expenses" include principal + interest, hazard insurance, property taxes and (if applicable) mortgage insurance? And "x%" I believe was 25% way back when we bought our house.
    Į\(į_o)/Į

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    Not to derail, but we don't know each other. Not many of us do. Our only way to communicate is through writing. When you can't spell or use proper grammar, you come across as less than intelligent. Are you less than intelligent? Are you good with other people thinking you are a moron based solely on how you write? I'm not. You shouldn't be either.

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    Then I must suggest that you actually use proper grammar in your posts. By the criteria you laid out yourself, in the above post, you come across as less than intelligent.

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  29. #229
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    Yes, but 35% is what is usually used.

  30. #230
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    Obviously prices vary depending on where you are in each state, but this is a nice overview of the salary needed to afford the median priced home in each state.

    I found this online at
    https://www.vividmaps.com/2018/04/sa...tate-2018.html

    What MTB town has the lowest cost of living?-howmuch.jpg

  31. #231
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    Good chart and makes sense. Really goes to show how the coasts and mountain west have a much higher cost of living then the middle of the country.

  32. #232
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    Love being in a green state!

  33. #233
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Are you saying that if you make $50K/year then you should spend no more than $100K for a house?
    Yes roughly, but that's just my opinion.

    Average person:

    Car loan(s)
    Credit card debt with high interest
    Little to no cash savings or emergency funds
    Nicer house than really needed that takes a large portion of their income
    Probably either saving no money for retirement or just doing the minimum to get a company 401k match

    My thoughts

    Drive a modest car. It's honestly hard to believe someone would spend $50k on a truck.
    Have at least 6 months of expenses of cash saved to get you through tough times if needed.
    Avoid high interest debt. If you don't have cash for something, don't buy it.
    Live in a modest house.
    Put the max allowed in your retirement account. I believe the 401k limit is $18,500 for 2018.


    In my experience, having your finances in order so you aren't living paycheck to paycheck results in a far greater quality of life. That sense of stability and lack of worry will make you happier than any material thing you can buy.

    I'm personally making some of these sacrifices now so I don't have to work my entire life. Hoping to retire while I'm still young and healthy enough to enjoy life.

  34. #234
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    Hmmm, I agree with your thoughts overall but I didn't think one could even find a house to buy for <$100K any more. Where I live, if there was such a house available it would be in pretty rough shape or in a very undesirable area.

  35. #235
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    So back to the original question of what town has the lowest cost of living?

    Pretend you have to pay cash for everything but your house. And pretend you have to come up with 20% down payment on that house. Now where would you go?

    I'm not going to derail this thread trying to teach someone how to spend their allowance.

  36. #236
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    Quote Originally Posted by coke View Post
    Yes roughly, but that's just my opinion.

    Average person:

    Car loan(s)
    Credit card debt with high interest
    Little to no cash savings or emergency funds
    Nicer house than really needed that takes a large portion of their income
    Probably either saving no money for retirement or just doing the minimum to get a company 401k match

    My thoughts

    Drive a modest car. It's honestly hard to believe someone would spend $50k on a truck.
    Have at least 6 months of expenses of cash saved to get you through tough times if needed.
    Avoid high interest debt. If you don't have cash for something, don't buy it.
    Live in a modest house.
    Put the max allowed in your retirement account. I believe the 401k limit is $18,500 for 2018.


    In my experience, having your finances in order so you aren't living paycheck to paycheck results in a far greater quality of life. That sense of stability and lack of worry will make you happier than any material thing you can buy.

    I'm personally making some of these sacrifices now so I don't have to work my entire life. Hoping to retire while I'm still young and healthy enough to enjoy life.
    But I'm entitled to that 3000sq ft house & Ferrari F430!

  37. #237
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Obviously prices vary depending on where you are in each state, but this is a nice overview of the salary needed to afford the median priced home in each state.

    I found this online at
    https://www.vividmaps.com/2018/04/sa...tate-2018.html

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	1193704
    Interesting, but not even remotely accurate. Who buys a house that expensive with 10% down? "Average" houses should be second or third homes, with far more than 10% equity in them. Kind of smells like that USA Today article from a few years ago that said the American dream requires a $130K salary, which is of course absolutely ridiculous.

  38. #238
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    Po Dunk. Is that towns that have neighborhoods that smell like skunk all the time?

  39. #239
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    One of the interesting things about CA vs. CO is that wage growth in CO is more or less stagnant.

    While home prices in the Front Range arenít Bay Area level yet, people are buying them with a lot less salary.

    Something has to give eventually.


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  40. #240
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    Interesting, but not even remotely accurate. Who buys a house that expensive with 10% down? "Average" houses should be second or third homes, with far more than 10% equity in them. Kind of smells like that USA Today article from a few years ago that said the American dream requires a $130K salary, which is of course absolutely ridiculous.
    This is a simple comparison and not meant to figure out how much you can afford. Seems reasonable to me. It pulls the average house price in each state and does a simple calculation on salary based on some canned formulas. Generally this is another way to look at average home price per state. It shows some states have much higher average home prices. That said I not sure if they are using "average" or "median" Median is actually a better number since average can be skewed by a few really expense homes.

    What I am surprised is how expensive Colorado has become.
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  41. #241
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    I don't care what the map says, I will NOT move to Ohio.

  42. #242
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Obviously prices vary depending on where you are in each state, but this is a nice overview of the salary needed to afford the median priced home in each state.

    I found this online at
    https://www.vividmaps.com/2018/04/sa...tate-2018.html

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	HowMuch.jpg 
Views:	76 
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    This map needs average 2 and 1 person household income to have any utility.
    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

  43. #243
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    What I am surprised is how expensive Colorado has become.
    We're all surprised. Anyone who wants to suggest inflation is low isn't paying attention. Restaurant prices have damn near doubled in the last five years, and real estate is through the roof.

    As I said before, the Californication of Colorado is real.


    .

  44. #244
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    We're all surprised. Anyone who wants to suggest inflation is low isn't paying attention. Restaurant prices have damn near doubled in the last five years, and real estate is through the roof.

    As I said before, the Californication of Colorado is real.


    .
    Yep, I moved back to Northern Colorado from San Diego 6 years ago. I thought I was coming back to lower prices, not! The restaurant pricing in Colorado is on par with California yet the portions are smaller. The real estate is also the roof. Rents are higher in Colorado than California. The only thing that Iíve noticed that is lower in Colorado from California is gas prices.
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  45. #245
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgltrak View Post
    Obviously prices vary depending on where you are in each state, but this is a nice overview of the salary needed to afford the median priced home in each state.

    I found this online at
    https://www.vividmaps.com/2018/04/sa...tate-2018.html

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	HowMuch.jpg 
Views:	76 
Size:	123.0 KB 
ID:	1193704
    For Washington State, that high cost mostly comes from three counties around Seattle. The rest of the state is much cheaper. Especially east of the Cascades and the coast.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  46. #246
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    We're all surprised. Anyone who wants to suggest inflation is low isn't paying attention. Restaurant prices have damn near doubled in the last five years, and real estate is through the roof.

    As I said before, the Californication of Colorado is real.


    .
    As is the Californication of Washington. Well, at least the Seattle area.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  47. #247
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curveball View Post
    For Washington State, that high cost mostly comes from three counties around Seattle. The rest of the state is much cheaper. Especially east of the Cascades and the coast.
    That's generally true of all the States. Highest prices around the biggest cities or in tourist locations while the rest of the State is reasonable.

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  48. #248
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    It makes sense to me. The more desirable a place is to live the more expensive it is to live there.

  49. #249
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    It makes sense to me. The more desirable a place is to live the more expensive it is to live there.
    Not true in Colorado. I do a fairly regular real estate search for the entire state, and the entire state is significantly more expensive than other states I do similar searches on.

    It's getting harder and harder to justify living here. On one hand, our house is becoming a retirement nest egg because it's appreciating so quickly. On the other hand, the smart money cashes out before the crash.

    Add in the insanely priced health insurance I'm forced to buy, because I'm self employed and more reasonably priced plans have been outlawed for people my age, and it's even harder to stay. Lets not even get into the overcrowding and overwhelmed/crumbling infrastructure.


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  50. #250
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    Colorado as a whole is desirable, no? More than say, Mississippi?

  51. #251
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Colorado as a whole is desirable, no?
    No. Without getting into a debate about specific locations, I know of plenty of places in other states that dollar for dollar are far more "desirable", unless maybe legal weed is your primary factor in desirability.


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  52. #252
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    What about someplace like Las Vegas / Henderson, NV area? I would imagine it's a large enough to cover all the range of housing, jobs, etc.?

  53. #253
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    No. Without getting into a debate about specific locations, I know of plenty of places in other states that dollar for dollar are far more "desirable", unless maybe legal weed is your primary factor in desirability.
    I'll have to ponder that a bit.

  54. #254
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    No. Without getting into a debate about specific locations, I know of plenty of places in other states that dollar for dollar are far more "desirable", unless maybe legal weed is your primary factor in desirability.


    .
    Which I blame as a huge part of the influx in population growth. Come on people get a life. Moving to a state because of the legalization of weed, really? What gets me about living here is the amount of out of state plates I see with drivers smoking openly. Itís like they think theyíre cool to do so. What they apparently donít know is they are susceptible to getting a driving under the influence ticket, just like alcohol.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  55. #255
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Which I blame as a huge part of the influx in population growth. Come on people get a life. Moving to a state because of the legalization of weed, really? What gets me about living here is the amount of out of state plates I see with drivers smoking openly. Itís like they think theyíre cool to do so. What they apparently donít know is they are susceptible to getting a driving under the influence ticket, just like alcohol.
    The rapid growth in COís population started well before marijuana became legal. Itís increased by 800,000 people since 2007. 1,300,000 since 2000.




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  56. #256
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    The rapid growth in COís population started well before marijuana became legal. Itís increased by 800,000 people since 2007. 1,300,000 since 2000.




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    I know, but the legalization has certainly added to the rapid growth.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    The rapid growth in COís population started well before marijuana became legal. Itís increased by 800,000 people since 2007. 1,300,000 since 2000.




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    That sounds very much like Washington too. Where do all these people come from?

    I suspect that we're seriously overpopulating this planet.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Hobbs... damn, now I want to go to Hobbs!

    I'll gladly drive past Slaughter Pen/Back40 to have Hobbs for myself for a few hours.

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    I listened the Singletracks podcast last week, and just stumbled upon this thread and read through the whole thing...and I find it hard to believe that, other than a quick mention of Albuquerque, New Mexico is nowhere to be found.

    Santa Fe is expensive, but outside of that there are towns up and down the Rio Grande Valley that are a million times cheaper than Colorado and rideable year round. Crazy drought this winter allowed me to ride nonstop here in Taos. This isn't normal, but even in a big snow year I can head south a few hours and ride, plus there's Colorado just north for summer and Southern Utah just a half day's drive away.

    Jobs are tough, which is why this place is still relatively empty, which is kind of weird when you consider that it's tucked between the fat wallets of Texas and Colorado, but if you can swing it you'll never look back. I grew up in San Diego AND a mountain town in Colorado (Fraser/Winter Park) and I'd never go back to either. Folks here think Taos is expensive, but houses can easily be found for under $200k if you're not attached to big and fancy and new, and you can bike, hike, raft, ski and all the rest to your heart's content.

    New Mexico has a rough edge, and tons of poverty, but the climate is relatively easy (no humidity!) (only crazy hot way down south) and varied, as is the landscape, and the food is the best in America IMO. If you can tone down your expectations and meet the place on its own terms then there are a number of good options.

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    how are places like Breaking-Bad-Land (Alb) and Las Cruces?

  61. #261
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    I listened the Singletracks podcast last week, and just stumbled upon this thread and read through the whole thing...and I find it hard to believe that, other than a quick mention of Albuquerque, New Mexico is nowhere to be found.

    Santa Fe is expensive, but outside of that there are towns up and down the Rio Grande Valley that are a million times cheaper than Colorado and rideable year round. Crazy drought this winter allowed me to ride nonstop here in Taos. This isn't normal, but even in a big snow year I can head south a few hours and ride, plus there's Colorado just north for summer and Southern Utah just a half day's drive away.

    Jobs are tough, which is why this place is still relatively empty, which is kind of weird when you consider that it's tucked between the fat wallets of Texas and Colorado, but if you can swing it you'll never look back. I grew up in San Diego AND a mountain town in Colorado (Fraser/Winter Park) and I'd never go back to either. Folks here think Taos is expensive, but houses can easily be found for under $200k if you're not attached to big and fancy and new, and you can bike, hike, raft, ski and all the rest to your heart's content.

    New Mexico has a rough edge, and tons of poverty, but the climate is relatively easy (no humidity!) (only crazy hot way down south) and varied, as is the landscape, and the food is the best in America IMO. If you can tone down your expectations and meet the place on its own terms then there are a number of good options.
    Hmmm very interesting!
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  62. #262
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    Las Cruces is desert hot in summer with, from what I'm told and have read on MTBR forums, tons of good riding year round.

    Albuquerque has all the good and the bad of New Mexico multiplied to city scale, but I've grown to love it. Milder than Taos (which is up near the Colorado border) but not as hot as Las Cruces. It's about 500k in population, with a major university and a unique vibe in every way....plus a growing system of foothills and mountain trails, with much more an hour or two away. It's off the map still but I can't imagine it will stay that way forever, although the crime and aforementioned poverty holds it back.

  63. #263
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    Quote Originally Posted by chuck80442 View Post
    I listened the Singletracks podcast last week, and just stumbled upon this thread and read through the whole thing...and I find it hard to believe that, other than a quick mention of Albuquerque, New Mexico is nowhere to be found.

    Santa Fe is expensive, but outside of that there are towns up and down the Rio Grande Valley that are a million times cheaper than Colorado and rideable year round. Crazy drought this winter allowed me to ride nonstop here in Taos. This isn't normal, but even in a big snow year I can head south a few hours and ride, plus there's Colorado just north for summer and Southern Utah just a half day's drive away.

    Jobs are tough, which is why this place is still relatively empty, which is kind of weird when you consider that it's tucked between the fat wallets of Texas and Colorado, but if you can swing it you'll never look back. I grew up in San Diego AND a mountain town in Colorado (Fraser/Winter Park) and I'd never go back to either. Folks here think Taos is expensive, but houses can easily be found for under $200k if you're not attached to big and fancy and new, and you can bike, hike, raft, ski and all the rest to your heart's content.

    New Mexico has a rough edge, and tons of poverty, but the climate is relatively easy (no humidity!) (only crazy hot way down south) and varied, as is the landscape, and the food is the best in America IMO. If you can tone down your expectations and meet the place on its own terms then there are a number of good options.
    Taos you say? Yeah, I can definitely see that as being a very cool place to live. It would certainly beat the constant cold rain of Seattle, much lower cost of living, biking, skiing powder instead of Cascade concrete, etc.

    I bet I'd really like it.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  64. #264
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    My wife and I spent a week riding in NM back in 1995 and really enjoyed it. Red River was a cool town as was Taos. South Boundary trail was the main attraction and Iíd imagine thereís more trail now.

  65. #265
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    And Taos is on the verge of exploding. Itís already got ONE Starbucks.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  66. #266
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    And Taos is on the verge of exploding. Itís already got ONE Starbucks.
    And a brand new IHOP!

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    We love New Mexico, and youíre right that it probably should have made the list. I think the fact that Santa Fe is considered the main MTB town in the state, and itís so expensive probably kept it off. But there are definitely other more affordable places to live in NM. Weíve considered moving out there, but we mainly love Santa Fe, and itís crazy expensive. Iím also in education, and the education system in NM isnít great (says the guy living in Arkansas. Hah). The huge income inequality in Santa Fe is also bothersome.

    But the food makes up for it all!

  68. #268
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    The huge income inequality in Santa Fe is also bothersome.
    It's pretty bad in the whole state really. Little pockets of wealth surrounded by abject poverty. The government seems horribly corrupt, and the population isn't very well educated. My wife and I spent some time looking around down there, and have some friends who moved there a few years ago. The people we know really like it, but they came from places where the sun never shines (Portland & Chicago). It's definitely cheap, but the crime is real. I know (motorcycle) people who won't ride alone, or at all, in remote areas because of breaking bad type stuff.

    All that said, there are definitely far worse places to live, and I haven't ruled it out myself. The biggest draw for me is there isn't a major metropolitan city with millions of people. No Denver, LA, Phoenix, Seattle, etc. ABQ is the biggest, but it's no bigger than Colo Sprgs. It's a lot like Colorado, but without the angry mob in Denver flooding into the mountains every weekend.

  69. #269
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    I know a lot of people who grew up in NM. Everything people are saying is true. The riding can be great, there are literally hundreds of thousands of square miles of desert and high mesa where you can ride on whatever trails you find or build and not see anyone on a year round basis. Cost of living is cheap. But crime is an issue (somewhat avoidable if you know where to avoid) but the real issue that keeps them from going back is the absolutely terrible schools. Job prospects are also not great unless you are an engineer / scientist and work at Los Alamos.

  70. #270
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    Quote Originally Posted by Porkchop_Power View Post
    I know a lot of people who grew up in NM. Everything people are saying is true. The riding can be great, there are literally hundreds of thousands of square miles of desert and high mesa where you can ride on whatever trails you find or build and not see anyone on a year round basis. Cost of living is cheap. But crime is an issue (somewhat avoidable if you know where to avoid) but the real issue that keeps them from going back is the absolutely terrible schools. Job prospects are also not great unless you are an engineer / scientist and work at Los Alamos.
    All true. NM is definitely not for everyone, but the worst of the crime and bad schools can be easily avoided via the right town/neighborhood and/or charter schools, neither of which necessarily require one to be wealthy. The job problem is the toughest nut to crack, and many of my friends here in Taos are either freelancers who could live anywhere, have a specific skill (computer or auto repair) they parley into a small business, or work for the Forest Service or BLM, or similarly taxpayer funded jobs like teachers or social workers or whatever.

    Tough to get by, but as you mentioned, those millions of acres of empty public land (and a swell climate) MINUS the throngs of people found just north in Colorado, make it a pretty unique place with tons of great riding and empty trails for anyone willing to take the chance and work around/with the darker aspects. It's a bit like the Wild West, way less sanitized than other places in the Rocky Mountains and beyond, which is what helps keep it off the map, for better and for worse.

  71. #271
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    Thank you for the information on New Mexico. It has not been "Californicated" yet & guess now I know why. If a person is pretty self-sufficient it could be an ideal place. Looks like most of the mtb trails are near ABQ, Sante Fe, Angel Fire, & Taos area.

  72. #272
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSteven View Post
    This couldn't be more true. I am from California, moved to the midwest when I was a kid but still spent summers out there with family. In 2005 my wife and I moved to Denver and after fighting tooth and nail for decent jobs out there, we eventually decided to come back to the midwest. Since 2005 Denver alone has changed so much that I barely recognize it. It's actually really sad. I used to drive to Breckenridge to snowboard with some buddies that lived up there, and the majority of the population was millennials trying to hack it up high so they could be close to the resorts, and mountain hippies. Now it's a giant mess of Audi's with SWorks road bikes on top.

    It's sad, I remember we tried to take a family camping trip before we moved out of California and ended up driving home late at night because the campsites were full. Colorado is quickly becoming the same way.
    Colorado is not *becoming* the same as California, it *is* the same as California now.

    Most State Parks in CO now have online reservations, and if you aren't on the internet the moment the reservations open, you're screwed. If you want to camp NFS or BLM, you'd better slot in on Thursday morning at the latest, or be able to go very deep into the backcountry.

    Just for jollies, I just looked at Golden Gate State Park, and *every* campsite is reserved for *every* weekend through the summer.

    I am happy the value of my house has shot through the roof, so I can GTFO of the Front Range when I retire in a few years. I would really like some areas of SW Colorado, but the populations are exploding in the nice areas out there. Might have to make the brave move and go to NM or even somewhere weird like NW Nebraska or SW South Dakota. Crime is a real factor in NM, a friend of mine lives near ABQ and he has some crazy stories, including pumping gas at a convenience store while the clerk inside was murdered for $125.

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    I had a friend who was traveling out West, and I had mentioned how much we loved the riding and food in Santa Fe. They decided to stop over there for the night and do a ride. Woke up the next morning to no bikes on their vehicle. I felt guilty as hell for not warning him about bike theft in the area (which I mean... anyone should take precautions to avoid, but some area, like Santa Fe, are worse than others). We slept with our bikes in our freaking room in a tiny Sage Inn one year.

    Now we get AirBNBs that are bike friendly and have a place to store our bikes or at least somewhere secluded to put them away from street view.


    Some other friends who lived in ABQ were telling us about a theft ring that would target UHauls at hotels... as in... they'd break into them, hotwire them, and steal the whole thing in order to get the contents. That would be a damned rude awakening at a hotel in the morning.

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    Not where I live in eastern Pennsylvania north of Philly and west of NY. First it got invaded by people from NY and NJ fleeing high taxes. Generic ugly McMansion developments popped up everywhere.

    Now the rise of e-commerce made my area the Inland Empire of the East for distribution centers so warehousing/tractor trailers basically paved over a lot of what farms were left with more to come.

    Pennsylvania - The nation's highest gas taxes, worst trash-filled potholed roads, and most corrupt politicians, a.k.a. "Harrisburglars".

    The shame of it is we have some really nice technical trails, historical towns (mine stored the Liberty Bell overnight and was a major stop on the Underground Railroad), and good microbreweries.

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