December 2012 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter

This month I’d like to talk a little bit about the local building scene. I was very fortunate to interview my friend and fellow Jann C. Pitcher agent Ron Christensen. Along with being a great Realtor, Ron is also a local builder. I learned that the recent economic downturn has led to lower labor prices here in town. But, these savings have been offset by higher material prices. Overall these two trends have mostly balanced out. Building costs are at or slightly above the level we saw about four years ago.

The amount of local building activity is on the rise. From 2009 to 2011, we usually had about 30 building permits issued by this time of year. This year it is up to 46. This is nowhere near the high-water mark of 200+ that we set back in the boom year of 2007, but Ron tells me that this is enough work to keep him and most of his sub-contractors fairly busy.

New home construction is moving toward the high end of the market. Nobody is building starter homes anymore. You can go out and buy a bank repo for much less than it would cost to build. Ron mentioned that a lot of his current customers are newly retired or about to be retired, and they are building their “dream home.” A bank repo won’t suit them, because they have a very specific vision in mind, and they intend to build it! My thanks to Ron for providing all of this interesting information.

If I may turn to national politics for just a minute, I want to say how frustrated I am that our two political parties can’t seem to find a way to get along and get things done. There are many difficult issues to tackle and some very serious deadlines approaching, but our leaders seem to find time only to bicker and complain about each other.

I urge you to contact your congressional representatives and ask them to work together and compromise. If you live in or around Pagosa, these are the people you need to talk to:

Representative Scott Tipton
Click to Contact Scott Tipton

Senator Micheal Bennet
Click to Contact Micheal Bennet

Senator Mark Udall
Click to Contact Mark Udall

President Barack Obama
Click to Contact Barack Obama

So long for now. I’ve run out of space to discuss the stats this month, but you can always find the latest stats on my website, ISellPagosa.com. Next month will be my big end-of-year newsletter where I’ll compile many years of stats into one very large spreadsheet.

Happy holidays to all my readers, and a big thanks goes out to all of our service men and women who are serving overseas during this time of year.


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