Colorado Water Law

For those from back East our water laws in Colorado and the rest of the West can seem quite confusing. In fact even when you understand the basics a Colorado resident can still still get a little bit turned around when trying to work through where water rights may have gone. We would like to supply you with a simplified and abbreviated lesson on water law in Colorado, however, this knowledge is no substitute for ones own due diligence or utilizing legal council as water ownership can easily be worth tens of thousands of dollars.

In the West water law is based on the prior appropriation doctrine. The simplest way to remember this is “first in time first in right.” In the East water law is based off of riparian rights. This means that abutting a river or stream grants you access to utilize this water. Western water rights holders do not need to be near to the water source in order to obtain rights, which is why there are a substantial number of water pipeline projects in Colorado.

Purchasing a property in Colorado may mean several things when it comes to gaining water for the property. Some properties are under the service of municipal service providers or other water districts. This means they simply pay their monthly water bill and have water provided to the property through existing water infrastructure. This is the typical situation for most homes within city limits throughout Northern Colorado. Others may have access to a well. In this case the well will have been permitted for a specific use. This could be for residential use only or for agriculture or livestock use as well. Finally, you might have to buy shares of water in order to participate in the water district where your property is located. This is most often the case in areas outside of major towns and cities, and when you are building a new home.

Hopefully, that provides a very brief overview of Colorado water law. There is obviously a great deal to be concerned about when it comes to water and the real estate transaction in general. We are happy to work with you to provide guidance through all the unknowns and to make sure your new property meets your needs. If you have any questions feel free to contact us.

Why Work With a CRS Agent?

Lestel has a number of designations that contribute to the alphabet soup on her business card. However, one that she is most proud of his her CRS designation. But what is a CRS designation and how does it benefit you to work with one?

What is a CRS?

A CRS REALTOR® is a Certified Residential Specialist—one of the top 3 percent of real estate agents in the U.S. CRS agents have more experience and training than the average REALTOR® and they are part of a community of REALTORS® dedicated to improving the real estate industry for homebuyers and sellers everywhere.

Why Work With a Certified Residential Specialist Agent?

Buying or selling your home is one of the biggest and most important decisions you’ll make in your lifetime. You need someone you can trust by your side, who is looking out for your best interests and is willing to put all their knowledge and experience to work for you. You need a CRS.

Not all real estate agents are made the same: There are millions of real estate agents out there, and their experience and dedication to their profession and clients varies widely.

The threshold to becoming a real estate agent is surprisingly low. Requirements vary by state, but some ask for as little as 40 hours of training and few ask for more than 100 hours—compare that to the 1,000 hours that are typically required to become a hair stylist.

To become a CRS, however, REALTORS® must meet a number of stringent requirements that combine advanced hours of education and training, experience and success in the marketplace. A CRS agent adheres to a strict code of ethics that binds them to perform in the best interest of their clients at all times.

CRSs are required to have between 25 and 150 transactions and between 16 and 80 additional hours of education beyond what’s required of the typical REALTOR®.

These are agents who are invested in their careers, in buying and selling real estate and in making sure their clients are satisfied. CRS is the sign of a true real estate professional.

Don’t work with the rest, choose the best. Choose a CRS.

The Benefits of Working with a CRS Agent

  • CRSs receive advanced training above and beyond what is required of typical agents
  • CRSs have proven experience through logged transactions
  • CRSs continuously improve their skills and learn about new regulatory developments
  • CRSs adhere to an ethics code not required of other agents

How and Why I Became a Real Estate Agent

I became a Realtor over 20 years ago. Much has changed in that length of time.  Since becoming a Realtor I have seen the market in all its forms. I have seen a strong sellers market, a strong buyers market, the housing crisis, negotiated short sales and helped people avoid foreclosure. I have also seen people have over $100,000 in appreciation in their homes in less than 5 years.  What a ride the last 20 plus years has been. 

When I decided to become a Realtor I took the course to get my license by correspondence.  I studied the course content from a notebook.  At the end of each chapter I was required to take a test.  I would fax my test to the school, it would be graded and then I could begin the next chapter.  I then studied for the licensing exam and drove down to Denver for that test.  I sat in a room with many others that wanted to become a realtor.  After passing the test I came to Century 21 Humpal to begin my career in real estate.  Back then we didn’t have the MLS online like we do today, but instead we had a listing book published and dropped off at each individual real estate office every week. This book was everything you needed to know that had happened in real estate in the Fort Collins area in the last week.  It contained the new listings, the sales that had occurred, under contract and withdrawn listings.  That book was not to leave the office and the book itself was not to be shared with clients. Now, of course, we have everything online and the public has access to much of the same information that we do as agents.  

My greatest surprise in becoming a Realtor was the public’s opinion of real estate agents.  I had always had positive experiences in buying and selling real estate so I was quite surprised to learn that many people see real estate agents as not much better than a used car salesman.  It was after learning this that I made it my goal to change the public’s opinion of real estate agents one transaction at a time.  

Since my earliest days a lot has changed, but many things have stayed the same. I still enjoy working hand in hand with my clients in order to help them reach their real estate goals, whatever they may be. Some of my greatest joys are the day that that first time home buyer is handed the keys at closing and becomes a homeowner or when my client becomes a landlord for the first time.  It is heartwarming and so rewarding to be trusted to walk people through the process.  I am thankful for each and everyone of you that trusts me.  I will work hard for you and look out for your best interest as we pursue your real estate goals together. 

Should I Try to Sell My Home Myself?

FSBOSome property owners decide to sell their homes themselves to save money on commission, in the real estate world we call this a For Sale By Owner, or FSBO for short.  Do you really end up with more money in your pocket when you sell your home yourself?  According to NAR, National Association of Realtors, the median price of a home sold by a real estate agent last year was $280,000 the median sale price for a “for sale by owner” was $200,000.  So these homeowners could have sold their home for more money and certainly had less hassle if they had hired an agent.

So what are the benefits, other than more money, to working with an agent and what does an agent do anyway?

  1. An agent knows the market and can help a seller to set a price for their home that will attract the most buyers.  More buyers means a shorter time period to an offer.
  2. Agent know who to reach out to today’s buyers using up to date marketing and old fashioned marketing that works.
  3. Agents can help with staging advice and refer you to the right service providers so that you home is prepared to excite buyers once they see your home.
  4. An agent can make recommendations to a seller one what improvements might be needed that will pay off in a higher sale price for the home.

Bottom line, Realtors® are professionals that regularly sell homes. Most homeowners do not have the knowledge to best represent themselves and look out for their best interest in the sale of their home.