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What Market Trends mean for Buyers and Sellers

We’ve all heard about real estate market trends, but do you know how they directly impact you? Whether you’re buying or selling, trends will affect you differently. Learn about a few of the predicted trends of 2017 and how to navigate them.

Selling Quickly

Buying a home is getting faster. The average home stayed on the market for around 50 days in 2016, and we expect that it won’t get any slower here in Central Oregon. If you’re looking to sell your home, it’s better if you’re prepared to make a quick move. Years ago, you could put a house on the market and sit for months waiting for an offer. Now, if you’re listing a property, you should be ready to accept an offer and make a quick move. On the flip side, if you’re looking for homes, it’s best if you’re prepared to make a quick offer. In today’s market, you must be ready to move on a property or lose it.

First Time Homebuyers

This year has been predicted to be the year of the millennial. And with that comes more first-time homebuyers, and buyers that are younger. With the large mass of younger buyers, competition for properties might get stronger. Affordable starter homes will be a hot commodity, and will go pretty fast once listed.

Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates can fall and rise, and they’ve been rising in 2017. When rates rise, it tends to mean that loans are more expensive. This can lead to a lower housing demand, which then turns around and raises homeownership.

Home Prices Rise

Home prices are expected to grow slowly as the year progresses. Price growth is great for current homeowners and investors, as their properties tend to increase in value. In some real estate markets, some home prices might expect to see a decrease in pricing, but only in higher level markets.

2017 Market

Just as predicted these factors are impacting the Central Oregon Real Estate Market. We can expect to see lower numbers of listings, as well as affordability issues caused by competitive buyers and offers. The current market benefits sellers as there are few listings, which drives higher pricing. However the market swings, it benefits someone, whether it’s a seller, or a first-time homebuyer. The good news is, the market is constantly changing.

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May Real Estate Forecast shows first time homebuyers driving pricing

Pricing in the Central Oregon real estate market is reaching record numbers, numbers we haven’t seen since the crash of the market. Pricing is growing each month, and several people are curious if we’re entering another housing bubble.

Housing bubbles are typically reached with faulty lending and speculation in the real estate market, amongst other things. The reason we know we’re not entering a bubble, is that the housing prices in Central Oregon are being driven up by sheer demand and competitive pricing.

First Time Homebuyers

With a high number of first time homebuyers, consisting of mostly millennials, affordable starter homes are selling quickly. Because we’re still experiencing a seller’s market, there aren’t as many available properties on the market, so when starter homes do become available, multiple offers are often received.

Given the low inventory, sellers are able to list their properties for higher prices. The market has sped up because of this. The time that properties are sitting on the market is decreasing. With offers being made quickly- properties are moving very fast.

Bend is a desirable place to live. Last summer we experienced lower than 1 percent vacancy in rental units, and our housing market is experiencing something similar to this at the moment. Typically, properties stay listed for a few months before a serious offer is made. This time has drastically decreased. The number of available properties has stayed consistent from spring, only growing from 308 in April to 337 in May and 442 as of June 1st.

Lower interest rates

While pricing may be high, interest rates on mortgages are at low. Average interest rates for a 30-year mortgages have dropped to 3.95 percent, which is an all-time calendar low. So even though pricing may be high, buyers are still feeling confident in the lower mortgage rates available, and offers are still being made.

National Real Estate Forecast

Nationally there has been a predicted rise in home prices of up to 4.9 percent. This figure doesn’t represent towns that are growing as rapidly as Bend. There’s a possibility that prices may increase in Bend, even more than the national average predicts.

If you’re looking to list a property in Central Oregon, or need help making a competitive offer, Duke Warner Realty is ready to help. Visit us today at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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Mini Home Makeovers to grab Buyer’s attention

If you’re getting ready to sell your home there are a few things that you need to do to get it ready for showings. Keeping your home clean is paramount, as it inspires buyers to see the space and not the mess. Keeping your home clear of clutter is another important thing. Some suggest moving out all extra furniture, so that buyers can see what the space is really like, and see it as more of an open space. There are other small things that you can do to your home to make it more attractive. Here’s a list of mini makeovers that will really grab their attention.

Artwork

You make have collected lots of artwork over the years, and while it may mean a lot to you, it might detract from a potential buyers’ vision of the property. Try to keep your art to a minimum, keeping the walls clean and nearly bare with a few statement pieces here and there.

Throw Pillows

Whether it’s on a bed, chair or couch, grabbing some brightly colored or patterned pillows can make a space look completely updated and bright. Don’t go overboard on color, but try to find something that will give the room a little pop.

Mirrors

Mirrors can be a great way of making a smaller space feel much bigger. Find the perfect mirrors to hang in your space. Be strategic about where you hang them, at the end of a hallway, on a long wall. Hang them wherever the space feels a bit small, and it will make it feel more open.

Rugs

Another great way to make a room feel bigger is adding the right rug. Black and white runs, typically in stripes, can make a room feel much larger. If you’re looking to add a little character to a room, try adding a fun colored patterned rug.

Indoor plants

Indoor plants are a great way to add some freshness to the inside of your home. Plants in the kitchen, bathroom and living room add a great clean touch. Try some strategically placed plants on kitchen counters, or islands, near the sink in the bathroom, or on the coffee table in the living room.

Front door

You always want to make sure your entryway is inviting. It’s the first thing a potential homebuyer will see, and you want to make sure it sets the tone for the showing. You want your entry way, front door and walkway to be clean and well taken care of. It tells the buyer how well you take care of the house, and what condition they can expect that it will be in.

Take away

There are a lot of small things that can really make a buyer feel at home. By doing these small things your property could make quite an impression on buyers. As Bend Oregon Realtors, we suggest you keep it clean and tidy, and freshen up your space with a mini makeover or two. And wait for the offers to flood in.

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Buying a Family Home: Things to Consider

If the time has come to buy the perfect home for your family, whether it’s new or simply growing, there are some important factors to consider before putting in an offer on a property. Here are our top tips for families looking for their next home.

Budget

While we know that budgeting for a home is hard, it’s important to consider all of the other things you need to budget for. Budget for your actual move. Moving vans can be expensive, whether you’re paying for weight or distance. Are you going to need new furniture when you move? That can add up and it’s important to budget that in before you make an offer on your dream property. If your dream home is a bit of a fixer upper, it’s also important to factor in your budget for renovations.

Size

If your family is growing, it’s important to consider how much space this home has. Will it allow your family to grow, or is it only perfect for right now? If you know your family will continue to grow, buy a house that will allow you to expand.

Does it have the backyard you’re wanting for the size of family you have? If you like to entertain, be sure to factor in how big the kitchen, dining room, or living room needs to be.

Neighborhood

It’s important to take note of the neighborhoods that you’re looking in. Is it new or old? They both have advantages. New neighborhoods typically see younger families moving in, but older neighborhoods they’re typically more established with more mature trees and parks. The con of older neighborhoods is that the houses may be older and require more work. With younger or newer areas, they may take time to grow trees, and build parks.

Take note of the neighborhood amenities. There may be trail systems, parks, shops or restaurants nearby. These are great things that can really improve the quality of a home. It’s also a good idea to note if there are busy roads close to the property. Does the neighborhood have good sidewalks and safe crosswalks? Take a look at these factors, as they’re easy to overlook when you fall in love with a property.

Location

What schools are closest to the new property? You may want to consider what school system you want to be in, and the house you buy could determine that. Another factor that some might forget to consider, is how close the property is to other amenities like grocery stores, restaurants, movie theaters, etc. If you want to be close to your place of work, know which neighborhoods you’re looking in and ask your Bend Oregon realtor to help you find a property that fits your needs..

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Home Upgrades that Increase Value

Whether or not you’re looking to sell your home in the future or just spruce a few things up, it’s important to consider the kind of value you can add to your home with a few smaller upgrades. Planning ahead can be beneficial when you remodel, so here are some small projects that can help you add value for when/if you sell.

Getting Started

If your home is new, take some time to live in it and learn it’s quirks, what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve lived in your home for a while, you know best what you’d like to change, and what works best as it currently is. Make a list of what you’d ideally like to change, and then assess what can be done that is both financially feasible and worth your time.

Smaller Projects

Even the smallest projects can impact the value or curb appeal of your home. Keeping your home clean, both inside and out will attract buyers quicker. De-cluttering your home, if it’s on the market, is a sure way to impress potential buyers. When it comes down to two properties, and one is cleaner than the other, buyers are more likely to go with a clean property, as it looks like it’s the house that’s most cared for.

Step back from your house and consider the things you notice first about your property. If your eyes are drawn to something that you don’t want potential buyers to notice right away, there are ways to draw their attention. Highlight front walks with small lanterns, or flower beds. If you have a large garage that you notice first, try painting your front door a bright color, that buyers will take notice of.

Bigger Impact

The top two places to upgrade that have the most impact in your home are the kitchen and the bathrooms. Ask your local real estate broker in Bend, Oregon and they’ll tell you that these are the two things potential buyers are looking for.

In the kitchen, changing up the colors with paint, or even painting the cabinets can have a great impact on how updated your kitchen looks. Backsplashes area great way to add a pop of color or updated style to a kitchen, and since a backsplash is a smaller area, it’s not a huge task to take on. Adding a simple rolling island can add lots of value to a kitchen, as it’s more work space and people love to see islands in a kitchen. Don’t forget to add little pops of green into your kitchen, with some small herb pots or fresh cut flowers.

In the bathroom, try adding a new faucet. Making a bathroom feel more like a spa is a new trend that home buyers are looking for. Adding new countertops can boost value in a bathroom as well. Bigger projects for a bathroom include changing up the shower head to one that offers more of a body spray. Install new stone tile in your bath or shower and make it feel more like a zen spa. Heated floors go a long way in a cozy bathroom.

If you’re not sold on all of these upgrades, consider that you’ll enjoy them in the time you own the home. It’s best to upgrade your home, so that you have time to enjoy it, rather than upgrading right before you sell it.

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April Real Estate Forecast shows increased sales and consistent inventory numbers

The month of April showed some market trends that we expect to continue into summer in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market. The number of new listings is on the rise, and sales have climbed steadily since February.

New Listings

The number of new listings has grown a total of 8 percent from the previous month, which is expected during this time of year. New listings popping onto the market seems to be a trend in the spring time, as sellers are ready to take the necessary steps to sell their home. It’s a great time of year to get your home listed as plenty of buyers are ready to start making serious offers at the beginning of the warmer season.

Sold Properties

The total number of active listings has grown since February, ending the month with 389 active listings on May 1. Sales are increasing as well. The number of sold properties has grown consistently from 128 in February, to 171 in March and ending most recently with 220 in April.

Buyers aren’t slowing down, even with slightly lower inventory numbers. With fewer properties to look at buyers are ready to make offers when they find the right property, rather than wait around and weigh options. The number of sold homes increased by 28 percent from last month, showing that it’s still a strong market for selling your home, with lots of interested buyers.

The number of pending sales dropped 17 percent from March. The higher number of pending sales at the end of March contributed to a healthy number of completed sales in April.

Competitive Pricing

Typically, as inventory falls, home prices can tend to rise, as seller’s have little competition. The pricing in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market is back to pre-recession figures. With the high demand for housing in Central Oregon, we don’t predict that pricing will decline soon.

While pricing is at a record high, it is important to price your property competitively. If a property remains on the market too long because it is overpriced, it may start to get overlooked in a potential buyer’s home search. Price reductions in the Central Oregon Real Estate Market saw a 38 percent increase over the previous month.

Take Away

If you’re looking for help with finding the perfect home or listing a new property in Central Oregon, Duke Warner Realty is ready to help. Get in touch with us today at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

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How Rising and Falling Rates Impact Home Search

With an ever-changing real estate market, it can be hard to understand how certain trends can either help you or hurt you. While mortgage rates and house prices may rise and fall, they can affect buyers and sellers differently. We’re here to break it down.

Mortgage Rates Rising

When mortgage rates rise, it tends to inspire people to stay put. If homeowners are thinking of downgrading or upgrading their properties, they have time to wait until the market benefits them. Specifically, if homeowners are downgrading later in life, they’ll want to benefit from lower mortgage rates, and they can afford to wait in most cases.

When mortgage rates climb, it tends to inspire people to stay in their current homes, spending time and money on fixing them up, rather than looking for new properties. For buyers looking for starter homes, now may be a hard time. Owners that have smaller homes may not be too eager to sell them as they’ll face higher mortgage rates on new purchases, and smaller starter properties may be scarcer.

One benefit to higher mortgage rates means that less people are taking out loans, which makes lenders hungry. This drives lenders to become more competitive, which may benefit those getting mortgages. When there are less mortgages being applied for lenders may loosen their standards, increasing debt-to-income and loan-to-value ratios. Borrowers may also be cut some clack on credit scores.

Mortgage Rates Fall

When mortgage rates fall, there tends to be an influx of loan applications. When the rates are nice and low, everyone wants to get in on the deal. Lower mortgage rates also inspire homeowners to refinance, so in addition to higher loan application volume, refinance applications also go up.

With lower interest rates on mortgages, the housing market booms. It makes it more affordable for buyers to buy homes, and find higher value homes at lower prices. When mortgage rates go down, homeowners that previously may not have been considering selling property, might choose to upgrade property and get in with lower mortgage rates. This causes more housing to become available in a the real estate market, which could potentially drive home prices down slightly. If there are more properties available, pricing competitively is a sure way to make sure your home is found and that offers are made.

What this means

There are great times to buy a house and there are times that aren’t as beneficial to your wallet. Most of these rates can’t be controlled or predicted. When rates are high it can be harder to find a property, but you might get a lender who is more willing to work with you. When rates are low, you’re more likely to get a good deal on a mortgage, but everyone else will be applying for loans as well. Not everyone can afford to wait to house hunt, as timing is key, so if it’s time to look and apply, we say go for it.

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The difference between traditional sales, short sales and foreclosures

Buying a house comes with many steps, terms and paperwork. Understanding exactly what you’re looking for can be hard. Finding the best Bend realtors to help you find the best house is key, and understanding the market is even better. If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between short sales, foreclosures or just regular sales are, we’re here to explain.

Short Sale

A short sale happens when a home owner decides to sell their home, but they still owe more on the mortgage than what they can sell the home for. Typically, sellers negotiate with banks and work out a deal to sell the home for less than what they owe, so they can pay the bank back. The important thing to note in this situation is that the seller is still in control of selling their home.

In some situations this can make buying a short sale difficult. In some cases there may be a second loan on a the property, and it can be harder to get that party to agree on the sale terms. Typically, they stand to lose the most money in this arrangement. Sometimes the process of purchasing a short sale can take longer than usual because of the multiple parties involved.

Foreclosure

Foreclosure happens when homeowners have trouble making their loan payments. It can happen if the homeowners get extremely behind, and are considered “underwater.”

The process starts when the bank notifies the homeowners that they have started the process of filing with local courts to take over ownership of the home, known as foreclosure proceedings. Sometimes this process can take as little as three weeks, or over a year, but it’s important to note that during proceedings the bank does not own the home.

Once the foreclosure is filed with the courts, the home is in ownership limbo. Sometimes occupants stay and sometimes they are required to leave. Foreclosure properties are auctioned off, sometimes at the courthouse and sometimes at the physical property.

Take Away

Traditional sales are much simpler, as there’s only one party involved. Traditional sales also tend to take less time to close, providing the buyer is pre-approved for a loan, and ready with a down payment. You can find some great properties in either short sales or foreclosures, and some you may find underpriced, in an otherwise competitively priced market.

 

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The Best Time to Buy a Home

There are some common misconceptions about the best time to buy a home. Everyone considers Spring to be the best time, but in reality, Spring just happens to be one of the busiest real estate times of the year, not necessarily the best.

Spring

Spring is seen as a busy time because typically more listings are hitting the market, and it appears that more people are looking. People have been cooped up all winter, and come out for spring and consider a potential change of address. For most, buying a home in spring can benefit their schedule, as the kids are out of school, and going through with a move will be easier to manage during the summer.

Fall

While Fall is typically seen as a slow-down in most real estate markets, it could be one the best times to buy. As there are fewer listings to look at, people are usually buying with a purpose. They’re serious buyers, out to look, find something and make an offer. Spring can be hard with the influx of listings, people can go out to look, not actually intending to buy anything. You could have an open house in spring with a ton of visitors, but of those visitors, how many are seriously looking? But in Fall, people looking at houses typically mean business.

Best Time

The best time to buy a house, is when it’s best for you. You can try to time your purchase to market trends, but most markets are constantly changing. You’ll find a home when it’s right for you. You have to consider your timeline. It takes most house hunters two to three months to find a home, before going through making an offer and closing. That time is subject to variation as it depends on the market and how many homes are available to look at. Some closings can take 30 days or longer.

If you’re selling a home, depending on your market and how competitively priced it is, it could only take listing it for a week to get an offer.

If you’re considering buying a home, keep an eye on the market. You could time it right or not, but either way you could find the perfect house for you or a family. The most active time of year, may not be the best time for you to buy. The number of listings could affect whether or not it’s a buyer’s or seller’s market, and that could be a factor that you want to consider.

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March Real Estate Forecast shows a continued Seller’s Market

The month of March was another active month in the Central Oregon real estate market, following busy late winter months. The number of active listings fell just slightly, but the number of pending sales and sold listings have continued to climb. The Central Oregon real estate market is still strong, with a promising spring coming up, we expect to see more listings, sales and pending sales.

Pending Listings at a high

March was a busy month, as evidenced by a very high number of pending listings. In prior months, pending listings haven’t broken 200. March came in as the highest number of pending listings with 273 since July 2016, which ended with 276 pending sales. This likely promises an active April with a higher number of completed sales. Both January and February finished with high pending listing numbers, which resulted in climbing numbers of completed sales in February and March.

Number of sold properties

March finished with 171 sold properties, jumping from 128 in the month of February. The number of pending sales from February contributed to a higher number of finalized sales in March. The high number of sold properties is evidence of a continued seller’s market from prior months in the Central Oregon area.

March finished with a higher median sales price than prior months and years. The median sales price grew to $395,000, which is the highest it’s been since May 2007, when it topped out at $396,250. Typically, March sets the base pricing standard for the remainder of the summer season and real estate year. In most markets the highest median sales prices are seen in the fall, around September or August. So we can expect to see sales pricing grow throughout the remaining spring and summer months.

Continued Seller’s Market

The number of active listings has continued to drop slightly since last summer, solidifying the seller’s market in Central Oregon. With a more limited number of available properties, it benefits the seller to be able to sell more easily. Another factor that comes with a limited number of properties, is more completed sales, with buyers finding what they’re looking for and making offers immediately sometimes above asking price.

Final Analysis

Pricing in Central Oregon has continued to rise for the last five years, as Central Oregon is still a highly-desired place to live, work and play. With a low inventory of available homes, now is a great time to sell or buy. Get your property listed before the summer real estate boom hits.

If you need help buying or selling real estate, we would love to help you. Visit us at dukewarner.com, browse our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.