Colorado land is a great investment for individuals and companies. The natural beauty of the land and the opportunity for income generation make land ownership attractive to all types of buyers. Understanding the complexities of location, geography, land type, zoning, water rights, mineral rights, land uses and taxes intimidate many potential land buyers. There are legal and practical considerations to consider before proceeding with investing in land.
Legal and General Plan
A county or city government drafts a general plan for their vision of their town or county land. The general plan outlines acceptable land developments to protect the best interest of the residents. The general plan includes details about the maximum density of an area and economic and environmental impacts.
Each land parcel is zoned by a committee who follows the general plan for guidance. Zoning can include categories such as: Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Agricultural/ Rural, Combination, or Historic. The zoning helps determine how a piece of land can be developed and improved. A farming community zoned as rural would not want high rise condos and a suburban community would not permit a poultry farm next to the elementary school.
Type of Title/Deed
In addition to zoning land buyers must understand the type of ownership they will have. Any water rights, mineral rights, easements, and environmental restrictions (like wetlands) affects how the land can be improved. Irrigation, building a structure, and adding utilities might be prohibited. Most lots are sold as surface deeds and do not have mineral rights. If oil is extracted from the land, the mineral rights owner strikes it rich, not the surface owner.
The geography and previous developments to a land play another critical role in determining how a land can be used. An abundance of large boulders is an asset to a recreational land but a liability an orchard. Land for hunting must be much farther from town than land for a residential subdivision.
Choosing the Right Property
Listing agents use land types in the parcel description to assist buyers. The land type provides buyers with information about the possible usages for the plot. A person wanting to a home on 2 acres exclude hunting land from their search. Some properties have several land types listed because parcels are suited for more than one type of usage. Common combinations include Acreage/ Residential or Hunting/ Recreational.
The first step to buying land is identifying the ultimate purpose for the land. If the intent is to generate income from selling wood, look for timber land. Want to build a commercial site? Look for commercial land, development or retail land. A good agent helps find match the land to the owner.
Types of Land
These are smaller plots of land that may be part of a larger subdivision, but not always. These are for people who either plan to build a home themselves or hold on to the land on speculation. Be aware of off-grid or alternative energy. Utilities have not been added to the property yet. Research if the land can be connected to municipal water and sewage lines.
This land is probably near or in a town and a structure can be added to the land for a business or non-profit organization. Pick a place where the demographics and zoning are a good fit for the type of development planned.
Anything listed as hunting land means lots of acreage and far from a dense population. The lots often border parks, BLM land, forests, and land that is unlikely to be developed. Hunting Land is often combined with ranches and recreational land.
Timber land is in or near a forest and has lots of trees on it. The forest type trees may not be available for harvesting for profit. That depends on environmental impacts. Timber land can be combined with recreational land for fishing or adding a residence or lodge. Like hunting land, timber land is sold in large plots.
Water Front, River house, Aquaculture
These plots include or are adjacent to lakes or rivers.
Farm land may already have a farm on it, or it might just be land suitable for farming. It is common to see the keywords “farm” and “acreage” and “ranch” all describing one property. If a farm already exists the current farmer often lists details about the crops, animals and buildings.
There is a large variety of places listed as a ranch. They might have luxury homes, guest accommodations, or working cattle ranches. Ranch land is commonly sold as recreational land, fishing land, hunting land, or pasture land as well.
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When looking for land for sale in Colorado follow these three steps. Define the end usage, set a budget, find an agent who understands land types and sales, and start looking. Colorado still has a lot to offer land buyers, but good properties go quickly. If you are looking for land for sale in Colorado, contact the Colorado Dream House Team today!