When daffodils pop up, so do the “for sale” signs on the ranch and mountain properties. Whether you are buying your forever property or your just-for-now property, be sure to conduct water rights due diligence. Water rights are complicated, and you need to protect your investment with the following steps.
Initially, ponder “What do I want to do with the property?” Do you want a sprawling mansion or a quaint cabin? Do you want a luscious lawn and a fish pond? Have you always wanted horses and chickens?
Next, ask the seller what water rights come with the property. Is there a well? Are there ditch rights? Is water provided by a town or water district? Are there existing decrees or well permits?
Last, but most importantly, evaluate whether the existing water rights are sufficient to make your dreams for the property come true. If not, understand your options for getting water to make sure your daffodils have water to bloom next spring.