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.

April 3, 2021

Bend Oregon Real Estate Coach

It's official.  Jim has released his real estate license and will no longer be listing or selling homes.  He will now focus his business on coaching real estate brokers in their effort to make a successful real estate business.  Jim had been selling homes for over 40 years.

March 2, 2021

Where to retire in Bend

Tips for Retiring in Bend, Ore

This active mountain town is one of the best cities to retire in 2021

Nestled between the High Desert and the Cascade Mountains, Bend is one of the most popular destinations for active retirees, and for good reason. The area's recreational opportunities are abundant, the climate is mild, the town is vibrant and the cost of living is relatively low. 

Over the past decade, Bend's population has grown by almost 50 percent with close to 100,000 people now calling the city home. Even as the population has expanded, the city has managed to retain much of its mountain town charm. Abundant parks and natural areas, walking trails and a historic downtown that dates back to Bend's days as a booming mill town are just some of the amenities that draw new residents and tourists from around the country. 

An Active Community  

Bend is the outdoor recreation capital of Oregon, with snow-capped peaks dominating the skyline. Bend is one of few places that visitors can literally ski in the morning and golf in the afternoon.

You'll find world-class hiking, biking, and fly fishing. Skiers will delight in downhill skiing at nearby Mt. Bachelor, one of the largest and most accessible ski areas on the West Coast. There's also cross country skiing and hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails in the nearby Deschutes National Forest.  

Bend also has golf courses for everyone. Central Oregon's spectacular high-desert landscape and ideal climate, four-star resorts, public, semi-private and private courses have been rated 23rd in the world as a golf destination by Golf Digest. Choose from more than 25 unique courses, some easygoing to championship layouts like Sunriver’s Crosswater course, designed to challenge even the lowest handicappers.

A Climate Suited for Play

Bend has the highest average number of sunny days in the state. Clear days average 158 days per year with an additional 105 days that are mostly sunny. Many of the remaining days provide substantial sunshine. Days that are totally cloudy do not often occur.

Moderate days and cool nights characterize Bend's year-round climate. Because of the high altitude and clear air, nighttime temperatures average 30° to 40° below the daytime highs. Evenings are generally cool, even in the summer, requiring sweaters or jackets. Annual temperature extremes show that only one year out of five has a temperature colder than –17° or warmer than 100°. Frost can occur during any summer month.

The average annual precipitation in Bend is less than 12 inches, over half falls between November and February, often as snow. Brief thunderstorms usually provide most of the light summer rain.

The average annual snowfall is 33.8 inches. Snow rarely accumulates to more than a few inches in depth nor lies on the ground for an extended period. Snow depth in Bend exceeds 24 inches in only one winter out of twenty. At Mt. Bachelor, the ski resort 22 miles southwest of Bend, snow normally reaches depths of 160 to 180 inches.

World-Class Medicine

St. Charles Medical Center is located in Bend and is the regional referral center for more than 230,000 people in a 32,000-square-mile area of central and eastern Oregon. With more than 240 physicians on its medical staff, representing 40 specialties and sub-specialties, and more than 1,950 caregivers, it provides many services usually found only in larger urban areas. These include open heart and neurosurgery, comprehensive cancer care, inpatient rehabilitation for stroke and major injury, sophisticated imaging technologies and more.

St. Charles is Oregon's only level 2 trauma center east of the Cascade Mountains and has the region’s only Level 3 neonatal intensive care unit. 

St. Charles and the many other medical facilities in Bend provide state-of-the-art health care for the retired person. Many of the nation's top Physicians and Surgeons live in Bend because of the lifestyle found in Central Oregon.

A Good Investment 

Home Prices in Bend remain relatively affordable compared to some parts of the West Coast. Buyers coming from markets like Seattle and San Francisco often find that their money goes much farther here that in those competitive urban markets. For example in 2020, the price per square foot in Bend was about half of the price of some of Seattle's more popular neighborhoods and less than a third of the price of the San Francisco market. 

The median home price is around $600,000. Though most buyers can find a home for appreciable less. However, the market is very competitive and buyers should be prepared with financing or cash offers, if possible. Be prepared to offer more than the asking price and to encounter other motivated buyers. The good news is that an experienced real estate agent can help with this process, helping motivated buyers find value in a competitive marketplace. 

Matt has lived in Bend since 1981 and knows all the good golf courses, neighborhoods and fishing holes. Call or text Matt today at 541-480-2153.  Expert Advice

 

 

 

Feb. 25, 2021

Top Reasons to Relocate to Bend

Nestled between the edge of the Cascade Mountains and the high desert of eastern Oregon, Bend’s is the largest city in Central Oregon, with a booming tech and recreation-based economy. Its proximity to world-class skiing, mountain biking, fly fishing, trail running and so much more has made it a hotbed destination for active retirees as well as a younger generation of entrepreneurs and remote workers seeking a respite from big city life. Add in top quality health care, world-class dining, live music and easy access to air transportation and you can see why Bend, Oregon is one of America’s most sought-after destinations. 

1. World-Class Health Care 

It turns out that doctors like mountains and trails as much or more than the rest of us. That’s probably the reason that so many top physicians have chosen to set up shop in Bend. From family practice doctors to thoracic and orthopedic surgeons, Central Oregon is teeming with health care providers who specialize in treating illnesses and the injuries that come with a lifestyle heavy on recreation. (We dare you to find a city that has more physical therapists capable of getting you back in the saddle). Bend is home to St Charles Health System, the region’s largest hospital and health care provider, serving all of central and most of eastern Oregon. 

 

2. Property Taxes 

While it’s true that can’t avoid death or taxes, Oregon is a property tax limited state by law. That means politicians can’t arbitrarily raise taxes to keep up with inflated spending. It also means that even if your home appreciates by 10 percent year over year, you won’t have to pay a 10 percent increase in your property taxes. And while Bend has seen some of the strongest appreciation in home values of anywhere in the state, or country for that matter, residents here enjoy one of the lowest city property tax rates in the Northwest, with much of the major public infrastructure spending covered by taxpayer bonds and fees on new homes and commercial construction. 

 

 

3. Outdoor Recreation 

Most mountain towns would be happy to have a Top 10 ski resort just minutes away, or a blue-ribbon fly fishing river in downtown. Of course they might trade that for a world-class system of mountain biking and running trails or a couple of top 100 golf courses. Not Bend. We have them all -- and more. Whether you’re seeking powder turns at Mt. Bachelor on a bluebird spring day or just walk along a dancing creek with your dog, Bend is your year-round outdoor playground. The only problem is deciding what to do when you have so many great options. 

Mt Bachelor Summit

 Weather and Climate 

Central Oregon is one of those rare places that experience all four seasons in a year without enduring any of them in the extreme. Spring is mild but dry enough that most folks in Bend can’t even find an umbrella in their home. Summer is the sweetest of seasons with roughly 100 days of sunshine packed between June and September. The low humidity makes even the warmest of days tolerable and the convergence of mountain and desert climates means the nights are crisp enough to warrant a light jacket even in July. Fall is the secret season. Cooler days, plenty of sunshine and the end of the bustling summer season make it the favorite time of year for many locals. Come winter, most locals are praying for snow. The good news is that most of its falls in the mountains, but keep a shovel on standby, we’ve been known to get our share. 

 

 5. Air Service 

Not so long ago, it was a challenge getting in and out of Central Oregon. Most flights out of Redmond airport, which serves the region, shuttled travelers to the hubs of Seattle and Portland where connections to final destinations occurred. Today there is direct service to LA, San Francisco, Denver, and Salt Lake making it easier for travelers to reach their destinations in less time with fewer hassles. 

 6. Culture and Entertainment 

Moving to a mountain town means ditching the big city crowds, but it can also mean missing out on experiences like great live music, art and theater. That’s not the case in Bend where a thriving arts community has helped build a foundation of organizations, events and venues that stoke year-round series of performances and exhibitions. Check out the award-winning environmental and historical exhibitions at High Desert Museum, or catch a Grammy-winning artist at the historic Tower Theater. Grab a seat for Shakespeare in the Park or raise a glass at Barrel-Aged Beer Festival. It’s all here. 

 7. Indoor Recreation 

Yes, the climate is relatively here. And yes we do have something like 300 days of sunshine. But it does rain it times. It does sometimes snow. In other words, you’re gong to need an indoor option for your cardio fix. Don’t worry. We have you covered. If racquet sports are your thing, you’ll find two indoor pickleball options. There are also indoor tennis courts, pools and gym facilities at the Bend Athletic Club and the Bend Golf Club. A new public pool and indoor fitness center is set to debut on Bend’s eastside. Competitive swimmers can dive into the Masters Aquatic swimming community at Juniper, which hosts events and competitions for serious swimmers over the age of 18. 

 8. Bang for your Buck 

While prices have been increasing over the past decade, Central Oregon real estate remains a great value, particularly for people who are coming from larger metropolitan markets. For example, home buyers in the Seattle market paid an average of $470 per square foot in 2020. By comparison, the average price per sq. ft was around $270 in Bend last year. With home values expected to continue appreciating in Bend as more people migrate to central Oregon, buying now is a safe long-term investment. 

 9. Parks and Outdoor Spaces 

Not everyone wants to hop a dual suspension bike and bomb down singletrack. For some folks, a stroll along a neighborhood trail is most to their liking. Bend’s vibrant parks department has recognized the value of all kinds of recreation and incorporated those desires into its development philosophy. As a result, you’ll find plenty of youth baseball and soccer fields, as well as natural areas like Shevlin Park and Gopher Gulch which showcase the natural beauty of areas like Tumalo Creek and the Middle Deschutes River. 

 10. People 

There is no such thing as a compatibility test for entire communities. That’s too bad because having good or bad neighbors can go along way in determining how you feel about your home. Most people here would agree that the people you meet in Central Oregon are outgoing, friendly and genuinely committed to making our community stronger. It shows in the pride people take in their homes and businesses and the commitment they have to our community institutions. Our strong schools, vibrant parks and network of non-profits all reflect the community commitment to making Bend a great place for its residents. 




 





June 21, 2020

Bend Real Estate Market Update

Bend Oregon Real Estate Market UpdatAs life around Oregon begins to take some degree of normalcy, I’m beginning to get questions from clients, family, and friends who are wondering about the state of the market. Prospective buyers want to know if now is a good time to purchase a home or investment property around Bend. They want to take advantage of record-low borrowing rates, but also want perspective on prices. Will they drop further? How long should they wait to see? 

Sellers on the other hand are also wondering about timing. Should they move now while prices remain stable? Or do they wait to see if they get the usual summer price lift as well as an extra boost from buyers with pent demand? 

The truth is there are no easy answers. But there are opportunities for both sellers and buyers in our local real estate market. Here’s what we know, right now. 

Home sale reports show that sales have dropped locally and nationally over the last couple of months amidst the corona virus protocols and mandatory social distancing.  However, prices have remained steady or even inched up a bit in certain locations including, parts of Central Oregon. 

While there is no crystal ball for buyers or sellers. However, we know that the Central Oregon real estate market is already recovering around Bend and beyond. Experts predict that we will see more interest in rural and Western resort markets like Bend, Sunriver, La Pine and Prineville in the wake of the corona virus pandemic.  

          With the current COVID restrictions in the big metropolitan areas people are starting to look at smaller towns like Bend as safe havens from the current outbreak as well as future events that tend to hit large cities the hardest. The fact that Bend has emerged as one of the West’s most popular destinations for remote workers, as well as small business start-ups, is strengthening our position.  With Deschutes County moving into phase 2 of reopening with more restaurants and retail shops opening their doors to customers,  I'm seeing more and more out of town buyers coming back into the market. 

However, if you're a buyer expect some competition. Make sure that you are prepared to make an offer before you start shopping. There are lots of tips and help available locally that can help you organize your finances and housing priorities. 

Unlike the 2008 market crash and subprime crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic has done nothing to alleviate Central Oregon’s housing shortage. We are still experiencing low inventory and I'm seeing multiple offers on homes that just hit the market.  So if you're thinking of selling or know someone that is, please let me know and I'd be happy to complete a market analysis on the home for no cost.  Now is also a good time to buy a new home with historically low interest rates. So after spending more time at home the last couple of months and you've noticed you need another room/office or more outdoor space, let me know and I'd be happy to show you a few homes.

 

June 8, 2020

Bend Oregon Golf Course Homes Market Trends

Golf courses are opening up in Bend now that they are easing the restrictions from COVID-19.  I'll bet it was nice for the owners of homes on the golf course to sit on their back deck or patio during the virus lock down and look out at the fairway!  As of this writing there are 64 golf course properties available for sale in Bend.  Prices starting as low as $425,000 on River's Edge golf course up to $3,975,000 at the private Broken Top club!   To see all golf course properties currently for sale click HERE.  If you are thinking of selling your home or buying a home in Bend give me a call or text.  Matt Johnson, Broker 541-480-2153

July 13, 2019

Bend Oregon Real Estate Market Report

The market report feature on my website is a very useful tool.  If you are looking to buy a home in Bend you can customize your report.  If for instance you are looking for a home in Broken Top you can go to the Addition section of the market report search and click Broken Top.  You can also narrow you search (report) to a certain square footage, bedrooms, baths etc.  You report will then show you what is for sale, pending homes and homes sold.  This helps you stay on top of the market.

If you are looking for a  riverfront home you can search the view and click riverfront.  If you are thinking of selling you home that is on the westside of Bend with 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths and mountain view you can also follow the market with these parameters. 

Whether you are buying or selling a home in Bend our market report feature can be helpful in your decision to buy or sell!

Here's a link to a market report for the overall Bend Oregon real Estate market.

May 20, 2019

What is your home worth?

Click for your instant valueWe have added a new feature to our website.  It's a free, instant property valuation.  It works anyplace in the United States including Alaska and Hawaii.  Just plug in the address and you're on your way.  This valuation uses sales from local Multiple Listing Services and city and county sale recordings.

Bend Oregon real estate has been going up in value since 2010.  This is a good tool to get a rough estimate of what your home is worth in today's market.  It is an approximate value and not as accurate as a personal market analysis Matt would do for you! Click on the picture above to find the value of your home!

If you want a more accurate analysis call or text Matt.   

April 21, 2019

Jim Johnson Retires

After 43 years in the real estate business Jim has decided to retire.  He began his career in Portland Oregon in 1976 selling homes on Portland's east side.  In 1981 he moved his family to Bend.  Jim now turns his business over to his son Matt who works for one of the top real estate companies in the nation.  Jim's clients will be well cared for by Matt.  If you are thinking of buying or selling a home in Bend call or text Matt today.  541-480-2153

Jim and Matt Johnson

March 14, 2019

Radon Risk in Bend Oregon Homes

Since radon is a by-product of disintegrating rock, it is more likely to be present in rocky areas or where subterranean rock formations are known to exist, especially granite.

graphics4During a natural geologic process, rock becomes fractured and small amounts of radon are emitted. Because radon is a gas that contains a heavier molecule than oxygen, it will settle out of the air to the lowest levels of a structure when no ventilation is present to stir and move.

As radon seeps out of the soil, it enters buildings through foundation cracks, vent systems, pipe penetrations, plumbing and heat pipe ducts, and unsealed soil areas. Sometimes, the gas will be sucked into the structure because of negative pressure caused by heating systems, fireplaces, chimneys, etc. Negative pressure occurs when warm air in a house moves upward to create positive pressure in upper areas of the structure, resulting in negative pressure in lower areas where replacement air enters.

When radon mitigation is considered, all of the potential radon sources and entry paths into the structure are studied, along with the potential for introducing ventilation or adding additional ventilation in the areas with elevated radon levels.

Water can also be a source of radon gas. Municipal water supply systems are usually not a source of radon. But when the water supply for the house is a ground well through rock, or in bedrock that is releasing radon, it is possible for radon to become trapped in the water and released when the water becomes vapor, such as with a hot shower, laundry, or other steam producing uses for the water. Radon levels are known to increase as much as 200 times beyond the action level because of released radioactivity from a shower.

Measuring Radon Levels in a House

Radon is measured in picocuries per liter (pCi/L), which is a measurement of the radiation contained in a liter of air.

There is no current agreement among health professionals as to an acceptable or safe level of radon exposure. In the outdoors, radon levels average 0.4 pCi/L. The EPA has a suggested "action level" of 4.0 pCi/L. The following are the EPA recommendations for various radon measurement levels in a structure:

  • A result of less than 4.0 pCi/L is considered an acceptable, no-action-required level. The average indoor radon level is believed to be 1.3 pCi/L. It should be noted that no radon level is considered "safe." The 4.0 pCi/L "action Level" is based on current mitigation technology, which can usually reduce high radon concentration levels to below 4.0 pCi/L, and down to or below 2.0 pCi/L in about 70 - 80 percent of cases. Although Congress passed legislation in 1988 establishing a goal that indoor radon levels not exceed ambient outdoor radon levels (0.2 - 0.7 pCi/L), this goal is not yet technologically achievable.

  • An annual average between 4.0 and 20.0 pCi/L would indicate that action should be taken to reduce radon within a period of a few years, or sooner.

  • An annual average between 20.0 and 200.0 pCi/L would indicate that action should be taken within a few months to reduce the levels as far below 20.0 pCi/L as possible.

  • An annual average over 200.0 pCi/L would indicate that action should be taken within several weeks to reduce levels as far below 200.0 pCi/L as possible. Immediate remedial action might also be considered.

  • Radon Levels and the Risk of Lung Cancer

    Unfortunately, many people do not perceive radon as a serious health threat. In reality, annual deaths from radon in the United States exceed deaths from drowning, fire and air crashes combined. The risk for death from radon is influenced by three factors:

    • the radon exposure level;
    • the length of time exposed to elevated levels of radon; and
    • the person's status as a non-smoker or smoker.

    If a person is a smoker, the risk of cancer at various pCi/L readings per 1000 population is as follows:

    Radon Level

    Risk per 1000 people exposed to radon level over lifetime

    20 pCi/L

    135 per 1000

    10 pCi/L

    71 per 1000

    8 pCi/L

    57 per 1000

    4 pCi/L

    29 per 1000

    2 pCi/L

    15 per 1000

    1.3 pCi/L

    9 per 1000

    0.4 pCi/L

    3 per 1000

    If a person is a non-smoker, the risk of cancer at various pCi/L readings pCi/L readings per 1000 population is as follows:

    Radon Level

    Risk per 1000 people exposed to radon level over lifetime

    20 pCi/L

    8 per 1000

    10 pCi/L

    4 per 1000

    8 pCi/L

    3 per 1000

    4 pCi/L

    2 per 1000

    2 pCi/L

    1 per 1000

    1.3 pCi/L

    less than 1 per 1000

    0.4 pCi/L

    less than 1 per 1000

    If the person is a former smoker, the relative risk will be somewhere between the smoker and non-smoker.

    I'm personally not aware of any radon in Bend Oregon Homes or real estate but that does not mean it not there.  To search for homes in Bend click on the link.
Posted in Bend Oregon, homes, Radon
Feb. 27, 2019

Radon in Homes

What is Radon?  Radon is an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that is naturally present in our atmosphere. This radioactive gas is a byproduct of disintegrating rock in the ground. As the rock splits and crumbles, it releases radon gas into the air. The half-life of radon is 3.8 days. Radon is a non-reactive noble element. The radon gas itself is not the health hazard. The hazard is a result of the radioactive gas charging the minute dust particles in the air with gamma radiation. These radioactive particles are then inhaled into the human lung. In the lungs, these particles may adhere to the lung tissue, emit energy that can kill or damage sensitive cells and damage DNA molecules. The damaged lung tissue then becomes a condition conducive to developing lung cancer. The actual potential for developing lung cancer is a function of how much radon a human is exposed to and for how long. If a person is a smoker and is exposed to elevated levels of radon, the risk of contracting lung cancer is even greater.

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified radon as being the second largest contributor to lung cancer in humans, right behind cigarette smoking. It is estimated that 21,000 deaths each year may be directly related to exposure to elevated levels of radon.

Any house can have a radon problem. New houses and older houses, well-sealed and drafty houses, and houses with or without basements may all be subject to elevated radon levels. The EPA estimates that nearly 1 out of 15 houses in the United States have elevated radon levels. These elevated radon levels have been found in all 50 states.

Because radon is related to naturally occurring uranium and radium found in the soil, radon levels can vary greatly within a small geographic region. Radon is less radioactive than both uranium and radium. The radon levels in any given location are related to the amount of uranium and radium found in the underlying rock structure and soil. The actual amount of radon entering a structure can be affected by the strength of the radon source, underlying soil type, water content of the soil, and empty spaces in the soil.

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  • Zone 1: Average indoor radon screening level greater than 4 pCi/L (picocuries per liter)

  • Zone 2: Average indoor radon screening level between 2 and 4 pCi/L

  • Zone 3: Average indoor radon screening level less than 2 pCi/L

Radon is not considered a hazard unless it becomes concentrated in the living area of a home or work place and provides long term exposure to elevated levels. Exposure to radiation cannot be avoided and the majority of this exposure comes from natural sources. An average person's exposure to radiation in the United States comes from the following sources:

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