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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.

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What to fix and what to leave when you sell

When you’re selling your home, it can be hard to determine what little fixes will give you the most value. It’s hard to look at upgrades and figure out which will be worth the investment when you’re selling your home. We’re here to break it down for you.

Appliances

While a buyer may have specific tastes in appliances, there’s nothing worse than walking into a home with old appliances. It might be worth your time to invest in new appliances, or it might not. This really depends upon the buyer’s preferences. If your appliances are looking run down or old, it might be best to spruce them up with stainless steel or paint, just so that they don’t detract from an otherwise structurally sound kitchen.

Wood Floors

Buyers love original wood floors now. If you have carpeting over wood floors, you might find that it’s well worth your time and money to have the hardwood floors brought back to life and featured in your home. If your floors are scratched and old, it might be time to update them. Again, this is entirely up to you and your budget, but there’s nothing quite like the selling point of “new hardwood flooring.”

Old Windows

While some old windows may add character, some might be letting in more of a draft than you realize. If you’re looking ahead at possibly selling your home in the future, this might be a great project for now. But if you’re selling your house soon, this is best left for future buyers, who will actually reap the lower utility costs of replacing old windows with new.

Cracked Tiles

While it’s just one cracked tile, and you know how it happened; something heavy fell, etc. a cracked tile might look bad to a potential buyer. This can be an easy fix, especially if you have extra tile from the original project on hand. Replace the tile and give the floor a seamless look, that won’t catch the buyers attention.

Take Away

Anything in your home that you think could be seen as a serious issue when selling should be fixed. Some things will be written into contracts when it goes time to sell, some things may be contingent upon an inspection. If it’s something small, and something that would deter you from considering a property, it’s probably best to fix it and move on. If it’s a big undertaking like replacing windows or appliances, it’s best to leave that for the buyers. If it’s something serious you’re leaving, be prepared to negotiate on it when it comes time to close. Talk to your Bend Realtor about what’s best before getting your home listed.

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Fall Staging Tips for Selling your Home

If your home or property is on the market this fall, there are somethings you can do to improve the results of your showings. There are some things potential buyers love to see, and some things that can be hurting your chances of selling. We’re here to make sure that out of the other homes for sale in Bend, Oregon, your home stands out. Here are some things you might want to consider before your next showing.

Fall Decorations

While it can seem homey and welcoming to put up fall or Halloween-themed decorations, it might not be the best idea if you’re showing your home. Too many decorations can take the focus off of your home, and the space prospective buyers should be considering.

Rather than put up Halloween decorations, try for something a little more understated. Bowls of seasonal fruit or squash, or fall flowers or foliage are the perfect substitute for skeletons and spider webs. Fresh flowers and plants around the house always make a space feel more warm and inviting.

Pop of color

Try livening up your space with a fresh coat of paint. Suggestions for fall include warm earth tones, like red, brown or muted orange.

If you’re not ready to commit to a painting project, try simply adding smaller pops of color to your space. Find new red-focused art, pillows or lamps to add to your home.

Another great way to add some color, is by adding blankets or throws to your space. This not only brightens up your space with color, but adds an even cozier feel to it with the comfort of warm blankets.

Light

With the shorter and darker days of fall approaching, it’s important to focus on the light in your home. You want to make sure that you’re taking advantage of all the light you can. Open up your blinds, to let in as much natural lighting as possible, and be sure to have lit lamps placed throughout your home.

In trending with light, and keeping things cozy, if you have a fireplace, now is the time to show it off. Orient your furniture around the fireplace, to make prospective buyers picture themselves surrounding the fire, warm at night. Try drawing attention to the fireplace with artwork on the mantle.

Curb Appeal

Don’t forget that first impressions matter, and that a buyers first glimpse of your home is most likely the front yard. Be sure to stay on top of fall yard maintenance, like raking leaves, and cleaning up garden beds.

Talk to your Bend Realtor about helpful tips for preparing to show your home. Always keep your home tidy and clean, so you’re prepared to show it at a moment’s notice, and your Bend Oregon Realtor will help find the perfect buyer for your home.

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What to ask your home inspector

If you’re getting a potential property inspected, it can be important to understand what your home inspector is looking for. It’s best to ask certain questions before the inspection takes place, so that you can be sure to know specifically what is getting looked at, and what isn’t. Communication before the inspection can be important, as the inspector and your Bend Oregon Realtor are going to give you information about this property that will influence your decision to purchase or not purchase this property.

What gets checked

If you have a better understanding of what exactly will be checked by a home inspector, before the inspection takes place, it could prevent future headaches or misunderstanding. Heading into the inspection itself, knowing what will be checked, ensures that you’ll leave the inspection satisfied.  Typically, inspectors look at everything from the roof to the foundation of the home, including everything in between.

It’s also important to know what isn’t getting checked in an inspection. An inspector can only do what’s called a visual inspection, so they can’t cut into walls, or the HVAC system for example. If the inspector has reason to believe there are problems with another system, they will often call in another specialist, like a roofer, HVAC person, electrician, etc. to do a more detailed inspection of the potentially problematic area.

Cost

Home inspections can cost anywhere from $600 to $300, but it can vary. It really depends on the market that the house is in, and how big the house is. It’s important to ask your inspector what the inspection will cost before the inspection is done. Most inspectors are paid on the day of the inspection, so it’s good to know what to expect.

Should you go?

Always ask your inspector if you can come along, before showing up at the inspection. Most inspectors will agree to this, as most want to have the prospective homebuyers at the inspection. It’s more beneficial to the inspector to be able to walk through the home with them, and explain everything that they’re noting, or concerned about.

Importance of an inspection

The findings of a home inspection can determine whether or not you still want to go through with the purchase of the home. Often times home inspections can be written into transactions, as the sale is dependent on a good inspection finding. If you have communication with the home inspector, it can save a headache after the inspection is completed. Inspectors are used to curious potential home buyers, so don’t be shy to ask any questions you have and go along on the inspection.

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August Real Estate Forecast shows an active market will continue into Fall

With one of the highest numbers of active inventory in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market we’ve seen all year, we can expect to see more market activity before we head into cooler months. While the market slowed down during the Eclipse and smoke from forest fires, we still had a highly active August.

Inventory         

The number of active listings grew from 442 in June, to 570 in July and grew even more to 638 in August. With the highest number of inventory Bend Oregon Realtors have seen in months, now is the time for buyers to find exactly what they want. While it seems that there are many properties to choose from, Bend Oregon Realtors are seeing lots of properties sell before even hitting the market. The majority of properties go to pending sale have typically been on the market for less than two weeks.  Time doesn’t appear to be in buyers favor when it comes to looking for homes.

The inventory in August was much higher compared to August 2016. August and the beginning of September has the highest active inventory we’ve seen all year. August also featured more price reductions and properties spent more days on the market than last year. As of the beginning of September inventory was back down to 606, as it’s expected to drop as we head toward winter months.

Around 30 percent of current inventory is new construction, and around 5 percent of it has no building permit. This means that the home won’t be built until there is a buyer in contract. While it’s listed as inventory, the properties don’t physically exist yet and they’re not move-in ready. For most buyers, even though inventory appears to be high, it’s lower than it appears.

It’s still important for home sellers to keep their pricing competitive. If choosing between your property and another that’s similar, buyers will choose the property that’s more competitively priced. Be sure to talk about your listing price with your Bend Realtor, and be sure that’s its appropriate for the market.

Sold and Pending Listings stay consistent

If the number of active listings doesn’t show how active the market has been in August, the number of pending and sold listings will. Staying consistent from June and July, pending listings fell two from 246 to 244. Sold listings grew to 243 from 246 in the month of August. Buyer’s still aren’t slowing down, and they’re taking advantage of the high number of listings to choose from.

While the number of pending and completed sales are consistent, when compared to the higher number of active listings, they are actually slightly lower. Due to the anticipated Eclipse madness and the fires and smoke we’ve had in Central Oregon lately, buyers weren’t out in normal numbers. We’re waiting for the smoke to clear before we can predict what this means heading into fall.

Heading into Fall

As we head into the relief of cooler days (and hopefully less smoke in Central Oregon) we still expect to see a highly active market. With the high number of active listings, and the consistent sales numbers, we expect buyers to continue to find what they’re looking for. Get out and see what’s available for your budget, especially with price reductions at a seasonal high and low interest rates.

Call your Bend Realtor and schedule an appointment if you’re interested in looking at properties. Duke Warner is available to help you buy 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.

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Interested in a Fixer Upper?

If you’ve ever day dreamed about fixing up a property and turning it into you dream home, it might be time to consider purchasing a “fixer-upper.” Perhaps you’ve wondered if doing it is a good idea or not? Talk to your Bend Oregon Realtor. We’re here to break down some of the reasons you should consider taking the plunge into overall heaven.

Great Deal

Reason one is that most run-down homes, in need of renovation are great deals. While most people look at them and say, it’s not worth the work, you’re different. If you’re willing to put the work in, and the time and money, you could stand to get a great deal on a property in need of a little love.

Just for You

If you’ve ever wanted to create a living space just for you, then fixing up a home is right up your alley. If you would ideally like to have everything done to your taste, but can’t afford to build a home from the ground up, it can be a better idea to renovate a home. While building a home costs much more than the purchase of a home, buying a fixer upper and adding in a renovation budget, often costs much less. It can also take far less time, and stress.

The other added benefit in making an out of date, run down or just older home, completely yours, is that you’re not starting from scratch. Rather than building a new home, you get to redesign an existing one. You get to choose how to preserve the character or history of the existing fixer upper. You never know what you’re going to find behind the drywall, perhaps original brick? Maybe you’ll find old wooden doors, that just need a little TLC before being incorporated back into the design of the home.

Be realistic

It’s important to set realistic goals for yourself while considering a project like this. While you may think you can do it all on your own, it’s highly unlikely that you can or are even legally allowed to. Some projects involving plumbing, electricity, etc. will need licensed professionals to do the work. So it’s important to consider your renovation budget, and factor in what it will cost to pay contractors to do the rest.

Take Away

Talk to your Bend Oregon Realtor, about any potential properties ready for renovation or flipping. They might just have the perfect place for you. A home that’s a little run down, but in a great location, could prove to be your dream home after a little work.

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Real Estate Glossary

Buying a home can be confusing, there’s a lot involved. To complete a sale, there’s lots of paper work. To start looking at homes, you need to find the best Bend Realtor. There’s a lot to decide, and understanding exactly what you’re looking at can be difficult. We’re here to define some common real estate terms, so that you can walk away with the perfect home or property for you.

Mortgage Pre-Approval

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is crucial before you begin seriously looking for homes. A mortgage pre-approval typically comes in a letter. Getting pre-approved helps you know how much you can borrow, and lets you know the price range of home you can afford. When you’re pre-approved it shows sellers that you already have financing in place, and can speed up the homebuying process.

Multiple Listing Service (MLS)

Sometimes your house search will include using MLS. A multiple listing service, or MLS, is a database that Bend Oregon Realtors use to access all of the homes and properties listed in your area. It also includes information on those properties in your area, and can be a great resource to use in finding new listings.

Appraisal

Getting your home appraised lets you know how much your home, or a potential property, has in estimated value. This helps determine what kind of mortgage you can be approved for.

Appreciation and Depreciation

Over time the value of your home can change. It’s mostly dependent on the current real estate market. If your house appreciates, it’s gaining value over time. If it depreciates, your property has lost value over time. In most markets, and with most properties, this will fluctuate.

Earnest Money

This is a small deposit that you put down when you an offer on a house. Essentially, it’s a show of good faith, and lets the seller know that you have intent to go through with the purchase of the home. When you put this money down it’s typically held by an escrow agent, until the sale is completed or finalized. A typical amount of earnest money is 1 to 2 percent of the property’s price. The benefit of earnest money is that if the sale is completed, the earnest money goes toward the down payment on the house. If the sale is not completed, due to the seller rejecting the offer, the money comes right back to you.

Down Payment

Down payments are an important process of buying a home. Rather than paying the total amount of the home, you can pay a down payment on the price of the home. If you’re working with a lender, it shows that you are planning financially to afford the home. Down payments can be anywhere from 3 to 20 percent of the total price. Down payments are usually required so that a lender can provide a home loan, which covers the rest of the cost of the property.

Escrow

If you put funds down on a property, like earnest money, this money goes into escrow. This also applies to documents. When these documents or funds are put down on a property, it’s then held by a third party, like an escrow agent, until the sale goes through.

Contingency

A contingency can seem like a scary term, but it’s not. It just means that there are conditions that need to be met in order for the sale to go through. Most contingencies have to do with results of home inspections. If you make an offer on a potential property, with a contingency on the home inspection, and you find that there’s a lot of damage to one of the systems in the home, you might require it to be fixed by the current owner, before the sale is finalized. Because you had a contingency in place, you can walk away from the contract without being required to go through with the sale, if the current owner refuses to fix anything.

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July Real Estate Forecast shows a highly active Summer market

The height of summer is here and the number of available listings proves that it’s been a busy summer for Bend Oregon Realtors. With things climbing in the market, like number of active listings, and the highest median home price in Bend has seen in the past 10 years, it’s been an active couple of months.

High Inventory

While it’s known that the summer months are typically the most active, this summer in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market has been highly active. The number of available listings grew from 442 to 570 in July, which goes to show that summer sales are in full swing. Everyone is getting their property listed, which means that it has officially become a buyer’s market. At the beginning of August, the number of listings has grown to 638, showing even more growth since the end of July.

Buyers can pick and choose the properties they want to look at, as there are plenty of different options available right now. With the influx of listings, sellers have to be careful of pricing. Buyer’s will can find exactly what they’re looking for, at multiple price points, so it’s important to talk listing price with your Bend Oregon Realtor before listing your home. It’s important to price your listing competitively, and increase your chances of a fast sale in this sellers’ market.

Median Sales Price

For a few months before the boom of summer, the median sales price of homes in Bend was on a decline. But that ended in June, when the median sales price jumped to $409,000. This is a record high for the past 10 years, and the first time in 10 years that the median price has topped $400,000.

June’s median home price was 7.9 percent higher than May’s median price, which is the highest month-to-month price jump we’ve seen since 2011. The median is the middle number of all listing prices, and not the average number of prices, which means that the number isn’t being skewed by high end home prices.

Consistent Sold and Pending Listings

There have been very slight changes to the pending and sold number of properties from June to July. Sold properties only varied by 3, going from 246 in June to 243 in July. With a consistent number of pending sales from June to July, 259 to 246, it shows that buyers aren’t slowing down. Buyers are taking advantage of the available number of listings, and it’s showing in sales and pending sales.

Take Away

Now is a great time to start looking for the perfect home for you, with lots of different properties to look at, call your Bend Realtor now. Duke Warner is available to help you buy the perfect home, or get a property listed. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.