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Time for a Home Makeover?

How to get the most bang for your renovation buck.

If your house hasn’t been keeping up with the times lately or if you’re looking to upgrade a property and flip it for a tidy profit, it would help to know what today’s buyers are looking for. Well, while we can’t exactly offer you a crystal ball, we can suggest several sure-fire tips to prioritize your remodeling efforts.

When preparing to put your home on the market, you obviously need to start by examining the major structural and internal elements of the home – the roof, HVAC system, interior and exterior paint, etc. Once you’ve determined that these are in good shape, you can turn your focus to more exciting aspects about the house. Specifically, the kitchen, bathrooms, bedrooms and living areas.

Let’s start with the kitchen, the place where everyone gathers. Think about all of the wonderful times you’ve spent preparing and sharing food, having a drink and catching up with family and friends. The kitchen is the heart and soul of the home, a fact that isn’t lost on buyers. It needs to sparkle with delightful finishes while remaining functional for the user. Consider using a mix of materials, such as wood, stone, tile, metal and painted surfaces. Balance organic, natural finishes with those that have a human-made feel. And since the kitchen is such a vital part of the house, try to create a design theme that can be extended and incorporated in the remainder of the home.

Speaking of which, as impressive as your deck, landscaping and entertainment center may be, they are not nearly as important as having a first-rate master suite. The bedroom, obviously, is where the day begins and ends. From the lighting to the space for the TV, creature comforts and convenience are everything. And of course, the master bathroom offers a daily reprieve from the chaos of life. It is a sanctuary where one can prepare for the day or relax afterward in the comfort of a soothing shower or a deep jetted tub. If you’ve already got the perfect shower or tub, then consider resurfacing the cabinets, replacing the countertops, or updating the sink(s) or a new toilet.

If you’re not quite sure where to begin, your first course of action should be to seek inspiration from open houses, design showrooms, or remodel TV shows and remodel websites. Not only will they show you how to catch potential buyers’ attention with trendy touches, but how to keep the palette toned down to appeal to a broad demographic over many years.

Some information provided by Abbie and Rick Sams.

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To Buy or Not to Buy

What Keeps Home Buyers on the Fence

From Ranch to Colonial, from Craftsman to Contemporary Treehouse Mansion, there are hundreds of types of home styles you can live in. But when you come right down to it, there are only two types of buyers:  those who are decisive and ready to make an offer as soon as they see what they want; and those who are wishy-washy and hesitant to make an offer, even when they seem to have found their perfect home.

For folks in the latter category, the delay in pulling the trigger can be caused by multiple factors, including anxiety over market conditions, fear of missing out on a better property, or concerns of over-paying. Employment and economic concerns frequently add another layer of worry and uncertainty in the housing market, potentially creating “paralysis by analysis.” These concerns are completely understandable, as buying a home is most likely the largest purchase that most people will ever make. However, there are a several significant reasons why he and she who hesitate should hop off the fence and stop waiting for an opportunity that might never come again.

  1. Mortgage interest rates are hovering at record lows, which boosts a person’s buying power. Buyers are often surprised with how much more they can afford due to the lower monthly payments from the lower interest rates.
  2. Home prices continue to escalate almost everywhere, almost every month (certainly in Central Oregon). Clients who hesitate are continually being priced out of their desired cities or neighborhoods. No one wants to overpay on a property, but if a home is in an ideal location and checks all of the family’s boxes, it’s important to consider that real estate has proven to appreciate significantly over time in Central Oregon.
  3. The housing market has more than rebounded from the crisis of 2008 and despite uncertainties in the economy this year, prices continue to climb. This can be directly attributed to the desirability and relative affordability of the area. Bend and the Central Oregon area is on everyone’s radar from all over the country, and there continues to be a surge of new residents relocating to the area with no signs of a slowdown. Prices may seem high to some, but for those moving from metropolitan areas, this is an affordable price to pay to live in a dreamlike location.

Overall, it’s reasonable to be cautious when buying. Most hesitant buyers are hopeful that home prices will drop and that better deals are ahead—but realistically, both home prices and interest rates are more likely to go up than down. It’s never a good idea to make a hasty decision So gather all possible information, assess your personal situation and if a purchase is in your near future, get prepared to make that move sooner rather than later.

Some information provided by Abbie and Rick Sams.

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Duke Warner Trend Report for July 2020

While our Central Oregon summertime may be starting to wind down which is typically an indicator of a much slower real estate pace this year it is anything but easing up. The real estate market in Central Oregon is continuing to play out at an unprecedented frenetic pace. The agents at Duke Warner Realty are receiving more new buyer referrals in recent days than ever in the same amount of time. Our agents are showing homes for sale to several new (mostly) out-of-state buyers who are visiting Bend specifically to identify a property to purchase. The home buyers’ high level of motivation and advance preparation exceeds the typical buyer who initiates their search by casually visiting Bend to explore, learn, and determine where they want to continue to investigate for a future opportunity. In fact, these home buyers are showing up with cash, pre-approval letters, checkbooks, and are ready to buy immediately. In many cases the outcome results with being outbid on homes and/or not being able to find a suitable and appealing property because inventory is lower than it has been in 13+ years. Additionally, many of the Duke Warner Realty listings have gone pending within a couple days of hitting the market. Some listings are selling for nearly 20% over asking price. In fact, some sellers decide to leave town to accommodate the back-to-back volume of showings. We have found this sentiment is being expressed by other local brokers this summer with no slow down in sight. Our market trend report offers valuable insight into last month’s activity, which is a great resource for upcoming trends we anticipate for the unforeseeable future.

August 1st Inventory and July Activity

With 297 active listings as of August 1st, the Bend market is experiencing the lowest inventory levels we have seen in over 13+ years with less than one month’s worth of inventory of available homes for sale.

This number is lower than it ever has been in Bend. Previously, June broke the record for the most pending transactions within a one-month period. July has crushed that record. Which is also seen by the record setting 318 closed Bend sales in July, the first time we have seen over 300 homes close in a month. The previous record with 261 pending homes in a one-month period was 13 years ago.

Buyers are becoming frustrated that they cannot find what they are looking for and are frequently being outbid. Our agents are continually on the lookout for the next opportunity on the chance it might be a match for our clients. Now is not the time to chance a novice real estate agent or novice real estate agency.

Redmond’s active listings as of August 1st showed 179 homes overall showing the combined active listings for Central Oregon at 476. Redmond sold 100 homes in July and offered 146 new homes on the market and 194 homes pending. The bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $325,100 -$425,000 price range, showing 78. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 17 active listings and the $525,000 & up price range showed 42 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers are record breaking! There were only 2 active listings in the $225,000- $325,000 range, 54 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 61 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 33 in the $525,100-$625,000 price range. We are showing 69 active homes in the $925,100 & up price range.

To add to the explosive market in Bend, the median price broke the $500k barrier all the way to $529,000. While it may be anomalous due to July’s sales being predominantly high dollar homes, it also reflects the number of available homes from $325k-$425k in July which was half of the count from May. Nevertheless the $529k figure is newsworthy for home buyers and sellers, alike.

With a frenzied, thriving real estate market in Central Oregon, and shockingly less inventory than last summer, it is truly an unprecedented sellers’ market. If you have considered selling your home for top investment return, there is no better time than now! If you want your home sold within days and for maximum market value, we encourage you to consult with your trusted Duke Warner Broker for expert advice. Our brokers will work tirelessly to advocate for you in the hottest real estate market on record

Sold and Pending Listings

Bend had 343 pending homes in June, and 372 in July. For sold listings, there were 225 in June and 318 in July. In Redmond, we saw 96 sold listings in June, and 109 in July. We continue to see prodigious numbers never seen in the Central Oregon real estate market!

Looking Ahead

As many of us know and appreciate, Central Oregon is a special place to live. Both Bend and Redmond markets are on fire as we move into the fall season. As you consider your options and look ahead, whether you want to buy or sell a home, keep us in mind for your real estate needs. 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! Because you cannot fake experience. 541.382.8262 or send us an email at