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Making Your Home Deposit Go Further Without Feeling Financially Pinched

Saving up to purchase a home feels daunting. You’ll need to come up with a 5% deposit out of your own finances. Also, the more you save, the better your interest rate. Yet how to save more funds at a faster rate? Here are some tips you can use to make your home deposit go further so you get the place that you desire. 

Look for the Best Bank Account Rates 

You have to place the saved money somewhere. Different banks offer varied interest rates, so you will want to check out their rate terms and conditions so you can build your savings faster. Some places may offer you up to 5% interest. Review the competitive rates to select the one where you will be able to grow your savings. 

Qualify for Help to Buy Programs 

There are a range of different schemes available to help people purchase a home. A first-time home buyer can get into the Help to Buy ISA program where if you save up to £12,000, you will be able to get a 25% return that is tax free. Another program is the Help to Buy Equity Loan that is open to everyone (not just to first home buyers). If you are able to save 5% on your home deposit, you can get a loan of 20% to 40% of the property value. 

Buy a Home with Someone Else 

If you know of a friend, relative or partner who is looking for homes to buy, you can buy a place together. So you only have to save up for half the deposit. Just make sure you can be comfortable living with the person under one roof and discuss what will happen if you or the other person decides to sell their share of the house. 

Get the home you need without going through financial hardship. Check out the above ideas on how to make your deposit go further so you can purchase a home. 

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Increase the Curb Appeal of Your Home This Spring

Selling a home? Increase the curb appeal without spending a lot of money by doing the following tasks. While these ideas won’t significantly increase the value of your home, it will entice people to stop by and check out the interior of the house as you may get a great sales quote on the spot. 

Wash the House 

The rainwater won’t wash away the years of grime that has stuck to the siding and the brick. You’ll be amazed how a little soap and water can restore the color of the exterior. Use a soft bristle brush and be careful when using pressure washers on the materials as you could damage certain architectural aspects of the house. Instead, use the power washer on walkways and driveways to blast away the oil and stains. 

Add a Splash of Paint to Outdoor Structures 

A lot of people forget to brighten up the look of separate garages, garden sheds, and fences as they focus most of their attention on the house. Make sure to repair, wash and paint or stain these structures so they are presentable. You may even decide to paint the house. 

Make Minor Repairs 

Potential homebuyers will notice the minor problems you may have skipped over, such as cracked caulking around windows, sagging gutters or loose mortar on flagstone walkways and brick steps. Many of these repairs won’t break your budget and can be performed quickly. 

Spruce up the Yard 

It is usually a good idea to wait until after the last frost before planting flowers. Yet you still have time to weed the garden and prune certain flowering shrubs and bushes while they are still dormant. Clean up the property and add bright flowers to tended beds so the yard looks beautiful. 

By using the above tips, you can have a beautiful property this spring. Once buyers see the curb appeal, they will eagerly want to check out the rest of the house. 

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Consider Saving Your Tax Refund for Home Down Payment

Usually when you get your tax refund, you think about buying a new car or using it to go on a vacation. Yet if you plan to move to a new home in the next few years, you may want to consider saving the refund to place it toward the down payment. 

Why Save Your Tax Refund? 

Collect more interest: The refund you get from the IRS doesn’t include any interest. Yet if you place the refund into an interest-bearing checking or savings account, you can grow your money from the compounded interest. After several years of saving your tax refund, you will have even more money to place toward the new house. 

Make a bigger down payment: People will often look for home programs, such as an FHA, so they can take advantage of the low 3.5% down payment option. However, when you make a higher down payment toward a home, such as 10% or even 20%, most lenders will offer better interest rates. You also can get a smaller mortgage loan that you can pay off sooner. Combine your tax refund with what you have saved already for the down payment to get a range of additional benefits toward your mortgage loan. 

Have Emergency Repair Funds: Even if you have more than enough money to cover the down payment, it’s still a good idea to save the tax refund for unexpected surprises. You may find a serious issue with the home that needs to be repaired quickly. The tax refund can go toward those repairs without hampering your other finances. 

There are many advantages to saving your tax refund. Whether you are putting it toward the down payment, making an emergency repair fund, or paying off your debts to improve your credit, the extra refund money can make it easier to purchase a home. 

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The Million Dollar Question: Should You Buy or Rent?

When it comes to renting a place or buying a home, everyone’s preferences and lifestyles are different. For some people, it is more ideal to rent a home or apartment because they can live closer to the downtown area near their work. Other people want to purchase a house because they plan to live in it for a long period of time as they want to have children. 

As you are deciding on whether buying or renting is best for you, you have to take a look at your present finances and where you want to live, as well as your current and future lifestyle goals. Here are several things to consider to help narrow down your choice. 

Renting a Home or an Apartment 

Renting a home or apartment is desirable for people who are constantly on the move for work. They have more of a mobile lifestyle, and purchasing a home that they will hardly live in isn’t always desirable. In addition, rental prices may be lower than mortgage payments in certain locations. So a person can save money if their finances are currently tight. Another advantage to renting is that you don’t have to deal with the responsibility or costs when it comes to dealing with apartment repairs. These repairs, and costs, fall on the landlord. 

Buying a Home 

Buying a home becomes ideal when you are looking to build a retirement savings. With a home, you can begin to build equity that can be tapped into. You will also be able to will it to beneficiaries as part of your retirement estate. 

In time, the mortgage payments will always be less than rental payments. Rent can go through a yearly increase while your mortgage payments stay the same rate. Also, you will be able to eventually pay off the mortgage and own your home outright. While you have to make all repairs yourself and pay for those costs, you also can make changes to your home, which is not allowed for a rental property. If the time comes to sell the house, you will be able to pocket the sales proceeds. 

The choice of buying or renting a place will be based on a person’s circumstances. In the long run, you can build equity and make lower payments when purchasing a home. Consider all the advantages and disadvantages before making such a big decision. 

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Buying a Home Near a School: Is it a Good Idea?

As you are searching for a new home to buy, you happen to see one that is perfect. It has everything you are looking for: a large outdoor space, plenty of bedrooms, and a newly updated kitchen. Yet the one thing you aren’t sure about is its location. The house is near a school, as you wonder whether buying the home here would be a good idea.

Homes Near Schools Offer a Range of Benefits

While you may be worried about having the occasional kid taking a shortcut through your yard to make it to school on time before the bell rings, having a house in walking distance to a school can offer advantages to you and your family. If you currently have children that will be attending, or will soon attend, the school, they will have an easy commute to get to the building.

Even if you don’t currently have children but plan to have them someday, buying a home in a school area will allow you to properly prepare for the day when you have kids. You don’t have to worry about finding a home later on as you will already be established in the neighborhood. Also, your neighbors and other people in the community will be there to help you out by offering you advice about the school and the activities they provide.

Advantages to People Who Don’t Plan on Having Families

Even if you don’t plan to have children, purchasing a home can be an ideal investment. If you are going to be living in the house only for 3 years to 5 years before selling it off, you can market the house to a larger selection of buyers. Home buyers who are looking for properties near a school will be more interested in your property than in others. You can make this into a great selling point in the home listings as you can appeal to families.

If you are searching for a home to purchase in a school area, you need to understand the school district boundary lines if there is more than one school nearby. This tactic will ensure that your child can go to the school of your choosing. Taking the chance of purchasing a home near a good school offers a range of benefits to you and your family, as you can find a wonderful place to live in and a place where your child can get a great education.

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January Real Estate Forecast shows an energetic start to the 2018 Central Oregon Real Estate Market

The beginning of 2018 showed a robust start to the year in real estate. January was a highly active month, with a higher number of active listings, a higher number of completed sales, a higher number of pending sales compared to January 2017, all  expected to close in February. All indications point to a strong spring in Bend.

Extremely Strong Seller’s Market

The number of active listings increased this January compared to 2017, going from 355 to 409. Central Oregon is currently experiencing a strong seller’s market, with anticipated inventory increasing in time for Spring Selling trends. Now is a great time for property owners to list their homes in order to have less spring competition by other home sellers entering the market.

High Pending Sales

January was an exceptionally strong month for pending listings with 207 this January vs. January 2017 with 185 pending. With the number of pending listings in January sky rocketing compared to the last few years, it’s fair to expect a chart topping spring season. We expect these pending sales to complete in February, making February sold properties higher than previously anticipated. It shows that now is a great time to buy and that the Central Oregon Real Estate Market is still thriving through the winter months.

Average Completed Sales

Given the mild winter weather we’ve experienced this January, a higher number of completed sales is to be expected with more buyers enticed to get out and about checking out neighborhoods, new construction, locations, etc. Considering the high number of pending sales, the number of sold properties for the month of January was expected to be higher due to shoppers grabbing onto spring season thoughts earlier in the New Year.

Final Analysis

The Central Oregon Real Estate market is expected to see a lot of traffic in the coming warmer months, as the Bend area is still experiencing energetic interest. We’re predicting that fewer priced reductions will take place, as the low number of listings encourages more competition per property, and negates the need to price more competitively. With a strong seller’s market, now is the time to get a property listed. Learn about what we can do to help you with buying or selling real estate by visiting, browsing our Facebook page, or calling us at (541) 382-8262.

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Keeping Organized Even When Searching For a New Home

When you are house searching, you will be overwhelmed with all of the information that the house seller and the realtor will provide to you. After you have seen multiple houses in one week, you can start to get confused on which house had the marble backsplash in the kitchen or the spa jets in the bathroom. In addition, you have to deal with getting all your pre-approval paperwork in order, house appraisal documents, and house listings you may have printed out the night before. Here are several tips to help you stay organized while looking at properties. 

Keeping Properties Straight After the Visit 

Are you the type of person that forgets what a property had after visiting it, or confusing one property for the next? One way to remember all the details in each house is to have a list that has the properties address on the top. This list will have all the things you are looking for in a home, and allow you to write down additional things that you loved or hated about the property. Then you can place a checkmark if the property meets your preferences. It is also ideal to take photos of the house regarding certain features. 

Creating a Filing System 

When you get home after visiting a house, you can place all the information you have for that property in a folder so you can later compare the house against other properties to narrow down your choices. Make a filing system to hold your photos and any brochures or additional information you may obtain from realtors. Then you can easily pull out the information and narrow down your house buying choices. In addition, you can make a spreadsheet or comparison chart where you can place in the property information to make it easier to see which houses met your preferences, and which ones fell short. 

Keep a Calendar for House Showings 

With the number of house showings that can pop up in a week, you can begin to lose track of which open house dates are nearing. Either use a paper calendar, or an online calendar, to track upcoming house showing dates so you don’t overbook your schedule where you are looking at several houses on one day. 

Looking at houses shouldn’t be a stressful or disorganized experience. Use the following tips to keep a better track of the houses you have seen, and the ones you will look at soon so you can find the perfect property for your needs. 

Call your Bend Oregon Realtor today.

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December Real Estate Forecast shows a hardy finale to a notably active year in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market

2017 was another great year for real estate in Central Oregon, and December closed out the year with a strong finish. Sales were about flush with November sales, with a slight dip in inventory.  A consistent number of pending sales are expected to complete in early 2018. Here’s deeper look.

Monthly Number of Sales and Price Reductions

The monthly number of sales stayed at a solidly consistent high in the market. The number of price reductions in the month of December were nearly half than the month before. Price reductions typically happen when properties sit on the market too long, with little to no interest, and it typically means that the property hasn’t been priced correctly. With fewer price reductions in December, we can expect to see more sales moving into the first couple months of 2018.

Steady Inventory

Inventory has remained decent and on par with the previous month. A steady listing of homes speaks to the strong market which remains in Bend. Homeowners are not waiting to the traditional Spring Time to list their property and buyers aren’t waiting until Spring to home shop.

Typically, the real estate market becomes more of a seller’s market during the winter months, with fewer listings available, but this year an steady inventory flow is changing the dynamic.  Property owners should continue to work towards a timely sell and potential buyers will enjoy more selection than usual this winter. Duke Warner has months of inventory for every price point under $525,000 in Bend being less than two months.

Consistent Pending Sales

Pending sales stayed at a high number for the month of December. If there’s ever a drop in the number of pending sales, it typically means that buyers are getting more cautious and are analyzing pricing more before purchasing. But given the consistent pending sales from October to December, buyers are taking advantage of the number of available listings, and sales haven’t slowed down much at all.

Final Analysis

All of this proves that we can expect an active beginning to 2018, that will carry on into the coming Spring and Summer months.

Sales are expected to remain at slightly above average numbers. Due to the interest in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market, we can expect that fewer price reductions will take place.

The seller’s market will continue into the New Year, with more out-of-staters moving here and as millennial’s begin to purchase their starter homes. The time to get a property listed is now, with the expectation of significant activity and lots of serious buyers early in 2018.

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

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

Expected Pending sales drop

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

Fewer Sold Listings

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

Active Listings

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

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

Bend Oregon Realtors

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

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Duke Warner Realty celebrates 50 years of business

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

That is exactly what happened…

A little history

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

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

Duke Warner Family

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

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

The next 50 years

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

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