Bend Real Estate Blog

We provide you with the latest Bend Oregon Real Estate updates as well as general information on Bend and other real estate in Central Oregon.

Feb. 5, 2019

Mold in Bend Homes Possible

The Biology of Fungi

Mold and Fungi can be found in Bend Oregon homes.  It can be found almost everywhere, both indoors and out, molds and fungi are simple organisms. Micro fungi are only visible through a microscope. Plaster and wood-rotting fungi are known as macro fungi because they produce sporing bodies that are visible to the naked eye. Molds and mildews are names given to thousands of species of filamentous fungi.

Molds have clusters of spores that are located on the end of tiny stalks. Spores are the reproductive products of the mature mold. The web-like body called mycelium attaches to porous surfaces. Mycelia and spores may contain chemical compounds, some of which can be poisonous and toxic to humans, and they can create a large range of health problems, depending on the exposure and tolerance of the individual. Spores pose a larger health concern because they become airborne and can be inhaled.

Most molds and fungi do not cause humans any health problems. Found on plants, foods, dry leaves, and other organic material, molds perform a valuable function by assisting in breaking down dead material. Mold spores are very tiny and lightweight, allowing them to travel freely through the air. Other types of mold colonize as a network of filaments by attaching themselves to host material.

Causes of Indoor Mold

Molds that have a food source and adequate moisture will grow in an indoor environmenteven in arid climates. Evidence of mold can be seen in the form of discoloration ranging from white-to-orange and from green-to-brown-to-black growing on various materials found inside and outside the house.

graphics3Mold needs food and moisture sources to grow. The most common indoor food sources for molds are:

  • Wood

  • Paper

  • Surface coatings, such as paint

  • Soft furnishings, such as furniture, carpet, draperies

  • Soil in potted plants

  • Dust

  • Shed skin scales

  • Cooked and raw foods

In order to grow and survive, all molds require moistureHydrophilic types of fungi need conditions close to saturation, or at least very damp conditions. The Xerophilic types of fungi will grow in drier conditions, requiring only minimal moisture. The most common indoor sources of moisture for molds to grow are:

  • Damp basements

  • Damp crawlspaces (usually due to inadequate moisture barriers)

  • Improperly installed or maintained rain drain systems

  • Flooding

  • Backed-up sewers

  • Failed sump pumps

  • Leaky roofs

  • Humidifiers

  • Mud or ice dams

  • Constant plumbing leaks

  • House plants (if watered too frequently)

  • Cooking steam

  • Shower/bath steam and leaks

  • Indoor clothes drying lines

  • Clothes dryers that are improperly vented

    Molds and Human Health

    As noted earlier, molds and fungi are found everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. Much of the mold found indoors comes from outdoor sources. Therefore, everyone is exposed to some mold on a daily basis, usually without ill health effects.

    Methods of Exposure

    Ill health effects from fungi usually depend on the dose and duration of exposure to the mold source. The methods of exposure are inhalation, exposure to skin, and ingestion.

    • Inhalation - Since mold spores can be airborne, exposure can occur through the lungs. Mold spores get into a house through windows, doors, cracks, and crevices. They also can be carried into a house from the outdoors on shoes and clothing, or on numerous other objects that may be brought home.

    • Skin - Some humans experience skin irritation if their skin touches a moldy surface, noted by localized redness or swelling.

    • Ingestion - A number of toxic fungal species can be found on spoiled food and agricultural products. These toxins can cause serious food poisoning. In some cases, severe liver damage or death can result.

    Health Problems

    graphics9Depending on the method, dose, and duration of exposure to fungi and mycotoxins, a number of health problems can arise or aggravate existing health conditions. These health problems may generally be grouped as follows:

    • Infections: May be either localized internal or external infections. These infections are treated with drugs that target the specific area of the body where the infection resides. Often, external infections will lead to an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions that become scaly, crusted, or hardened.

    • Respiratory Problems: Includes difficulties in breathing, a dry hacking cough, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Existing conditions, such as those relating to hay fever and asthma, can be severely aggravated by fungi exposure. Exposure can also lead to hypersensitivity pneumonitis, which is a form of lung disease characterized by inflammation of the lung tissue.

    • Nasal Passage Problems: Includes nasal and sinus congestion and nose and throat irritation. In some cases, nosebleeds may occur.

    • Eye Problems: Watery, burning, or reddened eyes. In some cases, vision may become blurred and the eyes become extremely light sensitive.

    • Central Nervous System Problems: Memory and verbal problems, vertigo, dizziness, depression, malaise, mood changes or constant headaches.

    • Fever

    • Possible Death - In some extreme cases of exposure to extremely toxic fungi and mycotoxins, death can result. Death, however, is usually due to the toxin attacking a vital organ such as the liver or heart.

    Persons Affected

    Although exposure to mold inside of a building is not healthy for anyone, certain groups of people are at a higher risk for ill health effects. The groups of people at higher risk are:

    • the elderly

    • children and infants

    • Persons with immune compromised systems such as people with HIV, liver diseases, organ transplants, those undergoing chemotherapy, etc.

    • Pregnant women

    • People with existing respiratory problems such as asthma, allergies, and multiple chemical sensitivity

Posted in Bend Oregon, fungi, homes, mold
Feb. 4, 2019

Real Estate Law

The Sherman Antitrust Act, passed by the United States Congress in 1890, authorized the federal government to institute proceedings against trusts in order to dissolve them. Congress passed the act because of concerns about putting too much economic power in the hands of a few large businesses. The act was based on the constitutional power of Congress to regulate interstate commerce. Under its constitutional authority, the act effectively declared illegal every contract, combination (in the form of a trust or otherwise), or any conspiracy in restraint of interstate or foreign trade. A fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for one year were set as the maximum penalties for violating the act.

Today, a criminal violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act is a felony punishable by imprisonment for up to ten years and fines not to exceed $1,000,000 for individuals and $100,000,000 for corporations. Damages awarded to plaintiffs in civil actions are automatically tripled.

graphics2Initially, enforcement of the act was prevented due to adverse Supreme Court rulings. However, because of President Theodore Roosevelt's "trust busting" campaigns, it began to be invoked with some success. In 1904, the Supreme Court upheld the government in its suit for dissolution of the Northern Securities Company. The act was also used in 1911 by President Taft against the Standard Oil Trust and the American Tobacco Company.

During the era of the Wilson administration, the Clayton Antitrust Act (1914) was enacted to supplement the Sherman Antitrust Act. The Federal Trade Commission was also established in 1914. During the 1920s, antitrust actions declined sharply. Antitrust actions were vigorously resumed during President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's administration. Since that time, there have been periods of relatively little antitrust action on the part of the federal government and periods of rather active pursuit of antitrust activity.

The basis for antitrust actions against the real estate industry is primarily based upon Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act which provides, "Every contract, combination in the form of trust or otherwise, or conspiracy, in restraint of trade or commerce among several states, or with foreign nations, is declared to be illegal." The statutory term "conspiracy" means that two or more separate business entities participate in a common scheme or plan that restrains trade.

In 1950, the United States Supreme Court in the case of The United States v. National Association of Real Estate Boards (NAREB) held that the concept of "trade", as applied in the Sherman Antitrust Act, included real estate brokerages. It also determined that any fee schedules promoted and enforced through a real estate board via disciplinary proceedings violated Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.

graphics4Outside of the 1950 decision noted above, until 1980, the real estate profession had little contact with the federal Sherman Antitrust Act. However, the 1980 decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court, McLain v. New Orleans Real Estate Board, made it clear that the actions of real estate professionals and the professional organizations to which they belong are subject to the prohibitions and requirements of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The court specifically held that a conspiracy to fix real estate commissions could have an effect upon interstate commerce because the transaction that results from successful marketing efforts often involves the use of out-of-state mortgage lenders or insurers. The result of artificially inflated real estate brokerage fees raises the total cost of closing. This real estate transaction, in turn, affects interstate commerce in mortgage lending and insurance. Although a real estate transaction tends to be local in nature, it can have an effect on interstate commerce and is subject to antitrust action.

The literal language of the Sherman Antitrust Act would seem to prohibit every contract, combination, and conspiracy in restraint of trade. Early Supreme Court decisions seemed to agree with a literal reading of the statute. In the 1911 case of United States v. Standard Oil Corporation, the court created a new standard that is known as the "rule of reason." This standard prohibits those concerted actions that cause an "unreasonable restraint of trade." Nevertheless, the courts have subsequently held that certain conduct is so anti-competitive that it is not to be judged by the rule of reason standard, but is to be deemed illegal "per se." If a particular practice is found to be within the "per se" category, the antitrust laws do not allow any evidence, justification, or excuse to be presented in defense of the violation. It is simply enough to find a violation of the act if an individual or business entity is found to have participated in the conspiracy.

In the real estate brokerage business, most civil and criminal litigation has centered around three challenged practices, which if successfully proven, constitute per se violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The three challenged areas of practice are price fixinggroup boycotts, and tying arrangements.


 

Posted in Law, Real estate
Jan. 28, 2019

Popular Real Estate in Bend

Mountain view homes, riverfront homes and golf course homes are some of the most sought after real estate in Bend Oregon.  MOUNTAIN VIEW HOMES have spectacular view of the Cascade mountain range west of town.  RIVERFRONT HOMES are on the Deschutes river which is know for it's spectacular trout fishing.  GOLF COURSE HOMES naturally front of the many golf courses in and around Bend.  Whether you are looking for mountains, river or golf course call Matt or Jim today!

Jan. 24, 2019

Rental Income Tax Regulations

The Following is an important tax statement as published by the National Association of Realtors and applies to Bend Oregon real estate.

IRS Provides Clear Test on How 20% Deduction Applies to Rental Income, Exchanges

The Internal Revenue Service has issued final rules on the 20 percent business income deduction (Sec. 199A of the Tax Code) that was enacted in late 2017 as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Among other things, the rules confirm that the deduction applies to your business income, as a real estate agent or broker, if you operate as a sole proprietor or owner of a partnership, S corporation, or limited liability company. It applies even if your income exceeds a threshold set in the law of $157,500 for single filers and $315,000 for joint filers. 

In addition, the rules provide guidance that NAR has been seeking on two other provisions of importance to you: 1) whether any real estate rental income you have is eligible for the deduction, and 2) how the deduction applies to properties you've exchanged under Sec. 1031 of the tax code. 

Eligibility of rental income 
If you generate rental property income, that income can also qualify for the new deduction, as long as you can show that your rental operation is part of a trade or business. The IRS has released proposed guidelines that include a bright-line test, or safe harbor, for showing that your rental income rises to the level of a trade or business. Under that safe harbor, you can claim the deduction if your rental activities—which include maintaining and repairing property, collecting rent, paying expenses, and conducting other typical landlord activities—total at least 250 hours a year. If your activity totals less than that, you can still try to take the deduction, but you'll have to be prepared to show the IRS that your activity is part of a trade or business. 

Eligibility of 1031 like-kind exchanges
Under earlier proposed regulations, if your income was above threshold levels set in the tax law—$157,500 for single filers, $315,000, for joint filers—and you had exchanged one property for another to defer taxes under Sec. 1031 of the tax code, the amount of the new deduction might be reduced because of the swap. NAR and other trade groups reached out to the IRS to change this treatment, and the IRS has made that change. Under the final rules, you can use the unadjusted basis of the depreciable portion of the property to claim at least a partial deduction. 

"The final rules are the result of several months of advocacy and collaboration between NAR, our members, and the administration," says NAR President John Smaby. "They reflect many changes that NAR sought to ensure the new 20 percent deduction applies as broadly as possible."

Jan. 23, 2019

Reverse Mortgages

Reverse mortgages in Bend Oregon according to HUD:  "Reverse mortgages are increasing in popularity with seniors who have equity in their homes and want to supplement their income. The only reverse mortgage insured by the U.S. Federal Government is called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), and is only available through an FHA-approved lender. If you are a homeowner age 62 or older and have paid off your mortgage or paid down a considerable amount, and are currently living in the home, you may participate in FHA's HECM program. The HECM is FHA's reverse mortgage program that enables you to withdraw a portion of your home's equity. The amount that will be available for withdrawal varies by borrower and depends on:

If there is more than one borrower and no eligible non-borrowing spouse, the age of the youngest borrower is used to determine the amount you can borrow.

You can also use a HECM to purchase a primary residence if you are able to use cash on hand to pay the difference between the HECM proceeds and the sales price plus closing costs for the property you are purchasing. To learn more about FHA's HECM program:

Posted in Reverse mortgages
Jan. 19, 2019

Winter Time in Bend Oregon

Winter in Bend is a special time!  Even though it is cold compared to some of the southern states Bend gets lot of sun shine.  It has been claimed that we get 300 days of sunshine.  As we locals know that is not true.  Maybe that myth came from the similar statement that the sun can be seen, even if just briefly, 300 days or more a year.  There are many days in our neighborhood where the sun can be seen briefly in he morning and the rest of the day will be cloudy.

One of our major attractions in the winter is Mt. Bachelor.  Mt. Bachelor is located within the Deschutes National Forest.  in the Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon.  Only 22 miles outside of Bend along Century Dr.  Skiing and snowboarding are very popular on Bachelor which is know for it powder.  Better known by some of the more hip boarders as Pow.

We also have lots of good hiking in the lower elevations.  Smith Rock in Terrebonne is very popular this time of year as is rock  climbing.  Downtown Bend is very popular for its shopping and restaurants as is the old Mill District.

Of course our home with a mountain view are spectacular this time of year in the early morning with fresh snow and the pink color of the sunrise reflecting on the mountains.  Come to Bend and enjoy the winter.  Mountain view homes in Bend.

 

Jan. 15, 2019

Bend Oregon Real Estate Experts

Bend Oregon Real Estate Experts

Jim and Matt Johnson have been working as a father and son real estate team for over 16 years! Jim is now in semi-retirement and spending the winter in Arizona with his wife Connie. Matt works full time and takes care of Jim's clients while he is out of town. The Bend real estate market is still in full gear with listings selling fairly rapidly. Call Jim or Matt today for all of your real estate needs.

Oct. 28, 2017

Bend Oregon Home Prices Back to Normal

Home Prices in Bend Are Rising

Now that the great recession is behind us and the real estate bubble is in the past the prices of homes in Bend have reached their highs of 2006.  But now our rate of appreciation is much less than it was back then.  We are seeing increases of less than 10% as a general rule.

Awbrey Butte Home

 

Bend is a great place to raise a family or retire.  We have great fishing, golfing, good schools and great shopping.  Feel free to sign up for a free account to search for all properties for sale in Bend.  HOME SEARCH

 

July 7, 2017

Bend Oregon Pickleball

People across the nation are looking to retire in Central Oregon and Bend.  Besides the great weather, scenic beauty, many hiking trails, fishing, downtown Bend, The Old Mill District, shopping and now Pickleball has hit Oregon with a vengeance. 

We now feature 16 professional courts open to the public thru Park and Rec and the Bend Pickleball Club.  Pickleball is a great sport for young and old.  Retired residents like it because you don't have to move a lot or run.  It's good exercise but not too strenuous.  

For more information go to Bend Pickleball Club.

July 2, 2017

Bend Real Estate Shortage

The price of Bend homes is back to where it was before the great recession and there are fewer homes on the market. The median priced home in Bend is now $379,900 and rising.  However prices are not rising at the unsustainable rate of the pre recession prices. 

Even though prices are rising and inventory is a little short now is a good time to buy a home in Central Oregon.  There' a high demand for homes in Bend as it is one of the nicest places to live in the United States.  It sits at the foot of the Cascades mountains to the west and the high desert to the east.  Residents can be in the mountains in 30 minutes or in the high desert in 30 minutes.

Bend's population would be much higher if there were more jobs.  Affordable housing is one problem that's occurring. However, the state finally improved an expansion of our urban growth boundary allowing for more apartments and less expensive homes to be built.   

Downtown Bend and the Old Mill District are some of the main attractions to newcomers.