SISTERS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Sisters has long been known as a small, even quaint Western-style community in Central Oregon. A place for those seeking a small town and rural lifestyle.
However, things are beginning to change -- for better, for worse -- or both.
The city of about 2,000 as of last year's population estimates is now seeing many new residential and commercial projects.
Areas which used to be open spaces are now subdivisions.
And more construction is on the horizon.
City planners say that this year to date, there have been 97 residential building permits issued for single-family homes, along with 170 residential units pending in what is being called the McKenzie Meadows subdivision and 50 apartments pending in the Three Wind development.
Then there are the commercial projects both under construction and pending, including two new hotels, a warehouse and a credit union office.
Broker Jackie Herring said the Sisters real estate market is extremely competitive, along with much of Central Oregon, due to raising demand from people moving out of urban areas and working remotely.
That makes for a housing demand far above the inventory.
"Buyers get frustrated, No. 1, with lack of inventory," Herring said. "When they get here, they're excited and they think I'm going to have a selection of 20 or 30 properties.' When they have 10, there's a disappointment factor that comes."
As for what local residents think about the change, we talked to Shirley Miller, a long-time resident -- in fact, she's been in Sisters since 1958.
She said the city's growth has had positive effects on her life, despite the inevitable issues
"I worked at The Gallery Restaurant for 27 years, and growth made my life better, because I'm retired and I'm living the good life on money that I saved," she said.
However she also said that for her children, the rising real estate costs as demand grows is making it hard for them to afford a home.
"Now, for them to get a house in Sisters, my daughter is applying for a Habitat (for Humanity) house," Miller said. "I don't know if that's going to happen. If it does, it won't be for a couple of years."
Miller also touched on what she sees as a volunteer.
"I work at the Kiwanis Food Bank," she said. "I see the result of homelessness in Sisters. I see the result of not being able to afford your rent."
She said some are long-time residents in town, but just can't keep up.
"The sad part is, a lot of the people that come into the food bank, I've known for years. They've been here for years, and maybe that's the only place they can stay."