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You’ve Decided to Settle. Now What?

Baby Alligator. Ok, Now what?
Image from Duck, Duck, Go

Now that you’ve decided to settle, it is time to ask yourself some additional questions that will enable you to develop a plan for your property. Sections of this guide will touch on each of these subjects and more.

  • What do I want to do with my property? Will its size support my plans?
  • What legal and/or deed restrictions apply to my property?
  • What is the zoning classification of my property located? What are the permitted uses of this classification?
  • Have I acquired the proper building permits and determined if there are any local regulations that affect my property?
  • What easements are attached to my property (conservation, roads, trails, utility lines, irrigation ditches, other)?
  • Who owns the access road to my property?
  • Is the access road to my home wide and tall enough to handle large vehicles, such as fire engines and heavy construction equipment?
  • Is my homesite so steep that access roads and driveways may be difficult to use when icy or muddy? Will my homesite be prone to drifting snow?
  • Is the soil on my property stable enough for construction? Does it tend to shrink or swell? Is it corrosive to metal or concrete? Is my soil good for growing vegetation?
  • How will sewage be disposed of from my home (septic or city water)?
  • If I plan to build, have I considered using fire-resistant construction materials?
  • If I plan to purchase my home, has it been properly maintained?
  • Is radon present in my soil?
  • How will my drinking water be supplied (well or city water)? Is it safe to drink?
  • What does it mean to be a “Good Neighbor” in the mountains?
  • Do I own any water or mineral rights on my land?
  • Do I have noxious weeds on my land?
  • How healthy is the rangeland and/or forest on my property? Should I seek advice on managing these resources?
  • Do I live within the boundaries of a fire district? If not, are additional fire protection fees assessed in the event of a fire?
  • How safe is my home from wildfire? Will I be able to acquire fire insurance coverage for my home?
  • What do I need to know about drought?
  • What species of wildlife use my property? Is there anything I should do to improve habitat quality?
  • Can I grow a garden up here? If so, what will grow?
  • Do I want livestock? Is that a good idea?
  • What do healthy soils look like and why should I care?
  • Other Important Questions to Ask Yourself:  CSU Extension’s “Purchasing Rural Property in CO” Questionnaire:


References: 1, 2, 9

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