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November Real Estate Forecast shows consistent number of active and sold listings

As we head into the holiday season, we’re seeing an expected slow down in the Central Oregon Real Estate market. This November we saw a slight drop in the number of active listings, which is to be expected this time of year. As the holiday season progresses, it can be an inconvenient time for some sellers to get their property listed.

Expected Pending sales drop

While we saw a spike in the number of pending sales in the month of October, up to 251 from 233 in September, pending sales dropped for the month of November. With November coming in at 154 pending sales, it’s a big change coming from 251 in October. We expect to see a lower number of pending listings in November and December, as it’s a busy time of year. With all of the holiday errands and travel most go through in these months, they’re not typically high-volume months in Central Oregon or nationally.

Fewer Sold Listings

The number of sold listings is down from a busy October. From 208 in September, to 228 in October, sales came in at 198 in November. Again, with the busy time of year, a lower number of property sales are to be expected.

Active Listings

There are still lots of listings to choose from in the Bend Real Estate Market. Dropping to only 552 from 575 in the month of October, buyers are still able to find exactly what they’re looking for in a listing.

Pricing is still remaining stable, coming down from a highly active Summer market. There have been price reductions on existing properties, and with interest rates still low, it’s a great time to look for property.

Bend Oregon Realtors

Call Duke Warner today, and find the perfect Bend realtor to help you find your dream home, or get a property listed. Get in touch with us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Duke Warner Realty celebrates 50 years of business

Duke Warner Realty was established in 1967 by Duke and Kitty Warner. Their philosophy was to establish a first-rate real estate company sensitive to their customer’s needs. Believing, wholeheartedly, if they treated their customers fair and square, they would keep coming back and bring new customers with them.

That is exactly what happened…

A little history

Initially, Duke Warner Realty was a small family-owned operation that was located on Third Street. In 1992, they acquired the property on Newport Avenue and built the office they currently work out of. Additionally, the DWR staff has grown considerably since building the new property adding new Bend Realtors and more.

Originally, when Central Oregon was less developed, they specialized in bare land, farms, and ranches.  As the population increased, the business included more and more residential properties, and today they represent a good mix of nearly every property type on the market.

Duke Warner Family

Over the years Kitty and Duke contributed a considerable amount of time and energy to the Central Oregon Association of Realtors. A tradition the younger crowd is carrying on today, as many of the DWR brokers are also involved in various charitable organizations in the community.

Duke Warner Realty is still an independent brokerage, and not associated with a franchise. Larry Jacobs, Kitty Warner and Kit Korish have been partners in the business since 1982.  Several years ago, they added some younger generations to the partnership which now includes Jason Boone, Rob Eggers, Terry Skjersaa, Kris Warner and Kim Warner.  Kris Warner is the acting Designated Principal Broker.

The next 50 years

Duke Warner Realty’s brokers share this philosophy, and today the firm is widely-known for its personalized service and reliability. Unlike many real estate firms, Duke Warner Realty has little turnover in personnel. Years after a transaction is complete, a client, their relative or friend can return knowing that he or she will find the same personal care – and most likely, the same broker.

With this kind of reputation, Duke Warner Realty’s success has endured through good times and bad. The company is here to stay, and its Bend brokers are interested and actively involved in our wonderful community.

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Decorating for the Holidays, when your Home is for Sale

When the Holiday season arrives, it can be hard to wait to decorate. Some of us have decorations up right after Halloween, and some wait until after Thanksgiving. If you are one such individual, it can be hard to tone down your holiday decorations, if your home is for sale. It’s important to consider what potential buyers might want to see, so sometimes it’s best to keep the decorations to a minimum. Here are our tips for keeping it festive, but showing appropriate this holiday season.

Holiday Lights

It’s a joy to drive through local neighborhoods this time of year and see that various styles of lighting people put up. If your house is the brightest one on the block, you might want to reconsider how festive you are this year. When you’re trying to sell your home, a ton of decoration might take away from how great your property is in the first place. Prospective buyers might also be critical of how lights are hung and displayed. Did you put decorations and lights up with nails, staples, easy-to-remove hooks, or more?

Front Yard

It can be fun to find light up or blow up decorations, but if you’re trying to sell your home, it might be best to hold off this year on those. It’s important to remember that when someone shows up for a viewing of your home, the front yard is the first thing they see. If all they notice is the bright decorations, they might miss the character of your property, or the cute front porch. Too many decorations can distract from the great features of the property, so try to keep them to a minimum.

Holiday Decorations

It’s always cozy to spend time in a home that’s decorated for the holidays, but inside you want to follow the trend from outside. Keep your decorating to a minimum. You want potential buyers to see the space, and be able to envision it as their own. So if lots of decorations are distracting them, they might miss out on the great features inside.

Try to keep your decorations tasteful and simple. People will appreciate the effort, while they’re able to take in what your property offers. Keep it simple with scented candles, and a few holiday figurines. Try to limit covering every countertop and mantle and banister in decorations. It can make the inside of your home seem cluttered, and therefore smaller. If you’re looking for decorating ideas, use fresh plants, or seasonal fruit, like oranges and pomegranates, to add a simple festive feel to your home.

If you’re looking for advice on how much is too much, call your Bend Realtor and ask. Chances are they know what buyers are looking for, and what they aren’t. It’s the holidays, so be festive, just don’t clutter your house or front yard, and detract from what your property has to offer.

 

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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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There’s no time like the Present to apply for a Mortgage

Buying a home can seem intimidating, and applying for a mortgage can be equally as scary. Most people aren’t applying for mortgages in the current real estate market because they assume that they won’t qualify. The fact of the matter is, this might not be true, and you won’t know until you apply. If you think you might be ready to make the jump into the real estate market, then it’s time to get your ducks in a row.

What you need

To apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to have saved a down payment, have a steady and stable income and also have a good credit history. Don’t let the down payment scare you, with different types of mortgages and home loans, you can save as little as 3 percent or as high as 20 percent. A lender can help with this amount.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to apply:

  1. Current credit history and score – Don’t let non-perfect credit deter you from applying for a loan. You may already qualify so it’s time to find out.
  2. Gather your documentation – Get together your income verification, like W-2 forms or tax returns. You’ll also need your credit history, and any other assets you have, like bank statements from saving accounts.

Talk to your Bend Realtor.

Bend Realtors have great recommendations when it comes to finding a loan officer. Typically, they have loan officers that they continue to work with time and time again. Ask your realtor for the lender that the recommend highly.

Trust your Lender.

Lenders will help you determine what price of home you can afford. They’re there to help you review your income, monthly expenses and other financial goals you may have. They’ll help you make the best decision when it comes time to choose a mortgage, and how you qualify.

Get Pre-Approved.

If your lender thinks you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, and start your house search, getting pre-approved can make this process even easier. If you’re pre-approved, you know exactly how much house you can take on. It prevents you from putting an offer on a house, that you will later find out you can’t afford. It also shows potential home sellers that you’re serious about buying.

If you’re thinking that you won’t qualify but think you might have what it takes, there’s no harm in meeting with a Bend Oregon Real Estate Agent and Lender. They might help you get things on track to purchase a home in the coming years, or they might help you discover that you’re already ready.

Most people assume that they can’t afford homes in today’s market. Yes, the market seems to be at a high, but there are pros and cons to the current market, and some of them might work in your favor. Instead of assuming that you can’t afford a home now, talk to your  Real, and see what they recommend. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

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October Real Estate Forecast shows high numbers of pending and sold properties

While the Central Oregon Real Estate Market is in the first signs of slowing down for winter, it’s still been a highly active fall. This September, the median sales price of a home in Bend, reached another record high. For the fourth month in a row the price has climbed, reaching $416,500 in September, which was up $2,500 from August’s median price. The median home price in October fell to $404,250.

Current Market

The Central Oregon market has been favoring sellers since last spring, which might level off in the coming months. The summer market was driven by committed buyers, and we expect this to continue into fall. With a higher number of pending sales in October, starting at 251, and up from 233 in September, we can expect November to be a highly active month.

The number of sold properties climbed to 228 in October, which was up from 208 in September. While the number in August was 246, this still shows that buyers are highly active during this time of year. In September we experienced an average of 114 days on the market, which was much lower than July, 141 days, and August, 136 days. Last year in September of 2016 the average number of days on the market was 104, so we’re not as quick as last year, but properties are still going rather quickly. We expect buyers interest to stay up through November and the Holiday season.

Active Listings

There’s still a high number of active listings on the market and buyers are still finding what they’re looking for in a property. While there have been price increases to home prices, they’ve remained modest and haven’t sky rocketed.

On existing properties there have been some price reductions, and interest rates are still low, so if you’re considering starting your home search now is a great time to start. With lots of properties to choose from you’re sure to find a property that has everything you need, and perhaps a bit more.

Find the best Bend Realtors

Finding a Bend Oregon Realtor that understands what you want in potential properties is key. Call Duke Warner today and we’ll help you find the perfect home, or get a property listed. Get in touch with us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Types of Property with the most Value

When it comes to purchasing a home, it’s hard to keep track of everything you’re looking for. How many bedrooms you want, what kind of yard, what kind of property? Does it have good value? The later should be one of the questions you’re asking yourself when you buy. Does this property have value? We’re here to break down the properties that will hold their value in the current Central Oregon Real Estate Market. If you might be looking to sell in a few years, you’re going to want a property that gives you the best change at maintaining its value.

Condominiums

One of the most hands-off options to owning property is investing in a condo. Condos are a great option for first-time homebuyers, and they’re also great for people looking to downsize. One of the great benefits of condos is that they come with little or no land that requires upkeep. Most of the grounds of condos are taken care of by the community. You will mostly likely be required to contribute to a monthly cost, to take care of the grounds, but typically condo fees are less than neighborhood HOAs. Typically, condo fees include maintenance, insurance, elevator work, trash removal and sometimes snow removal.

Townhomes

A townhome can be difficult to define, but most consist of a narrow lot, or multilevel residence that is attached to another or other residences. When described it does sound like an apartment complex, but the deciding factor comes down to the ownership.

When you choose a townhome, you’re not responsible for as much land as you would be with a single-family residence. Townhomes are great starter homes, and the market has shown that these types of properties are great for first time home buyers. If you can buy a duplex, or two units together, some choose to rent half of it out, and use the rent to help pay the mortgage. This will eventually bring a return on your investment, when the mortgage is paid and the rent income accrues. Renting out half of a duplex does require more work, but the potential return on investment will make it worth it.

Single Family Homes

If you’re in the market for a starter home, but one with your own yard and your own lot, a single-family home is your best bet. Typically, these homes are smaller and easier to keep up with. There are no shared walls on these types of properties, so you have more freedom compared to townhomes and condos.

In most neighborhoods that you’ll find single family homes in, you will encounter HOAs, so you do need to do your research on them and be sure you can afford the fees, and live by the bylaws. HOAs have pros and cons, you won’t be able to do whatever you want with your property, as it will have to adhere to bylaws. But it also ensures that your neighbor won’t be able to paint their house a bright color, which could affect your resale value.

Pros and Cons

When you’re looking at different properties, you need to consider how much work you’re willing to put into a home. If you want something with low maintenance, a condo might suit you best. If you want more space, but can’t afford the HOA fees on top of a mortgage, a single family home might not be best for you . Talk to your Bend Realtor, and see what sort of property they think is best for you.

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Types of Home Loans

It can be hard to determine what kind of loan works best for you when it comes to choosing a mortgage. It’s hard to break down the benefits and cons of each, so we’re here to break down what each loan is, and how it could possibly affect you. If you’re interested in applying for a home loan, talk to your Bend Realtors and see which lenders they recommend.

Fixed and Adjustable

There are two types of mortgages that you can come by, a fixed rate or adjustable rate. When you have a fixed rate mortgage, your loans have a fixed rate of interest, meaning they have the same rate of interest from the time you get them until when you pay them off. An adjustable mortgage has a rate that adjusts with the market, it might go up or go down as the market changes.

Each kind of loan has benefits and problems, but it’s up to you to decide what you’re willing to commit to. With a fixed rate you know your rate won’t change, even if the market changes. This means that if the rates drop lower than yours, you’re still stuck paying the rate you locked into. The flip side to this is that if you have an adjustable rate and the market rates soar, you’re stuck paying higher prices. Talk to a local lender and discuss which would work best for you.

Government and Conventional Loans

A conventional home loan is one that isn’t issued by the government in any way. Most consider conventional home loans to be regular home loans. A government issued home loan is one that is guaranteed through the government. Here are the different types:

FHA

An FHA Loan is part of a mortgage insurance program. These types of loans are available to first time homebuyers and other home buyers. With this loan the government is insuring the lender against any losses they might have from borrowing money. FHA loans are managed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. With this loan you can put a lower payment down, as low as 3.5%. With this also comes mortgage insurance, that might make your monthly mortgage payment higher.

VA

If you’ve ever been a military service member or are a family member of one, you qualify for a VA loan program.  This mortgage is guaranteed by the VA. The benefit of this kind of loan is that veterans and their families can get 100% financing when they buy their home which means they have no down payment at all.

USDA or RHS Loans

Managed through the Rural Housing Service, part of the Department of Agriculture, this is for more rural residents. If you have a steady, but low or modest income, and other financing isn’t available to you, a USDA loan might be a good option. It takes into consideration the adjusted median income of the rural area, and bases the loan off of that.

Buying a Home

There are a lot of different steps to take when it comes to buying a home, and picking the right kind of loan is one of them. This can be the biggest part of purchasing a house, other than finding a property that is perfect for you. Talk to your Bend Oregon Realtors today, and see which lenders they recommend. Meet with a lender and find out which mortgage or home loan is right for you.

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What Young Couples Should Know when House Hunting

Buying a home is complicated. There are a lot of moving parts, lots of paperwork, and lots of important things to keep in mind. It can be a bit of an overload. If you keep everything you need, what you’re looking for in a home, and how many homes you’ve seen straight, you’ll be much more at ease when it comes time to make an offer. It’s hard to know how many homes to look at and what’s normal when you’re a first-time homebuyer, so we’re here with some tips.

Specifics

It’s important to know what you want in a home before you go out hunting. If you’re dazzled by additional features, the features you initially wanted might go out the window. It’s crucial to keep those features a high priority, because you might wind up with a home farther away from amenities or work than you had previously wished. Know what you’re willing to compromise on in a property and what’s negotiable for you.

Keep showings straight

While the typical number of houses people look at is 8-10, you have to look at the right amount for you. Talk to your Bend Oregon Real Estate Broker and help them find the perfect property. Maybe you’ll only need to look at one property, or maybe it’ll take more than 10, but it’s important to talk to your broker about what you want, so that you have better chances of finding your dream home.

Repeat Viewings

If you think a specific property might be perfect for you, ask to see it again. Shopping for a home ideally would give you the time you need to see a home over and over again, but with an aggressive market like Central Oregon, you’ll have to move quicker than that, so you don’t lose out on the perfect home.
In your search if you think you’ve found the top two properties, as your Bend Realtor to see them again. Don’t wait too long to go see them, and if you really do love them, don’t wait too long to put in an offer. Be assertive about the properties you love, or you risk losing them.

Your Realtor

There’s a lot to keep straight when you’re house hunting, but finding the perfect realtor can make a world of difference. When you have a realtor that understands exactly what you want in a home, they’re more likely to find the perfect property for you.

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September Real Estate Forecast shows a consistent Fall Market

We’re still experiencing an active market in Central Oregon. We saw listings and sales slow slightly at the beginning of September due to the back to school rush, but market has continued to be strong through the end of September and early October. With the number of pending sales and sold listings staying at a consistent high, the slight fall in inventory is hardly affecting the market.

Inventory         

The number of active listings grew throughout the summer from 442 in June, 570 in July, and to 638 in August. The month of September saw 606 active listings, falling slight from the summer high of 638, which is to be expected as we head into fall, and closer to winter months. At the beginning of October, the number of active listings was at 575.

Time doesn’t appear to be in buyers favor when it comes to looking for homes. Sellers need to keep their pricing competitive. With lots of properties still to choose from, buyers can shop around to find exactly what they want. If they like your property and another for similar reasons, buyers are more likely to choose the property that’s more affordable, and competitively priced. Be sure to talk with your Bend Realtor about price. While your realtor can’t tell you what to list your property at, they can advise you what the current market trends are and how to best price your home.

Colder months

Heading into fall, it’s a great time to look at prospective properties. With kids back in school, it’s easier to schedule showings. Fall in Central Oregon tends to still be a highly active time in the real estate market. With a high number of active listings to check out, buyers are finding exactly what they’re looking for. With plenty of price reductions, and current low interest rates it’s the time to go looking for your dream home.

Find the Perfect Home

If you’re interested in looking at available properties, our Bend Realtors today. At Duke Warner we’re available to help you find the perfect home, or get a home listed. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.