10 Steps to Prepare for Homeownership

29 05 2008

10 Ways to Prepare for Homeownership

1. Decide what you can afford. Generally, you can afford a home equal in value to between two and three times your gross income.

2. Develop your home wish list. Then, prioritize the features on your list.

3. Select where you want to live. Compile a list of three or four neighborhoods you’d like to live in, taking into account items such as schools, recreational facilities, area expansion plans, and safety.

4. Start saving. Do you have enough money saved to qualify for a mortgage and cover your down payment? Ideally, you should have 20 percent of the purchase price saved as a down payment. Also, don’t forget to factor in closing costs. Closing costs — including taxes, attorney’s fee, and transfer fees — average between 2 and 7 percent of the home price.

5. Get your credit in order. Obtain a copy of your credit report to make sure it is accurate and to correct any errors immediately. A credit report provides a history of your credit, bad debts, and any late payments.

6. Determine your mortgage qualifications. How large of mortgage do you qualify for? Also, explore different loan options — such as 30-year or 15-year fixed mortgages or ARMs — and decide what’s best for you.

7. Get preapproved. Organize all the documentation a lender will need to preapprove you for a loan. You might need W-2 forms, copies of at least one pay stub, account numbers, and copies of two to four months of bank or credit union statements.

8. Weigh other sources of help with a down payment. Do you qualify for any special mortgage or down payment assistance programs? Check with your state and local government on down payment assistance programs for first-time buyers. Or, if you have an IRA account, you can use the money you’ve saved to buy your fist home without paying a penalty for early withdrawal.

9. Calculate the costs of homeownership. This should include property taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities, and association fees, if applicable.

10. Contact a REALTOR®. Find an experienced REALTOR® who can help guide you through the process.


Wednesday (I mean Thursday) Is Neighborhood Preview Day #5

22 05 2008

I suppose Thursday is just as good a day as Wednesday to preview a neighborhood.. yeah, I’m going to stick to that logic.

So this week’s focus is on Badger Forest which is in the southeast section of Bend and built by Vista Builders.

The neighborhood features a close proximity to a new park, area shopping and all that Bend has to offer.

There are 3 floor plans being offered with prices starting at $182,900 for a 1064 sq. ft. floor plan with 2 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. The most expensive plan offered is at $239,925 for 1751 sq. ft. and 3 bedrooms 2.5 baths.

There are currently 6 homes listed in the Multiple Listing Service in Badger Forest and one of them is Pending Sale.

As always, don’t hesitate to ask questions, or let me know if you’re interested in looking at more information on any of these neighborhoods.

Wednesday Is Neighborhood Preview Day—–sort of..

21 05 2008

I will give you a preview of an “affordable” (I am on my knees begging for someone to give me a better word to use.. pleeeeeeeeeaaaaase help me out) neighborhood sometime later this week..

but for now.. I’ll let you read about a not-so-affordable condo building in downtown Bend. I actually think that they are priced incredibly well for what you get and the location that you get it in, but.. 1.5 million is a little out of my price range.

Cheri Smith, one of the brokers in my office visited the Condos on Tuesday Evening, and this is what she had to say about them:

Wednesday is Neighborhood Preview Day #4

14 05 2008

This week’s featured “affordable” neighborhood is Northcrest.

Here is what the Garner Group (the listing agency) had to say about it:

–Designed for the changing Bend real estate market, new homes in the new Northeast Bend neighborhood of Northcrest emphasize a combination of affordable prices and livable home designs. Convenient, efficient floor plans form the basis for a menu of standard finishes and upgrades that allows buyers to establish home ownership in a way that matches individual living and financial requirements.

Prices begin in the $190s. Five floor plans are currently offered ranging from 1,104 to 1,566 sq ft in single-level and two-story designs. All have three bedrooms, two or 2½ baths depending on the plan, two-car attached garages and Craftsman exterior finishes.

The Garner Group Realtors & Development LLC is the exclusive listing agent for new construction in Northcrest. The Hollman Company is building and developing the property, adding to a list of Bend new home neighborhoods that includes Foxborough Village, Larkspur Village, Empire Crossing,Hollman logo.jpg TriPeaks and Northpointe.

Four homes are currently under construction, one of which will be a model home, and several others are in the pipeline and listed for sale. Northcrest is adjacent to the west side of Boyd Acres Rd. north of Morningside Dr. This location is convenient to North End shopping and Parkway access, the new Les Schwab Tire Centers headquarters, light industrial parks in the Brinson Blvd.-Empire Ave. area, and Lava Ridge elementary and Sky View middle schools. —

There are currently 10 homes in Northcrest listed in the MLS ranging from $191,200 for 1104 square feet to $223,975 for 1566 square feet (there is only one house listed in this price range and it is currently Pending).

Plat Map

April MLS Statistics are up

12 05 2008

Statistical Fun

I added a page for the April Multiple Listing Service statistics.

Just a quick run-down of what the numbers say though:

In March the number of pendings was 5.3% of the actives (1892 active listings and 100 that went pending)

In April the number of active listings continues to increase (which means more inventory to get rid of) but the number of pendings increased in a slightly greater percentage than the actives. With 7.7% of the actives going pending.

Keep in mind that trying to compare month-to-month statistics, which are volatile (at best), isn’t necessarily a true indicator of what is going on in the market. The numbers can fluctuate immensely from month-to-month which is why comparing year-end statistics is a more accurate approach. However, since it’s only the beginning of May, and we’re trying to get a handle on what is going on in the market currently we have to work with what we have.

The encouraging section of these statistics are the homes in the $200,000-$350,000 price range (which, if memory serves correctly, was the price range of the majority of new developments that flooded the area over the past couple of years.)  The pendings in this price range are 10.1% of the actives.. still a far-cry from being a thriving Sellers Market.. but there is more inventory moving in this price range than any other. (good news for the first time home-buyers or those wanting to purchase investment homes in this price range)

Click here for the full PDF of statistics

Wednesday is STILL neighborhood preview day…

7 05 2008

…it’s just going to be on Thursday this week :-/
sorry, I know you’re sitting at home compulsively hitting “reload” on your browser waiting in anticipation for the Preview to pop up..
I’M SORRY!! But Thursday’s Wednesday Is Neighborhood Preview Day will be better than you could have ever hope for or imagined..
..at least that’s the plan anyway..

Wednesday is Neighborhood Preview Day #3

30 04 2008

This weeks featured neighborhood is Woodhill Homes’ Woodhill Park.

Woodhill Park

The first energy-efficient Responsible Home community by Woodhill Homes located on the northeast (NE) side of Bend, Oregon. This Woodhill Homes neighborhood includes 10 home plans to choose from ranging between 1,460 sf and 2,111 sf – all with options for different elevations. It has a convenient location, a neighborhood park and all starting under $200,000.

Model Home Tours (Office Hours):

  • Friday-Sunday: 12-5
  • Monday – Thursday: Closed

Directions to Woodhill Park:

(The nearest intersection to the Woodhill Park development is Empire Ave & Boyd Acres Rd)

  • Hwy 97 to Empire Avenue exit
  • East on Empire to Boyd Acres Road
  • North on Boyd Acres
  • Left on Gloucester
  • Right on Lancaster
  • Left on Avro Place

Prices range from $199,950 for 1280 sq. ft. to $244,950 for 1653 sq. ft.