After a year of living in Bend, Oregon it is still surprising what a beautiful place this remote little city has become. I have been aware of Bend since my next door neighbor move here in 1945, but don’t remember coming here myself until 1949 when my mother’s side of my family moved their farms to nearby Madras. I spent a couple of weeks nearly every summer on those farms until 1969 helping with the annual harvest. Bend, was a beautiful little town back then of about twelve thousand, but now after a couple of booms is about ninety thousand with double that counting surrounding communities. Outside of our cluster of communities it is a long way to any other population centers. It’s a full two hundred miles to the east across scrub desert to another similar size city, ninety miles to the west, one hundred twenty to the north and two hundred and fifty south. In other words Bend is remote from other people, but it certainly isn’t remote from civilization.

At the moment there is an effort to Accelerate Bend into an even more glorious future. The promoters, mostly backed by real estate promotion schemers, have a new boom planed for the year 2030. It does have its positive points, but personally my enthusiasm for doubling the size of our beautiful city is cool. The reason being it will create crowds where there are now only a few people and the wilderness feel of this place is what makes it so appealing. This place is still wild. One of my friends recently shot a cougar, legally with an official license. My point is that this place is still wild and moving in a couple of hundred thousand more people will destroy that wilderness. Home purchase at the moment is very cheap compared to the rest of the US, because of the overbuilding boom ending in 2006. It is claimed there are twenty one golf courses within easy driving distance of downtown. I haven’t found out where that many are, but there are a lot. Personally, I don’t know anyone who plays golf but everyone seems to be into hiking and skiing because so much of the time it is just plain beautiful to be outdoors wandering around in nature.

What is to be garnered from my experience here in Bend? After looking at many places online which you can see at my site Probaway.wordpress.com/index at the section near the bottom of the page called House Hunting we found zillow.com to be a great starting place. It has lots of houses in the US and a good overview of the local markets and nice walk through of most of the houses for sale. Also, if you zoom in a couple of clicks on the map provided you can see the property values of all of the houses in the neighborhood. That helps you assess just what you are getting into. The other places on House Hunting are good for finding more details.

When it comes to buying a house, start early and:

“Look and look and look and look some more before you leap!”