February Real Estate Mailbag | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

February Real Estate Mailbag

Answers to your real estate questions

I want to thank all our readers and especially those who have taken the time to reach out and ask your Real Estate-related questions. So here we go with our February Mailbag!

Q: I have been thinking about getting into Real Estate. What skills do I need to develop?

A: That is a great question, that I will do my best to answer. Staying general, the most important skill you can develop is communication. There is no way around the fact that you have to be communicating with various people all day every day — from clients, lenders and contractors to escrow officers, the list goes on and on. Being able to communicate effectively with your clients when explaining property features or elements of a sales contract or specific addendum are crucial. Beyond that, there are so many different ways to approach the business that we would be really getting specific about your business model. Speaking of, make sure you have a business model or plan to follow, because most new agents get lost trying to figure out how to gain practical knowledge and also develop and build a client base. If you were hoping for more details, please feel free to reach out again; thanks!

Q: I have been on the fence about buying my first house for what seems like years. When is the best time to buy?

A: There is never a perfect time to buy. There, I said it. The issue people seem to be hung up on a lot recently is trying to "time the market." The best way to determine when to buy a home is to somewhat ignore the external factors and really focus on internal factors. How much can you really afford to spend a month on your mortgage? What do your savings look like? How secure is your employment? How flexible is your budget? How long do you plan on living in the home/area? Once you feel good about your answers to these types of questions you can begin to assess the external factors. Think about this, for example: If rates shot down to 2% tomorrow, it would be a great time to buy, except that demand would rise, bidding wars would take place and prices would rise. If rates go way up, prices will come down (although not as much as you may like) as demand decreases. The point I am making is that the best time to buy is when you feel comfortable about your personal financial situation as opposed to "market conditions."

Q: What are the biggest obstacles to affordable housing in Bend?

A: That is a tough question to answer, as there are many nuances to housing and specifically "affordable housing." I'm assuming you're talking about "workforce housing," which is defined as housing affordable to households earning between 60-120% of area median income. The biggest obstacle to the development of affordable housing is that it requires government subsidy. The cost of the acquisition of land, predevelopment, civil engineering and vertical construction all make it financially impossible for the private development of this type of housing. I would strongly suggest checking out the City of Bend's website that has all kinds of information on Affordable Housing and the various programs in place for both developers and those seeking housing.

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