Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter, July 2013

Happy 237th Birthday, America! Also, happy 122nd birthday to Pagosa Springs!

Well, I had a great time on the first leg of my summer vacation. My wife, Laurie, and I just got back from Tennessee. When we got back from the Smoky Mountains, we really go to see some smoky mountains here at home. There are currently three separate wildfires burning in our part of the state. For management purposes, the three fires have been combined into one “incident” called the West Fork Complex and have so far burned about 100,000 acres total. All three fires were caused by lightning. The smallest fire is burning in the vicinity of Wolf Creek Ski Area, but it has not damaged the resort. The biggest fire is burning between the West Fork of the San Juan River and our neighboring town of South Fork. This fire made a run toward South Fork a week or so ago, and the entire town was evacuated. It made the national news. The fire activity has moderated now, and most people have been allowed to return to their homes. The third fire is burning over the Continental Divide from us near the Rio Grande Reservoir above the town of Creede. So far, the firefighters have done a fantastic job and we have not had any loss of structures. We are all very grateful for their efforts.

And guess what? It rained yesterday! I think it has been two months since we had rain. One day last week I slept with a wet cloth over my face because of the smoke. With recent cooler temperatures and a little bit of rain, things have been much better over the last couple of days.

I believe the fires will dramatically affect our local economy. If they have heard about the fires or seen them on the news, tourists will avoid our part of the state. The good news is we have not had any fires close to our town, and the monsoon season should be starting soon.

Let’s talk real estate. May was a tough month, but we rebounded quite a bit in June. Once the dust settles, I expect overall sales to be similar to 2012. One big change is interest rates. They are up about 1% from six weeks ago. We are now at about 4.5%, which means a $100,000 mortgage is going to cost you an extra $57 per month. If there is a silver lining, it may be that buyers who have been sitting on the sidelines now have urgency to buy now before rates go up more. 4.5% is still a great rate.

I’m starting to look forward to my next trip, which is in mid-July. I’m headed up to Alaska to go fishing with my brother.

Happy 4th of July!


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