So You Want To Buy Some Vacant Land
Agents get calls all the time from people who want to buy vacant land. With the economic down turn it is a great time to buy land. Walt Whitman is credited as saying “buy land they aren’t making any more”
A few things to consider before you start looking for vacant unimproved land:
- The seller probably owns it out right. It’s possible they have a mortgage but, around Southern Colorado many people paid cash. If they own the property outright they may or may-not be desperate to sell. Just because it’s vacant land doesn’t mean the sellers going to give it away.
- Assessed value and market value are NOT the same thing. If the assessed value is to high somebody is paying to much in taxes.
- If you want things like utilities,water, paved roads and cell phone service you need to look closer to town, expect an Home Owners Association and expect to pay more to have these services already provided.
- Ask right off the bat if there is an HOA involved. This will make a HUGE difference ex specially if you want to camp, ride ATV’s, have fire pits, hunt, target practice or fence the property.
- Trees, Views, Open Space demand a higher price. Just like anything else it’s about supply and demand.
- Don’t expect the owner to carry your financing. Have the money or have a loan ready to go.
- The animals were here first! That might include bears, mountain lions, skunks and other animals that can do harm to you, your pets and the property.
- If you want cheap land to ride ATV’s, hunt, target practice go way, way, way out of town. Look for land that isn’t being grazied or farmed. Odds are better of getting a good price the more difficult the land is to access.
- Water rights can be sold separately in Colorado. Just because there is water running on the property doesn’t mean it’s yours. Use the water and prepare to go to jail and be fined heavily. Colorado is a dry state, we take water VERY SERIOUS.
- Corners may or may not be pinned (marked) and the seller may or may not know where the corners are. Base your offer on whether or not you want to know where the corners are. In developed areas you can usually walk up and see the pins. In Pueblo West the pins are covered by 30 years of dirt. Be prepared to pay somebody to find the pins for you. Finding the corners is part of the buyers responsibility if he wants to know where they are.
- Want land near BLM – so does everybody else. And just because the land is next to near BLM, check first before using the land. There is a possibility that the BLM has leased the land.
- Check to see if you can get insurance. Some properties are going to be exceedingly difficult to insure because they are no where near a fire department.
- Call the local sheriff just to be sure you know what you are getting yourself into. Some properties are far enough away that the sheriff won’t or can’t get to you if you need help.
These are just suggestions. Every property is going to have it’s own set of circumstances. Ask a lot of questions, be prepared and trust your agent.
Dena Stevens Putting the ‘real’ into REALTOR since 2004
Feel free to contact me if you want to buy or sell your real property!