Home Buying in Bend>Question Details

A. Thomas, Other/Just Looking in Port Townsend, WA

After vising Bend several times, I'm considering retiring there in a year or two.

Asked by A. Thomas, Port Townsend, WA Tue Feb 17, 2009

I'm interested in the Northwest Crossing neighborhood and was wondering if Realtors in the area expect some softening in the market there, as many properties are on the market now. It seems the area hasn't declined in value as much as the rest of Bend. I realize it's an award-winning development, but the value just doesn't seem to be there compared to other parts of Bend. Also, someone mentioned that the commercial district there isn't doing as well as expected. This is one of the draws of this neighborhood to me. What's the story?

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Hi, Sandy--We have been in Bend for about 9 months and continue to rent, near the Northwest Crossing development, btw, as prices are in freefall here. Northwest Crossing is indeed a lovely area. Quite a few of the businesses in the commercial area are struggling and several have closed There are many lovely areas in Bend on the desirable westside, that are more affordable than Northwest Crossing. It is among a few of the places that are indeed, "holding their value", which is something of a euphemism for areas where sellers (and some buyers) are completely out of sync with the general Central Oregon economy in pricing their homes. And I agree with you that the values, in general, are just not there--yet-- but perhaps within a year, that will change significantly. There have been and continue to be more and more foreclosures there, too....it is not immune, and that is slowly bringing prices down, but not yet to reasonable levels compared to nearby areas.

Deschutes County unemployment rates are 4th highest in the nation--11.3% and going higher...possibly to 14-15% by the end of the year. So, areas that were just a few months ago still "holding their value" are beginning to join the freefall and we have decided to watch and wait...There are many Alt loans and others expected to re-adjust, putting the mortgages beyond the abilities of owners to manage, and w/ the increasing unemployment values will continue to fall. We are unlikely to buy right now because so many homes are still priced way beyond historically tenable values. Bend prices at their peak were 40 to 64% above where they should have been based on median incomes here, and in order for our economy to recoup and become functional home prices will continue to fall for at least 12-24 months, according to economists from U of Oregon as well as state projections. Real estate agents honestly dispute these figures, so it's good to factor in their ongoing belief in the exceptionalism of this market...i.e that all of the statistics to the contrary, Bend just doesn't and won't follow the normal financial models proven to be true over many decades all over the U.S.

We believe in general that Bend will fall in line with those trends because it must for the economy here to recoup and survive. We're watching, waiting, and becoming very familiar with the home/property market here, as well as reading a lot of press; local, state, and national to try to understand the best way and time to buy a home here, and avoid getting into a situation--as best we can--where a property we buy continues to drop significantly in value after our purchase. However, we will buy a place sooner if it is exactly what we want, need, and can afford over the long term. In other words, we are performing an informed balancing act as we look to invest in a long-term residence here.

Best,
Kim
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 26, 2009
Hi Ya: I am the original "asker." Thanks for your reply. I've still be watching the market there in Bend since I first asked this question just 6 months ago and wow - it has just kept on tanking. At one point I thought I would have to spend a minimum of 300K to get the kind of house I would be happy staying in long-term...now I'm seeing MANY in the low 200s that would work just as well. Some even cheaper.

I've decided I do not want to pay the NW Crossing prices when there are other nice areas in Bend that are just so much less expensive! Still considering a move there next spring...I really do like the town.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 27, 2009
Activity has been picking up in sales. Not great but may indicate some slowing of declines.

I've been watching some of the blogs but find most of them extremist. Nature of blogs.

Found one blog and a realtors site that compiles statistical facts.

http://www.centralorproperty.com/Central,ORTrends.html

takes a little reading and sorting to know how to figure out whats what but the listings to sold charts are at bottom. He indicated the same that some slowing and stabilization is worth watching.

have seen more moving vans on the westside moving new buyers into the neighborhoods also. But I would look at facts not rants or casual observations.

While the percentages of price run ups in Bend are there- you will probably not see as steep a decline in some of the better neighborhoods.

During the bubble, developers paid too much for land and threw up houses in the "starter" neighborhoods. The westside homes are more desirable and many of those "hoods" were there just before the big run up.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 22, 2009
Since posting my original question, I've found an interesting webblog on which a local Realtor did a 90-day sales retrospective. It is quite sobering. In the lowest price ranges, there is at least a one-year inventory, and in some there is almost eight years' worth.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/962441/A-90-day-Look-Back-on…

This strengthens my conviction that the Bend market has much further to fall. With so many unsold homes, sellers who actually want to sell are going to have to accept lower offers and lower their asking prices.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 2, 2009
Sandy,

Northwest Crossing has different home designs to choose from and a community with restaurants, parks, shops and bike trails so has always had a good draw. The prices have fallen to a very good value right now and is worth looking at. There will always continue to be short sales and foreclosures but that's no guarantee to which home will go that route next, so if you can get the home you want there or westside Bend or other areas here, for a price you feel is fair to current market (I can show you stats and comps) there's no need to get a distressed property with a longer wait and close date. Call or write me for more info.

Ken-
I live on horse property and have listings on such as well as a list of clients that are not on MLS that have 10 acres or more. Let me know if you'd like some info. on that.

Thanks for your interest in beautiful Central Oregon.

Diane Lozito, Broker
Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate
541.548-3598
CentralOregonRealEstate@earthlink.net
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 14, 2009
Greetings, everyone:
I am in a similar (yet different) situation in being enthralled with the Bend area after a recent visit, and consequently moving it to the top of our list for potential relocation areas (we live in the Southeast). Trying to educate myself on housing statistics/trends/projections & the like for the area & hoping blogs available in sites like Trulia will help. No offense to r.e. agents intended, but I find comments & information deriving from buyers and other interested parties to be much more useful (and OBJECTIVE!). We are interested in potential horse property (10 acres & up) around the Bend area, so that is bit different niche than most of the blog entries I have seen to date.

In this blog, responses such as Kasey's I find particularly informative---citing government statistics and projections as supportive evidence. I wonder if Kim would be willing to provide specifics as to where/how to obtain these reports and also a link to the referred to 'Bend Bubble' blog? Much appreciated, if possible.
The cited 12-24 month time period for Bend housing prices to bottom out does seem reasonable in line with other progostications for the country in general, to bring the bubble prices back in line with historical valuations. As other potential buyers seem to be inclined in this blog, we will most likely watchfully wait for at least a year, until being willing to bite, unless a truly sensational opportunity arises earlier.
Thanks for the insightful knowledge from buyers/lookers---keep information flowing!

Ken
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 21, 2009
For the westside- you can find a nice custom home in Broken Top or Fall Creek. For what you pay in Northwest Crossing you will find bigger lots and better value in that neighborhood or the Parks.
Great location. We have been watching that area for a good buy. Although the prices haven't fallen as much as some of the explosion neighborhoods on the eastside- there is a good reason.
Better quality and location. Nice paved walking paths, trails right out back to the forest and proximity to downtown, old mill, river etc. Schools and recreation right there.
There are currently a couple of homes that have really fallen there. Just need to shop around.
We will probably look at purchasing this summer of fall.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 9, 2009
Thank you, everyone, for your replies. Kim, I read a Bend housing bubble blog and understand and agree with everything you're saying. Bend seemed to think it was immune to the realities facing every other market and that there was something exceptional about it. Given that much of its growth was fueled by young retirees cashing in on their overpriced California homes, that trend is over - for the foreseeable future. I believe a lot of Realtors are still not accepting this fact, or are trying to convince buyers that the worst is over, but the historical charts showing housing prices as multiples of income, while coming down considerably off their highs, are still above the historical average. I'll be keeping my eye on the prices in Northwest Crossing, but if they don't fall more into line with the rest of the west side I'll be looking elsewhere if I decide to relocate there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 2, 2009
Hi Sandy.....good questions and you've obviously done your homework. This area was overvalued in the beginning, and we've seen some very nice price reductions over the last several months. Lot prices..especially....have softened, considerably. I've sold several properties there...one being my sons and they built a new home there because they loved it so much. What we see, many times, is that prices are not across the board....they are unique to each area, and areas can differ widely. This area happens to have the amenities that people are looking for, besides being an easy bike ride away to some great riding trails. Is the value there?? Well....it's one of the place my husband and I have seriously considered relocating to....and I'm pretty familiar with them all. Besides, there are no stiff HOA monthly fees, great location, the neighborhoods are all new, schools are right there, as are parks etc. The commercial district will remain quiet until our economy begins to return...but when one restaurant closed, another moved in. When it comes to areas such as this, you can still do very well and know that your property will continue to appraise well...which is what you need to maintain it's value. Good questions though and keep asking them! Sharon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Sandy. Your right on. That is a great area of Bend to invest in. Now is the time. The commercial side of this business is slowing and will probably grind to a halt. For now. The fact is that the $$ and planning work was done there and no matter how long it takes this area will eventually be one of the hottest draws in Bend. Their market is down so far I doubt it will drop anymore.

This is a GREAT buying opportunity. Ben has been down much longer than other areas in Oregon and I expect a slow but steady rebound as soon as this Summer. With the rates where they are I would say your opportunity is now through this Winter. Good area to invest into and the lifestyle.....well it is simply unmatched.

I wish you well and Angela that posted here is a trusted member of this community and I would give here every opportunity to work with you. You want a good buyers agent there to work with as they will find you the best values!

Best wishes;

Dirk Knudsen
Re/Max Hall of Fame
Web Reference: http://www.theknudsens.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Hello Sandy,
Thank you for your questions. As you are probably aware there are a lot of businesses struggling to survive right now. I have not heard anything about the commercial district in Northwest crossing. There is a lot of inventory on the market right now and a lot of bank owned properties. I would say that now is a good time to buy. I hope to see it start to get a little better in Spring and Summer. I have found that the winter is always much slower in terms of people buying. If you would like me to email you a market analysis of Northwest Crossing then I would be happy too. This will show you all of the Active, Pending, and Sold homes in Northwest Crossing. I also have some other statistical reports that I could email to you, to show you some statistics in Central Oregon since 2005. Please give me a call at (541) 390-0595 or send me an email at selenamcneill@yahoo.com and I can email you those reports. I hope this information will help!

Have a nice day!
Selena

Selena McNeill, Broker
Century 21 Gold Country Realty
550 NW Franklin Ave Suite 188
Bend OR 97701

Cell: 541-390-0595
Direct Fax: 1-541-982-2243
Email: selenamcneill@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.selenamcneill.com
Licensed Realtor in the State of Oregon, since 2005.

If you or someone you know are considering a Real Estate move, please think of me as your Real Estate Broker, Thank You!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
Northwest Crossing has held it's value compared to some other neighborhoods. There are definitely some properties that are overpriced compared with the rest of the real estate market. It has a great design and is friendly to all types of family needs. The commercial district is doing okay. One restaurant has closed but another moved in. There is an elementary school and a high school in the neighborhood. I just got a client in contract on a new home in there, at what we consider to be a nice value. The staying power is pretty good in there. The developers are taking it easy to compete in the market, taking their time with the rest of the development.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 17, 2009
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