1st Time Home Buyers Are Taking Advantage of Low Rates

1st Time Home Buyers Are Taking Advantage of Low Rates


Housing prices in Bend and Central Oregon may be on the rise, but with mortgage loans at historically low rates, an affordable monthly payment is still within reach for 1st time home buyers. While interest rates for home loans saw a slight rise in March 2021, the current rate of just over 3% is still the lowest in decades. For first-time home buyers, many of whom are millennials working remotely, COVID-19 and low rates have provided strong motivation for buying a home in a seller’s market.

No Time Like the Present for 1st Time Home Buyers


The lower the interest rate, the lower the monthly payment—easy math, right? But for home buyers in today’s market, especially first-time buyers, a lower rate makes all the difference in competing for available homes. The New York Times reports that 22% of homes for sale in September 2020 sold above listing price. When demand is as high as it is in the Central Oregon real estate market, home prices can sell significantly above their appraised value. A low rate makes it possible for buyers to bid on a more expensive home, and still be able to budget for their mortgage payment.


Millennials Are Comfortable with Remote Home Sales


Low mortgage rates are a big draw, for sure, but remote home buying has really put the millennial first-time home buyer in the driver’s seat. For tech-savvy 25-40-year-olds, innovations such as the 3-D tour are second nature. Some current stats from the National Association of Realtors:


  • 36% of homes sold in April 2020 were bought by first-time buyers
  • Redfin reports a 500% increase in views of 3-D walk-throughs since February 2020
  • Zillow reported a 750% increase in creation of 3-D tours in first months of the pandemic


According to the NYT, millennials do their due diligence via the internet with Google maps and neighborhood searches, and are willing to spend considerable screen time in the search for their new home. They also value speed, which is of the essence in a tight market, where bids can pour in as soon as a property is listed.


…And a Broker Is Still Your Best Friend on the Ground


While it’s possible (and even more prevalent during COVID-19) to buy a new home sight unseen, many first-time buyers still look to an experienced real estate broker in their destination market to be their eyes, ears, and nose when it comes to touring a property. Working on behalf of the buyer, a broker can tour the home in person and take pictures and video of the property and surrounding neighborhood, as well as weigh in on intangibles such as how old the carpet smells or how loud traffic is when the windows are open. An experience local broker is invaluable, too, when it comes to regrouping for the next bid when one falls through.


At Bend Relo, we know exactly what it takes to find and purchase a new home, and no one does a better job of keeping you plugged in and on top every opportunity in today’s real estate market. Get in touch to find out how we can make your new home dream come true in Central Oregon.





Irene Cooper

Irene Cooper

Irene Cooper is a poet, novelist, creative copywriter, and 24-year resident of Bend, Oregon, having lived in cities and small towns from New York to Rio de Janeiro to Markleevile, California. When not blogging, Irene dedicates time and energy to expanding and supporting the Central Oregon writing community.

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