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. 7, 2019

Older Homes in Bend

Older Homes in Bend Oregon

Asbestos describes six naturally occurring fibrous materials found in rock formations. Of the general group, the minerals amosite, chrysotile, and crocidolite have been commonly used in building materials. These minerals are primarily found in Eastern Europe, South America, Africa, the United States, and Canada. Much of the naturally occurring asbestos is found in serpentine rock. Asbestos is naturally released from serpentine rock when it is broken or crushed. This can occur when cars drive over unpaved roads or driveways that are surfaced with serpentine rock, when land is graded for building purposes or at quarry operations. Asbestos can also be released into the air through natural weathering and erosion of the serpentine rock formations. Once released into the air, the asbestos particles can stay in the air for long periods.

Asbestos has been mined for centuries. Mined and processed asbestos usually results in very thin and often invisible fibers. Early use of asbestos dates back to Greek and Roman times. In fact, the ancient Greek name for asbestos means "inextinguishable." It has been used because of its fire-resistant qualities and the flexibility it offers for use in woven cloth. The fibers are also mixed with materials that bind them together for use in many types of building products.

In the United States, the heavy use of asbestos in building and household products began in the early 1900s. Asbestos was highly valued in a wide range of products because of its following characteristics:

  • Its strength

  • It will not burn

  • It resists corrosion

  • It is a good insulator

  • It is chemically resistant

Because of the positive characteristics of the asbestos fibers, its use in manufacturing continued until late into the 20th century. The peak period of usage was during World War II and into the early 1970s.

In the 1970s, knowledge regarding the harmful health affects of asbestos fibers reached the point where the scientific and legal communities began making the public aware of it. In response, the government began to regulate the use of asbestos. The Federal Clean Air Act of 1970 gave the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) the authority to regulate materials containing more than 1% asbestos fibers. The federal Occupational Safety and Health Act of the early 1970s also regulated the use of materials containing asbestos in the workplace and in the construction trades. In 1989, the federal Environmental Protection Agency issued the Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule, which attempted to effectively ban the use of all asbestos containing products by the year 1997. Although the further use of asbestos in new products was banned, no current law requires the removal of asbestos already in place in buildings.

The Asbestos Ban and Phase Out Rule was overturned by the 5th circuit Court of Appeals in 1991. The ban remains in place for adding asbestos to products that historically do not contain asbestos as well as in specific types of products (e.g., flooring felt, rollboard, commercial paper, specialty paper, and corrugated paper), but there isn't an overall federal government ban on all manufacturing, importing, processing, and distribution of products that contain asbestos. Asbestos is not banned in products such as car disk brake pads, roof coatings, vinyl floor tile, and even clothing.

The Use of Asbestos in Residential Structures

Because asbestos was relatively cheap, readily available, fire-resistant, and had high tensile strength, it was used extensively in hundreds of indoor and outdoor products found in residential structures. Outdoors, asbestos was used in roofing and siding materials, among other things. Indoors, it was used in floor and ceiling tilesputtiescaulkspaintscementsplasters, and pipe insulation. Any residential structure built between 1920 and 1978 probably contains numerous products or materials containing asbestos fibers.

Today, because of governmental regulation and the virtual ban on its usage, very few products contain asbestos. If they do contain asbestos that could be inhaled, strict labeling requirements must be followed.

When Asbestos is Discovered in a House or Building

graphics4Asbestos, if undisturbed, is usually not considered a health risk since the fibers are not released into the air. Asbestos in any product or material can become a health hazard if the asbestos containing material is damageddisturbed or deteriorated. Products containing asbestos that can be easily crumbled or pulverized by little pressure and become airborne are considered dangerous by their very nature. These are known as friable asbestos-containing products. Examples of friable asbestos-containing products are "popcorn type" ceiling materials, wallboard (drywall), and a variety of caulks, putties, and plasters. Non friable asbestos-containing products are considered less of a problem since they are not as easily damaged. These types of products generally have to be damaged by sanding, cutting, grinding or scraping. An example of a non friable asbestos-containing product is vinyl floor tiles.

Products such as acoustical plaster or sprayed-on ceiling insulation can very easily become friable if even slightly disturbed. Other products such as vinyl asbestos floor tiles usually do not present any real hazard unless the tiles become disturbed during an attempt to remove them during a remodel. The asbestos in these products is not easily friable unless rubbing, grinding, sanding or cutting disturbs it.

 

Whether the asbestos-containing products are easily friable or can become friable with more difficulty, the point to remember is that any level of asbestos in the atmosphere can be considered harmful.

Older Homes in Bend.

Posted in Asbestos, bend, homes, older, oregon
Feb. 6, 2019

Drinking Water in Your Bend Home

Bend Oregon has pure water!!

No water is naturally pure. In nature, all water contains some impurities. As water flows in streams, sits in lakes, and filters through layers of soil and rock in the ground, it dissolves and absorbs the substances it touches. Some of these substances are harmless, but even naturally occurring minerals are considered contaminates at certain levels, as the water may be unpalatable or even unsafe.

The majority of substances that are absorbed into water from natural rock or soil conditions are harmless. However, once humans have introduced contaminants into the soil or streams from factories, farmlands, or even by people in their homes or yards, the water supplies may be contaminated with any number of chemicals or toxic substances.

The federal Safe Drinking Water Act of 1974 is the primary federal law protecting drinking water supplied by public water systems (those servicing more than 25 people). Under the law, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the federal agency responsible for setting national standards for drinking water. The national standards established by the EPA are required to be enforced by the states. The drinking water standards are intended to address drinking water at two levels. The first level relates to public health. The regulations in this area relate to the maximum contaminant level for more than 80 contaminants that may occur in drinking water that pose a risk to human health. When it is economically or technologically not feasible to lower a maximum contaminant level relating to a specific contaminant, then prescribed treatment techniques are required to prevent adverse health affects of the contaminant on humans. The second level of regulations relates to taste, odor, and appearance of the drinking water.

In 1996, President Clinton signed the Safe Drinking Water Act Amendment of 1996 (SDWA). Among other things, as of 1999, SDWA requires that all public water systems must prepare and distribute annual reports to its customers. These reports inform the customer as to the source of system's drinking water, results of monitoring the water supply system during the prior year, and information on health concerns associated with violations that occurred during the year. In addition, a water supplier must promptly inform the consumer if the water supply has become contaminated by something that can cause immediate illness. In its notification process, it must provide information about:

  • The potential adverse effects on human health

  • The steps that the system is taking to correct the violation

  • The need to use alternative water supplies until the problem is corrected

SDWA also has many new provisions that help states and water supply systems to improve the quality of drinking water by preventing problems before they occur. It has become clear that the best way to protect the nation's water supply is to protect the water at its source. For example, the act requires that each state develop a program to identify contamination threats and determine the resulting susceptibility of the drinking water sources such as watersheds, ground water, or reservoirs to activities that may harm the source water. Once the contamination source is identified, the state must then develop a program to address that contamination source and its prevention from entering the water supply.

Potential Contaminants

In administering the provisions of the 1974 Safe Drinking Water Act and the subsequent Safe Drinking Water Amendments of 1996, the EPA has identified approximately 80 contaminants that must be monitored in the nation's domestic water supply systems. These contaminants fall into the following general categories:

  • Bacteria

  • Protozoa and viruses - Common examples of protozoa contaminants are giardia and cryptosporidium.

  • Nitrates - Agricultural activities which use fertilizers or generate manure contain high levels of nitrogen and phosphorous. These substances often leach into the water supply through water runoff. Stomach and liver cancer along with reproductive problems are often linked to nitrate contamination.

  • Volatile Organic Compounds - Examples of these compounds are industrial solvents, dry-cleaning solvents, benzene, gasoline, paints, and etc.

  • Synthetic organics

  • Inorganics / metals

  • Lead and copper - These metals usually are introduced into the potable water supply as a result of water being carried through pipes containing lead or lead solder and water coming in contact with brass faucets. Even in small amounts, lead in the water supply can be a problem, especially in small children. Lead may accumulate in the body over time and eventually reach unsafe health levels.

  • Pesticides - This group of contaminants may be fungicides, insecticides, and herbicides. Land application of pesticides may eventually leach into the water supply. This is particularly a problem in areas relying upon well water.

  • Radon - Houses relying upon well water are more subject to exposure to radon from the water supply than houses relying upon public water supply systems. As water passes through the shower head or other water release points, the radon present in the water is released into the air. Fortunately, in most cases, radon released into the air from a house's water supply is usually minor. Long term exposure to radon can lead to lung cancer.

    Well Water

    Some houses draw water from private wells or private water systems. The federal government has no authority over the quality of water in these private systems. The government's only authority in this area is to protect the source of the well water as much as possible. However, private landowners frequently, either intentionally or through negligence, pollute the ground on their property with pesticides, gasoline, chemical spills, or from faulty septic systems. These contaminants can leach into the soil and enter the private well water supply.

    At a minimum, homeowners relying upon well water are well advised to test the water in their system once a year for coliform bacteria, nitrates, pH, and total dissolved solids. Testing for sulfates, chloride, iron, manganese, hardness, and the system's corrosion index should be done every three years.

Posted in bend, homes, oregon, Water, Well water
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