Bend Oregon Real Estate – Buying a New Home

Now is the time to buy a new home in Bend Oregon. The prices of homes in Central Oregon have been going up in value steadily over the past several years. The Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon reports that home values have almost doubled in the past four years.

Land values have been going up and new construction has been booming for the last five years. Now the market is in a slow down and is being flooded with inventory. Homes are taking longer to sell and builders are being forced to lower their prices.

New home developers and builders were able to sell homes in the past few years before they broke ground. They had buyers waiting in the wings to purchase these homes as soon as the lots were developed and the builder priced the homes. The buyers chose their finish materials and waited for construction to be finished.

The winter of 2006 is going to be the best time to buy a new home in Bend Oregon. The National Association of Realtors reported “In the West, existing-home sales declined 3.1 percent to an annual pace of 1.25 million in September, and were 23.8 percent lower that a year earlier. The median price in the West was $332,000, down 5.1 percent from a year earlier.”

One developer/builder in Bend recently lowered prices $20,000 across the board on all of his homes. He now has eight homes sitting finished. He is also including central air-conditioning, upgraded tile counter tops, a refrigerator and backyard landscaping. These free upgrades and lower prices were not available last year.

As new and used home sales continue to fall and inventories continue to build Bend is starting to look like a candy store for home buyers. The new home market will show some of the best buys because builders have to sell. They cannot afford to sit on millions of dollars of inventory.

As we go into winter and the temperature starts to drop the heat bills start to go up. This increases the holding costs of a developer/builder. Builders are also starting to pay closing costs for a buyer which indirectly gives today’s buyers a better value yet.

Developers are usually large businesses that can afford to sell a few houses at a loss to get them through the winter. One builder has lowered his asking price of one particular home to almost $50,000 lower that the same floor plan sitting vacant down the street. He has several homes finished and sitting vacant and his interest payments continue and now winter heat bills will be adding to his holding costs.

This “buyer’s market” won’t last for long though. Interest rates are still around 6.25 percent and the Federal Reserve just held tight with no interest increase. So interest rates should stay low over the winter.

Gasoline prices are falling and it was just reported by the Bend Bulletin, Central Oregon’s local news paper that “Deschutes County jobless rate sinks To 3.7 percent.” Bend continues to grow. There are good jobs available and people continue to move to Bend.

Bend is also one of the most desirable places to live in the United States. If you live in Bend you can drive 30 minutes west and be in the mountains with great fishing, hunting, hiking and biking. You can drive 30 minutes east and be in the high desert with spectacular mountain views and fresh clear air.

It is said that Bend’s local ski mountain, Mount Bachelor has some of the best powder in the Northwest. Golf magazines also report that Bend is one of the best golf communities in the West. Golf is available for golfers of any budget from inexpensive public courses to luxury private courses.

The Deschutes River runs through the middle of Bend. It is a nationally famous trout stream and also has Steelhead and Salmon runs in its lower reaches. Because Bend is such a great place to live there will always be a demand for new homes.

Local Realtors look for prices to stabilize and start back up next spring. David Lereah, the chief economist for the National Association of Realtors said, “When consumers recognize that home sales are stabilizing, we’ll see the buyers who’ve been on the sidelines get back into the market, and sales will be at more normal levels in the wake of the unsustainable boom that we say last year.”

The next few months will be the best time in a long time to buy a new home in Bend Oregon.

Factors Used When Buying Real Estate

Real estate is something that many people would love to own. It comes in many forms, but is generally divided into three main categories. The first category is residential property. This is property where people live. It can include homes in neighborhoods or on large parcels of land. The second category is farmland. This is the type of land that farmers look for to purchase as a way to expand. The final category is commercial property. This is the type of real estate that is used for business purposes. It is used for all types of businesses including stores, factories and offices. When a person decides to buy any of these types, this person probably already has an idea of which type he or she is looking for. Although they may know the type, they may have other factors that they will use to make sure that they purchase the right one for their needs.

The first factor that matters is the location. People do not just go and purchase real estate in any location where it is available. Instead, they have an idea of where they want it to be. They may have it narrowed down to a certain state. Businesses may do this because of the benefits a certain state offers for business purposes. Other people will choose a specific town or area within a town. The reasons people have for choosing these areas are all very different, but some of them include reasons relating to their jobs or to the schools in the area. A family might choose to move to a town simply because the schools in that district are the best in the entire state. If this is something that is important to a family, this will be a factor that they will look for. Other people look for areas that have low crime rates, because they want to keep their children safe.

Other features of real estate that affect decisions include the price and the size or features of the particular property. If you are going out looking for a home, you will not buy the first home you see or hear about. You will actually consult with an agent in most cases, and the agent will help you find the home that fits your needs. The agent will narrow down the list of homes in a particular town or area to a smaller list that contains homes that meet your criteria. For example, if you want to stick with buying a home that is around $200,000, your agent will compile a list of homes that are around this price. Your agent will try to choose the homes that he or she thinks you will like because the agent will make a commission if your buy a home. The same thing is true for people buying commercial real estate. An agent or broker will help the person find the property that is exactly what the person is looking for and will show these properties to him or her.

Bank Owned Property – Guide to Buying Discounted Real Estate

Bank owned property is a great way to buy real estate at discounted prices. Bank foreclosures consist of residential homes, commercial properties, and vacant land. Whether looking for a first home, vacation house, investment property, or business real estate, bank owned properties might be the perfect solution.

In order to purchase bank owned property, buyers must present offers through the bank’s loss mitigation division or assigned realtors. When banks control multiple foreclosures they often use local real estate agents to list and show properties, and present offers. Buyers should be aware that banks rarely deviate from the asking price unless extensive repairs are revealed during property inspections.

Banks often take a hard financial hit during the foreclosure process. The average loss per foreclosure property is estimated at $60,000. The primary goal of banks is to recoup the bulk of losses when selling repossessed properties. Buyers should plan to offer the full asking price or slightly below.

The majority of real estate foreclosures require repairs. This is particularly true of residential homes. Sadly, foreclosed homeowners often retaliate against lenders by causing property damage. It is not uncommon to find appliances removed; flooring and walls destroyed or defaced; or broken windows and plumbing fixtures.

Real estate prices are based on current market value and adjusted according to required repairs. Buyers must do due diligence by obtaining property appraisals and home inspections. Repairs discovered during home inspection that were not recorded in original documents can be used to negotiate the purchase price.  

Bank owned property is typically priced at least 10-percent below market value. However, options exist that allow buyers to obtain additional discounts. The first involves buying homes through Fannie Mae’s Home Path Mortgage program.

This government sponsored mortgage financing program offers a wide range of discounted foreclosure properties. Many of the homes for sale are located in areas witnessing a higher than average rate of foreclosure and may qualify for Neighborhood Stabilization Program grants offered through HUD.

Fannie Mae established Home Path to liquidate their nationwide inventory of bank foreclosures by offering special financing options. Home Path can be a good choice for buyers with bad credit and those who cannot afford down payment requirements associated with conventional home mortgage loans.

Home Path requires a minimum 3-percent down payment and allows borrowers to obtain down payment assistance from outside sources; which is prohibited when obtaining financing through conventional lenders. Program details and foreclosure property listings are provided at

Another way to buy bank owned property at discounted rates is by seeking out real estate investors who buy bank portfolios. When investors purchase foreclosure properties in bulk they obtain wholesale pricing which leaves them room for profit while selling real estate below market value.

Last, but not least, buyers should consider looking for bank owned property that has been on the market for 60 days or longer. Banks will sometimes negotiate prices when real estate has become stagnant or when no one submits an offer.

Using grants in conjunction with Fannie Mae foreclosures or wholesale real estate can further maximize savings and return on investment. Those who take time to research options and become educated about the process can potentially save upwards of 30-percent or more.

It is best to obtain information from renowned mortgage financiers and government agencies or real estate lawyers and investors who specialize in buying and selling bank owned foreclosure properties. 

Your Guide to the Ins and Outs of Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate is any property that is not residential and is used for making a profit. Restaurants, stores, offices, and warehouses are all examples. Whether you need an office or a warehouse, finding the right commercial space is essential. The success of your business depends on the correct commercial real estate choice.

How Do I Buy the Space?

If you have enough capital to actually buy a place, that’s great! If you are just starting off your business and can’t afford to buy space, you may need to rent or lease. This can be a little trickier. Lease contracts are complicated, and it is wise to have a lawyer take a look at the contract before you sign. Many inexperienced tenants accept a landlord’s contract without making any changes, and this can be dangerous. You could end up agreeing to a contract that gives the owner of the building too much power over you and your business, or you might even overpay for an inferior space. If you decide to buy, have the building inspected for structural problems so you do not get saddled with any unexpected maintenance costs. You want to be sure you know what you are getting into before you sign.

When Should I Buy/Lease?

If you have, or know you are about to have, products to store or employees who need a workspace, then it is time for you to get a place. You also want to make sure you can afford the property. Capital, from your business or investors, will need to be saved in advance for this purchase. You should also be sure that once you have the space, your business will be making enough money to continue renting. Timing is very important.

Where Should I Buy/Lease?

Location is key. If you are opening a store, restaurant, or any establishment that needs human traffic to make money, you want to be somewhere that gets a lot of pedestrian activity. Downtown city areas are good examples. You should also do some research to make sure there is not another established business similar to yours nearby that will produce competition. Do more research to make sure that your business is in demand wherever you decide to open up shop.

Being informed allows you to make better decisions in your commercial real estate transactions. Knowing what to do and expect is key to being successful in your ventures.

Historical Returns on Real Estate Investments

There are many emotional factors connected with the ownership of Real Estate. Do the historical returns on Real Estate investments justify the confidence so many investors have in them?

The ownership of land has been something that has been rooted deep in the minds of man. Land is seen as the one investment that is solid and permanent. The American Dream has long included the ownership of your own home, but when you move beyond this natural impulse to own property that you can call yours and look at Real Estate purely from an investment opportunity, how does the picture change? Have the historical returns on Real Estate Investment measured up to the confidence it has received.

The answer is a cautious yes. Between 1926 and 1996, the annual average rate of return on Real Estate was 11.1%. During the same period the rate of inflation was around 3%. So, it was obviously a better investment to buy Real Estate than to bury cash in jars in your backyard. However, the rate of return for small stocks checked in a bit higher at around 12% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average was a bit lower at 10%. These figures would suggest that Real Estate investments were right there at a par with Stock Market Investments.

Real Estate Investors might want to make the claim that land ownership and its value as an investment predates the Stock Market by thousands of years. They will point to the role that the ownership of land played in the Middle Ages in determining wealth and even nobility. This is true, of course, but in many ways irrelevant to a discussion of the historical returns on Real Estate investments. The new global economy has created a whole new playing field and return of investment must be determined within the scope of this. It is all well and good to study the past to get clues to the future, but in investment the past only offers clues and not answers.

A look at the historical rates of return on Real Estate investments shows that they tend to be more stable and less likely to spike up and down in erratic and unpredictable fashion like the Stock Market. Many investment advisors suggest all portfolios have at least 10% invested in Real Estate for a hedge against market fluctuations. On the other hand, Real Estate investments tend to have high transaction costs and to be in larger units. All properties are unique and each has its own characteristics and potential.

These negative factors have led to the popularity of investments in Real Estate through REITs which are Real Estate Investment Trusts. REITs are a sort of mutual fund of Real Estate which gives investors a way to invest in Real Estate without the problems of high transaction costs or property uniqueness. If you are considering Real Estate investment, either on an individual basis or through a REIT, the historical record should give you some confidence. As much as past performance can reassure us of future success, Real Estate’s past has indicated that it is a safe, sound, and high return investment.