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Michael Heraty
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Archive for February 2009

Great Folks Do Business Within the Community

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Often we get requests from our readers, clients and customers for a list of our favorite businesses in the Pagosa Springs community. Our complete list is a long one, so in this article I will start with the most important stuff: food, by sharing a good handful of our favorites eating spots within our community.

For Breakfast:
We like The Elkhorn Restaurant, right in the middle of downtown Pagosa Springs at 438 Pagosa Street. Try their Huevos Rancheros. All their food is good and the service is excellent. It has been run by the same family for many years and you will see many locals and tourists when you visit.

We also like Victoria’s at 274 Pagosa Street, (across from our office). The owners, Pat and Gordon and all of their staff take good care of you and Cindy cooks great fresh foods including omelets, quiches, Belgian waffles and more.

If you are looking for good espresso, we like Higher Grounds out in Pagosa Lakes at 189 Talisman Drive, just north of McDonalds and Citizens Bank. Pagosa Baking Company, located at 238 Pagosa Street, (right across the street from our office). Great owners that truly care about the community. They prepare great espresso drinks and exceptional fresh baked goods; they make works of art of their pastries. Great place to meet for coffee and a fresh muffin.

For Lunch:
Try Farrago Market Café 175 Pagosa Street, owners Todd and Kelley are excellent folks and they employ a friendly and efficient staff. They have fresh made salads, sandwiches, pizzas and more.

We like Victoria’s for their homemade soups and daily specials. As well as Kips at 121 Pagosa Street for great Fish Tacos. The Rose at 408 Pagosa Street serves good burgers and sandwiches, and they get their food out fast. You might try the Elkhorn for their Green Chile Cheeseburger. Ask for the extra hot green chili– if you dare-excellent!

For Dinner:
Our favorite dinner restaurants are Alley House Grille at 214 Pagosa Street, owned by Farrago’s owners Kelly and Todd, great steaks, sea food and gourmet pizza. A newer restaurant we like is Eddie’s Uptown Grill at 20 Village Drive, just behind the City Market Shopping Center. Eddie’s has a great menu that includes Lamb Steak with Garlic Mashers, Marinated Land and Chicken Shish Kabobs, Grilled Chimi-Churi Flank Steak, Rib Eye Steaks, Grecian Style Trout, Pork Loin Chops and Vegetarian Lasagna.

For Sweets:
Try the Choke Cherry Tree at 4760 West Highway 160. Connie and her crew make fabulous caramels, truffles, toffee and fudge. They also make jams, jellies, syrups, honey and fruit butter. These folks have always been generous supporters of all non-profit groups in Pagosa Springs, and you will be treated like family when you visit their store.

We hope this gives you a road map to some of the best eateries in the community of Pagosa Springs. If you visit any of these, please be sure to tell them we sent you.

Best Higher-End Home Value

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

I segmented the listing inventory of Pagosa Springs homes with this discussion focusing on home values offered between $500,000 and $1,000,000. One of the better home values I have seen lately would be especially attractive to buyers looking for a home on acreage suitable for horses.

This property is less than five minutes from downtown Pagosa Springs. It is situated on 35 acres with 20 acres irrigated with ditch water. The home was built in 1995, with approximately 2,400 square feet, three bedrooms and 21/2 baths. The Pagosa Springs includes a well built barn with nine stalls, and a hay storage loft. The land includes ponds, a riding arena, and great views. It was on the market at $1,295,000 and is now offered at under $1 million.

For buyers looking for big views and a southwestern style home on acreage, we just listed a home in Meadows II, just a few miles west of downtown Pagosa Springs. The owners are very informed of the current market conditions and have priced this home to sell.

Offered at only $649,000, this three bedroom three bath home has over 3,200 square feet and is ideal for a full time or vacation residence. The lower level has a small family room with fireplace, a guest bedroom and bath and laundry room. The main level contains the master suite, kitchen and great room with kiva fireplace as well as another guest bedroom and bath on the side opposite the master suite. It includes lots of deck space and a hot tub to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding peaks. This home may be purchased furnished, turn-key.

The third home is a brand new builder home located north of Pagosa Springs in Wildflower subdivision, an area with wide open views to Pagosa Springs Peak and the northern range peaks. This home contains over 2,200 square feet, with four bedrooms and 21/2 baths and includes lots of upgraded features and finishes, including granite slab counter tops, wood flooring and hickory cabinets. The Pagosa Springs builder situated the home to maximize the view features throughout the floor plan. The lot is three acres and affords close access to the National Forest. It was originally listed at $649,000 and recently lowered to $549,000.

Give us a call or stop in our office at 257 Pagosa Street, Pagosa Springs, to get more details on any of these properties. If you are looking for something entirely different, we can help you with that too. We are constantly tracking the Pagosa Springs market and looking for special properties that represent good buying opportunities in the current market.

Great Pagosa Springs Values Under $250,000

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Over several months, much of the media reporting on residential real estate has focused on the Pagosa Springs market for foreclosed or “bank-owned” homes. We have seen a slight increase in the level of interest in these types of properties as measured by the phone calls and email inquiries we have had. What is interesting in the Pagosa Springs real estate market is that bank-owned homes make up only a very small percentage of the total number of homes on the market.  This may change in the months ahead as many adjustable rate mortgages will be re-setting and some borrowers may be unable to refinance due to changes in their credit scores or tighter qualifying criteria.

I had a close look at the inventory of available homes in Pagosa Springs market and found what I consider to be some outstanding values among privately owned homes. These are not bank-owned or foreclosure properties, rather, they are sellers that need to sell and have decided to mark their Pagosa Springs homes down in price to a level that makes them very attractive relative to the competition.

Within Lake Pagosa Park Subdivision, west of Pagosa Springs there is a home currently offered at $210,000. Previously it had been priced at $248,500. The home was built in 1996, and according to the MLS has over 2,200 square feet, with five bedrooms and three baths. The owners are doing a short sale, wherein the bank holding their mortgage has agreed to accept less than the loan balance for a purchase price. At the asking price, it is only $94.04 per square foot. This would be significantly below current replacement cost, with no value assigned to the Pagosa Springs land.

Along the Pagosa Springs Golf Course there is a 2,950 square foot home offered for sale at $250,000, or just under $85.00 per square foot. It is an older, but well-maintained home with three bedrooms two full and two half – baths. This one was originally listed at $295,000.

On the north end of the Pagosa Lakes area there is a brand new 3 bedroom 2 1/2 bath home with over 2,100 square feet offered at only $225,000 or just under $106 per square foot. This home was originally listed at $312,500. It has views of the Eastern Range hardwood floors, covered porch and is close to fishing and the National Forest.

These are a few of the exceptional opportunities for buyers looking for homes in Pagosa Springs under $250,000. At these prices it would seem that the downside risk would be very limited, even in the current slow Pagosa Springs market. You can view these and other listings across the Pagosa Springs area. Those looking for very affordable vacation homes should give us a call for more details on these offerings. In the next article I will share the best values in the higher price ranges for homes offered for sale within Pagosa Springs.

Four Reasons to Buy a Home

Monday, February 9th, 2009

1. BUYING HOMES IN PAGOSA SPRINGS ARE MORE AFFORDABLE
From recent statistics provided by the National Association of Realtors, homes have become more affordable than any time since 1970. With some of the price declines and historically low mortgage interest rates, people who want to buy homes have significant purchasing power in Pagosa Springs.

2. PAGOSA SPRINGS HOME INVENTORY PROVIDES MANY CHOICES

In Pagosa Springs it is taking months to sell a home, causing a growth in unsold inventory. With the current large inventory, people of Pagosa Springs who are looking to buy a home are offered more choices while sellers’ prices are pressured downward. Some home sellers in Pagosa Springs have become increasingly desperate as debt pressures mount.  Call us to discuss some of the distress opportunities of buying a home in our market. These are conditions that people who are looking to buy a home can take advantage of. Be sure to check our website and view some of the available Pagosa Springs inventory.

3. INTEREST RATES ARE VERY FAVORABLE FOR BUYING A HOME IN PAGOSA SPRINGS
All of the Pagosa Springs lenders still have plenty of mortgage money available for qualified borrowers. Mortgage interest rates are very low (5.25% for a 30-year fixed rate as of February 1, 2009) for those that qualify. If you have a good FICO score and at least 10% cash for a down payment, you have many lender choices. Call us if you need a lender recommendation.

4. YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR A FEDERAL TAX CREDIT WHEN WANTING TO BUY A HOME
Those who are looking to buy a home in Pagosa Springs that have not owned a home for at least three years may qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $7,500. This can free up some additional cash for purchasing new appliances, window coverings or other items for your new home. Call us to discuss the details of this opportunity.

Saving Money in Pagosa Springs

Thursday, February 5th, 2009

During lean economic times such as those we are in now, it pays to re-think many items in our budget and to look at additional ways to stretch our dollars. Everyone knows the value of coupon clipping and now there are web sites that take coupon shopping to a new high-tech level. Here are a couple my wife, Lauri, uses: Terri’s List and Coupon Sense.  You can click into their web sites for a look at how their programs can save you big money on your family’s grocery bills.

I also took some time to review some other money-related web sites that I would like to pass along to our readers.

For a great place to start, I suggest The Simple Dollar.  This site is chock full of great money saving tips for beginners and experienced budgeting gurus.

Next is the Frugal Duchess.  This site is also full of money saving tips on all sorts of items. It also lists a variety of other blog sites devoted to one or another angle of saving money.

Here’s a great web site that aims to get you out of debt: No More Spending.  This U.K.- based site contains many useful articles and tips and lays out how to develop a routine on a weekly basis to save money on all your regular expenditures.

I hope you find these sites helpful, and if you come across any you want us to send out to our readers, send in your comments.

Market Recap

  • Avg. Sales Price: $258,000

  • Avg. Days on Market: 230

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