All posts for the month March, 2016

8 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Attending Durango Open Houses

Durango Open House Sign

If you are looking at purchasing a home, whether or not it is your first home or an investment property, a key process of the home buying process is attending open houses in the area you are looking to buy in. Open houses can provide you with an inside scoop on what kind of homes you may find in that area as well as what you can expect to obtain for your money. Keeping an open eye and asking the right questions can glean for you all of the information you need to decide if writing an offer is in your best interests. I’d like to share a few tips with you to guide you through the open house process.

Inquire About the Home’s Price History

Home Value Fluctuation

Homes on market for long periods of time often have price reductions, the seller’s agent will be able to explain why. Understanding the seller’s motivations for setting their price can help you negotiate the best possible price for a home you are interested in.

Determine the Level of Privacy the Home Offers

Open House Concerns

Take a look out the windows of the home, does the bedroom window look out into a busy street, does a bathroom window look directly into another home’s window? Do you prefer to have a fenced in yard, are the fences in good condition or are they missing parts? The level of privacy a home offers isn’t universal throughout and is certainly worth taking a closer look at, make sure the home you are interested in has the right amount of privacy for you.

Don’t go Through the Owner’s Belongings

Cat in Drawer

I wish I could say this goes without saying, but many an inquisitive person has riffled through other people’s belongings at open houses, don’t. While the overwhelming majority of people in the world wouldn’t dream of taking home a souvenir from someone’s home, going through other’s personal belongings without permission is considered incredibly disrespectful. Anything that lies behind a closed door should only be viewed with the consent of the real estate agent.

Your Nose Knows

Durango Open Houses Bad Smell

As you look around the home, keep an open nose for any strange or foul smells that may be present. Take a whiff around the attic and basement (if the home has one), the presence of an unpleasant odor could be from a number of sources, one of the largest concerns would be the presence of mold. Another potential red flag is the presence of scented candles or incense, they may be there to create a pleasant atmosphere or they may be there to mask a pervasive odor. Should a smell strike you as strange or unpleasant, ask the real estate agent about it.

Ask About the Home’s Time on Market

House Clock, Time on Market Durango Open Houses

There are homes that stay on the market for quite a while before they are sold, there are homes that show up on the market and sell within weeks. Reasons for a home’s longevity on a market are varied, from an offer falling through due to financing to a home being priced outside of the area it is in. Your real estate agent can look up the amount of time a home has been on the market for you, but the seller’s agent (who is hopefully the one hosting the open house) can give you context as to why it has been on the market for as long as it has. Garnering as much information about a home is an important step before you write an offer.

Look at the Home’s Condition

Poor Condition Home

Open houses are presented to demonstrate all the positive aspects of a home, fresh paint and new appliances stand out and impress. Take in all the things that make a home great but you need to be able to look past them as well. Look for anything that can signal structural issues in the home. Look to the floors to see if they are slanted or sagging, cracks in the walls, paint patches on the wall, are the doors easy to open?  Keeping an eye out for any potential issue can save you time and hassle in your hunt for a home.

Feel the “Flow” of the Home

Furnished vs Unfurnished Durango Open Houses

Are you able to move from room to room easily, do the rooms feel spacious and open? A home may feel like it flows well to you, but how much of the flow is due to the home’s furnishings? A vast majority of home that you come across don’t include interior furnishings.Try to imagine the home with your belongings in their place, does it flow well then?

How is the Neighborhood?

Good Neighborhood Durango

Peek your head outside of the home, are the neighboring homes in good condition and well kept? When you purchase a home, you’re not just buying the home but also buying into the local neighborhood. While you are at the home, check to see if there is a great deal of traffic passing by that can wake you in the morning, are there parks or public open spaces near for you or your family to utilize? Make sure the neighborhood is a fit for you as well as the home.

Open houses are a great tool to getting a feel for a home and neighborhood, as with all things the usefulness of it comes from how it is utilized. Hopefully these tips can help you get the most out of your time at any open house you go through.

Gallant Network Logo

Are you looking to buy a home? Let’s have a chat even if right now isn’t the best time. I have decades of experience in the real estate market and can help you make your plans reality.

You can see what local homes sold for here!
Give me a call at 970.335.8225 or send me an email at

Are Your Neighbors Affecting Your Home Sale?

Hey Neighbor

Hey Neighbor

Has your home been on the market for ages?  Your home has had a few showings but no offers have come in? what is causing the lack of interest in your home?

Neighbors Affecting Sale

Perhaps the reason your home isn’t budging may be the same reason that you are trying to move, your neighbor’s property. It could be the unkempt lawn, the dilapidated exterior buildings, or maybe the neighbor’s home itself is lacking repair. Frustrating as a bad neighbor can be, there still may be hope for your home’s sale. Here are a few tips for dealing with less than ideal neighbors.

Reasonable Chatter

Charging down to your neighbor’s home and demanding that they address the issues with their property will be tempting, but you want to be sure of the issues in question before you make your claim. Speak with your Realtor and ask them what you think the problem is, and if they agree with your assessment that your neighbors are contributing to a lack of interest in your home. Be sure to ask around your neighborhood and ask other neighbors in the area what they think to gain perspective before making the trip to your problematic neighbor.

“Speak softly…”

Neighbor Communication

Use tact when approaching your neighbors, telling them that they need to fix things right now will most likely result in strained relationships between you and them with the likelihood of your neighbor undertaking the desired remedies diminished greatly. Present yourself calmly and politely, offer to help them with the fixes and explain that the fixes will not only benefit yourself, but will also increase their home’s value as well. Should you feel that a direct conversation isn’t practical or ideal, try a more subtle push by organizing a neighborhood cleanup and hiring a junk removal service for the community. The problematic neighbors may just clean up their property without needing to be asked

“,,,and carry a big stick”

Big Stick

You’ve offered to help and asked nicely, you’ve done subtle suggestions and given them plenty of opportunities to remedy the issues, but they refuse. There are other steps you can take to force their hand into maintaining their property. Many municipalities  have bylaws concerning the upkeep of property, it may be time to get local officials involved.  Obtaining the backing of your other neighbors can make this process easier to accomplish. Remember though, you should always approach the neighbors first and ask nicely before reporting them to the authorities.

Messy neighbors can be a hurdle to getting your home sold, but can be overcome. The vast majority of cases a bit of diplomacy and the other to help will bring about the solution.


Have you tried selling your home and given up? Was it a lack of interest in your home, lackluster service from your agent, the process being too confusing or tiring, or all three? Let me help you with your real estate goals, My team has decades of combined experience in real estate and I’m considered an expert in my field. Give me a call or send me an email, I’d love to get in touch and answer any questions you may have about Durango real estate!  

Come and see what your home is worth instantly, zero hassle and free!

-Come and see homes for sale in your area here-

Give me a call at 970.335.8225 or send me an email at

Astonishing Home Overlooking Durango

195 Valle Vista

Nestled on almost four acres of land in the secluded, gated community of Far View Estates, this “Tuscan villa-like” home is located within minutes by car, an easy bike ride, or a long walk from downtown Durango and provides striking views of Perins Peak. Within easy walking distance of Hillcrest Golf Course and the Fort Lewis Concert Hall, you can also get a magnificent view of this special home and its stunning roof line from the “Lions Den” on Rim Drive.

Meander through an intimately designed entryway and private courtyard, leading you into the foyer and great room, the attention to detail is everywhere you look and in everything you see. Brought to life by the Durango dream team of architect, Jon Pomeroy and builder,Tom Gorton, this home features Italian porcelain tiled floors and hand painted accent pieces, which keep the home cool in the summer and radiate heat in the winter. Sweep your gaze across the rooms to the soaring tower, architectural arches, faux painting, and Venetian plaster as accents in addition to the alderwood doors, wrought iron railings, rounding out the the villa style.

The great room is open with a tall, beamed ceiling accentuated by a kiva fireplace with copper accents and tiles, custom glass and hammered metal glass insert. A built in entertainment center, complete with display shelves and built in lighting, set the ambiance for a dinner party or intimate evening at home. Floor to ceiling windows and doors lead you to a covered terrace with sunscreens where you can watch the sunset or the ever-changing Colorado sky over Durango.
195 Valle Vista

View from the main covered terrace

The chef’s kitchen was meticulously designed with functionality and efficiency in mind,and is equipped with high-end appliances, big center island, beautifully veined, slab granite counter tops. Offering unobstructed views to Perins peak and the golf course as one preps, the elegantly distressed finished Cherrywood Woodmode cabinets with deep and oversize drawers to store cookware, dishes and utensils, ensures that everything is within easy reach. The openness and center island invite guests to congregate, it’s the perfect place for entertaining. Adjacent to the kitchen lies a sunny, warm alcove with gas fireplace and built in window seats to enjoy a meal, read a book, or ponder over a cup of coffee.
195 Valle Vista Nook


You’ll find the expansive master bedroom has it’s own door to the west terrace, and is adjacent to a private patio reminiscent of a “grotto” for your morning sun. A five piece master ensuite delights, with dual vanity, Italian travertine tiled countertop, a jetted tub flanked by large windows giving you the feel of bathing outdoors, european glass shower and an oversized walk-in closet. Across from the master suite is a first floor office with built-in solid wood bookcase, built-in filing cabinets, as well as large windows peering out to the water feature. As you wander upstairs to the gallery, head right towards two spacious bedrooms complete with their own large walk-in closets, jack-and-jill bathroom with separate commode rooms. The eastern facing bedroom has built in window seats to take in the mornin g rising sun, while the western facing one has a balcony to enjoy the ever-changing sunset and dramatic lighting shows.

195 Valle Vista Balcony

Bedroom balcony view

Venture to the left of the gallery to a bright, versatile room you can use for any need – office, playroom, exercise room or additional guest room, the possibilities abound. Finishing off the upper level is a what we call “the cave” also waiting to be transformed into whatever your desire calls for – possibly a theatre room! The permeable paver driveway and garden paths lead to an oversized, attached two car garage perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. With over 800 sq ft of covered terraces offering indoor/outdoor living throughout the home along with additional flagstone patios and walkways, come and see this incredible home for yourself!

Durango Open Burning Guidelines

Durango Open Burning, be safe

With spring approaching it’s almost Durango’s open burning season, due to the risks of fires spreading La Plata County ( Which the City of Durango belongs to) requires permits to open burn.

Here is the press release from Durango Fire Protection District’s Fire Prevention Bureau:


Open Burning Guidelines


Open burn permits are issued Monday, Wednesday, & Friday from Noon – 4:30 PM at the Durango Fire Protection District Prevention Bureau, 104 Sheppard Dr. in Durango


January 1,  2012 the State of Colorado required all Counties with greater than 40% forested land to implement an Open Burn Permit Program. La Plata County is 70% forested land. The La Plata County permit program was entitled Open Fire Control so as to distinguish it from burn bans inplemented by the La Plata County Board of County Commissioners during times of significant fire danger.


The process for those individuals residing in the Durango Fire Protection District (DFPD) and in La Plata County is:


  • The application is on the DFPD website which can be found here
  • You may complete the application online with the exception of your initials and signature.
  • Print the application and bring it to 104 Sheppard Drive, Durango, CO 81301
  • To ensure that there is someone available to process your application, please bring your application in on Monday, Wednesday, or Friday between 12:00 PM and 4:30 PM
  • The day you burn, please contact Central Dispatch at (970) 385-2900 to advise them you are burning. They will ask for your permit number.
  • Burn piles are restricted in size to 4 feet by 4 feet and the material to be burned shall be limited to natural vegetation less than 6 inches in diameter. Burns greater in size may require a State of Colorado smoke permit.


The State of Colorado does not allow the burning of coated or treated wood products, tree stumps, cut lumber, construction debris, plastics, tires, rubber, and other chemical products.


Agricultural burns, where the land is listed as agricultural by the Tax Assesor, are not required to obtain a burn permit.
No open burning is permitted within the City Limits of Durango other than recreational fires (3’ x 3’ x 2’) for cooking and warming.



Durango Open Burning Flyer

Official flyer released by DFPD


Risks of wild fires are a real danger in Durango and La Plata County, following these guidelines when you do open burns ensures not only your safety but the safety of everyone in the county.

Durango Real Estate Market Status 2016

2015 was a great year for the national real estate market, and Durango Real Estate was no different. Strong growth in home sales as well as home values in 2015 has set 2016 to be a record-setting year. With the volume of home sales and the values of homes rising from the past year, there hasn’t ever been a better market for real estate in Durango! Here I am going over Durango’s real estate market and how it has grown and where it is likely to be heading.


Durango’s 2015 Real Estate Market Analysis

Durango Real Estate Market looks bright


First we’ll need to see how the real estate market in Durango has grown in 2015. By all accounts 2015 was an incredible year for real estate markets on the national level. Nationally,  home sales have increased year on end from 2014 at 4.9 million homes sold to 5.3 million in 2015, a 7.5% increase.


National Real Estate Volume

National Real Estate Volume


On a local level in 2014 Durango had 800 total homes sold and 867 sold in 2015, a 7.7% increase and in line with national levels. Durango’s real estate market is still going strong and with home prices increasing in Durango (not counting the mountain resort) by 4.25% from 2014 levels.


Durango Real Estate Statistics, on the up!

Durango Real Estate Statistics

Durango Real Estate Statistics, Mountain Resort Homes... ouch

Durango Real Estate Statistics, Mountain Resort Homes


All this points to a strong and robust real estate market. Durango is in a seller’s market with inventory becoming more scarce and with buyers serious in the homes they are looking at. New home construction nationally is well below the historical average of 1.08 million homes, sitting at 715 thousand for 2015.


National New Home Construction, down but not out

National New Home Construction


This means the housing market is still relatively tight on inventory, especially for first time home buyers, as starter home construction was the key driver of new home construction. In Durango, the entry level housing market is represented in large part by the construction efforts at Three Springs, and looks set to continue for the next couple of decades based on the number of units. 


The Durango real estate market is as strong as ever, now is a great time to sell your home. Let’s have a chat even if right now isn’t the best time. I have decades of experience in the real estate market and can help you with your plans.

Find out what your home is worth here
Give me a call at 970.335.8225 or send me an email at