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Tips for Summertime Lawn Care

After you’ve found your dream house, moved in and unpacked, you may want to turn your attention to the yard and your lawn. Living in the high desert can be tricky when it comes to upkeep and care for your lawn. A dry climate requires more watering and the heat can burn the grass if it isn’t properly cared for, so to combat the heat and stress of summer, lawns need the proper amount of fertilization and water to thrive. Keep in mind that an excess of water or fertilizer can be just as harmful to the grass and environment as an application of too little. Summertime lawn care may vary slightly based on soil type, but for the most part, the basics are straightforward. Mowing, watering, weeding and fertilizing are the four major topics of care that will help to make your lawn the perfect spot for outdoor parties, family BBQs, and other summertime fun activities. The following tips offer some easy summertime lawn care;

Keep your mower blade sharp and high:

Most grass varieties perform better with a higher mow. Tall grass grows deeper roots with those roots reaching moisture that is farther down in the soil. A clean cut is also important, so make sure you keep your mower blades sharp. A dull blade can shred grass, making it lose moisture and turning shredded tips brown in color. This can give the appearance that your lawn is dead, which is not the look you want for those summertime parties in your new neighborhood!

Don’t over water and water in the morning:

Watering your lawn between 6 a.m. and 10 a.m. is the most efficient time. Less water is lost to evaporation in the morning hours and your lawn has time to dry off before nightfall. A lawn that stays wet during the night encourages disease. Most turf grass varieties perform well with a half inch of water twice a week or one inch per week. Be sure to not water daily, this can kill your grass quickly!

Control weeds:

The best weed control is often keeping a healthy lawn and regular mowing. Summer annual weeds germinate from seeds and grow to maturity. These weeds typically germinate at the end of spring or the beginning of summer, die after the first frost, then reappear the following year. To stop weeds before they begin growing, you can apply a pre-emergent herbicide that will prevent weeds such as crabgrass and other grassy weeds from germinating. Remember to always read and follow label instructions before applying any chemical to your lawn. Be sure to use pet and kid-friendly products if you have either, some of the products on the market can be extremely harmful to animals and humans.

If you are currently looking for a new home in Central Oregon and want to find the perfect place with a great lawn, the brokers at Duke Warner Realty can help you find the perfect place to call your own!

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Duke Warner Trend Report May 2019

Central Oregon Trends

The busy market in both Redmond and Bend continues to give buyers a variety of options for purchasing a home. The active listings continue to remain steady as we settle into the beautiful Summer we are having here in Central Oregon. Our trend report offers some insight into last month’s activity, which is a great resource for upcoming trends we might see during the rest of June and into July.

June 1st Inventory and May Activity

With 491 active listings as of June 1st, the Bend market is buzzing with options and opportunity. Our brokers are excited with the market activity and ready to represent you. Whether you are buying or selling a home. Both Bend and Redmond’s current listings offer a variety of homes to choose from if you are looking to buy a home. Redmond’s active listings as of June 1st showed 209 homes overall, which is great for this time of year. The numbers have remained steady for many months and so far, this Summer is proving just the same, with the collective active listings at 700 for Bend and Redmond combined.

May was a busy month for the Redmond market, showing 105 homes sold, 151 new homes on the market and 126 homes pending. The bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $325,100 -$425,000 price range, showing 65. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 53 active listings and the $525,000 & up price range showed 32 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers in May showed us that there are plenty of homes to choose from this season. There were 12 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 93 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 76 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 44 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 73 active homes in the $925,100 & up price range.

Buyers and Sellers

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 275 pending homes in April, and 277 pending homes in May. The continued climb reaffirms what we’ve been seeing for several months now, people are getting into action and buying homes! For sold listings, there were 177 in April, and 232 in May. In Redmond, we saw 82 in April, and 105 in May. As predicted, 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. 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 ventures. Follow our monthly trend reports to stay current with local real estate numbers. 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 info@dukewarner.com.

 

 

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Preparing for a Home Inspection

Home inspections are a big part of the house selling and house buying process. They can either help a sale price or hurt it, all while making the property feel more attractive to a buyer or even less attractive to a buyer. Receiving an offer on your property is a big deal, but most offers hang on the results of the inspection, which is why it’s important to be prepared for the inspection. Here are Duke Warner’s top tips for inspections.

Cleanliness

If you’ve been showing your house, you know the importance of a clean house. You cringe every time a bit of dust gathers, or the clutter piles up, because you know it’s only a matter of time before your Bend Realtor calls and you have a moment’s notice to straighten up. Our advice is to do a huge deep clean of the house before showings start, so that when more showings are scheduled, and it’s finally time for an inspection, you’re already ahead. By doing a deep clean of the house, you could discover a few small projects that might increase your value. Some of these projects might be best to tackle head on, and some might be best to leave for new owners. If it’s a simple cracked tile or loose fence post, it’s easy enough to fix, so you should.

Your Functioning Utilities

In order to complete your inspection, your inspector will have to check all utilities, like the stove or refrigerator. Anything that will be included in the sale of your home, will need to be checked and approved. Turning the power off on them, might result in a rescheduled or incomplete inspection, and it could cause a delay in the sale process.

Make sure that any utilities that will need to be checked, will be accessible. If you’ve been storing boxes in the way of the water heater, be sure to clear them, so an inspector can gain access. If the inspector can’t get close enough to inspect them, chances are they’ll call a specialist in, which takes more time, and can also delay the sales process.

It’s important to keep pilot lights lit on gas stoves, furnaces, water heaters and more. Inspectors often aren’t covered for the liability of lighting them themselves, so could wind up costing you more money and time.

All Access

Inspectors need to check all areas of the home and property. So if you have a dusty attic or backyard shed, that need some care, now is the time. Make sure that inspectors have easy access to places like this around the house, garage or basement. All parts of the property need to pass inspection, so be sure that the inspector has keys to all areas of your home.

It’s important to note if you’ve had any major repairs done, like a new roof or any remodeling, as it can make a difference in your price point for real estate in Bend Oregon. Have any recent records of work, ready for the inspection.

As you’re preparing, remember that no house is perfect, and most inspections come back with a few things to improve upon. If you spend the time preparing for an inspection, most suggestions won’t be a surprise.

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How to Easily Make Your Home Show Ready

How to Easily Make Your Home Show Ready

If you’ve listed your home, you know how irritating it can be when mid-week you get the call that someone wants to look at your house. You’re thrilled at the interest in your home from a potential buyer, but you’re on the way out the door to soccer practice with the kids and you don’t have time to clean. Here are some tips and tricks for keeping your home clean and show ready while you’re still living there.

Do a deep clean

If you’ve done a deep clean of your home at the start, it should be easier to keep things organized and clean. Ask for help from all of the members of your household, to keep in mind where they leave things and the messes that they make. Try to keep horizontal surfaces as clean as possible, like kitchen counters, coffee tables and dining room tables. This can tend to be the first place that people set things down and leave them. But keeping your clean house clean takes an effort from all members of the household.

Tips

Three points of light in a room is more likely to make the potential buyer feel at home. So if a room has a light fixture, try adding two other lamps around the room to make it feel more cozy.

One of the most important things that people always notice are the floors. Keep them shiny. This doesn’t have to be hard, use a quick spray jet or duster mop to keep things looking shiny and clean.

Make sure the bathrooms are kept clean. This can be a major turn off to any potential buyers. Clean bathrooms are a must. Try to keep counter spaces clean, and personal belongings in drawers, hidden from view.

Always do your dishes. Don’t let them stack up in the sink. When your house is on the market, you could get a call at a moments’ notice and need to leave. So do your dishes when you dirty them, to keep your kitchen looking clean at all times.

If you cook a lot, try using natural air freshening tricks to keep your kitchen and home smelling clean and fresh. Try boiling lemons or lighting neutral candles to neutralize odors.

If you have pets and you can’t take them with you, try finding a pet daycare that they can visit on the days of the week when you have showings.

Talk to your realtor. If showing your house is a huge headache to you and your family, try encouraging the realtor to show your house in big blocks of time, rather than randomly throughout the week.

The only way to make showing your house easy is to stay on top of cleaning. Don’t let clutter accumulate. Keep your kitchen clean and bathrooms spotless. If you stay on top of this, a last minute call and showing shouldn’t throw you. It should be a simple as whipping out the swifter for 5 minutes before you leave, or putting a small pile of mail away from the dining room table.

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Important Things to Tell Your Realtor

Finding a realtor that understands exactly what you’re looking for in a property can be hard. Make sure you schedule a meeting and sit down with your broker, so that you do understand each other. It’s important to make a list of the features of a home that you can’t live without, that you would prefer, and things that you don’t want in your ideal home. Take the time to sit down and go over what they should know and what your top priorities are. If your broker understands your needs, wants and dislikes, they’re much more likely to find the perfect property for you, and not waste time showing listings that you’re not interested in.

Location

It can be easy to forget when house hunting, but where you buy a house in most areas determines where your kids go to school. If you have a preference over the schools in the area that you’re looking to buy in, it’s important to tell your broker that. Even if you don’t currently have kids, it’s still something important to consider.

If having easy access to amenities, like grocery stores, theaters, shopping, restaurants, etc. is important to you, your broker needs to know that. It’s important for your broker to understand whether you want to be within walking or driving distance from cultural centers like this. If this is a like, but not a requirement it could influence the listings your broker wants to show.

Heating System

Something that can easily be forgotten when house hunting is how a home is heated. If the way a home is heated is something that truly matters, let your broker know. This may make a difference if you’re looking for properties in a colder or warmer climate. If you have a preferred method of heating, especially if it’s a deal breaker, tell your broker.  Be sure to check the heating system in place before you make an offer, or you could wind up with an expensive home to heat.

Layout

If the way the house is laid out, is important to you, again tell your broker. They need to know if you want to look at split level homes, or if you only want to see single level homes. If you want an open floor plan, a formal dining room, etc. your broker can show you properties that pertain to your wants and needs, if they know what they are.

If you only want to look at rural or urban properties, if a pool is a must or not, these are things that you need to sit down and outline in your lists with your agent. Consider the lifestyle that you live, and what aspects of a home you need to keep your comfort.

Take Away

When discussing your price range with your agent, let them know which things you’re willing to pay more for. If your budget won’t budge, they need to know that. If they find you a home with everything that you want, but it’s out of your price range, your broker needs to know where you draw the line. Find the Bend realtor you trust most, and discuss what you want in a dream property or home.

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How Rising and Falling Rates Impact Home Search

With an ever-changing real estate market, it can be hard to understand how certain trends can either help you or hurt you. While mortgage rates and house prices may rise and fall, they can affect buyers and sellers differently. We’re here to break it down.

Mortgage Rates Rising

When mortgage rates rise, it tends to inspire people to stay put. If homeowners are thinking of downgrading or upgrading their properties, they have time to wait until the market benefits them. Specifically, if homeowners are downgrading later in life, they’ll want to benefit from lower mortgage rates, and they can afford to wait in most cases.

When mortgage rates climb, it tends to inspire people to stay in their current homes, spending time and money on fixing them up, rather than looking for new properties. For buyers looking for starter homes, now may be a hard time. Owners that have smaller homes may not be too eager to sell them as they’ll face higher mortgage rates on new purchases, and smaller starter properties may be scarcer.

One benefit to higher mortgage rates means that less people are taking out loans, which makes lenders hungry. This drives lenders to become more competitive, which may benefit those getting mortgages. When there are less mortgages being applied for lenders may loosen their standards, increasing debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios. Borrowers may also be cut some clack on credit scores.

Mortgage Rates Fall

When mortgage rates fall, there tends to be an influx of loan applications. When the rates are nice and low, everyone wants to get in on the deal. Lower mortgage rates also inspire homeowners to refinance, so in addition to higher loan application volume, refinance applications also go up.

With lower interest rates on mortgages, the housing market booms. It makes it more affordable for buyers to buy homes, and find higher value homes at lower prices. When mortgage rates go down, homeowners that previously may not have been considering selling property, might choose to upgrade property and get in with lower mortgage rates. This causes more housing to become available in a the real estate market, which could potentially drive home prices down slightly. If there are more properties available, pricing competitively is a sure way to make sure your home is found and that offers are made.

What this means

There are great times to buy a house and there are times that aren’t as beneficial to your wallet. Most of these rates can’t be controlled or predicted. When rates are high it can be harder to find a property, but you might get a lender who is more willing to work with you. When rates are low, you’re more likely to get a good deal on a mortgage, but everyone else will be applying for loans as well. Not everyone can afford to wait to house hunt, as timing is key, so if it’s time to look and apply, we say go for it.

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Duke Warner April 2019 Trend Report

The steady market in both Redmond and Bend continues to give buyers a plethora of options for purchasing a home. The active listings continue to climb as we settle into the beautiful Spring we are having in Central Oregon. Our trend report offers some insight into last month’s activity, which is a great resource for upcoming trends we might see in May, June and July.

May 1st Inventory and April Activity

With 398 active listings as of May 1st, the Bend market is buzzing with options and opportunity. Our brokers are excited with the market activity and ready to represent you, whether you are buying or selling a home. Both Bend and Redmond’s current listings offer a variety of homes to choose from if you are looking to buy a home. Redmond’s active listings as of May 1st showed 181 homes overall, which is great for this time of year. The numbers have remained steady for many months and this Spring is proving just the same, with the collective active listings at 579 for Bend and Redmond combined.

April was a busy month for the Redmond market, showing 82 homes sold, 122 new homes on the market and 110 homes pending. The bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $325,100 -$425,000 price range, showing 59. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 54 active listings and the $525,000 & up price range showed 30 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers in April showed us that there are plenty of homes to choose from this Spring. There were 12 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 73 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 60 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 53 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 68 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 206 pending homes in March, and 275 pending homes in April. The continued climb reaffirms what we’ve been seeing for several months now, people are getting into action and buying homes! For sold listings, there were 149 in March, and 177 in April. In Redmond, we saw 65 in March, and 82 in April. As predicted, 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. 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 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 info@dukewarner.com.

 

 

 

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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 info@dukewarner.com.

 

 

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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.

Details

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.

Lifestyle

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.

Resale

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.