Are you wondering where to buy land in Colorado? Or why is Colorado land so cheap and affordable? Or maybe you’re not sure why to buy land in Colorado?
You’ve come to the right place. There is tons of investment activity in Colorado, some areas, like Denver, are quickly pricing people out – such an inflated market right now! But, there are some hidden gems, some pockets of the state that provide you with quality land at great prices. Read on to find out more about Pueblo, Colorado! (If you’re looking for a Colorado land buying checklist, you can find one here 🙂 )
How Colorado got its Name
Let’s do a really quick overview of the state level, and then we’ll dive into Pueblo County! Most people think that Colorado got its name because the Colorado River originates there and flows through the state. This actually isn’t true – up until the 1920s the ‘Rio Colorado’ actually used to originate in the Green River area of Utah. The Colorado River actually didn’t flow through the state until 1921.
Colorado got its name from the Spanish because of its red-colored earth. Early Spanish explorers to the area (think the mid-1800s) marveled at the color of the reddish silt that flowed in the water down from the Rocky Mountains.
The Rocky Mountains are a thing of natural beauty, and this hidden county you’ve discovered is right at the foot of them!
Pueblo County, Colorado
Pueblo County is located in the southeastern quadrant of Colorado. There are 2,386 square miles of land and 12 square miles of water. ‘Pueblo’ is Spanish for ‘village’ or ‘town’, fitting for a county with a population of around 165,000 people.
Pueblo County was originally settled by Native American groups, and continued to draw European settlers due to the warm winter climate and its strategic location as a portal to the plains. By the 1870s the county had developed cities, such as Pueblo city.
The area continued to grow and capitalized on the boom of the steel industry, sprouting rail yards and steel mills. Pueblo County was devastated by the steel crash and recession of 1982, but its people refused to give up, and is now an undiscovered gem of Colorado, focusing on sustainable energies and new technology development.
Pueblo, Colorado Weather
Southeastern Colorado is known for its plains. Vast, beautiful grasslands are untouched and unblemished. Much of the terrain looks like it did when the first traders, trappers, and pioneers settled the area in the mid-1800s. Summer temperatures average around 92°F, warm and sunny!
On the comfort index, Pueblo crushes the U.S. average of 54 by 18 points! This means that Pueblo enjoys more days annually in the comfort range of 70-80°F than most counties in the U.S. To top it off, Pueblo County enjoys more than 250 sunny days a year. Winter temperatures average around 15°F, with about 28inches of snowfall each year. Pueblo County tends to get less snow than other cities and counties in Colorado.
With the weather like this, it’s so easy to spend time outside, and Pueblo County has the landscape to accompany the sun! Pueblo is in a high desert area of terrain in southeastern Colorado. This area is blessed with the views of the Southwestern Tablelands.
Red hued canyons, mesas, badlands, and rivers. Much of these lands are grassland and grazing land. Popular vegetation includes buffalo grass and small shrubbery. Pueblo County offers an amazing view of the sky, day or night – no obstructing skyscrapers and light pollution out here! One particularly amazing location to gaze at the night sky is nearby Monument Lake. This is known as Colorado’s Jewel of the West, enjoy a ride on the Highway of Legends to get there!
Why Colorado is a Great Place to Live
Colorado is one of the most desirable states to live and visit, and Pueblo may be the best of the best! Focused on reinvention and innovation, particularly in the energy industry, Pueblo continues to prosper and grow.
There are a variety of cities to choose from in Pueblo County, including Pueblo (population: 153,523), Rye (population: 1,901), Colorado City (population: 1,709), Avondale (population: 1,577) and Beulah (population: 1,249). The county seat is the city of Pueblo.
Pueblo County has a couple of malls to choose from (Pueblo Mall, Midtown Shopping Center, Pueblo Crossing), as well as a variety of department stores (Target, Walmart), and local specialties like Seabel’s Gourmet Shop and Springside Cheese Shop!
The cost of living in Pueblo County is 15% less than the U.S. average, and the area boats low-cost energy and utility services. The mild climate helps keep energy costs to a minimum. If you’re wondering how much it would cost you to live in Pueblo compared to your current city, check out this free online tool.
In fact, there are tremendous efforts in the county to utilize the 250 days of sunshine and harness solar energy. Save yourself some money with inexpensive utilities and use it to invest in a cheaper real estate market!
In fact, Pueblo has some of the least expensive real estate markets of all major cities in Colorado. It’s a great opportunity to get the most for your dollar in the state of Colorado. We know that areas like Denver have been climbing in price for years. Closing costs, property taxes, and average housing costs all increase. This article by Smart Asset shows you how average property taxes in Pueblo are only $1,054 compared to $1,472 in Denver. That’s a loss of $418! It may not seem like much, but that’s just one small area of life. Then you add on the extra housing costs, utilities, childcare, groceries, and other caveats of the big city life, and you’ve quickly stretched your budget pretty thin.
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Another great draw to the area is Colorado State University-Pueblo. This campus is a big part of the local community, because of its academic achievements and its prominence in athletic programs (go ThunderWolves!).
This community is focused on growth and the cost of real estate here, it’s easy to get started! Make one of these parcels your own personal playground! You can use it to throw down the tailgate with friends, have a cold one, and reminisce on good times.
It’s important to realize that not all lots in Pueblo County are buildable. Some properties are great for camping and RVs or mobile homes (although camping and RVing is rarely allowed by the county on the residential property). If you’re looking for a more permanent structure, some are tailored for tiny homes, container homes, manufactured or developed housing.
When starting to look at real estate in Pueblo County, it’s advisable to check with the County’s Planning and Development department. They can tell you exactly what each property is zoned for and what is restricted, hazards, and other regulations.
The zoning regulations are very important because if a parcel is purchased and zoned as residential, you likely are not allowed to hunt on it (seems obvious, right?). As in any town or county, there are some small rules and technicalities you should be aware of as property owners, so don’t underestimate a call or chat with the Planning and Development department.
We previously mentioned that Pueblo County is very conscious of sustainability efforts, there are Sustainability Principles to be aware of when it comes to land development plans.
If you’re planning on building, the Regional Building Department of Pueblo County can be found here. There are published guides for a variety of building scenarios, such as finishing a basement, residential additions, building a pole barn, and enclosing a patio. When conducting any construction or developments, the following are generally required:
- Building Permit
- Zoning Certificate (may be part of the Building Permit)
- Plan and Building Specifications (two sets)
Pueblo, Colorado Things to Do
There are a ton of activities to do in Pueblo County! Hunting is a popular activity. Colorado is home to the world’s largest elk population, at nearly a quarter million. There are also large populations of migrating mule deer, bighorn sheep, and sage grouse.
Colorado is also known for its fishing. With over 6,000 miles of stream and 2,000 lakes and reservoirs to choose from, there are many different bodies of water for you to spend a weekend at. You can check out the Colorado Hunting and Fishing Department, which issues licenses and has more information on seasonal game.
The local Pueblo Reservoir (Lake Pueblo) is a hotspot for local hunters and fishermen. With over 4,600 surface acres of water, 60 miles of shoreline, and 10,000 acres of land, there is no shortage of adventure! Along with the abundance of sunny days and the year-round mild climate, this local spot allows for hunting and fishing year-round.
Some of the game includes:
- Hunting: Deer, rabbit, scaled quail, turkey, waterfowl, and dove
- Fishing: Black crappie, blue catfish, bluegill, rainbow trout, brown trout
Colorado may not spring to mind when you think of agriculture and farming. However, you should know that the agriculture industry plays a huge economic role in Pueblo!
The mineral-rich soil, high-quality water from the Reservoir and the mild climate yield great growing conditions. There are close to 900 farms in the county, and the approximate amount of land used for farms is 895,000 acres!
Pueblo County is well-known for its famous chilies, a staple of the local cuisine. There are several other niche crops grown in Pueblo County are garlic, an assortment of vegetables (carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, potatoes), and a mix of open-pollinated vegetable seeds (arugula, eggplant, okra, fennel).
Community focus on agriculture results in a demand for fresh, locally grown foods, and fantastic local farmers’ markets. If you’re in the area, check out Pueblo Farmers Marker and the Kaiser Permanente Riverwalk Farmers Market.
Aside from the obvious hunting, fishing, and agricultural hobbies, there are plenty of other activities and pastimes to discover in Pueblo County. A fun activity in this area is mountain biking.
Lake Pueblo has some trails that cater to varying levels of expertise. The area surrounded Colorado Springs, which is only a 20minute drive north on the highway, has a ton of trails to choose from. Perfect for a weekend day. And of course, the Rocky Mountains! You will never run out of trails to explore! You can check out Single Tracks for details on nearby mountain biking trails and their difficulty level.
Hiking is also a great activity to get you outdoors and moving. Like mountain biking, you won’t be short on hiking trails to adventure on. Lake Pueblo is perfect for an afternoon or morning stroll. You can visit All Trails to see nearby hiking trails, difficulty level, and whether or not you can bring your dog with you.
Some other great activities that you can enjoy in Pueblo County are:
- ATV/UTV riding
- Water recreation (sailing, motor-boating, waterskiing, river tubing)
- Pueblo Riverwalk
- Historic Arkansas Riverwalk Project
- Bent’s Old Fort National Historic Site
- Bishop’s Castle
- Museums (Sangre de Cristo Arts Center, El Pueblo History Museum, Buell Children’s Museum, House Company No. 3 Pueblo’s Fire Museum)
- Horseback riding
- Community Events (Boats, Bands, and BBQ, B Street Bash, Free Fishing Weekend, Mesa-Drive In, Loaf ‘N Jug Chile & Frijoles Festival)
- Skiing/snowboarding (Breckenridge and Monarch)
What is Colorado Known For?
Mountains! Aside from the other great benefits and features we discussed, when you think of Colorado, you can’t help but think mountains. And you’re not wrong!
At the southwestern corner of Pueblo County, right at your fingertips, you’ll find Greenhorn Mountain. At 12,352 feet, this is the highest summit of the Wet Mountains range in the Rocky Mountains of North America. This provides a great opportunity for climbing, hiking, and mountaineering, all at your back doorstep!
There is also St. Charles Peak, Deer Peak, Wixson Mountain, and Hardscrabble Mountain all at the western edge of the county. I mentioned before that Pueblo County is strict on where camping and RVing is allowed. Thankfully, you have the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve and Blanca Peak.
This is a fantastic way to make family memories. Take the crew for a hike through the National Preserve, try surfing the dunes, camp within the park, and splash around in Medano Creek. It will take many weekend trips to get bored with this gem! If you’re looking for something closer to home, there are campsites in Colorado City and Lake Pueblo State Park that are great for you as well.
Pueblo County one of the best counties at historical preservation, and places a high priority on the high quality of life and a low cost of living for its citizens. And there are plenty of chances to connect with nature and the outdoors. Pair that with low land prices, and you’ve got an unstoppable pair. Pueblo County is a place where treasured memories aren’t dependent on annual vacations, they can be made every weekend, in your own backyard.
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