Your dream home may be tied into an existing city water supply, electric grid, and a sewer system, or the home may be completely "off-grid".
If you will be financing your mountain home, note that some loan types may require homes to be tied to some public utilities. Visit our Financial Info page for more information on loan types.
WATER - NOT TIED TO A CITY WATER SUPPLY
The property may have an existing well, or you may seek a permit for drilling a well. If purchasing a home with a well, you should have the well inspected and tested for water quality (microbes) and flow rate as part of the Buyer's inspection process before purchasing the home. Banks will require a well-test if you are financing the property.
Without a well, you may have water delivered by a water delivery service and stored in a large cistern on the property, (a large tank, usually buried underground to prevent freezing). Or, you may haul water yourself. You have probably seen trucks carrying large round or square plastic containers. Be sure your drinking water containers have never held hazardous liquids. Nearby towns will not allow you to use a public water supply to fill your containers, so hauling it yourself can be tricky.
Look at the Colorado Division of Water Resources to find data about surface and groundwater and whether the area is known to have an adequate aquifer to support the community's needs or for drilling additional wells. Well permit links and forms can be found on the Forms page of the Colorado Division of Water Resources website.
Finding well water underground can be interesting. The process is usually conducted by a water "witcher" or water "douser". This is done by the witcher/douser holding a forked branch or metal rods in front of them and walking around focusing their mental energy on finding water. The branch or rods should begin to point down towards the ground if there is water underneath. This is the typical method used by well drilling companies. You can read more about dousing here. Contact us for a referral.
POWER: The home may be tied into a local electric grid, or have its own power supply like propane for appliances, a generator, a wood-burning stove, and/or solar panels. Solar panels may be installed on the roof or mounted on poles in the ground, as long as there is a southward facing roof line or open field, not obscured by trees or mountains, for a certain number of hours per day. A battery storage bank, an inverter, controller, and a fuel-powered back-up generator are highly recommended for electricity storage, in case of extended periods of cloudy weather. **A power source is necessary to run the PUMP that brings water from your underground well into the home. If the home is strictly on solar with insufficient battery storage and no back-up generator to power the well pump, NO SUN = NO WATER! Read more about solar here.
WASTEWATER/SEWAGE: Rural homes that are not tied into a city sewer line are required to have an OWTS, or Onsite Wastewater Treatment System, also known as a septic system. When building a home, the septic system is required to be installed before any further construction of a home is permitted. The following is a very informative video:
Refer to our Useful Links page for links to County Zoning departments with necessary information for building or modifying a home.
If you are buying a vacant lot and planning to build a home, look for the downhill side from where you plan to put the home. The downhill side is where your septic tank and leach field will be installed, as this is typically a gravity-fed system. Septic must be installed at a minimum of 100' from the home and the leach field will require a certain amount of space. Refer to the links below for more information on septic systems.
If you own land that does not have a permanent house you may be required to obtain a Long-Term Camping permit if you intend to use it for RV camping for more than two or three weeks depending on the county or subdivision regulations. Check with your county's online Planning and Zoning department for camping permits.
Camping permits are critical in notifying the County that you are residing on your property at a specific time in case of emergency evacuation such as a forest fire or flash flood.
For permanent long-term RV camping an underground septic system may be required as a containment to prevent sewage from entering the ground water.
Please feel free to ask any questions so we can add them to the page!
City Mountain Homes is a Division of Werner Realty, Inc. Copyright © 2019 City Mountain Homes, LLC - All Rights Reserved.
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