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U.S. Home Ownership Rate Rises to Highest Point in Eight Years

The great American dream of home ownership is alive and well. The latest results of the Housing Vacancy Survey (HVS) provided by the U.S. Census Bureau shows how Americans place immense value in homeownership, and it is continuing to grow in the United States.

After declining to a 25-year low of 63.5% in 2016, the results indicate that the U.S. Homeownership rate increased to 65.3% for the first quarter of 2020, a level last seen in 2012.

With current social conditions, Homeownership will most likely reflect a whole new way of life that has puts a premium on spending time at home and having the security that comes that comes with having a safe place for our families to live. Add to that some of the most attractive home mortgage rates of all time, and it’s easy to see why the numbers should continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Yet they still have a long way to reach this century’s high point of 69.1% in late 2004

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering buying a home, there’s no better time to connect with a professional at Duke Warner Realty to set a plan that can help you get one step closer to achieving your dream.

Why is the rate increasing? The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) explained:

“Strong owner household formation with around 2.7 million homeowners added in the first quarter has driven up the homeownership rate, especially under the decreasing mortgage interest rates and strong new home sales and existing home sales in the first two months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the economy.”

The NAHB also emphasizes the year-over-year increase in each generational group:

“The homeownership rates among all age groups increased in the first quarter 2020. Households under 35, mostly first-time homebuyers, registered the largest gains, with the homeownership rate up 1.9 percentage points from a year ago. Households ages 35-44 experienced a 1.2 percentage points gain, followed by the 55-64 age group (a 0.9 percentage point increase), the 45-54 age group (a 0.8 percentage point gain), and the 65+ group age (up by 0.2 percentage point).” (See chart below):


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Three Tips to Keep Your Home Clean and Healthy

As the month of March wears on, COVID-19 continues to tighten its grip on the world as more and more countries report their first cases of the novel virus. Drastic measures have been taken to slow its spread, from the cancellation of major sport seasons to hundreds of colleges shutting down, but new cases continue to pop up in the United States at an exponential speed. While the virus does not pose any major threats to the majority of the population, it’s vital that everyone takes certain precautions to prevent the disease’s spread. Consider the following suggestions to keep your home sanitary and your family healthy.

1.) Pull out the disinfectant wipes

One of the best ways to keep your home clean is to use disinfectant wipes — a lot of disinfectant wipes. Your hands touch hundreds of surfaces a day and spread germs between all of them, so the best way to keep those germs from spreading in your house is to routinely disinfect. Wiping down the surfaces in your home once or twice a day should normally be enough, but in the midst of a viral pandemic, it wouldn’t hurt to wipe everything down a little more often.

2.) Bleach the floors

Perhaps the only part of your body that collects more germs throughout the day than your hands is the bottom of your shoes. At the very least, you should stop wearing your shoes in the house if you haven’t already. From there, make sure to clean your floors with a mixture of bleach and water. If you’re cleaning hardwood floors, though, make sure to use vinegar instead of bleach so you don’t damage the flooring.

3.) Pour up some hydrogen peroxide

One of the most effective ways to kill rhinoviruses — or deactivate them since viruses aren’t technically alive — is to use hydrogen peroxide. Pour some of the liquid onto your bathroom or kitchen surfaces and let it sit for 15 minutes to maximize its effects. At the end of the 15 minutes, all you have to do is scrub down the area and rinse it with some water. 

By following these three tips, you will be able to keep your home clean and safe as a sanitary haven. Remember that following suggestions like these aren’t only important to prevent getting a disease yourself, but also to limit the spread to other people who might be more susceptible.


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Common Mistakes Made During a Home Remodel

A big complaint among homeowners during a remodel is the endless number of things you have to manage and stay on top of. In fact, the overwhelming stress can be so bad that there is a term coined for it: homeowner meltdown. Avoid the curse associated with home remodels and mitigate your stress by learning from the mistakes listed below. If you do, you might be able to escape your Central Oregon home’s remodel unscathed.

Forgetting Water-Resistant Floors

Time and time again, homeowners excitedly install new hardwood floors in their home but forget to consider the perils of water damage in the kitchen and bathroom. While hardwood is certainly the better alternative to carpet in a room where water is likely to spill onto the ground, it still presents its own number of challenges. Ensure that the flooring used in your Central Oregon home’s kitchen, bathroom or laundry room are all water-resistant in order to avoid any unnecessary future costs.

Eyeballing Measurements

This one may sound like common sense, but it’s a more prevalent issue that you might think. Eyeballing the dimensions of an area where a new appliance is to be installed is one way to ensure that an awkward gap is left next to the appliance. Even worse, an appliance can bump into cabinets or the wall if the dimensions of its total functionality isn’t taken into consideration. Take the time to find a measuring tape and map out exactly how a new appliance is going to fit in a space.

Disregarding Color Coordination

This mistake is especially heinous in the eyes of Central Oregon realtors because it is a mistake that doesn’t cost anything to avoid but can bring down your home’s value when you try to sell it. When picking out new paint, appliances and fixtures for your remodel, inspect their color in person and try your best to recreate the environment they will be in once incorporated into your home. Gold fixtures will never match a silver appliance, and even a brown coach might not match stained wood window shades if the shades of brown are too different from each other. By comparing colors of new additions to your home to each other in person and evaluating how the colors work together before purchasing, you will make sure that the remodel looks seamless by the time it’s done.

While it might take a little more time out of your day to avoid the mistakes listed above, the payoff makes it worth it. Your remodel won’t just look great, but you will save yourself loads of stress as well.

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Open the Space Up in Your Home With These Design Trends

The world of home design is dynamic and amalgamous—it’s always changing. New trends seem to pop up overnight and old trends are constantly making reappearances, often making it difficult to navigate them all. When buying a new Central Oregon home or remodeling a current one, consider these hot design trends that are drawing the eyes of homeowners across the country for their ability to open up the space in your home.

Open Shelving

What’s better than being trendy? Being trendy while saving money. Open shelving is a design trend heralded for its ability to open a kitchen up and add a rustic flair to your kitchen design. The design is more common in older homes, as it was a favorite among 20th century homeowners for its efficiency—there are no cabinet doors to open. It also gives you a chance to display your dishes in a casual way. Just be careful when choosing the exact design for your open shelving, because it can occasionally look unfinished if not incorporated correctly into the rest of the room’s design.


One of the most important—and controversial—features in a family’s living room is the TV. So important, in fact, that some choose to design their entire living room around the electronic. While a TV is an important entertainment feature for any Central Oregon home, there is an alternative that’s being touted as a way to take away emphasis from the screen. Projectors provide a great alternative to televisions to host large-format screenings of films and televised events and, if installed correctly, are easier to draw attention away from when not in use since the projector screen can be rolled up.

Sliding Barn Doors

Similar to open shelving, sliding barn doors provide you a great opportunity to open up your home. This design trend is extremely popular for its ability to turn two rooms in one—and vice versa—by simply sliding a door open. Although sliding barn doors are traditionally seen as a more rustic feature, there are numerous ways to incorporate it into any home’s design. When considering this feature, be wary of its shortcomings—poor soundproofing and an inability to lock. These issues can be mitigated with special designs, though, so it should be no issue to install them in a room that occasionally needs to be quiet or needs more privacy.

These design trends are all great ways to transform your home into a more open space. If hosting parties and dinners in your home is important, these designs will do wonders! 

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How to Stay Sane During a Kitchen Remodel

Remodels aren’t easy. Ask any friend or family member about their experience and you are likely to get a groan in response. The reality is remodels can consume your entire life and end up costing much more than you first expected. When it comes to kitchen remodels, though, it can be even more consuming. Follow the tips below to ease the burden of managing a kitchen remodel and by the end of it, you might just be wanting to remodel your Central Oregon home again.

Establish a budget and stick to it

The first thing you must do with any remodel is establish a budget. Overspending is perhaps the biggest mistake homeowners make during their first remodel, and some keep making the same mistake over and over. When planning the kitchen remodel for your Central Oregon home, evaluate whether you want a low-, medium- or high-end kitchen remodel and stick to the costs you first outline for the remodel. Don’t forget to consider the neighborhood you’re in either, as a high-end remodel may not end up making sense in a low-income neighborhood or vice versa.

Keep functionality in mind

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a kitchen remodel, so it’s of the utmost importance that you remember the purpose of what it is you are remodeling. Sleek countertops and innovative appliances are great individually, but you must keep in mind the space that you are working with. Consider how the components will function together and whether their addition to your kitchen will get in the way of its ability to be what it is—a kitchen. An easy way to do this is to apply the 11 foot triangle rule: the distance from your stove to your sink to your refrigerator should add up to 11 feet or less. If you are having trouble trying to navigate what parts of your kitchen to update and how they will work with its functionality, speak with one of our Duke Warner brokers so they can help you settle on a plan that works.

If it works, don’t change it

Kitchen remodels often reach the inordinate prices they do because homeowners move their appliances when they don’t need to. Relocating appliances in a kitchen often requires additional plumbing and electrical work that will send costs sky high in a matter of days. Avoid these unnecessary costs by leaving appliances in their existing locations unless it’s detrimental that they be moved. Updating appliances themselves and the spaces around them can have just as large of an impact as if you were to redo the layout of your kitchen. So, in other words, don’t reinvent the wheel.

Avoid the exhaustion many other homeowners feel by the end of their kitchen remodel by following these tips. By the end of it, you will be feeling better than most and maybe—just maybe—might consider remodeling again soon.