Median sales price falls for second month in a row. What happened last time that occurred?

The housing market in Bend, Oregon, tapered slightly in May, as the median sales price fell for the second month in succession and the inventory of homes on the market rose compared with April. Still, the year-to-date median price remained steady at a price that represents a high for the 10-plus years for which we have data.

May’s median sales price was $379,000. That’s 4.1 percent lower than March’s median sales price of $395,000 and 2.8 percent lower than April’s median of $389,950.

If recent history is any indication, this dip could eventually turn into a trampoline. The last time monthly median sales prices declined in consecutive months was in 2016 (when they fell for three months in a row, in fact). That stretch of monthly declines after the median price reached $374,000 in May ended emphatically with a 7.5 percent month-over-month increase from August to September to $385,750 – the calendar-year high for 2016.

Two hundred seventeen homes were sold in May, four fewer than in April. The number of houses whose priced was reduced was 107 — 32 percent. The last time the percentage of active listings with a reduced price was that high was in the three-month stretch in 2016 when the monthly median sales figure dropped. (See the previous paragraph for what happened after that three-month stretch.)

Year over year, May’s median sales price showed a 1.3 percent increase from the corresponding month in 2016. That is the smallest year-over-year increase in a monthly median sales figure since January 2016. That month, the median sales price of $317,450 was 3.7 percent lower than in January 2015.

The 2017 year-to-date median price stayed at $380,000 after taking into account May’s sales. That remains the highest year-to-date median price on record. In fact, each month of 2017 has reset or tied the record for the highest year-to-date median sales price.

High-end homes a big part of inventory

The inventory of homes rose to 3.1 months in May. Inventory — expressed as the time that would be required to sell all homes on the market given the current pace of activity — was 1.7 months in May 2016.

May 2017’s inventory is skewed, however, toward higher-priced homes. Of May’s 337 active listings, 33 percent were priced at more than $725,000 (that percentage was 25 percent in March and 31 percent in April). For homes priced from $225,100 to $625,000, the inventory is in the range of two months. And two months of inventory falls well on the side of being a “seller’s market.”

Tied to the inventory is the volume of homes on the market. Each month this year, the active listings have been the fewest for those respective months in the 10-plus years for which the Skjersaa Group has data. As mentioned in the previous paragraph, the quantity of homes priced at $725,000 and less is particularly tight.

Late spring and summer traditionally are the most active months for real estate, and if you’re looking to buy a home or considering putting yours on the market, I can be of help. In my time as a Realtor, I have helped clients achieve their desired results regardless of the time of year and the trend of the market. To learn more about how I can assist you in your real estate transaction, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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    By Jason Boone The median price of homes sold in Bend, Oregon, in May was the second-highest in the last 10 years, but there are signs that prices might be nearing or at a peak. At $374,000, the median sales price in May 2016 trailed only that of May 2007…
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    By Jason Boone The number of homes sold dropped and the median home-sale price in Bend, Oregon, fell in October, copying a trend from the previous October. The year-to-date median sales price continued to rise last month -- as it has done each month in 2016 -- adding a very…
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What are a buyer’s options after receiving a home inspection report?

After having your offer on a home accepted, a common next step is to have a home inspection. Rare is the home that will yield an inspection report that doesn’t call for attention to at least some non-trivial matters.

A buyer has two primary ways to respond to an inspection report. One is to submit an addendum to the sales agreement specifying that the seller will remedy items identified on the inspection report, employing qualified tradespeople and providing proof of completed work. Another option is to have the buyer receive a credit for closing costs and prepaid expenses, to cover the cost of the buyer having the issues addressed.

With Option A, the buyer has the peace of mind that an expert will have fixed a component of the house identified as requiring attention — furnace, water heater, etc. — and completed necessary repairs before he moves in.

It’s important to do a final walk-through before closing to make sure that issues buyer and seller have agreed will be fixed by the seller truly have been addressed. Naturally, you will want to obtain and keep proof that such work was completed. If something goes wrong during the period covered by the tradesperson’s warranty, having documentation will make it easier to get the problem resolved.

Option B might be preferred by some sellers. There is a school of thought that sellers should not examine any part of a buyer’s inspection report. Instead, this line of thinking goes, a seller should provide a credit for the costs of repairs and have the buyer take care of getting issues identified in the inspection addressed.

More responsibility falls to the buyer under Option B. Rather than having the seller arrange and pay for repairs, this buyer has to obtain estimates for the necessary work to receive a sufficient credit to cover repairs he will have done. Keep in mind that an estimate of the costs for a repair can be superseded once the work is done.

There are other options, of course, in working toward a compromise — such as using a combination of Option A and Option B to address whatever the home inspection report shows as needing attention.

Working with an experienced Realtor can help make the post-offer, pre-closing process go smoother for you. If you’re a buyer, I can help you decode a home inspection report while keeping the deal on track.

If you’re thinking of selling your home, I can help you negotiate a fair agreement arising from a home report. Whatever your status, I can assist you in your real estate transaction. Please contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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In the spirit of the holiday season …

The leaves have fallen from the trees. A light dusting of snow has covered the ground on a couple of recent mornings. Car windshields have to be scraped clear of frost and ice for the morning drive to work.

Yes, we’re full-on into autumn and just days from Thanksgiving.

This time of year is often used to reflect on the good fortune we might have in our lives. For me, one aspect of my personal and professional life that I’m grateful for is the ability to work and live — truly live — in Bend. This area is special, a belief reflected in the growth in our population and the steady demand for housing.

I’m thankful that clients of the Skjersaa Group have chosen our company to represent them in the buying or selling process (or both). We believe our knowledge of the community and the market sets us apart, but we offer more than that. We care deeply about this area. Our abiding concern for Bend and the surrounding area prompts us to support various causes dedicated to sustaining the high quality of life Bend offers.

In 2015, the Skjersaa Group donated more than $9,500 to local outdoors and environmentally oriented organizations, including the Deschutes Land Trust, the Deschutes River Conservancy and The Environmental Center.

This calendar year, the Skjersaa Group has donated more than $6,500 to various organizations, including Deschutes County Search & Rescue and Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (which works on behalf of abused or neglected children).

BendPropertySearch itself provides $1,500 a year in sponsorship of Bend Endurance Academy. This non-profit provides programs in rock climbing, cycling and nordic skiing and emphasizes teamwork, personal growth and community responsibility.

Our community giving circles back to our clients. Our ability to support local charitable organizations wouldn’t be possible without the support of our clients. We’re grateful for their faith in our ability to serve their needs.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.

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Homeowner’s motto: Be prepared (to sell or buy a home)

Cleaning a home before putting it on the market can be drudgery.

Cleaning a home before putting it on the market can be drudgery.

By Jason Boone

In a lot of instances, a homeowner might not be able to control when he sells his house. A change in jobs, a development affecting a family member who resides in a different town or a sudden alteration in one’s lifestyle choice can result in the need to sell a home now.

And as nearly anyone who has sold a home would attest, selling a home is among the most stressful things we can experience. There never seems to be enough time to tie up loose ends, and the need to keep the home in a welcoming yet mint-condition state adds to the angst.

But even though we might not be able to control when we sell a home, we can take small but significant steps to ensure we’re always prepared to sell a home. The other side of the transaction is similar — buying a home can be time-consuming and stress-inducing — and, likewise, we can be as prepared as possible to buy a home, even if we have no idea when we might do so.

Selling a home involves a lot of paperwork — and that’s well before the sales documents need to be signed. Know where all of the important documentation about your house is. Have the latest annual statement from your mortgage company handy, so you know your payoff amount. It will also help to have your latest property tax statement and your most recent invoice for homeowner’s insurance, as your Realtor and prospective buyers might want to know their cost.

Documentation includes information on appliances and other durable components of your home. In this matter, a seller should think like a buyer. You will want to know how old the water heater is, when the furnace and/or air conditioner was last inspected, the estimated age of the roof. Consulting the home inspection report from when you bought your home could yield valuable information.

As for the home itself, calling the process of getting it into an open house-ready state a nightmare would be unfair to nightmares. Even regular cleaning and maintenance almost certainly won’t be enough to give it that “Buy me!” look that can be crucial in selling a home. To ease the burden when the time comes to sell your home, you might want to consider performing more frequent but smaller-scale cleaning routines.

Anyone can call to mind any number of unpleasant but necessary chores that contribute to making a house market-ready: cleaning window runners of dirt, grime and dead flies; sweeping and mopping behind large appliances; cleaning the inside of kitchen cabinets and the refrigerator. Instead of attacking them all at once — when your time is already stretched thin with other tasks involved in selling your home — why not tackle them one, two or three at a time according to a regular schedule? The time investment on each scheduled day of such work won’t be as intimidating as with an all-in-one approach that might otherwise be necessary.

As mentioned, the flip side of selling a home for many people is buying a new one. Assuming you will need a loan to purchase a new home, you’ll need what seems like a terabyte of financial information. Documents your loan officer might want include your most recent pay stubs, the most recent two months of statements from any bank and investment accounts you have, copies of the previous year’s federal tax return and recent statements from your current mortgage.

Many of these documents are available digitally. Rather than spending time every two weeks or every month updating your store of personal financial documents, you might want to just make sure you know how to quickly access digital versions of these documents.

Other personal data — such as previous addresses if you’ve moved recently, the name and address of previous employers and contact information for previous work supervisors — can also be valuable when applying for a loan. Better to collect this information when you’re not under stress as opposed to when you’re having to scamper out the door for your latest showing.

I know how stressful selling and buying a home can be. With my knowledge of the Bend, Oregon, market, you can be confident that I’ll make your real estate transaction as smooth as possible. To learn more about Bend home options, get started with listing your Bend home, or to view area homes, contact me at (541) 383-1426, or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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The Bungalows at NorthWest Crossing walkable, sustainable and beautiful

2547 NW Shields Dr. is among the three available units from Phase One of The Bungalows at Northwest Crossing.

2547 NW Shields Dr. is among the three available units from Phase One of The Bungalows at Northwest Crossing.

By Jason Boone

The trend in real estate for years has been to build smaller, greener homes in walkable neighborhoods. In fact, in a recent Urban Land Institute survey a majority of Americans expressed a desire to live in compact and mixed-use communities and half of respondents listed walkability as among the key factors in considering where they want to live.

It stands to reason. Two of the largest generations of Americans — retiring baby-boomers and coming-of-age millennials — are either looking to downsize or to move into a first or second home. Both generations have changing tastes, expressing an increasing preference for smaller, beautifully designed homes that are environmentally sustainable. And the homes should be walking distance to parks, open spaces, restaurants and shopping.

Certainly we have seen these trends come to fruition in Bend, Oregon real estate.

The Bungalows at NorthWest Crossing was designed with these desires in mind. At the heart of the NorthWest Crossing neighborhood, a master-planned community centered around this new-home philosophy, the 24-unit condominium project has proven perfect for empty-nesters and second-home owners who want to be a part of a vibrant, safe neighborhood.

.Designed by Muddy River Designs and built by Greg Welch Construction, the project calls for 24 one- and two-bedroom condominiums with floor plans between 600 and 1,400 square feet. From ductless heating and cooling systems and tankless water heaters to water-sipping faucets, each bungalow is ultra-efficient and built with particular attention to detail.

In addition, part of what makes The Bungalows a special project is that it sits near Lewis and Clark Park and only a short walk from the dining and shopping options that have helped make NorthWest Crossing so popular.

The Bungalows at NorthWest Crossing has now completed the five units in its first phase. Of those, only three turn-key units have yet to be reserved:

  • Unit 2. This 1,237-square-foot, two-level home features a great room, two master suites upstairs, 2.5 bathrooms, attached two-car garage and a covered porch. Listing price: $415,000.
  • Unit 9. This 1,285-square-foot home, two-level home features a main-level master suite, great room, two bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms and an attached two-car garage. Listing price: $435,000.
  • Unit 18. The 1,100-square-foot, single-level design is one of only two standalone units in The Bungalows. Features include an open great room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and an attached two-car garage. Listing price: $459,000.

It has been quite a year since breaking ground on the five units in the first phase. The Bungalows were a featured stop this summer at the 2015 Tour of Homes and Greg Welch has already won a green building award.

If you miss out on Phase One, fear not. Phase Two will begin shortly. Don’t lose a chance to live the good life in one of the most innovative developments in Bend, Oregon.

To get started with listing your Bend, Oregon home, or to view area homes contact me by calling (541) 383-1426 or visit Bend Property Search to connect with me through my website.

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First Time Home Buyer Tips – Understanding the Appraisal

First Time Home buyer Bend Oregon

By Jason Boone

Buying a home for the first time is an exciting part of life since you will finally be moving from years of renting and saving to owning your own home.

During the home buying process one of the most important things you will pay for is the appraisal since it will help to insure that you will be paying an equitable and fair price for the home you decide to purchase.

In today’s post we will break down appraisal basics and what you can expect from this important part of the home buying process.

What Exactly Is A Home Appraisal?

A Home appraisal is a credible analysis of the value of a home based on many factors including the following:

  • Homes which have sold recently in the same neighborhood.
  • Current condition of the Real Estate market.
  • Improvements which were made to the home recently.
  • Location of the home.
  • Age and quality of the house.

When a home buyer pays for an appraisal they will receive data on what the home is worth and then know what they should pay for the home.

Who Does The Appraisal?

Home appraisers are independent professionals who are paid for their impartial data.

They are licensed or certified to perform home appraisals in their state and have gone through the right training and education so that their appraisals are compliant with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.

Besides being professionally licensed and certified in Real Estate Appraisal, a home appraiser must continue their education and stay on top of the recent changes in technology and developments in the Real Estate marketplace.

To learn more about home appraisals and how they affect you or to view Bend Oregon homes for sale contact me, Jason Boone, Principal Broker at Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group by calling me at (541) 383-1426 or click here to contact me through my website.

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Jason Boone | Principal Broker, CRIS | Duke Warner Realty | Skjersaa Group
Oregon Real Estate Licensee | 1033 NW Newport Ave Bend, Oregon