BOULDER – Sure, you want a beautiful view and a serene setting. But if you’re thinking of escaping the density and noise of town for some peaceful country life with a little space, there are a number of other factors to consider when choosing a rural property.
Paved roads verses dirt roads – Some folks find dirt roads charming while others just find them messy. Horse owners like dirt roads for riding. In general, you will have less traffic on dirt roads.
Shared lanes – Some properties are located on shared private lanes. Usually the properties on these lanes have legal agreements that indicate who owns what, who is responsible for what and how maintenance is handled. While some people do not want a property off a shared lane, others prefer it (as opposed to their own long driveway) as maintenance costs are split.
Easements – Several country properties have easements, such as conservation or vehicle easements. These may affect how the property can be used.
Boundary issues – A few properties have funky boundary issues and histories, especially ones that have not been sold in a long time. Usually these aren’t a problem, but need to be addressed before a sale can go through.
Mineral rights – A small amount of rural properties, usually large ones, have sold their mineral rights to a third party. You’ll want to confirm who owns them on a property you’re considering.
Water rights and wells – Even if a property is connected to a local water supplier, it may also have wells and/or water shares through ditch companies which can be used for property irrigation. These additional water sources are valuable and make maintaining your landscaping (and if you have them, fields) much less expensive.
Septic systems – Boulder county is in the process of ensuring all septic systems are permitted and up to current standards. Some older properties do not conform to current regulations and changes have to be made before a property can be purchased. These changes are usually the responsibility of the seller, but should be addressed early on in the purchase process so as not to delay the closing or derail the sale.
Building codes – They’re different than city ones though just as confusing – maybe even more so! Total allowable square footage is also calculated differently. You’ll want to know what this is before buying a property if you’re thinking of doing an addition.
Zoning – It’s good to know what you and your neighbors can and cannot do in the future.
Loan requirements – If you’re buying a property with 10 acres or more of land, the loan requirements are different.
Karen is the owner and managing broker of KL Realty, and has more than 29 years of experience in the Boulder County real estate market. Contact Karen at KL Realty, call 303.444.3177, e-mail [email protected] or visit klrealty.net.
By Karen Libin, KL Realty