Affordable housing in Bend and Eugene is hard to come by.
As of the morning of September 17, there were only 14 sub-$300,000 single-family homes listed for sale in Bend’s city limits. If we’re talking sub-$250,000 listings, that number drops to a whopping one.
The situation in Eugene is a bit less dire. More than a hundred sub-$300,000 listings are available. 28 of these are under $250,000 dollars.
But if you’re looking for a move-in-ready starter home and don’t have the time or money for an extensive remodel, your options in both Bend and Eugene narrow significantly.
On top of that, first-time home-buyers in these markets who plan to use conventional financing often must compete with investors whose deep pockets enable them to make an all-cash offer. This is especially likely if you’re looking to land in the most desirable areas of Bend or Eugene.
The Gritty Truth About Buying a Starter Home in Bend and Eugene
We recently listed a sub-$200,000 home off 27th and Friendly, right in the heart of one of Eugene’s hot up-and-coming neighborhoods. It would have been charitable to call it a “fixer-upper.” Nonetheless, the property didn’t last long, and a quick stream of offers came in at well above list price.
That’s another thing: savvy listing agents will sometimes throw out a low-ball asking price with the educated assumption that a bidding war will ensue. Knowing how much over list a property will likely go for takes an equally-savvy buyer’s agent.
Underbid, and you’re out of the running. Overbid, and you’re basically giving extra money away to the seller.
The important thing, though, is to be sure that you make an offer that you don’t regret later. You don’t want to find out after closing that you could have comfortably outbid the winning offer. But you also don’t want want to bid so much that you regret making the winning bid!
Adding pressure to the situation, affordable homes often go pending within days after listing. There isn’t much time for hesitation. If you can make a strong offer, it’s often best to put it forward as soon as possible.
I recently entered into contract with a client to purchase a charming, sub-$250,000 home in Eugene’s Far West Neighborhood. I saw the house the evening it was listed and contacted my client. The next day, I showed up at the very start of its open house with a solid offer in hand.
But I also had another ace up my sleeve: I had set my client’s offer to expire less than an hour after I presented it. The seller couldn’t refuse, and we had a deal.
A skilled buyer’s agent can obviously give you an edge in negotiations. They can also push on the seller to finance as many repairs as possible out of their own pocket, moving you closer to move-in-ready status. But the most important part of what an agent can do for you actually takes place well before you send him or her off to the negotiating table.
Before you can make an offer you’re comfortable with, preparation is essential. Buying a home is the biggest investment most people will ever make. You need to know that both you and your family are ready, and you need to have a pretty good idea of what you do want and don’t want.
You also need to know precisely what you’re getting yourself into. Part of it’s gathering information, and part of it is psychological and emotional.
And this is where we come to the good news: there are folks out there who are more than happy to help you. A good agent can land you a deal if the chips fall right. Only a great agent, however, can help you navigate through all the complexities and ambiguities that attend the decision to own a home.
We’re Here to Help (Whether We Land a Fat Check or Not!)
It isn’t exactly an industry secret: especially for smaller brokerages like ours, a pretty big chunk of our business comes from client referrals. We want you to be happy with the end result of our work together–so happy that you want to tell all your friends about it.
That may mean finding an affordable new home. But it may also mean holding off until the time is more ripe.
Your agent should help you manage your own expectations while making sure that the bottom line still jives with your own comfort zone. Buyer’s remorse is something you want to avoid, and if your agent is working for you and not their commission check, it’s something they’ll want to avoid too.
Many of the buyers who we work with are still testing the waters. Sometimes people tell us that they aren’t sure if they want to buy and don’t want to waste too much of our time. But actually, we love searching for properties and showing people homes, whether or not it ends in a sale.
It’s a lot like detective work: almost nobody knows what they want straight off the bat. What are our clients’ real priorities, and what are they willing to give up? Are we getting warmer, or colder? And when you find something you love, does your spouse love it, or is he or she lukewarm?
Especially in tight markets like Bend and Eugene, it’s necessary to gain confidence as a buyer. We recognize that this takes time, research, discussion, and a good deal of footwork.
It could very well take a few missed opportunities–homes that, when they popped up, you weren’t quite ready for but which seem like Shangri La in retrospect. But however it all plays out, we recognize: everyone has their own process when it comes to buying a home.
We just want to help you get the ball rolling. If you can end the process knowing more than you did and having more confidence, then we can consider our work a success.
So, even if you’re just wanting to test the waters of the market, we’re more than happy to help you dip your toes in. Fill out our Find Your Home form, and we’ll be in touch with you shortly.
It won’t give you any automated results: we see the human element as an invaluable part of anyone’s home search, and we want to provide that for you. Speaking of humans, our Team consists of three of them, along with one canine. Check us out, or go to our blog for further real estate insights.