Get Away Land (Part 1, Buying Boonie Land)

I grew up in northern Maine.  It seems that every family has a “camp” or cabin that they can go to there.  My family has two.  B&A’s family has one.  We’re talking shotgun shacks in the middle of nowhere where you can play cards, hunt and read.  There’s really nothing like it.

Photo Credit: Bill Nixon

That doesn’t much happen in Colorado unless you have money.  Then you get a condo in Aspen and pay twice what I paid for my house for a place you can stay once a year.  Yeah, I’m not doing that.  It’s stupid.

My wife and I started looking for get away land in 2010.  We looked all over the central and southern half of Colorado without much luck.  Our budget was for $1,000 an acre, which is unheard of on the front range (near Denver) where we live.  We wanted a place for the kids to run and where we could get out of the craziness of the metro area.

Most of the land we found in that price range was completely flat with no trees in areas with high winds.  That simply would not do.  We suspended our search in the summer of 2012 because of the lack in options.

3 (1)

We went back at it in 2013.  I found a piece of land on  It was out of our price range.  We drove to it and it was very remote (me likey) and hard to see from the road (me likey even more).  It was three acres.  Instead of $1,000 an acre, it was $15,000 for three acres.

I wanted to make an offer.  My wife, ever the sensible one, noted that we would have to take out a loan on the property and that our agreement was that we would pay cash.  Crestfallen, I relented and the search continued.  On the way home that day, my wife told me that she had found another parcel worth looking at and that we could see it the following weekend.

True to her word, we went.  As we drove to it, she was excited and I was withdrawn.  I wanted the remote land.  When we arrived, she was blown away.  Five acres, areas to build, views, hills and a few trees.  It was amazing.  To boot, it was $8,100.  Still out of our price range.  I got over the remote land and called the realtor.

She met us the following week and talked to us about the history of the property.   She was from the area and very knowledgeable about the local and geographical history of the area.  After sleeping on it that night, the Mrs. and I made an offer.  We offered what we had, which was $6,100 in cash.  We didn’t get our hopes up.

The realtor called us back and explained that the seller wanted $6,500.  I was psyched.  She said that the seller was the widow of a rancher that had bought many parcels of land in the 70s, sight unseen, and that she had never set foot on the property.  She was happy to take our money after hearing what we were going to use it for.  We accepted the counter offer.  We closed on Independence Day, 2013.

The next question?  How could we get a structure on the land so we could stay there?

Next up:  Skirting Building Codes.  Stay tuned.

Mike, Oscar, Hotel…..out.






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