Tag Archive for: Bend Oregon real estate buyer’s agent

How to Buy Bend Oregon Vacation Rentals


Subscribe to my Podcast by Clicking Here


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 BendBrokersRealty.com, call me at 541-480-7554, or email me at Thom—that’s T-H-O-M—@BendBrokersRealty.com.  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, BendBrokersRealty.com, 541-480-7554 or 1-800-GO4BEND or Thom—T-H-O-M—@BendBrokersRealty.com.

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.



Subscribe to my podcast by clicking here


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 Thom@BendBrokersRealty.com.

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 Thom@BendBrokersRealty.com.

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.