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Interested in a Fixer Upper?

If you’ve ever day dreamed about fixing up a property and turning it into you dream home, it might be time to consider purchasing a “fixer-upper.” Perhaps you’ve wondered if doing it is a good idea or not? Talk to your Bend Oregon Realtor. We’re here to break down some of the reasons you should consider taking the plunge into overall heaven.

Great Deal

Reason one is that most run-down homes, in need of renovation are great deals. While most people look at them and say, it’s not worth the work, you’re different. If you’re willing to put the work in, and the time and money, you could stand to get a great deal on a property in need of a little love.

Just for You

If you’ve ever wanted to create a living space just for you, then fixing up a home is right up your alley. If you would ideally like to have everything done to your taste, but can’t afford to build a home from the ground up, it can be a better idea to renovate a home. While building a home costs much more than the purchase of a home, buying a fixer upper and adding in a renovation budget, often costs much less. It can also take far less time, and stress.

The other added benefit in making an out of date, run down or just older home, completely yours, is that you’re not starting from scratch. Rather than building a new home, you get to redesign an existing one. You get to choose how to preserve the character or history of the existing fixer upper. You never know what you’re going to find behind the drywall, perhaps original brick? Maybe you’ll find old wooden doors, that just need a little TLC before being incorporated back into the design of the home.

Be realistic

It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself while considering a project like this. While you may think you can do it all on your own, it’s highly unlikely that you can or are even legally allowed to. Some projects involving plumbing, electricity, etc. will need licensed professionals to do the work. So it’s important to consider your renovation budget, and factor in what it will cost to pay contractors to do the rest.

Take Away

Talk to your Bend Oregon Realtor, about any potential properties ready for renovation or flipping. They might just have the perfect place for you. A home that’s a little run down, but in a great location, could prove to be your dream home after a little work.

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Real Estate Glossary

Buying a home can be confusing, there’s a lot involved. To complete a sale, there’s lots of paper work. To start looking at homes, you need to find the best Bend Realtor. There’s a lot to decide, and understanding exactly what you’re looking at can be difficult. We’re here to define some common real estate terms, so that you can walk away with the perfect home or property for you.

Mortgage Pre-Approval: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is crucial before you begin seriously looking for homes. A mortgage pre-approval typically comes in a letter. Getting pre-approved helps you know how much you can borrow, and lets you know the price range of home you can afford. When you’re pre-approved it shows sellers that you already have financing in place, and can speed up the homebuying process.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS): Sometimes your house search will include using MLS. A multiple listing service, or MLS, is a database that Bend Oregon Realtors use to access all of the homes and properties listed in your area. It also includes information on those properties in your area, and can be a great resource to use in finding new listings.

Appraisal: Getting your home appraised lets you know how much your home, or a potential property, has in estimated value. This helps determine what kind of mortgage you can be approved for.

Appreciation and Depreciation: Over time the value of your home can change. It’s mostly dependent on the current real estate market. If your house appreciates, it’s gaining value over time. If it depreciates, your property has lost value over time. In most markets, and with most properties, this will fluctuate.

Earnest Money: This is a small deposit that you put down when you an offer on a house. Essentially, it’s a show of good faith, and lets the seller know that you have intent to go through with the purchase of the home. When you put this money down it’s typically held by an escrow agent, until the sale is completed or finalized. A typical amount of earnest money is 1 to 2 percent of the property’s price. The benefit of earnest money is that if the sale is completed, the earnest money goes toward the down payment on the house. If the sale is not completed, due to the seller rejecting the offer, the money comes right back to you.

Down Payment: Down payments are an important process of buying a home. Rather than paying the total amount of the home, you can pay a down payment on the price of the home. If you’re working with a lender, it shows that you are planning financially to afford the home. Down payments can be anywhere from 3 to 20 percent of the total price. Down payments are usually required so that a lender can provide a home loan, which covers the rest of the cost of the property.

Escrow: if you put funds down on a property, like earnest money, this money goes into escrow. This also applies to documents. When these documents or funds are put down on a property, it’s then held by a third party, like an escrow agent, until the sale goes through.

Contingency: A contingency can seem like a scary term, but it’s not. It just means that there are conditions that need to be met in order for the sale to go through. Most contingencies have to do with results of home inspections. If you make an offer on a potential property, with a contingency on the home inspection, and you find that there’s a lot of damage to one of the systems in the home, you might require it to be fixed by the current owner, before the sale is finalized. Because you had a contingency in place, you can walk away from the contract without being required to go through with the sale, if the current owner refuses to fix anything.

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Break down: Home Owners Associations

When it comes to looking for properties in neighborhoods sometimes this key thing can be over looked. It’s not uncommon for homes to be within an HOA. Home owners associations are designed to help maintain individual property values, in a development or neighborhood. If you buy a home within a neighborhood with an HOA, typically the membership is required. There are both pros and cons to living within an HOA, and our Bend Oregon Real Estate Agents are here to explain why.

Downsides

If you prefer not to be told what to do with your property, an HOA might not be for you. While HOA rules are designed to keep all homes up to a certain standard, it can sometimes be a deal breaker for home buyers. HOA’s can limit parking availability on the street, they can require specific landscaping or limit the number of colors you can paint your house. HOA’s aren’t designed to be controlling to the homeowner, but they can seem that way to some buyers.

If you run a business out of your home, it’s important to check with any potential HOA’s to make sure that it’s accepted. Some HOA’s have strict rules that do not allow businesses to be run from within a home. It’s always important to check with your Bend Realtor on any HOA regulations on potential properties. No HOA is the same, and it’s important to know before you buy.

The simple fee of living within an HOA can be a deciding factor for some. It depends on the HOA and neighborhood, but fees can vary widely, and be charged monthly or yearly. The goal of an HOA is to keep your neighborhood looking like it’s taken care of and a nice place to live, which in turn helps your property value. It’s important to weigh the cost of the HOA vs. the potential loss of property value from a less maintained area.

Perks

There are many benefits to living within an HOA. The biggest is that the overall appearance of the neighborhood will be better. Higher standards are set for the properties within an HOA. Lawns must be mowed, painted, and taken care of. HOA’s can be formed by the developer of a neighborhood or development, and then run by a board of directors, until a board of residents takes over. HOA’s can also be run by a management company, so no residents are responsible for the meetings or mandates.

One of the biggest benefits of living within an HOA is that there are always proper and polite avenues for things to be dealt with. If you’re having an issue with a neighbor’s yard or a barking dog, it’s easier to notify the HOA and have them handle the situation.

HOAs

It depends on what a buyer is looking for in a property, and whether or not the buyer wants to consider HOAs. Your Bend Oregon Real Estate Agents can find properties that best fit your needs. If you’re looking for a higher standard of living try looking in an HOA, and if you want the freedom to do what you wish with your home, it’s best to look outside one. Talk to your Bend Oregon Realtor about local HOAs today, and see what fits your budget and your needs.

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July Real Estate Forecast shows a highly active Summer market

The height of summer is here and the number of available listings proves that it’s been a busy summer for Bend Oregon Realtors. With things climbing in the market, like number of active listings, and the highest median home price in Bend has seen in the past 10 years, it’s been an active couple of months.

High Inventory

While it’s known that the summer months are typically the most active, this summer in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market has been highly active. The number of available listings grew from 442 to 570 in July, which goes to show that summer sales are in full swing. Everyone is getting their property listed, which means that it has officially become a buyer’s market. At the beginning of August, the number of listings has grown to 638, showing even more growth since the end of July.

Buyers can pick and choose the properties they want to look at, as there are plenty of different options available right now. With the influx of listings, sellers have to be careful of pricing. Buyer’s will can find exactly what they’re looking for, at multiple price points, so it’s important to talk listing price with your Bend Oregon Realtor before listing your home. It’s important to price your listing competitively, and increase your chances of a fast sale in this sellers’ market.

Median Sales Price

For a few months before the boom of summer, the median sales price of homes in Bend was on a decline. But that ended in June, when the median sales price jumped to $409,000. This is a record high for the past 10 years, and the first time in 10 years that the median price has topped $400,000.

June’s median home price was 7.9 percent higher than May’s median price, which is the highest month-to-month price jump we’ve seen since 2011. The median is the middle number of all listing prices, and not the average number of prices, which means that the number isn’t being skewed by high end home prices.

Consistent Sold and Pending Listings

There have been very slight changes to the pending and sold number of properties from June to July. Sold properties only varied by 3, going from 246 in June to 243 in July. With a consistent number of pending sales from June to July, 259 to 246, it shows that buyers aren’t slowing down. Buyers are taking advantage of the available number of listings, and it’s showing in sales and pending sales.

Take Away

Now is a great time to start looking for the perfect home for you, with lots of different properties to look at, call your Bend Realtor now. Duke Warner is available to help you buy the perfect home, or get a property listed. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Location Vs. Space

When it comes to buying a home, the biggest debate almost always falls to what’s more important, location or space. While this is definitely a matter of budget, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of each. As your Bend Oregon Realtors, we’re here to break it down for you.

Location

For many the location of a future home has a lot to do with family. If you have children you want to be near good schools, parks, and in a good neighborhood. If you don’t have children, you might desire to be closer to different amenities, like shopping or restaurants. If you’re in between perhaps you’re planning ahead and want a different space to grow into.

If you’re looking with a family it can be hard to find the home of your dreams while still being close to the amenities you desire. Many new homes that are built have much smaller living spaces and bedrooms, which can put some buyers off that are looking for more space.

Size

As homes get smaller, so that developers can fit more homes in, size is becoming much more important than location. New build homes are getting close to half the size of homes build in the 50s. Three-bedroom homes are no longer a big three bedrooms, they feature two small bedrooms, and one smaller room that can function as a small office, but is legally defined as a bedroom. Two-bedroom homes are now more like one bedroom, with a small office. With a growing population in most areas, and especially in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market, size is now a hot commodity.

Finding the perfect location is still important to buyers, but the need for enough space is now overwhelmingly more important. In the great debate between location and space, location is now winning out, with many more buyers sacrificing their location needs in order to have more space to love comfortably enough.

Take Away

As the trend continues, the larger homes and properties with more space will become harder to find. Enlist the help of your Bend Oregon Realtor to find the perfect property before space is less common. When spacious homes become scarce, home buyers will turn to the location less and less.

Either way you get onto the property ladder is recommended. If you buy the property of your dreams but outside of the location you desire, or a small home close to everything you want, you’re still becoming a property owner. Call Duke Warner today if you have questions about how location vs. size could impact your house hunt in Central Oregon. Our Bend Realtors are ready to help find what’s best for you.

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Eclipse Preparedness: What you Need to Know

The Total Solar Eclipse is right around the corner, and soon we’ll start to see tourists pouring into Central Oregon. Madras will take the brunt of influx but we will definitely feel it here in Bend as well. There are an estimated 1 million visitors coming to Oregon alone to see the eclipse, and with Madras in the path of totality and named one of the best places in the country to see it, we’re going to get crowded. Here are some tips for surviving the eclipse and staying safe.

Prepare

You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again: get stocked up. With the eclipse on Monday, Aug. 21, and the influx of people, you should be getting gas, groceries and all the essentials. Something most people may over look are prescriptions. If you take a daily prescription that you cannot live without, you should be checking how many you have left, and when you’ll be due for more. Be sure to get prescriptions filled before the Eclipse, and before the crush of people arrives in town.

Don’t forget your furry friends either. While you’re stocking up on food and water for your family, be sure to check and see if you have enough pet food to last through the eclipse.

Traffic

With all of the people coming to or through town, it’s important to note that getting anywhere quickly won’t be easy. If you’re planning to show your house, our tour around town to see available properties call you Bend Oregon Real Estate Agent and talk about rescheduling viewings, so it will be easier to get around town.

The advice that ODOT is giving is to leave for places early, and be prepared to stay there, and leave late. There will be traffic delays, backups and more. Check the ODOT traffic cams if you can, before you leave. Traffic is predicted to pick up on Thursday, August 17 the week before the eclipse, so be ready.

The Main Event

If you’re planning to enjoy the event, you’ll need viewing glasses. Sunglasses will not work, and the eclipse can harm your eyes, so it’s best to be sure you have proper eclipse eyewear. There are a few festivals that have been planned in the area in honor of the Eclipse, like the Oregon Solarfest in Madras.

However  you plan to spend Monday, August 21, be prepared for the unexpected, be prepared to wait, and be safe. If you need to, check in with the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network to stay up to date.

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Negotiations after an Inspection

It can be relieving to finally make an offer or receive an offer on your listed home. Bend Oregon Realtors know that even though it can feel like a big step in the home hunting process, nothing is over until it’s over. When money has changed hands, all paperwork has been signed and filed away, you can finally celebrate and breathe a sigh of relief.

One of the biggest steps to selling your home can be the home inspection. This can either help or hurt the price of your home, as some buyers use it as a negotiating point. If an inspection comes back with unexpected results, negotiating can become tricky, so we’re here to walk you through it.

Houses Aren’t Perfect

If you’re expecting a perfect report back from the home inspector, you might be in for a rude awakening. No homes are perfect, and most inspections come back with minor fixes and notes. A good inspection will still include some changes.

Negotiating after an inspection can either be easy or one of the most stressful parts of buying or selling a home. The most important part of negotiating after an inspection, is to be prepared for a honest report. After that, you can only move forward with negotiations.

Be Prepared

If you want to be proactive about an inspection, you can do some prep work to save you a headache later. Be sure you take care of the issues in your home, that you already know exist. Fix that back deck or walkway, or missing tile in the shower. The best thing you can do with buyers is be honest. If you know your roof will need replacing in the next year, it might be best to be upfront with that information.

If you’re house hunting, you’ll want honest sellers, so why not be an honest seller yourself. If you take the time to fix things that could come up in a home inspection, you could be stopping problems before they’re even started. Some problems can cause more trouble than they’re worth, and could affect your selling price, simply because the fix was left for an inspector to find.

Buyers

No home inspection report is going to come back perfect. Inspections should be used for buyers to renegotiate for major things, like repairs to major systems in your home, like electrical or plumbing issues or roof or foundation issues.

Inspections shouldn’t be used by the buyer to get a better price on the property. The purpose of an inspection is to uncover major problems with a property. These defects could cause a buyer to reconsider the property, or renegotiate. Buyers and sellers should reach an agreement in most cases, with necessary items repaired before the sale is final. And sometimes the price is changed to account for the cost of certain repairs.

Cost Credits

If your inspection reveals something that the buyer is pushing to be fixed, there are things you can offer them. You can suggest a price reduction or a closing cost credit, rather than fix it yourself. A closing cost credit would credit the buyer the money it should cost for the repair. If a potential buyer wants repairs done, they may have opinions on the way the work gets done. It can save time and money to have the buyer do the work themselves, and hire who they prefer. This is why it can be best to credit them for the repairs in the price of your house, rather than fix it before the property is theirs.

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Tips for First Time Home Sellers

When it comes to the real estate market, most consider what it’s like to be a buyer first. Being a seller takes up half of the equation too. If you’ve successfully purchased your first home, congratulations. If it’s time to sell your first home, our Bend Oregon Realtors are here to help with that too.

Your next buy

If you’re getting ready to sell your house, one of the most important steps, is being prepared for your next buy. If you plan ahead on your next purchase, it could save you some of the headache in selling your first property. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage before you sell your home, will help you find the next perfect property for you. Something that sellers often do is purchase a home that is contingent on the sale of the home you currently own. It can be difficult to look for homes, while you’re still paying for the one you currently live in. To help with your finances, you can make the sale of a new home, contingent upon the one you live in. That way, if the sale on your current property falls through, you’re not stuck paying for two mortgages while you’re only living in one.

Be Ready

An inspection can be a big part of the sale process. Be sure that your home is ready for showings as well as an inspection. Make sure your home is clean and ready for viewings, and try to take the time to fix any small projects you can. Small things like ripped screens, landscaping, etc. can really help the sale of your house, even though they’re small fixes. Buyers want properties that are move in ready, and a few things, however small, can jeopardize the sale.

Bend Oregon Real Estate Agents

Having the help of the right agent on your side, can make all the difference in a home sale. Bend Realtors know what the market is like, they know how fast things are selling, what kind of properties are desired, and what you can do to ensure that your home sells quickly and for the best price. Real estate agents will help you price the home right. While they can’t suggest the listing price, they can help you determine what other comparable homes in your area are going for.

Selling your home

Be sure to discuss what you will and won’t negotiate on ahead of time. Knowing your end goals for selling your home, can make negotiation simple. Make sure your home is available whenever someone wants to see it. While it can be hard to vacate your home at the drop of a hat, it’s important to let buyers into your home whenever they want to see it. If you restrict the showing schedule, it’s likely that buyers will move on and find other properties that they want to look at. If they find your home and want to look at it, they’ll likely want to see it immediately.

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June Real Estate Forecast shows Summer is here, with high inventory and sales

It’s the time of year that the real estate market in Central Oregon really takes off. Buyers and sellers alike should pay attention to the real estate market, to learn how it could affect real estate decisions, both listing and buying.

Higher Inventory

Over the past couple of months there has been a slight increase in the number of active listings, until June. In June the number of listings soared to 442 from 337 in May. This is expected, as the late spring and early summer months is the time when the real estate market really takes off in Central Oregon.

As the summer is the most active time for real estate activity, we do expect to see this trend continue throughout the summer, along with more sold listings and pending sales.

Consistent Pending Sales

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 May to June, buyers are loving the number of available listings, and sales haven’t slowed down.

More Sold Listings

While the number of sold listings stayed consistent in April and May, the number has climbed to 246 in June. This indicates that Summer is here, and the time to buy is now. With plenty of available listings on the market, there’s a home for everyone’s taste.

Typically, when there’s a wide inventory of properties, sellers have to consider more competitive pricing. When buyers are looking for the perfect home, they might be able to find similar homes at completely different price points. So as a seller, it’s time to talk to your Bend real estate broker, and make sure you’re priced competitively. Check out recent comparable sales in your neighborhood, and be sure that your pricing is where it should be. If your home is priced competitively, you’re more likely to get the right offer for your home

Find the perfect home with Duke Warner

Spring and Summer is the most active time of the year for real estate in Central Oregon. If you’re looking for a new property, or want to get something listed, Duke Warner Realty is ready to help. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Best Seasons for Buying and Selling Property

It’s rumored that the spring and summer are the best seasons for selling your home, and that may be partially true. With every season, there comes pros and cons, and as a buyer or seller it simply depends on what you’re looking for and what the Central Oregon real estate market is like.

Spring and Summer Pros

Some think that spring is the best time to sell a home. It’s when buyers typically start coming out of the wood works to find the perfect property. It’s also the time of year that lots of listings come onto the market, so there’s more for buyers to look at.

One of the benefits of selling your home in the summer is that other homes near you are likely selling. If you have homes in your area that recently sold for a higher price, chances are that yours will sell for a higher price too. If you’re trying to sell your home in the summer, and the last comparable home sold near you was in the winter, it’s going to look like your home is listed for too high a price. So selling your home in the “on season” gets you a better price for your property. If you can afford to, try to wait to list your home until other homes near you have sold.

Another perk of selling in the summer is that the days are longer. People love to see homes in the daylight, and it can make or break the happy feel of a potential new home. The benefit of summer is that the sun shines all day, and there’s plenty of daylight for showings.

With more buyers, there could be more of a chance for a bidding war. While bidding wars are a hassle for buyers, they can be very beneficial for sellers.

Spring and Summer Cons

Some of the cons of selling a home in the spring or summer is that buyers can be pickier. With a lot of potential listings on the market, buyers can pick and choose what they look at. With plenty of time in the summer to buy, potential buyers might not be tempted to purchase a home that needs work, they might just wait for a similar property that won’t require work.

Fall and Winter Cons

Some people may intentionally wait for winter to look for potential homes, as they believe they’ll find cheaper listings or better deals. Some investors wait to buy property in the winter, when pricing tends to be lower. Typically, people put their house on the market in the winter, because they have to, not because they’re shopping around to see what they can get. When people list their house in the winter, it’s typically because they need to move and are willing to accept most offers, whether or not they’re below asking price.

Fall and Winter Pros

With the need to sell your home quickly in the off season, also comes the need to buy a home quickly. With fewer listings on the market, determined home buyers will be quicker to make an offer on a property they like. Some off-season buyers are more focused on finding a home quickly.