What type of home is right for you? In La Plata County, we are blessed with choices that are wide and varied, and they are influenced by your desired lifestyle.
There are opportunities to own homes in many settings, including world-class resorts like Glacier Club or Durango Mountain Resort, or you can choose to live on small acreage, a ranch or in town. The topography could be mountains, near desert or irrigated fields.
We have to remind ourselves of the spectrum of amenities offered as well. These include the millions of acres of national forest, the mountain parks around Durango for world-class mountain biking and hiking and the rivers and streams, including the newly designated Hermosa Creek Watershed Protection Area, the Animas River and Animas River Trail, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, Durango Mountain Resort and the city Recreation Center. And soon, Lake Nighthorse, will be added to this list.
Other components play a significant role in providing education and services and enhancing our lives; these include Mercy Regional Medical Center, Fort Lewis College, historic downtown Durango, the lively arts and music community, airport services, exceptional restaurants in town and high-quality K-12 schools.
After the lifestyle and location decisions, buyers should consider the different choices of properties available: condominiums, townhomes and single-family homes.
In general, condominium owners own property in common. While the owner owns the actual building unit; the property under and around the land is owned in common.
Many owners prefer to own a condo when they want specific amenities or desire to live in a more urban area. Condos in some locations are more affordable and may be a choice for a first-time homebuyer or for investors.
In a townhome, a person typically owns the land under the property, although there may be some common property shared in the project. Townhomes are similar to condos; they both have the “lock and leave” amenity, and for homeowners who desire to travel often or for long amounts of time, these are a great fit.
Single-family homes offer the most freedom in terms of how to use a property. There is typically more land that is included with a single-family home.
Typically, townhomes and single-family homes are the easiest to finance; sometimes it is more difficult to finance condos on 30-year financing. For affordability, this consideration may make a difference.
Homeowner association fees are a key factor in considering the type of purchase to make. HOAs vary per property, but typically the HOA will enforce certain covenants, conditions and restrictions, and homeowners will pay a fee for specific upkeep and maintenance. The provisions, requirements and fees vary.
When buyers combine the lifestyle choices, their desired locations and the type of home that best suits their lifestyle, they will have made the critical decisions that can provide years of enjoyment.
Don Ricedorff is a Realtor at The Wells Group in Durango, and a past president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org