Karen: This is House Talk on 104.5 FM 1340 AM and kbnwtalk.com, the place to talk. I’m Karen Malanga, I’m so excited to have my daughter Kristin Marshall. She and I work together, she’s a real estate broker as well, we’re at Remax Key Properties and what she’s really in tune with is short-term rentals throughout the city of Bend also known as vacation rentals. And I can’t tell you how many requests we get from out-of-state buyers wanting us to look for a vacation rental, and I always suggest that they speak with Kristin because she’s knowledgeable with the city and how to research these properties. So Kristin, do you want to tell us a little bit about the short-term rental process?

Kristin: Absolutely. Happy to be here. I think we should start with a short-term rental and what is a short-term rental.

Karen: Sure.

Kristin: For the City of Bend it’s any dwelling unit or portion of a dwelling unit that’s rented for fewer than 30 consecutive days per tenants. So if a dwelling is rented for that period of time you do need a short-term rental permit and an operating license as well. There are many guidelines or restrictions when it comes to short-term rentals and the City of Bend has a great website that lays all that out. One of them is the radius which you and I run into often.

Karen: Yes.

Kristin: The 250 foot radius, so if we have a buyer who has a desired property the first thing we do is look at that 250 foot radius and see if the property is eligible.

Karen: So you have to be 250 feet away from any other vacation rental?

Kristin: Correct, you do. And there’s a great map online, the eligibility map, that will show you whether the property is yellow it’s eligible, or whether it’s red and not eligible at this time. The next thing that’s really important is a certain date, April 15th, 2015, if a short-term rental was submitted prior to that date and approved it runs with the land.

Karen: So that when we sell that home that short-term rental permit stays with the property, as long as it’s been used, correct? Doesn’t have to be used?

Kristin: Correct, it does have to be used but it runs with the land. Any short-term rental permit that was submitted and approved after that date is specific to that owner and becomes void upon the sale of the property. So we had a property a couple years ago that we sold or last year and it did have that grandfathered short-term rental permit. And it can add a substantial amount of value to a home.

Karen: Oh, that was substantial for our seller to have that. So tell us a little bit more, I know that we’ve run into driveway situations, can you go into driveway situations for me?

Kristin: Yes, you and I definitely have been out there with a tape measure. So besides the 250 foot radius rule you have to have parking spots, so I believe it’s one parking spot per bedroom. And the parking spot has to be I believe it’s 9 feet by 20 feet.

Karen: And it has to be on the property, we’re not talking street parking here.

Kristin: Street parking can be permitted I believe if it’s less than 50% of the allowable parking necessary. The garage can count as a parking spot depending on the dimensions and you need to take a photo of that and submit it and prove that it does meet those requirements.

Karen: And the driveway has to be a certain length?

Kristin: Correct, I believe it’s 9 feet by 20. And they will come out and definitely take a look, they do site visits. So when you submit the permit there are some things that you need to submit with it, floor plans, definitely showing the number of bedrooms, pictures of the garage or the parking spaces and they will come out and do a site visit.

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Karen: They make it difficult but it is a process and we’ve been able to help many people through the process, can you also go into the posting, like we’ve had to have the potential buyers put signs on property?

Kristin: Yeah, it’s changed a bit come in 2018 compared to the rules in 2017. It now takes approximately 45 to 60 days from the start to the finish process of obtaining that permit.

Karen: And it’s expensive.

Kristin: It is. It depends on the type of permit that you’re going for, but it’s approximately $2,000. And in those 45 to 60 days there are many different things that they do. They will send out a letter to the neighbors and give them an option to protest. They will also do a site visit. The applicant needs to post a sign, show that the sign’s posted for a certain amount of days so there’s definitely some steps to the process.

Karen: So we’re talking with Kristin Marshall broker at Remax Key Properties. She works with me, she’s also my daughter, and an expert on short-term rentals. So let’s continue on here, Kristin. So when you post that sign on a property what does it say? Does it have to say that you’re applying for this so that the public has the right to kind of chime in?

Kristin: Yes, the City of Bend I believe they actually make the sign, and then they give it to the applicant to post. You take a picture or you send it in there and that’s when the clock starts ticking for the city in regards to how many days it needs to be posted, to give the neighbors a chance to ask questions or protest it if they wish. It’s interesting because we do get so many people who come and want that short-term rental in town within walking distance to the park in the water.

Karen: I know you pull up that map all the time and it’s all red.

Kristin: It’s all red, but what’s really great though is the east side of town is starting to become a lot more popular in regards to new short-term rental permits. We just did one recently, and it’s a great place to rent out even though you’re not right next to town.

Karen: Yeah, I think anywhere in Bend is probably a short-term vacation rental potential. Everyone wants to come to Bend and I think vacation rentals are such a nice easy way for someone to stay, and it’s a great way for a property owner to create quite a bit of income. We’ve seen some income statements just on properties in downtown Bend and East Side where they’re netting more than 60 grand a year, which that’s a pretty successful vacation rental. Do you want to touch on some of the neighborhoods that are exempt from the short-term rental permit process?

Kristin: Absolutely, and again, the Planning Division with the City of Bend is a great resource that can help you with this and with these neighborhoods. There’s Deschutes Landing, which has some different rules, some you don’t have to abide by, some you do. There’s also one in Broken Top.

Karen: The courtyards at Broken Top.

Kristin: The courtyards at Broken Top.

Karen: Yeah, they allow short-term vacation rentals. It’s the only neighborhood in Broken Top that does. It’s kind of interesting.

Kristin: It is, and then there’s River Wild.

Karen: In Matt Besser Village.

Kristin: Yeah, and so those neighborhoods are somewhat special and that some you don’t need a permit, some you do, some the parking’s a bit different but the City of Bend is a great resource for all of that.

Karen: Well, thank you so much, Kristin. We’re going to take a break. Still to come on NestBend Real Estate’s House Talk, we’re going to have Kristin Marshall and we’re going to be discussing what is a good way to list a house and what the seller can do to help us.

You’re back with House Talk on 104.5 FM 1340 AM and kbnwtalk.com. I’m Karen Malanga and we’re busy talking with Kristin Marshall, broker at Remax Key Properties. What we’re going to discuss now is the ways a seller can prepare two lists and how we help them. So Kristin, do you want to take that?

Kristin: Definitely. Sellers can play such an important part in getting their home sold quickly, and part of that is preparing it prior to listing it. There are many things they can do and I think the first is just taking care of all the little things that need attention, whether it’s that loose tile that’s on the bathroom counter or the grout that might obviously need to be re-grouted or a light bulb that’s out. There’s little things that you might not think a buyer would really pay attention to but they do.

Karen: Yeah, definitely. And also the home inspector will pay attention to those details as well.

Kristin: Oh, absolutely. And some clients of ours do prefer to get a home inspection prior to listing it so they kind of know what they’re up against and what they can fix prior to getting an offer.

Karen: I know when we first go out to visit a prospective seller it’s always nice to look at the front door and the typical things, the entrance to the home, so do you have some suggestions on especially this time of year it’s so nice to do some minor home improvements that can really make your house sparkle and shine?

Kristin: Absolutely. I think fresh paint on the front door is a great idea as well as some fresh flowers. Make sure that the pots look good and that the yard is just really well maintained and raked, lawn is mowed. All those little details really do add up to a buyer.

Karen: Yeah, definitely.

Kristin: I think that when you’re preparing your home to be sold there are a lot of things that a seller can do in regards to showings. It’s really important if you have a little dog or a cat to take them with you because you don’t know if the buyer is allergic or if the buyer might be scared of a dog. I was showing a house once last year and our client was terrified of dogs and there was this little cute adorable dog roaming around that probably wouldn’t harm or hurt anyone, but the buyer was so focused on that dog and not the home.

Another thing I know that people like to play music for showings, but make sure that it’s kind of soft. We were in a home last week and the buyer said, “Gosh, it’s great to know that the speakers work but this is not my kind of music and it’s distracting, can we turn it down.” So just really make sure that it’s clean and it’s easy to just look around and pay attention. And there aren’t too many distractions.

Karen: Yeah, I think one thing we’ve noticed over the years is that buyers want to come in and they want to feel that their items will fit in a home and that their paintings will look nice on the walls. So we have a nice check sheet that we bring to our listing presentations that give some normal suggestions, and then we always suggest that that you also watch a few episodes of HGTV because all the walls are light and white and everything’s put away, and it just allows a buyer to feel that they can make that their home and I think that’s a real important thing to let potential sellers know.

Kristin: It is, and also as you were saying it’s called editing, I guess to make sure that you don’t have too much furniture or that it’s easy for a buyer to envision their own items in the home and make sure that your closet is not jam-packed like mine. Make sure that someone can envision all of their stuff in there, and if you have a basement make sure that it’s not too full.

Karen: Time to weed out; maybe have a garage sale beforehand. We also have experts in town that are great at editing which means just walking through your home if you’re a potential seller and saying, “This is lovely but let’s put it away or let’s box these things up in this part of the garage.” And then of course we also have staging available as well, and we’ve some terrific stagers in this town, so a lot of things to consider when you’re getting your home ready to sell.

Kristin: Absolutely, I think the main thing is just walking around seeing what you can do in terms of the little things just to prepare it, and that’s just a really big help.

Karen: Yeah, I agree. And you can get a lot of information on our website at nestbend.com, we’ve got all kinds of suggestions on preparing to list your home and a whole packet you can download or we’re happy to drop one off or you can pick one up at our office as well.

So Kristin, aside from preparing to list a home how do we help buyers get ready to buy a home?

Kristin: We do quite a lot of things.

Karen: And what would those be?

Kristin: Well, first is just sitting down with the buyer and really seeing what they’re looking for and what they need in their future home. Is it a yard? Is it a number of bedrooms? Or is it just strictly an area of town? Or is it easy access to put your canoe into the river? That’s the first step is just really learning about the buyer.

Karen: Getting to know the buyer.

Kristin: Yeah, because that’s important to see what they really want.

Karen: And then do setup searches for them?

Kristin: Yeah, so we set up searches and anytime that a new property is put onto MLS or one that was possibly pending goes back active they will get an email, whether it’s for the specific area that they desire or specific square foot of home, they’ll get that email so that they know right away when something comes on that’s in their target market.

I think one of the most important things that a buyer can do if they’re in need of a loan is to definitely get that pre-approval prior to searching so they know what they can afford, and they know what they can look at. Because if you’re out looking for homes and you don’t quite know what you can actually get approved for that’s not always the best way to start.

Karen: Yeah, and I mean, there’s so many variables. We’ve got different school districts and information and stats on all those school districts, it really depends on what the buyer is looking forward. Do they want to be by a park? Do they want easy access to the mountain in the winter? There’s just so many variables that can happen.

So anyway it’s time to take another break. Still to come on NestBend … So anyway, it’s time to take a break, still to come on House Talk we’ll be talking more with Kristin Marshall, and you are listening to kbnwtalk.com the place for talk.

Welcome back to House Talk. I’m Karen Malanga and we’re speaking with Kristin Marshall, broker at Remax Key Properties on KBNW the place for talk. Thanks so much for coming back. What we’ve gone over so far in this segment today is we discussed vacation rentals, and Kristin’s really, really informative when it comes to vacation rentals. And then we touched a little bit on steps some sellers can do to prepare their home to get it ready to be listed.

And then we’ve been talking a little bit about buyers and how they can make that buying experience even more enjoyable. I mean, for some people I know it’s very stressful, but there are some things that buyers can do that can kind of help their relationship with their Realtor as well as helping us tune in to what is it that they really want. And I think one thing Kristin and I run into frequently is that we’ll have buyers coming in from out of town and they’ll send us maybe 30 listings on Zillow that they really appreciate, but they don’t know the neighborhoods. So we try and educate them first with maps and mapping, but Kristin, what do you suggest if someone comes, if someone’s got 30 homes on their list what would be your suggestion and where could we start with them and what would make it so easy?

Kristin: Absolutely. Well, I think driving by the property first or the neighborhoods is really important because you might not like how far it is from the old mill, or you might wish there was a dog park nearby, and while we provide all that online it really helps to drive the neighborhood and the street prior to setting up an appointment or showing.

Karen: Oh, definitely.

Kristin: Getting to know about first, because also pictures don’t always pan out to be exactly what the property looks like as well.

Karen: Yeah, many times the photos on MLS or Zillow will leave out the fact that it’s sitting on a road that might be too busy for some people if they’re not comfortable with that, and I know we’ve run into that a lot. So it’s really terrific when a buyer does drive around the town, get a good feeling, and can hone in a little bit better on maybe a couple of neighborhoods instead of something in each quadrant of Bend. And I think that’s beneficial. What else do you think is a good thing, Kristin?

Kristin: I do. I think that is beneficial. I think also really establishing the area that you want to be in which drive-bys help with that. We have four quadrants here in Bend, whether it’s the east side, the west side, the south, or the north, they’re all very different and charming in their own ways. And if they can kind of narrow down the areas that helps as well, as well with the search that we can set them on up on online.

Karen: Yeah, so what else do you like to see the buyer take care of when they’re coming into town? And when you meet with them after they’ve done their drive-bys it’s so fun to get in the car and go out and view the homes.

Kristin: It is. I love it. I love seeing the different homes. We always sit down with our clients especially if they’re from out of state and go over the contract, and really educate them on what the contract entails, all of the due diligence periods. We usually give them a copy when we first meet them so they can read it over and really become comfortable with that paperwork and it gives them time also to come up with any questions that they may have.

Karen: And that’s really important too because a lot of people are coming from out of state, and so the real estate contracts that they’re used to are vastly different from our Oregon.

Kristin: Very.

Karen: Yeah, and our timeframes are different too, that varies state by state.

Kristin: Absolutely. Our escrow on average here is about 45 days when a loan is involved, and can be as little as two weeks with cash. And in different states that’s different. And so it’s educating them too on the expectations that the seller or the listing agent that we’d be making the offer to might have to make sure that their offer is stronger.

Karen: Sure. We had several clients from Texas, and in Texas you can have an escrow like forever, it’s like, “Okay, let’s do 180-day closed.” It’s like, “What?”

Kristin: Well, let’s do a sixth extension.

Karen: Yeah, so it’s kind of important to learn each state’s requirements and also like you stated the expectations of the seller. And in a competitive market you want to be able to put together a competitive offer.

Kristin: Oh, absolutely. You want to make sure that you have the proof of funds or the pre-approval letter available and handy and to submit with the offer and make sure that it’s as clean as possible.

Karen: Yeah, I think one of the fun things that … Well, one of the things we enjoy about working with buyers is just the vast variety of homes and properties that we have to offer in Central Oregon. It’s so much fun to spend a day in Sisters or Redmond or Terrebonne or Prineville, Lapine, and to look at the different properties. And even within the City of Bend itself.

Kristin: Absolutely.

Karen: It’s so much fun, whether in Midtown or Broken Top or Bend Park, right in the heart of everything. It’s just a lot of fun to be in these different properties and see the variety that we have here.

Kristin: It is.

Karen: Well, thank you, Kristin. I’m so glad you were here. And thanks to everyone for listening to House Talk. It’s been really fun today. I’m your host Karen Malanga in nestbend.com, Remax Key Properties. So our trivia question today is what is the standard home inspection period on the State of Oregon sales agreement? If you know that answer then you can win two tickets to the movies, so please visit nestbend.com and submit your answer. We’ve had two winners now on our trivia questions, so it’s really fun to see the activity and get the feedback and to be able to hand people tickets to the movies. Thanks so much for listening to House Talk. You’ve been listening to 104.5 FM 1340 AM and kbnwtalk.com, the place for talk.

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