How to Buy Bend Oregon Vacation Rentals


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Hello again, and welcome to the Bend Real Estate Minute!  I am Thom Gardner, Bend Oregon real estate buyers’ broker at Bend Brokers Realty. You can find me at, call me at 541-480-7554, or email me at Thom—that’s T-H-O-M—  This video is How to buy Bend Oregon vacation rentals.

One of the biggest questions I get every year and especially in the summertime when people are here recreating, and tourists are having a great time in Bend, I get all these last minute calls—I probably get 10 a year—saying, “Hey, can you come meet us for a beer and talk about something?” And I say, “Sure!”  I’m always up for going out for a drink. If you want to take me out for a drink on your dime, call me!

So I go and meet folks, and the question is often the same.  “We want know how to buy Bend Oregon vacation rentals?” It sounds like a great business idea… and it is! It’s just unfortunately not an original one.

Bend Oregon vacation rentals have become very saturated over the years. In 2012, the city of Bend passed a law saying that, for one thing, they had to be 300 ft. apart because they were ruining neighborhoods. You want to live in a nice, quiet neighborhood, and you’ve got people coming and partying for the weekend, leaving trash and parking up the street, et cetera, and suddenly Bend Oregon’s West side is not so good as a permanent place to live.

So, they passed that rule. Now there are very heavy fees. You have to pay a hotel tax on vacation rentals in the city of Bend. They have code enforcement people looking at VRBO and AirBnB all the time and fining people—and the fines are pretty hefty. And there’s a $2,000 application fee.

So, because of that, if you’re looking for Bend Oregon vacation rentals on the west side, they’re very saturated, very hard to get, almost impossible to get a permit. You’ll find there is an eligibility map (I put a link up here on the video). It will show you either red or yellow for a certain address. You type in a certain address, and it will show you on the map. You can see a red or yellow box. Red means it’s not eligible.  Yellow means it might be eligible. Usually, there’ll be two or three yellows together. What it means is, “Hey, your neighbor might have already applied for that permit. It just hasn’t gone through yet.”

But don’t get seduced by a yellow box either. My house is one of the few on the West Side of Bend that have a yellow box. Wonderful, right? No, my neighborhood forbids vacation rentals; so do many others here in town. So, that’s a very difficult nut to crack.

Vacation rentals are an easier game if you want to buy some property along the river or something that has some really great attraction for a tourist outside of the city limits because there, there are no rules. But in the city of Bend, very hard.

And you can occasionally by one that already has a permit attached. Bend Oregon vacation rentals that existed prior to 2012 were grandfathered in. And some of those homes have transferable permits—many don’t, many you have to reapply for. Usually, you’ll get it, but not if your neighbor beats you.

So, those go for a premium. Here’s an example. A few streets over from me on Awbrey Road, the average price on that road is probably about $600,000. An average home there a couple of months ago went for nearly $1.1 million. We’re talking the same house as the $600,000 house next door. It went for almost $1.1 million because it was one of Bend Oregon’s vacation rentals with a transferable short-term permit.

There you go! There’s a big premium in those simply because there’s big money in those. I had people last year—several of them actually—come and say, “Hey, we’ve got about $250,000 or $300,000 to spend. We’d like to buy a Bend Oregon vacation rental!”

No, I’m sorry. Them’s the breaks. That’s the situation. I’m going to put the link up for the short-term Bend Oregon vacation rentals eligibility map on the video. And if you have questions, hey, I can help you! Thom Gardner, Bend Brokers Realty,, 541-480-7554 or 1-800-GO4BEND or Thom—T-H-O-M—

See you on the next one!

Thom Gardner Bend Oregon Buyer's Agent Bend Oregon real estate buying zones 2019

Bend Oregon Real Estate Buying Zones 2019 Update

Thom Gardner, Bend Oregon Buyer’s Agent and Principal Broker, updates his most popular video, Bend Oregon Real Estate Buying Zones, for 2019.  My, how prices have changed in three years.



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Hey everybody! And welcome back.

I am Thom Gardner, Bend Oregon Real Estate Agent and Pure Buyer’s Broker at Bend Brokers Realty. You can reach me at 541-480-7554 or

So, it’s been three years since I’ve done one of these videos! I know it’s kind of ridiculous, huh? Business got really, really busy. It’s doubled each of the last two years., and I just didn’t have time for these anymore.
But I get a lot of calls on these videos, especially this one.  So I thought it was time to do an update because I keep getting the question: “Hey, can you still get me a house for $250,000?” And the answer is… no, I can’t. So, let’s talk about where prices are now and update it for 2019.

Okay, first of all, a little bit of business here. It used to be that Bend Home Buyers Agency was my moniker. AT Bend Brokers Realty. But now, I own Bend Brokers Realty. So, as you can see behind me, we have new signage, we have new logos, we have new everything.

I am still only a buyers’ broker. I do not work with sellers. However, I do now have people in my office who do!  So, if you are looking for an honest broker, you don’t know where to turn, and you like my style, feel free to give me a buzz. Hit me up on email, and I will guide you to the person that fits you the best, okay?
Alright! Here we go, let’s update this sucker.

Alright, here we’ve got the same map as we had a few years ago.  I’ve updated it a little bit. You can see I put a blue line here that divides north and south, blue line here the divides east and west—northwest, northeast, southeast, southwest. Pretty easy to figure out, right?

Okay! So, a couple of caveats. Southwest is a weird one because it used to be—and I’ve lived here for about 29 years—old-timers like me called “southwest” anything west of the river. Nowadays, it’s anything west of the parkway. It’s kind of confusing because I know.  It came about because people right here want to say, “Hey, I live on the west side,” because there’s a little bit of cache to that, right? And that’s totally fine, but there’s a big difference in price.

So, when we talk about southwest prices, we’re generally talking about this area in here between the river and the parkway. They’re lower than on the west side of the river where they’re much more expensive and much more akin to the northwest.  So, take this part with a grain of salt when we talk about it. Just add anything west of the river into northwest, okay? That’s the way to look at it.

Alright, so let’s talk about that. Northwest side of town, this is where the tourists go. This is where everybody wants to be where the vacation rentals are. This is Awbrey Butte right here. It used to be our toniest address back in the day. It still is pretty nice.  And it’s where the cute, little houses are, the river is, the trails are, the restaurants, the pubs, festivals, concerts, all that stuff that people want to move to Bend to have that Bend lifestyle—all over here. That’s why it’s most expensive. There’s not enough dirt here to go around. We don’t have enough space for everybody that wants to live there.

Southwest (west of the river), great river access; also access to Mt. Bachelor right here on Century Drive. Mountain bike trails, boom! Most of them are right here. Easy to get to.

And if we talk about the part that I was just telling you about, which I’ll call the Brookswood area—because most of these homes are served by Brookswood Boulevard, it runs right here—those all generally have stem trails that gets you to the river trail which will get you almost anywhere in town and/or across the river, so you can get mountain bike trails and stuff like that.

Okay! Southeast side of town, you’ve got big Ponderosa pines, larger lots, and again, larger lots have gotten more expensive since our last discussion. I had a couple of homes down here. I lived here for six or so years, two different houses. Loved it. And boy, did they go up in value because they were on big lots. I always tell clients my mantra, “They’re not making more big lots. If you can get a big lot, get it”, if you’re so predilected to do so because small lots, they’re making many, and they’ll continue to.

Now, northeast, that’s the least expensive side of town. Something interesting has happened in the few years since I did this video before. The state of Oregon has not allowed us much more land outside the urban growth boundary, which is this orange line, again, running around the map, okay? That’s almost the same as city limits—not quite, but we won’t worry about the details right now.

So, in Oregon, we have to get permission to expand outside the urban growth boundary. They won’t let us. They gave us a little bit over here, a little bit down here, and a little bit over here. Teeny bits of land.
What they said was, “If you want more, come back in 5 years or 10 years”, depending on when we get this all done. And show us that you have built on in-fill lots, which is bare land inside the existing city limits, “And increase your urban density by building multi-family homes and apartment complexes.” And people, I’m telling you, there are some massive apartment complexes going up all over the east side of Bend. That’s where the dirt is. That’s where they’re going. Very few are going over here because there’s just no land to spare, okay?

So, we are seeing a lot, especially in the northeast, of multifamily homes, duplexes, quads, stuff like that—and big apartment complexes that we had never seen the likes of here in Bend. A few of those over here in the southeast as well. That’s something to take into consideration when you buy up here in the northeast, and in a few places down here in the southeast, okay? Where are those going in? How are they going to affect your property values?

So, this is the least expensive part of town. It’s also a little more desert-y, a little lower. You get a little longer growing season. And a little more sunshine, a little more wind, that kind of thing. But again, it’s where people are buying starter homes. First time buyers, that’s where you go.

Let’s talk about values now in 2019 versus 2016 when I did this before. I can’t get you that $250,000 house, but let’s start with the northeaast, the least expensive part of town.  I’m seeing prices there right now starting right about $329,000. And occasionally, you can find a fixer-upper less than that, but I mean it’s beat up. It’s really beat up—and/or some of those you can’t get a loan on because the bank won’t loan on something that’s in major disrepair. Keep that in mind.  Now, houses over here can go up to about $600,000—over here off of 18th, which is the nicest area in the northeast. I’ve got some great clients who bought over there over the years. You get more for your money, right?  We’re starting over here, at about over $175/sq.ft. these days, maybe down to $150 if you’re very lucky—pretty rare.  And when we get down to the bottom end, you’re going to have lots of competition in the summer months. That’s something to keep in mind. Those prices you see may go higher, okay?

So, let’s talk about southeast. Southeast is a little bit more expensive—not a lot. You can still get a starter home over here for about $350,000. And homes over here on the big lots, again, value there. In Kings Forest, Orion Estates and especially Woodside Ranch are much more expensive.  In this area, for a half acre, three-quarter acre property, older/dated, you’re looking at about $500,000 to start. Down here in Woodside Ranch, you’re looking at about $650,000 to start. Gorgeous though, big trees, rolling streets, so peaceful. Lots of wildlife, et cetera. That’s the southeast side.

Southwest… and again, I’m mostly talking about this area right here in between the river and the parkway. These homes, tract homes mostly, built since about 2005, some newer ones. And there are a couple of neighborhoods in here which are from the ‘90s and need a little bit of updating. Let’s face it, we made some ugly choices in the ‘90s. And you’re generally going to start about $425,000 over here if you’re lucky; $450,00 is a little more apropos of where we are at the moment. Those $425-ers, they’re selling the first day—even in the springtime time, which is not the busiest time of year. So be prepared to fight over those cheaper homes on this side of town right here in the southwest.  Everybody wants to live near the river, near the old mill or downtown because, again, in Bend, you want to ride your bike, walk, whatever, get out of your car to go to restaurants, pubs, festivals, concerts, and yada-yada-and-yada… and trails!
Okay! So, that’s the southwest.

Now, the west side of the river southwest of course is much more akin to the northwest, the granddaddy of town. I like it over here. It’s not for everybody, I get that. But again, I’ve lived here 29 years. Bend used to be a very different place—it still is over here. Yeah, it’s a little more congested there, more people, a lot more tourists. But a lot more restaurants as well. That’s not a bad thing. But it still feels like a small town just over here. It doesn’t feel like a small town on the east side. It feels like a Californiaesque, suburb- strip mall kind of town.  In the west, it still feels like old Bend—quaint, little houses, quaint, little streets, cute as a button, lots of trees, lots of deciduous trees—the river plays a big part in that—lots of trails, tons of little neighborhood restaurants and pubs. You can walk to everything, ride your bike to everything.
I’m about a 10-minute walk to downtown. And let me tell you, parking is a lot harder these days. A lot more people in town, a lot more tourists. And because of that, parking is crunched on tourist holidays and weekends. I ride up on my e-bike, park wherever I want… easy as pie. Major benefit over here.
But you pay for that because there’s not a lot to go around. Too many people want to live here. We don’t have enough space for them.

So, on the west side, you’re generally talking about starting at $550,000. These are all homes in 3-bedrooms, 2 baths and uprange that I’m talking about throughout the video. About $550,000, occasionally $539,000. I’ve seen some over here in Shevlin Meadows at $539,000; some down here in West Side Meadows right down here on the end of town, also about $539,000, but that is really the bottom.  You can find some 2-bed stuff here, 800 or 900 sq. ft. for about $450,000. I wouldn’t buy it. I don’t think that’s a great bargain these days. And you go up to 6 or 7 million inside the city limits. Higher than that if you go just outside here in the rural. You can be 10 million or 12 million.  So, you get what you pay for is kind of how it works. If you’re comfortable being in your car to go to everywhere, and you’re on a budget, and maybe you’re a first time home buyer, the east is where you’re looking almost surely. If you’ve got a little more money to spend, maybe some cash, and you want “the lifestyle,” the Bend lifestyle, it’s over here on the west side of town.

Okay, there you go! We’re updated for 2019, three years later. Again, Thom Gardner, Bend Brokers Realty. You can reach me at 541-480-7554, or as you can see, 1-800-GO4BEND or

One last quick thing, average prices in the three zip codes of town, I have a chart for that on my website, West side versus East side Bend Oregon Home Prices. I’m going to update it every month. Last month, we were looking at $746,000 over here, although I think that was a little high. We had a big jump from the month before. Let’s call it $675 or $680 is the average price over here in 97703, which is what we’re talking about. 97702 is the southern half of town. The average price in there was about $475. And again, that’s an amalgam of both this area and this area, okay? Generally, I would say it’s probably closer to $485 or $490 right now, maybe even $500. Northeast, 97701, average was for $445. And I think that’s about right.

Okay, there you go! Take care.  And I’ll see you on the next one.


Making Offers on Bend Oregon Real Estate and Pricing Metrics




Hi, Thom Gardner again for the Bend Real Estate Minute at which is part of Bend Brokers Realty. So today, I’m going to talk a little bit about making offers on Bend Oregon real estate, and the pricing metrics to make that offer.
Now, we are in the high season, May through October. And because of that, you’re going to see that most houses are selling for at list, close to list, or in some cases, with hot neighborhoods, way over list.
There still are chances for you to get a Bend Oregon home at less than list depending on a few things. And to do so, we use pricing metrics. Those are things such as how many days has that home been on the market.
I’m looking to buy a Bend Oregon home right now myself. I have a couple that I’m looking at that have been on the market an inordinately long time. And because of that, I know I’m going to be able to take them a little bit and rate them over the coals and get the price down. They don’t have a choice at this point because it’s a hot market and they’re not selling.
So, how many days on market has that home been there? That’s the first one to think of when making offers on Bend Oregon real estate.
The second is what neighborhood is it in? Is it a hot neighborhood? Is it a hot home? Are there obvious flaws with the home?
Now, in the case of the Bend Oregon homes I’m talking about for myself, they have obvious flaws. So, the question with those obvious flaws, you have to ask yourself, is “Can I fix these flaws? Or are they structural, fundamental flaws that can never be fixed?” You want to avoid those, of course, because you’re going to have trouble selling that house later yourself.
However, if it’s something you can fix—and the ones I’m looking at can be fixed for a price—you figure out how much under the list price can I come in at so that I can fix those flaws and still get a great deal? So that’s another metric to look at when making offers on Bend Oregon real estate.
Other things I can find out for you from the listing agent. Is there something in this deal for the seller that’s much more important than just the price? That can be something like a seller lease back for a month or two, so that they lease the home from you after you close, and they can move out more easily. Or is there a certain closing date they’re looking for that’s maybe a couple months off in the future? And if you have the flexibility to deal with that, the fact that we’re putting that into an offer may cause them to take a lower price, which works for you.
So, there are several things like that to consider when making offers on Bend Oregon real estate. Other things can be: does it back to a busy road, is it in an area where there’s a mixed look to the neighborhoods—you have some lower cost homes versus higher cost homes—and of course, running a competitive market analysis (which I can, of course, do for you), find out what homes nearby are selling for, how long they’re taking to sell, and how is this home priced versus those homes?
Those are just a few of the pricing metrics to take into consideration when making offers on Bend Oregon real estate. Again, I can help you with that! Thom Gardner with the Bend Real Estate Minute at, part of Bend Brokers Realty. Take care!

Artificial Bend Oregon Home pricing


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SPRING/ SUMMER 2016 – Artificial Bend Oregon Home Pricing Alert

Hello, everybody. Thom Gardner for the Bend Real Estate Minute at which is part of Bend Brokers Realty, and I am going to talk to you today about Bend Oregon Home Pricing.
So, you may have seen my recent video on multiple offers in Bend Oregon- we’re smack dab now in multiple offer season. There’s something else I want to alert you to that’s going on out there that I’ve seen in previous years, but seems to be becoming more standard for Bend Oregon real estate agents who list homes.
I first started seeing it in 2011 or ’12. And now, in the last two years, it’s become a little bit of an epidemic. And that is Bend Oregon Home pricing being set artificially to attract multiple offers.
Some listing agents are under pricing Bend Oregon homes that they know will be hot, so that you think you’re going to be able to get this house for a price within your price range. But what they’re really doing is trolling for multiple offers on the first day.
The multiple offer situation in Bend has gotten stranger this year. It used to be that we would write in a deadline date for them to respond to our offer, and they would do so within that time frame. Now, because the hot homes are so hot and rising in price so quickly in a market where there’s very little inventory, they’re just holding onto the multiple offers, and they’re saying, “You know what? We’re going to look at all the multiple offers, all together, in a week.” Usually, it’s not even that long. Usually, it’s two or three days.
So, let’s say the house goes up on a Friday. The listing agent, when I call—they won’t call me because they’ve got the hot house, I’ve got to do the work on this thing- I’ll call them and they’ll say, “Look, we’re going to look at all the offers on Monday night, and we’re going to pick the best one.”
So, if you see a Bend home that looks too good to be true in your price range—let’s say you’re in the range of $500,000 Bend Oregon home prices. You think, “Gosh! This house looks like those fantastic $650,000 or $600,000 houses I’ve seen,” and you can’t believe it, It’s in the right neighborhood. It’s got the right look, its craftsman. Everything looks new and beautiful. It looks like it’s got a great flow. Maybe I’ve run and done a video on it. It looks amazing. Well, guess what? Well, there are probably 10 other people beating down that door, making an offer on that home. That house that’s listed at $500,000 might go for $550,000, it might go for $575,000, it might go for $600,000. It sounds ridiculous, but it is happening.
And of course, as usual, I’m going to tell you. Your best defense against this is to call me or another pure buyer’s agent if you can find one. Let us get to work on that property, dig in the dirt, finding out what we can from the listing agent, and save you a bunch of headache.
Let me tell you, it’s very deflating when you go through two or three of those in a row, and you have nothing to show for it. Meanwhile, your emotions have been jerked around. Two or three times, you thought you might have a great house, and you have nothing. It’s pretty discouraging.
Okay, again, Thom Gardner, Bend Oregon real estate agent, Principal Broker, and Pure Buyer’s agent for the Bend Real Estate Minute at, part of Bend Brokers Realty, and this has been my rant on artificial Bend Oregon home pricing. Thanks again.

Multiple Offers in Bend Oregon Real Estate 2016


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Multiple Offers in Bend Oregon Real Estate 2016

Hey, Thom Gardner, Bend Oregon real estate agent, Principal Broker, and Pure Buyer’s Agent here again for the Bend Oregon Real Estate Minute So, it is May, middle of May. And as has happened the last several years, that means multiple offers in good old Bend Oregon real estate.
I’ve already been involved in one—actually, two. The first one was a little strange in that we got a second chance after we were beaten on our original offer because the original buyer got buyer’s remorse and pulled out within a day or two.
On the second one, we came in at full price on a $600,000 home, and ended up being beaten by a significant margin.
So, here’s what you need to know about multiple offers. First of all, we need to identify if the home you are looking at is going to be in a hot area of Bend Oregon, or a neighborhood or the home itself is such that it’s going to be subject to  multiple offers.
Now, I can tell you whether that is the case. Generally, these are going to be on the west side, generally in specific neighborhoods, and not ugly ducklings because they tend to last awhile. I can help you identify if that’s the case.
Now, if that is the case, we go to part B which is where you need to have a conversation with yourself and ask yourself “how much more than list am I willing to pay for this house in Bend?” You may only get one chance.
In the old days, we would submit an offer in multiple offers situations and they would come back and say, “Okay, we want your highest and best offer.” However, what I’m finding this year and last is that they are just taking the highest offer because, often, they’re so high that it’s a case of a bird in the hand versus two in the bush, and they want that bird now. So, you’re going to need to decide how high you’re willing to go.
And remember, it’s tough for me as your Bend Oregon real estate agent to advise you to go too high above list because often, I find that buyers, within a week or two, if they’re paying let’s say $525,000 for a house that was listed at $500,000, they have buyer’s remorse, and they think, “Gosh! Did somebody play me? Have I been jerked around on this deal? Should I have bid so high? Did I pay too much for this house?”
I hate seeing buyers in that situation. I hate seeing you have to pay more than list. But you know what? In May, June, July or August in Bend, 2016 especially with such low inventory you may have to for the home that you really desire.  So then we make the offer, we hope for the best, and we move on from there.
Now, remember, the key with multiple offers—and this is tough in a moving market like we have in Bend Oregon real estate where it’s moving so quickly in terms of price as we’re up 10% in two months—is that it has to appraise. So if you’re getting a loan, remember, it’s going to have to appraise at the amount that we go above list on. If it doesn’t, we go back and we start over again.
If you’re paying cash, that’s not a problem. You just need to figure out how much cash you’re willing to let loose with.
Okay! Again, Thom Gardner, Bend Oregon real estate agent, Principal Broker, and pure buyer’s agent for This has been the Bend Real Estate Minute. Take care!

Bend Oregon Mortgage Lenders – Local?




Bend Oregon Mortgage Lenders

Hello everybody and welcome again to the Bend Real Estate Minute. This is Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker at Bend Brokers Realty, which is part of Bend Brokers Realty.
Today, I’m going to talk to you a little bit about Bend Oregon mortgage lenders. Now other than choosing myself, the second most important choice you’re going to make, if you’re getting a loan, is your mortgage lender.
Now, people often ask me, “Should I use somebody in my hometown who I may have used in the past for a purchase as my lender? Or should I look at Bend Oregon mortgage lenders?”
I believe it’s important to use somebody locally because Bend is a very unique market, very unique, especially in terms of seasonality of sales, as our sales go through the roof in spring and summer and die most of the rest of the year. And things like the forest boundary, urban growth boundary, septic tanks, and other area specific things here affect loans, and it’s good to have somebody here who understands that stuff and works with it every day versus somebody maybe online – that’s often the worst choice I’ve found – or someone in your local town who may not be used to some of these issues on a daily basis.
Concerning loans, most deals that fall apart do so right at the very end of the deal. You need a mortgage lender who can move fast. And importantly as well, you need someone who will take your phone call on a weekend or an evening, who will give you their cellphone number. If you use somebody online, that’s not going to happen. If you use a bank, that is not going to happen.
I almost always recommend a mortgage broker over a banker because he or she doesn’t get paid unless you get your loan, unlike a banker who gets paid a salary and he or she’s not going to be so hot on running and chasing down every detail for your loan. It’s going to happen or it doesn’t happen. A mortgage broker needs your sale to go through in order to make money. So I highly recommend you use one instead of a bank.
And if you use a Bend Oregon mortgage lender, which again I highly recommend, and there’s a problem at the very end of your deal, I can get them on the phone, get them running and say, “What is going on here?”, or “We need this fixed immediately”.  Or, conversely, if they have a problem and they need me to chase something down, they can get ahold of me really quickly and say, “Here’s what I need. Do this, do that.”
I’ll give you at least three Bend Oregon mortgage lenders to choose from so that you have a choice in figuring out who works best with you and who will give you the best deal in the end. But again, I highly recommend using somebody locally. When we’ve had deals fall apart due to loans, it’s almost always when someone is using a lender that is not here in town.
Now again, this is Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker,  CONTACT ME if I can be of help!

Making Offers on Bend Oregon Real Estate


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Making offers on Bend Oregon real estate or Bend homes

CONTACT ME HERE if I can be of help!

Hey everybody, Thom Gardner again, principal broker and pure buyer’s broker at which is part of Bend Brokers Realty.
So I’m going to tell you a little bit today about making an offer on Bend Oregon real estate or Bend homes. Again, most of my clients are from places different than Bend, far away. So often, we’re making offers on Bend real estate with them in a remote location and me here on the ground in Bend, making sure everything happens.
Obviously we need the offer itself. First we have to identify Bend Oregon homes or Bend Real Estate you may want to offer on. Then we have to be sure to pick the right Bend Oregon property for you. I have other videos and resources on my site which tell you how I help you do this from afar, including using a Bend Oregon MLS portal, and having me run professional videos for you on the ones that really pique your interest. So, first, we need the offer itself.
The next thing we need is earnest money. I generally recommend 1%. So let’s say you are making offers on Bend Oregon real estate in the $500,000 range. You will write a check for approximately $5000 and away we go. Now, that money stays in my desk for three business days after we get a deal. At the end of that third business day, I have to submit it to escrow and it will be cashed. So it needs to be liquid at that point.
But your money does not go to anybody else, we send ONLY a copy of the check when making offers on Bend Oregon real estate, until we get a deal. And again, then I wait the statutory period of three business days, just to protect you in case for some reason you get cold feet and you want that money back right away. It’s easier to get it back when it hasn’t gone into escrow yet.
Now, the last thing we need is proof of funds if you’re paying cash. This can be a bank statement with the number redacted, something of that sort, or even a copy of your bank statement off of the internet, again with your account numbers redacted.
Or in the case of a loan, we need a pre-qualification letter from a lender. And if you decide to go that route, you just put them in touch with me. I tell them what we need, the address of the property, the price we’re offering. And then we go.  I like to only have the price we are offering on Bend Oregon homes in the letter, so that the other side doesn’t think you have deeper pockets.
It’s a pretty simple process. Those are the three pieces we need- The Offer, The Earnest Money, and The Proof of Funds or a Pre-Qualification Letter.  And then the REAL fun begins!

Again, Thom Gardner, Bend Brokers Realty, and that’s the process of making offers on Bend Oregon real estate or Bend homes. I’m here with the Bend Real Estate Minute for Take care.

Free Bend Oregon Real Estate Services


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Free Bend Oregon Real Estate Services for Home Buyers

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Hello again everybody, this is Thom Gardner with Bend Brokers Realty at I’m a Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker.
Today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about a couple of the Bend Oregon real estate services I offer that really help my out of town clients. And again, that is the vast majority of my clients- 80% to 85%.
So the first thing I like to do for folks is set up a Bend Oregon real estate portal on the MLS system because that will give you a real time look at how quickly homes are selling in your price range, what kind of Bend homes you like, and allow you to save ones that you like for possible future looks or to send me on a video run, which I’ll describe next, so that you can see a little bit more into that property.
Now, the nice thing about having an MLS portal versus having a Trulia or Zillow view is that you get real time updates and changes on the pricing, and on the status of the Bend Oregon real estate if it has gone pending- which you don’t get on the consumer sites. I can’t tell you how often a client contacts me and says “I saw this great house on Zillow, can you check it out?”, only to find out it is a goose chase because the house sold months ago and the listing agent left it on the consumer sites so that he or she could get more phone calls! VERY COMMON. So with a Bend real estate portal, you’re able to really make much more informed and quick decisions in a hot market about what you would like to do and what you like to have me do on this end. So I highly recommend that you ask me to set up an MLS portal.
All I need is the criteria, your minimum square footage, your minimum beds and baths, your price range especially and other things you may have like garage size, lot size, age of home, whatever floats your boat. Let me know and I’ll do my best to integrate it into the search so we don’t waste your time, area of town, et cetera, proximity to the river, trails, shopping, whatever you like. So that’s the first thing.
The second of my free Bend Oregon real estate services that folks use to buy from afar after they have a portal is video. When they find a Bend home that really looks good, they want to see what it really looks like, not what it looks like in some fluffy pictures done by a pro and that may have cropped out the ugly thing next door or focused only on the pretty parts of the house. No, they want a real look and so I go and I do a professional video. Obviously, if you are watching this you know I have a professional camera. I also have a steady cam and some pretty good experience in the field.
And so what I do is I go in and I go through the home from front to back, all around the outside and I show you the neighborhood, the homes on either side and across the street, proximity to traffic, noise, et cetera. That way, you get to see what they don’t want you to see in that listing and you are able to make a much more informed decision. I speak throughout, and bring a very critical eye to the Bend real estate properties that I film for clients. I’ve had people buy from overseas just strictly based on those videos, as well as from here in the States. Clients tend to love them, share them with their friends, and I’m told they are very entertaining! Bonus!
But most often, my Bend Oregon real estate clients use them as a reason to fly out or drive here rather than just doing so for something that looks good on the computer when it may be terrible in person. You get to see a real, critically focused video, not the “moving pictures” stuff that they like to show you on the listings. And in that way, you can make an informed decision on whether you want to spend the money and time to come here and look at it yourself.
Okay, there you go, a couple of valuable, but free, Bend Oregon real estate services I offer to buyers from afar. Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker And again, this has been the Bend Real Estate Minute. Thank you!

Bend Oregon Real Estate Contingency Periods


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Bend Oregon real estate contingency periods

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Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of the Bend Real Estate Minute at I am Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker at Bend Brokers Realty.
So today, I’m going to talk a little bit about the standard Bend Oregon real estate contingency periods when making an offer. Most of you probably live in different states and may have different contingency periods where you live. So here we go. I call these the basic 5/5/10 and the infinite one.
All of these Bend Oregon real estate contingency periods start the day after we get the material in question- the morning after on the next business day. Let’s say we get your disclosures on the 5th. The contingency period is going to start the morning of the 6th if it’s a business day.
The first two are five business days. First we have the Preliminary Title Report, and Codes, Covenants and Restrictions, which are the rules for your neighborhood. As I said, this period runs five days. The next one is the Disclosures, which are on a four-page form that the seller has to fill out about everything they know that is wrong, or not wrong with their home, all of the systems, et cetera. That is also five business days.
Now, the biggest of the Bend real estate contingency periods and the most important one that people generally tend to pull out on, if they’re going to pull out of a real estate deal is the Inspection contingency. This one is 10 business days. Now, that starts the day after– again that’s a business day – we get a deal on a home.
So in that 10 business days, we have to 1) obtain an inspector and get them to inspect the home, 2) get the report back, which usually takes 12 to 24 hours and, 3) this is important, we have to negotiate all repairs on the home based on those findings in the inspection report during that 10 business days. So that’s the one that can be a bugaboo. If we don’t hear back from a Bend seller in that 10 business days, we can ask to extend that period. If they don’t, then we either pull out or we decide to go ahead and trust them, which is never generally a good policy.
Now, the infinite one is the loan. If you’re getting a Bend Oregon real estate loan, and a little over half of my clients are cash these days, but if you get a mortgage, you have to be able to obtain your loan, and that runs right up to closing. If you’re denied your loan at closing, and believe me, this does occasionally happen, you’re generally still going to get your earnest money back.
And most importantly as well, even if you are paying cash, the Bend Oregon real estate has to appraise. If the home does not appraise for the value in the deal, the whole thing starts over again and you can pull out or renegotiate with the seller if they will do so.
Now lastly, we can write in contingencies for anything you want, a contingency on your home selling where you live now or a contingency on the Yankees winning the World Series. I mean you can literally write anything you want. Of course, the key is that the seller has to accept!
There you go, there are your main Bend Oregon real estate contingency periods. Again, this is Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker at Bend Brokers Realty. This has been the Bend Real Estate Minute. Take care.

Bend Oregon Real Estate Statistics 2015 in Review


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Bend Oregon real estate statistics 2015 year in review

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Hi and welcome again to another edition of the Bend Real Estate Minute at I am Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker at Bend Brokers Realty.

So today, I’m going to do something a little bit different and give you an update on the year over year changes in Bend Oregon real estate statistics. I took the statistics for October through December of 2014 and 2015, and added them up and divided them and got an average figure for those three months, because generally our market is so small that one month isn’t going to tell you a whole lot, you need three months to make a trend. So that’s how I usually like to do it.

Here’s what we have. Bend Oregon real estate list prices: in 2014, the average was $507,000 during that period. And in 2015, it was $557,000. So we have an increase of 9% year over year. Now Bend Oregon real estate sales prices: the average in 2014 was $379,000. In 2015, it was $408,000. So you’re looking at a 7.1% increase year over year.

Last year, after such outsized gains the previous three years of 15% to 20% in Bend, I called for about 5- 10% and I’m feeling pretty good about where we ended up, right in the middle. That’s a healthy market. That’s not a pie in the sky, jumping through the roof market that you don’t want to see as a buyer. This is a healthy, sustainable real estate market right now.

Now we’ll look at price per foot for Bend Oregon real estate. In 2014, that three month average was $172 a foot. In 2015, it was $187 a foot. So we’re looking at an increase of 8.2%.

And now “days on market”, which tells you how fast things are selling and whether those other two numbers really hold water in terms of actual speed of sale in the Bend Oregon real estate market, which also in essence reflects the number of people looking at the homes. In 2014, we had 114 days to sell Bend Oregon homes and in 2015, we had 110. So they’re selling about three and a half percent faster in this period in 2015. Now, the skewed part of that number is we’re looking at the slowest part of the year. If we were looking at let’s say June through August, it would be probably half of that, maybe even less, maybe in the 40s or 50s of days to sell a Bend home.

I post Bend Oregon real estate statistics monthly on the site anywhere from the 12th to the 15thof the month for the previous month, depending on how quickly the MLS gets them to me. So please check back at or on my Facebook page (Thom Gardner-Bend Home Buyers Agency) for instant access to those statistics each month. I can also create custom Bend Oregon real estate statistics for you based on a very tight set of criteria that focuses on exactly what you are looking for.

Again, Thom Gardner, Principal Broker and Pure Buyer’s Broker at Bend Brokers Realty and this has been the Bend Real Estate Minute at Please email me at if I can help in any way. Thanks again!