17.1 acres with prime views of the LaPlata mountains.

Views of and from this beautiful 17.1 acres

Views of and from this beautiful 17.1 acres

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Building Permits Increase in Durango

Building Permits Increase in Durango

A January article in the Herald (see here) announced that building permits in the Durango area are up! Buyers are out looking for properties but inventory has been low. Naturally, this means, builders are taking up a golden opportunity!A January article in the Herald (see here) announced that building permits in the Durango area are up! Buyers are out looking for properties but inventory has been low.

In 2013, the city issued 62 home building permits. That’s a 69% increase from the previous year. Durango’s single family building permits issued for 2013 were the most the city has issued since 2006. Summer in Durango should see a real strong real estate market. This means buyers are going to want to get moving before prices go up, and sellers are going to want to get their home on the market and add to that inventory now!

The same trend is being seeing in surrounding areas too. The county issued 141 single family permits in 2013. That’s a 48% increase from the 95 permits issued the year before.

As expected, when the market took a dive in 2008, many builders were left twiddling their thumbs, pulling back on planned projects. However, due to this, some people looking to buy have been left without many options. Namely, smaller and more affordable homes have been nearly obsolete.

Multifamily projects (AKA apartments and rental complexes) are also making a comeback. The city issued seven permits in 2013 for multifamily projects in Durango. That’s the same amount as the previous four years total combined! The rental market has been tight with few units available and price of rent sky rocketing. So, this is very good news indeed.

Moral of the story? If you’re looking to buy or sell in Durango, now is the time. So, contact us today, see what are clients are saying or do search. The real estate future of Durango is looking bright and you should be a part of it!

Where to Live in Durango

Where to Live in Durango

If you’re relocating to the Durango area, you’re in for a treat. They have some of the most beautiful rugged land in the nation and spectacular views. Durango is nestled away in the southwestern corner of Colorado between the Animas River Valley and the San Juan Mountains. It is a charming town with friendly folks and a frontier spirit.Where to live in Durango

Durango has 20 playgrounds and city parks. Durango also has a modest in town ski area, nearly 3,000 hotel and motel rooms, two hospitals, 40 churches, an 18 hole golf course, a hot springs, and much more.

The Animas Valley keeps you close to the action of Durango yet just outside of it. The valley provides convenient access to the growing ski resort and you can enjoy the picturesque beauty of the national park. You’ll find the south and east ends of town to be rural and an area where you’ll have a pretty good chance of having a farmer or rancher for a neighbor. There are also a handful of smaller lots with modular or mobile homes. It is one of the most affordable areas in Durango.

Victorian homes in DurangoOn the northeast side of town you’ll find the neighborhoods of Florida River Estates, Edgemont, Timberline Estates, Durango Hills, Tween Lakes, and Lemon Dam. Here you can take advantage of small town charm while still being in close proximity to coffee shops, restaurants, galleries and trails in the Durango area.

The west side of Durango offers large communities such as Rafter-J, Shenandoah, Durango West and Durango West II. There are great architectural and community opportunities here.

To the south of the heart of Durango you’ll see opportunities for affordable ranches and ranchettes as well as multi acre lots. The neighborhoods of Florida Mesa, Sunnyside and Bondad are found here.

Whether you’re looking for Victorian, Queen Anne, Bungalow or cottage type architecture, you’ll find it in Durango. You’ll also find the low maintenance life style opportunity available in condos. Durango truly has it all. Image By McGhiever (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons – By Ellin Beltz (Own Photo) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Durango Holiday Events

As there is always a vast array of diverse activities to partake in throughout the Durango, Colorado area, December and the holidays is no different. Come experience a holly jolly time in Durango with these local events:

Winter Solstice Artisans’ Market is happening almost all month long from December 1st through the 22nd. Come buy a one of a kind gift for the holidays that just exudes the uniqueness of Durango. This event is held at the Durango Arts Center.

The Polar Express will be chugging along from December 1st through the 31st. Bring your little ones and take a ride to the North Pole and enjoy some “hot hot hot hot chocolate”. This is an adventure that’s sure to delight complete with Christmas carols and a gift from Santa. Follow link for more information.things to do in the winter in Durango

A Traditional Family Christmas is an annual Durango holiday event that happens this year on the 8th of December from 3:00 to 5:00. This is a very special event with all three Durango Choral Society Choirs, Santa and audience sing alongs. There will also be some holiday surprises including a special appearance by Bob Seney! Follow the link for more information.

Doorways to Durango Christmas Home Tour is a tour of four Durango homes done up merry and bright for Christmas. For the ticket price of $10 you can tour these homes and take in all their winter wonder. Call Rosie Van Cleave at (970)247-0044 for tickets. Proceeds benefit the Catholic Daughters of the Americas, to be shared with area charities.

The New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade on December 31st is a great way to end the year. Join us from 6:00 to 7:00 at Durango Mountain Resort as the parade celebrates as it makes its way down Purgatory Mountain followed by fireworks. There will also be dinners and parties beginning at sunset.

Durango CO Real Estate Market Report

Durango Colorado, nestled in the southwest corner of the state, offers mountain living at it’s finest. During the winter months it slows down around here but to many buyers, the home buying process is just getting exciting.   The competition is not as steep as it is in the spring and summer months. Sellers are also more  motivated and are willing to negotiate for a lower price.Durango CO real estate marlket

Currently there are 916 properties for sale in the Durango area stretching north along Highway 550 and South of downtown. Property prices start at about $6500 for lots, land and manufactured homes. At the top of the list is an $18 million parcel of land near Granite Peaks Ranch. The median list price is currently $349,000. The average list price is $732,000. The median sales price is $347,000. Of these 916 homes for sale only 27 are bank owned or foreclosures. This is great news comparatively to where we were just a few years ago where foreclosures almost outranked owners/sellers.

The average listing price has gone up about 15% over last month and the median sales price has increased 2.2% or about $7500 over last year. The number of sales however has dropped. The number of sales per month is at 143 which is 19.7% lower than it was a year ago. This is basically due to lack of inventory. Home builders are scrambling to keep up with demand by building new subdivisions and developments. Many of these developments were halted for several years while the economy struggled to recover. The lowest median sales price over the past 5 years was in 2012 at $289,000 and the highest in 2009 at $356,000. Since 2012 we have seen an increase in home prices and the middle of 2013 actually brought some of the highest prices since 2009.

So what’s the plan for home buyers and sellers?

Buying now means you won’t have the competition as in Spring but sellers may find themselves lowering their price far lower than they really want to go. If you need to sell now, do so before major changes hit the mortgage and real estate industry in 2014. Now that the economy and housing market is in recovery, interest rates will continue to go up possibly preventing many new buyers from obtaining a loan.

Want to know what you Durango home is currently worth? Call us today to find out.

Christmas is in the air!


Durango Christmas weasel seen in the window at Sorrel Sky

Just a quick walk down Main Street says that the Holidays are certainly on their way!

The merchants are in full celebration mode! Some have already put up festive colorful decor. Some are marking sale items brightly and boldly.

The creativity abounds!

The bead shop has colorful glass baubles hanging on various lengths of bright ribbons. Many shops have added twinkly lights and fake snow. Soon each and every shop will have some semblance of cheer.

Our favorite of the day featured this holiday weasel. He absolutely screamed greetings as we walked briskly toward lunch opportunities. You can visit him too! He is at “Sorrell Sky Gallery”

Durango is always fun and festive, so the approach of holidays is just one more reason to celebrate being here!

Transportation??? OK

Ride to Work in Durango

Bicycles in Durango

There is a large banner across Main Street. It is advertising “ride your bike to work day.

Sure! That would be lovely if you lived close to work… Like next door.
It might be more realistic if you had ridden a bike in the past twenty years, and if you owned a bike.

It is amazing how even the thought of a lengthy bicycle ride makes the muscles in my legs tighten up! This is right up there with “to dream the impossible dream!”

To be honest, my bicycle riding days ended with the acquisition of a drivers license.

I rode one for years and then traded the discomforts of wind sweat and weather for the comforts of enclosed transportation .

No doubt I was healthier before my advance in comfort, but those days are so far past, it does not seem practical to try to return to my youth.

So, while I take my hat off to the idea and to those who can embrace the concept, but, at least this year, the bike day will not see me participating! For the rest of you… Ride on!

Nathaniels Hat Shop in Mancos CO

Have you ever been inside a Hat shop? Granted…. it’s not in Durango but it’s close enough over in Mancos CO. I am talking about one of those rare shops where hats are custom made.

Whether you have, or have not, it is an experience that you would probably enjoy.

The process is an intensive art form. The choices of fabrics are greater than I had dreamed. The choices of designs and styles are wide and varied.

Everyone really need’s a hat in this climate. In fact each season should have its own. Sunburned scalp is not attractive or comfortable.

Since we lose heat through our head, winter also begs for protection. It is not so much a fashion statement as it is a health accessory. We just do feel more comfortable when we dress correctly.

The art of hat making requires a combination of tools, knowledge and skill.

Would it surprise you to know that there is a master craftsman in a small shop in downtown Mancos?

We stopped in to take a look a couple of months ago. Look evolved into purchase. Ralph was able to select a beautiful beaver pelt to have his custom masterpiece made from. It will be ready for wear in October. By then we may be able to decide what sort of hatband would look best.

Be assured that Ralph is looking forward to his new winter hat. We will share its completion with you then.

Durango Diner in Durango CO 81301

Durango Diner Counter

Durango Diner shot of breakfast counter

Your momma probably told you not to judge a book by its cover.

It is also a good idea not the judge a dining establishment by its exterior.

We had heard about the Durango Diner all the years we lived in Durango before, but we never went there. It was not that it looked bad, it just did not appeal to our senses.

Since we have been back, having found that we preferred living in Durango to anywhere else, we have eaten a lot of breakfast meals.

When our favorite two places proved to be waaaayyyy too crowded last week we decided to give the Durango Diner a try.

What a neat experience! Nothing fancy, just really good food and plentiful amounts of it! We had a heaping plate full of hash browns, bacon, eggs and toast at a reasonable price. There were many other choices too.

Not only good food was found , but an entertaining wait staff is there too. We can say that we did not have a single dull minute during the entire time we were there.

If you walk out of this diner without a pleasant attitude, you just flat are not trying!

Vintage cars heading toward Durango!

Antique cars to Durango

Antique cars headed to Durango

Hwy 160 runs from Durango to Pagosa Springs and features scenic vistas. Sometimes it offers even more.

Today on our return trip to Durango from Bayfield we noticed several vintage vehicles ahead of us. Very Vintage! Then as luck would have it, we ended up stopped behind two of them at a highway construction happening.

Turned out the vehicle was a 1920 beauty from Iowa! Who would have thought of traveling that far in a car of that vintage? What would you do for parts in the event of a break down? Where would you find a mechanic who could work on something of that age? How brave to make that drive! Wonder what kind of gas mileage those cars get? It seems incredible that they have made it this far from where ever they started out!

There must be an antique event somewhere in Durango, but we have not heard anything about it. We will be looking all around when we get back in town this evening.

Vintage cars have always been an interest of mine. In my youth I even indulged in building vintage model cars. The oldest I ever attempted was a 1932 Ford. Imagine one in Candy Apple Red with rolled and Pleated seats.

There is something incredibly splendid about the lines of those Vintage Vehicles.

How many times have you encountered a convoy of Antique cars? Just one more of the super perks of living in Durango Colorado!  In the event a trip to the Durango area is in your future don’t forget to call us 970-759-1007!  We’re Ralph and Jeanne…. The Durango Home Team