Letter Re: Advice Request for Next Steps with Recent Land Purchase


Recently I bought acreage in both Colorado and Nevada. It’s empty land in a big place, and I like that. I’ve never worked with land before, having grown up and lived in cities most of my life. So I’m rather clueless about how to find good resources for next steps. A couple of next steps that I’m concerned about is knowing the exact boundaries of the parcels and bringing power to one of the parcels from a nearby power line. Have you got suggestions on how I might find a surveyor and how to talk with the electric company (I guess)? The parcels are near West Wendover, NV and Hartsel, CO. – V.R.

JWR’s Comment: All licensed surveyors are bonded for accuracy of their work, but their rates vary widely. Ask SEVERAL real estate agents that specialize in rural property in your county for recommendations on a reasonably-priced surveyor. Odds are, the same name will keep popping up.

But first, check with the county land (Recorder’s) office and see if there are already surveys on file for any of your property lines. If you can find existing survey pins on one or more of your lines, then that will save you some costly surveying time.

If you have any doubts, then DON’T build any fences until you have a reliable survey.

Most power co-ops will write you an estimate on the cost of running power to your house and barn sites, free of charge. If the estimate is more than $25,000, then these days it is just about as cost effective to put in a PV power system. (But you will still need propane for your backup heating, stovetop, oven, chest freezer, and clothes dryer—since those heavy loads would require a terribly expensive PV power system.)