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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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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 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.


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.

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Examples of Mortgages You Can Get

Different Types of Mortgages

If you’re looking at becoming a first-time home owner, you may need to brush up on your mortgage knowledge. Talk to your real estate broker and see if they can recommend a lender for you to talk to about your mortgage options. Getting pre-approved when you’re house hunting can be a great advantage to getting the home that you want. If you’re pre-approved you already know what sort of financial situation you are in, and what sort of mortgage you can afford. Check out the following list and learn about different types of mortgages available. Then, talk to a lender to see which mortgage option works best for you.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

A fixed rate mortgage means that the interest rate for the loan, is locked in at the beginning of the mortgage agreement. Fixed rate mortgages can come in terms of 10-15-30 years. The most common of mortgages is a fixed rate 30 year mortgage. This provides the owner with the lowest mortgage payment per month, as it divides the loan into 30 years of payments, with a fixed rate of interest.

Fixed rate mortgages are also popular because they are the most predictable; the owner knows what their payment will be month to month for the entire timeline of their term in years.

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

There are many different types of adjustable rate mortgages(ARM), but the essential idea is that the interest rate can change over time.  If a home buyer gets a one year ARM, the interest rates on their loan change to the current market rate, once a year on the anniversary of their loan. This can be risky as you could wind up paying different amounts of mortgage payments from year to year. They payment amount may go down, but it also may go up.

10/1 ARM’s also change in interest as time goes on. This features a fixed interest rate for the first 10 years, but then is subject to change every year to the current market interest. This loan is typically for 30 years, and is typically used by homeowners who intend to pay their home off before the initial 10 years have passed.

Balloon Mortgages

Balloon mortgages feature a much shorter term and a fixed rate of interest, much like a fixed rate mortgage. The difference is that balloon mortgages feature a larger or balloon payment at the end of the loan. The monthly payments are lower and typically go to interest being accrued. Balloon mortgages are great for responsible borrowers, and typically are for people who intent to sell the house before the balloon payment is due. These mortgages can get tricky, as you’ll be required to re-finance if you can’t afford the balloon payment when it’s due.

Check out the different types of mortgages and see what you can afford, and how long a payment schedule you want to commit to. Talk to a lender to see what your options are and what makes the most sense for you. We also suggest checking out our monthly Trend Report to learn more about the local market trends.

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Rent or Buy: Pros & Cons

The current real estate market housing prices have increased, and in most areas rental costs have done the same. In some areas, it is cheaper to rent than to buy, but not in all markets. There are many other factors to consider when you’re weighing your options on buy vs. rent a home.

In most popular cities and suburbs, home prices are climbing fast, which can make renting look like a better alternative. Rental prices can also climb in the same areas, if the demand exists. This makes the cost of renting vs. buying quite similar.


Renting is appealing because it requires less responsibility. If something breaks down in your home, you can simply call up the property management company or landlord. You’re not on the hook for unexpected financial commitments, like fixing the dishwasher or sprinkler system.

The monthly cost of renting can also be lower than a monthly mortgage payment. Typically, the cost of owning vs. renting eventually becomes cheaper, whereas the cost of renting continues to stay the same and has the potential to go up, depending on rent trends.


In the long term, whether or not your real estate market is in the up and up or not, buying can save you money. Over time, the money that you’re putting into your own home is less than a renter is investing. Another point to consider, the renter isn’t actually investing any money. When you’re putting money into a mortgage payment, you’re putting equity into something, into your home. You’re adding value to your home, value that you someday could get back. It’s essentially the same as adding something on to your house that would make it more appealing to future buyers. If you added a pool, it would entice more future buyers, and therefore would increase the value of your home.

Your home can also increase in value due to the local real estate market. When you buy it, it may be worth a set sum, but then after years of market change it could be worth significantly more. In some current real estate markets, home prices have doubled in the last four years, which is great for home owners but not as great for those seeking to purchase a home.

Many home owners and property owners also have plenty of tax benefits to consider when purchasing a home. You can deduct a mortgage from your income tax bills amongst other options.

When you own your own home, you also don’t have to worry about rent increases coming out of nowhere. Your monthly mortgage payment will stay the same, unless you refinance or choose to pay more than the agreed upon amount every month.

Another long term benefit to owning your own home is paying off your mortgage. Once your mortgage is paid off your monthly housing costs drop significantly.


Renting and buying each have their own set of pros and cons. It depends on what you’re looking for a property and commitment. If you’re seeking something more long term, the advantages of buying outweigh renting. Over time, the financial benefits to owning a home can trump renting as well.


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Duke Trend Report for Bend & Redmond for November 2018

We are continuing to see a positive and consistent market as we leave the fall season behind and head into the winter months. The trends for November show a continuation of a steady market in both Redmond and Bend. The Fall months were an active time in Bend and Redmond for sellers and buyers alike, and now that we’ve moved into the colder months, we are still seeing positive trends throughout Central Oregon, along with a great selection of homes and bare land to choose from.


The number of active listings in Bend dropped slightly from 553 in October to 457 in November. In Redmond, there were 223 active listings in October and then a slight drop with 199 active listings in November. The numbers for Bend show us that there are plenty of homes to choose from. There were 24 active listings in the $225,000-$325,000 range, 111 in the $325,100-$425,000 range, 109 in the $425,100-$525,000 range and 57 in the $525,100-$625,000 price range. Both Bend and Redmond’s market had fewer price reductions in November than we saw in October and slightly fewer pending homes as of the end of November, for both cities. Redmond’s new, active listings dropped slightly from 82 in October to 58 in November.

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 November from October, in both Bend and Redmond markets. For Redmond, we saw 85 pending homes in October and 58 in November. Bend had 189 pending homes in October and it dropped a bit to 163 pending in November. For sold listings, October gave us impressive numbers with 222 in Bend and slightly less in November at 170 sold. Sold listings in Redmond dipped from 89 in October to 73 in November.  We aren’t seeing much of a fluctuation in the market which is great for this time of year. Winter is in full swing and the holidays are here as we see the continued buzz in the market.

Looking Ahead          

As we round out the year with consistent numbers, we are encouraged and excited with the number of active listings, for buyers and sellers alike. The winter season can be a great time to shop for homes. 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 Central Oregon Real Estate Brokers to show you around!

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Tips for Buying a Home This Winter

There is a myth when it comes to home buying that says it’s more affordable to buy during the warmer months. We’ve discovered, with years and years of experience, that the winter months are just as successful for both home buyers and home sellers. This winter is no exception as we’ve seen a hearty market here in Central Oregon over the past several months. It is both encouraging and exciting for the upcoming months, whether you plan to house hunt or put your home on the market.

There are many different things to consider depending on what time of year you are buying a home and knowing some of the following tips might help you save money and time while you hunt for the perfect house for you and your family. It helps to remember that each season presents different issues you will want to consider, and winter is no different. The positives outweigh the drawbacks and buyers looking for a new home during winter have less competition, so you can take your time and really shop around before deciding on “the one.”

  • Consider what is under the snow, ice and puddles~ ask to see pictures of the yard during other seasons so you can see what the grass looks like, etc.
  • Look for leaky roofs, cracked driveways, any ice dams or potential for such, this should be addressed right away for future planning
  • Notice if icicles are hanging from the gutters…a properly insulated home shouldn’t have icicles. Find out how the home is heated and if there are portable heaters being used in any of the rooms.
  • Be flexible with scheduling, it’s the holidays and people might have guests staying in their home, so don’t expect last-minute showings during the holidays
  • Ask to see all documentation on any remodeling, roof replacements, etc. so you know the work was certified
  • Allow more time for closing~ the holidays can throw schedules off so be prepared for things to take a little bit longer during the winter months.
  • Be sure to schedule inspections and make sure the inspector can see everything, it might be a challenge, but you don’t want something major overlooked because it was hard to reach due to snow, etc. Ask the experts to be mindful of areas harder hit during the winter months.

It’s often said winter is a buyer’s market, so get out there and start your house hunting today! Feel free to give us a call and meet with one of our expert brokers. We are all committed to helping you find the home of your dreams, any time of the year!

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Good Information to Share with Your Realtor

Whether you are looking to buy a home or sell your own, finding the right realtor can be tricky. Ultimately, you’ll want someone that understands your end goal and has experience in the industry. One of the first things you should do, before you even look for a realtor, is sit down and make a list of exactly what you are looking for in a home, or if you are selling your home, make a list of specific things you are willing to negotiate on and things you are firm on when it comes to updates, inspections, etc. Once you have your list, take the time to interview a few different brokers before you decide to go with one. 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.


If you have children, you’ll want to consider the location of the home you are interested in, because it will determine the school that your children will attend. 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 you plan to start a family in the future. Central Oregon has a great school system and finding good neighborhoods with great schools is a fairly easy task, but if your kids are already established in certain schools, let your broker know.

If you have preferences for being near a certain part of town, whether you want to be near your favorite grocery store, restaurants, or shopping, it is important you share those things with your broker. You realtor needs to understand whether you want to be within walking or driving distance from bus routes or other transportation hubs. If this is a like, but not a requirement it could influence the listings your broker wants to show.


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.


If you have a preference on home styles, floor plans or layout, you’ll realtor needs to know those things prior to scheduling walk throughs. 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.

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. Give us a call to find the Bend, Oregon realtor you trust most and discuss what you want in a dream property or home.


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Duke Trend Report for Bend & Redmond for October 2018

A positive and consistent market continues as the fall rounds out and winter is on the horizon. The trends for October are very similar to September with a few differences. This fall has been an active time in Bend and Redmond for sellers and buyers alike. Although the weather is changing, that market remains steady with a great selection of homes to choose from.


The number of active listings came down slightly, but not by much. In Bend, we saw 583 active listings in September and 553 in October. In Redmond, there were 221 active listings in September and 223 in October. The numbers for Redmond show us that there are plenty of homes to choose from, showing most of the listings, 76, in the $225,100-$325,000 price range. 39 of those 76 homes were new listings for October. In Bend, the most inventory lands in the price range of $325,100-$425,000, with 147 active listings. 43 of those 147 are new homes on the market just in October. Both Bend and Redmond’s market had fewer price reductions in October than we saw in September and slightly fewer pending homes as of the end of October, for both cities.

It is still very important for home sellers to keep pricing competitive. Keep in mind buyers look for the competitive pricing as they compare properties. If you aren’t sure what to list your home or property for, consult with your Realtor for great advice, often they will share their expertise and let you know how to price according to the market and competition.

Sold and Pending Listings

As mentioned above, the number of pending listings dropped slightly in October from September, in both Bend and Redmond markets. For Redmond, we saw 104 pending in September and 85 in October. Bend had 220 pending homes in September and it dropped a bit to 189 pending in October. For sold listings, September gave us impressive numbers with 195 in Bend and even more in October, at 222. Sold listings in Redmond stayed consistent with 86 in September and 89 in October. We aren’t seeing much of a fluctuation in the market which is great for this time of year. Fall is almost over, people are winding up for the holidays and there seems to be continued buzz in the market regardless of the weather changing to colder days.

Looking Ahead          

As we watch the trees become bare, scrape ice off our windows in the mornings and start our lists for the holidays ahead, we are encouraged and excited with the number of active listings, for buyers and sellers alike. Fall and winter can be a great time to shop for homes because life has slowed back down from the summer buzz and routine allows you some time to compare properties and gather as much information 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 Realtors to show you around!