Durango, CO Real Estate News

By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  People move to Durango for many reasons in addition to the natural beauty and climate that we offer here. Our college makes numerous contributions to our society and certainly raises the overall living experience.  Durango is not a large town (15,000 people in the city limits and about 50,000 total for the whole county) but one gem of an asset that it has, is Fort Lewis College. With a student count of a little under 4,000 students and a fully accredited four-year college, we are blessed with the numerous offerings and attractions provided by this college. Let me share one of them with you. The Life-Long Learning Series is co-sponsored by the Office of the President and the Professional Associates of Fort Lewis College. The winter/spring schedule includes 10 different presentations be...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  What do you think are the 4 absolutely essential skills that every  Realtor must have command of in order to succeed? I have my ideas, but I would like to hear yours. This whole “exercise” came about through a “career class” for high schoolers. The proposition put to the students was: you are about to be transported to another planet because Earth will be destroyed by an asteroid. You will be taken to another planet exactly like Earth, but without any inhabitants. You can take a maximum of 30 people. What will their ages be? Their sex? Their professions/skills? There will be wild animals there, so you’ll have to have some sort of a hunter… And somebody that would know how to make a gun. Carpenters, medical people, engineers, etc. The 1st student answered and said somebody who could gr...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
If you have never allowed yourself the luxury of a ride in a hot air balloon,  it needs to be added to your bucket list.   The experience created some of my favorite memories.  Before it I had thought I would like to sky dive.  Not anymore,  my need to free fly has been satisfied.Ten years ago during our residency in Durango Colorado we had the opportunity to participate in the winter festival that is Snowdown.In addition to a plethora of other cold weather activities,  there was a hot air balloon ride through the Real Estate company we were affiliated with at that time.  We rode in the balloon basket in the yearly parade.  Sloggimg through the wet snow to get to the balloon was a genuine no funner, nor was the getting into the basket.  I had purchased the granddaddy of snow boots.  Not...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
About seven years ago we saw the magic of the Internet in real time.A couple from Montana called us.  They had seen a virtual tour of a log home we had listed.  It was on forty acres , and the acreage was adjacent to the county airport.They planned a trip to come see the property.  We researched all the other similar tracts available and prepared for a long showing day.The folks arrived and we went to the listing they had interest in.They looked over the property and then announced that they wanted to make an offer.That is what is supposed to happen.  Why then were we so shocked!  We really could not wrap our heads around the fact that they had basically made the decision based upon the viewing of the virtual tour.The information had all been there.  So, when they actually toured the pr...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
Signs that the transaction may be trouble...One of our most rural listings was on a county road between Ignacio and Durango Colorado.The acreage was surrounded by barbed wire fencing with a large metal gate across the driveway.Not wanting trespass issues we decided to put the lock box on  the gate.One of the first agents to show the house called us around her scheduled appointment.She apparently had  climbed the fence along with her clients and was on the front porch when she called to ask where the lock box was.When we told her where it was, she was indignant.  "why on earth would you put it there!  I have to walk all the way back?"It was a clue!  She did write an offer. It was one of three that came in.   Although her offer was the best, it was also full of difficulties.  Yes, she was...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
One of the most challenging foreclosures we ever conquered had some uphill problems .   It was a mobile home on the edges of Durango Colorado.   The location was in a do as you please neughborhoid down a dirt road off one of the major roads.   It was on a couple of acres where the previous owner had left strange and different pieces of vehicles.      The house was in various stages of remodeling.  What had been completed was VERY nice!  The rest was an entirely different story.   The real showstopper was obvious the minute we opened the door.   There was a stench that could have gagged a maggot .  Apparently a skunk had taken up residence under the house.     Due to the freshness of the smell we were sure that the source was still in residence.   We called for help from a company called...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Durango will be the starting point in the upcoming USA Pro Cycling Challenge which will start in Durango on August 20 and end in Denver approximately one week  later. This has often been described as the American version of the Tour de France bicycle race. Some of the participants in the Tour de France will also be participating in this event. ESPN and NBC, among others will be covering the event and reports are between 20 and 50,000 people will be pouring into Durango starting this coming week. Considering that the population of our city is just about 16,000 people it's easy to see that we will be "bursting at the seams".  NBC is scheduled to have 29 hours of TV time for the full multi-day event.  Some teams are already here getting acclimatized to the altitude (Durango is 6512 feet ...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
One of our favorite listings was a 5500 sq ft log mansion on a mountaintop in Colorado.   It had huge living area, gourmet kitchen, basement apartment, five bedrooms and five baths.   When we took the listing , it had been on the market for a long time.  It was vacant and felt downright lonely.   We had all of the enormous rooms cleaned well and then we hired a staging artist to creatively stage the spaces.   The seller spent about four grand for the artist to use in purchasing furnishings and art work .    During the listing period we would go by periodically to check on the property, vacuum and water the plants.   Almost immediately after the staging we began to find small objects missing .   The puzzle continued for weeks.  Research finally began to point to rodent activity.   We cou...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
This photo is of a red headed woodpecker who for an entire season insisted upon attempting to gain nourishment from this hummer feeder.   The entire situation was awkward.  He was way too large to fit on the perch.  He was also too heavy.  He regularly knocked the bottom off.   That was annoying on many levels.  First the food drained out on the ground.  Second the spilling usually happened while we were at work.  Third the nectar on the ground attracted ants. And the food being missing meant that the humming birds did not get the food intended for them.   As you can guess, there was nothing we could do about the situation.  Of course we could have just removed the feeder.  That would have stopped the waste.  It would not have stopped this bird from coming by.     If the feeder was gon...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
People come to Durango, Colorado for vacation all the time so why not own Durango real estate that lets you live like you are on vacation in this cozy chalet surrounded by tall pines?  An absolute doll house remodeled in 2011 by an artist with great taste!  As you walk up the step onto the main level deck, you will immediately feel you were meant to relax and soak in the smells from the surrounding pines.   Walking into the main level from the deck, coziness and warmth will be your first feeling with wide plank white oak floors and an artisan style wood fireplace to curl up in front of.  This home has an open floor plan from the living, dining, and kitchen area with additional kitchen bar seating.  There is a recently remodeled kitchen with marble flooring, Kenmore SS convection oven, S...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
One day when we were out we found that our access road was completely over run with a herd of sheep.   Time is always an issue but this day we did not have any pressing appointments .  That was a good thing because there was no way around this herd.   As soon as we began to accept our situation, we began to watch the spectecal unfolding all around us.   Then we saw a wagon being pulled by a truck.  It was the "sheep shack".   This was the  Living accommodations for the shepherds who were tending the sheep.   There were sheep as far as we could see.  It seemed that they just kept on coming.   Eventually they all had gone around our car and the path was once again navigable.   We learned a lot that day about the beauty of a road we had frequently traveled.     We also learned to surrende...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
Hearing strange noises on our patio a few years ago, we switched on the lights.   Just a few feet outside the door was this large critter delighting in a large platter of dog food.   We had numerous visitors at that dish over the years.  Some were more welcome than others.   Shortly after this photo was taken, a skunk decided to take up residence under the deck.   We responded by relocating the food dish.  How very unfriendly!  
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
The harder a property is to sell,  the more lessons we learn.   Over the years we have been blessed with some truly challenging properties.   The most memorable was one on a mountaintop in Durango Colorado.   It was on the border of the  Ft. Lewis college.  The access to the property which went straight up the mountain, had to cross land owned by the college.     The owner of this mountaintop masterpiece had asked the college to let him cross their land.  They said no!  He did it anyway.   For several years he got away with his unlawful entry.  The college offered to sell the strip he needed for access to him.  He ignored the problem.   Then he died suddenly in a small plane crash.   His heirs were stuck with a dilemma. they continued to pay taxes etc for a while.   The property eventua...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  2012 First-Quarter Sales Results   The first quarter of 2012 saw a 26% increase in residential dollar volume for La Plata County compared to the first quarter of last year. The average home sales price however only increased 1.5% hitting $341,543 this year. The median sales price this year actually dropped 3.42% down to $297,475. Sales of all types of property within the county (homes, vacant land, commercial) increased 22% this year compared to last year.   The strength in the residential market came from the sale of properties under $600,000 where 28 more units sold in that price range compared to only one more unit sold at $600,000 and up. Days on the market dropped for homes priced between $200,000 and $800,000. The sales price to list price percentage range from 92.4% to 95.1% fo...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Durango real estate sales statistics are certainly something that I track very regularly. This past week we put on the 12th Annual Wells Group Real Estate Forecast held at the Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall. This is a by-invitation-only event for Wells Group clients you. We were close to filling the 600 seat theater. Bob Allen, from Allen and Associates a Durango appraisal firm and real estate consultant presented close to 100 slides of information. In addition, over half of the Wells Group brokers participated with short video excerpts about different aspects of the market. The forecast not only looks at what happened over the last year, but very definitely discusses where we think we are going to go in 2012 as a relates to real estate.. The entire slideshow and video is a...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
Durango Colorado Home Adjoining Golf Course   Enjoy the freedom of a low maintenance lifestyle adjacent to the golf course while taking in the views of the LaPlata Mountains!!  The Villas at Hillcrest is a detached townhome community that was built in 2007 using high-efficiency green construction while maintaining the look of an Italian Villa.  As you enter the home, you will immediately experience an “Italian country” feel with the warm color pallet, textured walls and ceilings, wood and turned-iron staircase railing, oversized tile entry, oak flooring and other distinctive architectural details.  There is even a turned iron arched top door under the stairs that leads to a perfect spot for the grandkids to play.  The open floor plan is perfect for entertaining.  You can kibitz with the...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Durango 5 Year Residential Sales Statistics   I recently compiled the Durango 5 year residential sales statistics on a month by month basis. This shows how many residential units (condos and homes) closed from 2007 through January of 2012. The chart below is the result of the analysis of the Durango real estate market. Please understand that these statistics cover all of La Plata County so that would include Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio. Both in town and out of town homes were used in this analysis. It also would include condominiums located at the ski area.   As you can see 2007 was a very good year and we have not had another year come back up to those levels yet. Number of units sold declined all the way through 2009 in the last two years has seen a slow but steady increase. Novem...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
If you sometimes question who you are and what you are capable of,  we have a vivid illustration that you are not alone! This photo shows a common humming bird feeder with a woodpecker feeding at it. As you can imagine this created some conflicts.  The hummingbirds did not appreciate sharing.  They don't generally share well with each other much less a much larger bird. How the woodpecker started frequenting the feeder we are not sure.  What we do know is that he had quite a sweet beak!  He also was determined to drink the nectar.  His size consistantly caused problems. At least once a day his weight would work the feeder loose, and all the nectar would spill out on the ground. This served the ants well!  This program went on for an entire migrational cycle.  We love having all the bird...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
 Durango Colorado Real Estate Statistics 2010-2011 Tracking Durango Colorado real estate sales statistics is certainly an important aspect of my job as the Team Leader for Team Lorenz. Those of you that follow me regularly, know that every three months I do a careful year-to-year comparison of the Durango residential sales comparing the current year to the same time period the year before. In addition the analysis is broken down by $200,000 increments so that a buyer or seller can pretty carefully review what's going on in their particular price range. Not only do I study where did they buy (Durango in town, Durango rural, Bayfield in town, Bayfield rural and or resort condos/SFH) we also analyze days on the market, sales to list price percentage, number of units sold, number of units a...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Durango Residential Real Estate Sales since November 1 I thought I would take a quick snapshot of the Durango residential real estate sales since November 1 of this year and share that information with you.  I actually searched all of La Plata County which would include Bayfield and Ignacio of course but would not include Mancos or Silverton. During that timeframe 103 homes have sold with 9 sales of $775,000 or more.  The average sales price was $429,962 while the median sales price was $269,300.  That big discrepancy between the average and median was caused by three sales of $2.2 million or greater.  The largest sale was a beautiful Animas Valley estate type home located on the river which sold for $5.79 million.  The uptick in the higher-end sales is certainly encouraging because t...
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