What to Know About Owning a Mountain Home

If you’re reading this, you’ve already dreamt of it—owning a cabin in the mountains: Fresh, piny air, mornings on the deck overlooking the valley, nights by the fire, quiet, seclusion, the simple life. And since the last few years have proven that we can work from just about anywhere, isn’t it time to make the move?

We’d say so! Buying a Colorado mountain home is a dream worth making a reality. And though there are more upsides than down, there are still a few things to get ready for before you make the move.


Why this is the best decision you’ll ever make 

We aren’t going to lie to you, mountain life is by no means easy. However, the pros far outweigh the cons. But how do we describe in one paragraph what could take volumes to express? Well, we’ll give it our best shot.

Imagine waking up each day to the chatter of wildlife twittering about the fragrant pines. You’ve slept easy in the serenity of the quiet, starlit mountainside. Perhaps you strap on your hiking boots for a morning stroll or your skis for a ride into town, leaving your door unlocked because you’re not at all worried about your safety out here. The fresh, cool air is a gift to your lungs and your mood, as you take in the beauty that surrounds you. You take your time, there’s no hurry, and stop to say hi to your neighbors, the like-minded community folk that have your back in times of need. You return home to snuggle up by the fire. Working or reading, entertaining or enjoying the solitude, you know this is the place for you.


Things to prepare for now

And yet, there will be challenges to mountain life. They are by no means deal-breakers, but knowing now, and preparing yourself ahead of time, will help to maximize the success of your move.

1. Plan ahead!

This is first on the list because it is clearly the most important. You’ll want to plan ahead for everything. The big-box stores are going to be far away now, sometimes inaccessible when there’s a big snowstorm. You’ll need to plan when you’ll be able to make the trip and make detailed lists of everything you’ll need for meals, necessities, first aid, work supplies, etc. 

2. Stock up

As we’ll mention several times in this list, snowstorms can strand you for several days sometimes. You’ll want to make sure you are stocked up on food, non-perishables, toilet paper, fresh water, toiletries, etc. Make a checklist and ensure that you always have what you’ll need to get by comfortably for a couple of weeks (chances are you won’t ever need that much, but better to be safe!).

3. Expect crazy weather!

The mountains are amazing. Majestic and bold, they have survived some seriously extreme weather, as will you! Just know that you will experience pouring rain, super cold temperatures, snowstorms, fog, high winds, and more. However, if you’re prepared, it becomes an awe-inspiring experience. Know that it is coming and talk to your neighbors to find out what implements to have on hand.

4. Speaking of snowstorms…

Have we mentioned snowstorms yet? Well, there will be some. Make sure you are prepared by stocking up on food and necessities. Having a generator in case of a power outage and plenty of dry wood chopped for a fire. Plan on spending time shoveling and scraping your car free of ice. Also, purchase-

  • Rock salt
  • Snow tires/chains
  • A 4WD vehicle
  • Snow shovel, snow scraper, and snow broom


5. Hydration

Mountain air is dry. You’ll wake up with a serious case of dry-mouth and will soon notice your lips and skin splitting if you don’t keep hydrated! Always keep a water bottle with you and make sure you’re drinking at least 64 ounces of water a day, more if you are very active. Also, stock up on lotion or oil for your skin and lip balm to soothe and protect cracked lips. And if you’re still feeling parched in the morning, try a humidifier at night.

6. Embrace your local community

Make an effort to show up and contribute to all community events and gatherings. This is how you’re going to get to know your neighbors and foster a relationship of trust. Try to always lead with kindness with your new community and avoid conflict wherever possible. Remember, this is a small, tight-knit group. Slights will not be forgotten quickly. And these are the people that you will rely on (and who will rely on you) in times of need. Embrace them!

7. Services are further away

In the city, we can expect to see a plumber or electrician within the day or if we need medical care, we can see a doctor at once. Now that you are further away from civilization, services will be more difficult to access. So prepare yourself. Have backup plans for electricity (generator, firewood, etc.), plumbing (an outhouse, perhaps), medical care (a fully stocked first aid kit and knowledge of the nearest emergency services), etc. Additionally, adjust your expectations now. You’ve been wanting a slower way of life, understand that in that slowing, everything is affected.

8. Pets and…wild animals

This is a tough one. You’re moving to a place where wild animals are abundant and they have a different pecking order than we do in the city. Your tiny pooch may have the world in his paw, a sweater on his back, and a fluffy bed to sleep in when in suburbia, but here, the little guy looks more like food to its new neighbors. Just be aware that small pets will need to be kept on a short leash. Keep them inside when unsupervised and close by when out.

9. Forest fires

Wildfires are something to be prepared for; the chances of your property being affected are not large, but it is always best to have a plan when you’re in the wilderness. Make sure that you are properly insured in case of a fire, and more importantly, make sure you have an evacuation plan. That plan should also have backup options and contingencies. Keep your local family, and those outside of the area, abreast of your plans. And remember, take care of your neighbors as well. Collaborate and watch out for each other. 

10. Learn about your new town!

This seems like a no-brainer, yet many move without ever learning the ins and outs of their new town. Plan ahead (have we mentioned this before?), and find out where services are, what events are popular, the closest supermarket, drugstore or gas station, what the town is known for, the best hiking spots, etc. Learning about your new home shows respect for your community and will have benefits when you end up needing gasoline for your generator in the middle of the night.


Now buy that Colorado mountain home for sale!

We hope you are still absolutely ecstatic to make your move and you’ve learned a little about how to make that move successful. We adore our mountain communities and the pace of living in the stunning and restorative great outdoors! It will be a great change, but probably just the change you’ve been craving.


Consider Durango, CO Real Estate

If you’re looking to move away from the city, consider Durango, CO Real Estate. Living around the fascinating town of Durango can give you a variety of mountain experiences from an isolated cabin to a downtown condo or a multimillion-dollar manor. If you want some of the seclusion and all of the mountain home perks, but you still want some of the “big” city benefits, Durango is a terrific fit!

Whatever your wish, our trusted Durango, Colorado realtors at Code of the West Realty, are just the team to help you find your perfect fit. Contact us today to start searching for your dream house!

For more on buying mountain homes for sale in Colorado and where to do it, check out our blogs How Can I Make My Offer Competitive Enough in Today’s Market and 5 Best Places to Buy a Mountain Home in Colorado.

Code of the West Real Estate
Code of the West Real Estate
(719) 742-3626
215 S. Main St. La Veta CO 81055
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