Great New Homes is the largest builder of production homes on the Western Slope. They average 310 homes a year and are now focusing on the southern tier of the state which includes Pagosa Springs, Bayfield, Durango and Cortez.
The Pagosa Springs real estate market changed dramatically in 2004. According to broker Jim Smith, the inventory of residential properties listed in Pagosa Springs dropped from 500-600 in early 2004 to around 200 properties in January 2005.
“When you consider the Aspen Village development, Great New Homes, and the Valley View ranch development, and look at this all at once, you would have to say the world is changing,” said real estate broker Mike Heraty.
Every realtor I talked with mentioned Stan Seligman or Great New Homes as having an impact or influence on the changing Pagosa Springs real estate market. Living in Pagosa Lakes, I was familiar with the signs, the homogeneous houses, but I knew little about the company.
“We are disliked by the building community,” Stan Seligman, founder of Great New Homes said, “Because we provide a better product for less money.” Great New Homes is the largest builder of homes on the Western Slope. They build an average of 310 houses per year in community housing projects from as far north as Rifle, Parachute and Glenwood Springs, down to Delta, Montrose and since 2000, in Pagosa Springs. Seligman told me the company is investing in the southern tier of the state. They are expanding into Bayfield, Durango and Cortez.
Great New Homes is a privately held, family owned business. Stan Seligman has been in the construction business for 52 years. His children Bret Seligman and Kia Kofron own the company. Bret and Stan are both licensed real estate brokers and Great New Homes and their subsidiary companies are members of the National Association of Home Builders.
Great New Homes is what Seligman calls a production builder. In Pagosa Springs, they are currently building on scattered lots throughout the area, primarily in Pagosa Lakes. The company is completely vertical, meaning they do it all from excavation to foundation, framing, plumbing and finishing. They supply all their own materials through a private lumberyard. Occasionally they will use an outside contractor such as an electrician, a plumber and here and there a drywall contractor, when the staff is too busy. “This allows us to avoid the markup on labor,” Seligman explained. “We can build more houses and lower the building costs and pass those savings on to the public.”
As of Tuesday, February 22, 2005, there were two Great New Homes available on the Pagosa Springs Multiple Listing Service. Those homes were priced at $122-131 per square foot, which according to Susie Long at Galles Properties, is about average for a home in Pagosa Springs.
Great New Homes is planning three separate subdivision developments west of Pagosa Springs in the Pagosa Lakes area. The first project is the completion of an existing, platted development called Park Meadows on North Lake Drive adjacent to North Village Lake and The Ranch subdivision. Currently there are only three houses in the neighborhood. The community will have 19 new homes when Great New Homes is finished building. Second, is Capstone, a gated community where Great New Homes will build 35 luxury homes. Third, is Pagosa Lakes Ranch, which will have 400-500 single-family homes and villas and a 42-acre shopping center.
“An area of huge need for Pagosa Springs is reasonably priced housing for the people who will help the town service growth. There is a great need for reasonably priced housing, especially in the downtown area,” Seligman said. “Great New Homes provides reasonably priced housing the Pagosa Lakes area only.”
“Many city and county employees live in our housing,” Seligman said, “Because they have no reasonably priced living quarter’s downtown. I’m really concerned for growth that the town have adequate living quarters for the worker bees. We can’t all be retirement folks and those flying in on jet planes.”
These large, planned developments are common in major metropolitan areas throughout the West. But if that is not what the community wants, then zoning restrictions, land use codes and other governmental controls will have to be implemented to control density in the future.
“We just happen to be one the last towns in Colorado to have this major overhaul in the real estate market happen,” Jim Smith said. Every large community has a series of production builders and developers. This is just new for Pagosa Springs.
“Without planning and land use codes, we don’t have the tools in place to evaluate the cost to the community for 500 new houses. Do we have the water? What about schools?” Todd Shelton questioned. “The thing is, it doesn’t cost the community for the development to be built, it costs the community when it is built.”
“Right now the market is more fair—equal. Prices are good for both buyers and sellers. I don’t know how long that will last,” JoAnn Laird said. “The type of high density development that Stan Seligman is doing will have an impact.”
Next week, National Recreational Properties, Inc.