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When deciding a specific area in which to live, people have a range of choices within a 25-mile radius. Grand Junction, Fruita, Palisade, Clifton, the Redlands, Orchard Mesa, East Orchard, and Loma-Mack are some of the areas from which to choose.


Grand Junction proper provides many urban amenities. From an indoor shopping mall to a downtown shopping park, large chain stores to locally owned boutiques; a convention center to a performing arts theater, Grand Junction features a small town feel with the advantages of larger cities. The downtown area has many Victorian style homes, many selling for below national average prices, as well as newer and more upscale homes in some newer subdivisions.


Palisade offers a mixture of elbowroom and high-density housing. Famous for its 20+ acre orchards, some working wineries sell for $1 million or more. But most Palisade homes are on smaller acreage, providing families with an opportunity to grow famous Palisade peaches, apples, apricots or cherries. Homes in the heart of town can sell for less than $150,000. With 2,600 people, Palisade is a place where “everybody knows your name.”


Fruita is in a traditional farm territory transitioning into an urban area and mountain biking mecca. The city has nearly doubled in size over 20 years and boasts about 10,000 people. Fruita features the only public recreation center in Mesa County, a microbrewery, quaint restaurants and—of course—bike shops. Homes in the city proper can be found for less than $180,000, while higher end homes in newer subdivisions list for $695,000 and up. And homes sitting on several acres can reach the $1 million range.


West of Fruita, the Loma-Mack region features desert terrain with some irrigated sections. Five-acre parcels of land are available, with large farms of 80 acres list for $500,000 and above. As is the case with every area in the valley, some new subdivisions feature high-end homes listing for $350,000 and more.


To the southwest of Grand Junction, the Redlands area offers many high-end homes and townhomes at the base of the breathtaking Colorado National Monument. The old axiom that home values are based on “location, location, location” certainly applies when homes go on the market in the Redlands. Subdivisions such as Independence Ranch offer striking views of the Monument’s rock monoliths, spires and canyons. Large homes on large lots combine to drive prices into the $600,000 to $900,000 range. Yet, smaller, older homes in the Redlands can be purchased for less than $180,000.


The north area mixes subdivisions with largeacre trophy homes and sweeping views of the valley. Some subdivisions, such as Paradise Hills, were built up during the oil shale boom of the late 1970s, when western Colorado was at the epicenter of a national experiment to extract oil from shale rock. Newer subdivisions have been built north and northeast of Paradise Hills, to the west of Grand Junction Regional Airport. Homes range from $180,000–$800,000 in the north, and owners have easy access to the airport, Mesa Mall and downtown Grand Junction.


Orchard Mesa provides a little higher elevation and easier access to the southwest Colorado mountains than does the city of Grand Junction. While OM offers a range of housing prices, people looking for bargains and “fixer uppers” can find many on Orchard Mesa, with prices under $100,000. Other sections of the area, such as the Spyglass subdivision sitting on a ridge providing knockout views of the city, feature homes in the $300,000–$400,000 range.


East Orchard Mesa, south of Palisade, offers even higher elevation with views of the Palisade wineries and orchards below. Indicative of the mixed values associated with most sections of the Grand Valley, East Orchard Mesa features historic orchards and farms, vacant land and a high end gated subdivision, called Bonny Brook. Buyers can find land going for around $30,000 an acre, and high-end homes for $400,000–$900,000.


Clifton is an unincorporated area north of East Orchard Mesa between Grand Junction and Palisade. This section can be unfairly labeled as a low-price area. Some of the older homes and townhomes are in the under-$120,000 range, but some newly developed pockets of the Clifton area feature attractive properties priced at $250,000 and above.

No matter what kind of area, or what kind of price range you might look for when moving to Mesa County, the area certainly has much to choose from, and much to offer beyond the homestead.