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Old 02-20-2019, 11:46 AM
 
4,729 posts, read 2,402,416 times
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Online images, especially those provided in the For Sale ad, probably will omit the very things a buyer needs to know about. Google Earth may or may not provide enough info on “hmmmm” items, either.

Real-life example from a property I looked at:

The price was a mere $69k for 40 acres with a stunning view of nearby peaks. Surrounded by BLM land and one or two private properties. I met with my RE agent, the seller, and the seller’s neighbor. That last made me go, Hmmmm. The reason he accompanied us was that he knew the for-sale land like the back of his hand. The owner did not, and it turned out she also did not know what the terms ROW and easement meant. The land even included a water tap ($7300 for the water co-op membership plus tap fee) that had been paid for but not installed.

The views were indeed breathtaking. So was the previously unmentioned presence of a deep, wide gully between the road frontage and nearly the entire parcel. We would have needed to build a bridge sturdy enough for construction equipment to go over, IF such a bridge were feasible.

In addition to the gully, the reason WHY the gully existed was shown by the car we drove past on the way there. The car was buried in washed-down dirt, above its axles. It appeared to have been abandoned. My hunch is that seasonal monsoons slam the gorgeous peaks and then send a flash flood to the surrounding lower land.

Third, the neighbor kept talking about how “we all ride our ATVs all over here,” including the for-sale parcel, accessing it via another neighbor’s property which “we could probably buy an easement for”. Which he probably wouldn’t sell unless we allowed continued trespass on the parcel, would be my guess. The guy said he would buy the land himself if he could afford it. These two conditions signalled (a) Lots of noise around and even ON our own property, and (b) Neighbors who probably begrudge someone else having the ability to buy something they want and cannot afford. Neither of these boded well, not to mention the flash-flood setting. While our guide was courteous and helpful, he was also definitely sniffing out whether we would kowtow to Doing What We Always Did even if it violates someone’s property rights.

I made the executive decision (ha ha) to pass on buying the land. The price dropped as it sat unsold, but then it went up to $79k and someone from out of state bought it, probably sight unseen, wowed by the photos of the view.

So here was this low-priced parcel with views, a paid water tap fee, and relatively light building-related codes. However, there was just this little problem of actually constructing a home on it. Maybe the new owners intend to use it for camping and hunting...
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:24 PM
 
8,749 posts, read 7,724,078 times
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Rule of thumb when buying rural land parcels: If it is real cheap, there is a big problem it has been priced so low. It should have a big sign when posted for sale over the Internet: BEWARE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Online images, especially those provided in the For Sale ad, probably will omit the very things a buyer needs to know about. Google Earth may or may not provide enough info on “hmmmm” items, either.

Real-life example from a property I looked at:

The price was a mere $69k for 40 acres with a stunning view of nearby peaks. Surrounded by BLM land and one or two private properties. I met with my RE agent, the seller, and the seller’s neighbor. That last made me go, Hmmmm. The reason he accompanied us was that he knew the for-sale land like the back of his hand. The owner did not, and it turned out she also did not know what the terms ROW and easement meant. The land even included a water tap ($7300 for the water co-op membership plus tap fee) that had been paid for but not installed.

The views were indeed breathtaking. So was the previously unmentioned presence of a deep, wide gully between the road frontage and nearly the entire parcel. We would have needed to build a bridge sturdy enough for construction equipment to go over, IF such a bridge were feasible.

In addition to the gully, the reason WHY the gully existed was shown by the car we drove past on the way there. The car was buried in washed-down dirt, above its axles. It appeared to have been abandoned. My hunch is that seasonal monsoons slam the gorgeous peaks and then send a flash flood to the surrounding lower land.

Third, the neighbor kept talking about how “we all ride our ATVs all over here,” including the for-sale parcel, accessing it via another neighbor’s property which “we could probably buy an easement for”. Which he probably wouldn’t sell unless we allowed continued trespass on the parcel, would be my guess. The guy said he would buy the land himself if he could afford it. These two conditions signalled (a) Lots of noise around and even ON our own property, and (b) Neighbors who probably begrudge someone else having the ability to buy something they want and cannot afford. Neither of these boded well, not to mention the flash-flood setting. While our guide was courteous and helpful, he was also definitely sniffing out whether we would kowtow to Doing What We Always Did even if it violates someone’s property rights.

I made the executive decision (ha ha) to pass on buying the land. The price dropped as it sat unsold, but then it went up to $79k and someone from out of state bought it, probably sight unseen, wowed by the photos of the view.

So here was this low-priced parcel with views, a paid water tap fee, and relatively light building-related codes. However, there was just this little problem of actually constructing a home on it. Maybe the new owners intend to use it for camping and hunting...
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Old 02-20-2019, 12:46 PM
 
473 posts, read 223,287 times
Reputation: 715
Quote:
Originally Posted by pikabike View Post
Online images, especially those provided in the For Sale ad, probably will omit the very things a buyer needs to know about. Google Earth may or may not provide enough info on “hmmmm” items, either.

Real-life example from a property I looked at:

The price was a mere $69k for 40 acres with a stunning view of nearby peaks. Surrounded by BLM land and one or two private properties. I met with my RE agent, the seller, and the seller’s neighbor. That last made me go, Hmmmm. The reason he accompanied us was that he knew the for-sale land like the back of his hand. The owner did not, and it turned out she also did not know what the terms ROW and easement meant. The land even included a water tap ($7300 for the water co-op membership plus tap fee) that had been paid for but not installed.

The views were indeed breathtaking. So was the previously unmentioned presence of a deep, wide gully between the road frontage and nearly the entire parcel. We would have needed to build a bridge sturdy enough for construction equipment to go over, IF such a bridge were feasible.

In addition to the gully, the reason WHY the gully existed was shown by the car we drove past on the way there. The car was buried in washed-down dirt, above its axles. It appeared to have been abandoned. My hunch is that seasonal monsoons slam the gorgeous peaks and then send a flash flood to the surrounding lower land.

Third, the neighbor kept talking about how “we all ride our ATVs all over here,” including the for-sale parcel, accessing it via another neighbor’s property which “we could probably buy an easement for”. Which he probably wouldn’t sell unless we allowed continued trespass on the parcel, would be my guess. The guy said he would buy the land himself if he could afford it. These two conditions signalled (a) Lots of noise around and even ON our own property, and (b) Neighbors who probably begrudge someone else having the ability to buy something they want and cannot afford. Neither of these boded well, not to mention the flash-flood setting. While our guide was courteous and helpful, he was also definitely sniffing out whether we would kowtow to Doing What We Always Did even if it violates someone’s property rights.

I made the executive decision (ha ha) to pass on buying the land. The price dropped as it sat unsold, but then it went up to $79k and someone from out of state bought it, probably sight unseen, wowed by the photos of the view.

So here was this low-priced parcel with views, a paid water tap fee, and relatively light building-related codes. However, there was just this little problem of actually constructing a home on it. Maybe the new owners intend to use it for camping and hunting...
Excellent synopsis and everyone should read this who is thinking about moving to a "nice remote location with awesome views" (Blanca/SLV anyone??)

Unfortunately CO. is the "hip place to be" so many people move here without jobs, a clue, or expecting a utopia without having to work for it.

Thus we have the increasing homelessness in every city, RV's parked all over the place in un-approved spots etc...

Maybe another nice place will be "discovered" soon- we can hope it is NOT in CO.
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Old 02-20-2019, 01:15 PM
 
4,729 posts, read 2,402,416 times
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I also looked at a different parcel that was also priced low. That one was landlocked, with an easement through a neighbor’s parcel. Unfortunately, the neighbor would only allow a narrow driveway just wide enough for a car, not wide enough for utility lines and not wide enough to satisfy the minimum for fire engine access. The latter meant insurance rates would be extremely high, among other things.

The neighbor COULD have worked out a wider easement “if the price was right” with the seller. However, only the seller could do this—not a prospective buyer. The neighbor said they “laughed at” the amount the seller offered for a wider easement. I got the distinct impression that the neighbor was holding the sale hostage, to force the price down enough that THEY could buy it for their gigantic brood to build homes on.

And, much later, they did indeed buy it for a really low price. The out-of-state owner must have gotten tired of playing the game.

BTW, someone else we later met who had looked at the same property said they got exactly the same impression of what was going on.

So there is yet another reason to tread very carefully, even if you see the land in person. Look up any easements, covenants, or other difficulties that the For Sale photos do not reveal.
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Old 02-20-2019, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Southern Colorado
3,157 posts, read 1,583,388 times
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Why the Colorado forum?
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Old 02-20-2019, 10:36 PM
 
4,729 posts, read 2,402,416 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoGuy View Post
Why the Colorado forum?
You know why.

Yes, the advice applies to other states. But the land described, my experiences, and the recent flood of questions about buying rural land sight unseen all pertain to CO.
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Old Yesterday, 09:38 AM
 
20,607 posts, read 38,441,385 times
Reputation: 18583
Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoGuy View Post
Why the Colorado forum?
Going back almost 50 years, when I was back east, there were regular ads in Forbes magazine about the wonders of buying acreage in Colorado. I don't recall seeing land in other western states being offered for sale, but I do recall Forbes trying to sell (pimp?) land in Colorado. Of course there were awesome pictures of the high mountains which appealed to many easterners whose experience with 'mountains' were those sorry little lumps called the Alleghenies or Catskills. Malcolm Forbes sold a lot of crummy land in the SLV to suckers who bought sight unseen, and such scams still work today as gullible people plunk down a few thousand to buy a dream.

It's a bit disappointing to live in such an advanced first-world nation that allows 'operators' to fleece people so readily without much recourse, if any. Whether it's lousy land, or lousy stocks, or janky offshore gray market electronics, or ... or ... or ... there's a sucker born every minute, two to take him, and almost nowhere to turn to once you've been had. That's why I like this site, if you just keep asking questions, keep peeling back the layers, you can get a good shot at some genuine due diligence to avoid the pitfalls that ARE out there.
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Old Yesterday, 10:09 AM
 
45 posts, read 3,608 times
Reputation: 29
I think they're just marketing these stuff for the wrong people.

If they were approaching holidaymakers, outdoors people who just want to spend a time of the year there and doesn't need a job or to grow anything the area would be booming.

In Switzerland some alpine land would cost you $90,000 for 1/8 acre which is just ridiculous.
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Old Yesterday, 10:54 AM
 
83 posts, read 14,154 times
Reputation: 294
One more thing to consider.


That deep, wide gully that runs alongside the frontage road and only sees water during a 100 year event may be considered a navigable waterway under the Clean Water Act and may require a permit from the Corps of Engineers to modify (e.g., building abutments for a bridge).



I know there have been several lawsuits over the last several years pertaining to the Corps' definition of and jurisdiction over navigable waterways, which includes tributaries like dry arroyos, but it seems like it is hit or miss whether the courts will always side with the landowner. It just depends.
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Old Yesterday, 11:18 AM
 
473 posts, read 223,287 times
Reputation: 715
Old thread here but Melby Ranch is similar to Forbes Park- I drive by it quite a bit when we go to Taos.

A lot of those houses burned last summer and did not have insurance- because insurance is NOT available there due to no fire dept. close by.

35 acres in Melby Ranch, want to sell
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