Monday, April 2, 2007

Best Third World Town Ever? Bend!

I get a few comments that this blog complains too much about Bend, and it's fundamental deficiencies in areas such as affordable homes and decent paying jobs. So I'm going to mix it up a bit, and say right now, without qualification, that if you enjoy the diversity, hustle & bustle and general interpersonal mixups that come from living with 4 or 5 or more other grown adults (and 7 kids), you can't get much better than Bend Oregon!

"How come you say that?" Well, let's do the math:

The median home price in Bend is around $360,000. Payments for PITI on that will be around $2,500/mo., or $30,000/yr. A good general rule about being able to service your home debt is that it should be no more than 37% of your income. That gives us about $81,000 as a floor for what our income should be. But that's a floor, to be safe in this era of Bend area layoffs, we'll bake in a cushion, and bring it up to $100,000 even.

The median income in Bend, according to Wikipedia (,_Oregon), is $21,624. That means you need 4.6 adults per working household to afford the MEDIAN home here. And that's not the pie-in-the-sky asking prices, that's what actually sold.

So the MEDIAN is going to give us what MOST people should expect, and leaves out the very high wage earners, and looks at what you should expect to realistically make here. And it shows that you'll need 4-5 grown adults working full-time to live in the typical Bend home. You'll probably need that 5th person for daycare, or at least to have a F/T job so that you can afford daycare for the other 4, and with 5 adults, that probably means 6-7 kids. So that's about 12 people total in the typical Bend home, just to get by in comfort.

Comfort? I don't know about you, but 12 people in a 3 bed 2.5 bath home just seems a little Third World to me. I mean, I can get that in Mexico. BUT, you cannot beat Bend for great outdoor activities! Plus pretty good schools too. That's the free stuff, and it's nice. But to eat at the restuarants, we'd probably have to take in another boarder and her kid, bringing the total to 14.

But at 14, we're definitely feeling a slight decrease in quality of life, cuz now we have people sleeping in the tub, hallways, and the giant shared 1981 Malibu station wagon. So we need to upgrade, but that costs money, and that means more boarders, and with prices what they are here, it seems that for every upgrade in space, we are required to take in more and more income, which means more people who immediately take up the space.

Maybe it's best to simply lower our expectations. Living with 12 people to a home, 3-4 in each bedroom isn't so bad. And maybe Becky Breeze is right: THIS is what affordable housing really means in Bend.

So all you Californians who can "Change The World", and all others looking for a real UPGRADE in your life, well, Come One Come All! Bend is absolutely beautiful, and when you're not selling slurpies, tee-shirts, and triple mochas, you have some World-class recreation. And anyone saying you CAN'T make it here is full of crap. YOU CAN! And just because it feels like Tijuana in your living room, doesn't mean you can't go climb a mountain or ride your bike and forget the troubles at home.

So I for one am going to cast my ballot for Bend as The Best Third World Town ON EARTH! Bend DOES have a real quality of life that you can't get in Panama, Guatemala, or even Costa Rica.



adhor said...

I assume you meant this to be a little over the top in the sarcasm dept., but there's more than a grain of truth to this. I am seeing more and more people move into new homes with 3 or more working adults, and several kids. I just had a fairly large number of grown adults move into the house down the street from me, I think there are 5 (they have something like 6 cars, all beaters). I'm also seeing people who bought in the past year or two, have to take in one or more renters to make their mortgage. (How creepy is that!) They're just not making near what they assumed they would.

I think people come here thinking just because Bend housing costs 50% less than where they were, they'll be fine financially. WRONG! Bend jobs pay notoriously crappy wages.

Bend really is starting to have a creepy Third World edge to it.

Anonymous said...

You for got the most important part: You get the privilege of losing 30% of your homes value over the next 10 years in Bend!

markybark said...

Low paying service jobs are The Rule in bend, not the exception. I don't know how many college educated, previously successful professionals have come to Bend, bought a house on the assumption they would in some way duplicate their success here, and then financially crashed and burned as they found that they could only get $11/hr jobs at T-Mobile, and they were forced to sell their house, and become renters with no savings and no hope for a decent future.

I talk to these people all the time in my line of work. It's tragic. This place creates paupers, and it's mainly the "That Can't Happen To Me" types. This place is a financial death zone, especially now with the economy in Bend basically going to hell.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I think people are figuring this out. I'm seeing lots of "For Rent" signs going up, and staying up. I think the "Low End" earners have given up, and are seeing that the Quality Of Life propoganda dished out by Bend Media is a load of shit.

When you buy a house in Bend, you become a serf, an indentured slave to paying your mortgage. And you will most likely lose money in the coming years.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Bend blogger Jesse Felder talks about the creeping of loan problems into "higher quality" tranches. This subprime problem has the makings of a nice financial contagion.

We can probably count on Cascade Bancorp having problems at some point...

Anonymous said...

Have you been to Costa Rica? It's actually pretty nice, and better than Bend in many ways. You're a servant to the wealthy, wages suck, so in those ways it's like Bend, but it's a tropical paradise! You can sleep outside most of the time, and save your money. My vote is for Costa Rica!

jt said...

Hey, I think you're onto something. Ridiculously overpriced housing is the solution to the illegal immigration problem! Maybe we'll see this in the Bulletin someday:

Illegal Immigrants Flee To Mexico:
"Pay Lower, But It Goes Farther" say Bend refugees."

Anonymous said...

New Century files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Plus, CACB down almost $1 today!

Anonymous said...

I won't contest your figures, but as a recent bend transplant I can't reconcile your claims with reality. I've driven into many neighborhoods and I can't find any three bedroom houses that contain fourteen people. Maybe they're well camouflaged.

There is a fantasy aspect to your posts that gives the impression you care more about bolstering your doomsday scenarios than you do about providing an accurate picture. It's unfortunate because I'm sure there are lots of legitimate grips to be made about bend real estate: you just make it hard to sort those out from the noise.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the last poster. Is this what we can expect from you chicken little when we get a slow or positive RE news week?

MIsstrade said...

All I know is inventory is piling up and where are the buyers for all these 2750 to 3500 sq foot monsters?

Don't see them opening their pocket books at current prices of 300 per sq foot, and that is for a 90 year old house that hasn't been remodeled since 1954. Where did 300 per sq foot become the norm? I don't see it happening. That's just me.

Bend Economy Man said...


Well, they finished off the arson job on that flipper house at 651 SE Reed Market Road.

Wow. That's a ballsy arsonist, to go back after the first fire was called arson, and do ANOTHER arson to really burn the place to the ground.

Contrarian said...

I agree. This blog is of quite limited use, in the same way that Rush Limbaugh is a (choke) limited news source... Er, source of somewhat skewed commentary... Er, blatantly partisan loudmouth with an agenda to cut.

Point blank, you are willing to make up facts to support your viewpoint. Which makes your analyses and conclusions suspect, and pretty much useless.

The primary usefulness of this blog (and it has diminished over time, probably because responsible posters are looking elsewhere to speak now) lies in the occasional post that refers to some truly objective data, or a link to a (shudder) Bulletin article that does a heck of a lot better job of keeping things in perspective than this shoot-from-the-hip piece of crap does.

Anyway, thanks for trying, Paul, but ... man. Get a life.

And, dontchya think this whole exercise could be more interesting if you really listened to what was going on in your town, instead of what was going on in your own head?

Anonymous said...

Your data is flawed. You site $21,624 as Bend’s median income. When in fact that was Bend’s per-capita income from the 2000 Census based on 1999 income measures, not a median income measure. The per capita income would be an income per person calculation, in essence every man, women and child living in Bend earns that income (total personal income divided by total population).

Thus in your argument that would mean with 12 people living in this household there would be a total income of $259,488.

There is more current data out there, namely the 2005 American Community Survey (also a U.S. Census Bureau product). It shows 2005 per capita income for the City of Bend at $26,977.

But for your argument you’d be better off looking at median household income $46,838 or median family income $57,443. All for 2005 and all from the American Community Survey, not a user edited version of wikipedia.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Can you people not tell an editorial piece from news? It's a post to make a point about what's required to live in this town.

And you point out that some of the data is slightly antiquated, but even the numbers put up by those who are disgruntled (and there seem to be quite a few, in contrast to their statements of "limited usefulness") show that Bend suffers an extreme affordability problem.

Comparing Bend to The Third World is an ANALOGY. It's a statement about the disparity between wages and prices here, and how it's completely out of whack. And what's the difference between "family" income and "household" income? Seems to be a fractional extra person working. And even then, the median home is simply NOT AFFORDABLE. This is an opinion piece. Geez, no one expected you to look down the street for 14 people living in a house.

I might not be in total agreement with it, but at least I understand that.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

That's a ballsy arsonist

I know, the guy leaves 10 grand on the table, and goes back & finishes the job. Sweet.

Comparing Bend to The Third World is an ANALOGY.

Thanks Anon, but actually I really am saying that this town is full of 12-14 member households!

Everyone just keep in mind: There is a decent sized contingent in this town that wants to discredit ANY sort of talk that Bend isn't the white hot center of the Universe. They look to the Bulletin as an unbiased news source that actually interviews Realtors as real estate experts. That's like going to Bill Gates and asking for an unbiased opinion about software & what brand you should buy. OK, it's not going to happen. And it's not so much their fault, they aren't lying or stupid, it's their bread & butter, and shading the truth is in their best interests.

The real estate machine is overwhelmingly powerful in Bend, they practically run the media. If you want unbiased opinions, the paper & TV are best avoided. Will you get absolutely unvarnished, zero errors here? Maybe not. But you will get flagrant lying, and conscious attempts to mislead you on Bend media. Interviewing Realtors as "experts"? Please.

I have no axe to grind, and I LOSE if Bend RE goes down. I know RE is the economic engine of this place, and I'm not trying to throw a wrench in the works and "make it" go down (boy, that sounds dumb).

I am just of the OPINION that it will inexorably go down, and go down hard. I wish Bend would survive & thrive, but as I have pointed out, it seems like we have squandered yet another RE bubble on stupid stuff. We are taking the conveyor belt incomes from out-of-towners & buying dumb stuff like billable hours from lawyers, lemon buses, and the like. We're starting to hear talk of "affordable housing" almost certainly funded by taxpayers to house Bends homeless. Is this really about the homeless? Hell no, it's a builder boondoggle to built thousands of housing units on the backs of taxpayers. STUPID STUFF.

The fact remains that while wages have gone practically nowhere in the past decade, housing (the single largest expense for most people in their lives) has almost tripled! It is FAR beyond the ability of the average family in Bend to afford a house here. Look at the figures above from my (loyal) detractors: There is a HUGE gap between what families make here, and what a home costs.

Obviously I don't think people are living 12 to a house here. What they've done is stretch beyond all fiduciary comfort to somehow get into a house at all costs. That's great when prices go up, it's like leverage. But when things head lower, it's death. people are making mortgage payments on homes they cannot afford for the privilege of losing $10K/quarter now. We are in dire straights.

Bend media will probably never lay it out in all it's ugliness. I may lay it out in too much ugliness. The Truth is probably somewhere between. But at least you know I don't have a financial agenda, and I do not gain by deceiving anyone. Bend media? Well, you know the answer as well as I do.

adhor said...

It shows 2005 per capita income for the City of Bend at $26,977.

Any link to that? And that still means about 4 working adults to live in the median home in Bend.

I trust an unmediated blog more than I do the local paper or TV. Everyone gets their say here, even those who disagree.

And I mainly notice that those who do disagree are trying to discredit this blog altogether (with weak logic I might add), instead of stating anything that contra-indicates its conclusions. Many simply want media sources counter to the Bend RE bubble to go away. They don't want to have a discussion about the (usually ugly) facts, they want there to be NO DISCUSSION at all. An open honest dialog about RE affordability would kill them. Understandably, they LOVE the Bulletin.

Anonymous said...

Thus in your argument that would mean with 12 people living in this household there would be a total income of $259,488.

YOUR data is flawed. If you actually read it, you'll see he's talking about 4-5 working adults, the rest are children.

But I agree that family or household incomes (I don't know the difference here either) are the better measure. But there does remain a yawning gap between what people make here, and what homes cost, no matter what data you use.

Plugging in $57K as a median "income" figure, still yields $266K as the top affordable median figure for a Bend "household". We are FAR above that.

Bubble Boosters: Endless chatter about "shutting down" this blog and other "anti-bubble" sources really hurts your cause. Make a cogent argument, that will help you more than anything. You basically seem to say you have a Shoot The Messenger agenda.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I appreciate the comments by proponents as well as detractors to this blog. That's what I hope adds value, it's an unmoderated forum, and anyone and everyone can have their say.

But it is a little strange to have people say it should shut down or has no value, because of "incremental" factual errors. These are typically of the type where the data is stale, but I do provide a link nonetheless to almost every fact I post here. I find it ironic that the Bend Bulletin and KTVZ routinely air positive RE news rife with flagrant errors always in favor of the real estate trade, and these same people do not call for the closure of these media outlets, muchless correction of the errors.

I don't really have any plans to shut down, but I can understand BEM rationale for finally closing up shop: The plunge is underway in Bend. There seemed to be a "tension" about swimming upstream, against the tide (tsunami?) of popular opinion. Now it is very clear that Bend's bubble is bursting. I think before long the Bulletin and KTVZ will be reporting stories that are scarily similar to what this blog & its predecessor have been saying for well over a year now.

But I will dangle a carrot in front of those who want this blog to go away, and I will shut it down immediately under one circumstance: BEM RE-OPENS HIS BLOG. I don't want to pressure the guy, but I enjoyed his posts and candor, and the tone of his forum. And posting what is becoming obvious mainstream news can be a little tiring.

I don't expect this to happen soon, so I will keep on blogging probably to the chagrin of many. And what's great: If you don't like the blog, you don't have to read it. You don't have to leave comments. I'm not trying to torment anybody. Just don't read it if it is causing you strife. But unlike the Bulletin or KTVZ, you can express an opinion here and I will not alter or deny it being published.

Anonymous said...

I am also starting to see the trend of families taking in additional renters. These people must be under extreme financial duress, I can't imagine doing it myself, especially with kids. I see ads in the Bulletin almost every week for these sorts of situations.

i also see lots of "communal" house purchases happening more and more. 5-6 twenty-somethings all going in on a house. I'm curious how they get the financing, under what circumstances they figure out when to sell, and what happens when one of them flakes out on making payments? I suppose it beats renting if prices are headed up.

Anonymous said...

Rent is so dirt cheap there is no issue. Eventually the fundamentals will catch up, until then, rent and invest. It's simple. You also act as if people had no home buying options except living and buying in Bend itself. There are plenty of cheap options in surrounding towns. Commuting from cheaper areas is a reality for millions of people in other areas of the country, why not Bend?

Anonymous said...

I just bought a house in Bend for $200k, they were asking $450k,

The house had been on the market for a year, this was one smart seller, he paid 80K for the house in 1985.

The problem in Bend is all these losers who bought $500k houses to flip to californians for $600k, its call north-west crossing, and the problem is that nobody wants, now that subprime is dead, and all flippers are inherently subprime borrowers bend will go down this year 50%, the interest thing, is I just bought a house for -60%, but RE says the prices are holding, when in hell will the truth come out??

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, I'm glad to hear somebody didn't get bent over when they bought a house in Bend.

Anonymous said...

>>I just bought a house in Bend for $200k, they were asking $450k,

OK. I have some questions for you.

How did you go about figuring out what to offer? Is it just what you were willing to pay, or did you figure out what they paid and could accept?

Are Realtors willing to make lowball offers? I've thought about making some on my own. My thinking is that I don't expect anyone to take the kind of offers I want to make, but I want to tenderize them now, thinking they may come back to me later when they are miserably still trying to sell the house.

What was their response to your offer? Did they counter? How did you handle the negotiations?

Anonymous said...

Oh, also. Why did he put it up for $450k when he could have probably sold it at $300k (since there seem to be plenty of buyers at $300k).

I agree about NW Crossing (and the Parks, Skyliner, and Shevlin, and parts of Awbrey, and so on). That's ground zero of the bust. It's where the nasty high-end inventory just sits and sits. But it's not just flippers that bought at $500k. Look at the public tax info and you'll see that there are pleny of people who bought at $250-$325 two to three years ago that insist they get $600k now.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I just bought a house in Bend for $200k, they were asking $450k

Really? I mean, if this is for real... it's almost beyond belief!

Where was this house (in general terms)? Maybe some major cross streets...

And I agree that the high end stuff is just going to rot on the vine. So many still cling to the 30%/yr dream. Sisters is an entire town full of people like this. But there are plenty throughout the price spectrum...

Anonymous said...

I'm afraid I call BS on the "I sanged a house listed for 450k for 200k" I would say if you want to have credibility dish out a little more info. regarding this so called amazing deal.

Anonymous said...

There are lots of houses that are sitting and sitting because some realtor say's to list for $800k, and that scares away a lot of lookers.

If you find a realtor that will write low-ball offers, and you say write ten, at least one person will take the offer, these are people that MUST SELL, not folks that are waiting to get max.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

If you find a realtor that will write low-ball offers, and you say write ten, at least one person will take the offer, these are people that MUST SELL, not folks that are waiting to get max.

This is true. I bought my first house in Cent OR for 35% below their original ask (in 2001). My Realtor was "aghast" that they accepted my very first lowball.

I'm not sure how the lowball strategy will work now, but in "ordinary times", it does work. There are always people between a rock & a hard place. And they are usually thrilled to get ANY offer. (My first house had ZERO offers in the year it was on the market.) The number may be low now... but it'll go up over the next few years.

The key is to play the odds, and not give a damn if they accept or reject. Be disciplined, and walk away from the delusional (they are the majority, unfortunately...).

jessefelder said...

Many of the houses that are actually selling in Bend are going for far less than the ask price. 30% discounts are not uncommon right now (according to the data my realtor has provided me) - you just have to find the right seller. Then again, there are sellers out there who are still in Never Never Land asking fairy tale prices and sticking to them. I know I have insulted a few people with low-ball offers lately. It's early in the game - probably around the 2nd or 3rd inning or so. This fall will probably see more desperation by sellers who didn't move their properties over the summer. Things will get weaker. Ironically, people are getting very optimistic right now locally - that is a clear sign to me that we're still far from a bottom.

Anonymous said...

>>Ironically, people are getting very optimistic right now locally - that is a clear sign to me that we're still far from a bottom.

I'm not seeing much optimism at Open Houses. I'd call it "defensiveness." There's a lot of "why my house is worth this" and "why my house is better than that house across the street for sale." They all look nervous and twitchy to me.

Who is optimistic?

Bend Economy Man said...

The optimism you see right now, I think, is deluded, half-crazy, Daffy Duck optimism. Gambler's optimism. I don't know if you know a big gambler, or have read about one or seen a movie about one, but the reason they don't stop until ALL the money is gone and then some is because on every hand of cards or roll of the dice, they're like "this time I just KNOW I'll win."

It's no coincidence that the fastest-growing form of entertainment in Bend the last few years of this boom has been poker nights in bars.

Anonymous said...

We all knew this was coming:

They will provide 75% of commission they receive from the seller back to the buyer. This should put a few more realtors out of business.

They currently do not offer this service in Oregon but plan to cover all 50 states.

Bend Economy Man said...


Just in the last few weeks, people have been abandoning Bend, and are in such dire straits that they're leaving their dogs behind. The Bend Humane Society Shelter has received 111 dogs in two weeks, 46 brought in by their owners and 65 strays.

There are a lot of reasons why people are abandoning their dogs. One is that they (the people) are leaving the area without a destination, possibly becoming temporarily homeless. Another is that they are forced to leave their houses and rent an apartment, and dog-ownership limits the apartments that will accept you.

Anonymous said...

Is that number of strays any different than the usual spring runaway season numbers?

Anonymous said...

There seem to be six people who know what they're talking about on this blog, and an infinite number of anonymous morons, most likely realtors, lawyers, mortgage-brokers, ... used car salesmen.

I'm not sure dumping pets is much of an indicator. My feeling has been to buy houses for -60% this winter, left from the inventory that didn't sell last year. I have been successful, I only buy near drake park. My problem is that I believe that Bend if 50% over-valued, thus I'll not pay more than 1/2 a 2005 assessment at this time.

Every realtor I know has been saying the the spring will be better in 2007, and this seems to keep the 'seller' hanging on, I'm not sure who is more stupid the seller or the realtor. All these folks that cannot sell there house, its because they cannot reduce the price, and that is because they have NO equity, because they took out a 100% equity only, var rate loan. My real question here is why in the hell do these realtors even befriend these sellers? I think I know why, because almost all the realtors I know have rentals and flippers themselves, with 100% finance, so they believe the dream. The problem here is that you have a realtor who will make no money, and he/she is also in massive debt.

My advice to realtors who want to take money, "ONLY TAKE LISTINGS FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE 40%+ equity", that way you have something to mark down.

All the lawyers, realtors, and blah that have these empty 100% fin homes are basically zombies, they're already dead, they have been bleeding to death so long they don't even remember what its like not to bleed.

Getting back to my thoughts on strategy, for the past ten years I have held out on buying Bend RE, but this winter looked good, because depression was worse, and the national papers hadn't yet NOTED that bend had broken. I know it has broken, and its sounds like the 1/2 a dozen folks on this blog that something between their ears other than kool-aid know it broken too, the problem is once the Oregon ian publishes a story that the artficial prices in Bend have broken, e.g. there is NO floor then theres going to be a lot of investors coming from portland.

This week the Oregon had a front page story about Homeless in BEND, how bend had the biggest homeless problem in the world, worse than Africa,... smart folk see that and know that fruit is going to be dropping from trees.

In summary, for folks that have some equity so they can drop prices, they'll sell, for folks that have 100% finance, they'll lose. My guess is that 1/2 the home in the Bend area fit this bill, I don't know what the figures are in Bend one of you geniuses tell me, but in PDX for the last three years 88% of all loans written were 100%, interst only, variable, ... That means that 88% of all newbies in PDX will lose their homes in the next 1-2 years, my personal guess is the stats in Bend are worse. Because from what I have seen on the street is that the kool-aid in bend has made everyone into a self made millionaire, that debt is wealth, ....

Anonymous said...

Straight from the Central Oregon Economic Development website the Median Household income in Deschutes Country is $58,800.

I, as a "held back by the man" employee, can vouch that our household income is about that. And in searching for another job have found little that will pay enough to climb over that number.

One day all the folks with wealth in Bend are going to wake up and find that they have to fix their own Starbucks as all the service level employees have gone.

Anonymous said...

I just got off the phone with my realtor contact so that I can give you all up-to-date info on the housing market in the city of Bend.

So far this week there have been 68 residential price reductions. With a average reduction of $15k.

In addition there has been 39 homes that have sold or gone pending. While at the same time 71 homes have come on the market. To me that appears to be steps towards market saturation. And any of us who understand economics know that when supply towers over the demand that price reduction is inevitable. The question is just how much?

localguy1979 said...

>>We all knew this was coming:

While I do like the concept, I have taken a look at the site and it may put a couple of brokers out of work. But unless they make some serious upgrades it will not have even as large of an impact on the real estate world as Assist-to-Sell or Help-U-Sell.

Bend Economy Man said...

>>Is that number of strays any different than the usual spring runaway season numbers?

Is this like ultimate horseshit or what? Since when has there been a "spring runaway season"? And how does that account for 46 dogs being brought in by their owners in 2 weeks?

"Spring runaway season"? Surely you jest.

Anonymous said...

So BEM, what are the usual numbers? Without a baseline, the number of dogs coming in is worthless.

And it makes sense to me that dogs would be more likely loose and outside now that the weather is nice.

MIsstrade said...

Loved the article today about the UGB. Read between the lines is a beauty. The bog hogs, Charlie Miller, Day family get richer and laughing all the way to the bank, while the "bought" city council continues to ponder what they will ultimatley do with the boundaries. Just beautiful stuff, if you know how to read a fluff article like this!! The rich get richer, nothing new, nothing fresh there. Return to your seats there is nothing to see behind the curtain. And indeed, there is tons of land in this town, its just a matter of how they want to start selling it. Quite frankly, the boss hogs, want prices to fall for dirt at this point, so they can pick up the pieces of humpty dumpty and the idiot no money down buyers this town saw over the last 2 years. Value buyers are salivating as the poster said earlier, but it will be a year or so out before they show themselves. I am continuing to bid way below this market for dirt and properties. Sellers will be coming to my prices over the next two years, no hurry, and patience will pay.

Anonymous said...

If what I expects happens to RE in the next few years does happen, Portland buyers won't create a floor. People everywhere will be puking up real estate. People will hate it.

Of course, we'll go through a few "false bottom" periods first.

Anonymous said...

I just read a piece in the Oregonian about Bend being the fourth-fastest-growing city in the nation last year. What do all those people do for a living? Build houses or work at Costco? Is a Costco job hard to get (it pays well for retail)?

Over here in Portland prices are bloated too. So I'm not sure how many Portlanders will be buying second homes this year who don't already "own" them.

Just my two cents...

Anonymous said...

My opinion is that Bend is, more than a growth town, a town of high churn.

The kid of person that has moved to Bend in the last five years is the kind of person that is highly mobile and likes to be where the action is.

Bend has been a fad. And I don't mean that in a bad way at all.

The latest UHaul numbers had about 100 people leaving for every 105 coming in. Overall growth continuing, but that can switch on a dime.

Bend used to be seen as a bargain. I don't think it's seen as the bargain it used to be. Madras and Prineville perhaps will be the destination for the next influx.

Anonymous said...

And don't give me the "poor people use UHaul" argument. Judging by house sales, it's really the low end that's selling. It's the over 500k houses that are sitting around with 22+ months of inventory. If anything, I think it's a lack of incoming rich people holding back our housing market.

MIsstrade said...

ITs low end in Prineville and Redmond selling with 3rd place on low end in Bend, but all but nothing is selling over 600k but for a few a week. Which at those rates will mean 7 years of inventory that is sitting right now. All are in already, and no one is selling anything in this country for higher dollars, so prices need to come down here, but realtors generally haven't gotten a clue to the supply and demand of the game. They are true clerks and living in dream land.

Anonymous said...

The Bulletin has the stray/lost dog story today. Guess what? Spring break is a typical time for dogs to be picked up. Kids leaving the doors open & such.

I thought so.

Certainly abandoned dogs are a sad story (and it's illegal to abandon a pet), but unless you can show me the numbers for the last few spring breaks, I'm going to be skeptical about the relationship of this to people moving out of Bend and losing their houses to move into apartments.

Anyone have any Bend foreclosure numbers? I doubt the numbers are high yet. And what percentage of foreclosures would just abandon their pets anyhow?

BendBust said...

I have some questions for you.

How did you go about figuring out what to offer?

[ I'll try to explain my strategy ]

Is it just what you were willing to pay, or did you figure out what they paid and could accept?

[ First of all like any auction, you need to research first, and know your max, my max for bend is 50% of 2004 priced, or 80% of tax assessment. I honestly believe that Bend is going down -50% in the next year, Its not like I want to screw people, I just don't want to get screwed. ]

Are Realtors willing to make lowball offers?

[ There are three kinds of realtors, listers, closers, and campers. YOU always want to find your self a closer, this person only cares about getting paid. They generally are the older type who have been around the biz for 30+ years, the younger realtors tend to be pozers, the lister just gets listings and hopes he wins the lottery.

Find a smart realtor that knows your serious, that isn't afraid to write your offers. Figure that 90% will get rejected, this too is a numbers game, that said many folks in Bend have had their home on the market for a year with ZERO offers, they just want to get it OVER. ]

I've thought about making some on my own. My thinking is that I don't expect anyone to take the kind of offers I want to make, but I want to tenderize them now, thinking they may come back to me later when they are miserably still trying to sell the house.

[ This doesn't work, because when the realtor presents the offer and they reject the game is over, if you and the seller get back to together this is criminal activity. Are you a criminal? If yes, go back to califiornia. NEVER-NEVER write an offer unless you can back up the deal, you'll piss off your realtor and get black listed from town, the tone of your questions makes me think your a californian. ]

What was their response to your offer? Did they counter? How did you handle the negotiations?

[ I have to pick on this pathetic question, we're talking about real estate law, by law if you realtor writes an offer it MUST be presented, and the seller MUST respond in writing, this is the law, the fact your asking this question tells me that you need to keep working at micky-d's for another ten years and read some books about real estate. In summary they MUST respond, they can counter if they wish, you realtor is your negotiator, but you must tell him-her exactly what to do. You CANNOT learn real-estate by writing offers, because its obvious by your questions that you have been drinking Bend kool-aid and believe that every micky-d worker has an inherent right to riches in America. Long before asking your questions you need to take classes, get off your arse and go to COCC and take Real Estate investment course. ]


In summary folks find a realtor, and tell them to write an offer, how its done?? Drive around and look at all the houses and keep those little papers, then go to the internet using the DIAL system of deschutes county and find out how much is owed on the house, if its less than 1/2 the ask, then keep the paper, otherwise toss.

Now sort the paper, and from the best to worst have your realtor write an offer, what I like to do is offer twice as much as they paid for the house, for instance if you have a $500k house near drake park, and the county records shows that they paid $120k in 1985, then I offer $240k, this way they double, and I get the home for 1/2 the inflated price.

I have been buy real estate in Oregon for forty years. I never sell, I usually rent the property's. I never buy a house that I myself wouldn't live in.

Anonymous said...

>>the tone of your questions makes me think your a californian. ]

Nope. I don't even like California. Never lived there.

I don't know what you mean about criminal activity. By tenderizing, I meant that I'd make a lowball offer now, get them used to the idea that offers are lame. Then later (maybe much) I make another offer and perhaps they'll take it seriously. I don't expect them to call me to secretly sign something behind a rock.

>>I have to pick on this pathetic question, we're talking about real estate law, by law if you realtor writes an offer it MUST be presented, and the seller MUST respond in writing, this is the law, the fact your asking this question tells me that you need to keep working at micky-d's for another ten years and read some books about real estate.

Man, what's your problem? Rain making you cranky? I never worked fast food. However, I did have a paper route in the early 70s if you'd like to pick on that job.

I've owned two houses. I've made offers and received them. I remember how it goes. Why can't you just answer the question?

When you made the offer, did they just crumble and go for your first offer? Or did they try to negotiate you up?

Frankly, I'm having trouble believing your story as presented. They put a house up for sale for $450k, you offer $200k and they say, "OK." Why would they not relist at, say, $300k and try again?

You're not doing so well on figuring me out. If you're about to guess that I'm 5'1" tall, or my skin is blue, you're wrong on those points as well.

Thanks for answering my questions, though.

Bend Economy Man said...

Anonymous dog commenter - I cannot understand why the real-estate-is-great crowd will watch their Carlton Sheets tapes over and over again and pay $250 every year to sit at the Riverhouse and hear some other real estate saps give you a snowjob, never doubting a word, but then you demand freakin' scientific proof and hard comparative numbers to understand the significance of something commonsense like 46 dogs being - not stray, but BROUGHT IN BY THEIR OWNERS - in two weeks, in a small city like Bend.

First of all, in the 20 years I've been reading the local newspaper and watching local TV, I never saw anything about any spring stray dog season. The fact that it's being reported means that it's unusual. Secondly, it's not just the 65 strays. It's the 46 dogs brought in by their owners. Do you accept that those dog owners are desperate or do you need an interview with them to prove this to you? Why would you bring the family dog to the pound? Either you have to leave town for parts unknown, or you can't afford to keep the dog, or you are forced to move into a place that doesn't accept dogs, AND you have no friends who will take the dog off your hands, even temporarily.

But I'm glad you felt good about the story in The Bulletin. You seem to have the intellect of a regular Bulletin reader.

BendBust said...

I did have a paper route in the early 70s if you'd like to pick on that job. - mama's boy


Mama's Boy there is NO easy way to get rich, so lets say your right, you tossed paper. So that means that your a whopping thirty, you need to read the blog "', down in sacramento, its all about some puke boy-child that is 19, already is 2.4 MILLION dollars in debt, in six months he got 1/2 dozen 100% mtgs, on props unseen, and now they're all foreclosure. This kid reminds me of you, I think you should read his story, and you can emulate him, as the kool-aid crowd in bend would say its not assets that count, its your debt, and he has the MOST debt wins. Welcome to the BUSH years.

I'm an ol-fart, tried to answer a few of your pathetic questions, you notice that nobody else did? Its because most rational folk will not even bother.

This is critical I don't care if you flip burgers, or toss papers, or what these are LOSER jobs, and IF you really intend to purchase a home, you need to have 20% down [ cash ], and be able to prove you worked for that cash, and lets say that your a top earner Bend, that means $15/hr, at rate you could qualify for a $135k house, I don't think anyone will lowball that low, so if you want to be in this game, you better be thinking of LA-pines for the next ten years.

The problem here and this is the typical problem, that everyone in Bend that can fog a mirror thinks he deserves to live in a $500k home, and be a real-estate flipper, and for a few years almost every village idiot in Bend is-was driving a HUMMER,

The WHOLE FRICKIN point of these blogs is that its over, move to a new village

Anonymous said...

>>So that means that your a whopping thirty...

Thirty? I said I had a paper route in the early 70s. How am I thirty?

And how would I remind you of the kid with all the debt? I have approximately none. I sold my house last year and am renting.

All I did was ask you about lowball offers. You know nothing about me. You spend more time trying to figure out my faults than answering how you went about your deal.

Anonymous said...

>>First of all, in the 20 years I've been reading the local newspaper and watching local TV, I never saw anything about any spring stray dog season.

Pay more attention. There are often big spikes in stray dogs in the spring and in the week after July 4. These have been reported before, but you probably never paid attention because there was nothing you were looking to tie it to before.

Bend Economy Man said...

I remember the articles about dogs running away after 4th of July fireworks.

But, as dogs are animals, it's hard for us to get inside their heads as to why they'd want to run away and it what numbers and at what time of year.

I keep posting that the strays aren't the big deal. It's the families that have come in to relinquish their dogs at the pound. Those families are obviously experiencing heart-wrenching problems. I don't see you addressing this at all.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I meant that I'd make a lowball offer now, get them used to the idea that offers are lame. Then later (maybe much) I make another offer and perhaps they'll take it seriously.

This is the much-vaunted Men From The East strategy. It helps to have several respectable looking cohorts. First, they "blow into town" looking to buy 40-50 companies, and "happen" to spot your egregiously overpriced mobile home. Second, after 49 straight hours of denigration, they make an offer of $4.50, Take It Or Leave It and Good Luck When The South Sister Erupts And Kills You and Everyone In this Trailer. Finally, Wash, Rinse, REPEAT. Have everyone you know do the same to the poor idiot. If by some chance the seller succumbs to your Man From the East gambit, and looks like they'll accept, tell your friend to explode in a bluster a "ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME BY SELLING ME THIS DEATH TRAP EXCUSE FOR A MOBILE HOME! I'M CALLING THE POLICE!", etc.

Then you go in with an offer for $45, and you look like a hero. It's great, plus you get to abuse Realtors. It's Win-Win.

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