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

Long-time resident details struggle to purchase new home in seller's market.

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Devin Lakovics says she’s ready to buy her first home.

“At this stage in my life, it’s the next best investment for me, to build equity,” Lakovics told NewsChannel 21 on Tuesday. “I’m sure we’ve all been in a position 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’s already pre-qualified for a loan, and fits the bill for a good buyer, but she’s struggled for about 18 months to buy a new home in Bend.

“What I’m finding is, I’m not even having opportunities to put in offers,” she said. “I’ll try to write one up -- and before it can be submitted, a cash offer is accepted.”

Lakovics said she’s been able to get in three offers on houses across Bend. On two of them, she lost out to all-cash offers.

She said she’s put in more offers, but the houses already have sales pending by the time she can put hers in, sometimes even above the asking price.

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

“While it’s always been competitive in Bend, that’s always been the case, I've never seen anything like this, where things are pending before you can even see them online,” Lokovics said.

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

"Maybe this summer were looking at about 30 percent cash (offers), and last summer maybe 10-20 percent," she said.

It’s an unfortunate reality for a long-time Bend resident like Lakovics.

“I feel like I shouldn’t have to make the sacrifice to live somewhere I don’t want to live," she said. "This is my home -- this is where my heart is.”

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Jack Hirsh

Jack Hirsh is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jack here.



  1. Nobody cares. Seriously guys, this is what you do to produce “news?” This is not news to anyone and it’s not significant enough to be reported on. This is so bad, so bad.

    1. This story should have aired 5 – 6 years ago at least.

      I was trying to buy a home in Redmond a few years ago. Made an offer. Was accepted. Pre-qualified loan. But before the paperwork was signed and earnest money paid ( which was a matter of hours ), Californian made an offer sight unseen that was 20,000 more than asking price. They sell homes down there and because of their inflated values have cash to buy here. Basically running the people that live here wanting homes out of the market. and inflate the market just like their market was down there.

    1. What are you commenting on? do you know how to use a troll board? Here is a hint; if you want to respond to someone else’s comment, click “reply” inside the outline where the text they typed resides.

      The way you posted makes it appear as if you are commenting on what was written in the article, not by a fellow troll.

  2. First time buyers need to get real: they must go and buy where the house they can afford is and deal with the commute. Most first time buyers will tell you that you need to buy what you can, where you can, even it it is not in your “dream city”. Then after the market cools (which it will when the next economic correction comes) THEN you can buy what you want inside Bend at a price you can afford. It is unrealistic in this market to think you have a right to a home inside Bend.

    1. Where was your first house in relation to your job and how much did you pay for it? What was your mortgage payment? How much down did you have to pay?

  3. Exactly. It’s not like Prineville or La Pine or Redmond or Madras or Sisters are not all small, wonderful cities like Bend once was.

    All are part of the C.O. nature wonderland that makes Bend so desirable to live in sans tourist pricing and the tourists.

  4. Don’t get into bidding wars, this only means it’s not the time to buy! only fools or rich folks are buying now, the crash is coming just wait a while.

  5. Not trying to be harsh, but move if you want a house that bad. Or stay here and rent. If you can’t afford to buy, you need to find something you can afford, or increase your income. You can often do both by moving.

  6. As a first time home buyer, I feel fortunate to have found a nice house in a nice neighborhood in Bend. Granted, it’s not my dream home, nor dream location within Bend, but I got my foot in the door and in Bend nonetheless!

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