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Durango Real Estate Blog

CAR Reports for January 2018

This week, we have the latest real estate numbers for La Plata County for the month of January. 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 January 2017 to January 2018, and year to date information for both years (which at this point is the same information as the January to January comparisons). 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 more listings January 2018 compared to January 2017, which is a great start for activity. There was a 31.1% change compared to last year! The sold listings were slightly lower this January 2018 compared to last January (only by 2 sales). At $394,200 the median sales price starts the year above January 2017’s median sales price.

The La Plata County townhouse/condo market had fewer new listings in January 2018 compared to January 2017, but slightly more sold listings this January than last. However, the median sales price is lower this January 2018 compared to last January.

Durango In Town single family homes are off to a solid start, as well. While there was a slight increase in new listings this year compared to last, and a slight decrease in sold listings this year compared to last, the median sales price has increased this January 2018 compared to January 2017, with a 10.7% change compared to last year. The Durango In town townhouse/condo market had an increase in new listings, minor decrease in sold listings, and a decrease in the median sales price this January 2018 compared to last January 2018.

Durango rural single family homes had a standout month in terms of activity. There were a total of 43 new listings, which is a 53.6% change from the previous year, up from 28 new listings in January 2017. This January had one sale more than last, and the median sales price is increased compared to last, with a 12.1% change.

Overall, we are seeing activity in the market and look forward to another year of La Plata County real estate. As always, we would love to discuss any particular questions and market information further.

Mahogany Grille—A Special Meal


Are you looking for a nice evening out? Maybe a Valentine’s date this week or weekend? Durango’s Mahogany Grille is one of our unique restaurants. Located in the Strater Hotel, its Victorian Old West ambiance is a special feel, and the food tastes great too!

They serve breakfast, weekend brunch, and dinner. The dinner menu features specialty fish, chicken, pasta, steak, and even unique items such as Pan Fried Colorado Trout or House Smoked Colorado Elk Sausage. Of course they offer a fantastic dessert selection, as well as wine and spirits! They also support local food. Local vendors include Windsong Farm, LB Meat Coop, James Ranch Cheese, and more.

There’s a special this week: Classic Chateaubriand for two or Maine Lobster Pappardelle Pasta for Valentine’s week served in addition to the Winter menu Wednesday Feb.14th through Saturday Feb. 17th.

The Mahogany Grille is the perfect location downtown, and a great place to enjoy a local, unique meal. Step in for a taste of Colorado with the quaint feel of history surrounding you. Here’s the website for more information: Enjoy a special meal and experience!

La Plata County January Residential Real Estate Sales

It’s hard to believe we’ve just completed the first month of the year! This week we have the La Plata County Residential real estate numbers for the month of January. With 68 total sales, it’s an interesting start to the year. This is the highest number of sales in any January since prior to 2010. Historically, the winter months tend to be the slowest in our area, so it’s a positive sign that January started off slightly higher than several past years.

The median sales price for the month ended at $384,686. This is lower than the end of 2017, so we will watch it as the year progresses to see if it inches up towards last year’s numbers.

We are excited for the strong start to the year, and hope the momentum continues. Now is a great time to start thinking about buying or selling in preparation for the spring selling market. Visiting open houses is a great way to gain an understanding of the market and what is available. Max will be holding an open house at Crimson Cliffs #17, 18 & 8 on Saturday from 1-3, and Cassie will be holding 2253 W. 3rd Avenue on Sunday from 1-3. Stop by, visit the homes, and chat with us. We’d love to see you! As always, we welcome any questions you may have on the La Plata County real estate market.

Maria’s Bookshop: A Local Favorite

Durango offers a lifestyle unlike anywhere else. Once a week, we focus on events, restaurants, businesses, and hobbies in and around Durango. There’s no shortage of amazing locally-owned businesses! One local favorite is Maria’s Bookshop, located on Main Avenue (across the street from The Wells Group). It’s been in business for more than 30 years, and is a strong supporter of local authors and community involvement. Their shelves stock more than 40,000 books! Many of the books are from local authors or have a focus on Southwest Colorado.

In addition to running their business with Durango in mind, they try to operate as a green business. They promote alternative transportation and sponsor a bike rack in front of the store, as well as purchase green energy. They also purchase from other locally-owned and independent businesses!

Kids and dogs are welcome! They have a Children’s Corner, and often offer a story time on Tuesdays. It’s usually at 10:00, and kids can enjoy a story in the bookshop. It’s the perfect outing, especially at this time of the year when it’s nice to be inside!

If you’re strolling down Main, be sure to shop in Maria’s, and if you need a fun place to take the kids, stop by their story time on Tuesdays. Take a look at their website for more information:

So You Want to List Your House? Part Three: An Offer is Received

If you’re considering listing your home, we’ve been writing a series on steps that occur for the home listing: initial steps prior to listing and what happens once a home is on the market. This week we’ll cover the next phase: once a property receives an offer. Below is a general overview of our process; of course, the steps may vary based on each individual situation.

Once an offer has been made, the broker reviews the offer, then we call our client to highlight some of the key elements. After an initial overview, we will often meet in person to review the offer or send it for review, followed by a thorough discussion.

Response Time: Typically, the response time from the seller is determined by the offer. Oftentimes the real estate broker on the other side (the buyer’s side) will give a limited time period for response. In some cases, it can even be an unfair or too short of time period. There’s no concrete time standard, but most agents know they don’t want to compete with other offers. If the buyer and agent are truly interested, they’ll want a quick response to alleviate the possibility of another offer coming in and creating competition. Legally, an offer is no longer valid beyond the specified acceptance date and time.

Reviewing Quality (and Quantity) of Offer: Several areas are considered in the quality of the offer: price (is it within reasonable range of the listing price, an expected range?), review of how the buyer’s financing will work (how much cash, down payment, or loan?), thorough review of dates (be sure they conform with normal time periods) and they work for the needs of seller. Some of the most critical dates are: inspection, loan approval, and closing and possession dates. It is often critical for the seller to have enough time between the final contingency date and the closing and possession dates.  We also review anything in the additional provisions section of contract. This is where real estate brokers will likely put any additional requirements, for example: contingency clauses, cleaning clauses, or expectations from seller. In this process, an expert is crucial to help a client review and evaluate the quality of an offer.

Negotiation: After we, both the broker and seller, have a thorough understanding of the offer dates, value, and quality, then we are ready to discuss negotiating. The negotiation process, if it’s successful, will often have up to 4 parts: first is the offer we receive, second is the counter proposal from the seller, third is a renegotiated contract or counter from the buyer, and the final is a final counter from the seller. This is not always the case, but often it takes that level of negotiation to get an offer together. Also, we have often found if we are not successful in getting an offer together within those four steps, we won’t be able to get to a successful contract.

Impact of the Market: The market will impact how long the negotiation process takes. If it’s a strong seller’s market, the buyer will likely want to give a better offer with the hopes of a quick acceptance. If it’s a strong buyer’s market, the buyer will be asking the seller to participate more. Checking comparable sales of homes is part of this process. One of the key statistics that helps a seller know what a fair negotiation is for their home is the comparison of final sales price vs. the last list price for comparable homes. For example, if there have been 15 home sales and the final sales price vs. the final list price is 95%, then we can conclude there was an average of 5% negotiation. Obviously, this is where expertise can make a drastic difference, and this is a very thorough process. In addition, access to reports and numbers allows the data to be considered and evaluated. An expert needs to guide clients through this process to achieve optimum results. At The Durango Team, we take this process seriously, and strive to guide our clients through each step of the home sales process to allow a seamless home sale. We would love to discuss this process further. Please contact us if you have any questions!

Snowdown 2018—A Black Tie Affair

It’s the time of year for Durango’s favorite winter celebration: Snowdown starts this week! This year is the 40th celebration of Durango’s iconic winter festival. January 31-February 4, it’s sure to be a fantastic week. Starting Wednesday, you’ll want to maximize the events in town. There are adult-only events, kid events, and events for the whole family. This year’s theme, It’s a Black Tie Affair, is a special way to ring in this year’s anniversary.

Wednesday’s events include the Snowdown Fashion Dos & Don’ts, Popsicle Snowflakes (project for kids), the 40th Annual Snowdown Bartender’s Contest, the 13th Annual Snowdown Kids Follies, and a Salsa Making Contest.

Thursday includes Family Feud Snowdown Style, A Most Elegant Hot Wing Eating Contest, Name That Tune, the Snowdown Jr. King and Queen Contest, Beer Bingo, Salsa Dancing, and more.

Friday includes Snowdown Champagne Pong, Pantyhose Bowling, the Snowdown Follies, the Snowdown Ski Softball, and local favorite: The Snowdown Light Parade at dusk. The parade is Durango’s only nighttime parade, and it’s a special evening to venture downtown.

Saturday offers a Black Tie Pre-School Dance Party, Snowdown Chili Cook-Off, Canine Fashion Show, Snowdown Follies, 6 PM Snowdown Fireworks (The Wells Group is a sponsor of this one!), and more.

Sunday concludes the week of fun, with Local’s Benefit Day at Purgatory Resort, the Snowdown Balloon Rally, Snowdown Slowdown Party, and Super Bowl Viewing Party.

Snowdown has been a winter highlight for all of Durango for many years. We love the community excitement and collaboration that goes into this week full of events. Be sure to take a look at the schedule of events for a full listing of activities and excitement, and Happy Snowdown!

So You Want to List Your House? Part 2 of 3

Last week we wrote about the process of listing a home, and what steps are involved. This week, we will address the next phase of the home sales process: the time on the market. Next week we’ll address what happens once an offer is placed on a home.

One of the most important questions to answer is this: what draws a buyer to a home? What are the unique features and showing qualities of your home? The demand in the market is a large factor. Understanding what type of buyer may be interested in your home will aid in how to stage it, what features to emphasize, and what may be important to various demographics of these buyers. This takes the experience and knowledge of your real estate broker, and The Durango Team aims to answer these questions to set you up for a successful sale.

Everyone hopes for a quick sale. The first aspect to understand is time on the market will be impacted by the number of buyers vs. the number of homes on the market. In a medium priced home, with a favorable location, a seller expects to see more activity. Conversely, higher priced homes and homes in locations that don’t draw as many buyers will likely be on the market longer. So how else can you, the homeowner, maximize opportunities while your home is on the market for a fast sale?

  • Marketing: we believe marketing is a crucial aspect to attracting potential buyers. Because of this, we have a detailed and strategic marketing plan for every property we list. This may include open houses, advertising, communication to other real estate agents, social media presence, weekly blogs, and more. We showcase your property to get potential buyers through the door! You can help by ensuring the marketing strategy and descriptions match the values you see in your home. As the homeowner, your direction is helpful to achieve optimum marketing.
  • Feedback: Once our marketing has successfully brought potential buyers to a home, it’s time to consider the feedback from a showing. After each showing, there’s an opportunity for a homeowner to evaluate the feedback from the person who looked at the house. Sometimes information from showings indicates an easy fix. For example, a potential buyer or Realtor could comment that the curb appeal on a home needs help. If that’s the case, you, the homeowner, may decide to amplify curb appeal to assist future showings. Other times, feedback from a showing is a comment regarding an area that is impossible to change, such as a home location, negative neighborhood character, busy street, or less functional floorplan. If we receive repeated negative comments, and if you believe the comments to have merit, a review of your marketing strategy may be necessary.
  • Consider Changes: After a home has been on the market for a time, we evaluate the overall success of showings and the response to the home and consider changes. If there is consistent feedback on an issue that can’t change (see above paragraph), we utilize the opportunity to consider pricing strategies, and what works best with our clients’ goals and timeline. Showing feedback is a crucial element to decide what can be overcome for showings, or what may need to be reflected in the price.

Time on the market is often impacted by how quickly a client needs to sell their home. In many cases, a seller needs to sell the home quicker to meet obligations or family transitions. Consequently, those sellers will often price the home more aggressively.

In many ways, the time on the market requires an expert to navigate homeowners through the process. The knowledge The Durango Team offers enables us to guide our clients in pricing strategy and potential changes to the marketing of a home. Our experience and expertise will help you maximize feedback while you’re on the market, with a goal of minimizing the time.

Local History Found at The Animas Museum

Are you curious about La Plata County history? We have the perfect place in town to get a glimpse of our past: The Animas Museum. Built in 1904, the museum formerly operated as the Animas City School. Built in 1876, Animas City predates Durango, and is located just north of present day Durango. When Durango was built, most businesses moved there (two miles south). In 1948, Animas City annexed with Durango.

The three-story museum building was at one time Animas City’s educational, social, and community center. After many years, the roof was restored to its original condition and now operates as our local museum. There are fascinating museum exhibits, offering information on various aspects of local history. Exhibits include: a restored 1905 classroom, stories of how people came to La Plata County, Law and Disorder (Wild West at its best!), a section on the impact of fires in the county, a Native American Gallery, and a recently-opened exhibit on WW1 in La Plata County. Currently, there’s even a Snowdown Exhibit at the museum, which showcases items from various Snowdown years, all the way back to 1979. Now’s a great time to stop by and soak up our local roots and history.

Located at 3065 West 2nd Avenue in Durango, it’s convenient to visit, and admission is reasonable. Take a look at the website for more information and resources: We hope you enjoy learning more about our unique and fascinating history!

So You Want To List Your House?

As we are well underway with January, this is the time of year many of our clients start anticipating the spring selling market, and plan to get their house on the market for the spring. Are you wondering what’s involved with listing your house? How does the process work? Why use The Durango Team? This blog will give an overview for you. First of all, if you’re considering listing your home, now is a great time to clean and de-clutter (perfect time for a New Year’s Resolution!). Maybe you’ll decide you want to refresh the paint or clear out some knick-knacks. This basic step makes a drastic difference when a home is listed. When you’re ready, here are the next steps:

1). Give us a call! We will pull public records, come view your property, and meet you! This step is crucial for us—it lets us look at the nuances and benefits of each property so we can accurately guide you throughout the process.

2). Meet with us. We will go over a Comparative Market Analysis. After we’ve seen your property, we’ll be able to take a look at comparative sales, or “comps,” one of the factors that will help us guide you for home pricing. The Durango Team has extensive experience with aiding our clients in selecting a range for home pricing. We consider the comps, the market, and the current competition. This factor is one of the most important for a successful home sale, as the price allows us to capture the right buyers. Our real estate experience and knowledge of the local area allows us to direct our clients toward success. For more on the importance of pricing, see our past blog:

We will also communicate our marketing plan. The Durango Team stands apart in our dedication to marketing. Our marketing plan typically incorporates: Durango Herald Advertising, a social media and online presence, open houses, weekly blogs, and more. We will discuss our specific marketing plan for your property. We believe that strong marketing aids in a successful home sale.

3). Schedule photos and video walk-thru. After you’ve decided to list your home with us, we will schedule a comprehensive photo shoot and video walk-thru. We consider the time of day for best lighting on the exterior, and utilize professional-grade equipment. Once in house, we take each photo into Photoshop and create custom overlays and color corrections for the best high-res presentation. Each property is then entered into the MLS system and sent to the sellers for approval. Once approved, the MLS listing is made active and a hot sheet notification is sent to all area brokers.

After going live on the MLS, we create a custom flyer for each property containing the information about the property and highlighting its best accents and features.  The brochure is then digitally transmitted to all area brokers via e-mail. The video creation serves as the virtual tour and is included in all MLS IDX feeds to several websites and available on our YouTube channel.

Generally, the process takes a week to ten days from the initial walk-thru of a home if a client is ready to list a home. The above are just the first few steps in the process of marketing and selling. We will cover other aspects of the home sales process in future blogs. We believe working with experts will enable a smooth and successful sale. We’d love to discuss any questions you may have!

Tequila’s Mexican Restaurant

Durango is known for our restaurant variety. At one time, Durango even had more restaurants per capita than San Francisco—that’s a pretty amazing statistic, and one locals love to claim (read this article, it’s a fun one: ).

While we have restaurants of all caliber—causal to fine dining, we have a fantastic selection of family-friendly eateries. If you’re looking for an affordable meal out, try Tequila’s Mexican restaurant. This is a local favorite, with both unique menu options and traditional Mexican entrees. Enchiladas, tacos, fajitas, and more fill the menu, as well as meat and seafood options. Specialty items include: Chorizo Con Huevos, Prawn Fajitas, Camarones A La Crema, and a personal favorite: the carne asada. They also offer all types of drinks: margaritas, wine, cocktails, and non-alcoholic drinks.

Located on Main Avenue, it’s the perfect stop when shopping or walking downtown, or after a day on the slopes. There’s even a Bayfield location if you happen to find yourself close to that area. We love Durango’s restaurant variety, and lunch or dinner at Tequila’s is the perfect meal selection when that Mexican food craving hits. Take a look at their website for location details and information: