Real Estate Information Archive


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The things you should know about the neighborhood

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

When looking to Buy a home, you generally make a list of questions that you’ll ask. Many of them are standard, predictable questions such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, HOA fees, is there a yard, how are the schools, etc.


However, when it comes to crime in the neighborhood, many people fail to ask any questions at all. It’s easy to place homes in “good” or “bad” areas, but sometimes it’s not that easy. Knowing more about the crime in your potential neighborhood can help you make a more educated decision on whether a home is right for you or not.

Here are 3 things you should know about crime in your potential neighborhood:


1.  Do any offenders live nearby? Most states require that certain individuals with histories of criminal convictions, particularly of a sexual nature, to register their home addresses with local authorities. This information is then mandatorily available to the public. There are a number of sites available, so when you are searching, the best way is to Google “your potential city, your potential state Megan’s Law registry” to find a site that will allow you to type in the address of the home you are considering purchasing, and find a list of registered sex offenders in the area. Most of these sites offer a map showing your address and relative locations of the homes of registered sex offenders.


Keep in mind that even some of the nicest neighborhoods still may have registered sex offenders living nearby. These sites just give you the information to empower you and your family to recognize potential dangers and make an informed decision as to whether a home or neighborhood is right for you.


2.  What types of crimes happen in the neighborhood most frequently, and how often do they happen? Even the most peaceful cities and neighborhoods will likely see some crime. However, while some neighborhoods may experience a few break-ins, others may experience a heavy amount of drug-related crimes. This information can be helpful in letting you know if a garage is important because of the number of car break-ins, whether to get a security system or other anti-crime features, or whether to just move to a different neighborhood.


3.  Was the home a drug lab? There are many health-impairing effects you can experience after purchasing a home that was once a methamphetamine lab. If the sellers are aware of this, they should disclose it. Unfortunately, many homes-turned-into-meth-labs end up being sold by banks as foreclosures, by estates, trusts, or investors who are unaware of the home’s past.


The best way to get the answer to this question is to talk with your potential neighbors. Neighbors will often reveal if the home had a shady past. You should always get a home inspection that can look for signs of the home being used as a drug lab. Also, you can search the federal Drug Enforcement Association’s Clandestine Laboratory Registry.

Knowing about the crime in your potential neighborhood can help you make a more informed decision about your new home and neighborhood.


For any questions, or if you are looking to either Buy or Sell a home in Central Oregon, please give me a call today. I hope you found the information written above to be helpful.

Do I need my own Realtor when buying from a Builder?

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

If you are purchasing a home from a home builder, you might think that you don’t need a real estate agent. However, a homebuyer can be at a big disadvantage if they don’t use a real estate agent and just go directly through the builder.


The real estate agent’s job in this type of transaction is to represent the buyer and assist them throughout the transaction. The agent’s responsibility is to get the buyer the most value for the least amount of money.


You may currently be working with the builder representative at the model home, but that representative is not a real estate agent working for you. They are a salesperson for the builder working toward the best interest of the builder.


When you work directly with a builder, you will be responsible for negotiating on your own behalf. As a homebuyer, you may be unaware of what incentives are typical, alternative financing options, who pays for what, what upgrades should cost, etc. Real estate agents negotiate on a daily basis. They know what questions they should ask on behalf of the buyer that the buyer may not even think about.


Real estate agents are licensed and governed by strict laws and a code of ethics. Agents have the motivation to work in your best interest as a homebuyer because they also rely on your referrals and repeat business, which is a powerful incentive for providing the highest level of service.


Have someone in your corner when working with a home builder, and hire a real estate agent when building a home as well. Personally I have worked with home builders my entire 28 year real estate career. I am happy to meet and discuss with you what services I can bring to the table to help YOU should you decide to Buy or build a brand new home.

Should I or Shouldn't I Buy That House?

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

There are a lot of things to consider when buying a home. Making a list of must-haves should be the first step in the home buying process, but what about those items beyond the “must-haves?” Once you’ve found a home you think you want to Buy, there are still some things you should think twice about before closing. Buyer’s remorse is real, and many new homebuyers find themselves facing its effects, and you don’t want to be one of them.


Consider these 4 things before signing on the dotted line:


  1. Is the home too expensive for you? The amount you can qualify for and what you can actually afford can really be two different amounts. You constantly hear about people being “house poor,” meaning that they spend so much money on their mortgage every month that they have little money for anything else. If this is your first home, it’s important to think about the expenses you haven’t had to pay while renting that you may incur when purchasing a home. There may be sacrifices that you have to make as far as your budget goes. Are you prepared to make them? Don’t establish your home buying budget on what your lender says you can afford. Center it on what you honestly know you can afford and stick to it.
  2. Is the location right? A good location should be toward the top of your list of “must-haves.” However, a good location doesn’t necessary mean it’s the right location for you and your family. Do you want or need space to play? Does the location make sense for your work commute? Are the schools in the location you want to send your children to? Do you want to be near stores and other conveniences or would you prefer to be closer to the suburbs? Are you part of an HOA, and are you okay with that? If you compromise on your location, give it serious thought.
  3. Are you purchasing the home with intent to Sell or refinance it within a short period of time?This was how so many people got in trouble and upside down in their homes in the first place – buying homes they couldn’t necessarily afford after the short-term financing terms changed, and assuming they would be able to Sell or refinance the house. If you are purchasing a home, and you’re not an investor or contractor, plan on purchasing a home you and your family could live comfortably in for at least 5 years.
  4. Are you unsure about your job security? While this economy can be unpredictable, and job security is becoming more and more a thing of the past, if you are trying to get into a home because you are concerned that an upcoming layoff might disqualify you for a home loan, maybe you should put off purchasing a new home until you are no longer concerned about an interruption of income. If you’re confident in your current career, can get work with another company easily, or have a large cushion of savings that could handle a temporary interruption of income, then proceed with the purchase. However, if you are seriously concerned about the short-term stability of your job, seriously consider whether purchasing a home is right for you.

Whether you are looking to Buy, or if you need to Sell, I am here to help you with all of your central Oregon real estate needs. Give me a call today..

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3