No Comments

There’s no time like the Present to apply for a Mortgage

Buying a home can seem intimidating, and applying for a mortgage can be equally as scary. Most people aren’t applying for mortgages in the current real estate market because they assume that they won’t qualify. The fact of the matter is, this might not be true, and you won’t know until you apply. If you think you might be ready to make the jump into the real estate market, then it’s time to get your ducks in a row.

What you need

To apply for a mortgage, you’ll need to have saved a down payment, have a steady and stable income and also have a good credit history. Don’t let the down payment scare you, with different types of mortgages and home loans, you can save as little as 3 percent or as high as 20 percent. A lender can help with this amount.

Here’s a list of what you’ll need to apply:

  1. Current credit history and score – Don’t let non-perfect credit deter you from applying for a loan. You may already qualify so it’s time to find out.
  2. Gather your documentation – Get together your income verification, like W-2 forms or tax returns. You’ll also need your credit history, and any other assets you have, like bank statements from saving accounts.

Talk to your Bend Realtor.

Bend Realtors have great recommendations when it comes to finding a loan officer. Typically, they have loan officers that they continue to work with time and time again. Ask your realtor for the lender that the recommend highly.

Trust your Lender.

Lenders will help you determine what price of home you can afford. They’re there to help you review your income, monthly expenses and other financial goals you may have. They’ll help you make the best decision when it comes time to choose a mortgage, and how you qualify.

Get Pre-Approved.

If your lender thinks you’re ready to apply for a mortgage, and start your house search, getting pre-approved can make this process even easier. If you’re pre-approved, you know exactly how much house you can take on. It prevents you from putting an offer on a house, that you will later find out you can’t afford. It also shows potential home sellers that you’re serious about buying.

If you’re thinking that you won’t qualify but think you might have what it takes, there’s no harm in meeting with a Bend Oregon Real Estate Agent and Lender. They might help you get things on track to purchase a home in the coming years, or they might help you discover that you’re already ready.

Most people assume that they can’t afford homes in today’s market. Yes, the market seems to be at a high, but there are pros and cons to the current market, and some of them might work in your favor. Instead of assuming that you can’t afford a home now, talk to your  Real, and see what they recommend. You’ll never know if you don’t try.

No Comments

October Real Estate Forecast shows high numbers of pending and sold properties

While the Central Oregon Real Estate Market is in the first signs of slowing down for winter, it’s still been a highly active fall. This September, the median sales price of a home in Bend, reached another record high. For the fourth month in a row the price has climbed, reaching $416,500 in September, which was up $2,500 from August’s median price. The median home price in October fell to $404,250.

Current Market

The Central Oregon market has been favoring sellers since last spring, which might level off in the coming months. The summer market was driven by committed buyers, and we expect this to continue into fall. With a higher number of pending sales in October, starting at 251, and up from 233 in September, we can expect November to be a highly active month.

The number of sold properties climbed to 228 in October, which was up from 208 in September. While the number in August was 246, this still shows that buyers are highly active during this time of year. In September we experienced an average of 114 days on the market, which was much lower than July, 141 days, and August, 136 days. Last year in September of 2016 the average number of days on the market was 104, so we’re not as quick as last year, but properties are still going rather quickly. We expect buyers interest to stay up through November and the Holiday season.

Active Listings

There’s still a high number of active listings on the market and buyers are still finding what they’re looking for in a property. While there have been price increases to home prices, they’ve remained modest and haven’t sky rocketed.

On existing properties there have been some price reductions, and interest rates are still low, so if you’re considering starting your home search now is a great time to start. With lots of properties to choose from you’re sure to find a property that has everything you need, and perhaps a bit more.

Find the best Bend Realtors

Finding a Bend Oregon Realtor that understands what you want in potential properties is key. Call Duke Warner today and we’ll help you find the perfect home, or get a property listed. Get in touch with us today at dukewarner.com, check out our Facebook page, or call us at (541) 382-8262.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.

No Comments

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.