Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Bend Bubble Blogger Beats Back Bend Bigwig Bashing!

Woof. Really had to WANT that title to work.

I, as have most Bendites, have developed an immunity to the Kool-Aid that our resident Jonestown media has made a living shoveling down our gullets. And sometimes it feels like I'm whistling in the wilderness, because I hear NOTHING but FAN-got-dang-tastic news coming from every corner.

Q: "How's Business?"

A:"YOU SHOULDN'T EVEN HAVE TO ASK! BUSINESS IN BEND WAS, IS AND ALWAYS WILL BE UNBELIEVABLY GREAT! BETTER THAN GREAT! IT'S INFINITELY GREAT! THE ONLY THING BETTER THAN BUSINESS IN BEND TODAY, IS BUSINESS IN BEND TOMORROW! INFINITE!"

OK, that's basically Bend media for you. You essentially can't hear anything else, UNLESS YOU REALY WANT TO, and if you can find a counter-culture to the Everybody Happy/Jonestown party line, you'll often see Kool-Aid vendors whaling on bloggers like me, and few others who actually dispute the idea that Bend is THE PARADISE. Not A PARADISE, THE PARADISE.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this on Utterly Boring:
http://utterlyboring.com/archives/2007/02/26/is_this_woman_n.php

Jake goes on to question the veracity about of one of the pillars of CO real estate on home affordability! Could it be true? Homes aren't affordable here? Are there further chinks in the armor?

Well, it seems so:
http://bend.craigslist.org/com/283576540.html

Here is a Poor Californian (I know, I freaked out too) who came to Bend and, ~wait for it~, didn't not immediately walk into riches, super models, Ferraris, and 6 mansions. I will paste this craigslist post in it's entirety here:

Hello:

I read your ad on craigs list and wanted to respond so that you don’t make the mistake that so many of us here have. I am originally from Los Angeles and regret ever moving here. In CA I had an almost full time practice that has dwindled down to almost nil here in Bend. Actually it is nil. Any clients I have had are from out of the country and I service them online. I did try to market my practice here and the papaers not only got my name wrong, my number wrong soo many times that if any potential clients did attempt to contact me I lost them due to the lack of people doing their jobs correctly here.

The housing market has quadrupled since we moved here in January 2003. It is literally as much as CA homes now. (The ones not along the ocean in CA though, but still, we’re talking $400k and up) The locals here try to claim that Bend is like Aspen, CO…and it is NOT, at all. There isn’t much to do here either. We do have one mall, if you can even call it a mall. It is a ONE story building that is literally half empty! There are a lot of camping and outdoor recreation available here though. The drinking water is the best I’ve ever had in my life. The air is crisp and fresh. (for now) The humidity level is low so when it is 17 degrees out it does not feel that cold, just as when it is 90 degrees out it does not feel that hot. The area is beautiful but to me, it is isolated. Any true city is a 2 hour drive, and over a pass, which is a bitch in the winter months. And as far as cuisine, in my opinion it SUCKS. Being from L.A. I’m used to far above average restaurants, (NY is better I’m sure!) and Bend is far more than below average. For example, try calling an Italian restaurant here and ask them if they have garlic bread, NONE of them do! (Wait one does and they charge $5 for a loaf) Though the employees here are English speaking they never cease to “F” up our orders! (Be it fast food or dine in places) Just crazy things like that.

They try to advertise and market Bend and Central Oregon as though it’s some prime city here and the food places are fabulous…how family oriented it is….lots to do…and so on..but I’m sorry, this is very untrue. Not to mention that the “true” locals despise and loathe anyone who was not born and raised here. (Yet they take your money quickly enough) They act as though you are foreign. You hear jokes and sarcastic remarks constantly about Californians primarily, but it’s just as bad for anyone else not from the area. I think that Bend and Central Oregon would be a great place to visit, but you wouldn’t want to stay more than 3 days because you’d die of boredom. (Unless skiing and or snowshoeing is your thing?)

We came to Bend in Jan of 2003 with $50 grand from a small real estate sale and we were forced to basically spend it ALL to get on our feet and to become stable. At that time the cost of living was definitely cheaper than CA and it seemed so new and exciting. Now that a few years have passed, I really, really regret it. If I had to do it over again I would have never come here. Sure if you’re from out of state (like NY or L.A.) you can certainly sell your home for $400k to 1 million and buy a home here outright…but then what? Property taxes are fairly high here. Sure, there is no sales tax BUT if you have to work, as most of us do, the state income tax is ridiculously high! (Up to 35% high) I’d rather pay sales tax any day then have so much of my wage taken! Then you have the dumb ass Californians,and I’m from there! Who are trying to vote in sales taxes! Their way of thinking is the state will lower the state income tax..we all know that isn’t true!

The job market here is horrid. (Unless you have a specific career path or degree such as a doctor or lawyer, vet, etc) I have been out of work since December. (So almost 3 months) My background consists of Property Management, Office Administration and Customer Service Representative type of work, so you’d think I could easily gain employment here, right? Well, I’m sorry but I generally cannot survive, even here, on $8 an hour!!!!! I’ve had a hell of a time here and am more than broke at this point. My husband has an accounting and computer IT background and has been forced to take a job as a Customer Service Representative for $11 an hour at T-Mobile. (And $11 an hour here is GREAT money!) T-Mobile is probably the biggest employer here and it is in the next town over. (Redmond…20 miles away) I apologize for sounding so negative, but honestly our dream has been shattered by moving to this place. We are in fact looking to move out ASAP! We plan to put our small little home on the market in the spring, I’m sure we’ll take a loss on it since the real estate market has simmered down so much, and then we’re moving to a city with at least 400 thousand people and NOT in Oregon! Please feel free to write back and ask me any specific questions that you may have.


This just floored me in a few ways. First, it's the first time I ever even conceived of Californians as humans. Second, I feel BAD for this woman! Finally, it is one of the first times I've seen it put into print so well, just what Bend REALLY is all about.

This place EXISTS to create a conveyor belt of inbound money from where ever it can to fleece every last nickel from any starry-eyed dreamers who even take a sip of Bend Media Kool-Aid. Employers here pay NOTHING! Unless you ALREADY have millions, you almost certainly will go BROKE trying to make it here!

The above craigslist post was put on another local blog:
http://ikeeneye.wordpress.com/2007/02/25/californian-who-regrets-moving-to-bend/

Read these comments:

Bend has, in my experience, a service-based economy. Most people my age that live there work as baristas or waitresses or snowboard instructors. Bend is only for rich californians, not necessarily the still-working ones that these people sound like.

But of all the places in Oregon there is too live Bend is top of the list for money greedy, scamming, rudeness, ect. there is to live. Sad that that town has become what it has, how in the world did it get so out of control that people have to leave there to find happiness? I seen enough hard working people suffer there moving from place to place never having any security of a nice warm place to call home because the cost of living just kept going up and up. Seems to me if you were working class you never had the money to enjoy the fun things there was to do there because you had to work every hour you could just to pay the rent and afford food. Rich is very much in control there, they own the apts, houses and trailer parks, working class is at their mercey. Sad that there is a part of Oregon that could be so wonderful, but instead for a native Oregonian it can be the pit of hell. Too bad for Oregon that Bend seems to be the place everyone knows about, when you think of Oregon you think of Bend. I hope everyone reading this understands not all of Oregon is like Bend. We are a great state, freindly, caring, and most of all love and take care of our elderly. Dont judge Oregon based on Bend. I am not sure what went wrong in Bend but the rest of the state can learn by Bends mistakes and hopefuly stay as beautiful as it is.

Bend was a wonderful, small town as recently as fifteen years ago, and has grown into a monster of a city crammed into a small space. For the last ten years, I watched Bend become a more difficult place to live — pretentious, traffic-ridden, and a little bit meaner than I had remembered it. My husband and I hated it, and began travelling to Baker to relax on the weekends and do… well… do nothing. We love the wide open spaces, the genuine friendliness of the people, and the simplicity of knowing your neighbors more than your business associates.

I found that post on the Bend Craigslist, and it just made me laugh. Then, I felt bad. Tens of thousands of people sold their expensive homes in California to “settle down” in Bend, only to turn it into a mini-Santa Monica. Now they’re unhappy, because it’s just not hoity-toity enough for their lifestyles. I can’t tell you how many times I’d hear newcomers to Bend complain about the shopping, the restaurants, the lack of nightlife. Why on earth did they move there, then?!??? I miss Bend; not Bend as it is now, though — Bend as it was.

Baker is our home now. I love it here, and I love the feeling of community.


Dang. This ain't me folks, this is regular people just "out there". There seems to be a real groundswell of disaffected folks who are tired of the Bend Experience. The main upshot being their financial clock is cleaned in this place. Have not seen anything like this EVER.

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow. This hit home. I am the victim of Bends relentless self promotion, came here with big hopes, big dreams, and a decent nest egg and have been completely wiped out.

Bend is the biggest Ponzi Scheme ever invented. The town needs a constant and ever rising stream of suckers, or it's Game Over.

The only thing I'll enjoy more than getting the hell outta this place, is watching it self-destruct when the music stops.

My advice: Get the hell out while you still can!

Anonymous said...

watching it self-destruct when the music stops.

Wake up call: The music HAS stopped!

Adhor said...

Every fad has its day, and every fad breaks. Beanie babies, bell bottoms, basically anything to do with the 80's, pet rocks, etc.

It seems like it'll go on forever while it's happening, but a few years after the fact everyone looks around and asks, "What were we thinking?".

Bend is the It Town (or it was), and is now in the process of being a Has-Been town, and like night follows day, people will look around here, and ask "What were we thinking?".

Anonymous said...

Now that housing has busted, look for these tales of woe to increase by hundreds per month.

"Ponzi Scheme" << dead on

Anonymous said...

Wow, I thought I was the only one out there slowly getting my ass handed to me in this town. It seems like everybody you meet here is doing just great, driving a new truck, buying a bigger house etc. I've been here ten years, and am making essentially the same money as ten years ago. At least then you could still afford a house. I guess it's good to know I'm not alone. I think I'll be taking the family elsewhere in the near future.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I thought I was the only one out there slowly getting my ass handed to me in this town.

Believe me, Boss Hog doesn't want this to get around. This place is built around getting outside money in, wiping out those who brought it, and getting the next batch of suckers. That's why I think when Bend RE breaks, it will blow the minds of everyone, including real bears like me & BEM. Losses in a "Ponzi Scheme" are 100% for those who wait around until the bitter end.

You are not alone in your story. I think we're seeing a crash in Bend that will rival the beating in todays stock market (down 416pts!).

Anonymous said...

I think I'll be taking the family elsewhere in the near future.

Me too. I think Bend is a great place to come for a visit, but you do not want to live here, unless you like saying phrases like:

Would you like that super sized?

I think those shoes look fantastic on you. Should I ring them up?

Open Up! Dominos Pizza!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

The locals here try to claim that Bend is like Aspen, CO…

BEM... I'm looking at you!

This gal obviously did not hang around this blog or its predecessor...

Anonymous said...

Aspen Colorado doesn't have subdivision after subdivision of poorly built mcmansions, mariachi music blaring from lowered cars, and guys with will work for food signs. Despite the city's best efforts , Bend is now just another medium sized city with medium sized city problems.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

As if there was ever any doubt that Bend Media is run by Jim Jones & his thirst quenching drink of goodness, here are headlines from the Economic Outlook section of the most recent Cascade Business News:

Economic Forecast: Housing Has Weathered The Storm
Influx Of Hi-Tech Companies To Central Oregon
Forecast Calls For "Hot" Summer In Tourism Industry
2006 Was Another Banner Year
Construction Boom Continues In Central Oregon
Forecast For Retail In Central Oregon: Healthy And Thriving
Manufacturing Booms, Many Owners Join Forces


This Kool-Aid vendor has apparently completed the Patty Hearst School of Kool-Aid Mixing with flying colors.

What a load of unadulterated crap.

Anonymous said...

Oh, WAAAH! You poor things. I was priced out of the Bay Area real estate market in 1994 (I grew UP there) so looked to leave. I knew I needed to work, so I only considered Seattle and Portland. I moved to Portland with $2500 and no job, with a wife and son. Today we own a few acres outside Portland, with a decent manufactured home.

Cry me a stinkin' river.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Cry me a stinkin' river.

See folks? That's why we need more Cali types in Bend.

Tender. Compassionate. Caring.

Even after 13 years in another State, the Real Californian shines through. Thank you Good Sir. You've clarified things immeasurably.

Anonymous said...

The point of these posts isn't to complain about how tough we have it, it is to demonstrate that bend is not the shangri-la that is being sold to people. Somebody has to weed through the bullshit we get fed around here on a daily basis. I also hate to see regular people get screwed when they "invest" in over priced property because they took the advice of some deluded house flipper.

Anonymous said...

If you moved to Sunny Central Oregon because of how it was "adverdised," you're and idiot. The people doing said advertising, do it for a living. That's what they do.

If you moved up here, and didn't do your homework, you're an idiot. I can't ever remember reading about how easy it is to live here, or that money grows on trees in our little region. Or that it doesn't get a little dark and lonely in the dead of winter.

For a lot of people, for a long, long time, Bend has been a tough place to live. For that matter, unless you're independently wealthy, I don't know of a whole lot of places that aren't a little tough.

And if the restaurants here aren't chic enough, the theater here isn't hoity toity enough, the malls here aren't, well...MALLY enough, tough s**t. THIS AIN'T SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! Quit trying to expect it to be L.A. Or Portland. Or Seattle. Or...

Anonymous said...

If you moved to Sunny Central Oregon because of how it was "adverdised," you're and idiot. The people doing said advertising, do it for a living. That's what they do.

If you moved up here, and didn't do your homework, you're an idiot. I can't ever remember reading about how easy it is to live here, or that money grows on trees in our little region. Or that it doesn't get a little dark and lonely in the dead of winter.

For a lot of people, for a long, long time, Bend has been a tough place to live. For that matter, unless you're independently wealthy, I don't know of a whole lot of places that aren't a little tough.

And if the restaurants here aren't chic enough, the theater here isn't hoity toity enough, the malls here aren't, well...MALLY enough, tough s**t. THIS AIN'T SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA! Quit trying to expect it to be L.A. Or Portland. Or Seattle. Or...

The Bullibong said...

Real estate outlook: slower, but healthy
Days of easy money are over; '07 will require creativity
By David Fisher / The Bulletin
Published: February 28. 2007 5:00AM PST
Want to make money in local real estate this year?

This is what three prognosticators say you should do:

* Sell industrial land in Bend. Buy it in Redmond.

* Build apartments in Bend.

* Buy in downtown Redmond. And think condos and downsized housing in Bend.

The easy money of the housing market boom is gone, but plenty of opportunities still exist, Compass Commercial Real Estate Services broker Darren Powderly, Bratton Appraisal Group President Dana Bratton and Becky Breeze and Co. principal real estate broker Becky Breeze told a sold-out Bend Chamber of Commerce crowd Tuesday morning.

Particularly if they're opportunities that might appeal to a well-heeled baby boomer. Or to a transplanted entrepreneur.

"You're not going to make money in your sleep in 2007, unfortunately," Powderly said, evoking memories of the boom months of 2005 and early 2006. "Those were good times. Those were very good times. But this year you're going to have to get more creative."

About 650 people - a full house of mostly real estate brokers, bankers, developers, contractors and construction suppliers - turned out for the chamber's annual Real Estate Forecast Breakfast in the new Riverhouse Convention Center.

One factor seemed to hang over the hall: the deadening of Bend's and Redmond's housing booms.

Fueled by a "perfect storm" of low mortgage rates, the bursting of the stock market bubble and the relative unattractiveness of bonds and bank interest, housing became the darling of the investment world in 2005, Bratton noted, and Bend, in particular, rapidly overbuilt itself in response.

In a city that can absorb around 1,500 new homes a year through population growth, contractors took out nearly 2,000 building permits in 2005, Bratton noted, then started the first half of 2006 on a similar pace.

Sales ramped down rapidly in July after investors pulled out of the market, and the pace of construction slid with them, dropping to about 400 over the last half of the year.

Median prices have moderated, too, Bratton noted, falling from $380,500 on Bend sales that closed in September to $323,659 in January, and in Redmond falling from $274,989 on September sales to $248,495 in January.

The inventory of unsold homes in Bend, meanwhile, has dropped from 1,723 in July to 1,498 this month, Bratton said. February sales are picking up in Bend and around the region, according to Breeze's numbers, with 644 Bend homes either closed or entering escrow in the first 52 days of the year and 1,132 sold or pending regionwide with 3,146 left to sell.

The bottom line? There's still a demand for Central Oregon housing, Bratton said, but the market will have to shed its excess inventory before it stabilizes.

"I think we're in a healthy market," Bratton said. "It feels like where we ought to be. There's a few excess homes. And the cure for those excess homes is going to be time. We're going to absorb them. We're going to be fine."

Other segments of the regional real estate market hold pockets of opportunity, Powderly said.

Compass' quarterly surveys show that vacancy rates on industrial land in Bend have fallen from 5.9 percent to 3.2 percent in the last five years. In Redmond, they've dropped from 8.6 percent to 6.9 percent.

Office space is growing tight, too, Powderly said, with Bend vacancy rates dropping from 11.8 percent to 6.5 percent over a five-year span.

Lease rates are rising in commercial buildings as tenants renegotiate leases signed five years ago in a new, landlord-friendly environment, Powderly said.

New buildings are going up to accommodate the demand, and land prices have risen to reflect it, too.

Land prices have reached $400 per square foot in downtown Bend, according to Compass' numbers. They're not nearly as eye-popping in other locales, but they're still high enough to put pressure on buyers to sharpen their numbers before they leap in.

Commercial land prices in Bend as a whole are running about $27 per square foot, Powderly said. In Redmond, they're $17 per foot. The price of industrial land in Bend, where the supply of land is tight, has reached $13 per square foot. In Redmond, where the supply is looser, it's $7 per square foot.

What it all means

So what does that boil down to, from an investor's perspective?

It's time to sell industrial land in Bend to lock in the profits, Powderly said, or time to develop it to capitalize on demand that is still expected to be tight, despite a general slowdown in expansion plans for construction-related businesses. Redmond, with a price that's half of Bend's, might be worth a closer look.

Some properties in downtown Bend might be in for a price correction, he said. But downtown Redmond, with the prospect of redevelopment at hand when U.S. Highway 97 traffic is routed away from it, is a buy.

Office building owners will likely be able to command 12 percent to 15 percent rent increases, depending on location and quality, Powderly said, as vacancy rates plug along at about 6 percent.

Retail growth is likely to be strong in Redmond, with big-box retailers, including Wal-Mart and The Home Depot, coming to town, Powderly said. In Bend, south Third Street is poised for redevelopment, and Trader Joe's, the popular grocer, has committed to coming to the Cascade Village Shopping Center.

In-migration, Powderly said, has driven all of Central Oregon's markets upward over the last 10 years.

The region's appeal to mid- career entrepreneurs and young retirees is likely to continue, Powderly and Breeze said, driven by favorable national and international media coverage and by a quality of life that will continue to pull people away from overcrowded cities.

And then there's the broader nation's demographics.

'Baby boom tsunami'

In the long term, investors in the local housing market might want to think about building or buying the kinds of properties that healthy retirees are going to demand, Bratton said. Low-maintenance condos and townhomes close to the downtown core, lofts, rooftop housing - "look for the opportunity to meet the needs of people who want to live, work and play in the same neighborhood.

"I believe we are seeing a new phenomenon occur," Bratton said. "The baby boom population tsunami is about to splash up on retirement beach."

That may be true, one of the region's real estate bears said later in the day, but what happens to the region's broader housing market while it waits for the wave is still a point open to debate.

Bratton said he thinks the slump in the local housing market is almost over.

"The word in the real estate houses is the phones are ringing, people are looking at property and we are coming back, back on the bounce," he told the chamber crowd.

Bend money manager Bill Valentine, on the other hand, sees some darker times ahead.

Valentine, who tried, but failed, to sell his house last summer in a well-publicized attempt to lock in his gains, said the region may experience a flat or slightly rising sales environment this year, supported by low interest rates. But a tick or two upward in the interest rates could let considerably more air out of the housing market here and nationwide if stressed mortgage holders are forced to sell.

"I think the long-term trend for Bend is as good as it is any place in the world," Valentine said. "It's just that we have a short-term correction to work out."

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Median prices have moderated, too, Bratton noted, falling from $380,500 on Bend sales that closed in September to $323,659 in January, and in Redmond falling from $274,989 on September sales to $248,495 in January.

Thanks Bullibong! I was going to see if someone could grab that article. I don't know if I've ever seen a top to bottom comparison of medians in Bend or Redmond.

That may be true, one of the region's real estate bears said later in the day, but what happens to the region's broader housing market while it waits for the wave is still a point open to debate.

Was this Valentine, or someone from here, or BendBB? Brave. I wouldn't go to one of those things for fear of being beaten out back by a big pack of hungry Realtors.

This is Kool-Aid time again, and could we have expected anything but a puppy dog, kitten, and baby deer assessment of RE in Bend from a huge pack of Realtors? Ummm, no. I'll hand it to the Bulletin though, they mentioned the words "real estate bears". Probably first time ever.

For more good news:
Essentially the only real employer in Culver is shutting down.

Seaswirl to close Culver plant


This is a crushing blow to this town, something I doubt this little town can survive. Even the mayor of Culver worked there, and he got laid off. Madras' Brightwood laid off a bunch of workers recently too. Both Madras & Culver admit these 2 companies are the biggest tax revenue generators in town, and both, especially Culver, are going to take Big Hits.

Expect a LOT of housing inventory to hit Culver soon. I'll bet 25% or more of the homes in that town go up for sale this year.

Bend Oregon Restaurants said...

Some great posts and comments. I'm really enjoying this thread. I love the comments especially about there not being any good nightlife, activities, shopping, or restaurants here.

That stuff just cracks me up. There are quite a few great restaurants here but of course you don't have the options of a major metropolitan. It's a fairly small town still. Bend is not a big city with all the same options you had at the last major city or suburb you came from.

I've caught my friends complaining about the growth of Bend. Most of them have not been here more than 10 years. I don't get this. You came here from somewhere else. Why are you mad that others are coming as well? It's going to happen, you can't stop it. You came here and you brought your friends and family with you. Other people like it here too.

Relax. Have a pint at Deschutes. Be polite. Drive slower. Take it easy.

Bend Economy Man said...

"Median prices have moderated, too, Bratton noted, falling from $380,500 on Bend sales that closed in September to $323,659 in January"

Just a slight 15% freefall in median prices in 4 months. Annualized 45% drop. Nothing to see here, folks.

Why isn't this massive home value downward spiral a front-page story in the Bulletin?

Anonymous said...

One irritating problem my wife has discovered is that she'll get a salary review that shows that her salary is inline with national averages for that position, completely ignoring the cost of living in Bend.

We're seriously thinking of moving. I'm not happy with the salaries of jobs here.

Bend Bear said...

Companies here look at cost of labor, not cost of living when setting salaries. Two very different things...

Best thing to hope for is more larger employers coming to town. Which will increase the population, but at least people will be paid more

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Relax. Have a pint at Deschutes. Be polite. Drive slower. Take it easy.

Just curious: Are you making over $80K, or did you buy your house more than 6-7 years ago? I'm not taking a jab at you... anyone who says "Drive slower" is all right... but the % of people making it here is dwindling. It's Real Hard to "relax" when you're working 15hrs/day... and you're still sinking.

And I agree: There are good restaurants here. If you think there aren't... go back from whence you came.

Why isn't this massive home value downward spiral a front-page story in the Bulletin?

This nut needs to relax! Sit back! Have some of that fine Bend Kool-Aid!

We just had a pack of 6,000,000 Bend Realtors tell us about the billions of affordable homes in Cent OR! Woof. This guy should start a blog... PLEASE!

I'M BEGGING!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

You came here from somewhere else. Why are you mad that others are coming as well? It's going to happen, you can't stop it.

I'm not mad at all people are coming. I'm just a little TO'd that tons of our tax money is flooding RE & leisure here, leisure being a notoriously crappy paying industry that is already awash in money. They who need it least are getting it all. Instead of trying to lure decent paying employers, we're trying jam Bachelors already full lifts with yet more SoCali's. And don't get me started on the Affordable Housing Boondoggle. Why don't we just simply make the mortgage payments for anyone who owns a construction company? It'd be easier & more efficient.

I'm also a little ticked off that Bend media has thrown every bit of its weight behind keeping RE prices HIGH. This is just an insane attempt to totally distort the local economy. A malcontent posts on here that "the market" will determine prices. Right, but there is a huge impetus to MISINFORM buyers. When I post that Bend RE may not cure cancer, make the blind see, and solve World hunger, I just get lambasted for throwing a wrench in the works... but the KTVZ & Bulletin have a far larger audience, they are extraordinarily biased, and all I hear from the same people is chirping crickets.

It seems fine for Bend media to tout RE to the sky, that's "The Market" at work. But little old me, saying the Emperor has no clothes, well that's downright unAmerican and EVIL!

Freddie said...

I'm enjoying the conversation, and while it's nice to hear that most of us are basically in the same boat, I'm confused as to where our boat is headed.

My husband is a Bend native and I'm a long-time resident, but by the time we hit our 30's and could afford a house, the market sky-rocketed us right out of the running. We are in the same Office/Admin industry where it seems that most of us are suffering. What really gets me is that for those of us making the "good" local wages (read: anything over $10/hr) who are still struggling, how many are stuck at minimum wage and have even fewer options than we do??

I consider myself hugely blessed in my job, I know I make an unheard of wage for Central Oregon, yet my employer's 2-year plan is to move out of state. Which leaves me with taking a pay cut, or moving with him, or moving to a city where I can actually make enough money to live on.

This is hugely disappointing. I love Bend, I love living here, and feel free to call me pretentious, but I don't want to live in a trailer (oops, "manufactured home") in LaPine or Prineville and commute into Bend. But what other options do we have??

On top of that, I'm coming into an (albeit small) inheritance, that I could feasibly add to my savings and put down on a house, which would leave my paying ONLY $1200/mo or so on a mortgage. Since I'm currently paying $600 in rent for a duplex I love, it's a little hard to picture doubling that amount for the cheapest fixer upper we can possibly find. And I do understand that I'm one of the lucky ones to even have a down payment, and a good (if short-lived) job. Did I mention I have no real debt to speak of?? I'm very financially savvy. Seriously, in a normal city I'd be in a fantastic financial situation. But in Bend, it's different.

But again, where does this leave us? Those of us who do love Bend, who do love the restaurants, who do love the recreation and entertainment, who do love the artsy street fairs, who do just plain love living in Bend? I'm afraid to buy a house here, because when (not if) the market crashes, I don't want to lose what little money I have. I'm afraid to stay in Bend when my employer leaves because I'll never find this salary again locally. This is an $8/hr paying town with a $1200/mo mortgage payment. Explain to me how that works for anyone?

Bend Bear said...

Freddie - cut/paste this into your browser if you haven't seen already...
http://bendeconomy.informe.com/rent-and-invest-elsewhere-dt41.html

It's from The Bend Economy Bulletin Board and has some good comments, insight with regards to your question. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

What a bunch of whiners some of you are! So leave Bend if you hate it or thought it would be a money factory or you want stupid shopping malls or think it has no future. Many will be glad if the explosive growth levels off or even declines. It isn't why we live here after all. And those who thought they were going to move from a big city and make the same money in Bend just aren't too bright. If you needed to make a heap to make it here, you should have realized that Bend isn't going to support that for most people. And if you are from California or think Californians have it easy -try coming up with the down payment for your million dollar LA, San Diego, or Bay Area home on the "average" wage in those cities. And if you are native here and think it's tough you can't buy, you are in the same situation as anyone born without an inheritance in California or Hawaii and lots of other cities in this country. Time to get creative or get out to next place where the proverbial "grass is greener."

Anonymous said...

I'm sure paradise is waiting for in some other town where the pay is $15 per hour for the amazing level of skill folks are able to provide. Contrast that to the measly $10 per hour for answering telephones they are paying here that could be answered for .50c in the Phillipines. (Keep aiming low, that's sure to help). I just know it, there is a town where nothing ever changes, no one from California or Washington has ever even laid eyes on it, the rich have no say in anything, and nice houses cost less than $100k. Let me know when you find out where it is. Kansas? Ohio? They don't like folks like you from the "Left Coast" though, but you understand that, after all you like to blame outsiders too. Don't worry, there is a message board where people are whining about this town too no matter how great you will think it is, I guarantee it.

Liberty Wallace said...

Are you kidding me?? $15/hr isn't even worth my time. That's exactly what I'm talking about. You obviously don't understand what a fair wage really is. :p (And that was mostly facetious, in case you're from California and didn't get the joke.)