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Homeowner Associations: What Are They?

When it comes to looking for properties in neighborhoods sometimes this key thing can be overlooked. It’s not uncommon for homes to be within an HOA. Homeowners 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.


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  Duke Warner 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.


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.


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. Give us a call and find out about local HOAs today, and see what fits your budget and your needs. Our office number is 541-382-8262 or you can send us an email at


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Selling Your Home: What Happens After I Accept an Offer?

Any homebuyer knows that buying a home is a process that involves many steps. For first time homebuyers or sellers, these steps can seem overwhelming and often intimidating. We understand the process and want to help you navigate the details. Our Duke Warner brokers have decades of experience, selling and buying properties, and anytime you have questions, we are available to help. The following tips can help in the process;

Home Inspection

Once you’ve accepted the offer, what happens next? The home inspection will be scheduled by the buyers, and this inspection will be done by a private home inspector. Typically, the home inspection is conducted 7 business days after the offer has been accepted. From there, the normal timeline for a buyer response is between 48-72 hours after they’ve received the home inspection report.


The next step depends on the buyer’s response to the home inspection. If the report dictates that the home is in good condition and doesn’t need any repairs, the seller isn’t responsible to do anything at this stage. If the inspection report calls out specific repairs, then the buyer and the seller will begin negotiations based on the situations of the repairs. Once the negotiations conclude, the repairs are made. Several options can be negotiated, including but not limited to the following scenarios;

  • The buyer asks the seller to do the repairs
  • The seller pays for the repairs and leaves the home price as is
  • The selling price can be dropped to accommodate the repairs costs
  • Both the seller and the buyer discuss the selling price and find a happy medium
  • The buyer decides to pull out of the sale
  • The seller decides to pull out of the purchase

Home Appraisal & Packing

The next step is the home appraisal. The buyer’s lender conducts this appraisal and it typically takes about two weeks to execute. Generally, this is a smooth process, unless there is an issue within the appraisal report. For the seller, the next step is to pack up the contents of the home and vacate the property. The real estate contract should have a specific date listed for the transfer date, where the keys will be handed over to the buyer. The seller can plan around that date, for initiating the packing.

Utilities Final Readings & Transfers of Name

As soon as the offer has been accepted and the real estate deal is final and closed, the buyer needs to get the utilities transferred into their name. The seller will need to contact the city water department and ask for a final reading of the water meter five days before the closing date, otherwise the escrow money will be held until the next water bill is issued. This is an important step that often gets lost in translation because it seems like a minor detail. However, once the deal is closed, the seller will be anxious to receive the money, and it’s unfortunate if it gets held up on a utility technicality.

Clear to Close

The final closing signing will depend on when the lender issues a clear to close letter. More often than not, if the lender is a bank, they will wait until the last possible minute to send the letter. It usually comes one to two days before the closing date. Once the letter is received and the closing is scheduled, both the buyer and the seller will need to be available to sign closing documents. Both parties will need to bring their driver’s license to the signing. Conventional loans usually take a couple of months, so the closing date should be based on that timeline. The closing date are usually determined at the beginning of the contract negotiations.


For buyers and sellers, this can be a wonderful experience. It’s an exciting time for everyone and with the right agents, the process can be executed with the proper organization and communication desired. At Duke Warner Realty, our brokers will share their experience, knowledge and excitement while they work for you. We know how to price properties according to the market trends and current housing competition. Give us a call or check us out online at


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Duke Warner Trend Report for September 2019

It’s official, Fall is here! The leaves are changing and there is a slight chill in the air. Central Oregon is as beautiful as ever and although the seasons are changing, the real estate trends are staying strong and steady. In our monthly Trend Reports, we offer valuable insights by reviewing last month’s activity, which can be a wonderful resource for any upcoming trends we might see as we finish out October and move into November.

October 1st Inventory and September Activity

With 525 active listings as of October 1st, the Bend market has a great selection of homes for those looking to buy. Both Bend and Redmond’s current listings have one-of-a-kind homes that won’t last long this Fall. Redmond’s active listings, as of October 1st, showed 215 homes overall. The numbers have stayed consistent all year and September numbers were no different. As we settle into Fall, we are seeing the combined active listings for Central Oregon at 740.

September numbers for the Redmond market show us 86 homes sold, 88 new homes on the market and 106 homes pending. The bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $325,100 -$425,000 price range, showing 73. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 63 active listings, the $425,000 – $525,000 range had 28 actives, and the $525,000 & up price range showed 42 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers in September continue to illustrate a thriving market. There were 13 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 125 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 121 in the $425,100 -$525,000 range and 71 in the $525,100 – $625,000 price range. The $625,000 – $725,000 had 52 active listings, the $725,000 – $825,000 had 34 actives and the $825,000 – $925,000 showed 26 active homes listed. As you can see from our Market Trend Report, there were quite a few homes available in the higher price ranges as well, showing 103 homes in the $925,100 & up price range. For Central Oregon overall, there is a wide variety of homes to choose from, for potential buyers.

With a sturdy market, buyers often look for competitive pricing as they consider properties. If you are selling your home and trying to price your property, we encourage you to consult with your trusted Duke Warner Broker for seasoned, expert advice. Our brokers will share their experience, knowledge and excitement while they work for you. Our Duke brokers know how to price properties according to the market trends and current housing competition.

Sold and Pending Listings

Bend had 245 pending homes in August, and 227 in September. These numbers remain consistent and tell us both buyers and sellers are active and hungry. For sold listings, there were 252 in August and 212 in September. In Redmond, we saw 104 sold in August and 86 in September. As anticipated, we continue to see great numbers in the Bend and Redmond real estate market!

Looking Ahead          

Many of us know and value this special place we call home. Central Oregon is a beautiful place to live and no matter what stage of life you are in, there is something for everyone in the real estate market. As you consider your housing needs, start to plan and look ahead, whether you want to buy or sell a home, keep us in mind for your real estate ventures. 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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Most Valuable Kinds of Property

When it comes to purchasing a home, it’s hard to keep track of everything you’re looking for. How many bedrooms you want, what kind of yard, what kind of property? Does it have good value? The later should be one of the questions you’re asking yourself when you buy. Does this property have value? We’re here to break down the properties that will hold their value in the current Central Oregon Real Estate Market. If you might be looking to sell in a few years, you’re going to want a property that gives you the best change at maintaining its value.


One of the most hands-off options to owning property is investing in a condo. Condos are a great option for first-time homebuyers, and they’re also great for people looking to downsize. One of the great benefits of condos is that they come with little or no land that requires upkeep. Most of the grounds of condos are taken care of by the community. You will mostly likely be required to contribute to a monthly cost, to take care of the grounds, but typically condo fees are less than neighborhood HOAs. Typically, condo fees include maintenance, insurance, elevator work, trash removal and sometimes snow removal.


A townhome can be difficult to define, but most consist of a narrow lot, or multilevel residence that is attached to another or other residences. When described it does sound like an apartment complex, but the deciding factor comes down to the ownership.

When you choose a townhome, you’re not responsible for as much land as you would be with a single-family residence. Townhomes are great starter homes, and the market has shown that these types of properties are great for first time home buyers. If you can buy a duplex, or two units together, some choose to rent half of it out, and use the rent to help pay the mortgage. This will eventually bring a return on your investment, when the mortgage is paid and the rent income accrues. Renting out half of a duplex does require more work, but the potential return on investment will make it worth it.

Single Family Homes

If you’re in the market for a starter home, but one with your own yard and your own lot, a single-family home is your best bet. Typically, these homes are smaller and easier to keep up with. There are no shared walls on these types of properties, so you have more freedom compared to townhomes and condos.

In most neighborhoods that you’ll find single family homes in, you will encounter HOAs, so you do need to do your research on them and be sure you can afford the fees, and live by the bylaws. HOAs have pros and cons, you won’t be able to do whatever you want with your property, as it will have to adhere to bylaws. But it also ensures that your neighbor won’t be able to paint their house a bright color, which could affect your resale value.

Weighing Your Options

When you’re looking at different properties, you need to consider how much work you’re willing to put into a home. If you want something with low maintenance, a condo might suit you best. If you want more space, but can’t afford the HOA fees on top of a mortgage, a single family home might not be best for you . Talk to your Bend Realtor, and see what sort of property they think is best for you.