Durango, CO Real Estate News

By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
What are your dreams made of?  Do they involve special places? People?  Favorite events?After years of dreaming, we exercised them.  The dream was of living in the favorite place I had ever visited.  That was Durango Colorado.  We did not know anyone there and we had an established real estate business in Houston Texas.The desire was intense to give starting over and experiencing the joys we had felt when visiting that place a chance.We went for a visit and found a house we could afford...   We also had a rainbow mountaintop experience.  The photo here is one of that rainbow the afternoon we had found the house there.  We were on a hill inside the city and if you look closely, you can see our shadows and our rental cars shadow.We decided to make an offer on the house and follow our drea...
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The Durango real estate market has seen more and more foreclosures. The promise of a couple different banking and mortgage programs stated that the short term process of foreclosures would be held up. The BPO activity as well as the continued Durango property foreclosure listings has remained steady. The surrounding areas in Pagosa Springs and Cortez are still showing higher numbers than the local Durango homes. On a general note the foreclosure properties across the nation have seen a rise over the last several months. The article below shows the highest numbers of foreclosure in seven months. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KHS0jpjwq_k   Foreclosures Reach 7-Month High Daily Real Estate News | Friday, November 11, 2011 Lenders are picking up the pace of foreclosures again, as the forec...
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By Aaron Miller
(Junction Creek Real Estate)
The Durango Real Estate market has always been or had a strong "rentership" presence. The higher housing cost with lower employment pay has kept a strong rental market. The cost of a single family property compared to the rent allowance has always made it difficult to afford to purchase a property for investment rental. The foreclosures popping up in the present market can provide some opportunity to purchase at a price that seems better for a rental property. Looking at the CAP rate of a rental property in the Durango real estate market compared to areas in the midwest perhaps shows a very different situation. Below is a national look at this idea, with some very interesting facts on what it takes to make this idea one of Profit! By Robert Freedman, Senior Editor, REALTOR® Magazine Wel...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Durango Subdivisions near Lake Nighthorse   After many years of battles between proponents and opponents of the Animas La Plata project, Lake Nighthorse has been completed and was officially filled to capacity this summer.  They're still working on the recreation plan for the lake and the land around the lake.  At the recent Ignacio economic summit, one of the breakout sessions was about the recreation facilities for Lake Nighthorse.  It appears that approximately 50% to 55% of the lake will be considered wakeless.  There will be hiking trails around the lake and there will be provisions for camping and picnicking.  The Bureau of Reclamation doesn't have funds set aside to build those improvements, but the city of Durango has said they have some interest in it.  There are still public...
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By Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you!
(Janisch & Co.)
I took this a couple of years ago but it's something you just might see around Durango in the fall and winter.  There are all kinds of wildlife everywhere.  I've seen Eagles in free flight, turkeys cruising around the mountains, Elk herds, black bears, you name it Durango has it.  Just a wonderful plethora of wildlife all around you. You might have to stop for a little while as the traffic jam clears up!!
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
    We have recently completed a different analysis of the Durango La Plata County YTD residential sales statistics.  In the following chart, month by month sales stats are given for the total number of residential units sold in that month for the corresponding year.  No dollar limit, either high or low, was used, so a small number of unit sales that are mobile homes in rental parks are included in these figures.       As you can see, 5 of the 9 months this year showed improvements over the same month in 2010.  Every single month, but one, of 2011, showed an increase over the 2009 sales.  Of those that did not show an improvement, one month was the same as last year and two months were within two units.  Through September, 2011 YTD is just a few units short of the entire year of 2009.  ...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Durango Real Estate Statistics-The Last 35 Days   What has been going on in the Durango real estate market for the last month and a week? I ran some quick numbers today and realized that there have been 98 sales in that period of time. Days on market range from a low of 22 days to a high of 1182 days but the average days on market was 202 days. Of those 98 sales, 19 were for raw land which I feel is a significantly larger number than anticipated. Three parcels sold for $500,000 or more, but the vast majority of vacant land transactions were under $200,000 in sales price.   Of the remaining 79 properties, 3 were commercial properties with one selling for $90,000; one selling for $110,000; and the last one for $263,500. That leaves a total of 76 residential sales and they sold at 94.5% ...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
  Those that follow my Durango Real Estate Blog, know that I am a "nut" for statistics. Trends in the Durango real estate market can often be deciphered by looking at YTD statistics for a several year period of time. I just recently looked at three specific market segments for La Plata County where all of the numbers I will provide are for transactions from January 1 through August 15 of the corresponding years.       The very first number that jumps out at me is the almost doubling of the number of vacant land sales from 2009 to 2011.  To get a sense of comparison, January 1 through August 15, 2005, there were 311 land sales. That figure gives you a sense of the size of the hole we are trying to dig out of as it relates to land transactions. We could almost quadruple the 2011 sales and...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
      In La Plata County, subdivisions or planned neighborhoods typically have a homeowner’s (or condominium)  association that manages the rules and regulations for that neighborhood or condo complex.  Most such projects have a set of CC&R’s (that stands for covenants, conditions & restrictions) that are recorded against all of the property within the project. Additionally, the subdivision often times owns common grounds such as a park, a lake, a playground and in many instances even the roads.  The HOA is the legal entity that would actually hold title to those lands.  It is run by a board of directors who may elect to do the day to management themselves or they can hire it out to a property management company.   Associations charge dues to cover the expenses of the association.  In o...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
Durango real estate statistics for the first 6 months of 2011 I have written about Durango real estate statistics for the first 6 months of 2011 but in that analysis I was looking at various price brackets and not by geographic areas of the county.  (See previous blog.) In order to fully understand Durango real estate sales statistics one needs to look at what areas are, and are not, selling and whether or not there is a trend that can be seen. In this review, I will talk about January 1 through June 30 only for the years 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, even though I may say sales for 2008 were X I'm only referring to the first six months sales for the appropriate years. Countywide Homes Sold: For all of La Plata County residential sales the last four years statistics were as follows: in 200...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
Durango 3 Bedroom Townhome Adjoining BLM Lands One of the advantages of Durango real estate is that we have lots of public lands throughout our County. The project in which this three bedroom Durango townhome has been built adjoins BLM lands. With a main level master suite, this hidden jewel is actually located within the city limits and offers an open and spacious floor plan with a private patio overlooking the community park. With 1912 ft.², three bedrooms and two bathrooms, this two-story townhome enjoys a peaceful and serene environment. Canyon Terrace is one of Durango's newest townhome communities and provides easy access to Durango's very famous trail system for both hiking and mountain biking. Overlooking the Purple Cliffs along the Animas River, (a gold medal fishing river) thi...
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By Rick Lorenz, REALTOR Emeritus, CRS, ABR, CyberStar, CNE, E-Pro
(Team Lorenz)
Durango Colorado Neighborhoods One of the very unique things about Durango Colorado real estate is a multiplicity of Durango neighborhoods. Durango is not like the big city where large corporate builders come in and build hundreds of homes with four or five floorplans. Instead Durango neighborhoods usually have numerous builders and an amazing array of floorplans. Over the last year I have created a "Durango Neighborhoods" section in my website www.BuyDurango.com where I take my 34 years of experience and discuss all of the major Neighborhoods in La Plata County. Here is a link to that section of my website: Durango Neighborhood Tours The description includes the number of lots, the approximate size of lots, the approximate price range of the homes, the designated schools for that parti...
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By Denise J. Storm, Broker Associate - Durango Colorado Mountain Homes
(Re/Max Pinnacle)
There are quite a few restaurants in Durango that are much too expensive to visit on a regular basis so this time of year, they offer specials to the locals that typically don't visit on a regular basis.  This is a time of year when the summer tourists for the train are gone and the one's for the ski resort have yet to appear (although, there was snow on the mountains this morning...OUCH). One restaurant in particular today caught my eye...it is a quaint little european cafe that is located just West of Durango and has picturesque mountain views and a small romantic dining area.  They have a spectacular brunch and are know for their desserts. They have an extensive wine list and many fun offerings for weekend brunch:  http://www.kennebeccafe.com/menu_brunch.htm, daily lunch and dinner: ...
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By Marlene Gebhardt, CNE, Durango Colorado Real Estate
(Horizon Properties of Durango)
It's green in summer, gold in fall and white in winter- Dalton Ranch golf course just minutes north of Duango, Colorado. Our neighborhood has several components, from easy-living condominiums to larger townhomes, family homes, upscale condominiums and luxury homes. There are just a few lots available if building your own home is your dream, and most have great views. One thing that broudht me to this goldf course community 14f years ago was the view- like one of my visiting friends said "Every window is a postcard." She's right- and that is one reason I am still here, enjoying every day in the middle of one of the most scenic river valleys in Colorado. Wildlife watching and people watching are great spectator sports when you tire of golf, tennis, hiking, biking, river rafting, etc. that...
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By Marlene Gebhardt, CNE, Durango Colorado Real Estate
(Horizon Properties of Durango)
What's been selling in Durango, Colorado real estate these days? Typically, summer is our "hot" selling season, but activity has improved from the first and second quarters last year, due to many purchasers taking advantage of the home buyer's tax credit. By June 30, this influence should end as the last of these properties close. Looking at our MLS generated statistics, the number of Durango in town properties sold increased by 18%, and the average price was down 15% from this time last year. Properties categorized as "Durango Rural" increased in sales by 23%, with a 51% average price increase. This seems to contradict the trend, but in reality, rural properties often are large, and have more acreage, therefore, have higher pricing structures overall. Rural property bargains are readil...
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By Marlene Gebhardt, CNE, Durango Colorado Real Estate
(Horizon Properties of Durango)
PIE, PIE, PIE, who doesn't like pie? Ever heard of a pie auction? Before moving to Durango, Colorado almost 14 years ago, I had not. Then notices in the local Durango Herald newspaper would pop up every now and then about somebody's fundraiser, and it would include "pie auction". Well, I soon learned that this very traditional rural American way of raising money for churches, schools, and neighbors with needs could be very effective. I went to an event hosted for a woman with breast cancer, and was amazed to see all the excitement around the pie auction part of the day. People milled around the tables, talked about the bakers and their entries, and speculated on who wanted which pies. Was I surprised at the bidding! Not $10, or $20 or even $50- NO! Each and every pie went for OVER $100!...
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By Marlene Gebhardt, CNE, Durango Colorado Real Estate
(Horizon Properties of Durango)
Like many things in today's economy, golfing is a hobby that can cost more than you'd like. Two of Durango's local courses, the semi-private Dalton Ranch Golf Club, and the private Glacier Club, just came up with remedies for the "golf's expensive" blues. The 18-hole Dalton Ranch Golf Course is now featuring a special membership at $10,000 initiation fee- with financing available.  Dalton is home to a winter elk herd, as well as deer, fox, coyotes and bald eagles as it runs along the Animas River. Scenery is spectacular with towering red cliffs providing contrast to the lush green course, old cottonwood trees, many ponds (aka "water hazards") and clear, blue Colorado sky. With its many bunkers and sand "lakes"- not traps, too big! Dalton remains a challenge no matter how often one plays...
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By Marlene Gebhardt, CNE, Durango Colorado Real Estate
(Horizon Properties of Durango)
WE GET USED TO SEEING BALD EAGLES around here- generally sitting in tall trees, or flying. This is the first time I saw a bald eagle walking- and he walked a good deal of the fairway on hole #13 at Dalton Ranch Golf Course.  He or she is a younger eagle, not really black, but dark brownish with fluffy white head, foot and tail feathers. Large and not afraid of anything, this eagle watched birds at the bird feeder, then strolled down the cart path to visit one of Dalton's many infamous water hazards, aka, a pond. He stayed for a while, then flew off when the groundskeeper rounded the bend in his cart.  Glad I was working at home that morning and caught sight of him!
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By Marlene Gebhardt, CNE, Durango Colorado Real Estate
(Horizon Properties of Durango)
Durango, Colorado has felt the downturn like everywhere else, and that means that money to support community services is needed even more.  Every year, DAAR, the Durango Area Association of Realtors, has held a big golf tournament that funds our Scholarship Fund and grants to a list of Human Services agencies that help many community members better their lives. This year, no golf tournament- due to a "limp" market impact on many Realtors and affilites. So, we decided to throw a Party in the Park instead. This event will be a spring picnic, complete with food, drink, fun games for all ages, and listening and dancing to music by a great local band (tbd at time of publishing).  In Fall,we will have another event, and hopefully these 2 can provide our local agencies such as the Women's Reso...
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By Liz Flint, Houston\Tomball Realtor (832)816-8066
(Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty)
This is the last car, what I call the observation car of the Durango-Silverton train in Colorado.  I had ridden this train the previous day, December 26th and December 27th I was just an observer, chasing the train from Durango to Rockwood, Colorado.                 This 2-8-2 Narrow Gauge engine looks awesome against the beautiful blue sky, white snow and yellow cars.                   This picture was taken from a bridge near Hermosa, Colorado. Here was the picture from the other side of the bridge.  They also use this train for the Polar Express twice a night for part of December. Hope your holidays were wonderful & I wish you a fantastic 2010! Liz Flint, Century 21 Hardee-Team Realty, liz.flint@hotmail.com, 832-816-8066
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