Phone: (970) 946-7522    Email:
Durango Newsletter
Dear friends and clients,
During the summer, I was so busy helping the sellers and buyers with their real estate needs that I have not had time to write my monthly newsletter. I have sold twenty five homes since January 2011, with the average price of $347,000. I’m also honored to announce that I’ve been recently elected to the Board of Directors of the Durango Area Association of Realtors. This is a voluntary position for three years, and the directors are voted by the local realtors.

Now, let’s look at the local real estate market. The Durango Area Association of REALTORS® released the third quarter statistics for the nine month period (YTD), January – September 2011, as compared to the same period for the previous three years.  As you see from the spreadsheet below,  2011 did not yet equal the sales volume in 2008; however, only 26 fewer units sold in 2011 than in 2008.

We have seen an increase for single-family homes in town in the last two years. The residential transactions were up 9.88%, with a 4.13% increase in the median price compared to the last year. Particularly, there is a high demand for single family homes in the $300,000 to $400,000 price range. Bayfield residential transactions were up 27.9%, but the median price fell 5.46% compared to the last year. The number of land sales improved 45.2% over last year, with a 21.7% increase in median price, and the commercial transactions increased 45.4%, with a median price increase of 20.4%.

This is encouraging news for the market, although the number of transactions is still approximately half  the number of sales in the top of the market, which was 2005 and still lower than the numbers for 2008. Prices continue to be challenged due to the excessive inventory of properties for sale, and by distressed properties that are offered below market value. Nobody really knows if we’ve hit bottom, but these statistics would seem to indicate that we likely bottomed out in 2009 and are slowly working our way back to recovery. Source: Durango Area Association of Realtors.
There are currently 973 homes for sale in La Plata County and 101 are under contract. 587 residential homes sold in La Plata County from January 1st to October, 31st. The market indicates that there is currently about a one and half year supply of residential properties on the market in La Plata County.  
Land is still very hard to sell due to the high supply and low demand. There are currently 685 parcels for sale in the MLS, and only 113 parcels sold between January 1st and October 31st, 2011. The supply of parcels is more than 6 years in La Plata County.

Here is a link with currently foreclosures and short sales in La Plata County:
Unfortunately, we don’t have a class in our Real Estate Database for short sales or foreclosures, so there  could be a few missing properties.
The information provided below is for all landlords/tenants and sellers/buyers.
1) Colorado House Bill 1091, Carbon Monoxide Safety Act – Even though this law took effect in 2009 there are many rental properties without carbon monoxide alarms in our area. 

For any home, or single family unit in a multi-family dwelling, used for rental purposes or offered for sale or transfer, this law requires that an operational carbon monoxide alarm be installed within 15 feet of the entrance to each bedroom (or other room lawfully used for sleeping purposes), or in any location otherwise specified by a state or local building code. Please visit
for more information.

2) If you own a home that was built before 1978, please continue reading.

FINES UP TO $37,500 for non-compliance. Owners are not exempt and must meet rules for owner-occupied property and for any rentals they own.

Federal law requires that individuals receive certain information before renovating including sanding, cutting, demolition, window replacement, and carpet removal, HVAC repair more than six square feet of painted surfaces in a room for interior projects or more than twenty square feet of painted surfaces for exterior projects or window replacement
or demolition in housing, child care facilities and schools built before 1978.

EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)
requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that distribute lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities, and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. The renovation company must give owner a copy of the EPA’s “Renovate Right” pamphlet.

Individuals must be trained in lead-safe work practice. Individuals can become certified renovators by taking an eight-hour training course from an EPA-approved training provider.

For more information, please visit
My commitment and dedication is to serve you in the best possible way. That’s why I’ve chosen to work with RE/MAX. This company offers better tools, resources, and support to meet your needs, and I’m proud to announce that Remax has received a prestigious recognition in the 2011 J.D. Power and Associates Home Buyer/Seller Study. RE/MAX Associates are the ones consumers trust most to guide them through one of the most challenging real estate markets ever seen in the U.S.

RE/MAX received the highest numerical score among full service real estate firms for home sellers and home buyers in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Home Buyer/Seller StudySM. Study based on 3,861 total evaluations measuring 8 firms and measures opinions of individuals who bought a home between March 2010 and April 2011. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed
March-May 2011.



 1) Durango named top ‘micropolitan’ area in U.S.
By Jordyn Dahl, Herald Staff Writer
It’s about quality, not quantity, is the takeaway message of an economic study that named our community the top “micropolitan” area in the United States. A micropolitan area is defined as one with a population of less than 50,000 people.

Policom, an independent economic research firm specializing in local and state economies, did an analysis that ranked Durango No. 1 out of 576 micropolitan areas studied.  Data used for the study included not just Durango, but all of La Plata County.

“It’s outstanding that La Plata County is ranked so high,” said Joanne Spina, interim county manager. “We’ve been in the top 10 for the past four years and (the ranking) speaks to the diversity of our economic base.”


Durango debuted in the top 10 in 2008 at No. 8. The city has continued to climb, reaching No. 3 last year. “It’s not unusual for Durango to go to the top,” said William Fruth, president of
Policom. “Over an extended period of time, it’s shown a tendency of having consistent economic growth in size and quality.”  Please click here to continue reading the article from the Durango Herald.


2) Tips for Selling Your Home Before the End of the Year

by Phoebe Chongchua

The fourth quarter of the year can cause some sellers to worry if their home hasn't sold yet. But according to, there is still time to sell.

Typically, many buyers are eager to move and get settled in before the school year and Holidays begin but that doesn't mean you should be discouraged. While the spring is considered a peak selling period, I recall looking for a home in the winter months and successfully closing just after the New Year. However, I am on the west coast and location
does make a difference. Looking for homes in California doesn't require driving
around on icy roads, trudging through snow-covered walkways or stormy weather.
Even if you're not in more mild climates, there is still time to sell your
home. Please click here to read the full story.

If you have real estate needs, please call me at 970-946-7522 or
Gabi Bergstrom
Broker Associate



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