Dreaming of a cozy cabin in the mountains? Consider these things before making the move.
Some people dream of owning a home in the mountains. The crisp air and winding roads makes driving through these areas a destination for car enthusiasts and the small mountain towns are quaint and inviting to those trying to escape the hustle and bustle of the big cities. But, there are a few things to consider before buying that dream home in the mountains.
Why Buy a Home in the Mountains?
There’s nothing like coming home at night to a house nestled into the woods, fireflies lighting up the trees and the distant hoot of an owl calling from the darkness. The moon shines brighter and the stars blanket the sky.
In the morning, fog slowly lifts to reveal sun-kissed valleys where the shadows of surrounding mountain tops act like sundials over the course of the day. Life moves at a slower pace and there is no shortage of outdoor adventure.
It is undoubtedly beautiful in the mountains. But there are some things about mountain life your realtor may not tell you about. And if you’ve only ever vacationed where you intend to live, you may have missed something important in your time away.
Meet the Wildlife
The deer grazing right in your front yard and countless native birds at the feeder are some really enjoyable aspects of mountain life. Until they ravage your garden and destroy your crop. Catching a glimpse of elk crossing the road or bald eagles cresting the treetops is breathtaking. So is a run-in with a bear or mountain lion.
In the mountains, it is common to have bears or other predators mosey through your property and maybe tip over a trash can or two. After all, it is the woods and that’s where wild animals live. If you have pets, the mountains can be a dangerous place to leave them outside unattended- just one reason they make predator-proof pet armour.
And those graceful deer? They kill an average of 120 people each year according to PetPedia.co; more than sharks! Statistically it’s unlikely you’ll be on the losing end of a battle against Bambie but the deer are everywhere.
Can You Hear Me Now?
Get used to bad cell phone service in the mountains. And no internet. Though some people seek the solitude mountain life offers, it can be incredibly limiting in many ways.
If you work from home or require a cell phone or internet to conduct any business at all then the mountains might not be the best place to buy a house. Reception is spotty at best and your internet will go out if it even looks like rain. You can invest in expensive satellite services but check the coverage map before you sign anything. It is quite possible that won’t work up in the mountains either.
Every quaint mountain town has “season.” You might hear locals use it as an explanation for unusually slow, dense traffic, empty shelves at the store or hoards of people crowding lakes and trails. “It’s season,” they’ll say as though locusts have arrived.
Maybe it wasn’t as obvious when you vacationed there, or perhaps you toured the home you want “off-season” but be warned; season is coming.
Becoming a permanent “local” at the mountain lake cabin you dream of means putting up with tourists, leaf-peepers and weekend warriors on a regular basis. If you thought city traffic was bad, try getting through Estes Park, CO when summer in the Rocky Mountains kicks off. Throw in a moose on the side of the road and you might as well park the car and walk.
Small Town Charm
Folks who live in small mountain towns are some of the friendliest bunch you’ll meet. Southern hospitality can’t beat mountain courtesy or the patience you’ll learn in the hilltowns.
It’s necessary for mountain living and you’ll have to learn to leave the fast pace you once knew behind. Learn patience while clerks have lengthy and detailed personal conversations with every customer as they write checks for groceries like it’s 1959.
You’ll also have the opportunity to practice patience while you’re stuck on a double yellow behind the slowest tractor ever invented. Or when your internet cuts out and your calls drop. Or when an impromptu rockslide makes your 30 minute commute a three hour day trip. Remember, life is slower where the oxygen is lower. So are the people who live there.
Should You Buy a Mountain Home?
Ask anyone who lives in the mountains and they will emphatically tell you that mountain life is the best. They’ll speak of their little town in a way that someone who loves where they live does. They’ll tell you about the fireflies and the fog and the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. They’ll tell you how peaceful it is to trade sirens and cell phones for stars and streams.
And ignore the ones who try to deter people from moving there so it never changes from the mountain town they always loved. The deer probably won’t kill you. If buying a home in the mountains is your dream, then cruise the listings and find the one that’s right for you. Make an offer and make the move. You won’t regret it. It’s beautiful here.