Karen Libin, KL Realty
Karen Libin, KL Realty

With Boulder and the Front Range becoming more dense and noisy, it’s no wonder more and more home buyers are seeking solace away from the hubbub by moving to rural locations. Although most all home buyers prefer purchasing updated, well-maintained homes, what people prioritize in a rural property is vastly different than what they do in city ones.

Here’s what’s most important to rural home buyers:

Size of property

The size of properties buyers want depends on how they want to live: One acre provides some space and room for animals. Two acres is needed to have enough room for a house and outbuildings. For horses, five acres is preferred. If pastures, hay production or places to ride are wanted, then properties up to 35 acres are desired.


People can only love a property if they don’t hate getting there. The shorter the commute to town or major arteries, the more appealing a property is. Good paved roads to the property are also appealing – as opposed to long dirt roads with washboard grooves.


All rural buyers want a beautiful property that soothes their souls. Rolling land, scenic views, old-growth trees, natural and man-made water features, and established gardens all contribute to a property’s appeal.


People want to live in the country for the quiet, hearing the wind, babbling brooks and the chirp of birds instead of road traffic, airplanes or gun ranges.


A great feature of living rurally is not living smack dab next to one’s neighbors. Rural buyers especially want privacy in outdoor living and entertaining areas.


Everybody loves outbuildings, especially men. (Sorry if this sounds sexist, but it’s what we experience and know.) They want their man-caves to putter around in. The ability to add additional outbuildings is also important to some buyers, especially those who want animals.

Water rights

Every rural property is infinitely more beautiful and full of life when watered. And, of course, fields rely on regular watering to be productive. Water rights are especially valuable for larger properties.

Mineral rights

In the current fracking zeal, mineral rights are also important. Many properties have sold their rights to third parties. Obviously, this greatly diminishes their appeal and value. There is nothing charming about a tall, noisy operating well, and traffic and workers who manage it.

Ability to add to existing home

Different counties have different ways of calculating how much square footage a homeowner can add onto an existing home. Rural Boulder County’s regulations are based on calculations that seem especially arbitrary and tight. Properties that allow for larger additions are obviously more valuable.

Recreational Access

Nearby lakes, hiking trails, riding trails and horse barns are all attractive features to potential buyers. Even people who live in paradise like to go out and do things!

By Karen Libin. Karen is the owner and managing broker of KL Realty, and has more than 29 years of experience in the Boulder County real estate market. Contact Karen at KL Realty, call 303.444.3177, e-mail team@klrealty.net or visit klrealty.net.