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January Real Estate Forecast shows an energetic start to the 2018 Central Oregon Real Estate Market

The beginning of 2018 showed a robust start to the year in real estate. January was a highly active month, with a higher number of active listings, a higher number of completed sales, a higher number of pending sales compared to January 2017, all  expected to close in February. All indications point to a strong spring in Bend.

Extremely Strong Seller’s Market

The number of active listings increased this January compared to 2017, going from 355 to 409. Central Oregon is currently experiencing a strong seller’s market, with anticipated inventory increasing in time for Spring Selling trends. Now is a great time for property owners to list their homes in order to have less spring competition by other home sellers entering the market.

High Pending Sales

January was an exceptionally strong month for pending listings with 207 this January vs. January 2017 with 185 pending. With the number of pending listings in January sky rocketing compared to the last few years, it’s fair to expect a chart topping spring season. We expect these pending sales to complete in February, making February sold properties higher than previously anticipated. It shows that now is a great time to buy and that the Central Oregon Real Estate Market is still thriving through the winter months.

Average Completed Sales

Given the mild winter weather we’ve experienced this January, a higher number of completed sales is to be expected with more buyers enticed to get out and about checking out neighborhoods, new construction, locations, etc. Considering the high number of pending sales, the number of sold properties for the month of January was expected to be higher due to shoppers grabbing onto spring season thoughts earlier in the New Year.

Final Analysis

The Central Oregon Real Estate market is expected to see a lot of traffic in the coming warmer months, as the Bend area is still experiencing energetic interest. We’re predicting that fewer priced reductions will take place, as the low number of listings encourages more competition per property, and negates the need to price more competitively. With a strong seller’s market, now is the time to get a property listed. Learn about what we can do to help you with buying or selling real estate by visiting dukewarner.com, browsing our Facebook page, or calling us at (541) 382-8262.

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Keeping Organized Even When Searching For a New Home

When you are house searching, you will be overwhelmed with all of the information that the house seller and the realtor will provide to you. After you have seen multiple houses in one week, you can start to get confused on which house had the marble backsplash in the kitchen or the spa jets in the bathroom. In addition, you have to deal with getting all your pre-approval paperwork in order, house appraisal documents, and house listings you may have printed out the night before. Here are several tips to help you stay organized while looking at properties. 

Keeping Properties Straight After the Visit 

Are you the type of person that forgets what a property had after visiting it, or confusing one property for the next? One way to remember all the details in each house is to have a list that has the properties address on the top. This list will have all the things you are looking for in a home, and allow you to write down additional things that you loved or hated about the property. Then you can place a checkmark if the property meets your preferences. It is also ideal to take photos of the house regarding certain features. 

Creating a Filing System 

When you get home after visiting a house, you can place all the information you have for that property in a folder so you can later compare the house against other properties to narrow down your choices. Make a filing system to hold your photos and any brochures or additional information you may obtain from realtors. Then you can easily pull out the information and narrow down your house buying choices. In addition, you can make a spreadsheet or comparison chart where you can place in the property information to make it easier to see which houses met your preferences, and which ones fell short. 

Keep a Calendar for House Showings 

With the number of house showings that can pop up in a week, you can begin to lose track of which open house dates are nearing. Either use a paper calendar, or an online calendar, to track upcoming house showing dates so you don’t overbook your schedule where you are looking at several houses on one day. 

Looking at houses shouldn’t be a stressful or disorganized experience. Use the following tips to keep a better track of the houses you have seen, and the ones you will look at soon so you can find the perfect property for your needs. 

Call your Bend Oregon Realtor today.

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Buying a Home? 4 Real Reasons We Seek Homeownership

Ask several homeowners the reason why they bought their properties, and you will receive a variety of different reasons. You will find that many of them based their decisions on financial reasons, such as wanting to avoid rising rental prices, seeking to take advantage of the tax benefits, or they desire to build up equity for a nest egg during retirement. Yet there are many emotional factors that may be the real reasons why a person decided to own a home, as we have listed 4 of those reasons below.

Need More Space for a Growing Family

As your family grows larger, you simply need more space. You could be running out of room for the spouse, the kids and all of your pets in your old place. Purchasing a house will allow you to pick the right place that will offer enough space for your present and future needs. It also provides you with more options in changing the home so you can have enough room for your entire family.

Have More Freedom to Do Whatever You Want

Unlike an apartment or rental house, you can’t knock down a wall if you want to have a more open floor plan or when you want to build an addition because you have an elderly parent who needs personal care. Buying a property allows you to renovate it to your heart’s content. You can have all the features and amenities you want that will fit into your lifestyle. You can remodel the home to fit into our interior design style while gaining the peace and comfort you desire.

Obtain Long-Term Stability and Security

When you find the neighborhood that feels right for you, you don’t want to leave it. Owning a home allows you to become a part of the community, as you build social relationships that can strengthen the neighborhood. You are also able to move to an area that offers the best of what you are looking for in shopping, schools and employment stability.

You Get to Have More Privacy

Another great aspect about buying a home is that you don’t have to deal with other tenants or landlords any longer. Your family won’t have to listen to loud banging noises from other apartments, or yearly inspections conducted by the landlord who is peeking into every nook and cranny of the rental home. You finally gain the privacy you desire that cannot be found when you rent a place to live.

Homeownership May Be Right for You

There are many valid reasons why you may want to buy a home. Homeownership can be a big lifestyle change and an emotional investment. Think about the reasons why you are looking to buy a home, then consider all the advantages and disadvantages. Sit down with the entire family and discuss your options. Then speak with an experienced realty company that can help you obtain financing and search for a property that will fit into your needs as well as your budget.

Call your Bend Oregon Realtor today.

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December Real Estate Forecast shows a hardy finale to a notably active year in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market

2017 was another great year for real estate in Central Oregon, and December closed out the year with a strong finish. Sales were about flush with November sales, with a slight dip in inventory.  A consistent number of pending sales are expected to complete in early 2018. Here’s deeper look.

Monthly Number of Sales and Price Reductions

The monthly number of sales stayed at a solidly consistent high in the market. The number of price reductions in the month of December were nearly half than the month before. Price reductions typically happen when properties sit on the market too long, with little to no interest, and it typically means that the property hasn’t been priced correctly. With fewer price reductions in December, we can expect to see more sales moving into the first couple months of 2018.

Steady Inventory

Inventory has remained decent and on par with the previous month. A steady listing of homes speaks to the strong market which remains in Bend. Homeowners are not waiting to the traditional Spring Time to list their property and buyers aren’t waiting until Spring to home shop.

Typically, the real estate market becomes more of a seller’s market during the winter months, with fewer listings available, but this year an steady inventory flow is changing the dynamic.  Property owners should continue to work towards a timely sell and potential buyers will enjoy more selection than usual this winter. Duke Warner has months of inventory for every price point under $525,000 in Bend being less than two months.

Consistent Pending Sales

Pending sales stayed at a high number for the month of December. If there’s ever a drop in the number of pending sales, it typically means that buyers are getting more cautious and are analyzing pricing more before purchasing. But given the consistent pending sales from October to December, buyers are taking advantage of the number of available listings, and sales haven’t slowed down much at all.

Final Analysis

All of this proves that we can expect an active beginning to 2018, that will carry on into the coming Spring and Summer months.

Sales are expected to remain at slightly above average numbers. Due to the interest in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market, we can expect that fewer price reductions will take place.

The seller’s market will continue into the New Year, with more out-of-staters moving here and as millennial’s begin to purchase their starter homes. The time to get a property listed is now, with the expectation of significant activity and lots of serious buyers early in 2018.

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5 Reasons That You May Want to Avoid FSBO

It is time to sell your home. You can’t wait to find the perfect buyer who will pay your asking price so you can move on to owning another home. Yet you still have to overcome the major obstacle in selling the house. While other neighbors on the street are using agents, you are wondering if placing a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) sign up in the window and handling the work yourself is the better option.

Why Do People Get Involved with FSBO?

One of the main reasons is that they believe they can save on agent costs. A homeowner is looking for every shortcut where they don’t have to pay more money to sell their house so they can reap in the most profits. They often see the real estate commission paid to the broker as an unnecessary expense.

Another reason is that a homeowner feels that they want to be in more control of the sale. Some homeowners are afraid that the real estate agent will not provide them any appropriate updates regarding marketing and selling the house. The homeowner may also feel that the agent isn’t putting in enough work to get buyers into the house, or that those tasks are easy enough for the homeowner to do themselves.

Reasons Why You Should Avoid Going the FSBO Route

1: You won’t really save on the commission.

This reason is because there is a history of homeowners overpricing the value of their homes to make up the commission costs that they will pay to the broker. So a buyer will go into the deal by giving a lower quote to compensate for that higher price. If you end up agreeing to the lower quote, you end up losing in the end based on all the added expenses you take on in marketing and advertising the home — along with other extra fees.

2: You may accidentally underprice the house.

Real estate agents are always paying attention to the comps in a particular neighborhood. Unfortunately, market prices can fluctuate, as the price you decided to place on the house a year ago might not be what the house value is today when you finally list the house on the market. So you can lose out on money and not discover the discrepancy until after the deal is complete.

  1. You won’t have access to a large buyer audience.

Many agents have a marketing and advertising strategy they use to reach the widest audience of potential buyers. In addition to advertising in print and the MLS, they will have dedicated real estate listing pages on their websites, video tours posted on YouTube, and periodic sales pitches on many social media platforms. Unlike an agent who already has a large online following of potential buyers, you may not have the same online marketing reach.

  1. You can’t screen people before they look at the house.

There are real buyers, and then there are just people who want to browse through a house because they have nothing better to do for the weekend. An agent can review the buyer’s information to ensure they are financially capable and committed to buying a house today. This can save you time, money and work.

  1. You may not be good at house negotiations.

You don’t want to scare off a buyer when they give you a price that is significantly lower than what you expect. Most often, taking the FSBO route will put you into negotiations that can become intense and create hard feelings because you are still emotionally-attached to the house. Having someone else perform the negotiations who is experienced and calm can help you sell the house quickly.

There are many challenges in selling a house as an FSBO. Consider all your options and then get the professional help you need from a Bend real estate agent.

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November Real Estate Forecast shows consistent number of active and sold listings

As we head into the holiday season, we’re seeing an expected slow down in the Central Oregon Real Estate market. This November we saw a slight drop in the number of active listings, which is to be expected this time of year. As the holiday season progresses, it can be an inconvenient time for some sellers to get their property listed.

Expected Pending sales drop

While we saw a spike in the number of pending sales in the month of October, up to 251 from 233 in September, pending sales dropped for the month of November. With November coming in at 154 pending sales, it’s a big change coming from 251 in October. We expect to see a lower number of pending listings in November and December, as it’s a busy time of year. With all of the holiday errands and travel most go through in these months, they’re not typically high-volume months in Central Oregon or nationally.

Fewer Sold Listings

The number of sold listings is down from a busy October. From 208 in September, to 228 in October, sales came in at 198 in November. Again, with the busy time of year, a lower number of property sales are to be expected.

Active Listings

There are still lots of listings to choose from in the Bend Real Estate Market. Dropping to only 552 from 575 in the month of October, buyers are still able to find exactly what they’re looking for in a listing.

Pricing is still remaining stable, coming down from a highly active Summer market. There have been price reductions on existing properties, and with interest rates still low, it’s a great time to look for property.

Bend Oregon Realtors

Call Duke Warner today, and find the perfect Bend realtor to help you find your dream home, or get a property listed. Get in touch with us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Duke Warner Realty celebrates 50 years of business

Duke Warner Realty was established in 1967 by Duke and Kitty Warner. Their philosophy was to establish a first-rate real estate company sensitive to their customer’s needs. Believing, wholeheartedly, if they treated their customers fair and square, they would keep coming back and bring new customers with them.

That is exactly what happened…

A little history

Initially, Duke Warner Realty was a small family-owned operation that was located on Third Street. In 1992, they acquired the property on Newport Avenue and built the office they currently work out of. Additionally, the DWR staff has grown considerably since building the new property adding new Bend Realtors and more.

Originally, when Central Oregon was less developed, they specialized in bare land, farms, and ranches.  As the population increased, the business included more and more residential properties, and today they represent a good mix of nearly every property type on the market.

Duke Warner Family

Over the years Kitty and Duke contributed a considerable amount of time and energy to the Central Oregon Association of Realtors. A tradition the younger crowd is carrying on today, as many of the DWR brokers are also involved in various charitable organizations in the community.

Duke Warner Realty is still an independent brokerage, and not associated with a franchise. Larry Jacobs, Kitty Warner and Kit Korish have been partners in the business since 1982.  Several years ago, they added some younger generations to the partnership which now includes Jason Boone, Rob Eggers, Terry Skjersaa, Kris Warner and Kim Warner.  Kris Warner is the acting Designated Principal Broker.

The next 50 years

Duke Warner Realty’s brokers share this philosophy, and today the firm is widely-known for its personalized service and reliability. Unlike many real estate firms, Duke Warner Realty has little turnover in personnel. Years after a transaction is complete, a client, their relative or friend can return knowing that he or she will find the same personal care – and most likely, the same broker.

With this kind of reputation, Duke Warner Realty’s success has endured through good times and bad. The company is here to stay, and its Bend brokers are interested and actively involved in our wonderful community.

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Decorating for the Holidays, when your Home is for Sale

When the Holiday season arrives, it can be hard to wait to decorate. Some of us have decorations up right after Halloween, and some wait until after Thanksgiving. If you are one such individual, it can be hard to tone down your holiday decorations, if your home is for sale. It’s important to consider what potential buyers might want to see, so sometimes it’s best to keep the decorations to a minimum. Here are our tips for keeping it festive, but showing appropriate this holiday season.

Holiday Lights

It’s a joy to drive through local neighborhoods this time of year and see that various styles of lighting people put up. If your house is the brightest one on the block, you might want to reconsider how festive you are this year. When you’re trying to sell your home, a ton of decoration might take away from how great your property is in the first place. Prospective buyers might also be critical of how lights are hung and displayed. Did you put decorations and lights up with nails, staples, easy-to-remove hooks, or more?

Front Yard

It can be fun to find light up or blow up decorations, but if you’re trying to sell your home, it might be best to hold off this year on those. It’s important to remember that when someone shows up for a viewing of your home, the front yard is the first thing they see. If all they notice is the bright decorations, they might miss the character of your property, or the cute front porch. Too many decorations can distract from the great features of the property, so try to keep them to a minimum.

Holiday Decorations

It’s always cozy to spend time in a home that’s decorated for the holidays, but inside you want to follow the trend from outside. Keep your decorating to a minimum. You want potential buyers to see the space, and be able to envision it as their own. So if lots of decorations are distracting them, they might miss out on the great features inside.

Try to keep your decorations tasteful and simple. People will appreciate the effort, while they’re able to take in what your property offers. Keep it simple with scented candles, and a few holiday figurines. Try to limit covering every countertop and mantle and banister in decorations. It can make the inside of your home seem cluttered, and therefore smaller. If you’re looking for decorating ideas, use fresh plants, or seasonal fruit, like oranges and pomegranates, to add a simple festive feel to your home.

If you’re looking for advice on how much is too much, call your Bend Realtor and ask. Chances are they know what buyers are looking for, and what they aren’t. It’s the holidays, so be festive, just don’t clutter your house or front yard, and detract from what your property has to offer.

 

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Preparing for a Home Inspection

Home inspections are a big part of the house selling and house buying process. They can either help a sale price or hurt it, all while making the property feel more attractive to a buyer or even less attractive to a buyer. Receiving an offer on your property is a big deal, but most offers hang on the results of the inspection, which is why it’s important to be prepared for the inspection. Here are Duke Warner’s top tips for inspections.

Cleanliness

If you’ve been showing your house, you know the importance of a clean house. You cringe every time a bit of dust gathers, or the clutter piles up, because you know it’s only a matter of time before your Bend Realtor calls and you have a moment’s notice to straighten up. Our advice is to do a huge deep clean of the house before showings start, so that when more showings are scheduled, and it’s finally time for an inspection, you’re already ahead. By doing a deep clean of the house, you could discover a few small projects that might increase your value. Some of these projects might be best to tackle head on, and some might be best to leave for new owners. If it’s a simple cracked tile or loose fence post, it’s easy enough to fix, so you should.

Your Functioning Utilities

In order to complete your inspection, your inspector will have to check all utilities, like the stove or refrigerator. Anything that will be included in the sale of your home, will need to be checked and approved. Turning the power off on them, might result in a rescheduled or incomplete inspection, and it could cause a delay in the sale process.

Make sure that any utilities that will need to be checked, will be accessible. If you’ve been storing boxes in the way of the water heater, be sure to clear them, so an inspector can gain access. If the inspector can’t get close enough to inspect them, chances are they’ll call a specialist in, which takes more time, and can also delay the sales process.

It’s important to keep pilot lights lit on gas stoves, furnaces, water heaters and more. Inspectors often aren’t covered for the liability of lighting them themselves, so could wind up costing you more money and time.

All Access

Inspectors need to check all areas of the home and property. So if you have a dusty attic or backyard shed, that need some care, now is the time. Make sure that inspectors have easy access to places like this around the house, garage or basement. All parts of the property need to pass inspection, so be sure that the inspector has keys to all areas of your home.

It’s important to note if you’ve had any major repairs done, like a new roof or any remodeling, as it can make a difference in your price point for real estate in Bend Oregon. Have any recent records of work, ready for the inspection.

As you’re preparing, remember that no house is perfect, and most inspections come back with a few things to improve upon. If you spend the time preparing for an inspection, most suggestions won’t be a surprise.

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There’s no time like the Present to apply for a Mortgage

Buying a home can seem intimidating, and applying for a mortgage can be equally as scary. Most people aren’t applying for mortgages in the current real estate market because they assume that they won’t qualify. The fact of the matter is, this might not be true, and you won’t know until you apply. If you think you might be ready to make the jump into the real estate market, then it’s time to get your ducks in a row.

What you need

To apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to have saved a down payment, have a steady and stable income and also have a good credit history. Don’t let the down payment scare you, with different types of mortgages and home loans, you can save as little as 3 percent or as high as 20 percent. A lender can help with this amount.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to apply:

  1. Current credit history and score – Don’t let non-perfect credit deter you from applying for a loan. You may already qualify so it’s time to find out.
  2. Gather your documentation – Get together your income verification, like W-2 forms or tax returns. You’ll also need your credit history, and any other assets you have, like bank statements from saving accounts.

Talk to your Bend Realtor.

Bend Realtors have great recommendations when it comes to finding a loan officer. Typically, they have loan officers that they continue to work with time and time again. Ask your realtor for the lender that the recommend highly.

Trust your Lender.

Lenders will help you determine what price of home you can afford. They’re there to help you review your income, monthly expenses and other financial goals you may have. They’ll help you make the best decision when it comes time to choose a mortgage, and how you qualify.

Get Pre-Approved.

If your lender thinks you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, and start your house search, getting pre-approved can make this process even easier. If you’re pre-approved, you know exactly how much house you can take on. It prevents you from putting an offer on a house, that you will later find out you can’t afford. It also shows potential home sellers that you’re serious about buying.

If you’re thinking that you won’t qualify but think you might have what it takes, there’s no harm in meeting with a Bend Oregon Real Estate Agent and Lender. They might help you get things on track to purchase a home in the coming years, or they might help you discover that you’re already ready.

Most people assume that they can’t afford homes in today’s market. Yes, the market seems to be at a high, but there are pros and cons to the current market, and some of them might work in your favor. Instead of assuming that you can’t afford a home now, talk to your  Real, and see what they recommend. You’ll never know if you don’t try.