What do you think of the Tour of Homes houses?

24 07 2008

There has been a little discussion occurring on my “If you have 1.5 Million Lying around” post.

But it has me curious as to what you all think of the houses that you have seen on the Tour of Homes this year.

As I mentioned in a couple earlier posts: I am hosting the open house at the Reserve at Broken Top but I am not the listing agent.  I have 2 lot listings in The Reserve, and will be holding open houses up there (pretty much until the end of time), but I won’t be offended by your feedback (I have some of my own in fact)

Buyer feedback is an essential aspect to selling real estate.  It keeps the seller in touch with what people (that aren’t emotionally attached to the house) actually think about the house and how it is priced.

Obviously there is a lot of media hype about the state of the real estate market, but the bottom line always comes down to the fact that houses are worth what people are willing to pay.  Asking way too much for your house to begin with, and then having to sell it for 30% less than the listing price (because that’s what someone was willing to pay) doesn’t mean that the real estate market is “bad”, it just means your house isn’t worth what you want it to be worth.

Now don’t take this to mean that I think the real estate market is booming (I think my bank account speaks to the contrary) I am simply trying to get a feel for what people like/dislike about the houses on tour this year and your opinion on their pricing.

Are you impressed?

Are you disappointed?

Do you think the homes you’re viewing are a value?

Would you want to live in those houses?

Are there any neighborhoods that stand out in your mind?



8 Reasons to buy a house

14 04 2008

I have spoken with many people recently who are leery of purchasing a home in the “tumultuous” times that we’re facing. I know that there is a lot of doom and gloom that is broadcast, and there are definitely some changes that need to be made in our economy, but I would also hate to see people miss out on an opportunity to buy a house that might not be available in the future.

In real estate there are always “if only I would have…”s. “if only I would have bought 20 lots back in 1990 when they were dirt cheap” (pardon the pun) “if only I would have sold in 2006 when the market was at it’s peak” “if only I would have refinanced when the rates were so low”.. the list goes on and on…

The bottom line with investing in real estate, especially in Bend, is that you will never regret buying a home. You might regret missing the bottom of the market by a month or so, or you might regret selling a little too late, but never owning a home.

Let me clarify this, you will never regret buying a home that you will live in. There are a lot of people that regret buying houses solely for investment purchases (homes they plan to flip, or rent out, or people that just try to buy low and turn around and sell again) these people are taking risks with their money (what any good investor would do) but, as with any investment, if you don’t stand to lose much, you probably don’t stand to gain much.

Now back to my original statement: You will never regret buying a home that you will live in. The reason for this is multi-faceted:

1. Invest in the Future… If you are currently renting that means you are paying out a specified amount of money every month in which the only return on your money is a place to live. If you purchase you are paying out a specified amount of money every month (sometimes more than renting, but not necessarily.. I’ll post on this later) but you are building equity with every dime you pay in. This means that your payments go toward something you can cash out of in the future (and most likely make money)

2. Tax deduction, tax deduction, tax deduction... Was that clear enough? All of the interest on your mortgage payments, as well as any points you paid in at closing & property taxes are all tax deductible. My husband and I were pretty much exempt from all income tax this year based on this (and a few other things we had working for us). This is an especially important benefit if it makes the difference between you being in a lower tax-bracket, it can literally save you thousands of dollars.

3. Interest rates are still historically low… This makes it relatively inexpensive to take out a mortgage. The lower the interest rate, the less you actually pay for your house and the sooner you can pay the mortgage off. Use a free mortgage calculator like the one at mortgagecalculator.com to get a rough estimate of what you can afford.

4. You don’t have to pay for a realtor… I never cease to be amazed at the number of people that go out house hunting without the aid of realtor, I guarantee if you asked them why they made the decision to go it alone they would tell you it was to save money. But the reality of the situation is that the seller pays the buyers commission, your only obligation as the buyer is to write your agent a thank you note from the comfort of your new home (this isn’t actually an obligation, it’s just super nice). The job of a real estate agent is to look out for their clients’ best interest, so the seller’s agent is looking out for the seller, you need someone that is going to make sure you get the best deal possible.

5. You’ll be able to use the equity in your home for low-cost loans for other purposes… You can access the paid-up equity you accumulate in your home in the form of a home equity loan or a home equity line of credit. Because they are secured, home equity loans and lines of credit generally carry a lower interest rate than other types of consumer loans, such as auto loans. The interest on them is generally tax-deductible, as well.

6. You’ll have the stability and emotional security of owning your own home… No more worrying about dictatorial or negligent landlords, rent increases or the possibility your building will be sold and redeveloped or turned into a condo. You’ll be able to live in your house as long as you like, fix your monthly payments for as long as 30 years and you’ll be in charge.

7. You’ll be able to redecorate and renovate any way you like, any time you like. Rules about the paint colors you can use will be a thing of the past. And you’ll be able to tear out walls, install a powder room and make any other improvements you want. Best of all, if you decide to sell, you’ll recoup at least part of the cost of the improvements.

8. Best buyers market in over 20 years… There are more options and at better prices right now in Bend than there has been in over 20 years. There are new developments going in that are offering brand new homes at unbelievable prices. One example of this is Mirada on the east side of Bend, the developer was able to purchase a large parcel of land at an unbeatable price, therefore he’s out less money and can sell the homes for less. These houses are priced under $200,000 with quality finishes like hardwood floors & tile counter-tops.

There are so many reasons to purchase and an even greater number of great deals to be had.. don’t be one of the ones that looks back on this year and says “if only I had bought a house back then”.