Unfortunately, dealing with certain kinds of professionals that can rip your teeth out, make you bleed, and rob you blind, just seems like an evil fact of life.*
During our travels we’ve seen tons of great properaty listings, but we’ve never walked into a real estate office to learn more. Recently though, we got up the nerve to do just that, after learning that our neighbor’s daughter works for a Lake City broker. Thinking, “how bad could it be if we have an in with a local?” we went in.
We heard there was a 40 acre property just north of town, for sale at $200k, an unheard of price here. When we got to the office, we learned the property was actually listed at $299k, which is way over our cash-only budget, but still closer to it than anything we’ve seen for that many acres of western Colorado mountain property, with water rights.
We asked the agent if we could see it anyways (not mentioning that only a winning lotto ticket would give us a chance to buy it).
“Oh sorry, you’d have to cross private property, only I can take you there,” he said.
Getting Taken for a Ride
Great. We gritted our teeth and got into his truck. After some small talk, he actually didn’t seem like too much of a scheister. As we drove to the property, he quickly informed us that 1) the property can’t be divided, 2) it’s only accessible by 4-wheel drive, and 3) you need to build a bridge to get to the only building site.
Scratch that “bargain” off the list.
The trip wasn’t a total waste of time though. After we came clean with our budget, the agent gave us a good reality check on what we can, and can’t afford to buy in Western Colorado.
Our Property Search: Another Reality Check
In a nutshell, thanks to the influx of wealthy retirees in the region, we just don’t have enough cash to buy the amount of land, with the kind of amenities and zoning, that we want. Period.
A mortgage is not an option. Not just because no bank would be crazy enough to lend to two homeless people without a real income, but because one of our biggest goals is to stay away from the shackles of a mortgage and debt. As much as we want to live in Colorado, we aren’t ready to sacrifice our freedom to do it.
I’m not discouraged though. I think this means we’re making progress in narrowing things down.
After considering some areas we can afford, I accept the fact that we’re likely going to be sacrificing some of our “requirements,” and buying land in a place where we’ll either freeze our cans off in winter, or sit around sweating buckets in summer.