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After-Thanksgiving Celebrations!

It’s Thanksgiving week, and we are hoping you and your family have a week full of plans to celebrate the holiday. If you need some ideas, Durango offers a couple of fantastic events over the weekend.

Join Singing with Santa, the day after Thanksgiving at Main Ave. and 8th Street. It starts around 5:30/5:45, and Santa arrives at 6 pm. They will be giving out free glow sticks to the first 1,000 kids! Santa will go up Main to Buckley Park, singing Christmas carols. Then, stay to countdown to the lighting of the Community Christmas tree, take a picture with Santa (bring your own camera), and drink hot chocolate and eat cookies.

If you need to get a Christmas tree, consider riding the Durango & Silverton Christmas Tree Train. It’s the regular Cascade Canyon Train ride, but passengers cut a tree from the forest, and bring it back on the train. This is a fun option with a handful of dates available. In addition to the fun of the train ride and finding and cutting a tree, you’ll also be helping the San Juan National Forest. There is an area that needs hazardous fuels reduction and cutting these small white fir trees will reduce wildfire danger along the railroad corridor! Permits are required (but may be reserved through the train and purchased through the SJMA volunteers the day of the train ride), and the train will provide saws. Take a look at the website for more information: http://www.durangotrain.com/events/christmas-tree-train#.WhOMcbSnG9Y

These are just a couple ways to enjoy the start of the Christmas season in Durango. We hope you have a fantastic week!

La Plata County CAR Numbers

This week, we have the latest real estate numbers for La Plata County for the month of October. The attached charts show a detailed breakdown of several market segments in La Plata County, showing La Plata County as a whole, Durango In-Town, Durango Rural, Bayfield In-Town, Bayfield Rural, Ignacio In-Town, Ignacio Rural, and Durango Mountain Area.

These charts indicate the statistics and key metrics for single family homes and townhouses/condos, including new listings, sold listings, median sales price, and more. They compare October 2016 to October 2017, and year to date information for both years. We also see the rolling 12 month median sales price for single family homes and townhouses/condos in these segments. We always appreciate these charts to be able to spot trends within our local market, and compare results to previous years.

La Plata County single family homes had several new listings this October compared to last, however there were fewer sold listings this October 2017 compared to October 2016. The median sales price is also down this October compared to last October. However, year to date there were more new listings, and a higher median sales price through October 2017 compared to through this time last year, although there is a lower number of sold listings year to date compared to last year.  The La Plata County townhouse/condo market had a slower October this year compared to last, as there were fewer new listings and an even number of sold listings, as well as a lower median sales price. Year to date, the townhouse condo market remains stronger this year compared to through this time last year. There have been more new listings, more sold listings, and a higher median sales price. Overall in the La Plata County market, the year to date remains strong.

The Durango in town single family home market had more new listings and a higher median sales price this October compared to last October, but fewer sold listings. Year to date, the number of new listings is lower than through year to date October 2016, but there have been more sold listings. The median sales price is slightly lower in the single family home market year to date this year. The Durango in town townhouse/condo market had fewer new listings, but more sold listings and a higher median sales price this October 2017 compared to October 2016. Year to date, the Durango in town townhouse/condo market had more new listings, sold listings, and a higher median sales price.

The Durango Mountain area townhouse/condo market is an interesting segment to consider. Year to date, there have been more new listings, sold listings, and a higher median sales price. By this point of the year, the trends have solidified a bit, and the Durango Mountain Area townhouse/condo market has seen a stronger year compared to year to date through October 2016.

Take a look at these charts and let us know if you have any questions. We always love discussing the local real estate trends and providing any information that will help you.

It’s Basketball Season!

With the recent time change and an early end to the daylight, it’s the time of year most locals start looking for unique indoor activities. For Max and Don, this is the time of year that signals one of our favorite hobbies: watching Fort Lewis College Basketball. The FLC program is fantastic—quality basketball and a fun environment. It’s the perfect winter activity for the whole family. In a town our size, we are so grateful for a college, and one with solid athletic programs.

The Durango Team has a long-time connection with FLC Basketball. Max played for the FLC men’s team, and both Don and Max are friends with the coaches and have had numerous opportunities to get to know the student athletes.

The season’s already exciting. The women are off to a strong start—they’ve won the first two games of the season. The men have won a game and lost a game. It’s early in the season, so it’s the perfect time to start cheering for FLC.

This Thursday, November 16, both the men and the women play. The women will play at 5:30 and the men play at 7:30. You’ll find us at several of the games this season. We hope you come out and support our team as well!

La Plata County October Residential Real Estate Sales

We’re nearing the final push of the 2017 real estate year, and this week we have October La Plata County Residential sales numbers. This month saw 105 total transactions, which is slightly higher than last month’s numbers. It falls behind the total number of transactions from October 2016, but is still a historically high number of sales for the month October.

Year to date, La Plata County has had 996 total residential sales; last year at this time there were a total of 955 sales. It is encouraging to see the year to date total remain higher than 2016, and with only a couple months left of the year, it’s likely this trend will continue.

The median sales price is at $359,000, higher than last year and any year since prior to 2009. Again, this is a solid trend, and a positive reflection of the state of the La Plata County real estate market. The next couple months tend to be a bit slower historically, but we still see activity through the close of the year.

As always, we would love to discuss any questions you may have on the La Plata County real estate market. Also, we will be hosting an open house at 144 Timber Drive open Saturday from 2-4. Come by and visit, we’d love to see you!

Durango’s Veterans Day Celebration

This upcoming weekend, we celebrate Veterans Day. Saturday, November 11, is the annual holiday that honors those who have served in our armed forces. Did you know Durango has quite the celebration planned?

This year, the Fourth of July fireworks were postponed, and the City of Durango will now provide a firework show on Saturday, November 11 at 5:30. What a special and beautiful show this will be at this time of year! In addition to the fireworks, there will be a parade on Main Avenue at 11 am, between College Drive and 12th Street.

The Transit Center parking lot will also host family festivities starting at 3 pm. These include: food, a beer garden, live music, and kids activities. From the parade to the family activities to the evening fireworks, this will be a unique Durango celebration. The city will also honor both American Veterans and the first responders who aided during the Lightner Creek fire this past summer.

This is a fantastic example of our small-town community. We are so fortunate to live in a place that celebrates and enjoys family-centered activities.  Our team appreciates the service of those who helped during the Lightner Creek Fire, and those who have served or do serve our country. We look forward to celebrating our Veterans, and hope you enjoy the weekend as well!

Why Listing A Home in Winter is a Good Idea

Are you considering listing your home? A common assumption for home sellers is that the spring selling season is the best time of the year to put a home on the market. While there is a significant amount of new listing activity during the spring and summer months, that doesn’t mean listing a home in winter is a bad time. Here are a few reasons:

  • Lower Inventory During Winter. Typically, there is less inventory on the market during the winter season. If there is less inventory, that means there is less competition for sellers. When serious buyers do come around, they’ll have fewer options from which to select, thus making it easier to stand out against competition.

In fact, national news reports that home sales are down, largely due to a lack of inventory. Lawrence Yun, the Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, stated about the third quarter home ownership rate and August home prices:

“The American Dream of home ownership remains elusive, as the third quarter figure shows little change in the overall rate. The reason is simple. There is just not enough supply of homes to fully satisfy the desire to own. The lack of inventory has pushed up home prices by 48% from the low point in 2011, while wage growth over the same period has been only 15%”. While this is on a national level and in reflection of an earlier time of year, the fact remains: real estate inventory is a factor for home ownership.

  • Serious Buyers Search for Homes During Winter. In a place like Durango, we typically see only the serious home buyers looking during the winter. When dealing with snow and cold temperatures, it’s not as common to see the “lookie-loos” who frequent the warmer summer season. If a home buyer is looking at homes during the holiday season and cold temperatures, they’re typically more serious about purchasing a home. In many ways, home sellers avoid the non-serious buyers when homes are on the market at this time of year.
  • Real Estate is Year Round. While it’s true we have seasonal patterns in real estate, there is also the fact that life has surprises. A job transfer, loss of income, or some other personal change may deem a move necessary. Because of factors like these, we see real estate activity year round. This occurs for both buyers and sellers.

Above are just a few advantages to listing your home at this time of year. Our team stands ready all year to aid our clients in making the best decision for their circumstances. We understand that needs vary with each client, and do our best to create a successful home sale at any time of year. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in selling your home.

Also, we will be hosting an open house on Sunday at 17 E. Animas Village Lane from 11-1. Stop by, we’d love to see you!

54th Annual Hesperus Ski Swap

Ski season is upon us! With these colder temperatures, it’s time to be sure you have the right gear! This Saturday, November 4, is the 54th Annual Hesperus Ski Patrol Ski Swap. This is a local favorite, and the perfect place to be sure your winter gear needs are covered. There will be over 10,000 items to choose from, and nearly 20 vendors from the local area (Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) will be selling new and used ski and snowboard equipment. There will also be hiking gear, car racks, and more.

The public will also be selling equipment, which is a unique feature of the Ski Swap. The cost to sell gear is $1 per item, and must be priced over $5.

Ski Hesperus opens on December 15 for the season. The Hesperus Ski Patrol has been operating for over 50 years. It’s an all-volunteer program that provides emergency services (EMS) and avalanche awareness. The Ski Swap aids in raising money to purchase equipment and supplies, maintain the patrol facility, and continue education.

The Hesperus Ski Swap is an excellent way to support this great group of people, as well as supply you and your family with winter sports gear. Here’s the website for more information: http://www.hesperusskipatrol.org/ski-swap

Mold: Awareness, Prevention, and Tips

When it comes to home maintenance, mold is a topic we want to be sure to address for our clients. A common misconception is that mold doesn’t exist or occur in Southwest Colorado. However, that is a false conclusion. In fact, mold is not uncommon at all. We often find it in crawl spaces or attics—places it’s more difficult to see. It can be an aftermath of water leaks, and even be on the underside of the house. Ultimately, mold is a symptom of moisture. In order to deal with mold, any leaks must be fixed, and mold must be removed.

Why is mold so concerning? According to the Center for Disease Control, “Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects, or none at all. Some people are sensitive to molds. For these people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions. Immune-compromised people and people with chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when they are exposed to mold” (https://www.cdc.gov/mold/dampness_facts.htm).

If your home does have mold, what can you do? While some may prefer to hire professionals who handle mold, there are also some recommended solutions to take care of a mold problem. In general, the first step is to fix any leaks/water problems and be sure areas dry completely. You could also consider a dehumidifier to remove excess moisture from the air. In places such as bathrooms, where it’s difficult to keep mold out, cleaning often and ventilating will aid in mold prevention. If mold is present, you can scrub with detergent and water, and let it dry completely. Be careful, and wear gloves, a facemask, and eye protection. For further reading, here are some helpful resources:

https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/how-to-prevent-mold-damage/

https://www.epa.gov/mold/brief-guide-mold-moisture-and-your-home

http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/interior-remodel/how-to-kill-mold

We would love to answer any questions you have, so please let us know. We will be hosting an open house at 17 E. Animas Village Lane on Sunday from 1-3. We would love to see you!

Halloween Activities in Durango

Halloween is a week away, and Durango has some fun events! This weekend will be the Three Springs Fall Festival, on Saturday October 28. There will be games, trick or treating, live music, and more. There will also be the “Plaza Play Place,” which benefits the La Plata Family Centers Coalition by having donation-based activities. Take a look at the website: http://www.threespringsdurango.com/events/11th-annual-fall-festival/

If you’re looking for a local event on Halloween, consider the Downtown Durango Children’s Halloween Trick or Treat with Downtown Merchants. Up to 100 local businesses will offer treats to kids 10 and under from 4-6 pm. Look for the orange pumpkin signs in the windows, so you know who is participating. Children must be in a costume and accompanied by an adult. This is such a fun way to celebrate Halloween, sponsored by the Durango Business Improvement District. You can enjoy a safe environment to trick or treat, and still get home before it’s too late. The Wells Group will be participating! So swing by and get a treat for your kids. We’d love to see you! Take a look at this website for info: http://downtowndurango.org/Halloween

Winter Home Preparation Projects

With cold temperatures on the horizon, it’s time to consider preparing your house for winter. While there are several areas to consider before winter is here, we want to remind you of a couple of the small details that can make a drastic difference. Preparation on the front end can save substantial time and money.

Take Hoses Off Faucets:

We remind our clients of this every year, but the importance cannot be overstated. When hoses are attached and freezing temperatures occur, frozen water can expand and crack the faucet or pipes. In fact, turning off exterior faucets completely, and draining any water from outside pipes and valves would be beneficial.

Crawl Space Floors:

Do not close the vents in your crawl space. Your floors should be insulated for the weather, but you don’t want to close the vents because moisture could be trapped in the crawl space, thus creating mold and mildew. Historically, many people close vents in the wintertime, which traps the air, potentially causing problems.

Clean Gutters:

Be sure to remove leaves, twigs, and other debris from gutters. Ideally, gutters divert water away from a home. If they are clogged, there’s the potential for ice dams. It’s important to check for leaks and to ensure gutters are attached to the house by gutter spikes. Also, downspouts and diverters should move water several feet away from the house, on a downward slope. If you don’t have slopes that drain water away from the house, you may consider utilizing the soft ground this time of year to create slopes to help water drain away from the home. This is also a great time to inspect the roof and replace any missing or damaged shingles.

Fireplace:

This is the time of the year to check your fireplace. Be sure there are no cracks or missing bricks or mortar. Also, take a look to ensure there is no buildup of branches, nests, leaves, or any other type of debris. It’s important to ensure the damper opens and closes properly, as well. Some people hire a professional to clean/ sweep their fireplace.

The above are just some basic maintenance tips to prepare for winter. We encourage you to be sure your home is ready for the freezing temperatures and snow. For more extensive ideas, take a look at these websites: https://www.bobvila.com/articles/502-winter-preparation-checklist/#.WegMsRNSyfU, https://www.houselogic.com/organize-maintain/home-maintenance-tips/fall-checklist/, http://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/gardens/planting-and-maintenance/winter-gutter-maintenance.

If you’re free this weekend, come by our open house! We will be open at 17 E. Animas Village Lane on Saturday from 10-12 and Sunday from 11-1. We’d love to see you!