April 2011 Pagosa Real Estate Newsletter

Hello From Padre Island, Texas!

Laurie and I are traveling this week. Laurie has the week off for Spring Break, and we are enjoying some time in the surf and the sun. It was 66 degrees and sunny the day we left Pagosa. It’s sunny here, too, but the temperature is a bit higher!

2011 is off to a strong start in the real estate market. The stats are up across the board with an overall increase of 15% over last year. The buyers and bottom-feeders are out in force. They’re looking for deals and finding quite a few. My office has been positively bustling with activity in what is traditionally a very slow time of year. We’re now gearing up for the big crush of Spring listings and the arrival of the summer selling season. I’m excited to see what this year brings to the Pagosa market.

I mentioned last month that I’m going to be dealing with water issues in the next several newsletters. My thanks go to Joel Hellwege at Justice Water for his efforts to enlighten me on these issues. This month I want to talk about gallery wells. Most people think that all water wells are holes dug deep into the ground. These drilled wells are common, but they aren’t the only kind of water wells. In fact, some drilled wells in our area dig into oil-bearing shale deep below the surface. The water from these wells often has a rotten-egg smell, and is laden with bad-tasting minerals. In some situations, it is better to install a “gallery” well, also known as a culvert well. A gallery well is located near a river, stream, pond, or spring and is buried about 15 feet below the surface. The gallery well collects water from the saturated ground near the surface-level water source. Sometimes, a gallery well will produce perfectly good water, while a drilled well will produce stinky water from hundreds of feet deep! To decide what kind of well is best in your situation, I recommend you have a professional take a look.

In about a month, those of you who own property in Pagosa will receive your new notice of valuation from Archuleta County. This valuation will be used to determine your property taxes for the next two years. After you receive the notice, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge your valuation, if you so choose, but these valuations and challenges are governed by strict rules which come down from the state and are implemented by the local Assessor’s office. In next month’s newsletter, I’m going to explain how all of this works. I’ll cover the evaluation process, the challenge process, and all the other information you’ll need to ensure you get an accurate, fair property valuation from the county.

Now, it’s time for a little relaxation, because next week, it’s back to work!


Lee Riley
GRI, CRS
2011 & 2014 Realtor of the Year
Phone (970) 731-4065
Fax (970) 731-4068
Cell (970) 946-3856
Email: LeeRiley@ISellPagosa.com