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Homeowners Associations; The Pros & Cons

Homeowners Association Law relates to the creation and enforcement of organizations and their rules that manage and community associations and help to maintain their appearance and value. Most homeowners’ associations (HOA’s) and condominiums are made up of a common residential asset managed through a chosen Board of Directors. Membership is mandatory upon the purchase of real estate situated in the association. State laws, local bylaws, and organizational rules all relate to the management of the community.

If you’re looking for properties in neighborhoods, chances are you’ll come across more than a few homes that are within HOAs. As mentioned above, typically if you buy a property within an HOA, the membership is mandatory.  While there are both pros and cons to living within an HOA, ultimately you’ll want to buy in a neighborhood that serves your needs best. Duke Warner brokers are here to help you figure out what’s best for your lifestyle.

Cons

Buyers don’t like the idea of being told what they can or cannot do with their own property. If you fall under that type, then living in an HOA might not be for you. HOA’s limit parking availability and they can require that certain decorations must be up or down at various times of the year. Running a business out of your home? You will want to check with any potential HOA’s that represents properties you like. Some HOA’s have strict rules about running business from your home. Not all HOA’s are the same, but it’s important to check with the regulations before you buy.

Fees can be a big part of why people don’t want to buy within an HOA. Some HOA fees can be on the higher end or lower end, it just depends on how they’re managed. The monthly HOA fee is something most buyers aren’t eager about. It depends on how you weigh the added benefit if the regulations within a neighborhood, and how they affect the ongoing value of your home, versus the cost of ongoing monthly or yearly payments.

Benefits

One benefit of living within an HOA is that the overall appearance of your neighborhood is better. Living within an HOA means that higher standards are set for the appearance of properties. Lawns must be mowed, houses must be painted, houses can’t be painted in wild colors, etc. Some HOAs are formed by the developer and are run by a Board of Directors. As houses within the development sell, the Board of Director’s transitions over to a Board of Elected Residents. Some HOAs opt to have a management company run them, so residents aren’t responsible for meetings and organization. It’s best to keep HOAs within residents, because most residents are invested in their own neighborhoods.

Living within an HOA ensures that all homeowners take care of their homes. It also helps keep the value of homes higher, as neighborhoods look cleaner and stay well-maintained. It also ensures that the proper steps are taken when dealing with any issues in the neighborhood. If your neighbor’s dog is barking, or there have been one too many loud parties, rather than starting a spat between neighbors, the HOA can be notified and will handle the situation.

Decisions, Decisions

Know what you’re looking for in a property, and choose whether an HOA is right for you. It is an important decision when buying a home. Research the HOA that manages the neighborhood you are interested in and read the fine print. HOAs are typically beneficial, but it’s important to know what you are getting into by joining. If you’re looking for higher standards within your community, and want your neighborhood in Bend, Oregon to appear well-maintained, an HOA is right for you. If you want more freedom to do what you want with your home, it’s better to look in neighborhoods that don’t have managing HOA’s. At Duke Warner Realty, we are committed to helping you navigate questions you might have when purchasing a home. Whether it’s within a neighborhood with an HOA, or not. Give us a call today!

 

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Duke Warner February 2019 Market Trends Report

Market Trends

Watching the market trends this winter has been encouraging. One might assume we’d see a big drop in home buying and selling with the crazy weather we’ve had, but it hasn’t gone that way at all. Instead, we are seeing a very steady market as we head into Spring. We are hopeful the numbers will just continue to hold strong. History tells us they may get better as the snow thaws & flowers bloom.

The steady market in both Redmond and Bend that we saw last year has continued into the start of this year. January’s numbers were encouraging in Bend and Redmond alike. February was no different. Check out the details below and let us know if you have any questions or comments. You may want to schedule a time to meet with one of our highly qualified brokers. Make this your best real estate year yet! We’ve got beautiful homes for potential buyers and talented agents ready to sell your current home.

March 1st Inventory and February Activity

With 370 active listings as of March 1st, the Bend market is thriving with options and opportunity. Redmond’s active listings as of March 1st showed 176 homes overall, which is great for this time of year. Continued steady numbers show buyer and seller interest alike.

February was a slightly more active month for Redmond than it was in January, showing 48 homes sold, 81 new homes on the market and 62 homes pending. 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 58 active listings.

For Bend, the numbers back in January showed us that there are plenty of homes to choose from this time of year. In February, there were 17 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 82 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 79 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 38 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.

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. You can also find some great suggestions by reading our blog titled, “Good Information to Share with Your Realtor.”

Sold and Pending Listings

Bend had 159 pending in January and that remained steady with 158 in February. For sold listings, there were 125 sold in January and 108 in February. In Redmond, we saw 46 sold properties in January and 48 in February. While there are a few fluctuations, overall, 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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Common types of House Styles

Common types of House Styles

If you’re hunting for a new home, you may want to be familiar with current and common types of construction features to a home. Know what you’re looking at and what you could be buying. Here’s a breakdown of common features.

Types of Foundations

A crawlspace is where the living space has been elevated off the ground. This is more beneficial to termite-prone or damper regions. This sort of foundation is less expensive than a full basement.

A basement is typically built on a concrete slab. A footing foundation is poured with foundation walls and a concrete block is usually set on top.

A slab foundation is a concrete pad that can be reinforced with steel. This covers the area that the house sits on. Modern slab foundations are well insulated.

Pile and girder foundations are far less common than the other types of foundations. This essentially like a house on stilts, and is perfect for a climate where frequent flooding occurs.

Consider the environment that you’re buying a home in, and what sort of basement you want. A basement foundation isn’t very common in Central Oregon due to the rocky soil. Often times dynamite is needed in construction to blast out enough space for a basement.

Common House Styles in Bend

Bungalow – Bungalow styles coincide with craftsman in some similar ways. This style originated in California and slowly moved to the Midwest. Bungalow homes typically have low-pitched roofs, with a small covered porch at the entry of the home.

Craftsman – Craftsman styled homes have been referred to as the ‘California bungalow.’ Craftsman are also known for featuring rear entrance styles. Often featuring a garage in the back and a back alley entry. This is a really common style to see in Bend, with many neighborhoods built with back entry alleyways.

Duplexes – Duplexes are another common form of home in Bend. They have a great resale value, as they’re perfect for renting out. Owners commonly rent out half of the home to help cover a mortgage.

When you’re house hunting

If you’re looking at a certain style of home and want to know more about it, ask your realtor. They should be able to provide you with more information concerning where the design originated or why it continues to be popular. See why it might work for you as a home or rental property.

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Home Loan Options

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 explain 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. 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, & 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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Buying A Home In Retirement

Retired and Buying a home? What you need to know

Retirement has always been a tricky thing to plan for. There are so many variables depending on overall health, finances and more. If you’re retired and considering buying a home or vacation property, there are some important things to consider first.

Mortgage

Depending on your current age and the age of any partners you may be purchasing the home with, you need to plan what your mortgage payment will be and how long it will last. Standard homebuyers opt for a 30-year mortgage because often that makes a monthly payment more affordable. Depending on the fluidity of your financial situation a 30-year mortgage might be your only option, and if it is, you should consider what age you’ll be when that 30 years is over.

A better option would be to go for a shorter term mortgage, like a 15-year. Again, depending on your financial situation, this is also tied to how much you can put down on the house and how much you can afford to pay in a monthly situation.

Depending on your age in relativity to your health, which is a hard thing to plan for, you may also want to consider the financial situation that your kids are in. If something ever were to happen to you or your partner, you would have to consider who would be financially responsible for the property and mortgage.

One of the benefits that many people look forward to in retirement is no monthly mortgage payment, because they anticipate that they will have paid off their house or property by then.

A great idea to consider if you do have a house that’s close to being paid off, and you’re looking for a vacation property: invest in something smaller. If it’s a vacation home, try for a condo or a small house. Look for something you can invest in for a lower price, and possibly make money on. If it’s a condo in a desirable location, you could rent it out for the portion of the year that you don’t use it, same with a lakeside property.

Housing needs

You need to consider what your housing needs might be. Perhaps you want to invest in a smaller property that will eventually become your main residence. Consider one-floor options, consider location to amenities. It can be hard to plan for your retirement age with so many factors up in the air, but it could save you a headache later if you plan and consider these things now, when you’re house hunting.

Take away

Consider what sort of monthly payment you want to be responsible for when you’re retired. If you’re taking equity from one home to another, buying a new property may not present the same challenges as buying an additional property might. Consider the location of your new home or property, consider the layout. Plan ahead and you could make quite the smart investment.

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Duke Warner January 2019 Trend Report

Trends

Now that we are seeing some true winter weather, we might expect to see a significant dip in the market trends, but that’s just not the case. Follow our monthly trend report to stay up to date with the local market trends and fluctuations. In December, we saw a continuation of a steady market in both Redmond and Bend and that carried over into the start of the new year. January’s numbers were encouraging in Bend and Redmond alike. We closed out 2018 with an active market in Bend and Redmond for sellers & buyers and continued that streak through January. The Central Oregon market looks promising as we slowly ease out of winter and look forward to the Spring months ahead.

Inventory

The number of active listings in Bend dropped slightly from 398 in December to 356 in January. Redmond had 182 active listings in December and then a few less with 176 active listings in January. The numbers in January for Bend show us that there are plenty of homes to choose from. There were 18 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 78 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 86 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 37 in the $525,100-$625,000 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. If you’d like, ask your Duke Warner broker to review a market trend report so you can feel confident in their knowledge of local buying and selling trends.

Sold and Pending Listings

Redmond’s market had fewer price reductions in January than we saw in December and almost double the amount of pending homes at of the end of January, showing 72 pending. Redmond’s new, active listings stayed about the same, showing 59 in December and 58 in January.

Bend had 137 pending homes in December, and it increased a bit to 159 pending in January. For sold listings, we’ve seen a slight drop during the winter months with December showing 160 sold homes in Bend and 125 sold in January. We saw 63 sold listings in December, for Redmond’s market and 46 in January. We are seeing a slight fluctuation in the market which is normal for this time of year. Winter weather came a little bit later this year and as we look towards the coming months, we can expect the markets to reflect the changing seasons ahead.

Looking Ahead          

Central Oregon markets have remained steady and full of options for buyers in all price ranges. As you consider your options and look ahead for new investments, changing homes or just following the market trends, keep us in mind for all your real estate needs in 2019. For a deeper understanding of the local market trends, consider reading back through our past trend report archive, there is a lot of great information provided. Give any one of our skilled brokers a call and let us help you with your next housing adventure. You can see our current listings on our website at https://www.dukewarner.com/.

 

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Choosing the Right Neighborhood

Central Oregon has grown quite a bit over the years and with that growth, we’ve seen everything from new neighborhoods to new businesses nestled in a neighborhood, new subdivisions and lots of options to buy when you are house hunting. We’ve all heard it said many times, location is everything, and we don’t disagree! There are many things people are willing to overlook when it comes to buying a home, whether there aren’t as many bathrooms as you’d like, or some of the bedrooms are downstairs while others are upstairs. Sometimes the home we want doesn’t have a big enough yard, or it’s got too big of a yard and we dread maintaining it during the warmer months. Most of the little things are preference issues that we can usually live with if it’s the perfect house otherwise.

Location on the other hand, isn’t something most people want to overlook. For most house hunters, location is the most important factor when looking for a home to buy. We’ve come up with a few tips to consider when picking your perfect home to buy.

SAFE NEIGHBORHOOD

Choosing your home has less to do with the actual home itself and more to do with the location of the home. Homes can always be altered, remodeled, changed. But a neighborhood is permanent and so you’ll want to research the neighborhood before buying a home. Safe neighborhoods are important not just for you and your loved ones, but it’s also important for the resale value of the home. Thinking like a seller might seem like a far-off concept but keeping it in mind will help you down the road.

Do a little research about previous crime in the area, introduce yourself to neighbors and ask them what they think about their neighborhood, notice who is out walking~ are there children playing in the neighborhood park? These things will be great indicators to whether or not the adults in the neighborhood trust the surrounding area and the people in it.

CURRENT DEVELOPMENT

Check out the amenities the neighborhood offers, perhaps there is a pool, park or store within the neighborhood. Drive or walk around the neighborhood and make note of current building or homes for sale. If you can, find out what future development is scheduled, this will indicate continued growth in the neighborhood which will increase the value of the home you purchase.

CENTRAL ACCESS

There are a lot of neighborhoods that are centrally located to grocery stores, coffee shops, auto shops and more. Try to find a neighborhood that fits your lifestyle, so you don’t have to make long commutes for your groceries, medical help and ideally, for your job. Spending less time in your car and more time at home is the ideal for most people, so finding a home centrally located to your daily needs will support your life with convenience and accessibility.

A great example of a centrally located neighborhood is the Brookswood development south of town in Bend, Oregon. Not only does the neighborhood have schools nearby, there is also a grocery store and many other small businesses located within the neighborhood itself.

GOOD SCHOOLS

Buying a home that is in a good school district is important, even if you don’t have children or your children are already grown. Good schools increase the value of surrounding homes and land. Research shows that buyers inquire about the school district often when looking to buy a home. Accessibility to schools is also a key factor for home buyers, for example they want to know if there is transportation for children within or near the desired neighborhood.

RESALE VALUE

Resale value is an important factor to consider when buying a home, even if you don’t plan to sell anytime soon. Knowing the facts about the neighborhood can be solid indicators of how desirable your home or lot will be in the future.

As mentioned above, the home you are interested must be one you feel fits your needs, but the location is the most important factor when looking to buy a home. Doing your research, asking your broker to provide specific stats about the other homes surrounding the one you are interested in and checking out the neighborhood itself will help you make the best decisions when buying your home. Our local brokers in Bend, Oregon, are here to help, so feel free to contact us at www.dukewarner.com if you’d like more information or want to tour some neighborhoods today.

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4 Real Reasons We Seek Home-ownership

Ask several homeowners the reason why they bought their properties, and you will receive a variety of different reasons. You will find that many of them based their decisions on financial reasons, such as wanting to avoid rising rental prices, seeking to take advantage of the tax benefits, or they desire to build up equity for a nest egg during retirement. Yet there are many emotional factors that may be the real reasons why a person decided to own a home, as we have listed 4 of those reasons below.

Need More Space for a Growing Family

As your family grows larger, you simply need more space. You could be running out of room for the spouse, the kids and all of your pets in your old place. Purchasing a house will allow you to pick the right place that will offer enough space for your present and future needs. It also provides you with more options in changing the home so you can have enough room for your entire family.

Have More Freedom to Do Whatever You Want

Unlike an apartment or rental house, you can’t knock down a wall if you want to have a more open floor plan or when you want to build an addition because you have an elderly parent who needs personal care. Buying a property allows you to renovate it to your heart’s content. You can have all the features and amenities you want that will fit into your lifestyle. You can remodel the home to fit into our interior design style while gaining the peace and comfort you desire.

Obtain Long-Term Stability and Security

When you find the neighborhood that feels right for you, you don’t want to leave it. Owning a home allows you to become a part of the community, as you build social relationships that can strengthen the neighborhood. You are also able to move to an area that offers the best of what you are looking for in shopping, schools and employment stability.

You Get to Have More Privacy

Another great aspect about buying a home is that you don’t have to deal with other tenants or landlords any longer. Your family won’t have to listen to loud banging noises from other apartments, or yearly inspections conducted by the landlord who is peeking into every nook and cranny of the rental home. You finally gain the privacy you desire that cannot be found when you rent a place to live.

Homeownership May Be Right for You

There are many valid reasons why you may want to buy a home. Homeownership can be a big lifestyle change and an emotional investment. Think about the reasons why you are looking to buy a home, then consider all the advantages and disadvantages. Sit down with the entire family and discuss your options. Then speak with an experienced realty company that can help you obtain financing and search for a property that will fit into your needs as well as your budget.

Call your Bend Oregon Realtor today.

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5 Reasons That You May Want to Avoid FSBO

It is time to sell your home. You can’t wait to find the perfect buyer who will pay your asking price so you can move on to owning another home. Yet you still have to overcome the major obstacle in selling the house. While other neighbors on the street are using agents, you are wondering if placing a “For Sale by Owner” (FSBO) sign up in the window and handling the work yourself is the better option.

Why Do People Get Involved with FSBO?

One of the main reasons is that they believe they can save on agent costs. A homeowner is looking for every shortcut where they don’t have to pay more money to sell their house so they can reap in the most profits. They often see the real estate commission paid to the broker as an unnecessary expense.

Another reason is that a homeowner feels that they want to be in more control of the sale. Some homeowners are afraid that the real estate agent will not provide them any appropriate updates regarding marketing and selling the house. The homeowner may also feel that the agent isn’t putting in enough work to get buyers into the house, or that those tasks are easy enough for the homeowner to do themselves.

Reasons Why You Should Avoid Going the FSBO Route

1: You won’t really save on the commission.

This reason is because there is a history of homeowners overpricing the value of their homes to make up the commission costs that they will pay to the broker. So a buyer will go into the deal by giving a lower quote to compensate for that higher price. If you end up agreeing to the lower quote, you end up losing in the end based on all the added expenses you take on in marketing and advertising the home — along with other extra fees.

2: You may accidentally underprice the house.

Real estate agents are always paying attention to the comps in a particular neighborhood. Unfortunately, market prices can fluctuate, as the price you decided to place on the house a year ago might not be what the house value is today when you finally list the house on the market. So you can lose out on money and not discover the discrepancy until after the deal is complete.

  1. You won’t have access to a large buyer audience.

Many agents have a marketing and advertising strategy they use to reach the widest audience of potential buyers. In addition to advertising in print and the MLS, they will have dedicated real estate listing pages on their websites, video tours posted on YouTube, and periodic sales pitches on many social media platforms. Unlike an agent who already has a large online following of potential buyers, you may not have the same online marketing reach.

  1. You can’t screen people before they look at the house.

There are real buyers, and then there are just people who want to browse through a house because they have nothing better to do for the weekend. An agent can review the buyer’s information to ensure they are financially capable and committed to buying a house today. This can save you time, money and work.

  1. You may not be good at house negotiations.

You don’t want to scare off a buyer when they give you a price that is significantly lower than what you expect. Most often, taking the FSBO route will put you into negotiations that can become intense and create hard feelings because you are still emotionally-attached to the house. Having someone else perform the negotiations who is experienced and calm can help you sell the house quickly.

There are many challenges in selling a house as an FSBO. Consider all your options and then get the professional help you need from a Bend real estate agent.

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Duke December 2018 Trend Report

As we settle into what appears to be a rather mild winter, we continue to see a steady market in the Central Oregon Real Estate scene. The trends for December show a continuation of a steady market in both Redmond and Bend. We closed out 2018 with an active market in Bend and Redmond for sellers and buyers alike. As we begin the new year, we see steady numbers across the board and look forward to an exciting year with the Central Oregon market.

Inventory

The number of active listings in Bend dropped slightly from 457 in November to 398 in December. In Redmond, there were 199 active listings in November and then a few less with 182 active listings in December. The numbers in December for Bend show us that there are plenty of homes to choose from. There were 20 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 97 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 102 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 41 in the $525,100-$625,000 price range. Both Bend and Redmond’s market had fewer price reductions in December than we saw in November and fewer pending homes at of the end of December, for both cities. Redmond’s new, active listings increased slightly from 58 in November to 59 in December.

With the steady market, buyers look for competitive pricing as they compare properties. If you are a seller and you aren’t sure what to list your home or property for, 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 and competition.

Sold and Pending Listings

The number of pending listings dropped slightly in December from November, in both Bend and Redmond markets. For Redmond, we saw 58 pending homes in November and 46 in December. Bend had 163 pending homes in November and it dropped a bit to 137 pending in December. For sold listings, we’ve seen a slight drop during the winter months with November showing 170 sold homes in Bend and 160 sold in December. Sold listings in Redmond dipped from 73 in November to 63 in December.  We aren’t seeing too much of a fluctuation in the market which is great for this time of year. Winter is in full swing; the holidays are behind us and we start the new year with a renewed sense of excitement for future market trends.

Looking Ahead          

2018 market trends were consistent and encouraging, which paves the way to hopefulness for the new year in the Central Oregon markets. Be sure to take time to compare properties and gather as much information as necessary to make educated decisions about the market. Get out and see what’s available and give us a call if you’d like one of our brokers to show you around! There is a wonderful selection of bare land, residential properties as well as commercial properties.