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 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!

Bend Real Estate in Review- 2014

A look back at the 30% appreciation insanity of Bend real estate 2013, and a heartfelt wish for a nice, easy, happy 15% year in 2014
There is a day on my Bend real estate specific calendar I circle each year. January 15th. Each year I wonder, will this year be the same in my mercurial business? Will there be a deluge of new clients, requests, queries as of this date, like there was last year?

This year the answer is once again, yes. And so, since I was so ridiculously busy last year to the point of no longer taking new clients as of October, I thought it wise to write a new blog, as it may be a while before I can do so again (witness, last year’s blog activity!).

2013 was . . . crazy. After a couple of very healthy years (2011 and 2012) that saw Bend real estate prices climb way up from the bottom, we were hit with the “big turn”, when people all over the rest of the Country were finally able to sell their own homes and make the move to Bend. Prices rose ridiculously from January through July, when, thank goodness, they reached a point of stability which they have mostly held since. When this ramp flattened out we found prices about 30% higher than they were a year before. Whew!

I too was caught up in this fury, as I had to sell my last Bend home due to divorce, made a tidy 50% profit in 2 years, and bought again very close by in an adjacent neighborhood filled with ponderosas, rolling streets, and large, private lots. I made several offers, was beaten out by higher offers several times, until I happened upon a home in the neighborhood I wanted, and I bought it the first day on the market at full price, so the seller could not possibly wiggle out and take a better offer! It was nuts, and gave me real insight into the emotional roller coaster my clients were experiencing in the Bend real estate market.

If I could have, I would have waited until later in the year, when things did level out, Bend homes could be bought without a fight, and there were more of them to be had. This is where we find ourselves now, for the moment. I have always counseled my clients to buy OUTSIDE of the main buying season of March through October IF they could, and especially outside the May through August period if possible, the silly season. But sometimes, as with my situation, the stars align in only one way and you have to do what you have to do.

I do not expect 2014 to be quite as bad. Dear God, I hope it is not. We are already up to an average sales price of about $360k, not all that far from the peak we reached in 2006 of $435k. At that time, many families and young people were totally shut out of our market. I do not wish to see that happen again. I have already seen many more requests for Redmond showings from buyers around $200-$250k, as they can get more there and there is very little in Bend real estate at $200,000. This gives me a bit of deja vu, as that is what happened in 2004-2005. Then, as Redmond got too high, Prineville and LaPine were the next to rotate up, and that is when the crash hit- those two places are still far from recovered.

What I do truly expect, after the 30% run up last year, is half that, about 15%. In the 90’s and early 2000’s, 15% was about what we got each year, and while that may seem high in most cities, for our area that is “normal”. I think we can look forward to several years of 10-15% property appreciation gains in Bend. Redmond has started to rise quickly. And, there are a couple of corners of the Bend area real estate market, especially the area near Sunriver called “There Rivers South”, and some rural areas, which are just starting to rise and represent good opportunities.

Good things to note- yes, prices have been flat since July. Inventory is, though just slightly, up from the low levels we went into 2013 with. Price per foot has held steady levels since July as well. And many, many homes continue to be built here as they were last year, though they are often sold well before completion. Rates are a little higher and should go higher later in 2014. The rental market has gone bananas as many people can not afford to buy and are renting instead. These are the “release valves” for the Bend real estate pressure cooker we have been living in.

There are caveats, of course. Rising rates have really not even begun to start rising. I do expect we will see rates between 5 and 6% by the end of the year, still historically very low. And the biggest wild card I see is the selling situation across the Country. How many folks will decide THIS is the year to move out of the big city and raise their kids in a nicer place, since they can NOW sell their own home and get good value here? I am nervous, based on last year, that this number is higher than I anticipate. My buyers who have bought recently from places like Tennessee, Florida, California, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, D.C., and so on all tell me that when they tell people back home that they are moving to Bend, they are surprised their former neighbors already know about us and say things like “oh yeah? I have wondered about Bend, let me know how it is!”.

People know about Bend now, even East of the Rockies where we were a total unknown until a few years ago. That scares me a bit, and as the demographics of my clientele has gone from Pacific Coasters in 2007 to “everybody from everywhere” in 2014, especially from East of the Mississippi, I wonder if I have that 15% wrong, and that we are about to get hit with yet another tidal wave that pushes us inexorable up to the lofty price levels of places like Tahoe and Aspen over the next ten years. Make no mistake, our recreational opportunities (much more vast and varied than either of those), clean air, a moderate climate, a new four year college, and abundant water, lack of private property in a County 97% owned by the government, not to mention larger city amenities, will eventually push us there. Those places were unknown and relatively cheap once too, but once the jet set and the World became aware, as they have here . . .

But I hope it’s 20 years, and not 10. Let’s have a nice, smooth, easy 15% year, shall we?

Crisis & Bailout

Was that noise I heard in September people buying houses or just the thud of the !CRISIS!, and where the hell is that bottom anyway?

Did you take a look at those September statistics on my stats page? Huh, Didja? Because, if you did, you’d see that we were up for September! Yes, you heard me right. We were up! As in, more sales than August! Shock of shocks, it’s true. And let me tell you, I saw it from the ground. The first three weeks of September I was deluged, and quite happily so, with buyers who came out of nowhere. In fact, I had been predicting that people would hit September and say to themselves, “It’s the Fall. That’s supposed to be the bottom! Let’s check it out!” And that they did.

So, is this the bottom? Is this the end? Is it up, up and away from here? Did you notice how I mentioned “three weeks”, as in a finite sense? Well, there’s a good reason for that. You see, the new buyers stopped coming right about the time the good old news media found a new way to hit us all below the belt . . .

!CRISIS! Yeah, you heard me, I said !CRISIS!. And that’s the way I will spell it from now on, and if you see me in person I will put my hands to the side of my face and give you the pained shriek look from the painting “The Scream”, because I have discovered you can’t discuss the !CRISIS! without panic and hysteria. It’s like eating jelly without peanut butter, you can do it, but you won’t get the full effect.

And so, dear reader, I tell you that buyers were stopped in their tracks by the !CRISIS!, and not just by an over zealous news media, but by the very same banks that caused much of this in the first place with their bogus loans and lack of income verification, and even flat out income reporting fraud, who found that they no longer had enough money to lend. Loans dried up very quickly, and perhaps the scariest sign of all was that our incessantly lazy and self centered President got out of his easy chair for a few hours and actually tried to DO something! God, that scared the bejeezus outta me! I mean, if he’ll sit through Katrina, and snoozed halfway through an attack on our Country’s soil, when he gets up it must be awfully serious!

Our recovery was killed right as it got started. And I don’t blame the buyers, I’d have sat out a bit and watched the skies for a few months myself. That’s just being prudent. But, there is good news. The !BAILOUT!, derided across the Union by folks who don’t like seeing sharks in suits steal our cash, is actually starting to work. The money it provided is starting to slither its way through the dark underbelly of the reptilian banking sector. How can you tell? A 24 hour viewer of CNBC like myself can tell you that LIBOR is coming down. LIBOR reflects the risk of lending capital between banks- a high LIBOR means that it is hardly worth loaning money, as you will pay too much to whomever you have to borrow it from to re-lend it, whereas a low LIBOR means that all is clear, and that banks are able to profit from loans again. That is merely a layman’s description- hit CNBC for more on that one.

But banks are beginning to lend again, and we can look forward, I believe, to a Springtime where people feel happy to have a smart President once again, where spirits are lifted by the site of children playing in the White House once more, and yes, where banks can lend money with a portion of the freedom they once did. We are not going back to easy loans, thank goodness, but we are going back to responsible loans that will be freely available to folks with a traditionally high beacon score of 720 or more, rather than the 800 or so needed now. And we should be going back to 90% loans, maybe even 95%, though probably not 100%.

I believe we are at the beginning of the bottom, and we will continue to build that bottom over the Winter. Spring should be better in many senses of the word, and I continue to feel that we will have a real “Morning in America” happen with the change of the presidency. Positivity will be in the air, a new day will be dawning, and if ever there was a promising time for housing to stabilize, that would be it. Signs point that direction- Buyers coming out, Loans becoming more available, finally getting this god awful election season behind us, and a new family in the White House- a young family with smiles and energy that will lift all of our spirits. I doubt we will see prices shoot up any time soon, but as we are down a good 40% or so in real market value terms, we should see some leveling off in 2009 -the year I originally said this would end, way back in Fall 2006.

Of course, I could be wrong.