Will COVID Refugees Move to ‘Safer’ DGO?

07/02/2020

We talk with Christine Serwe, president of the Durango Area Association of Realtors, about whether Durango can expect an influx of urbanites who want to live in a healthier, safer community after the COVID-19 pandemic.

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HELLO, I'M LAURIE SIGILLITO WITH THELOCAL NEWS NETWORK, AND I'M HERE AS PART OF OUR ROAD TO RECOVERYSERIES, AND I'M TALKING TO CHRISTINE' SERWE, SO I SAY THAT RIGHT?CHRISTINE, CHRISTINE, SERWE, SERWE. THANK YOU. AND THEN WE, YOU ARETHE PRESIDENT OF THE DURANGO AREA ASSOCIATION FOR REALTORS, AND YOUALSO ARE A BROKER FOR THE WELLS GROUP. AND AS I UNDERSTAND IT, YOUHAVE BEEN SELLING AND ADVERTISING REAL ESTATE IN THE DURANGO MARKETFOR 30 YEARS.

YES, I STARTED IN 1989, SO I CAN'TBELIEVE IT, BUT IT HAS BEEN AWHILE, BUT THIS IS PROBABLY A VERYDIFFERENT TIME PERIOD.

SHARE WITH US AND OUR VIEWERS A LITTLEBIT ABOUT WHAT IT'S LIKE IN THE REAL ESTATE MARKET RIGHT NOW COMINGOUT OF OUR IN-SHELTER ON OUR COVID ROAD TO RECOVERY. SO IT WAS SOINTERESTING. THIS TIME IS JUST FASCINATING IN EVERY WAY.

BUTFOR US IN THE REAL ESTATE PROFESSION, WE HAD A VERY BUSY FIRSTQUARTER, SO THIS WINTER WAS MILD, AND WHEN THE WEATHER TENDS TO BEMILD, WE TEND TO BE BUSIER IN THE WINTER, AND WE WERE, AND SO OURFIRST QUARTER NUMBERS WERE VERY STRONG, ALMOST ACROSS THE BOARD. ANDTHEN, YOU KNOW, COVID HIT, THE STAY-AT-HOME ORDER CAME, AND WE COULDNO LONGER SHOW REAL ESTATE. AND SO, IN REAL ESTATE, AS MOST PEOPLEKNOW, THERE'S THE TIMEFRAME FROM WHEN YOU'RE LOOKING AND GO UNDERCONTRACT. AND WHEN YOU ACTUALLY CLOSE, AND THAT'S TYPICALLY 45 TO 60DAYS. AND SO, YOU KNOW, WE'VE KIND OF JUST BEEN WATCHING THE EFFECTOF THAT TIME PERIOD. WHEN WE COULDN'T BE SHOWING PROPERTIES, WE ARESHOWING PROPERTIES AGAIN WITH VERY STRICT SAFETY PROTOCOLS IN PLACETHAT OUR ASSOCIATION WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN PUTTING TOGETHER FOR THEAREA.

SO, NOW, WE'RE BACK AT IT. IT'S DIFFERENT. I THINK WEHAD SOME PENT UP DEMAND FROM, YOU KNOW, FROM WHEN WE COULDN'T SHOW,AND WITH INTEREST RATES BEING AS LOW AS THEY ARE. THAT'S REALLY MYTHEME FOR WHAT'S GOING ON IS THAT IT'S SUCH A GREAT TIME TO BUY.INTEREST RATE WISE, THAT WE KIND OF GOT BUSY AGAIN, ONCE WE COULDSHOW, AND WE'RE SEEING INCREASED CONTRACTS AND SO FORTH. SO WE'REVERY ENCOURAGED AT THE SAME TIME. OUR MARKET NUMBERS ARE STILL DOWN.WE'RE WATCHING IT WEEKLY, AND ON THE NUMBERS THROUGH  JUNE 4TH SHOWEDA 15 PERCENT DROP FROM THIS TIME LAST YEAR. SO IT'S NOT EXTREME, IT'SNOT DRASTIC, BUT WE ALSO KNOW THAT WE HAVE CUSTOMERS FROM DIFFERENTPLACES. WE'VE BEEN BUSY WITH LOCALS, BUT THE QUESTION IS, ARE THEFOLKS GOING TO COME? AND WE THINK THEY WILL, BUT WE DON'T KNOW WHATTHAT LOOKS LIKE YET, IF THAT MAKES SENSE.

SO THERE IS ANEXPECTATION I'VE HEARD THAT, THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE KIND OF A MAXEXODUS FROM THE LARGER CITIES. AND WHENEVER THAT HAPPENS, IT SEEMSLIKE, YOU KNOW, DURANGO IS A DESTINATION THEY COME TO. SO YOU'REEXPECTING SOMETHING LIKE THAT? WE ARE, WE JUST DON'T REALLY THINKIT'S NECESSARILY GOING TO BE IMMEDIATE. WE THINK THAT PEOPLE MAY COMEAND RENT. I HAVE HEARD THROUGH SEVERAL SOURCES THAT RENTAL INQUIRIESARE UP FROM THE EAST AND WEST COAST LOOKING TO COME HERE. SO IT COULDBE THAT SOME OF THOSE FOLKS WILL COME AND CHECK OUT WHAT WE HAVE TOOFFER. AND SOME OF THEM, YOU KNOW, MAY STAY. SO WE DO EXPECT THATWE'RE HOPING FOR THAT. BUT IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME FOR THOSE FOLKS TOBE ABLE TO MAKE THOSE CHANGES. WE'LL CALL AS A LONGTIME RESIDENT OFDURANGO AND BEING INVOLVED IN IT FROM THE BUSINESS STANDPOINT.

ARE THERE ANY WORDS OF WISDOM ORSUGGESTIONS YOU CAN OFFER TO OUR VIEWERS, YOU KNOW, KIND OF NEXTSTEPS AND ON OUR ROAD TO RECOVERY? UM, SURE. I THINK, BEING INFORMED,YOU KNOW, KNOWLEDGE IS POWER AS THEY SAY. SO, ONE THING THAT OURASSOCIATION OFFERS ON OUR WEBSITE, WHICH IS DURANGO, REALTOR.ORG ISA, LOTS OF DATA AND INFORMATION ON WHAT'S GOING ON. SO FIRST OF ALL,YOU KNOW, FIND OUT WHAT, IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO BUY. THERE'S RESOURCES,IF YOU'RE LOOKING TO SELL,THERE ARE RESOURCES, AND WE HAVE A NUMBEROF WONDERFUL PROFESSION, PROFESSIONALS IN OUR ASSOCIATION THAT AREHERE TO HELP WITH ALL KINDS OF INFORMATION. SO I THINK THAT EVENTHOUGH WE'RE HELPING PEOPLE BUY AND SELL HOMES, WE REALLY DO TEND TOBE A CONTACT POINT FOR YOU FOR MANY AREAS THAT YOU MIGHT NEED TOKNOW, KNOW ABOUT IN OUR COMMUNITY OR THE REAL ESTATE MARKET INTERESTRATES. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE SEE IN OUR MARKET RIGHT NOW ISCERTAIN PROPERTIES ARE RECEIVING MULTIPLE OFFERS, WHICH IS ANOTHERGREAT SIGN, BUT THOSE AREN'T ON EVERY PROPERTY. THOSE ARE ON THEHOMES THAT HAVE BEEN UPDATED AND THEY'VE DECLUTTERED AND THEY'VEPERHAPS PRE-INSPECTED AND THEY'VE REALLY PREPARED THEIR HOME TO SELL.THAT WOULD BE ADVICE I WOULD GIVE TO SELLERS. JUST,  JUST LEARN, YOUKNOW, FROM THE PROFESSIONALS, WHAT CAN HELP YOU HAVE THE BESTEXPERIENCE POSSIBLE. GREAT. WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR TIME,

CHRIS AND I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOUON THE STREETS AND THANK YOU VIEWERS FOR WATCHING THE LOCAL NEWSNETWORK. THANK YOU.

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