Free and cheap land in Colorado!

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Canon Land & Investment

I list and sell a lot of vacant Colorado land including Otero, Custer, Pueblo, Fremont and Hufanno counties. And I get a decent amount of e-mail requests for "cheap" land. People lookng for good deals seen to think that we're giving away land here - it ain't so! Let me tell you why:

Let's start off with the sellers. Most sellers purchased their land with cash, which means they own the land free and clear. On occasion you hear of somebody financing property but that is rare. And if the seller is financing the property they most likely, but no always, put down 20% or more. And sellers aren't bleeding money. In many, many cases large acreages (40 acres or more) do not have huge tax bills. It's not unusual in these areas to see taxes for around $25 per year. One listing I have the taxes are under $10 and no H.O.A. fees.

Wells, water, streams, creeks, ponds and other sources of water are RARE! (Same for trees) You are in the Rocky Mountains and we are in almost constant drought conditions. Also, just because there is water on the property doesn't mean you own it. Actually, odds are better that YOU DON'T OWN THE WATER! And water rights can be sold. So that pond over there isn't yours, your kids, cattle, horse or other critters - you may not use it. People get shot, go to jail or at the very least get fined for using water that isn't their property. Don't believe me? Google the local sheriff and ask!

Also, you have to have a minimum of 35 acres in order to dig a well. A well can cost you $7000 to start and the prices go up from there depending on the soil. And there is no guarantee that the driller will get water. If you have under 35 acres you better check to see where your water might be coming from. Buyers are responsible for registering wells.

Say you find an odd 5 or 10 acre parcel for sale. You can't dig for water, you can't use the stream, is there water at the street? Most likely you will be hauling or paying somebody to haul it. There's nothing wrong with that, you just need to know. And if there happens to be a well on it don't assume it will aways be available - you gotta register it.

So are sellers beggin me to sell their properties for super-duper cheap? No, no lately.

Buyers, If you find a property that you like, it has some source of water, maybe it has views - buy it! If I call you and say "it's a steal" I might be referring to the seller's motivation in selling the property. Their motivation may have nothing to do with the land itself but their personal situation where they are now.

I've sold two pieces of property in the last year that were "fire sales" that is to say, the sellers asked me to sell the land as fast as possible. They needed the money in their hands immediately. I ended up apologizing to both for the low amount that they were offered and yet both were grateful to have the cash in hand.

These sellers and their situation are rare, but they do come up. When they come up be polite, the sellers need the money but still need to hold on to their self respect.

People are looking for good deals seem to think we're giving away land in Colorado - it ain't so! But do your homework and listen to your Realtor and you just might find a deal!

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Sonja Patterson
RE/MAX Realty Center - Cypress, TX
Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou

Dena, your title caught my I know there's no such thing as cheap land in CO. It is SO beautiful...and beauty has its price, right?? :)  I'm glad you were able to help out your clients who needed to sell quickly! 

Nov 07, 2009 08:32 PM #1
Guy Thomas
WR Starkey Mortgage - Colorado Springs, CO

Dena, I was born and raised in Colo. Springs.  In college I met a girl from the Boston area who was under the impression that we wstill had occasional battles with the Indians.  And when that wasn't going on we took the skis whicdh wwere strapped to our backs and went skiing.  Ah, perception. Admittedly, that was almost 40 years ago so she wasn't that far off.  haha


Good article with information that any buyer needs to know that they need to know. You are right, use a good realtor.

Nov 07, 2009 08:37 PM #2
Mary Douglas
United Country Ponderosa Realty, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado - Red Feather Lakes, CO
REALTOR, Red Feather Lakes, Colorado

Dena, I liked your post very much!  You gave me a great idea for a post, too!  Thanks, Dena!

Nov 07, 2009 09:02 PM #3
Dena Stevens
Century 21 Canon Land & Investment - Canon City, CO
Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004

Sonja, maybe I will write another post about how cheap some land here is, in my opinion. There are some areas that for $100 you can buy the equivalent of a city lot. There's no road to get there, no water and plenty of cow patties ~  but none the less cheap.

Guy, you reminded me of how I felt when I moved to Denver at age 18. I also thought the ski lifts were pretty close to the air port and that there would be John Denver music piped into the streets. I was very naive. And I do battle with an Indian (Native American) his name is George and he's a pin head - but that's another story :)

Mary, you are a constant inspiration to me as well as a wonderful example of a blogger!

Nov 08, 2009 10:13 AM #4
Diane Rice
Diane Rice, Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL - South Holland, IL

My goodness!  I felt like i've just taken a class!  Good rude awakening info here!

Nov 28, 2009 02:35 PM #5
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Dena Stevens

Putting The Real Into Realtor Since 2004
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