Random Q4 Real Estate Ramblings…

This has certainly been an interesting year for real estate in Central Oregon. I use the word interesting because “hot”, “crazy” and other adjectives like those don’t fit for every area in the high desert. Northwest Crossing is still “hot and crazy” and attracting families at a rate and at prices that continue to have me shaking my head. The average selling price per-square-foot in that trendy neighborhood is $330/foot. By comparison, River Rim in SW Bend is selling for $229/foot on average.  Almost 1/3 of the homes in Northwest Crossing are selling for over $400 per foot!

So…not only are real estate sales numbers different in all parts of the country, but there are regional differences within the State of Oregon and then again within Central Oregon.  And then again within the City limits of Bend.

And acreage parcels in some areas sit while small-acreage listings in other areas, like Sisters, are moving fairly quickly.  So what’s driving all this??…

Mostly people from California, with a smattering of people relocating from parts farther East. As long as our neighbors to the South can sell their properties for multiples of what they paid for those homes, then moving here is still a relative bargain for them. Those of us who have lived here 10 years or more are beginning to see the traffic and land-use issues that go with an increase in population. But for many people Bend, Redmond, Sisters, Prineville and LaPine are still really small dots on a map.  Buyers I work with who are from California think nothing of the amount of traffic they find here. And I absolutely get that. Everything certainly is relative.

I speak with homeowners on a weekly basis who tell me that they are going to wait to sell “because the market is still going up”.  I understand their thinking. However – I always point out to them that they should view their home like the financial asset it is (as well as a place to live and create memories).  A financial planner would be talking to these same people about risk & reward if it was the stock market being discussed. Does one sell stocks when the market is an an all-time high or wait?  Wait for the market to go up some more?  Maybe. Maybe not. In the stock market and housing – timing is everything.

But all we really know is what the market is doing today – right now. There are many possible events that can affect the value of real estate besides supply and demand. For instance – there are lots of people in Santa Rosa, CA right now who likely fantasize about what their lives would be like if they had sold their home before it was destroyed by a devastating wildfire. Who would ever have predicted that? Same with the flooded areas that experienced hurricanes this season. One day their home is worth X…a day later its worth… nothing.

So I tell my clients…just be thinking. If you are planning to stay in your home until you take your last breath, then there are no decisions to be made. But if a change of scenery, for whatever reason, is on your mind, then think like an investor. This real estate business is cyclical. It always has been. So just be sure you play the cycle right.

And just because I love this stuff, I thought I would leave you with a couple of great real estate photos taken right off our very own Multiple Listing Service.

Somebody had a birthday and got one of those new Olloclip lenses for their iPhone!

All of the photos for this listing were inserted this way.  But I found that if I just laid down on my desk I could view them all, no problem. The photos have been on the MLS like this for over 3 months now. Devil’s in the details I guess.  Back soon…

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