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Duke Warner Realty

7 Tips for First-Time Central Oregon Home Buyers

Now that you’re ready to buy your first home , you likely want to move in yesterday. You’ve dreamed about your ideal home for so long, it’s indelibly stamped in your mind. Think: compromise.

1. Find What House You Can Afford

Chances are, first-time homebuyers can’t afford their dream home. Instead, try to find the best home in the best location that you can afford. Even buying your first home is expensive. Your first task is to secure a pre-approval for a mortgage loan. This will let you know how much you can spend on a home.

2. Find a Central Oregon Realtor

Next, find a trustworthy real estate agent in the vicinity where you would like to buy a home. Interview several agents until you connect with a knowledgeable agent who offers you a comfort level.

Make a list of your wants and needs for your new home. Realize you typically won’t find everything you want in one house but keep looking until you find everything you need. Contact Duke Warner’s realtors in Bend if you’d like to learn more about this process.

3. Search Based on Location and Neighborhoods

Ask any realtor the most important factor in buying a home, and she will say – Location, Location, Location. Your realtor can point out several desirable neighborhoods in the area where you want to purchase a home.
Do a drive-through of the neighborhoods, paying particular attention to curb appeal, landscaping, exterior upkeep, and overall appearance, i.e., cars parked in front yards, pets running loose. Is there an excess of traffic noise?

Is the home close to the supermarket, restaurants, banks, medical facilities, shops, and so on? Even if you don’t have children, close proximity to parks and schools will add value to your home if you decide to sell in the future.

Aside from Bend, some great areas to find your first home are Redmond, Prineville, La Pine, Sunriver, Sisters, Culver, and Madras.

4. Research Crime Rates

The idea is to find a home located in an attractive neighborhood with a low crime rate. Think: safety first. You need to feel comfortable leaving your kids at home alone while you’re away. Also, you don’t want to be constantly worrying about break-ins when no one is home.

When you’ve settled on 2-3 neighborhoods, ask your realtor to schedule appointments for home-viewing.

5. Analyze the Roof and Exterior

Before you look at the home’s interior, look up at the roof. Does it appear to be in good condition or are there some repairs and issues that need to be addressed? Ask the agent to find out when the roof was replaced. Buying a new roof is expensive. If you can see signs of age or missing shingles, get your realtor to find out whether the current homeowner will replace it before you buy.

Once you’re inside the home, look up at the ceilings in every room for signs of water damage. Also, watch for large cracks in the ceiling that may signify foundation damage.

6. Room-by-Room Features and Condition

Scope out the floors, windows, and walls for damage. Are there unpleasant smells, which may mean pets have lived inside, or someone smoked in the house? Are countertops in good condition? Are the gold kitchen appliances circa 1970? Will the homeowner consider replacing them?

What about systems, such as HVAC units, plumbing, hot water heater, etc.? Find out if they are well-maintained. Open cabinets in the kitchen and bathrooms and observe for any plumbing leaks.

Does the home have a good flow? For example, you may have a pet peeve about a powder room that opens into the kitchen. Are the bathrooms adequate in number and large enough for your comfort level? Suppose you want two sinks in the master bath, with storage underneath. Can you live with only one pedestal sink?

Of course, your home inspector can point out the problems, but it’s prudent for you to note whatever you can see. That way, you can compare his/her findings with yours and possibly negotiate based on the home inspection.

7. Enjoy the Process of Finding Your Central Oregon Starter Home

There’s a reason it’s called a “starter home”. First-time homebuyers usually can’t afford their dream home. Just keep looking, and you’ll find something you and your family will enjoy right now.

You’ll transition from a first-time homebuyer to a first-time homeowner. That’s a pretty good place to be.

If you have more questions or are ready to start your search today, contact one of our agents today!