First-time buyers struggle in Bend’s booming real estate market

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Details of longtime residents are struggling to buy a new home on the seller’s market.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – Devin Lakovics says he’s ready to buy his first home.

“At this point in my life, this is the next best investment for me, to build equity,” Lakovics told NewsChannel 21 Tuesday. “I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation where we’ve rented, and I don’t want to pay someone else’s mortgage.”

The problem is, she doesn’t even get the chance to make a real offer.

Lokovics said she was already pre-qualified for a loan and matched a good buyer’s bill, but struggled for about 18 months to buy a new home in Bend.

“What I find is that I don’t even have the opportunity to bid,” she said. “I’ll try to write one – and before it can be submitted, a cash offer is accepted.”

Lakovics said she was able to make three offers on houses across Bend. On two of them, she lost to all-cash offers.

She said she has made more offers, but homes already have sales on hold by the time she can put hers up, sometimes even above asking price.

And the pandemic, she said, is only making things worse.

“While it’s always been competitive in Bend it always has been, I’ve never seen anything like it, where things are on hold before you can even see them online,” Lokovics said.

This is a fairly recent trend, Samantha Osborne, a broker with the Fred Real Estate Group, told NewsChannel 21.

“Maybe this summer was looking at about 30 percent silver (deals) and last summer maybe 10-20 percent,” she said.

It’s a sad reality for a longtime resident of Bend like Lakovics.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to make the sacrifice of living in a place I don’t want to live,” she said. “This is my home, this is where my heart is.”

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