Ask a Realtor: Can I find a ‘piece of dirt’ to call my own? |

Ask a Realtor: Can I find a ‘piece of dirt’ to call my own?

Joan Harned
Ask a Realtor

Dear Joan:  I love skiing, but I think I already have my annual bad case of spring fever. However, this year the spring fever is different. I not only want to get out and hike, explore, camp,  and cook over an open fire … I have decided I actually want to own a piece of dirt here in our Rocky Mountains!

As a modestly successful millennial, I am guessing this might be a fantasy to own an acreage to call my own, but I want your opinion first, to see if I should just get a pass at a campground and call it good, or if I should actually pursue this mountain person desire. Hoping to hear something encouraging from you!  

Dear Kindred Soul: I was right where you were at your age, and we were able to find a small acreage we could afford and bought it! We lived there for over 20 years and it turned out to be one of the best financial investments we ever made, and that is not counting the enjoyment it provided, in so many different ways. 

We are now long past your age, but have recently been considering some property in the Sweetwater area again. So, the answer to your question is “yes,” it is definitely possible to find your own little “piece of dirt” with a good Realtor, if you keep an open mind. 

Is it as easy as buying and/or selling a condo, or maybe not. Is it infinitely more satisfying to your soul!

There is a lot to know about wells, water rights, mineral rights, surveys, access, easements and county and state regulations, but it is not rocket science, so you can learn all you need to know and learn where to go get the help you might need.

I am prejudiced, but I would rely heavily on an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor to help you with your selection and how to find the right resources to get the answers to your questions. The snow is melting and more roads will be opening up for exploring. 

You will need to decide if you just want a getaway, or if you will want to live on the property. It may sound odd to people from the cities, but many Vail and Beaver Creek residents own property further west, where they feel they can get away from the fast pace of the “resort.” They may have a lovely home in the “Vail Valley” but they also have their “piece of dirt,” too!  You can do it, too! All the best to you!

Joan Harned is an owner and broker for Keller Williams Mountain Properties and heads up Team Black Bear, her own real estate team. Harned has been selling real estate in Eagle County for 27 years. Contact Harned with your real estate questions at, 970-337-7777 or

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