Tubing The San Juan River

Float The River This Summer!

Pagosa Springs is known by many as a summer vacation hotspot. Between the world’s deepest Hot Spring, millions of acres of National Forest to explore, and the abundance of local shops, restaurants, and breweries, there is plenty of fun to be had! If you are looking for a way to relax and cool down on a hot and sunny day, tubing might be for you! The San Juan River winds through downtown Pagosa, making for a fun float through the town! The town of Pagosa Springs even does some river restoration, making the tubing route safe and fun for all ages!

Tubing

Tube rentals are available at Pagosa Outside, located on the main strip next to The Peak Deli. The cost ranges from $15-50 depending on the type of tube and length of rental. They also have a shuttle bus that will drop you off and pick you up; so you don’t have to walk through downtown with a tube on your back! No permits or paperwork are needed to privately tube on the San Juan River, so if you have your own tubes you can go out for free; you just have to do more walking!

If you have any questions about tubing the San Juan River, give Pagosa Outside a call, they are the local experts! If you want to tube in Pagosa, but don’t have a place to stay, give us a call at 970.507.8655 and we can help you find your NextHome!

Your Next Home

Home
Photo Courtesy: Pexels

A Quick Guide to Buying Your First Home

The home-buying process is complicated; there’s no doubt about that. But it does not have to be stressful. From establishing a budget to what to do for closing, the following guide can get you started. So sit back, relax, and check out these tips.

Start with research.

It is never too early to begin thinking about what you want in a home. Make a list of features that appeal to you. This can help you formulate a budget and will serve as a starting point for your real estate agent. Spend some time looking online at houses that you think meet your needs. This is a great time to research school zones, crime, and property tax rates.

Crunch the numbers.

Money is usually the biggest factor when it comes to what kind of house you can reasonably expect to buy. Take a look at your budget to determine how much you can afford. If you know how much you can spend each month, you can work backward to determine what price range you’ll need to stick with. 

Keep in mind that you will have to put money down—usually anywhere from 3 percent to 20 percent, plus closing costs. You also have the option to pay points on your mortgage, which lowers your interest rate and thereby your monthly payment. Tally some numbers to determine whether or not this is a good option for you, since it depends on things like the type of loan you choose and your personal financial situation.

Start shopping.

Your real estate agent can help you narrow down properties that fit your needs and budget. Then, you can pay a visit to the ones that appeal to you the most. Don’t worry if you do not find a house right off the bat; some buyers look at dozens of homes before making an offer. Do be open-minded, and know that you might have to make some sacrifices to get a home in your price range, even if it doesn’t check all your boxes.

While a certain level of compromise is usually inevitable, Forbes notes you should never cave in when it comes to things like your budget, the location, and the home’s condition.

Check for safety.

When you do find a home that resonates with you, don’t jump to make an offer. Your real estate agent will be happy to take you back for a second or third viewing, where you can think objectively. Look for signs of issues, such as rotting wood, foundation damage and signs of rust or corrosion on pipes. Take a glance around the house so that you know where the electrical system and all points of egress are. 

If something doesn’t feel right, you might need to look elsewhere. Either way, it’s in your best interest to hire a home inspector before you sign on the dotted line.

Make an offer and negotiate.

When you buy a home, you can expect some back and forth. The asking price is a good starting point, but, depending on the market and how long that particular home has been listed, there may be some wiggle room. Talk to your agent about making a reasonable offer. 

What to do before closing day.

Now that you’ve chosen a house, made an offer, and had it accepted, it might be a month or more before closing day. During this time, there’ll be lots of moving parts, including a title search, the home inspection, and appraisal. There are often some negotiations involved, which Realty Biz News notes your inspection can provide leverage. If everything goes well, you’ll be moving in no time. If not, there may be some delays, but try not to stress and remember that your real estate agent has experience.

Purchasing a home is an involved process. Lean on your real estate agent for guidance and information, and don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. These professionals know that you may only buy a handful of houses in your lifetime, and they travel this path every day.

Are you ready to take the plunge into homeownership? Let NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals help! Whether you’re looking for a savvy foreclosure or a prime piece of land to build upon, their expertise can guide you towards the best decisions, every step of the way. Get in touch by calling (970) 507-8655 today!

A special thank you to Tina Martin for writing this week’s blog post! Be sure to check her blog out for more great articles!

 

Spring Break

Spring Break in Pagosa Springs

Pagosa Springs has become a very popular vacation spot in recent years, and for good reason! With stunning views around every corner and friendly people in every store, it really is a great place to go and relax. With spring break fast approaching; we decided to put together a list of some of the best activities available to do in Pagosa! If you don’t see your favorite Pagosa Springs activity on this list let us know so we can add it to the next one!

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: wolfcreekski.com
  • Ski/Snowboard Wolf Creek – Wolf Creek Ski Area is a 1,600 acre ski area located just 20 miles from Pagosa Springs. Wolf Creek is well known among avid skiers and snowboarders for the deep powder snow it gets every year. The mountain gets more snow than any other ski resort in Colorado, topping out at 430 inches per year! With 10 lifts, including 2 conveyor lifts, there is something for skiers of all skill levels! If skiing isn’t your thing, there are popular sledding hills less than a mile from the resort at the entrance to Lobo Overlook!

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Gavin Kiker
  • Drive To Williams Creek Reservoir – Williams Creek Reservoir is a large reservoir located approximately 23 miles from town. Take Piedra Road (CR 600) and enjoy views of mountains, large valleys, and wildlife on your way to the lake! Once you have arrived there are opportunities to hike, camp, and fish! Ice fishing for trout and salmon is very popular at Williams; you can call the forest service to see what lures or bait have been working for local anglers. If you plan on spending the day, be sure to pack food and water as the general store near the lake is closed during the winter months.

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Albuquerque Journal
  • Soak In The Hot Springs – Pagosa Springs is know for it’s hot springs above all else. The “mother spring” located behind The Springs Resort, is the deepest geothermal hot spring in the world; so deep that the measuring equipment maxed out at 1,002 feet! The geothermal water is believed to have healing properties that can help with many different conditions. People come from around the world to soak in the hot springs. There are several places in town that offer soaking tubs for a small fee. The Springs Resort offers many pools with different temperatures and sizes right on the San Juan river. Healing Waters, across the street from The Springs, is smaller but offers a geothermally heated swimming pool! Lastly, the Overlook, located on Main Street, offers rooftop pools with a view of downtown Pagosa! You can’t go wrong with any of these options for a relaxing evening after skiing! If you want to save a little money, ask a local to point you towards the Hippie Dip; a small natural hot spring located right on the San Juan River! This is a popular spot for locals to take a quick dip!
Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Salida Daily Post
  • Have a beer & listen to live music – While Pagosa Springs is known mainly for the hot springs and it’s plethora of outdoor activities, music is also a huge part of the culture! If you walk through downtown Pagosa on a Friday night you are bound to hear live music echoing out from the restaurants. Go to Riff Raff On The Rio to see musicians playing by the river or up to Pagosa Brewing to listen to local bands jamming under the tent. Pagosa Springs is full of talented musicians who like sharing their music. If you like beer, there are many local brews available at most restaurants and bars in town! Both Riff Raff Brewing and Pagosa Brewing have won several awards for their beers! If you find a beer you love, you can buy a metal growler to take home as a souvenir from your spring break adventure!

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: visitpagosasprings.com
  • Shop On Main Street – Need a break from skiing or soaking in the springs? Shopping Main St. is a fun way to burn some time! Pagosa Springs’ Main Street is full of shops; from rock shops, to the local bookstore Bookends, to The Lost Cajun restaurant, there is plenty to explore! We recommend starting by The Malt Shoppe and working your way all the down to Memory Lane Antiques. Definitely stop at Pagosa Baking Company for a fresh baked treat! During the busy season parking can be hard to find. Luckily, there are larger parking lots located on either end of Main Street.
Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: tripadvisor.com
  • Satisfy Your Sweet-Tooth at The Choke Cherry Tree – If you grew up in Pagosa, or have visited before, you probably know about The Choke Cherry Tree! This awesome business opened in Pagosa Springs in 1999 and has been a favorite ever since! The Choke Cherry Tree is known for their choke cherry jams and amazing homemade caramel, but that isn’t all they do! They make candies, caramels, infused oils, every sauce you can think of, and more! I personally love their salted caramels and pickled okra. If your mouth is watering like mine is and you can’t wait for spring break, just order online and have these delicious treats shipped to your door! They even offer gift baskets!

 

Spring Break
Photo Courtesy: Gavin Kiker
  • Search For Your Own Vacation Home – If a week during Spring Break isn’t enough time in Pagosa Springs for you, you may want to consider finding a vacation home here! There is so much to do here throughout the year that owning a home can be extremely advantageous! Here at NextHome we manage several vacation rental homes; you can use your home whenever you want and we can rent it out the rest of the time! This means you can actually make some extra income by owning a home in Pagosa Springs! If you would like to learn more, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can talk you through our rental options!

We hope this blog post gave you some ideas for your spring break trip! If you have any questions, let us know! We would be happy to help. Don’t forget to like us on Facebook to keep up to date on what’s happening here at NextHome!

Sledding In Pagosa

Get Your Sled On This Winter!

With snow falling every other day, and many businesses still closed due to Covid-19, it’s a great time to get some sledding or tubing in! If you are in Pagosa Springs, or are planning a trip up, sledding is a fun way to pass the time!  Sledding involves a lot of time rolling around in the snow; so you really need good waterproof snow gear including gloves and a warm hat. We also recommend proper snow boots, no one wants wet feet! As far as sleds go, there are several styles to choose from, and you really can’t go wrong with one or another!

Sledding
Photo Courtesy: Popular Mechanics

Below is a quick rundown of the sled types and how they function:

  • The Toboggan – Toboggans were originally made from wooden slats with a rope handle. Modern toboggans are made from plastic so they are easy to carry, and some are made to fit more than one person. The main advantage of these sleds over others is the extra capacity and the ability to steer by leaning to one side or the other. This toboggan is highly rated on amazon and can be found in stores in Pagosa!
  • The Sledge – The sledge is what many consider the classic snow sled. Constructed from steel and wood planks, this sled is fast, has a high weight capacity, and is steerable! The main con for this type of sled is the weight; it weighs in around 15lbs! This sled has narrow steel runners, rather than a flat plastic bottom like more modern sleds. This means the sled is not ideal for powder conditions. These sleds have been in production since 1889 and still do great!
  • The Saucer – The saucer is a favorite for many reasons. This disc shaped sled is lightweight and easy to carry, will fit most people, and can reach some impressive speeds in the right conditions! Best of all, they are super cheap to buy! Here is one of the highest rated on amazon. The main con with a saucer sled is the lack of steering control. We recommend these for open areas, not hills with multiple obstacles.
  • The Snow Tube – Snow tubes have gotten popular lately, and for good reason! These tubes are inflatable, so they take up less room than traditional sleds. They are also smoother going down hills than other stiff sleds. We recommend finding one with good handles so you aren’t bounced off the sled at speed! The main disadvantage with these is they aren’t as durable as other sleds; so they aren’t recommended for rougher terrain.

The Best Sledding Hills

We have compiled a small list of the best public spots in Pagosa Springs to go sledding! If you don’t see your favorite spot, reach out to us and we will add it to the list!

  • Reservoir Hill – Located right downtown across from The Springs and behind the Post Office; Reservoir Hill is an awesome place to sled! With multiple short runs to choose from, this spot is perfect for all experience levels. If sledding isn’t your speed, you can snowshoe the trails on Reservoir Hill instead!
  • Lobo Overlook – Lobo Overlook is located right before Wolf Creek Pass if you are coming from Pagosa Springs. While the overlook itself isn’t easily accessible in the winter, the hill next to the parking lot sure is! This spot is super popular due to it’s close proximity to Wolf Creek and the clear steep hill that is accessed easily right from the parking area! Be sure to bring a snack and water, otherwise you will have to wait until you get back into town to find food.
  • National Forest… All 1.8 Million Acres! – Pagosa Springs is blessed to be surrounded by almost 2 MILLION acres of National Forest! This forest is free to access and use, provided you respect the environment and don’t leave messes behind. What this means is you can drive down any forest road and find a spot to sled! Just beware, some private land is mixed in with the public, so be sure you are in the public areas! Most of the forest roads near Pagosa partially close for the winter months, so some walking may be required to find the perfect sledding spot. You can view the current road closures here.

Pagosa Springs is like a snowy wonderland. You could spend all winter sledding, snowboarding or skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and more! Hopefully this post has given you a good idea of where to start! If you are looking for a vacation rental, or something more permanent, give us a call at (970) 507-8655! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome RMR updates and virtual open house videos! Humans Over Houses is our motto.

Wolf Creek Ski Area

Wolf Creek Ski 2021

The New Year has been a sunny one in Pagosa Springs so far. One great place to enjoy the sun is on Wolf Creek! Every trail is open and there is snow in the forecast for this weekend. If you don’t have a pass already, they are available on Wolf Creek’s website here or in-person on the mountain! Season Passes are available as well as day passes. If you want to scope things out before heading up the pass, check out the Wolf Creek Live Webcams. They offer multiple angles of the ski area!

Wolf Creek

Don’t forget to wear layers and bring food and water with you, they’re are especially important at higher elevations. If you need snow gear, both Ski & Bow Rack and Summit Ski & Sports offer deals on tons of sport and outdoor equipment! If Wolf Creek has you hooked on this area, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can help you find your dream property!

 

Winter Emergency Kit

Be Prepared This Winter! Pack an Emergency Kit.

Driving in snow can be unpredictable and sometimes dangerous; 17% of all car accidents occur in winter weather conditions! It is important to be prepared for whatever is thrown your way, whether you hit ice and slide into a ditch or your car breaks down. We recommend keeping a basic emergency kit in your car at all times so you are prepared if something happens. This list covers the basics on what you need!

Emergency Kit

Emergency Kit Essentials:

  1. First Aid Kit – A first-aid kit is something you should always keep in your car. While it won’t help with major medical issues, you can at least bandage any scrapes or cuts! If you are prescribed any medication, keep some labeled in your first aid kit in case you are stranded.
  2. Flashlight – It is really, really dark at night during a snow storm! Pack a good flashlight or headlamp in your emergency kit. This can be extremely useful if you need to work on your car in the dark. USB charging is a big plus on these!
  3. Ice Scraper – Your car’s defroster doesn’t always work as quickly or as well as it needs to. Put an ice scraper in your kit so you can clear your windshield in icy conditions. Low visibility through your windshield can be very dangerous!
  4. Jumper Cables – The rest of your car emergency kit isn’t much good if you can’t start the car! Jumper cables allow you to start your car with a dead battery using another car. These can be really helpful year-round. Just be sure you’re putting them on correctly, or you risk damaging the electrical components in your car.
  5. Snow Shovel – This one is pretty straightforward… If you are stuck in the snow, a snow shovel can help you get out. You don’t need a full size shovel in your emergency kit, smaller shovels are made for this specific purpose!
  6. Bag Of Cat Litter – The main reason cars get stuck in the snow is lack of traction. If you find yourself in a position where your tires are spinning on ice or snow you can simply sprinkle cat litter behind the tire to add traction! We recommend keeping at least a couple gallons bagged up, as you may go through a lot!
  7. Cell Phone Charger – Your phone is pretty much useless without a charge! Keep a car charger and a portable battery charged up in your car to be sure you’re never stuck with a dead phone. It’s also a good idea to keep your emergency contact numbers written down somewhere in your car, so you can still call them on someone else’s phone.
  8. Water – Dehydration can be a serious problem if you are stranded. Keep at least a gallon of water in your emergency kit. Keep in mind water expands when it is frozen, so if you’re filling your own container leave some room at the top.
  9. Blanket – Winter is cold! Pack at least one good, thick blanket to keep you warm if you need to stay in your car. If you have room for a second blanket, pack a tough one that you could lay on under your car if needed during repairs. Military wool blankets work well for everything.
  10. Tool Kit – Just like the first-aid kit, a basic tool kit can be useful year-round! From small repairs to tire changes, there are many uses for tools. If your car requires any special tools (European cars often use Torx bolts) be sure to pack those into your tool kit.
  11. Roadside Reflectors – Breaking down on the side of the road can put you at risk of being hit by passing drivers; especially in low visibilty scenarios like a winter storm! Roadside reflectors or road triangles help other drivers know where you are and that you may need assistance. They take up little room and are definitely a good item to keep with you.
  12. Non-Perishable Food – If you are stranded in your car, you will probably need an energy boost at some point. Keep non-perishable snacks such as granola bars, dehydrated fruits, and jerky in your emergency kit for that little extra energy kick! Don’t forget to rotate snacks out every few months so you are never stuck with bad food.
  13. Matches/Lighter – Matches or a lighter can provide you with some light and warmth in an emergency. Pack waterproof matches so they can’t be ruined by moisture. Disposable lighters such as a bic or clipper lighter are best as they won’t leak fluid and they work in cold conditions.
  14. Insulated Work Gloves – If you need to work on your car in the snow, you are probably going to want a good pair of gloves! Insulated work gloves are the best choice for an emergency kit. They will keep you warm and hold up to any abuse you throw at them.

This list should give you a good base to build your own emergency kit from! Winter driving can be treacherous so we hope this kit can help you this winter season! If you are reading this wishing you lived somewhere snowy, give us a call at (970) 507-8655 and we can help you find your Next Home in the mountains! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome updates and our bi-weekly virtual open house series.

Giving Trees

Giving Trees – Gifts Needed!

NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals is doing Giving Trees in Pagosa Springs again this year! Each Giving Tree will have tags with Luke (that Orange Dog) on them, so they are easy to find.

Each of these tags will have a child’s name and item from his/her wish list. If you would like to sponsor a gift for one or more of these kids, you can simply take the tag off the tree, purchase and wrap the gift, and bring it by our office to be taken to that child! Trees will be located at Ponderosa Lumber and Ace Hardware.

If you would like to sponsor a gift, but don’t want to go into the store for a tag, we will gladly provide you with gift info, just give us a call at (970) 507-8655 or email us at info@nexthomermr.com.

This is a wonderful way to give back to the community during the Holidays, especially this year! We want every kid to have a good Christmas, and this is a great way to help! Don’t forget to like us on Facebook for NextHome updates and virtual open house videos!

Giving Trees

It’s Cookie Season

Make Your Own Snickerdoodle Cookies This Holiday Season!

Cold December air and short Winter days mean the Holidays are fast approaching! Christmas parties and family gatherings are always better with treats; especially a good cookie. Impress your friends this year by baking some delicious Snickerdoodle cookies… from scratch! Here’s a great recipe to get you started:

Snickerdoodle Cookie

Yield: Makes About 3 1/2 Dozen Sugar Dusted Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 12 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 cup vegetable shortening, softened
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 34 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 34 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 400°. Combine 1 12 cups sugar, butter, shortening, baking powder, vanilla, and salt in a bowl and beat on medium speed of hand mixer until pale and fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, and beat until smooth. Add flour, and beat until just combined.
  2. Using 2 tablespoons, portion and roll dough into 1″ balls; combine remaining sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and roll balls in cinnamon-sugar to coat. Place balls 2″ apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets, and using the bottom of a glass or measuring cup, press each ball to flatten into a disk; bake until lightly golden and set, about 10 minutes.
  3. Enjoy your delicious baked goods!

 

This recipe is courtesy of Todd Coleman, Executive Food Editor for Saveur.com

If you’re wanting to sell your home or buy a new one this Holiday Season, give us a call at (970) 507-8655.

Holiday Lights Tour

Pagosa Springs Holiday Lights Competition

The Pagosa Springs Annual Holiday Lighting Contest is officially underway and 24 businesses and residential properties have entered this colorful contest so far! Lighting is guaranteed to be on every Friday and Saturday night until New Years, so you have plenty of time to tour Pagosa and see all of the Christmas decorations and lighting that has been put up. Downtown Pagosa Springs is already covered in lights!

Christmas Lights

To participate in this fun tradition, just download the Visit Pagosa Springs App! Like us on Facebook to keep up to date on NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals.

Happy Thanksgiving From NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals!

We want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving from the NextHomies here at NextHome Rocky Mountain Realty & Rentals!

NextHome Thanksgiving