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Home Upgrades That Increase Value

Whether or not you’re looking to sell your home in the future or just spruce a few things up, it’s important to consider the kind of value you can add to your home with a few smaller upgrades. Planning ahead can be beneficial when you remodel, so here are some small projects that can help you add value for when/if you sell.

Getting Started

If your home is new, take some time to live in it and learn it’s quirks, what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you know best what you’d like to change, and what works best as it currently is. Make a list of what you’d ideally like to change, and then assess what can be done that is both financially feasible and worth your time.

Smaller Projects

Even the smallest projects can impact the value or curb appeal of your home. Keeping your home clean, both inside and out will attract buyers quicker. De-cluttering your home, if it’s on the market, is a sure way to impress potential buyers. When it comes down to two properties, and one is cleaner than the other, buyers are more likely to go with a clean property, as it looks like it’s the house that’s most cared for.

Step back from your house and consider the things you notice first about your property. If your eyes are drawn to something that you don’t want potential buyers to notice right away, there are ways to draw their attention. Highlight front walks with small lanterns, or flower beds. If you have a large garage that you notice first, try painting your front door a bright color, that buyers will take notice of.

Bigger Impact

The top two places to upgrade that have the most impact in your home are the kitchen and the bathrooms. Ask your local real estate broker in Bend, Oregon and they’ll tell you that these are the two things potential buyers are looking for.

In the kitchen, changing up the colors with paint, or even painting the cabinets can have a great impact on how updated your kitchen looks. Backsplashes area great way to add a pop of color or updated style to a kitchen, and since a backsplash is a smaller area, it’s not a huge task to take on. Adding a simple rolling island can add lots of value to a kitchen, as it’s more work space and people love to see islands in a kitchen. Don’t forget to add little pops of green into your kitchen, with some small herb pots or fresh cut flowers.

In the bathroom, try adding a new faucet. Making a bathroom feel more like a spa is a new trend that home buyers are looking for. Adding new countertops can boost value in a bathroom as well. Bigger projects for a bathroom include changing up the shower head to one that offers more of a body spray. Install new stone tile in your bath or shower and make it feel more like a zen spa. Heated floors go a long way in a cozy bathroom.

If you’re not sold on all of these upgrades, consider that you’ll enjoy them in the time you own the home. It’s best to upgrade your home, so that you have time to enjoy it, rather than upgrading right before you sell it.

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Duke Warner March 2019 Trend Report

Trend Report

Welcome Spring! We are officially out of the winter months and deep in Spring weather, the market trends are gearing up for what we think is going to be a busy summer. Despite the rainy weather, people are shopping and selling homes. First of all, the numbers look great for this time of year. Our trend report shows the steady market in both Redmond and Bend. It continues to encourage and motivate our brokers & clients alike. Check out the details below and let us know if you have any questions or comments. Or if you want to schedule a time to meet with one of our highly qualified brokers. Make this Spring memorable by finding your dream home or selling your current residence. We have incredible homes for potential buyers and talented agents ready to sell your current home.

April 1st Inventory and March Activity

With 357 active listings as of April 1st, the Bend market is thriving with options and opportunity. Redmond’s active listings as of April 1st showed 170 homes overall, which is great for this time of year. The numbers are encouraging and with the active market throughout the winter months, we believe Spring is going to be no different.

March was a more active month for Redmond than it was in February. Showing 65 homes sold, 78 new homes on the market and 88 homes pending. Also, the bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $225,000 – $325,000 and $325,100 -$425,000 price range. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 55 active listings and the $325,100 – $425,000 showed 62 active listings.

Similarly, in Bend, the numbers in March show us that there are plenty of homes to choose from right now. In March, there were 19 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 83 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 69 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 46 in the $525,100-$625,000 price range. As you can see from our Market Trend Report, there were quite a few homes available in the higher price ranges as well, showing 64 active homes in the $925,100 & up price range.

With the steady market, buyers look for competitive pricing as they compare properties. If you are a seller and you are considering pricing for your property, we encourage you to consult with your Duke Warner Broker for great advice. They will share their expertise and let you know how to price according to the market trends and current housing competition. Our realtors can help you plan, sort out the details and get you started on your home buying or selling journey.

Sold and Pending Listings

Bend had 158 pending in February and March finished with 206 pending homes! A big jump that indicates action in our local market this Spring. For sold listings, there were 108 sold in February and 149 in March. In Redmond, we saw 48 in February and 65 in March. We continue to see great numbers in the market!

Looking Ahead          

Central Oregon is a wonderful place to live. Both Bend and Redmond markets are active and full of options for buyers in all price ranges. Consider your options and look ahead. Certainly keep us in mind for your real estate ventures. Whether you are buying or selling, we can help! Our professional brokers can offer great insights as you navigate your next home experience. Give us a call today and let us help you get started! We can be reached at 541.382.8262 or send us an email at



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How do Real Estate Pros Look for Property

Have you ever hemmed and hawed over a property before, wondering if it was the best home for you? Maybe it had everything you were looking for, and one major or minor flaw, like high traffic, busy street, no parking, no garage, etc. Here’s some expert advice, from non-other than real estate brokers themselves.


When you’re looking at multiple properties you can lose track of the important details. Make sure you have a system in place for when you’re house hunting to stay as organized as possible, whether it’s a spread sheet outlining everything your top properties have or don’t. Tips from brokers: check out simple things like the sewer line. Ask how old the appliances are, don’t be dazzled by new counter tops, when the oven is about to die any day. Ask about variants in the homeowners’ insurance coverage. Are there any oddities to the coverage due to the architecture or property? Check out older trees on the property to make sure you’re not taking on a hefty removal and potential re-planting process if you do decide to purchase the home.


Consider your lifestyle and what you’re really looking for in a home. If you’re looking for a property with little maintenance and you don’t want a lawn to mow, a condo might be the right style of property for you. Vice versa, if you’re sick of living in apartments or condos and having shared walls, a single-family home might be exactly what you’re looking for. The added bonus to a single-family home is that you’re not only investing in the house itself, but also the land that it’s on.

One of the biggest things real estate agents see is younger buyers who invest in a property and don’t care about the amenities, or school district it’s in, because they don’t currently have kids and maybe aren’t planning to. They often times see those younger buyers turning around and selling the property they spent 5 years in, because their family size has changed and the home no longer suits their needs. Be more forward thinking when you’re investing in a property, and you’ll save yourself the headache of having to move, buy and sell a house again.

Focus on your Priorities

Don’t let yourself be dazzled by the cosmetic things. You can always install new counter tops in the kitchen, or floors, or do a little bathroom renovation. But you can’t change the price you paid for a home or its location. If location is crucial to you in your house hunt, don’t forget that. If a home has everything you’re looking for but is another 20 minutes out of your way, it’s something you need to consider before you buy. If you find a home that’s closer, that can easily be worked on to add the things you want, and it’s at or below your budget, it might be something you want to consider. Remember you can usually always add things later to a home.


As always consider the resale value. If the home you’re looking at is far more expensive than other homes in the neighborhood, chances are you’ll have a harder time selling it at an appropriate higher price. Don’t buy something too different or unique that you’ll have a hard time selling.

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Homeowners Associations; The Pros & Cons

Homeowners Association Law relates to the creation and enforcement of organizations and their rules that manage and community associations and help to maintain their appearance and value. Most homeowners’ associations (HOA’s) and condominiums are made up of a common residential asset managed through a chosen Board of Directors. Membership is mandatory upon the purchase of real estate situated in the association. State laws, local bylaws, and organizational rules all relate to the management of the community.

If you’re looking for properties in neighborhoods, chances are you’ll come across more than a few homes that are within HOAs. As mentioned above, typically if you buy a property within an HOA, the membership is mandatory.  While there are both pros and cons to living within an HOA, ultimately you’ll want to buy in a neighborhood that serves your needs best. Duke Warner brokers are here to help you figure out what’s best for your lifestyle.


Buyers don’t like the idea of being told what they can or cannot do with their own property. If you fall under that type, then living in an HOA might not be for you. HOA’s limit parking availability and they can require that certain decorations must be up or down at various times of the year. Running a business out of your home? You will want to check with any potential HOA’s that represents properties you like. Some HOA’s have strict rules about running business from your home. Not all HOA’s are the same, but it’s important to check with the regulations before you buy.

Fees can be a big part of why people don’t want to buy within an HOA. Some HOA fees can be on the higher end or lower end, it just depends on how they’re managed. The monthly HOA fee is something most buyers aren’t eager about. It depends on how you weigh the added benefit if the regulations within a neighborhood, and how they affect the ongoing value of your home, versus the cost of ongoing monthly or yearly payments.


One benefit of living within an HOA is that the overall appearance of your neighborhood is better. Living within an HOA means that higher standards are set for the appearance of properties. Lawns must be mowed, houses must be painted, houses can’t be painted in wild colors, etc. Some HOAs are formed by the developer and are run by a Board of Directors. As houses within the development sell, the Board of Director’s transitions over to a Board of Elected Residents. Some HOAs opt to have a management company run them, so residents aren’t responsible for meetings and organization. It’s best to keep HOAs within residents, because most residents are invested in their own neighborhoods.

Living within an HOA ensures that all homeowners take care of their homes. It also helps keep the value of homes higher, as neighborhoods look cleaner and stay well-maintained. It also ensures that the proper steps are taken when dealing with any issues in the neighborhood. If your neighbor’s dog is barking, or there have been one too many loud parties, rather than starting a spat between neighbors, the HOA can be notified and will handle the situation.

Decisions, Decisions

Know what you’re looking for in a property, and choose whether an HOA is right for you. It is an important decision when buying a home. Research the HOA that manages the neighborhood you are interested in and read the fine print. HOAs are typically beneficial, but it’s important to know what you are getting into by joining. If you’re looking for higher standards within your community, and want your neighborhood in Bend, Oregon to appear well-maintained, an HOA is right for you. If you want more freedom to do what you want with your home, it’s better to look in neighborhoods that don’t have managing HOA’s. At Duke Warner Realty, we are committed to helping you navigate questions you might have when purchasing a home. Whether it’s within a neighborhood with an HOA, or not. Give us a call today!