9 Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Salida

    9 Things to Consider When Buying a Home in Salida

    Jan 23, 2021

    A lot of people are thinking about moving to Salida, Colorado these days.

    Salida keeps finding itself on national lists of the top places to live and to visit . Our small town of 5,500+ people was even featured in Vogue magazine in 2018. It’s hard to get more “en vogue” than that!


    With unlimited access to some of the best biking, running, skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, kayaking, and hiking that Colorado has to offer--and with year-round pleasant weather (especially compared to other mountain towns)--this trend is certain to continue. For more people than ever, the question isn’t “should you live in Salida?”, it’s “how do you live in Salida?”

    Salida works a little differently than some city-dwellers realize. As a former city dweller myself, I can attest that there is a learning curve in the move to the small mountain community of Salida (whether from the Colorado Front Range or somewhere else).

    Here is the list of the things I wish I had considered before moving to Salida.

    1.   Downtown Isn't Cheap Anymore

    The intersection of F Street and 1st Street is the heart of Salida’s downtown Historic District. The majority of the town’s shops, restaurants and fun happenings are in and near this area. As a result, there is a high-demand and higher price tag for properties in close proximity to the heart of downtown Salida. Downtown price per square foot is starting to rival what you might expect from higher-end neighborhoods in Denver!

    As you travel outside of downtown Salida and surrounding neighborhoods, lot sizes tend to get larger and price per square foot tends to decrease. When you’re planning to move to this area, I recommend deciding which you value more: a short bike ride to downtown Salida or a large lot with privacy from your neighbors. You will likely have to choose.

    2.   Neighborhood

    For a small town, Salida has quite a few neighborhoods and subdivisions with differing perks and drawbacks. And with Salida’s continued growth, new subdivisions keep sprouting up. For some, an HOA with regular maintenance of communal spaces and roads sounds like a good thing. For others, being able to target practice in their own backyard is more their jam.

    Additionally, a neighborhood's proximity to a major road, trail system or mountain (can you say powder day!) might matter. Knowing what you’re getting here, and what you’re not, is important to know well before buying a home.

    3.   How Much are Million-dollar Views Worth to You?

    One of the perks of living in the mountain valley of Salida is the views! And our million-dollar views can be had (at least for now) for much less than a million dollars.

    We’re surrounded by 3 mountain ranges and you can enjoy views from nearly every direction. The question is, what kind of view do you want? And do you need the view from your living room window or just your drive home?

    Things like north-facing vs. south-facing lots matter in this climate. Things like wind protection matter, too. The location and angle of your home and your home environment will have changes that go along with every season. Make sure you consider all these angles when finding the home that’s right for you.

    4.   Future Development Plans

    There is a lot of growth in Salida and surrounding areas. Before you buy, consider what future development plans are slated near your future home. These future developments could make your new property more or less desirable to you.

    5.   Internet

    Internet speed in Salida might not be the same as internet speed in the city., though it is continuing to improve. And the quality varies significantly depending on where you are located. It’s important to consider this before you move here, especially if your livelihood requires reliable access to the Internet.

    6.   Utilities

    Homes within Salida city limits are on city utilities, while many areas just outside of Salida are on well and septic. It’s important to understand what these types of utilities mean for you.

    Not all wells or well permits are created equal. There are strategies and additional inspection considerations when buying a house or purchasing vacant land with a septic and well that those unfamiliar with the area might not understand. Some homes also come with water or ditch rights, which can increase the value of a property.

    7.  Are Short-Term Rentals Allowed?

    If you’re buying a second home or investment property with plans to rent it on Airbnb or VRBO, you need to do some research. The City of Salida has put restrictions on short-term rentals. Factors such as the location, zoning and licensing availability all factor in.

    Additionally, many HOA’s outside of  Salida are beginning to implement restrictions related to short-term rentals.

    Make sure you speak to an expert that is up to date with the current short-term rental situation before buying a property you expect to rent out.

    8.   Restrictions and Covenants

    Not every vacant lot allows you to park your RV on it and not every neighborhood allows you to put up a brick privacy fence. Make sure what you’re planning to use the property for and how you’re planning to modify it are permitted before you buy it.

    9.   The Challenges of Building on Vacant Land

    The current inventory of housing in Salida is, shall we say, rather sparse.

    With few options available, some people prefer to buy vacant land and build a home rather than wait for the right home to come on the market. We’re seeing more of this in recent years as popularity for the area increases and inventory isn’t keeping up with demand.

    Vacant land in the heart of Salida is extremely rare, but there are options outside of town.

    Remember, though, unless you have a building crew already available on demand, building your own home is likely not going to be a fast process. Most local crews and professionals have long waiting lists and aren’t available at a moment’s notice. If you’re buying land, you should expect to learn a lesson or two about the pace of life in a small-town. Having connections with local crews will make for a faster process as well.

    While there are many things to consider when moving to Salida, don’t forget that it’s worth it! This is a wonderful town, and all signs point to things only getting better.

    Interested in getting a pulse on the current real estate market in Salida? Sign up for my monthly marketing emails by emailing me at at Monica@cprealty.com

    You can also search for Salida’s currently available properties here: www.MonicaSellsSalida.com.