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Old 03-07-2011, 07:43 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,828 times
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I was researching farmland in alamosa with possibility of buying it. Where can I get information about specific pieces of land with respect to access to water/electricity? What are the different things that can be grown over there? Also, as far as assessed values go, are they pretty good indicators of what price to pay in the area.
Thanks in advance
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:52 PM
 
20,307 posts, read 37,790,850 times
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That land down there is virtually worthless; desert-like, scrubby, frigidly cold in winter, very hot in summer. Water is scarce and is fought over in court all the time. Do not be taken in by land swindlers who'll tell you anything to get your money. Don't be a sucker.

There is farming down there, a lot of it potato farming, but it requires costly irrigation equipment and access to water rights.

Most people buy land down there for hunting retreats or to hide away from the world on their 5 or 40 acre "farmettes."

Use our search tool with keywords like "San Luis Valley" or SLV to see the existing threads on this topic, which contain a great deal of data.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:19 PM
 
9,816 posts, read 19,017,909 times
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Alamosa is one of the driest parts of CO, in a state that is already relatively dry. Without irrigation this is land that would not be farmed in a million years.

Without water rights, you are screwed. I echo Mike's statement to beware anything any real estate agent tells you. I would source a good lawyer at a minimum to ensure what water rights you hold on the land.

There are quite a few places in Colorado that have been subdivided into farmettes of 40 acres or so. Usually the pictures given are hazy and contrasted all to hell with a vague view of snowcapped mountains. And dreamy people will rush out and buy land without really researching it at all. The reality for most of these places is no water, no services and dry, flat scrubland that is a blowtorch in summer and a frigid wasteland in winter.
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Old 03-08-2011, 02:20 AM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,139,178 times
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Do not rely upon any real estate agent's representations about a piece of property there.

If it's being sold as a working farm, insist upon getting farm production records and proof of current water rights and delivery records over the past few years.

Tour the property under consideration in person, and verify all of the information for yourself before spending any money or making any offer. IF the property is a "ranchette" in a subdivision, this is especially important. Keep in mind that water, including domestic water rights and availability ... is everything. Verify that you've got it with a property ... and if you are looking at needing to put in a well, be all the more suspicious. Just because a neighboring parcel has a producing well doesn't mean you'll have any water on your property.
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Old 03-08-2011, 08:30 AM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,095,377 times
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The only farmers in the San Luis Valley that make a good living are the large-scale farmers, most of whom have been farming there for generations. They have the prime land, senior water rights or pumping rights, along with the knowhow of producing the crops that will grow in a high-altitude valley with about a 110-130 day growing season. These days that is mostly barley, potatoes, and alfalfa hay. When I say "large scale," I mean a minimum of 160 acres up to a couple of thousand.

Be aware, too, that in order to comply with interstate water compacts, approximately 25% of the land irrigated by well in the San Luis Valley will have to be "dried up" in the next 10 years, rendering that land nearly worthless.

As far any agricultural activity goes, the 40 acre "ranchettes" in the SLV are nothing more than a scam and a money pit. Any real estate agent that says otherwise is a liar. The old Colorado adage holds true here, "Want to have a small fortune from farming or ranching in Colorado?" "Start with a big fortune."

Also, assessed values for land classified by the assessor as agricultural have no direct relation with market value--that land is valued using an income formula specified by the state. Read here:

http://dola.colorado.gov/dpt/publications/docs/brochures/2011Agricultural%20Property%20Brochure.pdf (broken link)
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Old 03-08-2011, 09:58 AM
 
Location: CO/UT/AZ/NM Catch me if you can!
4,253 posts, read 3,951,390 times
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What everyone else has already said. I get both amused and irritated when I see those glossy ads for land in the San Luis Valley. Forbes Trinchera is infamous in my mind for putting out totally mis-leading information on the SLV. You are going to have to be totally dedicated to raise so much as a family vegetable garden there. The SLV is a high, cold DESERT. Water rights have been the subject of many a legal dispute there. Go and check it out in person before signing any contract with a realtor.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:32 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,828 times
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Thank you very much for all the information posted. This has made me more prudent.
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Old 03-10-2011, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,102 posts, read 20,348,297 times
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They are now home to the most expensive land in the country.

This is from the Denver Post:


One of the poorest counties in Colorado is now home to the most expensive property in the nation.
The Forbes family confirmed Tuesday that it had sold the Trinchera Ranch in Costilla County to Louis Moore Bacon, a noted environmental conservationist and the founder, chairman and principal investment manager of Moore Capital Management.

Read more: Conservationist buys state's biggest ranch - The Denver Post Conservationist buys state's biggest ranch - The Denver Post
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Old 03-10-2011, 06:03 PM
 
10,869 posts, read 41,139,178 times
Reputation: 14009
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
They are now home to the most expensive land in the country.
This is from the Denver Post:


One of the poorest counties in Colorado is now home to the most expensive property in the nation.
The Forbes family confirmed Tuesday that it had sold the Trinchera Ranch in Costilla County to Louis Moore Bacon, a noted environmental conservationist and the founder, chairman and principal investment manager of Moore Capital Management.

Read more: Conservationist buys state's biggest ranch - The Denver Post Conservationist buys state's biggest ranch - The Denver Post
That's an incredibly misleading inference by you as well as statement by an ignorant Denver Post writer.

The land sold as a tract at slightly over $1,000 per acre, which is a very cheap price for land most anywhere in Colorado. It's not capable of supporting that price with the limited productivity of that land, either. It's only "value" was that it was a large tract available in one purchase ... if you've been to this property in the winter, you'd know how inhospitable a place it is.

Just because it was a sizable land package in one purchase doesn't make it "expensive", even when you're seeing a total purchase price in the millions. It's still cheap land ...
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Old 04-22-2011, 04:47 PM
 
318 posts, read 738,480 times
Reputation: 206
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
That land down there is virtually worthless; desert-like, scrubby, frigidly cold in winter, very hot in summer. Water is scarce and is fought over in court all the time. Do not be taken in by land swindlers who'll tell you anything to get your money. Don't be a sucker.

There is farming down there, a lot of it potato farming, but it requires costly irrigation equipment and access to water rights.

Most people buy land down there for hunting retreats or to hide away from the world on their 5 or 40 acre "farmettes."

Use our search tool with keywords like "San Luis Valley" or SLV to see the existing threads on this topic, which contain a great deal of data.
Exactly. I live there. This place sucks. Somehow, the typical selling prices for this crapland have virtually doubled in the last decade--my dad (who miraculously did the whole building his own house thing AND survived the winters) bought his 5 acres for $3500 free and clear; now the same kinds of properties are selling for $7k+.


Anyway, you don't want to come here. They don't tell you about:

1. The lack of ANYTHING to do. There is:
an overpriced movie theatre
A Bowling alley
A Walmart
A Big R store
An Aco store
A JC Penny catalogue store (it's like the size of a Family Dollar)
An insanely overpriced thrift store (When's the last time you paid $40 for a BROKEN 13" TV or $80 for USED basketball shoes?)
A Maurices
A Great Clips
A Payless
I think there's still a movie store
2 Chinese restaurants (one is DISGUSTING, MaWas is alright)
A handful of dive bars
I think there's a Japanese restaurants
A Chilis
A McDonalds, Wendys, Arbys, BK, KFC, Taco Bell, and Sonic
A Pizza Hut
A Dominos
A Safeway (waaay overpriced)
A City Market (Walmart has cheaper groceries, though)
A Walgreens

And that's about it.

2. The crazy ass wind
3. The COLD
4. How dry the cold is.
5. The fact that if you're a farmer, you'll need water. You'll need workers. People will talk so much SH* about you you'll feel like a prostitute living in the Vatican. Seriously.

Don't come here if you can avoid it. Seriously.
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