By Ed Montgomery
If your goal is to purchase vacant land in the mountains you need to be aware of the risks and requirements, especially if you plan on building on the land in the future.
Your first step should be to decide what attributes you are looking for, this will include:
Location – Where in Park County you decide to purchase land can vary widely in price and availability.
Price Range – The prices per acre in Park County can vary widely as well. In some areas you can find land for less than $1,000 per acre, but prices can go as high as $60-70K for a buildable one acre lot in a prime location.
Lot Size – Much of your decision on how large of a lot you want to purchase will be driven by your price range. Generally if your intent is to build a home on the land you will need at least 1-2 acres to ensure that you have sufficient space for the home, a well, and septic system.
Financing – Most vacant land purchases are cash purchases, but there is financing available through some lenders for vacant land. Most will want 50% of the purchase price down, but there are a few that will finance with on 25% down. Check with your local lenders to see what they may offer. Another method for purchasing vacant land is to borrow money against your current home if you have sufficient equity.
Other issues you need to consider when buying vacant land:
Topography – This will not only include how much of a slope the property is on, but also if it has trees or vegetation. Vacant land that does not have trees or ground cover usually sells for considerably less in Park County. Many people desire land that has a stream, river, or pond. In Colorado finding a property with live water on it is rare, expensive, and requires a lot of patience to locate.
HOA/Covenants – If the area you have identified has a Home Owners Association make sure you review the covenants prior to making an offer.
Access to Utilities – If you plan on building on the land in the future make sure that utilities are available, especially electricity. Bringing electricity to an isolated area can be extremely expensive. If you are not sure contact the utility provider.
Zoning – Always check with Park County to ensure that the property allows for the use that you have in mind.
Survey – After you have a contract to purchase, if the property has not been surveyed it is always a good idea to have one performed to know where the property lines are located.
Engineering – After you have a contract to purchase I always advise my clients that intend to build on their vacant land to consult with an engineer. Have them perform a site visit to ensure that the property is buildable. This will cost you $500-$1,000 but could save you a lot headache and sleepless nights!
Legal Advice – As always get legal advice if you have any doubts during the purchase process.
Please contact Deer Creek Realty with any of your real estate needs.
Ed Montgomery, Broker Associate, Deer Creek Realty.