Sunday, March 30, 2008

MARY: Earlier this month at the Re/Max convention in Las Vegas Mary was presented with Re/Max's Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is one of the highest given by Re/Max and is based on career production. Only a handfull of agents reach this level. Dave Liniger, CEO of Re/Max, presented the award to Mary.
THE CELEBRATION OF SPRING: Spring is a season of the year we look for all winter. It's a time when nature renews herself. Dry seeds shake their husks and send their green antenna into the air. Much of the poetry of spring is couched in rural settings, because that is where spring calls out on all sides. Yet the great mass of people today are living in a world of concrete jungles, smooth and twisting freeways, screeching brakes and clanging fenders. Much of what thrilled Grandfather in the spring of the year goes unnoticed today. The robin on the spring lawn, the daffodils pushing up sometimes through a crust of snow. But the spirit of spring is still alive and will ever remain as long as man is in a climate of changing seasons.

Some years ago, the Boston Globe wrote a little story related to the philosopher George Santayanna. He chose an April day in 1912 to bring to a close his professional career as a teacher at Harvard University. While he was engaged in his last lecture at University Hall a robin landed on the window sill. He looked at it for a moment, then sighed softly, "Gentlemen, I have a date with spring." With that he went out the door and closed his career.

Reprinted from Cheer

Saturday, March 29, 2008
LIFE IN DURANGO: Enough about real estate - THE BEACH BOYS ARE COMING!

June 4, The Beach Boys show will conclude a full day festival in Fort Lewis College's Ray Dennision Field. Festivities kick off at noon with a preshow tailgate "beach party," featuring food, a classic car show and live music. Gates to the big show open at 4 p.m. with none other than Durango's own beach blanket bimbo, Ralph Dinosaur, taking the stage at 5 p.m., followed by other performers. The Beach Boys will take the stage at 8 p.m.

Tickets went on sale this morning at 9:00. Viewing the Concert Hall's on-line seating chart, tickets to this spectacular event are going fast. We've got ours!

HOME SALES: Existing home sales, including single-family, townhomes, condominiums and co-ops, rose 2.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.03 million units according to the National Association of Realtors.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the gain is encouraging. "We're not expecting a notable gain in existing home sales until the second half of this year, but the improvement is another sign that the market is stabilizing." he said. "Buyers taking advantage of higher loan limits for both FHA and conventional mortgages will unleash pent-up demand. As inventories are drawn down, prices in many markets should go positive later this year."

The Mortgage Bankers Association, which produces mortgage application trends on a weekly basis reported a surge in applications in the latest week. Mortgage applications for home purchases rose 11 percent. This rise in mortgage applications for home purchases further hints at a possible end to the housing downward cycle.

If you are considering a purchase of Durango real estate, now is the time.

Friday, March 28, 2008

GOOD NEWS FOR BUYERS: Both conforming loan limits and FHA loan limits have been raised in La Plata County to $443,750. This is in effect until December 31, 2008. These higher limits will enable buyers to obtain a higher loan amount without having to pay the increased interest rate that a non-conforming loan commands. Today the interest rate rate for both conforming and FHA loans is under 6%, a historically low rate of interest. Buyers can obtain conventional loans with as little as 5% down and a FHA loan with just 3% down. This low interest rate, coupled with the rise in the conforming loan amount, should set the stage for a return of consumer confidence and put a buyer in an excellent position to be buying a home.

It is virtually impossible to time a real estate market; to know when the "bottom" has happened. In many areas this has already happened and the markets are showing signs of improvement with the number of pending contracts on the rise. Individuals thinking of buying a home should view this as the perfect time to act while they can take advantage of favorable financing.

The increased conforming loan limit should open up desirable inventory for both first time and move-up buyers as attractive financing puts more homes within reach. It is important to note, we believe now is the time to buy. Our local real estate market, while slowed, is still vibrant. As the rest of the country's markets rebound our prices will escalate.

Please feel free to contact us regarding your Durango real estate needs.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

FUND RAISER: The weather was terrific and roughly 1,000 people turned out for our Fire Disaster Fund benefit. With the help of local restaurants, merchants and businesses we smoked and served about 50 briskets. Local fire fighters and Mercy Hospital nurses pitched in. It was a fun, yet very moving, afternoon and reminded us of what makes Durango such a special place to live. Over $4,000 was added to the Disaster Relief Fund.

Thank you Durango!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

MELTDOWN: The record snowfalls we've experienced this winter have produced super-sized snowpacks of up to 151% above average in some parts of the state. As spring approaches and the days warm the snowpack will begin to melt.

Butch Knowlton, Director of Emergency Preparedness for La Plata County, said that given the high levels of snowpack at or below 8,500 foot elevations, he's watching every single storm coming into the area. "It takes very few hours of moderate rain to make a very significant change in snowmelt runoff," he said. "You're essentially pouring warm water on a frozen depth of snow."

Knowlton said his greatest concern at the present is drainage from the Upper Rio Grande Basin into the Vallecito area northeast of Durango. "A heavy rainstorm could change that river flow within hours." he said. "We got hundreds of homes sitting in the valley floor."

Colorado's mountain snows, even in deep years, tend to melt in an orderly fashion, but if high runoffs combine with intense spring rainstorms, flooding is likely. Flood danger is likely to be the highest beginning in late April and continuing through June as the mountain snows melt.

We recall the spring of 2005 when much of the Animas Valley was under water. Fortunately it involved only undeveloped lands and no structures were lost. Still, we encourage valley homeowners to check on flood insurance and to purchase coverage if none is in place.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

BENEFIT: We have been approved by the city to hold a benefit for the victims of the Main Avenue fire. Friday, March 21st, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm the 700 block of Main avenue will be closed.

Local merchants and restaurants have donated cash and food for the event. Jim McVean & I will have our smokers going (we've got 60 briskets to cook and serve.) Ralph Dinosaur and his band will entertain.

Lots of food - lots of fun! All donations and proceeds will go the the Fire Relief Fund. Come support us.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

WHY REAL ESTATE? Every day we here about the down housing market, the slumping economy and Wall Street losses. There's no argument that housing nationwide has been going through a down cycle. But there's also little doubt about the housing market's long term prospects.

The United States is adding one person every 13 seconds. At the start of 2008, the country had surpassed 303 million residents, almost 3 million more than it had at the start of 2003, according to the Census Bureau. This strong growth is a good sign for the future of the housing market and real estate in general. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of Realtors says, " With a population increase of 3 million, household formation typically expands by up to 1.5 million."

It's easy to recognise the long term need for housing by examining these stats:

* U.S. population as of January 1 , 2008 = 303,146,284

* Percentage change from January 1, 2007 = +0.9

* Rate of U.S. births = 1 every 8 seconds

* Rate of U.S. deaths = 1 every 11 seconds

* Rate of international migration of U.S. = 1 every 30 seconds

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


A pristine community nestled in the beautiful San Juan Mountains with azure blue skies, crystal clear lakes and rivers, abundant wildlife, fishing, hiking, camping, golf, wilderness.....