Sarah explores houses

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Drive-by house-hunting

Published March 6, 2012 by housecrazy

I am doing a lot of drive-by house-hunting lately. My house is not on the market but I’m anticipating a move sometime in the next year since there are several factors that may require us to relocate a little closer to Denver (that’s where Lupe’s company is based).

But rather than continually pestering my realtor friends, we just settle for “drive-by” house-hunting until we are really serious about finding a place. My type of drive-by house-hunting is a tad more involved than it sounds. It entails researching where a house is located (the neighborhood) and if it is vacant or not. If it is vacant, then the drive-by can become more of a window-shopping type of outing. (Exploring around the property and peeking in the windows.) Mind you, that is ONLY if the house is vacant.

This past weekend we were in Colorado Springs so we did a little drive-by looking. We drove by a few old houses on the market but only one was vacant (a fix-and-flip) so we were able to snoop around in the yard a bit.

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

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Around the ‘hood

Published February 27, 2012 by housecrazy

I like to have context when I view a house (where is it, what’s the neighborhood like, what’s the weather like) so I thought I would share a little more of my world with you…

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

My house is located in a historic commercial district right in downtown Canon City, Colorado. I walked my spastic, crazy dog around this past weekend and was able to snap some pics of my neighborhood.

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Abandoned houses at Summitville Colorado

Published February 22, 2012 by housecrazy

When I was a kid growing up in Canada, my dad used to bring my brother and sister and I on excursions deep into “the bush” to find old abandoned cabins in the rugged back country of northern Ontario. It was great fun.

As a an adult, rather than spending a small fortune on theme parks and pizza places with jungle gyms, I prefer to bring my kids either

a) house hunting, or,

b) scavenging for old abandoned houses or entire townsites.

Since we live in Colorado (a state with a vivid mining past) there are a wealth of antiquated ghost towns that have been abandoned for the better part of a century.

One such area is Summitville, Colorado – a remote area around Wolf Creek Pass in the San Juan Mountains in south central Colorado. The town of Summitville is located, you guessed it, at the top of a mountain. This is in one of the snowiest parts of the state so you can imagine how battered this place has become after being abandoned by the late 1890’s.

The townsite sprang up in the 1870’s after gold was discovered in the area, and when that was quickly mined out, the tiny town faded fast into a footnote of history. Even though mining operations for gold and other materials was attempted a few more times during the twentieth century, none were very succesful and the workers commuted from nearby towns like Del Norte. The weather and altitude up at Summitville (over 11,000 feet above sea level) was and is BRUTAL.

Today, you can visit the ruins of the town of Summitville if you are willing to take a long, bumpy ride up some remote dirt roads in the summertime. Don’t even attempt this in the winter – the roads are impassable!

Since my husband Lupe has worked up there during the summers on two different occasions (doing road maintenance for the state), I have been to visit Summitville a couple of times.

Here are some pictures we took last summer (2011) of what remains of the old wood frame houses:

photo credit: Sarah Felix Burns

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