Colorado has some of the most interesting land for sale in the world. Many people are attracted to the idea of owning property in the mountains and every year flock to ski areas and other tourist spots state wide. In this article I want to outline the very basics of finding and purchasing that perfect property you have always dreamed of and give you an insight into what it takes to make a successful real estate transaction.
Every county in Colorado operates on a different set of rules. That is very important to consider because they each have different ways of doing things, such as assessing taxes, subdivision rules and the issuance of building permits. Some counties are easier to work with than others. Be aware of this when you begin to research an area. It's not to hard to get a feel for an area just by talking to a few locals. Try calling a local business owner and they probably will be more than happy to talk candidly to you about the town.
Do the general research first and make sure it's a place you want to put your money. You can get recent sales data, tax info and detailed property information from the County Assessor's office. Find out about the guidelines for getting a building permit by calling the Land Use Office. If you have a particular piece of property in mind, find out if it is in a subdivision and what the protective covenants are. Another very important issue to mention is water.
The Colorado Division of Water Resources is the place to call. They have data on almost every well drilled in the state. If you are researching a property you can find out if there is an existing well, how deep it is, when it was drilled and so on. They are also the ones who issue well permits for drilling new wells. As far as drilling a well there is some interesting things you need to know. If you have 35 acres or more you are entitled to a domestic well. If you have less than 35 acres you will have to get an in-house use well and will have restrictions on water usage. Talk to a well driller and find out how deep they have to drill for water in that area. If your property has water rights find out what the water right is and how much water it actually amounts too. Many times the water rights can be more valuable than the land. I will elaborate later about water rights but for now keep it in mind.
Talk to a Realtor if you can because they are usually the most knowledgeable people you can find regarding real estate in the area. It will give you a far greater sense of security to deal with a Realtor when going into a transaction because they are professionals and are guided by a code of ethics. Realtors can assist you in finding the property and preparing the paperwork and can make life a lot easier for you in the long run.
If you take the time and do your research I'm confident you will find the perfect property. When you get into the details it can be intimidating. I believe the only way you will find your true comfort zone when purchasing a property is to not only research, but actually walk it from corner to corner so you really know what your getting. It can be worth the plane ticket. Good luck and happy property hunting.