Bend Home Prices Continue to Increase

By Liz Lotochinski, January 19, 2017

Bend’s median home prices increased about 6.25% annually since 1997, from $116,500 in Jan/97 to $395,000 in Dec/17, after factoring in the time value of the dollar.  The record median high price of $418,000 was set in Sept/17 (see graph below).  The median is the price point where half the homes sold were lower and half sold were higher.

Inventories remain low—only two months’ supply as of Dec/17. This means it would take just two months to sell all currently listed homes without any new ones coming on the market, a continuation of Bend’s tight real estate market.

Also worth noting is the peak month of total home sales over the past four years:  July/14 saw 237 homes sold; June/15 had 260 home sales; Aug/16 realized 259 sales; and a tie in June & Aug/17 of 246 homes sold each month.  Hats off to Beacon Appraisal Group for compiling these stats.

If you’re planning to sell in the coming months, now is the time to contact a real estate broker and start preparing your home for sale.  Since the median number of days a home is on the market before is sells ranges from 60-80 days during the summer months, listing your home in March or April gives visibility to those spring and summer buyers.

Bend remains a strong market, which is beneficial for many sellers and challenging for most buyers.  Keeping in close contact with your real estate broker will aid you in either side of the transaction. Please reach out to me if you have any questions.

Copyright © 2018 Beacon Appraisal Group LLC. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

Attentive | Dedicated | Thorough   By Liz Lotochinski, November 16, 2017

That’s my tag line printed on my business cards, included in my emails, and displayed in the upper left corner of my website.

Attentive, dedicated and thorough is the way I conduct my real estate business on behalf of my clients.

Everyone has unique needs and my work ethic is laser-focused to ensure your requirements are addressed in the best possible, most efficient way.

For folks buying their first home, I help them navigate the various paths to home ownership, including incentive programs to assist first-time buyers, lender pre-approval, market research, geographic considerations and more. I have the patience necessary to stay in the search until their first home at the right price is found.

Out of town buyers need a broker to be their eyes and ears on what’s available.  Because there’s so much pressure from buyers on the limited, reasonably-priced inventory in Central Oregon, properties move fast.  And because of that, these distant buyers have to be ready to act quickly with guidance from me, their Realtor partner.

Buyers may require guidance on local zoning.  STR, ADU, RM, UAR, EFU, MUA, etc. – it’s an alphabet soup of acronyms each referring to very specific zoning ordinances. Buyers want to avoid purchasing a home with plans for future use only to learn they’re not permitted.  And while I cannot profess to be an expert in all of this, I can provide city and county information and will attend meetings alongside you with relevant government planning departments.

Home buying in many cases is not a quick process, and I’ll be your partner for as long as it takes.  While some folks can see two houses and choose one as their next home, many people need to understand the current market and available inventory in their price range.  I know!  I looked at 25 properties in Bend before selecting the one I’ve called home the past 15 years.

Sellers too need an attentive, dedicated and thorough real estate broker.  When a home is priced too high, it falls out of consideration. “What’s wrong with it?” is a question often asked when days on market exceed 60.

I commit to helping you price your property properly, based on research of comparable sold homes in close proximity.  I’ll also review current listings (which are your home’s competition), and will suggest we look at these together as part of our market research.  Achieving the highest price of course is the objective, but no activity means no buyers at that price point.  Regular interval price reductions is one strategy to find that buyer.  All of this takes attention, dedication and thoroughness, and I’ll provide that to you.

Open houses are needed to get the word out.  Neighbors who visit an open house are a great resource since they become familiar with your home and can refer their friends and colleagues.  Holding open houses for brokers expands the visibility of your home too.  I’ll gladly conduct these open houses on a schedule convenient to you, and will work with you to stage your home to highlight its best features (see “Where’s Your Boneyard?” below).

Marketing your home online is essential.  Many people first see the house they ultimately buy from a web search.  Because I’m a member of MLS (Multiple Listing Service), your home’s information will be shared and syndicated to a variety of web sites.  I will ensure that the home’s features are highlighted in both the written description and professional photos.

Selling your home is a team sport.  By aligning with me, you get an expert who is attentive, dedicated and thorough with a goal of shortening the time it takes to find buyers for your home at the best possible price.

If you’re not planning to buy or sell immediately, but would like to see what’s for sale in our area, I’ll gladly show you around.  I can also provide you a complimentary Comparative Market Analysis to help you estimate your home’s current value.

When it’s time to buy or sell your home, please think of me.  And please refer me to your family, friends and colleagues.  I commit to providing attentive, dedicated and thorough service to each client who entrusts me with their most important decision in real estate.


Where’s Your Boneyard?  By Liz Lotochinski   August 17, 2017

Summer’s almost over. We know this because back to school sales are now offered by every store selling pencils, workbooks and binders.

But that doesn’t mean the selling and buying season ends in real estate. Yes, most people with kids would prefer to be settled in their new home before the start of school. Reality doesn’t always follow preference. For a variety of reasons, the real estate market continues to be chock full of buyers and sellers.

New jobs take people to different cities. Expanding families require more room. Empty nesters require less. And as we welcome 12 new people to Bend every day (as reported in The Bulletin in May this year), they need a place to call home too.

Whatever your reason to sell, the following few ideas will have your home and garden looking as pristine as possible to attract the buyer willing to pay top dollar.

Spruce Up Outside
Sweep the deck, remove cobwebs, mow the lawn, edge the sidewalk, pull weeds, plant flowers, repair sprinkler heads to green up the sod, create outdoor livable space (you’re planting the dream in someone’s mind), replace the spa cover, lay down fresh mulch, trim trees. You get the idea. That list of To-Dos that you’ve been putting off is now a priority if you want to sell your house quickly.

Paint – Inside and Out
The smell of fresh paint is almost as good as the aroma of freshly baked cookies in a house. Dings in the drywall should be fixed. Bright colors should be toned down. Base boards should be washed and repainted if necessary. And the outside? Our Central Oregon sun (eclipse aside) is brutal on southern and western exposed sides of your house, so hire a reputable painter to give it a thorough once over. And if you happened to buy the house with pink exterior paint and never changed it … now’s the time to revisit the color wheel.

Declutter and Depersonalize
Remember those three boxes: keep, donate, dispose? Get them out and fill them up. Hoarding is not a turn-on to potential buyers. Store away family photographs. Clean up countertops and display shelves. Better to have more “white space” than a bunch of mismatched books visible to your potential buyers. Go to open houses and see what the competition has done to ready their house for sale. Then make yours better.

Eliminate the Boneyard
Not talking beer here, people! The boneyard is that area of the garage, basement, back or side yard that is the collector for all things big and ugly that you don’t want and just haven’t dealt with. Load it up on a truck and take it to the transfer station, or hire a junk hauler to make it disappear. Your trash will not be the next person’s treasure.

Think of your house as a product on a shelf next to lots of other houses. The more appealing you make it on a first impression, the better chance you’ll secure a buyer. And of course working with a dedicated, attentive and thorough broker (like me!), will also help to get a SOLD sign posted in your yard!

OK – I’m off to deal with my own boneyard. Boys, I need your help!

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