How to Find Cheap Land in Colorado?

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How to Find Cheap Land in Colorado?

Bart Waldon

Colorado contains over 66 million acres of land with over 60 percent dedicated to agriculture. With rising land values across the state, finding affordable raw land in Colorado requires knowledge of current market conditions and creative deal making strategies. This guide covers proven tips for locating discounted land buying situations to take advantage of - whether seeking large acreage investment properties or smaller residential/recreational lots closer to civilization across this scenic Western state.

Overview of Colorado Land Market Dynamics

Colorado features diverse terrain offering Rocky Mountain vistas, expansive prairies, rich farmland plus abundant lakes and national forests. Driven by booming Front Range urban growth plus a thriving tourism/outdoors economy, certain land valuations soared up to 17 percent recently as high demand shrinks inventory. This creates opportunities for smart buyers targeting motivated sellers in distressed or inherited properties in overlooked markets. Our experienced land professionals utilize diverse tactics locating discounted parcels benefiting investment firms and individual purchasers alike.

Check Areas with Depressed Pricing

While Denver, Boulder, Fort Collins and other Front Range economic centers with proximity to ski resorts, trails and waterfront sustain peak land pricing levels, not everywhere flourishes equally. Western Colorado areas traditionally reliant on coal mining and agriculture endure market stagnation from broader industry changes - allowing buyers capitalizing on uncertainty despite infrastructure/redevelopment potential.

Target rural counties fighting population drain with outdated housing plus commercial stock requiring upgrades to support moderns Standards of living and doing business. Where economic clouds linger, silver linings exist for opportunistic land investors willing putting forth visionary efforts revitalizing communities struggling attracting younger residents and new industries long-term. This contra-flow approach rewards those spotting diamonds in the rough.

Search for Distressed “Motivated Seller” Situations

Inherited properties now burdensome for multiple siblings to manage often compel quick sales despite market run ups. High inheritance tax obligations also strain families rushing deals to raise fast capital for bill payments. Meanwhile disputing heirs may push decisively settling matters if land/housing fails generating sufficient rental income anymore. Targeting these emotionally complicated scenarios produces lucrative deals.

Foreclosures and court judgments also pressures owners unloading undeveloped land well under value to raise urgent cash for mounting expenses. Liens from unpaid property taxes further necessitates distressed sales - if owners cannot afford making delinquent tax payments current again. Researching public records on overdue taxes, underwater mortgages and property dispute filings uncovers ideal potential deals.

Check Adjacent Lot Owners Interested Consolidating/Expanding

Sometimes contiguous tract owners wish enlarging existing footprint at favorable terms. Approaching site neighbors exploring win-win land sell-offs or mergers leveraging inside opportunity advantages makes sense. Pre-emptively negotiating deals this way fast-tracks favorable terms compared encountering consolidated multi-parcel listings drawing open public bidding competition. Think creatively.

Partner With Contractors Needing Storage/Processing Space

Construction companies might offer buying land outright or sharing sale proceeds down the line should their storage/ staging needs expire. Temporary leaseback deals allowing firms storing machinery/ materials or using sites for manufacturing outputs like gravel, concrete and lumber might defer property carrying costs if projects require relocation eventually. Explore possibilities.

Target Old Listings Lacking Bid Activity

Check dated property listings showing no changes for months. Contact agents of long-unsold land learning why traction stalled. Perhaps recent upgrades/development in surrounding areas warrants revisiting pricing. Could new highway accesses reduce previous access disadvantages? Sellers with unsuccessful marketing runs tend growing anxious, increasing sales flexibility if new buyer enthusiasm rekindles negotiations.

Ask listing brokers about any property flaws limiting appeal. Keep open mind about remedial solutions – like rezoning/variance changes opening possibilities. Maybe you see outdoor advertising billboard potential along a newly expanded highway where a seller just saw road noise decades back. Think outside boxes.

Submit Creative Backup Cash Offers on Popular Parcels

Even hot properties linger months should front running deals collapse. Savvy buyers with patience and preparation submit contingency “backup” bids should prior contract attempts face snags. Attractive rural recreational or barn dominium development lands drawing bidding wars still might shake loose should complex financing terms or inspection issues trip up hopeful purchasers unable fulfilling demands.

Ask listing brokers about highest comparable sales in preferred neighborhoods should enticing listings accept backups. If outbid recently at absolute top dollar ranges on a gem property, consider floating a strong Plan B option representing attractive liquidity and flexibility on reasonable terms limiting headaches sellers face should prior frontrunning arrangements somehow fail to materialize as planned.

Partner With Investors Seeking Buildable Land

Share acquisition costs then split merged large parcels into smaller segmented buildable plots. Bring civil engineering and site planning experience with investors providing capital resources to secure bigger discounted tracts. Then carve divided properties to target single home construction developers, self-building buyers and mobile home community project planners. Adding access roads, utilities and infrastructure multiplies land valuations when smaller finished lots sell/lease individually.

Colorado offers affordable property buys despite some localized real estate boom pressure thanks tapping insider negotiating tactics. Act confidently approaching deals through proper research, evaluations and comparable value benchmarking - while emphasizing flexibility accommodating ownership priorities maximizing land utility. With savvy plus structured creativity, this advice positions securing legacy family assets or strategic investment growth properties - even plots easily subdivided for residential and storage development down the line should markets shift again. Good luck deal hunting!

Final Thoughts

Despite some booming Front Range metro markets showing signs of overheating, opportunities remain finding attractively discounted land buys across Colorado’s diverse landscape for both smaller recreational use and more expansive investment holdings. Utilizing insider strategies like targeting lesser known rural zones exhibiting economic uncertainty, exploring partnerships with contiguous owners or nearby project developers and submitting backup offers on popular listings provides creative avenues securing budget property deals with patience and preparation. Of course, acting quickly once identifying motivated seller scenarios spells success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Colorado counties show most signs of struggling economically to focus real estate investment search efforts?

Traditional coal mining and agricultural areas like Moffat, Rio Blanco, Las Animas and Baca counties with declining opportunities show population declines and outdated building inventory necessitating modernization investments. Purchasing land for interim lease use or future improvement often rewards those willing putting forth visionary efforts revitalizing communities fighting perceptions of fading relevance.

Should I make initial full price offers on Colorado land listings that interest me or start lower expecting negotiation room?

Making initial offers at least 10-15% under listing prices allows buffer room increasing bid levels should seller counters signal motivation engaging realistic offers while also allowing stretch upward mobility should you need match competing bid dynamics reported by the selling agent. Of course carefully comping recent sales sets baseline guidance.

What specific strategies work best for contacting owners of adjacent land I am interested in trying to purchase for merger/expansion purposes?

Beyond introducing yourself in neighborly good faith, emphasize win-win flexibility accommodating their unique ownership wishes while seeking permission paying for professional land survey, segmentation, and permit approvals upfront establishing exactly how merged additional acreage might increase utility for their intents long term once transferred. Being solutions focused eases doubts.

If my offer gets declined after property inspection uncovers issues, is there still hope securing the land deal?

Renegotiating purchase prices downward according potential remediation costs discovered or requesting seller corrections prior closing might continue possibilities keeping deals alive - especially if you request re-inspections after major fixes completed certifying resolutions adequately dealing with deficiencies initially uncovered. Sellers knowing you already invested site evaluations and still stand willing are more apt leaving doors open.

What specific strategies work well offering motivated sellers flexible deal terms compared to possibly rigid institutional financing requirements?

Proposing speedy cash closings skipping burdensome red tape while requiring less deposit commitments offers certainty of sale many stressed owners need. Additionally structuring higher price compensation through creative installment payout terms gives sellers flexible cash flow without lump burden. Assuring access for temporary occupancy after settlement until fuller relocation or liquidation plan finalizations also provides security.

About The Author

Bart Waldon

Bart, co-founder of Land Boss with wife Dallas Waldon, boasts over half a decade in real estate. With 100+ successful land transactions nationwide, his expertise and hands-on approach solidify Land Boss as a leading player in land investment.


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