|The eternal phrase of real estate agents|
This year is no different.
Most of the new homes have lousy layouts, dull colors and all the warmth you'd expect from a doctor's modern office building.
Naturally, many of these costly cribs, particularly in NorthWest Crossing, are sold.
Not sure if flippers are buying them because $500,000 is still a lot of money in a place with double-digit unemployment.
Consistent with recent trends, the lots are small, leaving little or no yard, which translates into less yardwork but a general lack of privacy when your neighbor can peer into your bedroom from 10 feet away.
When we bought our first house in Bend in 1984, the 6,000-square-foot lot (60 by 100 feet) was considered a "small" city lot.
Today, Realtors tout that same-size lot as "large."
Lot sizes have shrunk to as low as 3,000 square feet.
We check out the tour each year because we want to see what the current trends are in terms of kitchen counters, for example, so we can get ideas when we upgrade our current home.
The best that can be said for some of the homes on the tour is that they are more eco-friendly in terms of materials used and energy saved.
Some homes are deemed "Net Zero" because their solar panels offset electricity from the grid.
It would be great if the city of Bend, which claims abundant, year-round sunshine, would mandate that all new homes be "Net Zero."
But, that is asking a lot from a city that has trouble with basic infrastructure like water, sewer and roads.
Until the city can manage what it has, there is no reason whatsoever to extend the urban growth boundary.
Plus, there are still hundreds of acres in the city limits with nothing on them.
Prices may be high for new homes in Bend, but it has nothing to do with what's available.
Developers/builders set the high prices based on what they perceive the market will bear. No other reason.
Nevermind that Bend had the most inflated housing prices in the nation during the boom and the greatest housing price decline during the bust. Now is always the time to buy.
All in all, I'm grateful for my home when compared to what's out there for such unreasonable prices.