Making Owning a Mountain Rental A Reality

First Southwest Bank Makes Owning a Mountain Rental A Reality

First Southwest Bank • May 1, 2018


Snow-capped peaks, clear-mountain streams, high-alpine meadows animated with wildflowers, tall pines shading endless miles of trail and plenty of fresh air to go around: Southwest Colorado has it all and more. And for anyone who doesn’t have the pleasure of calling this paradise home, Southwest Colorado might be enjoyed for a few vacations, but, for the most part, it remains a place of dreams.

“With three kids, I remember it was always a struggle to get to the mountains for vacation, saving pennies all year-long,” says Nebraska-native, Kristi Smith. “We felt we were getting paralyzed financially when we came out as a family for Thanksgiving or Spring Break.”

After a short stint living in Silverton, Colorado, Kristi and her husband, Gregg, were called back to the plains for family matters. She says they looked at each other every day, sighing about when they could get back to the mountains. And so, as soon as the opportunity arose, they jumped on it and moved their family of five to Pagosa Springs in 2013.

As Kristi and Gregg settled into their new lives in Pagosa Springs, something was tugging at her heartstrings.

“I felt this nagging to provide an affordable space for families to come, just relax, and feel like it’s a home-away-from-home,” she says.

When she couldn’t resist the pull any longer, she said to Gregg, “Let’s do this,” and, like any awesome husband, he told her to go for it.

They scheduled a meeting with First Southwest Bank to discuss their best options for Kristi’s vision and their budget, which was far from extravagant. While a log cabin nestled in the woods sounded idyllic, their loan advisor encouraged Kristi to consider a condo closer to town.

“[FSWB] said, ‘Let’s sit down and see if we can make your dreams a reality,’” says Kristi. “Not only did they provide the opportunity, but they counseled me on what is the smartest investment in this moment.”

The stars aligned, and the first listing they checked out also happened to cost exactly the amount they could afford. The 1200-square-foot, ground-level, corner unit — Condo 3061 — was the epitome of potential. Kristi and Gregg spent the winter transforming the two bedroom, two bathroom condo from a drab 1980s structure into a lovely, unforgettable space to unwind and feel right at home — and Kristi adds those special touches, like homemade cookies or banana bread and a sweet welcome card.


Stylish but approachable, the space sleeps six people total and is setup ideally for families — replete with games, access to a putt-putt course, fishing, paddle boarding and more. The kitchen is fully-equipped and the coffee stocked, but Condo 3061 is also less than five miles from downtown Pagosa Springs, so it’s no problem to head out for a night on the town.


They opened March 1, 2017, and Kristi says that every single guest has been amazing and many have become return guests. According to the stellar online five-star reviews, one of the favorite features of Condo 3061 is the glorious back patio, where many guests reminisce sitting with a cup of coffee watching a hot air balloon fire up each morning. Talk about in-home entertainment!

For Kristi, the best part is the fact that they can offer the amount of space for the price of a hotel room — every night of the year. No spike in holiday or weekend rates. Kristi has made paradise an option for anyone. Now, the only thing standing between dreamers, a white Christmas and introducing the kids to the joy of shooshing down the slopes, is an quick email.

“We couldn’t have done it without First Southwest Bank,” she says. “They don’t just hand you money and say good luck. They’re more like mentors or counselors — not just a bank.”

“We take it for granted that we live here, while people save hard to get here,” says Kristi. “We’re lifers, and I’m living my dream job. We’re not going anywhere.”

For more on Condo 3061, email

For more on loan opportunities with First Southwest Bank, please contact Cindy Leewitt call 970.731.6956 x5508 to start on the path to making your own dreams a reality! FSWB is an Equal Housing Lender and Member FDIC.

Photo credit: Kierstan Correnti Renner