Colorado Seclusion: Swampland in Florida?

 As the saying goes, Buyer Beware. 

"Swampland in Florida" is a figure of speech which refers to real estate scams in which a seller misrepresents
secluded Colorado real estate

unusable swampland as developable property. These types of property scams became well known in the United States in the last century. The phrase is still used metaphorically, today for any scam that misrepresents what is being sold. The expression "If you believe that, then I have some swampland in Florida to sell you", implies you are gullible enough to fall for an obvious fraud. Trending now is the expression "If you believe that, then I have some Colorado seclusion to sell you".

Ponzi Scam

One of the original sellers of swampland was Charles Ponzi. "Ponzi", also now a familiar word, has become synonymous with fraud. In the 1960s and 1970s, scammers used nationwide advertising to lure victims to buy Florida real estate without visiting the properties first. It was a form of confidence trick. This technique was used notably by the Gulf American Land Corporation in the communities of Cape Coral and Golden Gate Estates, Florida (for which they were found guilty of fraud by the Florida Land Sales Board. The new owners came to find their land was underwater in a swamp or in some other way impossible to build upon. Then there are scams selling inaccessible desert land in Arizona and west Texas. The lots are sold over the Internet, and are desert properties, have no access to water, no sewer service, and in many cases, are not accessible by road.

Colorado Seclusion

Sellers of Colorado seclusion in the mountains, out west, are well positioned to hood-wink buyers from the suburbs and big cities on the coast. The situation is not unlike the early 20th century when con-men would sell untitled landmarks like the  Brooklyn Bridge to newly arrived immigrants in the United States. Similarly, sellers of Colorado seclusion and properties out west can count on the innocent ignorance of buyers from the American suburbs or cities. It is only natural to assume that access to the property being shown for sale is included. Even if you physically visit the property, beware of your assumptions before buying.  Even the route taken by the seller or real estate agent to show you the land may not actually be the recorded access. Even worse, there may not even be a recorded access route to the secluded Colorado lot being shown to you. 

How can you avoid being hoodwinked as a buyer of a secluded Colorado lot? Educate yourself on the local regulations, codes, and easement lawsEnsure your property has access that is properly recorded and planned in alignment with local building and fire codes. Talk to your immediate neighbors and owners of the properties bordering yours, to make sure everyone is on the same page. Before you buy, expect to see the documentation that validates access to your property. Make sure you get written answers to your questions from your title company, real estate agent, and real estate attorney.