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Debt-to-Income Calculation


If you are considering purchasing a home soon, you need to be familiar with your debt-to-income calculation. Understanding this simple math formula could mean the difference between getting approved or getting denied for a home loan.

The discussion below will explain how to calculate this ratio and how it is used by mortgage lenders to approve people to buy a home.

The debt-to-income ratio, also called the DTI ratio by the mortgage industry, is a comparison between how much money people are making versus how much is being spent on debt.

The formula looks like this:

               Total monthly debt payments ÷ monthly income = DTI

Here is a simple example that will explain how the math works.

Shawn and Linda have been married for 3 years and have saved for a down payment on a home. Shawn is an accountant earning a $60,000 per year salary and Linda is an elementary school teacher earning a $35,000 per year salary.

They have the following monthly debt payments: one car loan of $376.25, two credit cards of $65 each, and student loan payments of $486 per month. Their total monthly debt payments are

$376.25 + $65 + $65 + $486 = $992.25

Their monthly income, before taxes are removed, is

               $60,000 + $35,000 = $95,000 yearly

               $95,000 ÷12 = $7,916.67 monthly

Their debt-to-income ratio, or DTI ratio, is

               $992.25 ÷ $7,916.67 = 13%

Very simple math, and very easy to calculate.

The only thing missing is the proposed monthly house payment for their new home. According to their lender, the proposed payment on the home that they are considering is $1,285 per month. So, the new calculation would be

               ($992.25 + $1,285) ÷ $7,916.67 = 28.77%

Now that we have explained the math, let us look at some of the details of this calculation and how lenders view the ratios.

Two Ways to View DTI

Most mortgage lenders will review the DTI in two different ways. The first way is to consider the home-only ratio. This is also called the Front Ratio.

What this means is the lender will compare the proposed home mortgage to the overall income. In our example above, the front ratio would be calculated as $1,285 ÷ $7,916.67 = 16.23%

NOTE: The home mortgage payment will need to include a proposed amount for annual property taxes and the annual homeowner's insurance policy. Your lender should provide this to you when you request a mortgage estimate.

The other way to view the DTI is the calculation we did earlier, which adds all the debt, plus the proposed mortgage payment, and divides it by the monthly income. This is known as the back ratio.

As previously shown, for the example of this article, this married couple has a DTI of 28.77%

Each type of mortgage loan will have its own rules about the 2 different ratios.

A more thorough discussion below will provide expected DTI ratios for different mortgage loans.

Things NOT Included in DTI Calculations

Now that we have examined how to calculate the DTI ratios, let us look at items that are not covered by the calculations.

The following items generally are ignored when determining a DTI ratio for a mortgage loan

  • monthly utility costs for items like electricity, water, internet, etc.
  • food costs per month, whether dining out or eating at home or some other combination
  • money spent on traveling to work such as subway fees, bus fares, or other similar charges
  • Money spent on entertainment
  • Items deducted from pay for saving or investing to a retirement account
  • Monthly insurance costs for automobiles, accident coverage, or medical coverage
  • Subscriptions to items such as internet-based entertainment (Netflix, Spotify, etc.) or gym memberships, or other similar monthly items.

These items are supposed to be covered by the amount of money remaining from the DTI calculation. That is why the ratios are set up in such a way to ensure the borrower has adequate money left over after paying the mortgage and other debt.

Overlooked Items to Include in DTI Calculations

While it is easy to understand a debt payment like a loan owed on a car or a credit card, some other items are added to the DTI calculations that you may not be considering.

If you are or will be responsible for paying any of the following types of obligations, these items need to be disclosed to your lender to make the correct DTI calculations.

  • Homeowner Association or HOA dues. These dues may be paid yearly or monthly, depending on the neighborhood.
  • Child support due to a divorce decree or other legally binding agreement
  • Alimony or similar spousal payment due to a legally binding agreement.

You may be asked by your lender to provide legal documents to verify the monthly amounts for the above items to get approved for the mortgage.

Different DTI for Different Mortgages

Each kind of mortgage will have slightly different guidelines for their qualifying DTI ratios. Here are some general rules about the major types of home loans.

Conventional mortgage from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – These loans will examine the

Front DTI and the Back DTI. The Front DTI should be around 28% and the back DTI should be under 43%

If the borrower has a large down payment or significant cash reserves, the back-end DTI may be slightly higher.

FHA Mortgage – For FHA, the front ratio needs to be no higher than 31% and the back ratio should not be higher than 43%

Like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac above, it is possible to get approved with slightly higher ratios. But the borrower will need to have substantial factors on their side to get approved for the higher ratios.

VA Mortgage – For the VA loan, only one ratio, which is the back ratio, is considered. The back ratio should not be any higher than 41%.

It is worth noting that the VA mortgage guidelines are strict about their DTI ratios. However, the VA home loan also has the lowest percentage of foreclosed homes as well, so there may be a reason why they stick to these rules.

USDA mortgage – USDA will allow borrowers to have up to 29% on their front ratio and 41% on their back ratio.

One final note to keep in mind when you are talking to your lender; some mortgage companies will have their own mortgage overlooks to work with. Your lender can discuss these overlays with you, but it is important to note that each mortgage underwriter may have a handful of special rules to follow when applying for a loan.

Improving Your DTI Ratios

If you are looking over your finances and realize that you have a bit too much debt to qualify for a home, there are some things you can do to lower your debt-to-income ratios and put you in a better financial position.

The easiest solution is to pay off as much debt as you can. The tried-and-true method of starting with the smallest balance and paying it off, then moving to the next largest balance, will help you to pay down your bills and give you some satisfaction during the process.

Another option is to add to your income. This could be something drastic like looking for a better-paying position at a different company but doing the same work you are doing now. Or it could be as simple as working a few hours of overtime per week at your existing job.

You can also add to your monthly income by taking on a 2nd part-time job. Keep in mind, if you get a part-time job and wish to use that revenue in your DTI calculations, you will need to have the job for a couple of years before the lender will consider the income.

A third idea is to add another person to the loan. FHA, along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have non occupying co-borrower loan options that allow for a borrower to be on the loan if the borrower does not plan to live in the home. Your lender can provide you with the details for the various types of loans and the down payment requirements for each mortgage. 

Keep in mind that cosigner debt counts against you for the debt-to-income ratio calculation.

Summing Up Debt-to-Income Ratios

The calculations for debt-to-income ratios are rather easy to understand. The most important thing is understanding that both the proposed mortgage payment and any existing debt payments will all play a major role in getting approved for a home loan. By either keeping these ratios low now or working to lower the ratios, you will set yourself up for a better chance at getting approved to purchase a home.

Additional Real Estate Resources:
For a first-time home buyer, the above information is critical in knowing how much home you can afford but there is more to it than just the ratios.

Article from Madison Mortgage Guys -
Written by Luke Skar


Welcome to Sunriver
Sunriver Oregon

Sunriver is a planned residential and resort community on 3,300+ acres located in Deschutes County but Sunriver is essentially self-governing.

The Sunriver Owners Association is a not-for-profit organization directed by a nine-member board of directors. SRAO staff provides functions and duties found in any small-town government, such as administrative services, recreational programming, maintaining facilities, 66 miles of roads, 34 miles of pathways and a variety of community amenities for property owners, their guests, and visitors.

The Sunriver Fire and Police departments are part of the tax based Sunriver Service District, a special service district within Deschutes County's Government.

There are 4 types of developments in Sunriver

Residential Areas- There are 4,175 homesites consisting of privately – owned, single family homes and condominium units.

Recreational Facilities – Located on common areas owned/ administered by the Sunriver Owners Association, these facilities include the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center (SHARC), North Pool, numerous tennis and pickleball courts, SROA boat launch, Fort Rock Park, Paulina park, Mary McCallum Park and paved pathways for pedestrians and bicycle riders.

Commercial Development – In addition to Sunriver's commercial core, including The Village at Sunriver, there are churches, Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory, Sunriver airport, Sunriver Fitness and Aquatics and the Marketplace/ Grocery Store/ gas station off Cottonwood Road.

Resort Areas – Privately operated resort properties include the lodge complex, the Woodlands and Meadows golf courses, airport, marina, stables, and other resort-affiliated facilities.

Check out what there is to do in and around Sunriver - A Four Season Recreational Community.


Fun Facts about Sunriver, Oregon

Did you know?

1. The anme Sunriver was selected by developers John Gray and Donatld V. MCallum in 1968

2. Sunriver is located on the grounds of the former Camp Abbot, a World War II training facility designed to rain combat engineers in a simulated combat environment. The U.S. Army camp opened in 1942, but by June 1944, the camp was abondoned and most of the settlement was razed.

3. Sunriver was also the site of the pioneer Shonquest Ranch. Sunriver post office was established on Jyly 18, 1969, at the same time the public facilities were opened.

4. All of Oregon has NO sales tax.

5. Oreogn is one of the only two states where you can't pump your own gas (New Jersey being the other)

6. Permanent population of approximately 1,700 though during high peak season it may increase to upwards of 20,000

7. This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 degrees F. According to the Koppen Climate Classification system, Sunriver has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.

8. Sunriver airport is a public use airport located one nautical mile (2 km) west of the central business district of Sunriver. It is privately owned by Sunriver Resort, L.P. This airport is included in the national Plan of integrated Airport Systems for 2011-2015, which categorized it as a genearal aviation facility.

9. We have an Observatory which is an astronomical observatory operated by the not-for-profit Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory in Sunriver, Oregon. The observatory has 11 telescopes. In July 2012, the observatory was renamed the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver.

10. Elevation is at 4,164 ft

11. Sunriver has over 35 miles of paved bike paths.

12. Average commute time in 32 minutes. The National Average is 25 minutes to Bend.


Sunriver Oregon- A Four Season Recreational Community

Sunriver Oregon- A Four Season Recreational Community

About Sunriver Oregon

Sunriver is nestled on 3,300 acres next to the Deschutes River in Central Oregon's High Desert. It is a residential-resort community that featurs year round activities. Below you wfind general descriptions and links as applicable to activities within Sunriver or the surrounding area. A variety of equipment is available for rent from business in in The Village at Sunriver and just outside Sunriver to help you enjoy your favorite sport or activitiy.


Sunriver boasts 34 miles of paved pathways for bicycle and pedestrian use. For safety reasons, rollerblading, skates and skateboards are not allowed on pathways or roads. Please follow Sunriver's pathway rules and respect the delicate vegetation by staying on the pavement. Try the Sun Lava 6 mile paved route to reach Benham Falls and Lava Lands Visitors Center off East Cascade Road near Circle 7. 

Boating, Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting:

Floating or paddling the Deschutes River can be relaxing, scenic and great excercise. Boats, canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, tubes and rafts are available at area rental shops in the Village at Sunriver and just outside Sunriver. There is a public watercraft launch at Harper Bridge, located on the southwest side of Spring River Road and a tke out just before Benham Falls. Or launch further upstream at Big River Campground and take out at Harper Bridge. (the Harper Bridge launch is suitable for ahnd launching canoes, kayakes, tubes, and rafts only)
Village Bike and Ski rentals, 4 Seasons Recreational Outfitters, Sunriver Toy House

Disc Golf: 

Sharc has a disc golf course available free to owners with a valid SROA Member Preference ID card, SROA Recreation Plus cardholders and is included with SHARC daily admission. Disc golf aloine is $5


Anglers can find all the fishing challenges they would like on nearby rivers and lakes. Fishing seasons are variable, so check local regulations. Guided trips can be arranged through local outfitters. 
The Hook , Sunriver Fly Shop


Two 18 hole courses - Woodlands and Meadows are operate by Sunriver Resort. 541-593-1000

Horseback Riding:

Sunriver Resort's stables offers scenic trail rides. the stables are located along River Road in Sunriver. 541-593-6995

Nature Center and Observatory:

The Sunriver Nature Center & Oregon Observatory is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. It includes interpretive exhibits, educational programs, a botanical garden, nature trail, observagtory, live raptros and other critters. The observatory offers seasonal night sky and solar viewing. 

Newberry National Volcaninc Monument:

Sunriver sites in the middle of the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which includes Lava Lands Visitor Center on Lava Butte, Lava River Cave, Lava Cast Forest and the Newberry craters a Paulina and East Lakes. 

Parks and Playgrounds:

Fort Rock Park is located between circles 4 and 11 on East Cascade Road and provides recreatinal facilities for softball, basketball, volleyball and horseshoes. There is also a playground, pickleball an dtennis coures. A pavillion is available for picnic/ barbecue events. 

Paulina Park is located at SHARC. Featuyres picnic tables, grassy area, bocce ball court, rock climbing wall and restrooms. A picnic pavillion is available for rent. Reservations are required. 541-585-3144

Mary McCallum Park is located on the river adjacent to the Marina. This park is restricted to use by Sunriver property owners only. It offers picnic tables, barbecues and a small covered pavillion. For reservations, contact the SROA office Monthday through Friday at 541-593-2411

Pool/ Swimming:

The Sunriver Owners Association owns/ operates the SHARC aquatics facility and North Pool. SHARC includes indoor/ outdoor pools, lazy river, water slides, events center, outdoor amphitheater, park and winter tubing hill. The North Pool is only available to owners and open through the summer months.

Tennis- Pickleball:

SROA owns and maintains 24 outdoor tennis and 6 picleball courts. Equipment rentals are avaiable at Tennis Hill at Fort Rock Park, Memorial Day through Labor Day.

The Village At Sunriver:

The Village features shopping, dingin, seasonal ice skating, bumper cars, bounce house playgrounds, mini golf, events and more.

Winter Fun:

There is ice skating in the the Village, tubing at SHARC and miles of pathways for crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing.

Skiing, Snowboarding, Sledding:

Some of the finest downhill skiing around is available just 30 minutes away at Mt. Bachelor. Equipment rentals and Snow Park permits are available at various locations in the Village. 


12 Facts To Learn About Sunriver Oregon

Sunriver Oregon

Did You Know?

  1. The name Sunriver was selected by develpers John Gray and Donald V. MCallum in 1968.

     2. Sunriver is located on the grounds of the former Camp Abbot, a World War II training facility designed to train combat engineers in a simulated combat environment. The U.S. Army camp opened in 1942, but by June 1944, the camp was abandoned and most of the settlement was razed.

      3. Sunriver was also the site of the pioneer Shonquest Ranch,  Sunriver post office was established on July 18, 1969, at the same time the public facilities were opened.

       4. Sunriver and all of Oregon has no sales tax.

       5. Oreogn is one of the only two states where you can't pump your own gas (New Jersey being the other).

       6. Permanent population of approximately 1,700 though during high peak season it may increase to upwaards of 20,000.

       7. This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures abouve 80 degrees F. According to the Koppen Climate Classification system, Sunriver has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.

       8. Sunriver airport is a public use airport located one nautical mile (2 km) west of the central businesss district of Sunriver. It is a privately owned by Sunriver Resort, LP. this airport is included in the National Plan of Integrated Airport Systems for 2011-2015, which catergorized it as a general aviation facility.

       9. Sunriver Observatory is an astronomical observatory operated by the not-for-profit Sunriver Nature Center &Observatory in Sunriver, Oregon. the observatory has 11 telescopes. In July 2012, the observatory was renamed the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver.

       10. Sunriver's elevaton is at 4,164 ft (1,269.2m.)

       11. Sunriver has over 35 miles of paved bike paths.

       12. Average commute time is 32 minutes. the Ntional Average is 25 minutes in Bend.


Sunriver, OR 97707

Wed Mar 24 2021
This week the median list price for Sunriver, OR 97707 is $992,000 with the market action index hovering around 83. This is an increase over last month's market action index of 77. Inventory has held steady at or around 4. Click here to stay informed with the Sunriver market!

Market Action Index

This answers "How's the Market?" by comparing rate of sales versus inventory.


The market continues to get hotter. More sales demand and fewer homes listed have contributed to a relatively long run of increasing prices. Current supply and demand levels show no sign of prices changing from their current trend.

7-Day Average90-Day AverageJul 2018Nov 2018Mar 2019Jun 2019Oct 2019Feb 2020Jun 2020Oct 2020Feb 2021$600K$800K$1.0M$1.2M$400K$1.4MOct 05 20187-Day Average: $599K90-Day Average: $576K

Price trends in this zip code continued their recent uptrend this week. While still below the market's high point, we've seen a nice run recently.

Market Segments

Each segment below represents approximately 25% of the market ordered by price.

Go directly to First American Market Report


Why is NOW the BEST Time to Sell Your Sunriver Home?

Best time to sell your Sunriver home

If you are thinking of selling your Sunriver home now is the time. This is one of the strongest sellers real estate markets we have ever seen in Sunriver, there is huge financial gains to sellers cashing in on the rising equities in their homes. So why is today any different than other times of being told it was a great time to sell?

The speed of today's real estate market is causing buyers to write offers sight unseen, to offer thousands of dollars above list price, to waive contract contingencies like appraisals and inspections, and to woo the seller in creative and unique ways. That is why if you are thinking at all about selling, the tremendously low inventory of homes for sale right now, along with the huge buyer demand and cash buyers, is pushing up home prices to offer opportunities for home seller's.

What is driving the current seller's real estate market?

A seller's market means that there are more buyers than there is inventory, pushing the price of real estate up.

The real estate market measures "inventory" in terms of time on the market by comparing the ratio of active listings to pending sales as of the end of the month. This ratio gives us a turnover calculation, showing how long it will take for the current inventory of homes to sell. A real estate market is deemed to be a sellers' market when there is less than 5 months of inventory.

We can't predict how long this market will continue, if you are thinking of selling your home, don't wait and miss out on the market opportunity to sell for top dollar.

What is driving this seller's market?

Increased home buyer demand due to historically low interest rates, increased demand from buyers due to economical circumstances, and low invnetory of homes pushing sales prices higher and higher.

If you would like to know what your home is worth in today's market just enter your address here on my website or call or text me at 541-815-0906 or


Buying A Home
Buying a home

The purchase of a home may be the biggest investment you ever make - one that First American wants to help you protect. Whether you're just starting to look at listings or you've already signed a purchase agreement for your dream home, we can help walk you through the home purchase process - and then help you keep your home protected.

Should I Buy?

Your specific reasons for buying a home will always be unique, but common factors to consider before deciding to purchase a home include:

How Do I Prepare?

When you do find your perfect home, you may need to act quickly. That's why it's a good idea to make sure you have all your financial arrangements in order beforehand.

Before you start shopping, it's a good idea to:

  • Set a budget (a mortgage broker can help with this)
  • Plan for a down payment (typically between 10 and 20 percent of the asking price)
  • Get copies of your current credit report
  • Become an optimal credit candidate
  • Get preapproved for a mortgage

Who Can Help Me?

Purchasing a home may be the largest financial expenditure you make in your lifetime. For this reason, you may want assistance in navigating the real estate market and home-buying process. Hiring a real estate agent or broker can be a big help. A real estate agent can help you by:

  • Finding budget- and location-appropriate listings
  • Arranging viewings
  • Communicating and negotiating with sellers
  • Locating off-market listings
  • Keeping the transaction moving
  • Offering advice

How Do I Make An Offer?

When you are ready to make an offer, you and your real estate agent will need to draw up a contract with the applicable information. Your real estate agent will then present this offer to the sellers (or sellers' real estate agent). The sellers may accept, decline or counter the offer.

Your offer might include:

  • Sale price/offered price
  • Street address and a description of the surrounding land
  • Sale terms (cash purchase, mortgage financing, etc.)
  • Seller's written intent to transfer title (ownership)
  • The date the property will change hands
  • Any agreements on the prorating of utility bills
  • Payment of title insurance and home inspections
  • Deed details
  • State-specific required clauses (consult your real estate agent or broker for these)
  • Offer timetable and expiration date
  • Contingency plans that will come into effect as the result of a canceled/defaulted sale

What Are My Next Steps?

After a deal is accepted, everything that has been contractually agreed upon gets set in motion. The time between the offer acceptance and the closing of the transaction is known as "escrow." Depending on your geographic area, this process may differ, but will likely include third-party handling of transaction documents and funds.

Depending on negotiations, you might have to deposit money into an escrow account. The homeowner may then begin construction on any improvements/renovations required by inspections or the purchase contract, and you'll need to get your financial paperwork in order (including preapprovals, letters of intent and offer contract). All parties involved in the transaction will determine a tentative closing date, when the transaction should be finalized and you are scheduled to receive the keys to your new home.

After all the paperwork is signed, it's almost time to move in. If you think that a final inspection is necessary, be sure to include this in the language of the final contract; technically, you are entitled to as many walkthroughs as you want to determine if the sellers completed all agreed-upon repairs

To get more information about the First American Title can help go to there website at

All information has been provided by First American Title.... read the full article here


Proposed Changes To Estate Tax and Stepped-Up Basis Rule

Biden's administration may spell changes to estate tax and stepped-up basis rule. Along with a new administration comes tax code changes.

Proposed Changes to Estate Tax and Stepped-Up Basis Rule

While it remains unclear exactly what tax changes President Biden's administration will usher in, two possibilities are that he will propose lowering the estate tax exemption and eliminating the stepped-up basis on death. The first would affect only multi-millionaires, but the second could have an impact on more modest estates and their heirs. 

In 2017, Republicans in Congress and President Trump doubled the federal estate tax exemption and indexed it for inflation. For the 2020 tax year, the exemption is $11.58 million for individuals and $23.16 million for couples. As long as your estate is valued at under the exemption amount, it will not pay any federal estate taxes, and the vast majority of estates do not owe any tax. President Biden has expressed an interest in lowering the estate tax exemption. It could be halved to $5 million or even reduced to the previous exemption of $3.5 million for individuals. 

Another possible tax change is to how property is valued when it is passed on at death. "Cost basis" is the monetary value of an item for tax purposes. When determining whether a capital gains tax is owed on property, the basis is used to determine whether an asset has increased or decreased in value. For example, if you purchase a stock for $10,000, that is the cost basis. If you later sell it for $50,000, you will have to pay taxes on the $40,000 increase in value. 

Under current law, when a property owner dies, the cost basis of the property is "stepped up." This means the current value of the property becomes the basis. For example, suppose you inherit a house that was purchased years ago for $50,000 and it is now worth $250,000. You will receive a step up from the original cost basis from $50,000 to $250,000. If you sell the property right away, you will not owe any capital gains taxes.

According to an article in the New York Times, the current administration may propose to eliminate the basis step-up rule. In the past it was difficult to determine the original cost basis of some property, but in the digital age that information is more easily gathered. The change could result in tax increases for some people inheriting property that has risen significantly in value. 

Another question is whether either of these changes will be made retroactively. It is unlikely, but possible, that if Congress changes these rules later in the year, they could be made retroactive to the first of the year. 

If you are concerned about these rules changing, a trust may be a good way to protect your estate. Property in a trust passes outside of probate, and there are specific types of trusts that are designed to protect assets against estate taxes and capital gains. Talk to your attorney to determine if a trust is right for you. 

Tax experts agree that while changes to the tax code are likely, they probably will not happen right away. The coronavirus pandemic and the recession it has triggered mean that Congress has other priorities now. 

View the full article at


Real Estate Market Update for Three Rivers South-Sunriver-Zip 97707

This week the median list price for Three Rivers South/ Sunriver (97707) is $1,050 with the real estate market action index hovering around 72. This is an increase over last month's real estate market condition. Inventory at record lows.


You ask "How's the market?"
By comparing rate of sales versus inventory we see the market continues to get hotter. More sales demand and fewer homes listed for sale have contributed to a relatively long run of increasing prices. The current supply and demand levels show no sign of prices changing from their current trend.

Inventory in Sunriver as of today is 2 with one land listing and in Three Rivers South there is only 1 single family resident and one single family resident listed for sale in Crosswater.

Land listings are also at a record low for inventory, there are only 15 including 2 in Caldera Springs.

If you have any questions about what the real estate market I would love to speak to you.

Information was provided by First American Title in Sunriver/ Bend Oregon. If you would like to see the full real estate report you can go directly to the site.


Choosing the Right Statement Piece For Your Home

Every room needs a focal point, whether it's a work of art, a piece of furniture, a light fixture or an eye-catching rug. A statement piece adds visual interest and pulls the space together — and interior designers usually recommend one.

Choosing the Right Statement Piece

Do you want to make sure your living area, bedroom or elsewhere features an attention-getting piece, but not sure where to start?

Here's how you can find the right focal point for your space:

  1. Determine the room's best feature. Whether you have a living area with vaulted ceilings, a dining room with large windows or a bedroom with crown molding, you can use your statement piece to highlight this area.

  2. Understand the scale. Take your room's full size into account. Don't choose a small rug for a huge space or an oversized console table for an entryway. Here is a site with a simple formula for choosing the right size art for your wall.

  3. Decide if you want to go big or subtle. You could do one large statement piece in the center of the room or multiple smaller ones here and there. Consider a large mirror on an accent wall or a pair of striking vases on either side of a fireplace. This will depend on your taste as well as the size and shape of the space. The right size accent rugs are very important as well, you never want to skimp on the size or it will make your room look smaller...

  4. Choose a theme or mix-and-match. Is a single color palette, pattern or material your style? Or would you prefer to blend several looks for something more eclectic?  Whether you're a minimalist or not will probably help you make this decision.

  5. Know your timeline. Maybe you plan to change your statement piece every so often, or perhaps you want something that will be there for the long haul. You may want to choose more subtle, timeless pieces if you plan to keep them for a while.

If you're ready for a new place to design and decorate or need help with getting your place ready to sell, get in touch today for help with your real estate needs.


Screen Time and Insomnia: What Does It Mean For Teens?

For teenagers, sleep plays a critical role in staying healthy, feeling happy, maintaining good grades, and doing well in sports. But sleep doesn't come easily for some teens. For those who struggle, it's important to look at their electronic use. An increased amount of screen time throughout the day has been linked to insomnia and symptoms of depression in adolescents. This can include social messaging, web surfing, watching TV, and gaming, in addition to using the internet for schoolwork. The presence of electronic devices in teenagers' lives isn't going anywhere, anytime soon, so it's important to understand its effects on sleep and how to find a better balance.

The Blue Light Effect

Electronic devices emit an artificial blue light that can suppress the release of the body's sleep-inducing hormone, melatonin. In turn, this can interfere with the body's natural internal clock that signals when it's time to sleep and wake up. The more time teens spend in front of an electronic device, especially in the evening, the greater the delay in the release of melatonin, making sleep a challenge. They may experience problems falling asleep as well as difficulty staying asleep. As a result, these teens sleep fewer overall hours; over time, that sleep deprivation can lead to symptoms of depression.

Getting Back on Track

Limiting overall daily screen time can help improve sleep issues, but most importantly, restricting use right before bed can play a key role in helping teens fall asleep faster and improve sleep quality. Consider setting a digital curfew one to two hours before bedtime (the earlier, the better). Create a sleep-positive bedroom environment by encouraging teens to read before bed rather than texting to wind down. Some parents institute a tech-free bedroom policy—no TV, computer, or smart phone allowed in the sleeping space, at least during the night.

There are many benefits to today's tech-driven world: Access to more information, the ability to connect with others in an emergency, and a chance to make friends with new people in new places. Managing the amount of time adolescents spend plugged into their electronic devices helps give them the benefits without as many drawbacks, especially when it comes to sleep.

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Winter Home Projects You Can Do During the Pandemic

Winter Home Improvement Projects

After months of living through COVID-19, your to-do list may have gotten much shorter. But now that we're in the midst of winter and are continuing to stay at home, what are some good winter DIY home projects to tackle?

Home improvement projects

Let's start with some home improvement ideas for winter. If you read about fall DIY projects, you may have already tackled painting your kitchen cabinets and accent walls and changed your lighting fixtures. If so, congratulations on that achievement! Now, let's look at some other home improvement projects you can tackle.

Give a fresh coat to your interior trim

After painting accent walls, you may have noticed you also need to add a new coat of paint to the molding around your floors, ceilings, windows and doors. All you will need to get starting is paing and some paint supplies.

Repair your door and window screens

It may be cold now and your are not opening your doors and windows but come spring you will want to and you won't want pesky bugs getting in your house through holes and tears in your screens. This is a great winter home improvement project because you can bring the screens into your garage or basemnet to repair them in the off season. If you want to replace the entire screen you will need screen spline and rolling tool. You can buy these individually or pick up a complete screen replacement kit. If you have a small hole that just needs patched, you could use screen tape or pre-cut patches. A great place to buy these items is at our local hardware store in Sunriver, Camp Abbot Trading Co. 

Organize your garage

After spending time in your garage, you may realize you don't have much space with tools and sports gear everywhere. You can solve this issue with a few a garage organization measures. Get you garden tools out of the way with a wall mounted rack. A bike storage rack will get your bikes off the floor since you probably won't be riding them this winter. Add some hooks to store other things on the wall. A sports rack can keep all your balls, bats, gloves and rackets in one easy to find place. Stackable storage containers are great for all the other miscellaneous items you keep in the garage.

Organize your closet

Now that you've finished your garage, you're ready to move on to your closet . Even if you have a small closet or no closet at all, these tips are for you.

You can choose a closet organization system  or select the pieces you need on your own. You may want to include space-saving collapsible hangers  that let you hang four or five items in the same space as one regular hanger. Or, you could use an adjustable hanging rod , which gives you a two-tier system, doubling the number of clothes you can hang in the same space. Hanging shelves with drawers give you a great deal of flexibility, while a hanging shoe organizer will free up a lot of space on your floor.

Get your kitchen in order

organize your homes kitchen drawers

If you're ready for more organizing, move on to the kitchen to find ways to create more space and make it easier to find the things you need. Arrange your silverware and cutlery with an expandable drawer organizer that will work in most drawers, narrow or wide. If your cans are always in the far reaches of your pantry, make them easier to find with a stackable can rack organizer. Take advantage of more space in your corner cabinet with a lazy susan. Keep your flour, sugar and other food fresh in stackable airtight food containers. With a pot rack organizer, you'll always be able to find the pot and lid you need without digging through your cupboard, while an over the door rack can be used for both spices and cans to save space in your pantry.

Rejuvenate your bathroom

Ready for a new look for your bathroom? This may be a great time to spruce this room up with a new shower curtain, mat, and towels. Dress up your countertop with a new soap dispenser kit. Top it off by replacing your sink faucet and tub and shower kit.

Freshen up your door and drawer hardware

You may not want to spring for new doors throughout your house or new cabinets, but you can give both a fresh, new look by replacing the door handles and cabinet knobs.

Hopefully this give you few ideas to spruce up your home before spring comes.

Article from and written By: Laurie Garrison 


Property Tax Collection – How To Read Your Deschutes County Property Tax Statement
Deschutes County Property Taxes

What color is your tax statement?

Green statements indicates that no lender has requested information and the property owner is responsible for paying the bill.

A yellow statement indicates one of the two things:

The property owner is receiving a Senior or Disabled Tax Deferral in which the Oregon Department of Revenue will pay all or part of the property tax.

Or our records indicate a lender has requested your information and will be making your payment.

Taxpayers are urged to check with their mortgage company if they believe their current arrangement is not reflected by the color of the tax statement. This has been an area of confusion in the past years.

Important dates to consider:

  • Late payments lose the discount, and the tax begins accruing interest after the due date.
  • In Oregon, property is valued each year as of January 1.
  • The fiscal tax year runs from July 1 through June 30.
  • Property taxes are mailed no later than October 25 and payment is due November 15.  The dates at the top of your statement reflect the fiscal tax year for the property taxes imposed.

Roll type: The property "roll type" is printed at the top of the statement. You will see one of the following descriptions: "Real Property", "Manufactured Structure", "Utility", or "Personal Property". 

Property Description: Identifies certain characteristics of your property (when applicable) by:

  • Code:  Tax levy code that defines the list of taxing districts for your property.
  • Map:  Represents the location of your property by township, range, section and tax lot as per the Assessors' Maps.
  • Legal:  Some properties may be identified by their legal description if it is a lot and block in a subdivision.
  • Situs: The physical address of the property
  • Account No:  Property Tax Account number. 

Current tax year detail:
Your tax statement shows the taxes collected for each of the districts in which your property is located. Each district collects a permanent tax rate for ongoing services, plus any additional taxes that may be approved by the voters.  These taxes are shown on your statement as Local Option Levies (LOL) or Bond Levies.

  • A. Educational Taxes:  Assessed for Central Oregon Community College, your property's Educational Service District and K-12 school district.
  • B. General Government Taxes: Paid to cities, regional government, county and special districts (water, sewer, fire, etc).
  • C. Bond Taxes: Finance capital improvements such as school buildings, parks, or public works projects that have been authorized by voters.


  • Real Market Value (RMV) is the amount in cash that could reasonably be expected to be paid by an informed buyer to an informed seller.
  • Assessed Value (AV) is the total (combined land and structures) amount of value used to impose property taxes. If you are currently receiving a Veteran's Exemption, it will be noted in this section.
  • Delinquent Taxes Any prior year's tax remaining unpaid will be listed just above your current year total tax due on the front, right hand side of the statement. Delinquent amounts that will be subject to foreclosure, if not paid by May 15 the following year, will be indicated with an asterisk (*). Payments will be applied to the oldest tax year first.

An informational flyer is included with each tax statement to be used as a guide for a better understanding of the property tax statement, payment options, and other programs associated with the Oregon Property Tax System.

Appeals, delinquency, foreclosure you can learn more here  

Still have questions? Check out Deschutes County's frequently asked questions page.






Real Estate Market Update January 2020

In this Beacon report you will see information about the housing market from 1997-2020. Median sales price trends in Bend and well as Sunriver and La Pine, Oregon.

the Central Oregon real estate market has experienced a significant decline in the level of inventory this last quarter. The median single family residence sale price in Bend declined for the second consecutive month as the number of sales was nearly unchanged from November and December. Inventory declined to .3 months supply.


Redmond single family residential real estate market median sales price was $375k in December and had an increase in the number of sales when compared to November. The inventory in Redmond remains less than half month suppply.

Sunriver's single family residential real estate market median sales price was $635k with an average of 4 days on the market. Current Sunriver inventory is .2 months.


La Pine's single family residential median sales price  was $325k with 17 days on market and a current inventory of .3 months.

With interest still being at record lows buyers are stacked up waiting to purchase properties as soon as they come on the market. If you are looking to sell a property now is a great time.

If you have any questions about the Central Oregon real estate market give me a call! 541-815-0906

View the whole report here

This information is from our MLS system, it is deemed liable but not guaranteed and is subject to change.


Could we see a flurry of foreclosures in 2021?

Although there is more demand for housing, there is also a higher risk of losing it, and many economic signs point to a rocky road ahead. Here's why this housing boom won't last.

That's what we're seeing in the housing market right now. Not only will this housing boom not last, there may be a reckoning in about a year.

Real estate is up

When the economy first shut down, many were hoping for a V-shaped recovery, but as more time passed, it became clear that was not a likely outcome. One hallmark of this downturn, however, is that the economic effects are not uniform, with geographic and industry-specific micro-recessions and micro-recoveries punctuating a staggered downturn.

Within this context, the housing market has seen a V-shaped recovery. There was the initial plunge, of course, but over the last couple of months, we've seen strong consumer demand for new homes.

Housing sales are at a 13-year high, and home prices are up 7.2 percent from last year. Google searches show a 50 percent year-over-year increase in home improvement searches and a 30 percent year-over-year increase in homes for sale searches.

Some of this can be explained by how society is reorganizing itself in the face of a pervasive pandemic. As work-from-home asserts itself as a long-term reality, consumers look toward home improvement to accommodate the new lifestyle. Many people are also fleeing high-density urban areas in favor of the suburbs or rural areas.

Homeowners/renters are vulnerable 

According to a recent survey, most renters and homeowners could not pay more than a month's rent or mortgage payment if they were to lose their job. Part of the government programs protecting consumers was delayed payments, or forbearance, which renters and homeowners will be responsible for paying back in the coming months.

One in every 12 mortgages is now past due, a delinquency rate that has not been seen in years. As of August, 90 percent of renters are paying rent, as opposed to 92.1 percent in August of last year — not a huge drop but still a signal that all is not well for tenants.

Jobless claims rose back above one million this summer. The stimulus package that protected unemployed Americans elapsed, and many were using this added stimulus to pay their rents and mortgages.

While the president has issued an executive order, it's a reduced payment that some states are unwilling to contribute to. Any signs of weakness from rent and mortgage payers this summer will become more apparent in the coming weeks, as bills continue to be due but the extra stimulus and unemployment benefits are not there to cover.  

Simultaneous rise and fall

The demand for new homes is causing strong optimism from homebuilders, as seen by the recent record high in the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index. Meanwhile, consumer confidence is down as of August.

While demand for new homes appears strong, many may be under appreciating the financial vulnerability of those residing in existing homes. This appears to be a recipe for continued building while people continue to lose jobs in a volatile marketplace. In other words, there is a simultaneous bullish housing market as well as signs of a bear market in the coming year.

When you consider all of these factors together, you start to see some similarities to the housing crisis of 2008, most likely not in severity but in structure — that is, a boom cycle followed by a bust.

Another aggressive stimulus could alleviate some of these concerns, but the reality is that there are many to-be-determined economic factors. All the while, the presidential election, which historically has weakened consumer confidence in the months leading up to it, looms large. Housing looks good now, but proceed with some caution heading into 2021.

Andrew Duguay is the chief economist at Prevedere, an industry insights and predictive analytics company, in Boston. Connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter. 

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