Buying a Seasonal Access Property in Colorado

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In a state like ours, where the weather seems to change on a dime, recreational properties in Colorado are rife with the word “seasonal.” But, what is a seasonal property? What if you want to enjoy all four seasons there? 

When you’re looking at Colorado mountain properties, which I often do as a lifestyle real estate broker, you encounter many properties listed as “seasonal access properties” or “seasonal access only.” The seasonal access label means that the roads to the property do not get plowed in the winter, so you may not be able to access it in a normal vehicle.

The term “seasonal property” may correlate more with rental properties than properties for sale. It usually indicates that rental property, including motels, cabins, condominiums, single-family homes, duplexes, or multifamily dwellings, can only be rented during warmer months of the year (usually March 1 – December 1).

Most likely, a seasonal rental property also falls under the seasonal access category. The owner purchased a seasonal access property, decided to rent it out, and realized it was inaccessible or unhabitable during the coldest and snowiest months in Colorado.

Can I Live in a Seasonal Access Property Year-Round?

Although some renter stipulations may prohibit renting seasonal properties year-round, you can live there. However, you may have to acquire some tools and equipment to ensure you can access the property during heavy snow. Depending on the length of the unplowed road, you may only be able to access the property by snowmobile, tracked snow machine, skis, or snowshoes.

Can I Plow the Road to My Seasonal Access Property?

After hearing that a property is labeled “seasonal access only,” most people jump to the logical conclusion that they can just plow the roads themselves. Whether you can plow the road depends on several factors. 

First, you must understand the ownership of the road. If the road to access your property is a public road, you need to check with city authorities on the legalities of plowing it. 

Second, if you live in a Colorado cabin community, there may be HOA rules that prohibit plowing shared roads. Many cabin subdivisions either don’t want to deal with the liabilities of having someone plow or want to encourage winter recreation like having residents snowmobile to their cabins.

Can I Rent Out My Seasonal Access Property? 

One of the greatest benefits of owning recreational properties in Colorado is the ability to use them whenever you want for your favorite recreational activities. However, if you’re not using a recreational property year-round, you may want to capitalize on the opportunity to rent it.

Given the outdoor-enthusiast culture in Colorado, seasonal access properties tend to fare well as short-term rentals. If you choose to rent your seasonal access property during the on-season, you’re good to go. Even during the off-season, vacationing in a remote, seasonal cabin appeals to some people. You simply need to indicate in your listing that the property is seasonal access in case renters don’t have the appropriate snow gear to traverse mountain weather. 

Does the Seasonal Access Lifestyle Speak to You?

Despite the challenges of living in a seasonal access property, if you’re armed with the right snow equipment, you’ll have amazing views and access to recreation in your backyard. At Western Land and Lifestyle Properties, that’s the kind of Colorado lifestyle we love to sell. Explore our properties for sale in Colorado today.

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