Sight for Sore Eyes…..

Here are a few real estate factoids to start the week…

Most of us are aware of the ease with which current wireless technology allows one to monitor their home from anywhere in the world, right? Well…I’m starting to see more webcams in homes that I am showing to prospective buyers. So if you are looking at homes to purchase do you need to watch what you say? And is this legal?? Is it the right thing for sellers to do?  Both great questions – and I’m glad I asked.

First – it IS legal in the State of Oregon to use these cameras to watch what is going on in your home. And while it MAY be legal to use the feature that records sound – it is ILLEGAL in this State to record someone’s conversation without the express permission of that individual. So technically, a seller may not use that feature to RECORD  what you say when you are checking out their silverware drawer.

And to clarify that – it usually means that any conversations recorded without the other person’s permission are not admissible in a court of law. But really…I mean…if Bob and Mary Smith are selling their home and recording your every move, who’s gonna know if they record what you say and listen to it gleefully after you leave their house??

I saw one webcam hidden on the mantle in the living room of a home for sale in SE Bend. When I asked the listing broker about it later she said the seller had it there “to watch the cat while they are away”.  Well…they were watching me too. And I never saw a cat.

I’m not certain how I feel about this one. I understand the seller point-of-view that they can keep an eye on their home. But the buyer’s I represent want to look in closets and pantries, etc. and not feel like they are stepping in the personal space of the owner (even though they are!).  And the couple I was with in the SE Bend home said it felt “a little creepy”.  But we are bound to see more and more of this kind of surveillance as the equipment becomes so much more affordable and easy to use.  What do you think about this??

Guess I’ll start shining my shoes and making sure my socks match.

THIS IS THE STRANGEST REAL ESTATE MARKET I’VE SEEN IN SOME TIME…

And by that I mean there are homes that should be selling quickly, but they are just sitting without offers.  And conversely  there are areas, such as Northwest Crossing, where you put up the sign and the homes are gone in a few days…or a couple of months at most.

Small to large acreage properties are sitting even longer. The market still appears to be driven by Baby Boomers migrating here and they apparently aren’t buying into the Green Acres lifestyle. They want smaller homes on smaller lots with low-maintenance features.

Given that the median price for a single-family residence in San Francisco is currently $1,108,000 vs $348,000 for Bend – it’s easy to see why so many Californians who come here think our prices are reasonable. Homes in Northwest Crossing are selling for an average price-per-square-foot around $342.00. Pretty unbelievable if you live here!   So…these buyers from Down South come here and think nothing of purchasing a 2,200 square-foot NWX home for $775,000. It’s a bargain.  And while this phenomenon is what’s driving prices up in some areas it appears to be having little impact on properties for sale in outlying areas. And I’m baffled by the fact that some homes listed in the $425K-$500K range in Bend City Limits are not flying off the market.  Inventory is at an all-time low, yet this is still the case.

The market at $325K and under continues to be where the majority of the homes are selling.   That’s all for now…Back soon.