This morning, for the first time in quite a while, I attended Bend’s weekly Broker Tour (when agents with new listings hold open houses so local brokers can preview the homes). Until my recent move to Alpine Real Estate, my Tuesdays were often spent making the rounds of the Sisters Broker Tour, where we caravanned en masse to a handful of homes in the Sisters School District. Now, I’ll be dividing my time between the two tours, depending on which tour has more homes that suit my buyer needs.
A lot of agents skip the tours — too busy, I’m often told. But I always find them worth my time. For example, this morning one of the longtime Bend brokers shared a few recent statistics with the group (which meets at the Central Oregon Association of Realtors headquarters): When it comes to Residential listings, the third quarter of 2012 was the best quarter since 2005 in terms of sales.  The average Residential sales price during that period was $292,000, compared to $455,000 for 2006 — which is great news for buyers, many of whom were priced out of Bend back in the mid-2000s. Another agent mentioned that the inventory is now the lowest it’s been since February 2006. Potential sellers, that’s great news for you, especially if you’re considering listing your home this winter, when the pickin’s will get even slimmer. Also, sales prices are up 14 percent since this time last year (also good news for sellers).
Bend Broker Tour Nov 2012There’s also something to be said for just seeing the properties. It helps me stay educated on the current inventory, beyond my active buyer pool. Today’s tour focused on Bend’s Northwest side and included homes in several of my favorite neighborhoods: There was a beautiful newly finished two-story contemporary home with a curious layout (reverse living with 70 percent of the space upstairs) in NorthWest Crossing, a sprawling four-bedroom home with gorgeous hickory floors in Shevlin Ridge and several high-end homes in and around Awbrey Butte. Alas, many of these homes are vacant, which is never ideal because they don’t show as well as homes with folks living in them — especially when one of the few things left behind is  lime-green polka-dot-speckled walls. Also discovered: I’m not a fan of duck wallpaper, even if it does co-ordinate with the shower curtain.
I hadn’t realized today’s tour also featured a Tumalo home, so — bonus for me! — I checked out a new listing in my home turf.  Located on Collins Road (known for its majestic Cascade Mountain views), the million-dollar listing is actually two properties in one. It features a spacious home in a gorgeous setting but will appeal to a very specific buyer — ideally, either a large extended family looking for multiple home sites or someone who’d actually like to work a small ranch/farm (it’s a total of 27.5 acres) and have a caretaker live nearby (but not too close) to help with the day-to-day maintenance — of which there will be plenty. It won’t work for horse owners who actually want to see their animals — the barns and pastures are located behind and very separate from the residence.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a property in Central Oregon with so many different components. In addition to the gated primary residence (which is a little over 4,000 square feet spread over two levels), there’s a two-car detached garage,  plus a second much smaller legal residence (with its own driveway), a guest “cottage,” two barns (one with an office and apartment), a covered arena, a large shop, several storage buildings, a professional greenhouse, a chicken coop, a one-acre pond with dock and gazebo, about 17 acres of irrigation and nearby access to public lands.
For the right buyer (one who’ll make use of everything here) , it’s a lot for the money.
Thinking of making a move to Central Oregon? I’d love to help you find the perfect property. You canPreview reach me by phone or text at (541) 480-0987 or by email here.

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.