You might have read recently that Bend and Deschutes County are among the fastest-growing areas in Oregon. To anyone who has lived here long, Bend’s desirability shouldn’t be a surprise.

The attraction of this city is what helps us at the Skjersaa Group make our livings as Realtors. A steady demand for homes has produced a lively real estate market for buyers and sellers.

But we think it’s important to emphasize that for us, being a Realtor is about more than just making a living.

We understand what a “home” means to you, as opposed to what a “place to live” might mean. We understand the emotional significance of a home and the many ways a home is part of your identity – whether it’s a property being bought or sold.

Your home might be most meaningful to you as the place you and your partner plan to raise a family. Or it might be where you brought your newborn child home from the hospital for the first time. It might be where you have special family gatherings that produce memories you cherish for the rest of your life.

These deep associations and identifications with a home make up who we are. That’s something we recognize and something that affects all of our actions as Realtors. Buying or selling a home is about people, not four walls and a roof.

We’re in the part of the year when real estate activity generally takes a bit of a breather. That allows us the opportunity to consider our good fortune to be able to live, work and play in Bend.

Those of us at the Skjersaa Group believe our ethics, our experience and our knowledge of the market set us apart in our industry. But we don’t take for granted the area we live in and what makes it special. We do what we can to keep Bend the place it is and try to make it even better.

Among the charities and nonprofits we have supported are the Bend Paddle Trail AllianceDogPac, Bend Roots, Oregon Adaptive Sports, Western Environmental Center, Volunteers in Medicine and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children).

We’re thankful for our clients’ trust in our ability as Realtors to meet their needs. Without that, we wouldn’t be able to support the local causes we believe in. We pledge to continue to do our best to help guide you through your real estate journey. We want you to be happy with a home, not just settle for a place to live.

Best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.