June 2014 Pagosa Springs Real Estate Newsletter

Here comes summer! Temperatures in the 70’s and low 80’s are now the norm. The San Juan River is running high and muddy as the snow in the high country is melting fast. The school year is over, and my wife Laurie has just retired after 25 years teaching special education. Her new priority is grandkids. Gannon is now 20 months old and Leighton is 17 months old. They are so much fun!

Pagosa is going through a transition. A new Tractor Supply store just opened on Highway 84 across from the fairgrounds. I hope the store will help clean up that corner and make it a more strategic location for commercial activity. I have also been told by several people in the know that Wal-Mart is finally about to break ground.

We have a few new restaurants and bars that are about to open. The other day I counted everything up, and by the end of the month we will have a total of 45 restaurants and bars to choose from. I am amazed at the number of choices in our small town.

We had a bit of excitement last month when Governor John Hickenlooper came to town. He was here for a ceremony to sign a new bill into law. The bill provides financing for small clean energy projects in the state of Colorado. Pagosa Springs was chosen as the site for the bill-signing ceremony because we have two new clean energy projects in the works. The ceremony was held downtown in Centennial Park, which was chosen because it is the future site of the Community Geothermal Greenhouse.

Last but certainly not least, the Chamber Visitor Center saga goes on. A couple of weeks ago I was excited about the possibility of the Chamber of Commerce and the Town Tourism Committee being able to get along and do what’s best for their membership, their constituents, and the public as a whole. The latest development is the Town is trying to buy the Chamber building, and they will operate the visitor center there. The Chamber is thinking about taking the proceeds and setting up shop somewhere else. In my opinion, along with most of the other people I’ve spoken with, this is a very bad idea. The Chamber needs to stay in the same building and share the location. The Chamber should poll their membership before making such a rash decision. The Town and the Chamber have had issues in the past, but I know they can work them out in order to benefit the community as a whole. If you have an interest in this issue, please contact Chamber Director Cindi Galabota to let her know what you think. You can email Cindi at c.galabota@pagosachamber.com

Five months into the year, the real estate market is on the mend. After a slow April, residential sales picked up the pace in May. Inventory will reach its annual peak within the next couple of weeks. There is a huge increase in the available inventory between $250,000 and $300,00. This price range is up a whopping 64% compared to last year. Most of the bank repos that popped up earlier in the year are disappearing fast. There are currently just five residential repos in the county which are not under contract.

Building activity is picking up. New construction is only up by two units with 29 this year and 27 last year, but remodel activity is up substantially. The overall number of building permits is 102 this year compared to 82 last year. The local tradesmen have plenty to do.

Speaking of remodels, you may remember that I bought a home to fix up and flip back in February. I hope to have it done in about a week. It was a big overhaul. The home features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office, a dark room, a shop, a two car garage, and it all sits on five acres with huge mountain views. I spent beau-coup dollars making everything shiny inside and out. It’s got a new roof, new stucco, new floors, and an updated kitchen with new granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances . I painted the entire home and remodeled both bathrooms. The home is showing very well. If you know anyone that is looking for something like this, the home will be priced in the $400,000 range. The views, as I said, are magnificent.

Mortgage rates are still low with a 30-year fixed loan coming in at 4.25% and a 15-year fixed at 3.5%. The stock market is doing well, and the stage is set for a good summer. I hope we get some rain to help with the drought and to avoid any summer fires, which could put a damper on the market.

Everyone have a good summer!


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