Autumn is truly a spectacle in Central Oregon. One could easily get lost gazing at the sea of trees responding to shorter days and cooler nights with yellows, oranges and brilliant reds. Fall has a way of calming down the hustle and bustle, evident from the less-crowded streets, breweries and trails. Homeowners are nesting, gathering firewood and winterizing lawns in preparation for the cold months ahead. For homebuyers, this slower-paced season is an opportunity to find the "perfect" new home.
In the fall and winter, homebuyers will have more inventory to choose from, and it's when they're most likely to find the best deals. Recent Bend real estate data revealed that in September the median home price dropped $35,000 from the previous month, and homes are sitting on the market a bit longer, too. Price and inventory is just one piece of the puzzle; it's important that buyers are adequately prepared and well informed when starting this journey. Before all else, buyers should secure financing and get pre-approved by a lender and educated on loan options, down payment and closing costs. Sit down and take time to make a list of all the must-haves, attributes of the home that are mandatory and also the extra inessential wants. It's normal for the must-haves and wants list to change and evolve throughout the process.
Browsing home search websites is a great way to research and get familiarized with current inventory. According to the National Association of Realtors, 50% of Americans found their home online. Realtors found 28% of homes for their clients, and the remaining sources of sales come from yard signs, relatives or friends and print ads. When looking online, make sure to use a thorough and all-encompassing approach. Look past first impressions; it's amazing what gems are hidden behind awful photos. Explore videos and virtual tours to get a more comprehensive look at a property. Utilizing Google Maps satellite images can save time and energy and is a great way to familiarize yourself with the area and lay of the land. If available, utilize the "street view," which gives a more accurate perspective of surroundings.
At that point the top home choices should be clear, and it's time to contact a realtor and schedule showings to get inside and get a complete view of the property. While in the home, take pictures and videos for reviewing later. Look through the windows; buyers tend to focus on what's inside the home and forget to check out the views. Take your time, imaging living in the home and running through your daily activities to know if the house will truly work for your needs. If you're getting serious about a home, visit it at different times, like during rush hour or in the evening when all the neighbors and their pets are home. Viewing the home in person will often confirm or change opinions on the must-have list. House hunting can be full of compromise, so having an open mind is crucial to success.