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What to ask your home inspector

If you’re getting a potential property inspected, it can be important to understand what your home inspector is looking for. It’s best to ask certain questions before the inspection takes place, so that you can be sure to know specifically what is getting looked at, and what isn’t. Communication before the inspection can be important, as the inspector and your Bend Oregon Realtor are going to give you information about this property that will influence your decision to purchase or not purchase this property.

What gets checked

If you have a better understanding of what exactly will be checked by a home inspector, before the inspection takes place, it could prevent future headaches or misunderstanding. Heading into the inspection itself, knowing what will be checked, ensures that you’ll leave the inspection satisfied.  Typically, inspectors look at everything from the roof to the foundation of the home, including everything in between.

It’s also important to know what isn’t getting checked in an inspection. An inspector can only do what’s called a visual inspection, so they can’t cut into walls, or the HVAC system for example. If the inspector has reason to believe there are problems with another system, they will often call in another specialist, like a roofer, HVAC person, electrician, etc. to do a more detailed inspection of the potentially problematic area.

Cost

Home inspections can cost anywhere from $600 to $300, but it can vary. It really depends on the market that the house is in, and how big the house is. It’s important to ask your inspector what the inspection will cost before the inspection is done. Most inspectors are paid on the day of the inspection, so it’s good to know what to expect.

Should you go?

Always ask your inspector if you can come along, before showing up at the inspection. Most inspectors will agree to this, as most want to have the prospective homebuyers at the inspection. It’s more beneficial to the inspector to be able to walk through the home with them, and explain everything that they’re noting, or concerned about.

Importance of an inspection

The findings of a home inspection can determine whether or not you still want to go through with the purchase of the home. Often times home inspections can be written into transactions, as the sale is dependent on a good inspection finding. If you have communication with the home inspector, it can save a headache after the inspection is completed. Inspectors are used to curious potential home buyers, so don’t be shy to ask any questions you have and go along on the inspection.

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August Real Estate Forecast shows an active market will continue into Fall

With one of the highest numbers of active inventory in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market we’ve seen all year, we can expect to see more market activity before we head into cooler months. While the market slowed down during the Eclipse and smoke from forest fires, we still had a highly active August.

Inventory         

The number of active listings grew from 442 in June, to 570 in July and grew even more to 638 in August. With the highest number of inventory Bend Oregon Realtors have seen in months, now is the time for buyers to find exactly what they want. While it seems that there are many properties to choose from, Bend Oregon Realtors are seeing lots of properties sell before even hitting the market. The majority of properties go to pending sale have typically been on the market for less than two weeks.  Time doesn’t appear to be in buyers favor when it comes to looking for homes.

The inventory in August was much higher compared to August 2016. August and the beginning of September has the highest active inventory we’ve seen all year. August also featured more price reductions and properties spent more days on the market than last year. As of the beginning of September inventory was back down to 606, as it’s expected to drop as we head toward winter months.

Around 30 percent of current inventory is new construction, and around 5 percent of it has no building permit. This means that the home won’t be built until there is a buyer in contract. While it’s listed as inventory, the properties don’t physically exist yet and they’re not move-in ready. For most buyers, even though inventory appears to be high, it’s lower than it appears.

It’s still important for home sellers to keep their pricing competitive. If choosing between your property and another that’s similar, buyers will choose the property that’s more competitively priced. Be sure to talk about your listing price with your Bend Realtor, and be sure that’s its appropriate for the market.

Sold and Pending Listings stay consistent

If the number of active listings doesn’t show how active the market has been in August, the number of pending and sold listings will. Staying consistent from June and July, pending listings fell two from 246 to 244. Sold listings grew to 243 from 246 in the month of August. Buyer’s still aren’t slowing down, and they’re taking advantage of the high number of listings to choose from.

While the number of pending and completed sales are consistent, when compared to the higher number of active listings, they are actually slightly lower. Due to the anticipated Eclipse madness and the fires and smoke we’ve had in Central Oregon lately, buyers weren’t out in normal numbers. We’re waiting for the smoke to clear before we can predict what this means heading into fall.

Heading into Fall

As we head into the relief of cooler days (and hopefully less smoke in Central Oregon) we still expect to see a highly active market. With the high number of active listings, and the consistent sales numbers, we expect buyers to continue to find what they’re looking for. Get out and see what’s available for your budget, especially with price reductions at a seasonal high and low interest rates.

Call your Bend Realtor and schedule an appointment if you’re interested in looking at properties. Duke Warner is available to help you buy the perfect home, or get a home listed. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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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.