2017 Home Design Trend: Hot for Hygge

2017 Home Design Trend: Hot for Hygge

Have you heard of hygge? If not, no doubt you will be hearing about it soon: It was named Pinterest’s number one home and design trend for 2017. A slew of books on hygge have been released in the past year, and more are on the way. There are hygge shops, hygge drinks, hygge websites, hygge vacations, hygge home goods, hygge fashion. You get the idea. But what the heck is hygge? Better yet, how do you pronounce it? Well, hygge (pronounced either “hou-gah” or “hue-gah,” depending on whom you ask) is a Danish word for a very Scandinavian concept: a feeling of warmth, welcome and coziness that provokes a feeling of a contentment or well-being. There is, in fact, no English word that captures the essence of hygge. No, hygge is a philosophy –- a way of life focused on relishing life’s simple pleasures with family and friends. Here’s the image most often used to explain hygge: reading a book by the fire while bundled up beneath a hand-knit throw sipping mulled wine with good friends in a candle-lit log cabin. That’s a concept that seems tailor-made for Central Oregon, where immersion in the idyllic natural wonders that are so plentiful here is a common goal. That emphasis on an outdoors-centric lifestyle has helped cement the region’s reputation as a destination location (one key difference: the ‘mulled wine’ here is more likely to be an ice-cold local IPA). So how to infuse your home with hygge? Aside from the obvious (crank up the fire, whip up some cocoa), here are a few suggestions: Add candles –- lots of...
Snowmaggedon: Potential Property Tax Relief

Snowmaggedon: Potential Property Tax Relief

If Central Oregon’s recent winter storms have caused significant damage to your home or business, you may be eligible for a discount on your property taxes, Deschutes County officials have announced. Oregon law includes a provision that allows property owners who experience a casualty loss due to a fire or “act of God” to apply for a reduction of property taxes. The proration of tax applies only to taxable structures or property, not to vehicles or residential personal items. Here’s the online application for property tax proration, along with some additional information about the process. Applications can be submitted electronically to taxoffice@deschutes.org; they’re also available at the Deschutes County Tax Office, 1300 NW Wall St., Bend. Questions? Call the Deschutes County Tax Office at 388-6540. The deadline for applications need is June 30.   About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and...
Real Estate Stats-at-a-Glance: December 2016

Real Estate Stats-at-a-Glance: December 2016

In December, Bend saw a slight dip in home prices from the previous month, according to the January Beacon Report*. The median home sales price in Bend for a single-family home was $355,000. That’s a decline of 5 percent ($19,000) compared to November –- but it’s an increase of more than 9 percent since December 2015. Bend had 192 single-family home sales last month, four fewer than in November and 18 fewer than in December 2015. Meanwhile, in Sisters, the median price for single-family homes increased more than 7 percent in December – up from $335,000 in November to $360,000. There were 16 SFR sales in December, compared to 15 in November. Redmond home prices declined slightly in December, down 1.5 percent — from $270,000 in November to $266,000 in December. The Redmond median price is up by more than 19 percent since December 2015, when it was $223,000. There were 80 home sales, six fewer than in November. The Beacon Report is compiled by Beacon Appraisal Group, which regularly tracks real estate trends in Central Oregon.   *All listing information provided here is deemed reliable, but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified. The Multiple Listing Service of Central Oregon (MLSCO) does not verify the information provided and disclaims any responsibility or liability arising from any inaccuracy or inadequacy of said information or for typographical errors by MLSCO, or for any delay caused in dissemination of such information. About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and Redmond....
Affordable Housing Projects in the Works

Affordable Housing Projects in the Works

At last, an attempt to address Central Oregon’s critical need for affordable housing: According to the Bend Bulletin, Housing Works, the public housing authority for Central Oregon, plans to build 90 apartment and townhome units for low-income households (those at or below 60 percent of area median income) in Sisters and La Pine. As part of its new LIFT Program (Local Innovation and Fast Track), Oregon Housing and Community Services has allocated more than $3.6 million in state funding to underwrite construction of the two projects. The projects will also rely on 4 percent low-income housing tax credits from OHCS for their funding. According to the Bulletin, the total cost to build the two projects comes to about $14.5 million. In Sisters, the plan is to develop a 48-unit apartment complex called Village Meadows Apartments. Located on a 2.12-acre parcel behind Ray’s Food Place, it will include a mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom units. The La Pine Townhouse project calls for 42 units located on a 2.5-acre parcel in the southwest part of town less than a mile from schools, shopping and other resources. Design and construction will fall to Home First Development, a Portland firm that specializes in affordable housing. Housing Works says it hopes to begin construction on both communities by the summer of 2017; build time is expected to be 12 months. About the Author Lisa Broadwater, GRI, CDPE, is a Central Oregon-based real estate professional who specializes in listing and selling homes, especially in Sisters, Tumalo, Bend and...
What’s Bloomin’: 2017 Gardening Trends

What’s Bloomin’: 2017 Gardening Trends

    It’s 6 degrees outside, with about a foot of snow (and more on the way), so I can’t think of a better time to talk about spring.   In a stroke of good fortune, yesterday’s paper (which I’m reading this morning) features a wire story from the Newport News (Virginia) Daily Press detailing several gardening trends for 2017. Count me in. A few of the trends are pretty predictable -– healthy living with fewer chemicals; more organic foods; an increasing emphasis on folks growing their own food, especially among millennials. Then there’s indoor gardening (i.e, hydroponics and aquaponics), which has been on the rise for a few years –- and is now considered mainstream. One of the 2017 trends has already firmly taken root (so to speak) here in Central Oregon: Growing your own hops -– which, the article declares, “is a natural step for the beer enthusiast who wants to experiment with the freshest, most local ingredients possible.” Sounds like that reporter in Virginia is familiar with Bend. There is one trend, however, that, at first glance, seems pretty unlikely in Central Oregon, where a frost in July is not unheard-of: year-round gardening. Turns out, though, dramatic temperature shifts shouldn’t be a problem any longer: We now have “uber gardening”:  using subscription services to provide climate-appropriate seeds and foods. Apparently, it’s been around for awhile, but it’s news to me. And, according to Katie Dubow, creative director at the Garden Media Group, which tracks national gardening trends, “In the next two years, experts estimate people will carry an average of eight subscription services.” Since the article doesn’t elaborate...
Christmas Spirit: Holiday Event Calendar for Central Oregon

Christmas Spirit: Holiday Event Calendar for Central Oregon

Winter weather is here, snow is plentiful and the Christmas season is in full swing. If you’re feeling festive, check out the list of holiday events below -– there’s a wide variety of celebratory activities in Central Oregon between now and Christmas Day. Thru Dec. 18 Three Sisters Lions Club’s 6th annual fund-raising faire with creations from local vendors is open daily, 352 E. Hood Ave, Sisters. Hours: Mon-Fri 10-5, Sat 10-6 & Sun 11-4. (206) 850-5352. “It’s a Wonderful Life,” a live radio play: A small ensemble of actors bring dozens of characters to the stage to tell the classic story of George Bailey. 7:30 pm, Cascades Theatrical Company, 148 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend. Adults $20, Seniors $16, Students $13. (541) 389-0803.   Thru Dec. 23 Horse-Drawn Wagon Rides: As part of Starfest, wagon rides are offered every Fri & Sat at 4:30 pm, Eagle Crest Resort. $10 adults, $5 children 5 & up. Reservations required. (541) 923-2453.   Thru Dec. 31 Starfest: Everyone is welcome to take a complimentary self-guided tour of this mile-long animated holiday light exhibit adjacent to Eagle Crest Lodge along Falcon Crest Drive. 4-10 pm, Eagle Crest Resort, 1522 Cline Falls Rd. (541) 923-2453.   Thru Jan. 1 18th Annual Traditions Holiday Celebration: A winter celebration that harkens back to a time when generations embraced the season — and each other. More than 150 family activities, including sleigh rides, snow shoeing, elf tuck-ins, holiday movies, Santa’s Workshop (create your own handcrafted holiday keepsake) & Gingerbread Junction (gingerbread houses will be on display in the Abbot Room). Sunriver Resort, 17600 Center Dr, Sunriver. (541) 593-1000.   Wednesday, Dec. 14...
How the Current Market Compares to the Peak

How the Current Market Compares to the Peak

Because of the ongoing increase in home prices throughout Central Oregon for the past three years, more and more often, I hear grumblings that it sure seems as if we’ve returned to the crazy heyday of 2005-2007, when average sales prices were recalculated monthly (rather than every 12 months, as is typical) and listings were under contract within a matter of hours as opposed to days. If you’re curious about the actual numbers and how they compare, check out the chart below, which lists three categories of stats for the third-quarter 2016 alongside those of the peak –- and shows just how far most markets have to go before returning to those heady days. The most noteworthy thing about the chart: Of the three markets I regularly track (Bend, Sisters and Redmond), only Bend’s Single Family Residential segment is seeing an average sales price similar to that of the peak: $419,764 in third-quarter 2016 compared to $426,044 for 2005. Prices for Redmond’s Single Family Residential properties are getting close, with an average sales price within 7 percent of its peak price ($272,122 in third-quarter 2016 compared to $292,268 for 2006). Most other markets still have quite a ways to go before their average sales prices reach those previous high numbers. Meanwhile, a look at the number of sales during the two time periods shows that no market’s overall sales are anywhere near those of 2005-2007; in fact, every market has still at least 25 percent fewer sales than during its peak. Related Blog Post: Can’t get enough stats? Here are the market statistics for Central Oregon for the third...
3rd Quarter Market Statistics for Central Oregon

3rd Quarter Market Statistics for Central Oregon

Several trends worth note stand out among the third-quarter real estate statistics for Central Oregon, which were recently released by the Multiple Listing service for Central Oregon. For one, the average sales price for a single-family home in Bend has almost returned to that of the region’s pre-recession highs ($419,764 in third-quarter 2016 compared to $426,044 during 2007). Not surprisingly, as more and more people are priced out of Bend, the pace of sales among Bend’s Single Family Residential (SFR) listings has slowed: It increased just 3 percent since this time last year (from 1,872 sales to 1,934 sales), compared to an increase of 9 percent in third-quarter 2015. What’s more, the number of sales among Bend’s Residential With Acreage (RW) listings has actually decreased (down 7 percent, from 256 to 239 sales). Meanwhile, the number of sales within the smaller, less-pricey neighboring markets has increased fairly dramatically since third-quarter 2015. For example: The number of La Pine’s SFR sales is up 19 percent (from 48 to 59), and La Pine’s RW sales are up 23 percent (from 79 to 103). Sisters SFR sales are up 14 percent (from 95 to 111), and Three Rivers South SFR sales are up 12 percent (from 84 to 95). Sales of homes on acreage in Jefferson County were up 38 percent (from 35 to 52). (See several numbers-at-a-glance charts below that show aspects of the Bend, Sisters and Redmond markets for third-quarter 2016. And here’s a chart comparing third-quarter 2016 statistics to peak-market statistics.) Perhaps more telling is the dramatic increases among the area’s townhome/condo and multi-family markets. With inventory among single-family...