Tuesday, November 28, 2006

TEXAS: We've just returned from our annual pilgrimage to Texas to see the grandbabies. The only positive thing about the trip (other than the grandkids) is it serves as a reminder that our Durango area is truly a special place to live.

The first morning we stepped out of the hotel with the pups, all you could smell was automobile exhaust. We were reminded that the haze that lay over the city was not fog, it was pollution. Cars and people, people and cars - and everywhere, lots of noise.

Happiness is Texas in the rear view mirror. On the return trip home, as we dropped down into Bloomfield, the snow capped La Platas let us know we were home and the tensions began to ease. We were welcomed by a beautiful blanket of snow.

Durango, you're special. See why at http://www.HomesInDurango.com and http://www.DurangoRealEstate.biz.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

WILDLIFE: According to a recently released insurance survey, collisions between automobiles and deer is an increasing problem on U.S. roads. Deer related car crashes, including wrecks involving elk and moose, are up almost six percent compared to last year's deer season.

Deer collisions become more frequent during the fall and winter due to animal migration and the mating season, which typically occur from October through December.

About 1.5 million deer/elk vehicle collisions happen each year in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Those accidents cause about 150 deaths and $1.1 billion in property damage annually, according to NHTSA.

In Colorado, the Highway 160 corridor from Mancos to Pagosa Springs leads the state in the number of animal related crashes. Also, as the elk leave the high country and settle into the Animas Valley for the winter, automobile/elk collisions increase significantly. Increasing deer and elk populations together with continued encroachment into their natural habitat have added to the risk.

Drivers should slow down and use high-beam headlights as much as possible and be aware that deer and elk travel in groups. Where there is one, there are probably others close behind. "Deer whistles," devices that attach to the vehicles' front bumper have been shown to be ineffective. The best prevention is to use a little "common sense" when on the road.


Friday, November 10, 2006

PRICING: One of the more difficult things in working with a homeowner in the marketing of their property is arriving a proper offering price for the home. It's hard, and sometimes impossible, for the owner of a home to emotionally detached him or herself from the years of memories, personal experiences and, often, just lots of hard work that they put into the property.

There are many, many reasons why homes are put on the market. We see homeowners downsizing after the children are grown. Medical conditions sometimes place individuals in situations where the sale is a must. Selling a home to retrieve equity to supplement retirement is also common.

One thing is true in every situation. The amount of money needed for retirement, medical expenses and the like has no bearing on the value of the home. A homeowner who insists on pricing the home based on current or future financial needs rather than true market value is only worsening the situation.

It's our job, as professional brokers, to assist the homeowner in analyzing current market conditions, reviewing comparable sales and determining the highest and best price for placing the home on the market.

Our clients have found our websites http://www.HomesInDurango.com and http://www.DurangoRealEstate.biz to be very beneficial in keeping up with the Durango real estate market.

Monday, November 06, 2006

DAAR: The Durango Area Association of Realtors donated $40,000 to seven non-profits, a $10,000 increase from 2005. The organizations receiving funding included; La Plata County Community Development Corporation, Southwest Center for Independence, Habitat for Humanity, Volunteers of America-Durango Community Shelter, Mercy Housing Colorado, Housing Solutions for the Southwest and Colorado Housing, Inc.

This money will help with new building projects as well as supporting low-cost rental units and helping families in need of emergency housing.

The Colorado Association of Realtors Housing Opportunity Foundation donated $639,000 this year to various housing organizations across the state. Grants ranging from $385 to $100,000 were distributed to 85 agencies, and the funding will support homeless programs, crisis shelters, construction of affordable housing, down-payment assistance and more.

It feels good to be involved in an industry that not only recognizes the needs of the communities we serve but is also willing to contribute both time and assets to those in who need assistance.

To learn more about Durango and our wonderful area you are invited to visit http://HomesInDurango.com and http://www.DurangoRealEstate.biz.

Friday, November 03, 2006

MORE STATS: Of the homes sold in the 3rd quarter the average number of days the properties were on the market were:

In Durango - 132, in Bayfield - 139, in Ignacio - 56 and 130 in the county.

Follow the Durango real estate market at http://www.HomesInDurango.com and http://www.DurangoRealEstate.biz.