Buyer, realtors talk shop
GOSHEN COUNTY, Wyo. — Jake Dunlap retired from the military and his wife Vivian Dunlap heard that Wyoming didn’t tax pension that high (as in, not at all). So they were going to move to Cheyenne.
But their realtor had them check out Torrington, Wyo.
The Dunlaps have now lived in the town for five years.
“We like small towns,” Dunlap said. “It’s nice and quiet … It’s a little bit hard to find a job in the area … but you’re going to have that anywhere.”
Vivian was also glad that the weather is “not bad”; she lived in New York state, where 100 or more inches of snow can fall in a season.
Vivian thought that the metrics SmartAsset used to rank Goshen County as the fifth-best county in Wyoming to buy a home indicated that it is a good place to be financially stable in buying a home.
SmartAsset’s study compared the total costs of buying and renting a home and counties were ranked by the amount of time it took renting to become more expensive than buying. This represents how long it takes to offset the upfront costs of homeownership, the down payment and closing costs, according to SmartAsset.
What realtors said
Todd Weglin, president of the North Platte Valley Board of Realtors, thought that Goshen County ranking as the first-best place in Wyoming to own a home was pretty good.
“I think Torrington still has a lot to offer people who want to come here and buy a home. The cost of living is very reasonable,” Weglin said. “We’re in a part of the state that the summers are pretty reasonable … winters generally aren’t too harsh.”
Weglin thinks the area has a good mixture of people.
“I know at one time, it seemed like the median age was around 42 or so,” Weglin said.
Weglin also cited employment opportunities, three good schools in the county and a major employer in the prison.
The price of homes is also key, Weglin said.
“A 200,000 home here will probably cost you $400,000 in Cheyenne,” Weglin said. “It’s even more (in) Colorado.”
Banks are willing to loan money on homes, Weglin added.
Irene Reese with 307 Realty Professionals thinks Goshen comes out high on the list it’s because of the people.
“When (movers) come to Torrington, they’re welcomed,” Reese said. “They’re greeted warmly and our cost of living is the lowest, too, in Wyoming.”
Logan Schliinz with Clark & Associates cited climate multiple times.
Goshen is in the banana belt of Wyoming and the county’s biggest municipality of Torrington is a retirement community. Goshen has a hospital infrastructure and is only an hour-and-a-half to Cheyenne, Schliinz pointed out.
Farming is welcoming here because Goshen has a good growing system, with good soils and milder winters than in other areas, Schliinz said.
“Goshen County produces a lot of good feed. Good water rights,” Schliinz said.
“We’re starting to see more people that are working remotely and want to be away from the hustle and bustle and they like the area,” Schliinz added.
The closure of Western Sugar Cooperative concerned everyone at first with regards to outlook, but the 193 folks who lost their jobs in general were able to stay employed, from finding other jobs to training programs, Weglin said.
“After the smoke all cleared and it all closed, you know, I don’t think it was as big an impact as everyone feared,” Weglin remarked, mentioning a new hotel going up and an O’Reilly Auto Parts store on its way in Torrington. Weglin also thought the overpass in town was a good idea and noted that the frontage road was redone.
“I think that coming into town looks good from every direction now,” Weglin said.
It isn’t just Torrington, Weglin said, noting that realtors are selling homes in Lingle.
“It’s a very safe place to live, Goshen County,” Weglin added. “Every place has a little bit of crime, (but) it’s a good place to raise a family.”
Reese said that 307 hasn’t seen the effects of the sugar plant close.
“Things have sold so well this summer, and even now, it slows down this time of year but actually, it has not,” Reese said.
Reese and her colleagues have seen folks from Colorado moving to Goshen, Reese said.
“Part of that is their governor,” Reese said in reference to Republican Gov. Mark Gordon.
Folks want to move to a smaller place and avoid “overcrowding,” Reese said.
Reese cited another couple from Denver that bought investment property in the county.
“They said our community being smaller, the market (was) more affordable,” Reese said.
Purchases point to being more residential than in agricultural land, Weglin said, who also noted that he doesn’t deal a lot with agricultural land.
“Every year, a few farms always get sold … But it’s not an overwhelming thing by any means,” Weglin said. “For the most part, it’s pretty stable; the people who have been on the land … keep a hold of it.”