Wednesday, June 27, 2007

NEW PARK: Dallabetta Park opened Monday with a ribbon cutting ceremony, giving rafters a place to rest and preserving the legacy of a long time Durango family.

The park, located behind Home Depot on the west bank of the Animas River, offers two river take-outs and two picnic shelters. It covers 6.8 acres, with 800 feet of shoreline for angles to cast for trout, adding to Durango's much cherished reputation as a mecca for outdoor activities.

Angie Dallabetta and her family donated 3 acres in 1996 to the city of Durango to create the park. The city acquired the rest of the land from La Plata County.

Monday, June 25, 2007

TRIMBLE CROSSING: Construction has resumed on Trimble Crossing, the mixed use development on the corner of U.S. Highway 550 and Trimble Lane. When completed the development will consist of single family residences with varied densities and local office/retail.

As a part of the development, a traffic signal will be installed at the 550/Trimble intersection. The $1 million development paid project is currently underway and is expected to be complete in September.

The railroad crossing surface at Trimble Lane was replaced last year as the first step in the signal project. The project will include the installation of new railroad crossing signals with gates, widening Trimble Lane to provide turn lanes and a raised center median; providing corner islands on U.S. Highway 550; resurfacing and re-striping the intersection; and installing traffic signals at the intersection. The traffic signals and railroad signals will be interconnected and synchronized to function together.

SUMMER: If the last few weeks are any indication, this is going to be a busy summer season. The town is packed with people and all four trains to Silverton are full of tourists.

Our real estate market continues to be strong. Properties are selling and we are as busy as we have ever been. As markets in other parts of the country improve our market will only get stronger. If you are planning a move to Durango now is the time.

Let us know if we can help.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

PINON TERRACE: With construction well underway on Pinon Terrace, Durango's newest affordable housing property, Mercy Housing Colorado will begin accepting applications immediately and opened its waiting list June 1.

Pinon Terrace, northwest of Mercy Regional Medical Center's new facility, will be home to 66 families who need quality, sage, affordable housing in Durango. Mercy Housing Colorado plans to open the property to residents in October 2007. Pinon Terrace will include one-, two-, and three- bedroom townhouses within walking distance of Three Spring's parks, schools and retail.

Amenities will include washer/dryer hook-ups, ceiling fans, exterior storage, a dishwasher, refrigerator, clubhouse, on-site management office, community room, computer lab and laundry room. All residents will have access to the parks and recreational facilities that are a part of the Three Springs master development.

To apply to live at Pinon Terrace, call (970) 385-8618 and leave the following information: name, address, phone number, size of unit needed, number of people and gross annual income. A Mecry Housing Colorado staff member will contact applicants for an initial pre-qualification consultation.

If we can assist you with your Durango real estate needs, please give us a call or an email. We're here to help. /

Monday, June 18, 2007

AIR CONDITIONING: Summer is here and while most homes in our area do not have central air conditioning and increasing number do. A few simple homeowner checks and maintenance will increase both the life of and the efficiency of your system.

Homeowner Checklist:

The amount of do-it-yourself air conditioning maintenance a homeowner can do is limited. However, there are a few steps that can help the system operate trouble-free and minimize the potential for consequential damage. Ensuring adequate airflow is perhaps the most important homeowner responsibility. Homeowners can (following manufacturer instructions):

* Clean or replace the filter(s) regularly.
* Keep leaves and other debris off the condensing unit.
* Keep the condensing coils clean by carefully brushing and hosing them.
* Keep shrubs and other plant growth that might obstruct airflow at least 18 inches away from the condenser.
* Maintain insulation on ductwork in attics and other unconditioned areas.
* Check the condensate drain for any sign of blockage or leakage. Water should be dripping from this drainline when the unit is running.
* Keep room input and return registers clear of furniture or other obstructions.

Selecting Trained Professionals:

If your air conditioner needs more than the regular maintenance described here, consult a qualified air conditioning technician. A well-trained professional can provide a thorough pre-season or maintenance evaluation and servicing as needed. Insufficiently trained service technicians forsake proper diagnostic procedures and often only perform stop-gap measures to keep a unit going. Such short-sightedness can have a drastic effect on other components leading to consequential failure of the entire system. At a minimum, a technician should:

* Check that the system contains the correct amount of refrigerant.
* Test for refrigerant leaks.
* Check for and seal duct leakage.
* Clean the blower components.
* Measure airflow through the evaporator coil.
* Verify the correct electric control sequence.
* Inspect electric terminals, clean and tighten connections.
* Oil motors and check belts for tightness and wear.
* Check the condensate system for backup or leakage.
* Check operating temperatures and pressures.
* Check the accuracy of the thermostat. /

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

ECONOMICS: Economic opportunities are increasingly coming at altitude. Six of the nations 10 fastest growing state economies last year were located in the Mountain West, including Colorado's, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The Rocky Mountain region has been leading the nation for about three years in overall performance. Strong economic growth is translated into respectable job gains, falling unemployment and rising wages in the region.

Locally, our economy remains strong with unemployment rates below the state average. Its early in the season but it appears we're in for a great tourist season.

Monday, June 11, 2007

HOUSING: A five point plan to help more La Plata County residents crack the tough housing market was unveiled Friday to local and state officials, developers, nonprofit agencies and curious individuals.

The Regional Housing Authority, created in 2004 to help La Plata County turn residents into homeowners, has led the preparation of strategic housing solutions. The plan would:

* Help communities develop policies leading to smart growth;

* Establish city and county ordinances requiring developers provide a percentage of below market rate housing. There are 190 such programs in the United States;

* Create a $10 million trust fund for second mortgage and down payment assistance.

* Establish a land bank through purchase or donations. Tamarron has contributed 6 acres and Three Springs could provide land for rental units.

* Educate and counsel potential home buyers to create a pool of people ready to take on home ownership.

The housing authority wants to help at least 500 families over a five year period. It's aiming its efforts at home ownership for families earning from $25,000 to $75,000 annually. /

Monday, June 04, 2007

RENTALS: Durango's rental market remained relatively stable in the first quarter of 2007, with vacancy rates slightly down and rents slightly up compared with a year ago.

The median price for all rental units in Durango, including two and three bedroom units, was $801, up $24 from a year ago. The median rental price of $801 sets a new high in Durango. Meanwhile, the vacancy rate was 4.3 percent compared with 7.7 percent last year. /

Sunday, June 03, 2007

MEN WHO GRILL: Yesterday we cooked in the "Men Who Grill" competition, a fund raiser for The Women's Resource Center. Twenty-five teams participated in this annual event and the public turnout was fabulous.

Our menu was:
Smoked Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin
with Honey/Mustard Sauce and Grilled Balsamic Peaches. (email me for the recipe)

It's events like this that makes Durango such a special place. There's always something going on. Today is the White Water Rodeo, kayaking competition on the Animas.

Friday, June 01, 2007

DURANGO: Durango's selection by the National Historic Trust as one of the 2007 Dozen Distinctive Destinations is being promoted on the Trust's web site and in their internationally distributed magazine.

The Durango Business Improvement District (BID) is working with the Durango Tourism Office (DATO) and with the city to further support the designation with a new banner to hang over Main Avenue.

Also, the only billboard in Durango (located in the Animas Valley along Highway 550, visible to visitors traveling south, approaching town) will soon advertise the designation as well as Downtown. Rumor has it that numerous travelers make it their "mission" to visit all of the Distinctive Destination cities and towns. The designation surely was a gift to Durango that continues to keep on giving.

Http:// /