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As the real estate market continues to explode across Central Oregon and much of the rest of the country, it is not just the buyers, sellers and Realtors who are feeling the effects. Business professionals in related fields, such as mortgage brokers, are also riding the tidal wave.
“Our business is still strong, with a volume record set in 2020,” says John Andersch, broker/owner of All Seasons Mortgage in Bend. “The current local real estate market is very active, with limited inventory, which creates multiple-offer scenarios. We have several pre-approved borrowers who continue to make offers without success.”
Though inventory is limited in both the residential and commercial real estate markets, mortgage brokers, lenders and escrow companies have stayed busy because of all the refinancing taking place. As interest rates have been at record lows for months, many homeowners are taking advantage of the situation. “The refinance business has picked up a bit, with many of our clients opting to remodel their existing homes while purchase inventory selection remains low,” says Andersch, who has been in the business for more than 30 years.
One of the biggest changes he has seen during the pandemic, he says, is that self-employed borrowers are being more scrutinized to provide proof of continued cash flow from their businesses. “For example, a lot of the lenders are requiring the most recent three months of business bank statements to show continued cash flow to support their financials and ability to pay.”
On a personal level, Andersch says he thinks the COVID pandemic has changed people’s outlook on life. “While we all have different opinions regarding COVID, I think we all share many of the same anxieties as a result of it. For those of us who lost a loved one during the pandemic and did not get to have a normal funeral service, and celebrate life with all our friends and family, it was exceedingly difficult.” He adds, “The biggest surprise along the business side of things during the pandemic is the amount of volume we did. While we appreciate the opportunity, it still saddens us how many of our fellow citizens were not as fortunate and continue to struggle to make ends meet.”