4 Factors to Consider When Searching for Mountain Land
by Kevin May
There’s something uniquely serene about mountain land. From the forested peaks of Montana to the cactus-dotted expanses of Arizona, the country is full of picturesque and private mountain lots for homes, ranches, developments, and more. But life in the mountains is inherently different than life at sea level, and so are the factors that need to be considered when searching for land to purchase. Whether you’re looking for mountain land for sale in Colorado or Connecticut, here are four important things to keep in mind.
1. Private roads vs. county roads
Depending on where you’re searching for mountain land, you may come across roads that are privately owned and maintained by residents instead of owned and maintained by the local county. Private roads offer plenty of privacy, but there are some potential downsides in terms of maintenance and amenities. How is snow plowing handled in the winter? Who fronts the bill if the road requires maintenance? If you decide to purchase mountain land off of a private road, be sure that the neighborhood has a written road maintenance agreement in place, and read it over before signing on.
2. Ease of access
You may dream of living up among the peaks, but are you okay with the steep, rocky roads it could take to get there? Even mountain land that isn’t quite so high up can present with tricky or narrow roads that make it difficult to get to your property, especially in inclement weather. If you’re concerned about ease of access to your mountain land, consider purchasing land that has paved roads and a paved driveaway leading up to it. You may still be facing some steep climbs, but there will be less to worry about during heavy rain or snow.
3. Nearness of amenities
How far are you willing to travel for the basics? One of the biggest allures of mountain land is the privacy that it offers, so it’s safe to assume that you’re not going to have a grocery store right around the corner. But there’s a big difference between a 20 minute drive to the nearest store or gas station and an hour drive. The same goes for your commute to work. Keep your distance limits in mind when searching for mountain land so you don’t end up purchasing a parcel that offers too much exclusivity.
Building on mountain land has a lot of challenges, from leveling off the ground to bringing in electricity and water. The more untouched the land you purchase, the more you’re going to have to do in terms of making it suitable for building on. Always factor buildability in to your budget and considerations, since putting a home or other property on an otherwise rustic piece of mountain land is going to get expensive—fast.
As with any land search, choosing the perfect parcel of mountain land is about finding a balance between what you want in a lot and what you need. With a little bit of research, you’ll be able to find mountain land that checks off all the right boxes.
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