The Durango Realty
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Durango Blog

  • The Home-Buying Process: The Beginning - Spring selling season is upon us, which means it’s also the time of year we will see substantial home-buying activity. We wrote a series of articles recently about the sales process from the seller’s perspective, but we also want to focus on the home-buyer’s perspective. There are a couple of practical steps to take if you are ready to buy a home. Meet with a lender to get Pre-Qualified / Pre-Approved. Pre-qualification is a tentative idea of how much a buyer would qualify to borrow. If you’re just browsing the market, a pre-qualification can help determine the price range you can afford. It helps determine your budget and narrow down properties that fall within your approximate loan amount. It also helps give an idea as to loan types a person may qualify to receive. Pre-approval is a more in-depth process that gives an exact loan amount for which a person would qualify. If you’d like to purchase a home quickly, it helps to be pre-approved so you can move quickly ...
  • The 24th Annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown - It’s the time of year again to celebrate the 24th Annual Durango Bluegrass Meltdown, this weekend, April 20,21, and 22. This festive weekend offers a variety of events throughout town to enjoy the music and fun. Starting Friday, there’s a free kickoff at the Powerhouse Science Center at 5 pm. The free two-hour concert opens the festival. Then, the weekend will have events at the Henry Strater Theatre, Durango Arts Center, Wild Horse Saloon, Animas City Theatre, and Durango Elks Lodge. There’s a full lineup on the Main Stage, and attendees may pick from a variety of options. Workshops are another feature of the Bluegrass meltdown. There will be a kids workshop, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, band dynamics, and more! What a unique way to further develop musical skills in this specialized event. In addition to the main stage events, there will be the Band Showcase, which is a free event and features bands who don’t play on the ‘main stage’, as well as a Super Jam, an impromptu gathering of ...
  • La Plata County CAR Numbers for March - This week, we have the latest real estate numbers for La Plata County for the month of March. 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 March 2017 to March 2018, 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 an interesting month. This March 2018, there was a decrease in the total number of new listings and sold listings, but an increase in the median sales price ...
  • Hozhoni Days Powwow & Pageant - Have you heard of Hozhoni Days Powwow & Pageant? It’s a unique celebration that means “Days of Beauty” in Navajo. This student-led tradition at Fort Lewis College honors Native American education. This weekend, April 13 and 14, is the 54th Hozhoni Days Powwow. Whalen Gymnasium will be filled with Native dancers, singers, and performers. Friday evening and Saturday there will be Gourd Dancing, and on Saturday afternoon and evening, there will be a crowning of Miss Hozhoni. This three-day contest contains public speaking, traditional food presentations, and traditional and modern talent performances. The holder of the Ms. Hozhoni title is recognized as ambassador of Wanbli Ota and the Fort Lewis College Native community. While this celebration dates back to 1966 as a celebration put on by the Shalako Indian Club, it’s now become a larger event with performers from all over the nation! The Shalako Indian Club’s name eventually changed to Wanbli Ota, who is the primary sponsor of Hozhoni days. We love that Fort Lewis College offers such diversity ...
  • La Plata County Residential Sales for March - This week we have the La Plata County Residential Sales real estate numbers for the month of March. We are officially one-third of the way through 2018, and this is the time of year we typically start seeing activity pick up for the spring and summer months. March had 73 total residential sales, which is actually slightly lower than March of 2017, which had 77 total sales. However, year to date, we are tracking slightly higher than last year’s total residential sales numbers. Year to date, we are at a total of 210 sales, compared to 208 last year at this time. The median sales price is currently $360,700, and the 2017 median sales price was $365,000. So it’s currently slightly lower, but it will be interesting to see how it changes throughout the rest of the year. Average days on the market remain at historic lows, at 131. Overall, we are seeing some similarities to last year with the market pace, as well as the fast sales cycle. These ...
  • Run the Rim 10k/5k This Weekend - One of the passions of several on our team about living in Durango is the running community. It’s a great way to stay active and participate in a variety of community events. This Sunday, April 8, the Fort Lewis College Exercise Science Department will hold the Run the Rim 5K and 10K. This is the perfect shorter distance for those who are wanting a community run, and a great challenge if you’re ready for the next racing distance! This race will be held on the campus of Fort Lewis College, which offers some of the best views in Durango. The race funds scholarships for Exercise Science students, as well as provides hands-on learning for students in “Administration in Sport Administration.” Entry fees go toward tuition, room & board, books, and fees. It was previously held as the 10k @Three Springs for Books and Things, and now includes a 5K. Take a look at this link for more information and registration details: https://www.fortlewis.edu/exercise-science/5k10kInformation.aspx. This is a great personal challenge, as well ...
  • Time for Wildfire Mitigation - As we enter into the spring and summer months, it’s the time of year to start considering wildfire mitigation. This is an incredibly important topic, especially in light of a relatively low-moisture winter and a history of wildfires in Southwest Colorado. We live in an area that has forestry near many homes, and it’s crucial to be prepared. According to the CSU Forest Service Durango Field Office, “hazards to life and property exist when a fire occurs and where conditions are conducive for the fire to grow” (https://csfs.colostate.edu/durango/du-wildfire-mitigation-education/). By taking preventative measures, such as clearing dead and downed materials, thinning tree stands, and removing other hazardous fuels, you may help reduce the occurrence of catastrophic wildfires (See https://csfs.colostate.edu/durango/du-wildfire-mitigation-education/ for more information). According to FEMA, some of the key components of wildfire mitigation include: “creating a defensible space around your home, using fire-resistant building materials, and regularly clearing combustibles around your home that could serve as fuel for a wildfire” (https://www.fema.gov/wildfire-mitigation-faqs-and-resources). We have several local resources to assist in this process. ...
  • Durango Easter Activities - Easter week and weekend are upon us! If you’re looking for activities this year, Durango has a couple of options: The Durango Parks & Recreation Easter Egg Scramble will be held at the Smith Sports Complex this year. It will be Saturday, March 31, starting at 9:45 a.m. Best of all, this event is free! Ages toddler to 8 will be divided by age group, and the Easter Bunny will be there to start the age divisions and take pictures! All participants should bring their own baskets. This is a unique community event, and a fun way to get outside and enjoy our town. The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will host PEANUTS The Easter Beagle Express train to Cascade Canyon on Saturday, March 31. There will be crafts, music, games, prizes, and more, as well as Easter-themed music. There will also be a reading of “It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown.” After the train ride, there will be an Easter Egg Hunt at the Durango & Silverton Narrow ...
  • Real Estate in the News - This week we want to highlight recent real estate news: the rise of interest rates. You may have seen the news recently but here are some details to consider: According to the National Association of Realtors, “The Federal Reserve voted Wednesday to raise its short-term interest rates, and that likely will mean more mortgage rate increases are on the horizon. The Fed’s rates are not directly tied to mortgage rates but tend to follow 10-year Treasury bonds. However, mortgage rates are often influenced by the Fed’s rates.” (http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2018/03/22/fed-raises-rates-what-means-for-mortgages) This comes after several mortgage rate hikes since the start of 2018. In fact, they’ve risen every week since the start of 2018 except for last week. As of the end of last week (March 15), Freddie Mac reported the following national averages with mortgage rates: 30-year fixed-rate mortgages:averaged 4.44 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last week’s 4.46 percent average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 4.30 percent. 15-year fixed-rate mortgages:averaged 3.90 percent, with an average 0.5 point, dropping from last ...
  • Springtime Weather in Durango - This is a special time of year in Durango— spring. Some may complain that it’s a muddy time with wet snow, but with the right perspective, it’s actually a magical time of year that allows for a variety of activities—quite possibly in the same day! For skiers, there’s still time to ski! This is the time of year skiing is not only a blast, but warmer days also allow fewer layers and nicer weather than the middle of winter. There’s nothing quite like being able to ski on a sunny day and take in the views surrounding Purgatory. For golfers, it’s the time of the year to start the season! Hillcrest Golf Club is open, weather-permitting. For tennis lovers, as long as courts are dry, tennis is a complete possibility and it’s the time to embrace playing. A variety of other outdoor activities start again around this time of the year, and for those motivated to be a bit daring, you could consider skiing then playing golf or tennis in ...
  • CAR Numbers for Month of February - This week, we have the latest real estate numbers for La Plata County for the month of February. 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 February 2017 to February 2018, 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 a slight decrease in total sold listings this February compared to last, and year to date the sold number trails slightly behind this time last year. The median ...
  • Durango Events This Week - Each week, we feature an event, festival, or local company that contributes to Durango’s unique culture and lifestyle. There’s always somewhere local to visit or a fun event occurring. This week, we want to highlight a couple interesting events going on in Durango. This week, the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour will be here on March 16 and 17. These fantastic films will showcase mountain sports, culture, and environmental films. They will be shown at the Fort Lewis College Community Concert Hall. Here’s the link for more information: https://durangoconcerts.tix.com/Event.aspx?EventCode=1058593 The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad will feature The Shamrock Express to Cascade Canyon this Saturday. Irish Beer and Drink specials will be available for purchase, and there will be music by the Kitchen Jam Band both on the platform in front of the Depot as well as on board. There will be a special Irish menu, and passengers are encouraged to wear green or dress in costumes. This is a fun and eventful way to celebrate St. Patrick’s ...
  • February La Plata County Real Estate Numbers - This week we have the month-end numbers for La Plata County residential real estate sales for February. With 66 total sales, it was one sale higher than last February. Year to date, we are at 134 sales, and last year at this time we had 131 total sales. The variance between years is minimal at this point, so it’s certainly too early to tell how the year will unfold. In terms of median sales price, we are actually behind last year’s median sales price. Currently, the median sales price is $340,100, and last year’s median sales price was $365,000. Historically, January and February tend to be the slowest months of our year, and activity and closings pick up with the spring selling season. The average days on the market are still extremely low compared to other years, which indicates a fast sales cycle. One area to note in real estate news is the rising interest rates. As of March 7, the rate for the 30-year conforming loan was at its ...
  • Durango Celtic Festival - It’s time for the Sixth Annual Durango Celtic Festival. Once again Durango offers another fantastic weekend festival that celebrates culture and music. March 8-11, there will be various workshops and performances in downtown Durango. Events will be held at the Henry Strater Theatre and the Irish Embassy Pub. Starting Thursday evening, there is a full schedule of performances.  Performers include: Old Blind Dogs, Daimh, The Hydes, Ed Miller, Patrick Crossing (who has a strong local presence), Kitchen Jam Band (from Durango!), Singing Pilgrims, Truckely Howe, Fellowship of the Strings, Westwind Pipes & Drums (also local), and Next Generation Fiddlers. These musicians come from both far and near, and will be sure to entertain. There’s also a full workshop schedule for the weekend, with a variety of topics. Options include: Celtic Modes, Celtic Fiddle, Vocal workshop, Guitar, Beginning Harp, and much more. There’s even a free open session on Sunday from 12:30-3 upstairs at the Irish Embassy Pub. We love to see events like this continue year after year. They bring ...
  • 2018 Cost Vs. Value Report - This week we want to draw attention to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost Vs. Value Report. Every year, they analyze various popular remodeling projects and the value these projects retain. While it’s an overview, it’s an interesting tool to consider, especially if you’re thinking about investing money into a remodel in the near future. Most of the projects this year saw a slight decline from last year as the cost of these projects increased, while the values only rose for about two-thirds of them. The chart breaks down the various projects by midrange project and upscale project. Interestingly, the top value in cost recouped was for a garage door replacement. This project recoups about 98.3% of the cost. Other top-ranking projects include: manufactured stone veneer, deck addition (wood), and a minor kitchen remodel. We have often said that a kitchen remodel is one of the top value-adds in a home, and this report reflects that data as well. Notably, exterior work generated higher returns than interior renovations (except for the kitchen remodel). ...

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