I just got back from a whirlwind week driving across Montana. I’ve been researching homestead properties for the last year or two but I hadn’t done much scouting outside of Colorado. The Marshall Fire that burned down two entire towns in Boulder County about 5 miles from my house had shook me. My husband and I decided it was time to begin more seriously looking for a safer place to live as climate change continues. So we got in the car and headed north.
Ironically this week we are also closing on a mountain house in Colorado. And yes I realize it’s a bit contradictory to panic about an urban wildfire and then buy a home in the mountains. It was a bit unexpected but we made an offer on a home in a town I happen to love about twenty minutes and an additional 3,000 feet up from Boulder. So basically prime fire country. And strangely I’m ok with the risk as it won’t be our only residence (at least not long term). I decided the desire to live in the mountains was worth pursuing now while we still had the chance. Who knows if in ten years Colorado Rockies will be considered insurable. It’s now or never.
Our current thinking is to use the mountain as our winter home and rent it out during the spring and summer high season. While it’s rented out we will decamp to work on a homestead property in Montana. We know it will take time to fully develop the kind of resilient off grid home we want. It’s a long term project that we suspect will take a decade or more. Frankly we need to make a commitment to buying something while rates are low, we have the free cash, and before inflation gets worse. So we’ve gone from never owning a home to deciding we will own two! It’s great feeling decisive.
Our focus in Montana was finding what areas we liked and where we could see ourselves investing in significant acreage. We want a homestead that has the capacity to get through disasters both natural and man made. That means buying land we can cultivate for both farming and ranching. Well the gentleman farmer style.
Quite frankly I can’t manage the heat in Colorado in the summers anymore so going north was a priority for climate change. Montana is increasingly being viewed as the new Colorado for folks who grew up in a rural Colorado and miss it. But we still want the amenities of a well developed town within half an hour or so. We want Boulder but the kind from 20 years ago that had less climate risk and fewer people. Naturally we checked out both Bozeman and Missoula. I don’t know where we will land but we had a good time exploring. We figured if we could tolerate Montana in January then the nicer months will be a breeze. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about the homestead and preparedness journey. And in the meantime if you want to rent a really nice mountain house in the summer drop me an email.