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How to Host a Successful Open House

One of the most crucial things to do when selling a home is to host an open house. Whether it’s a newly built home or was lived-in previously, it’s of the utmost importance that it be ready to impress potential buyers. Hosting an open house isn’t just unlocking the front door and setting out some fresh baked goods, though. There are important key steps one must take to ensure that the home is presented in the best way possible. Follow the tips below and your home will be sold in no time!

Declutter

If you were only able to do a single thing in preparation for an open house for your Central Oregon home, decluttering is the move. Buyers no longer want to browse lived-in homes. They want to see a home that is clean, tidy and ready to be moved into in minutes. Only leave out the bare necessities in each room and cram everything else in the garage or in storage.

Get rid of odors

Next on your to-do list should be to sterilize your home of any foreign smells. No two homes smell alike, so any potential buyer walking into your home is going to smell something different from what they’re used to. Instead of banking on hope that your house smells appealing, scrub the floors, shampoo the carpets and air out every room to start fresh. From there, use some sweet-smelling cleaning solutions or bake some cookies in the oven to get your home ready to go.

Improve the curbside appeal

Last, but certainly not least, is improving your home’s curbside appeal. First impressions matter, and if the first thing a potential buyer sees is a dead lawn, poorly maintained landscape and peeling paint, you can bet they won’t return to see the home a second time. Take a day to prepare the front of your home for potential buyers by cleaning up the lawn and landscape. Remember, creating a warm setting with a mat at the front door and setting out some potted plants can do wonders. Nothing gives a home new life like full and colorful plants.

If you make sure to follow these three key tips, your open house will be sure to dazzle any potential buyer that walks through the front door!

 

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Buying A House When You Are Young: Start Saving Money Early

Owning a home when you are 25 years old? Probably sounds like an impossibility since you are just leaving a 4-year college at 21 and have a mountain of student debt, right? All while you are looking for a better-paying job where you can put your new degree to good use. Yet there are people across the country who are purchasing a house early on in their adult lives. It takes hard work and perseverance, yet you can do it if you start saving early and have a plan of action in place. Here are several tips you can use to make your home ownership dreams come true.

Look into an IRA and 401K

It sounds strange to be thinking about retirement planning before getting a high school diploma. Yet many young adults are working part-time jobs at this age and have fewer debts that they have to worry about. So it is an ideal time for an 18-year-old to open an IRA and put away some money. Once they graduate and start a job, they can also begin placing money into a 401k that will give them even more financial stability in the future while they learn the importance of saving early and saving often.

Make Reasonable Sacrifices

You don’t really need to purchase the newest car, pay for the most expensive apartment, or eat the pricey takeout food every single day. There are expenses in your life that can be eliminated or lessened by the money choices we make. Getting an older car, taking public transportation, renting a smaller apartment, and limiting take-out food purchases can help you save more money that can be placed toward a future home purchase. Even simply saving $50 a month can allow you to have an extra $600 a year. Multiply this by 8 years, and you can effectively save up to $4,800 that can be placed toward the down payment of the house.

Buy a Home Within Your Means

One of the biggest problems is that people buy homes that they can’t financially afford. They want the most extravagant house they can get early in age as they believe it is the only house they will ever buy. Yet you have to understand how your salary, debts and home ownership costs can dictate the type of property that you can afford to purchase. Sometimes this means you have to cut back on your expectations and look for lower priced homes with less amenities, even fixer-uppers, to get the right house that fits within your means.

You can own a home as a young adult. By planning early, you can decide on the right path that leads to home ownership based on your particular financial circumstances. Give us a call, any one of our Duke Warner Realty brokers would be happy to walk you through the process of getting started.

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Duke Warner Trend Report June 2019

Summertime is in full swing and the real estate market is as active as ever. With the beautiful weather and a variety of summertime fun to be had, Central Oregon is a great place to invest in real estate and settle down. Active listings continue to remain steady and both Bend and Redmond have quite a few options if you are looking to buy a home. Our trend report offers insight into last month’s activity, which is a great resource for upcoming trends we might see during the rest of July and into August.

July 1st Inventory and June Activity

With 560 active listings as of July 1st, the Bend market offers a variety of great homes for those of you looking to buy a home. Both Bend and Redmond’s current listings have some gems that won’t last long in this market. Redmond’s active listings as of July 1st showed 194 homes overall. The numbers have been consistent and encouraging all year, and this summer is continuing the trend, with the combined active listings for Central Oregon at 754.

June was a busy month for the Redmond market, showing 106 homes sold, 96 new homes on the market and 96 homes pending. The bulk of active homes on the market in Redmond were in the $325,100 -$425,000 price range, showing 75. The $225,000 – $325,000 had 55 active listings and the $525,000 & up price range showed 45 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers in June illustrate the busy market and show us that real estate activity is going strong. There were 11 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 99 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 100 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 51 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 102 active homes in the $925,100 & up price range.

With the thriving market, buyers look for competitive pricing as they compare properties. If you are selling your home and considering pricing for your property, we encourage you to consult with your Duke Warner Broker for educated advice. Our brokers will share their expertise and let you know how to price according to the market trends and current housing competition. At Duke Warner Realty, we 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 277 pending homes in May, and 247 in June. These numbers remain consistent and tell us buyers and sellers are on the move. For sold listings, there were 232 in May and 236 in June. In Redmond, we saw 105 sold listings in May, and 106 in June. As expected, we continue to see great numbers 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 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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3 Simple Summer Decorating Updates for Your New Home

One of the best parts of moving into a new home is having the opportunity to decorate and outfit your home with the latest trends. Some people like to do seasonal updates throughout their home, while others like to stick with a basic décor and supplement with little pops of color here and there. Essentially you have a brand-new canvas to work with when you arrive in your new digs, so the possibilities are endless. Summertime is a perfect season to revamp furniture, add a fresh coat of paint to a room, change the curtains and maybe even incorporate some fresh foliage in different areas of the house.

Paint

A fresh coat of paint gives a room an instant freshness and can even be a pop of color if you decide to just paint one wall. Summertime is a great season to throw a bright color on a wall, match a bit of the décor to the wall color and liven up communal areas where you and your loved ones will be spending the most amount of time this summer. Paint is an easy update that doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s a project that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time.  

Plants or an Herb Garden

An herb garden is a perfect addition to your kitchen because the herbs are readily available for your cooking needs and if potted, you have an instant garden that looks beautiful on your counter top or sink. Plants are also a wonderful addition to any room, bringing the freshness of a living organism and the pop of color to the room, it’s hard to go wrong. The summer lends us a fantastic selection of flowers to choose from and so many people like to have a fresh-cut bouquet in their homes to bring a little outdoor beauty, indoors.

Wall Hangings, Rugs & Accessories

Just like a coat of paint, a rug or wall hanging can completely change the feel of a room. Perhaps you don’t want to spend time painting, but you want a fresh look for the warmer seasons, maybe a splash of color that can be the centerpiece of the room? A new rug or wall hanging can give you the fresh update you are looking for without having to commit to a more permanent update. A little bit of color can go a long way and with rugs, throw pillows and wall hangings, so give it a try and see what works.

Each season brings with it, the chance to enjoy the comforts of home while celebrating the weather outside. Simple décor updates can make your home look and feel brand new and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to do it.

 

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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.