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Mark Rieger's Central Oregon Real Estate Blog

Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty


Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 174

Why Your Credit Rating Matters

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

I will be posting links to articles designed to help home Buyers and home Sellers starting today. I hope you find them helpful. I will also have them available on My Website and can be found under the category entitled "Monthly Articles". The article today is called:

Why Your Credit Rating Matters

Simply click on the link above to read the article. Let me know if you have any questions.

Fact Checking The Internet: Is It True or Not?

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

How to fact check the Internet

“Facts” pop up on the Internet and often sound like they’re from a credible source. Here’s how to check them.

Fishy headlines. Search the exact headline on Bing or Google. If it’s fake, you’ll see links disputing it. Also check and
Visit the site. Go to the source site and check the About tab. See if they’re politically biased, satirical or a fake. Reputable sites have hyperlinks to backup research. Fake sites don’t provide research and may contain spelling and grammatical errors.
Search photos and videos. Right click on the suspicious item and save it to your desktop, then drag it to the image or video search box on Google or Bing. This will verify the subject and where it’s appeared.
Check the writer. Look on their Facebook and Twitter accounts for a blue checkmark verifying occupation and identity.
Double check breaking news. These stories often misidentify people and misreport what’s going on. Find a news outlet getting reports from its own people on the scene, not from other sources, indicated by phrases like “we have reports that...” and “we’re trying to confirm...”
Correct your own mistakes. If you post something you discover is untrue, delete it, apologize and provide the facts. 
Respectfully correct others. When friends or family share misinformation on social media, gently tell them where they can find the right story.
Question all political ads. Companies can have a competitor’s ad pulled and demand proof of the claims made. This doesn’t happen in political advertising, where anything can be claimed with no proof required.

Here’s to getting your facts straight, online and off. Enjoy a great month!

5 Worst Home Fixes

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty
I've been asked by many people over the years my opinion regarding what remodeling projects are good or not so good to do prior to listing and selling their homes. These decisions can be very puzzling and in many cases very costly for home sellers. It's natural to think that remodeling projects will always increase the value of your home. However that is often times not the case.
Although there are differences within regions of the U.S., there are some standards you should know about regarding this matter.  Check out the article below and perhaps you'll be able to save some money.  


Spring Cleaning

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty
Spring is just around the corner, which means longer days, warmer temperatures and the time for growth and new life. After a harsh winter, spring is a welcomed season of renewal, celebration and revitalization. It is a time to clear that cluttered mess in your home and bring a fresh air into your living space. 

Here are a few tips and ideas to help you get started on cleaning out the winter humdrums: 

1. Work from the top down and inside to outside to avoid getting what you just cleaned dirty again. Make an organized plan to conquer the clutter and dirt in your home. 

2. Pick one room at a time to work on to avoid any unfinished jobs. If the room is big, start with one area, completely clean and declutter it, then move to the next area of the room. There is satisfaction to be found with seeing one room sparkle after a deep cleaning. 

3. Organize your closet. It can be the first step to organizing the rest of your home. Get rid of or donate any clothes and accessories which you no longer wear. Organize the rest of your closet by how you get dressed in the morning and by color. Make your closet look appealing, which can help your everyday routine feel much smoother. 

4. Rotate and flip your mattress. While you're at it, wash bed skirts, have the bedspread dry-cleaned and vacuum the box spring. 

5. Clean out the fridge and freezer. Pull out all of the contents and toss anything past its prime. Wipe down and deodorize shelves and walls with a warm water and baking soda solution (1 tablespoon baking soda to 1 quart of water). 

6. Dust ceiling and wash walls. Clear out the cobwebs in those hard to reach places and clean all the dirt and grime off of walls. 

7. Shampoo carpets and banish stains. Hire a professional to steam clean your carpets if possible or rent a machine to do it yourself. Make sure to check around your home for stains you may have missed throughout the year. 

8. Make the windows sparkle. Dust blinds, scrub down the windows and wash window coverings. 

9. Degrease cooking appliances. Remove any built-up grease from your stove, oven and other cooking appliances. 

10. Check home safety equipment. Change batteries in smoke detectors and check fire extinguishers. 

Try these spring cleaning tips and make your home your refuge. Ask yourself the following questions: When I enter my home, am I happy? Am I soothed? Coming home to a fresh, organized and neat space after a long day at work can bring a sense of calm and peace. That is something we all deserve for ourselves!
If you or someone you know needs some professional real estate assistance in central Oregon, please give me a call!

Great News For The Housing Market

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Thought you all might be interested in reading the article attached below. This is from a national mortgage magazine regarding their outlook on the real estate market for 2016. Very good information to have.

As always let me know if you have any questions, or need any assistance.

Homebuyer Tips

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

The recent National Association of Realtors 2015 Profile of Home Buyers showed 95% of first-time homebuyers and 86% of repeat buyers financed their home purchase. Clients in the market for a new home can increase their chances of a successful home buying transaction by following some of these tips.


Check Credit Reports

Credit reports can affect a client's mortgage rate and ability to qualify for home financing. It's important they review their credit report for any errors and take measures to boost their credit score if needed. Homebuyers can always check their credit report for free here.

Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

Before clients start a home search, always meet with a mortgage lender to get pre-approved. It will not only strengthen their offer, it helps clients understand their buying potential and helps real estate agents define the field of eligible properties that they can afford. Know the difference between a pre-approval and a pre-qualification!

Boost the Budget

Beyond helping clients create a budget for a home within their range, consider also looking for ways that could help reduce some of the costs. Seller or lender credits or grant funds can help offset closing costs or help with larger down payment funds, possibly expanding their search options.

Resale Value

The average person moves 11.3 times in their lives so it's also important that clients consider the resale value when looking at homes. While a client may purchase their home as a long-term investment, keep in mind that they may one day need to Sell it.

Buying a home is a major undertaking. I strive to educate clients regarding all facets of the home buying process. Call or email me today if I can help you or someone you know.

Real Estate Price Appreciation in Central Oregon

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

The Federal Housing Finance Agency just came out with their 3rd quarter stats report.  Bend-Redmond ranked #8 in price appreciation from 3rd quarter 2014 to the same quarter this year with 13.18% increase during that time period. Also look at the percentage increase for the 5 year period, almost 60%, more than any other area in the US over that time period. Very interesting information. Let me know if you have any questions or need any assistance.

Click here to read the entire list

Fire Safety Tips for the Holiday Season

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

With all of the decorations, shopping and parties coming up this holiday season, it's important to remember some quick safety tips. According to theU.S. Fire Administration, the holidays are the most dangerous months for electrical and house fires; causing costly property damage. Luckily, with a few precautions, homeowners can help keep their home and family safe from fire and injury.


While sprucing up your home this season, keep an eye out for these common holiday fire hazards:

  • Carefully inspect holiday light strings, discarding any with frayed cords, cracked lamp holders, or loose connections.
  • Turn of holiday lights when leaving the house or going to bed. A timer switch is a helpful tool.
  • Don't overload outlets with too many plugs.
  • Have your wood stove and chimney inspected by a professional for obstructions or creosote buildup to avoid a chimney fire.
  • Clean any ashes or soot from the fireplace into a metal container and set outside to cool for 24 hours before disposal.
  • Ensure glass inserts for gas fireplaces are not cracked or broken.
  • Keep holiday decorations away from fireplaces, candles or stoves.
  • Test your smoke alarms and be sure to install a carbon monoxide detector on every level of your home, especially near sleeping areas.
  • Keep live trees well-watered and away from open flames.
  • Opt for fake trees that are marked "fire resistant."
  • Don't leave food cooking on the stove unattended while mingling with holiday guests.
  • If deep frying a turkey, be sure to follow fire safety precautions.
  • Be aware of hanging decorations, electrical lights or candles that pets may accidentally knock over or chew on.

Homeowners should also make sure they have a fire extinguisher easily accessible and an emergency first aid kit ready to treat burns or other injuries.

If you or someone you know is in need of real estate assistance in central Oregon, I am always available to help. Contact me today!

No Housing Bubble Says Local Economist

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Below is an article written by economist Joseph Ditzler regarding the housing market in the Bend/Central Oregon area. Enjoy reading it. The information makes sense.

No housing bubble ahead, economist says

Growth in Bend home values to slow, incomes to rise, expert says

By Joseph Ditzler / The Bulletin / @josefditzler

The first question, and greatest fear, that economist Matthew Gardner said he hears most often is: Are we getting into another housing bubble?

“Absolutely not,” Gardner said Tuesday in a telephone interview. He spent the weekend and Monday at Brasada Ranch, in Powell Butte, talking to Windermere Real Estate franchise owners gathered for their annual retreat. “We are in a pretty good place.”

The ghosts of the Great Recession — when ballooning home prices collapsed and fell to lows beneath loan values, putting many homeowners in foreclosure — still haunt the Central Oregon housing market.

That was then, Gardner said, the chief economist for Seattle-based Windermere since June. Conditions today weigh against a housing bubble, he said. Lenders typically look for better credit scores and larger down payments.

“Folks getting a home today are responsibly taking on debt,” Gardner said.

Gardner also predicted continued growth in employment, wages and housing inventory and a slowdown of the blistering climb in Bend home prices since fall 2011.

“We’ll start to see a slowing down in housing price appreciation,” he said Tuesday.

“It’s not sustainable, 10 (percent), 15 percent increases a year. Homebuyers are not making enough income to service that debt.”

Gardner forecast a more modest rise in Central Oregon home prices of 7.5 percent in the coming year. He also said he expects a rise of about 1 percent in mortgage interest rates to about 5 percent on a fixed, 30-year mortgage.

He also expects an average 5.4 percent increase next year in income in Oregon and a drop in the state unemployment rate to 5.1 percent. As people grow more confident in the recovery, they’ll expect more than being able to keep their jobs. They’ll exert more pressure on employers for pay raises, Gardner said. That should translate to more activity in the housing market.

“We’re going to see a lot more move-up buyers buying from people wanting to downsize,” Gardner said. “And, for the first time (since the recession), first-time homebuyers will be able to come back into the market.”

He also expects builders to take up slack in demand with a modest surge in housing starts next year that grows in 2017.

Also, high rents will give rise to a new generation of homebuyers, he said. Millennials, the generation born between approximately 1980 and 2000, will start raising families and rethinking their housing options.

They may be happier in something smaller than their parents owned, at a lower price point, Gardner said.

“This generation doesn’t necessarily want 3,500 square feet with a white picket fence, 2.5 children and a dog,” he said.

So You Want To Buy A House...

by Mark Rieger, Mark Rieger Realty

Buying a house means buying the foundation, walls, roof, pipes, wires, doors, windows, furnace, fireplaces, appliances, sinks, toilets, bathtubs, showers, faucets, cabinets, door other words the whole shabang!

What buyers see when they fall in love with a house is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the actual condition of these parts and systems. That's why homebuyers and sellers rely on these steps to evaluate the condition of the parts and systems of the house that are above and below surface level.

The sellers’ disclosures: Sellers are required in Oregon to complete a property disclosure form which requires them to reveal the current and past condition of their house.

They have to check off the parts and systems that their house contains (such as a range, oven, garbage disposal, central air conditioning, siding, roof, and the list goes on) and to indicate which, if any, of these is not operating correctly or have known problems.

The seller answers five pages of questions that ask “Are you aware of” certain things about the house that a new buyer would want to know about before making the purchase.

The seller is also asked about insurance claims, and any material facts or defects not otherwise disclosed to the buyer. These forms have gotten longer and more specific over the years to make the condition of the home, as known by the seller, as clear as possible.

The home inspection report: Most brokers buyers get a home inspection.

The home inspector will look at each of the parts and systems of the house and document and usually photograph the operation and condition of each.

While the format of the reports and the specificity of their finding vary from person to person and company to company, their report will be the most detailed and inclusive.

It is crucial to read the contents of this report to understand what’s going on with the house they’re buying.

In addition to these disclosures, you’ll also have the appraisal report (if the buyer is getting a home loan to purchase the house), the pest inspection report if needed for a government backed loan such as FHA or VA, and the title report.

If you have any specific questions about this process, please don't hesitate to give me a call. I am happy to help you any way that I can with your real estate needs.

Displaying blog entries 11-20 of 174