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Ways to Getting to Know Your New Neighborhood

Relocating to a new neighborhood can be an exciting time for everyone. There is so much to explore in the neighborhood as you want to find local shops, entertainment venues, parks, and other exciting places. In addition, it is also time to get friendly and know the neighbors. Yet how do you break through the proverbial ice and introduce yourself without knocking on everyone’s door? Here are a few ways to get to know your neighborhood and be friendly with the neighbors.

Hold a Yard Sale

If you didn’t get a chance to clear out the old things that you no longer needed or wanted before the move, which happens often with people who live in an apartment building and are moving into their first home, you can hold a yard sale at the new place. Your stuff can find a great new home while you are meeting the neighbors who are grateful to take the things off your hands.

Have an Open House Party

An open house party is a way to allow others to enjoy a great event on their terms as they can come and go as they please. The party is usually held for six hours as you can offer a range of different food and entertainment. You may want to also have a theme for your open house party, like a pool party, barbecue party or meet and greet.

Do Bake Sales for Local Charities

Another great way to gain friends in the neighborhood while doing some good for the community is to hold a bake sale. The proceeds from the sale can go to a local charity to strengthen and grow community ties.

Volunteer

Volunteering your time will allow you to learn about your neighbor’s interest and find people who like the same things that you do. There are many ways to be a volunteer. You can work at charity events, chaperone school or club activities, or get involved in organizations that help preserve the community through tree planting, lot cleanup, and keep parks tidy.

Organize a Block Party

One way to meet all the neighbors at once is to organize a block party. Make sure to follow all local codes and regulations for the outdoor event, such as obtaining a permit, while arranging for food, music, and entertainment. Decide on a location and time to hold the party, then delegate who will be in charge of certain aspects of it. You can have a theme for the party, or just make it a general gathering for everyone.

Meeting the neighbors doesn’t have to be a stiff or formal affair. Instead, there are many ways to learn about the neighborhood and become friends with your neighbors. Use the above ideas that best fit into your schedule, budget and comfort level so you can make the new neighborhood feel like a welcoming home.

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Summer is here; June Real Estate Forecast

Summer is the time of year when the real estate market in Central Oregon really takes off. Buyers and sellers alike should pay attention to the market, learn how higher inventory on the market can affect real estate decisions, both listing and buying. As active listings have increased from April to May and now into June, we see an increase in reduced pricing as well as an increase in pending sales.

Inventory
Over the past couple of months, there has been a 25% increase in active listings. In June the number of listings soared to 522 from 416 in May. This is expected, as the late spring and early summer months is the time when the real estate market really takes off in Central Oregon.

With summer typically being the most active time for real estate activity, we do expect to see this trend to continue throughout the summer, along with more sold listings and pending sales.

Pending Sales

When there is a drop in the number of pending sales, it usually means that buyers are getting more cautious and spending more time considering their options, before purchasing. With the consistent pending sales from April to June, it shows that buyers are responding to the market and sealing the deal once they’ve done their research and compared pricing. In April we saw 78 home prices reduced, in May there were 129 and in June we saw 184 homes reduced. This shows the competitiveness in pricing and helps sellers decide how to initially list their home on the market.

More Sold Listings

The number of sold listings stayed somewhat consistent in April (190) and in May (223), and the number has climbed in June (260). The numbers show us that summer is here, and the time to buy is now. With plenty of available listings on the market, there’s bound to be a home that suits your needs.

Typically, when there’s a wide inventory of properties, sellers must consider a more competitive pricing for their listing. When buyers are looking for the perfect home, they might be able to find generally comparable homes at different price points. If you are a seller, now is the perfect time to talk to your Bend real estate broker, and make sure your home is priced competitively enough to sell. An effective way to know if your pricing is competitively priced in your neighborhood is to check out the homes that have sold and see what the final sale numbers looked like. Getting the help of a broker will ensure that your pricing is where it should be. Making your home sale a competitive price will guarantee you more views and ultimately, a sale if priced right. Taking the time to review the trends in your area, compare pricing in comparable homes that have sold and discussing your selling intentions with a broker can help you sell your home quickly in a competitive market.

Absorption Rate

In years past, we’ve seen an increase from May to June, in more new listings, however this year the new listings fell from May to June. Our average inventory levels have diminished for the past ten years and in the last three months, we’ve seen the absorption rate increase, which makes it feel like there are fewer options than in the previous months. Summertime has historically brought an increase in new listings, so this summer is presenting a changeup that puts a higher demand on the pool of new listings.

Duke Warner and the Perfect Home

Spring and Summer is the busiest time of the year for real estate in Central Oregon. If you’re looking for a new property, or want to get your home listed, Duke Warner Realty is ready to help. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, call us at (541) 382-8262 or stop in for a visit, we would love to sell your home!

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May Real Estate Forecast Shows Strong Focus On Home Buying in Bend

Pricing in the Central Oregon real estate market is reaching record numbers, numbers we haven’t seen since the crash of the market. Pricing is growing each month, and several people are curious if we’re entering another housing bubble.

Housing bubbles are typically reached with faulty lending and speculation in the real estate market, amongst other things. The reason we know we’re not entering a bubble is that the housing prices in Central Oregon are being driven up by sheer demand and competitive pricing.

First Time Homebuyers

With a high number of first-time homebuyers, consisting of mostly millennials, affordable starter homes are selling quickly. Because we’re still experiencing a seller’s market, there aren’t as many available properties on the market, so when starter homes do become available, multiple offers are often received.

Given the low inventory, sellers are able to list their properties for higher prices. The market has sped up because of this. The time that properties are sitting on the market is decreasing. With offers being made quickly- properties are moving very fast.

Bend is a desirable place to live. Last summer we experienced lower than 1 percent vacancy in rental units, and our housing market is experiencing something similar to this at the moment. Typically, properties stay listed for a few months before a serious offer is made. This time has drastically decreased. The number of active available properties has stayed fairly consistent from spring, growing from 416 in April to 437 in May and June is 522.

Interest rates slowly rising

While pricing may be high, interest rates on mortgages are stable but slightly lifted from last summer. Average interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have increased to 4.41 from the all-time calendar low of 3.95 last summer. So even though pricing may be high, buyers are still feeling confident in the encouraging mortgage rates available, and offers are still being made in abundance.

National Real Estate Forecast

Nationally there has been a predicted rise in home prices of up to 4.9 percent. This figure doesn’t represent towns that are growing as rapidly as Bend. There’s a possibility that prices may increase in Bend, even more than the national average predicts.

If you’re looking to list a property in Central Oregon, or need help making a competitive offer, Duke Warner Realty is ready to help. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Time to Declutter and Donate!

Now that the warmer months are upon us, it’s a wonderful time to take an inventory of your home and clear out the clutter. There are many ways you can approach this project and coming up with a plan before you take on the big task, is essential. Decluttering is much easier when done systematically, for example, if you do it room by room, it isn’t as overwhelming, and you can focus on the items you use on a regular basis for that specific room in the house.

A good rule of thumb when clearing out clutter is to consider the last time you used the item or wore the piece of clothing. Many people believe it’s not worth holding on to if you haven’t used it or worn it in a year’s time. With that rule in mind, visit your drawers, open your closets and start a pile of items you are willing to part with.

A helpful exercise used by many is to imagine if you lost everything, then figure out what items you would want to replace. That gives you a good vision of where to start with the clean-out and starts the process of letting go of the items that do nothing but take up space. Depending on the size of your home, you may need to purchase bins or a storage system if there are heirlooms you want to keep but might not want to display in your home.

Focusing on the function of the item in question gives you a chance to really think about its importance in your home. Figure out if it has a specific function and if not, get rid of it. Try to leave sentimental feelings out of the consideration so you don’t get caught hanging onto things that just take up space.

Once you’ve done the declutter, it’s time to decide what you want to do with the pile of items you no longer want or need. Donating is a terrific way to get rid of a lot of it, and most household items donated can be a tax write-off. Call shelters or teen-challenge programs in your community that take donations and find out what they are currently in need of. You can also sell on eBay or craigslist if you want to make some money on certain high-value items. If you decide to donate, survey the item to make sure it still works and if it’s clothing, consider how worn it is and make sure it’s clean before you give it away.

There are so many benefits to decluttering and you’ll no doubt enjoy your space much more once it feels organized. Donating to local organizations helps your community and gives your items a new lease on life!

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A Quick Checklist for Staging Your Home for Showings

Once you decide it’s time to sell your home, you discover there are all kinds of preparations needed to get the best-selling price possible. Staging your home requires some effort and ultimately a little bit of depersonalization if you want potential buyers to connect with the home. One common assumption is that staging means getting the inside of the house looking good, but a thorough staging includes both inside and outside of the home. Consider the following tips while you prepare your home for selling.

  1. Clean out closets, drawers and storage areas- When potential buyers walk around your home, they will open every closet door, pull out every drawer and look at every square inch with a detailed eye. Clutter, messy closets, packed storage areas, and junk drawers don’t allow the buyers to see the actual storage potential in the home. Organized, clean and spacious presentations appeal to buyers because they are trying to imagine their own belongings in your home and less distraction allows them to do this.
  2. Do a deep clean, including appliances and baseboards- The first impression is the most important, so sparkling countertops, clean floors, tidy bathrooms and clean walls are a must. Clean the inside and outside of all appliances, it gives the potential buyers evidence that you’ve treated the home with care. Wash the baseboards, clean the floors, replace the carpet if it’s tattered and stained. Investing a little bit of money to replace old, worn carpet will help you get closer to the listing price when you sell.
  3. Remove furnishings that block doorways or windows, create open space- Generally less is more regarding furniture when you are showing your home. Too much furniture or oversized furniture can make rooms feel small and cramped. Potential buyers want to be able to visualize their own furniture in each room so pare down yours to allow better visualization.
  4. Bring in the light- Open those blinds or curtains and bring the light into your home. The lighter the better and buyers like to see as much natural light as possible when touring your home. Change lightbulbs before buyers walk through and replace any old lighting that doesn’t match the décor.
  5. Repair the fence, clean up the yard- Curb appeal is a big one, from the moment buyers pull up to your house, they are on point looking at every little detail. Making sure your repairs are done, the leaves are off the ground, the grass is mowed, and the dog waste is picked up, will ensure a good first impression.
  6. Eliminate orders- Our beloved pets can give off odors that we don’t even notice. Pick-up worn or tattered pet toys, store pet beds in the garage, steam clean upholstery, and carpets and be sure to take your pets to a different location during your open house. Not everyone is a dog or cat lover and having them around can be a distraction for many potential buyers.

 Selling a home can be stressful but staying organized and mindful will help reduce the stress and allow you to focus on the bigger picture. Staging your home can be fun, satisfying and give you the chance to finish projects you’ve been meaning to complete for years!