Fed Slashes Rates to Near Zero, Vows Massive Bond-Buying Program

The Federal Reserve swept into action on Sunday in an effort to save the U.S. economy from the fallout of the coronavirus, slashing its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to near zero and promising to boost its bond holdings by at least $700 billion.

Underlining the sense of urgency amid mounting recession fears, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told a hastily assembled press briefing by telephone that the virus’s disruption to lives and businesses meant second quarter growth would probably be weak and it was hard to know how long the pain would last. That left him advocating a clear role for fiscal policy to help cushion the blow.

“The thing that fiscal policy, and really only fiscal policy can do, is reach out directly to affected industries, affected workers,” Powell said. “We do know that the virus will run its course and that the U.S. economy will resume a normal level of activity. In the meantime, the Fed will continue to use our tools to support the flow of credit.”

The Fed pulled out some of the biggest weapons in its arsenal. It’s key rate is now zero to 0.25%, matching the record low level it hit during the 2008 financial crisis and where it was held until December 2015.

The central bank also announced several other actions, including letting banks borrow from the discount window for as long as 90 days and reducing reserve requirement ratios to zero percent.

In addition, it united with five other central banks to ensure dollars are available around the world via swap lines. Powell said that he did not think negative rates, which have been used in Europe and Japan, would be appropriate policy in the U.S.

President Donald Trump, who as recently as Saturday attacked the Fed for not lowering rates faster and further, quickly expressed support for the move

“It makes me very happy and I want to congratulate the Federal Reserve,” he said. “That’s a big step and I’m very happy they did it.”

Treasuries surged and U.S. equity futures tumbled at the start of another volatile week as investors responded to the rapidly escalating economic impact from the coronavirus and bet it will overwhelm the policy response. The Bank of Japan said it was bringing forward to Monday a meeting scheduled for later this week.

The Fed’s emergency action came as more and more evidence emerged that the U.S. economy is being hit hard by the virus. On Sunday alone, Ohio ordered all bars and restaurants closed indefinitely, Nike shuttered all its stores at least through March 27 and airlines announced drastic cuts to their international flight schedules.

Businesses are instructing staff to work from home, and travel and entertainment are being particularly affected as people take steps to observe social distancing to avoid infection.

As the fallout spreads across the economy, the risk of a recession is mounting. Goldman Sachs slashed its GDP forecasts on Sunday. It’s now predicting zero growth in the first quarter and a 5% contraction in the second.

Powell, who said he planned to do some telecommuting himself to set a good work-from-home example, told reporters on the call that the rate decision Sunday is in lieu of the Fed’s regularly scheduled meeting this week, planned for Tuesday and Wednesday.

He also said that the quarterly forecasts that would have been released at that meeting had been scrapped in light of the current uncertainty caused by the virus and would probably next be updated in June.

With Sunday’s announcement, the Fed is firing some of the biggest guns in its arsenal, but economists say without a similar, forceful response from the government, the country’s record 11 year expansion could end in recession. Stocks have already tumbled into a bear market.

“The Fed had to make this move, and waiting would have been a grave mistake,” said Michael Darda, market strategist at MKM Partners. “The problem is there is a tsunami coming and the Fed is likely to be overwhelmed by it, and the markets know that.”

The Fed said it will keep interest rates near zero “until it is confident that the economy has weathered recent events and is on track to achieve its maximum employment and price stability goals.”

The central bank acted as leaders from the Group of Seven nations, including Trump, are set to discuss their virus response on a teleconference on Monday. Central bankers and investors have pressed governments to do more to support their economies given monetary ammunition is running low and because fiscal policy can be targeted at corners of an economy that need it most.

“The Federal Reserve is prepared to use its full range of tools to support the flow of credit to households and businesses and thereby promote its maximum employment and price stability goals,” it said.

To support smooth functioning in the Treasury and mortgage backed securities market, the Fed said it would lift its holdings of Treasury securities by at least $500 billion and of MBS by at least $200 billion.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester cast a lone dissent, preferring rates were instead cut to a 0.5%-0.75% range.

The Fed’s actions followed the Trump administration and Congress’s first comprehensive steps Friday to assure the public that it has a coordinated public health and fiscal policy response.

See the original article on Bloomberg.com


Cascade Living | March 2020

Enjoy our Cascade Living events and newsletter! We cover notable events and news happening in Central Oregon, Portland, Southwest Washington, The Columbia River Gorge, The Oregon Coast, and Eugene.

Click below to see the newsletter for your region:

Central Oregon
Columbia River Gorge
Eugene
Oregon Coast
Portland
Southwest Washington


3 Takeaways From the Latest Trends in Home Goods and Brands

How the luxury world is changing, and how real estate agents can adapt.

It’s been a while since luxury was synonymous with excess. Today, what matters most to high-end consumers is that their purchases have a larger positive impact on the world, and provide them with a meaningful personal experience. Brands are looking beyond mere material opulence, and thinking about how to create a genuine sense of novelty, authenticity, and global stewardship — socially and environmentally — through the goods and services they provide.

These social responsibility and experiential purchases trends are alive and well in the world of luxury real estate: homebuyers want properties that complement their individual lifestyles while minimizing their ecological impact, and they’re connecting with agents and listings through inspirational content and storytelling on social media.

Yet the real estate market is only one piece of the luxury puzzle. Time and time again, the most successful agents are able to build relationships and close deals because they understand the world their clients live in.

Here are three macro trends that are shaping today’s luxury market — and tomorrow’s.

1. Conscious consumption

Luxury consumers tend to be well-informed, and the majority are concerned about climate change: 56% of those 55 and older, 62% of those between 35 and 54 years old, and 70% of 18 to 34-year-olds. Moreover, that last group — millennials and Generation Z — will constitute as much as 40% of the luxury market by 2025.

This emerging demographic cares more than its predecessors about ethical and transparent production processes, philanthropic brand purposes, and personalized experiences. And 89% are willing to spend more on companies they consider ethical and sustainable.

It’s no surprise, then, to see leading fashion brands embracing environmental awareness. Stella McCartney’s “World of Sustainability” platform is just one high-profile example of how brands are leading the conversation on conservation. Others are sourcing premium materials for products, and creating distinctive, eco-friendly packaging that lends itself to a unique — and highly Instragrammable — unboxing experience for social media-savvy consumers without creating unnecessary waste.

For agents, this means that every aspect of your engagement with a client should be considered through the lens of transparency and sustainability. Has your business made strides to become more efficient and less wasteful? Do you have a clearly defined set of ethics? Give these initiatives pride of place on your website and social media channels so that clients can identify you by your values. And consider your interactive offerings: make every open house an experience, whether that’s laying out apéritifs at a remarkable property at sunset or sharing a virtual reality showing with a remote client. Your clients may not be unboxing a home, but the experience should impart joy nonetheless.

2. Purposeful collaboration

Individuality and creativity are of central importance to the emerging affluent consumer, so it comes as no surprise that exclusive collaborations are still a mainstay in the luxury market. However, their magic could be starting to wear off: after all, these collaborations — and the buzz they generate — often signify social status over social engagement. Without a fresh, forward-thinking take, such partnerships could fall out of favor.

In the 2020s, expect to see leading luxury brands keeping the collaboration ethos alive by embarking on innovative, cooperative projects that resonate with the values of affluent consumers while taking a longer view of social and environmental issues — subverting and exceeding their expectations as a result.

Think about the collaborations that would feel authentic to your business. Is there a leading renewable energy company in your market you could partner with on a project? A notable designer? Without going overboard, seek out partnerships that make sense from a brand perspective: collaboration should feel in step with the work you’re already doing while exposing your initiatives to a fresh audience.

3. In-person touchpoints supported by digital tools

A major factor in the growth of the global luxury market has been a year-over-year increase in online sales. And that’s only going to get stronger as millennials and Generation Z drive even greater engagement on digital channels. Today, around 10% of luxury sales take place through ecommerce; by 2025, that’s projected to be 25% — from one in 10 purchases to one in four.

In response, brands are more focused than ever on creating “phygital” touchpoints that merge the physical and digital worlds into a frictionless, omnichannel experience. Data analytics, facial recognition, and Internet of Things (IoT) sensors are just a few of the technologies that will help companies build more complete customer profiles, providing adaptive, hyper-personalized service while also enabling consumers to connect more deeply with their favorite brands.

Agents will be familiar with balancing digital and in-person customer interactions. Whether through virtual reality tours that enable potential buyers to visually inhabit a listing, or the rise of social media as a way for agents to connect personally and professionally with clients while positioning themselves as industry experts and lifestyle influencers, digital is on the rise in the luxury real estate space. But it doesn’t replace the personal touch. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems leverage data analytics to keep agents informed of their clients’ needs, preferences, and milestones, reminding them when to reach out to clients and why. Personalized service has long been a central pillar of luxury real estate, and digital tools are making it even easier for agents to reach out in person.

The merging of online and real-world experiences, along with the aforementioned trends in luxury, provide the background context in which today’s luxury buyers live and work — and it sets the tone for how they purchase homes as well. Whether it’s marketing materials that grab attention or listings more appealingly designed for social, agents should be thinking about how to engage with clients who are already attuned to the cutting edge of luxury.

See the original article on Inman.com


Why your 2020 portfolio needs real estate cash flow: Ken McElroy

Here are 5 reasons why investors should add income-earning real estate properties to their portfolio

For 2020, investors should seriously consider adding real estate assets that generate positive cash flow to their portfolio versus putting more money away in a 401k or IRA. By generating multiple streams of income through revenue-generating real estate, you’ll be better prepared if you face a major “outlier event” such as an illness, major home repair, major stock market correction or loss of a job.

While stocks soared almost 30 percent higher last year, as measured by the S&P 500, many analysts are predicting a 10 percent correction this year. And while a recession is never certain, many believe a more reliable statistic is that U.S. stocks fall at least 10 percent from all-time highs once every 18-24 months.

So here are the top 5 reasons that investors should add income-earning real estate properties to their portfolio this year:

Prepare for Economic Change – Yes, we’re living in the longest bull market in history with the stock market skyrocketing to new highs every week. But what happens if a breaking news event, global recession or the 2020 election suddenly cause your 401k portfolio to drop by 50 percent? While this fall in value may sound drastic, many investors saw this decrease on their financial statements during the Great Recession in 2008 and 2009. So don’t wait any longer to invest in real estate cash flow assets. When the next downfall happens (and it will), you will not feel as big of an impact.

Beat Inflation with Real Estate Returns – Banks are now paying pitiful interest rates that don’t even come close to keeping up with inflation. Many investors do not understand that they are losing buying power every year by keeping money in a savings account. For example, if inflation is 3 percent and your money market is making 1.5 percent, you lose 1.5 percent of every dollar. So, a dollar, after a year, is really worth only 85 cents. In comparison, real estate investments tend to go up consistently if you research and buy the right property at the right time.

Generate Rental Property Income – You want to start investing in property that can result in positive cash flow every month. For example, if you buy a condo, and your mortgage is $2000, but you can rent it for $4,000, you’re making $2000/month income. Yes, you are still in debt for owning the property, but your renter is paying the mortgage! And if you already own a home or vacation property that is empty part of the year, why not consider renting it through Airbnb to generate additional cash flow?

Increase Your Tax Savings – There are many tax benefits for real estate investors. With the right tax strategy, investors can put money back in their pocket by simply investing in the property. Home renovations, maintenance, new equipment, expansions, property management fees, insurance and more may all be tax deductions. Investors can also gain tax breaks if the property is rented out via Airbnb, VSCO or others.

Produce Revenue from Land Assets – To increase your income based on the land, consider investing in a property that grows produce. The fruits and vegetables can feed you and your family, along with providing additional income. The land may have apple trees, a vegetable garden or honey bees, which can all generate positive cash flow.

Yes, you will need to take out a mortgage unless you have a lot of cash to invest. However, it’s important to understand that there is a difference between good debt and bad debt. Good debt results from investing in an asset that generates income. Bad debt is racking up credit card debt. It’s impossible to get ahead with interest rates on credit cards soaring, so take time to invest in assets that will generate monthly cash flow back to you instead.

Your overall goal should be to generate enough cash flow from real estate assets to become financially free. So if you buy 5 rental properties that generate $2000/month, it quickly becomes $10,000/month in positive cash flow income. If this $10,000 monthly cash flow income covers your total expenses, then you are officially out of the 9-5 rat race and can relax more.

Instead of buying that boat that you don’t need, put the money into a real estate income-earning property this year. So start researching real estate assets across the U.S., work with people who understand the space, and start adding positive cash flow properties to your portfolio in 2020!

See the original article on FoxBusiness.com


Home Buyers Brunch and Bubbles

With employment up and interest rates staying low, 2020 is looking like a great time to buy!  Join us for a fun, interactive Home Buyer’s Brunch where industry professionals will share their knowledge on the home buying process in today’s market.  Buying a home is exciting but can come with a lot of questions and sometimes even fears, this makes sense, buying a home is one of your largest investments you will make.  

We will have Matt Bassit, Branch Manager at Northwestern Home Loans along with mother-son Realtor team; Melanie and Josh Maitre at Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty to walk you through the entire buying process, sharing different loan programs that can meet people’s specific needs and even specific first time home buying programs, how to successfully navigate through a tight housing market and get through the possible hurdles along the way, in this type of market why it is even more important to have a Realtor that represents you and answer any other questions or concerns you may have.

Our hope is for you to walk away with all your questions and fears answered and leave you with nothing but hope for 2020 and the year you become a homeowner! 

No commitment.  Just information…and free Brunch & Bubbles!

RSVP is appreciated!
Melanie Maitre – Melanie@TheMaitreGroup.com | 541.480.4186
Josh Maitre – Josh@TheMaitreGroup.com | 541.678.3341


CES 2020 | 5 High-Tech Picks From the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show

As is always the case, the start of a new year brings us another incredible showing from the tech industry at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Further deepening the integration of technology into our lives, the world’s innovators in fitness, home security, automobiles, and more delivered truly stunning products to the show floor in Las Vegas. Join us as we explore 5 tech-fueled debuts from this year’s show.

Fitness

Home fitness has long been a staple space for many homes around the world. Companies like NordicTrack and ProForm have been producing exercise equipment for in-home use, but when Peloton and MIRROR burst on to the scene in the last decade, these brands showed fitness enthusiasts how they could bring workout classes home with them like never before.

In 2020 Amazfit, known for their fitness wearables, introduced their “Home Studio” offering. Debuted at CES, the Amazfit Home Studio features an immersive 43” HD Screen and 3D TOF camera system, high-end slat belt treadmill, surround sound customized JBL speakers, and classes on-demand.

Home Entertainment

According to Nielsen, the average American spends more than 1,800 hours a year watching TV. It’s no surprise that with numbers like that, TV and TV-connected device manufacturers often play a large role at CES; this year was no different. Among the many entries in this category, Samsung’s cutting-edge 8K QLED line offers a true glimpse into the next generation of ultra-high definition.

Shockingly thin, with remarkable sound technology and built-in AI, these 8K sets represent a strong example of a household name pushing the envelope in what’s possible in their field.

Autos

Whether you are a commuter, collector, or self-advertised “gear head,” automobiles are an undeniable part of our lives. While companies like Tesla are focused on revolutionizing the industry itself, others are looking to make an already luxurious or enjoyable experience all the more so. Enter the Lamborghini Huracán EVO – the Italian luxury car maker’s tech and power driven dream car.

Starting at $267,000 and available now, this Alexa-enabled powerhouse of a car goes from 0-60mph in less than 3 seconds and has a top speed of 202mph.

Home Security

Most stats place a home burglary occurring every 13 seconds in the United States – this unsurprisingly places home security high on the list of must-haves for home owners. Acquired by Amazon in 2018 for more than $1 billion, Ring  offers doorbells, cameras, and whole-home security systems – all of which are among the more popular choices when looking into home security options. With an impressive setup on the CES show floor, Ring widened their already broad offering of smart-home tech.

Ring introduced their smart LED bulb and hub, solar-powered external lights, the Access Controller Pro for opening gates remotely, and hinted at their new X-Line – a premium offering with more details to come.

Self Care

Rest and relaxation are chief among human necessities – people recharge in many different ways, but for most, the time we spend in the shower is an easy way to replenish energy and reflect. Kohler seeks to improve the time you spend in the shower with their Moxie Voice – a smart speaker crossed with a shower head.

Built with the quality Kohler is famous for, this sleek-looking shower head’s speakers are powered by the audiophiles over at Harmon Kardon. Head on over to their site and sign up for to be notified when this product is available.


Beyond leads: What are other metrics of real estate marketing success?

When your business feels like a moving target, take aim at measurable data points. Looking at lead generation is the most basic indicator that outreach is being received by the right stakeholders. In the latest Leading in Luxury article on Inman.com Frank and Dawn Bodenchak, Real Estate Professionals with Sotheby’s International Realty in Bridgehampton, New York, recognize that today’s marketing can go so much further.

Start with simple math

It’s still important to begin with the essentials. “I track the number of phone and email inquiries on a listing, the number of showing requests per week, and the percentage conversion of showings into interested parties,” says Frank Bodenchak of his monitoring process. In luxury real estate, metrics like these have always been the easiest way to see, at a glance, whether your marketing efforts are generating the results you want.

But there are two more simple stats that ought to be monitored: the number of days a home has been on the market, and the number of showings per home. “If you aren’t getting enough showings, or if showings aren’t generating offers, then marketing, product offering, and price need to be revisited to improve these metrics,” notes Dawn Bodenchak. The longer a property sits, the likelier potential buyers will expect that either the seller will lower the price or that there is something amiss with the home.

No one likes to wait

23636 Ten Barr Trl, Bend, Listed by Julie Reber

If you have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, chances are it’s measuring how often you correspond with your leads and clients, and reminding you periodically to follow up with them. If you’re not using a CRM system, then it’s critical to proactively track your email, phone, and in-person exchanges.

The Bodenchaks make a habit of always tracking response time — how much time has elapsed since a lead’s initial inquiry. The average response time, according to one study by Inside Real Estate, is about 15 hours and 30 minutes, though research has also shown that a staggering 48% of inquiries fall through the cracks.

You also need to be cognizant of the time that elapses between follow-ups, which, surprisingly, is reported to be the most overlooked aspect of real estate lead generation. By closing these gaps, agents will easily start to see a growing number of qualified leads.

Make the most of online

“We still use magazine ads for brand awareness and reminding buyers and brokers about a listing, but the first line of contact is internet-based,” says Frank Bodenchak. “Over the past decade, we’ve moved away from relying on print for information dissemination to relying on email blasts, real estate search engines, and social media.”

Google Analytics is a fundamental way to watch your web traffic. You can review how many people visit your site and track their browsing behavior. For instance, keeping an eye on your bounce rate will inform how quickly visitors leave your site after they arrive. You’ll also be able to assess which of your pages are the most popular. Adding these metrics to your marketing rubric gives you the bigger picture of how your efforts are succeeding.

Frank and Dawn Bodenchak have seen firsthand the benefits that social media brings to their marketing. Facebook and Instagram provide feedback to help agents monitor their social channels, stay notified on engagement and responses, and maintain real-time marketing awareness. “By switching to a business account on Instagram, we are now receiving all kinds of key insights from posts,” says Frank Bodenchak. “Beyond likes and comments, Instagram tells us the gender, age, and location of our audience. With even a small budget for online marketing, we can make an impact.”

The basics still apply

23636 Ten Barr Trl, Bend, Listed by Julie Reber

“Know the landscape, know the pricing, and know the product — and most importantly, know how the product can be adapted to work for a buyer,” says Dawn Bodenchak. “The metrics we use to evaluate our marketing success may not have changed, but the means to achieve them have.” Now there are more tools in agents’ inventory to make sure that their strategies are successful — and, by extension, that their leads, prospects, and clients enjoy the best service possible


Bend Office Updates

A Fun Place To Work 

This week’s sales meeting for our Bend brokers kicked off with a hotly contested costume competition. The costumes encompassed a vast variety of genres and styles. We saw everything from a surprisingly accurate depiction of a Mesozoic era dinosaur to a domesticated take on Stephen King’s beloved and feared character, Pennywise. The competition was not at all half-hearted but turned rather fervid as brokers were clamoring for the top spots. The vote came down to the wire, but ultimately, Dinosaur Skeleton ‘she’s shorter in person’ Stephanie Ruiz walked away with the coveted victory. 2nd place went to Michelle Anderson and Jaquie Sebulsky with the Huffman & Loughlin ‘too soon?!’ costume followed closely by Brandi Wanker’s Mime, ‘use your words!’ outfit.

Agents of Change

The Scotch Award

After the costume contest, Northwestern Home Loan’s Matthew Bassitt presented Caleb and Ellie Anderson with the “Keeper of the Scotch Coin Award” for the month of November. The inscription on the award reads as follows: “The Keeper of the Scotch Coin represents a commitment made to saving a solider’s life. For the month it hangs on this wall, a warrior suffering from post-traumatic stress will have the opportunity to participate in the Save a Warrior Program because of this business’s generous donation of $2,500. This pledge takes place each month of the year, and started September of 2016 at The Scotch Golf Tournament”. For information about how to get involved or to learn more about The Scotch Award, please visit https://warriorimpact.org/.

Keeping Our Brokers Well Informed

COAR Guest Speaker

Tyler Neese, the Government Affairs Director at COAR, was the featured guest speaker. Tyler updated the group on new policies being implemented throughout Oregon. He talked about the ‘Road to 3000’, which is a new Bend City Council goal of adding 3,000 new housing units by June 2021. Tyler also educated the group on the new Bend Climate Action Plan and Mandatory Energy Audits, which is just a reflection of the same Portland policies that were adopted 2 years ago. For more information about the new policies, please visit COAR’s Government Affairs page.


Unparalleled Illumination

With the return of winter, it’s time to get cozy, and there’s nothing better in the Pacific Northwest than snuggling up with family and friends next to the warm glow of a fireplace. In any room, a fireplace provides ambiance, decorative charm and a warm place to gather. Thanks to new technology, designing with fire has never been more fashionable, fun or environmentally friendly. Whether you’re starting from scratch or remodeling an existing fireplace, here are some of the hottest hearth design trends to spark up your home.

Move Over Refrigerators, Here’s What’s Cool
Based on heat reflective technology originally developed for use by the military, advancements in fireplace heat distribution are unlocking a whole new world of design opportunities in the home. According to Mara McCloskey-Becker, marketing manager for Bend Fireside, these new heat distribution systems guide the convective heat of gas fireplaces from the front of the unit, just above the glass, to a location higher up on the wall. “This reduces the clearance to combustibles and accommodates TV installations closer to the fireplace,” said McCloskey-Becker. By reducing excessive radiant heat directly in front of the fireplace and maintaining a cool wall surface, cool wall systems reduce energy consumption, permit the placement of art and media around the fireplace without heat barriers (mantels), and enable the use of flammable finishes like wallpaper and wood around the unit, providing unlimited options for elevating the atmosphere and style of your home.

Less is More
When it comes to modern fireplace design, minimalism and clean lines are all the rage. “The latest trends in fireplaces that homeowners and designers are really gravitating towards these days are fireplaces that offer a ‘clean face’ frame,” said McCloskey-Becker. “The clean perimeter of the fireplace face really complements the minimalistic contemporary style that’s popular in homes.” This clean face design, with no grills or vents in direct view, delivers a sleek and slim-lined look coupled with large glass viewing areas for a contemporary design that blends seamlessly into its surroundings. It also complements the long, rectangular design of modern linear fireplaces and corner gas fireplaces, trending hot commodities that allow homeowners to create beautiful fireplace feature walls with an arresting aesthetic and eye-catching ambiance. These super-minimal fireplaces leave room for the elements to make their mark.

More is More
Although a longtime living room fixture, fireplaces are a comfort best enjoyed everywhere. In recent years, a fireplace for every room has made a comeback thanks to innovative technology and a growing demand for elemental living. With the advent of the direct-vent fireplace, a chimney and hearth are no longer needed, which means you can pretty much install a fireplace seamlessly into any room without running into ventilation obstacles or space constraints. Position one in your bathroom for a toasty soak in the tub, and place one in the bedroom while you’re at it for a cozy night’s sleep—a well-situated fireplace can make any room snug and warm.

The most popular among homeowners today is the addition of a wood-burning, open-hearth fireplace in the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of every home, and the heart of every home needs a hearth to go with it. A unique wood-burning fireplace designed for cooking adds a welcoming, established feel to a kitchen, creating an intimate space and structural interest. Plus, you can make wood-fired pizza, a delicious luxury born of style and purpose.

Fireplaces—whether gas, wood burning or electric—are a time-honored amenity that never go out of style. No matter what sparks your fireplace fancy, there’s a design that complements your aesthetic sense and personality while showcasing a spectacular fire view in any room of your home.

Written by Mariah Wilson


Broken Top Community: A Favorite in Bend

Master planning a community is a true art form that takes true expertise and commitment. Successful communities do not just happen by chance, but are thoughtfully designed and laid out to capture the best views, celebrate the natural geography, enhance resident safety and provide residents with an abundance of amenities that will enhance their lifestyle; all culminating in a place that is celebrated for years and generations.

Broken Top - Sonja Porter - Aerial View
Sonja Porter, a Broker with Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty, has a true understanding of what is needed to not only plan a successful community, but to also develop one. Sonja grew up in Canada and has degrees in Geography and Urban & Rural Planning. She is a solution-oriented professional who has been negotiating complex land use, development and real estate transactions since 1998. Previous jobs, as an Urban Planner, Environmental Consultant and in Resort Development, give her an exceptional understanding of what makes a place truly special and successful. Sonja has worked with some of the top resort developers and planners in Whistler, British Columbia and in Lake Tahoe and Mammoth Lakes, California.

Broken Top - Green Lakes Loop
One of the premier listings represented by Sonja Porter is in the gated golf course community of Broken Top. It is an architectural masterpiece by Neil Houston and custom built by Steve Madsen at 19256 Green Lakes Loop.

Broken Top Community - Aerial
Broken Top is truly a spectacular master planned community which was originally designed in the early 1990’s and has been built out in six phases over the past 25 years. Broken Top is perfectly located in the heart of Bend close to Mount Bachelor, hiking and biking trails, the Deschutes River, the Old Mill District and Bend’s original Downtown area.  The community is comprised of just under 650 homes and townhomes surrounding the championship golf course designed by Tom Wieskopf and Jay Morrish.

Approximately 400 of the residences are gorgeous, custom homes on lots ranging from a half acre to just under a quarter acre with some homes sitting on double lots of an acre or more.  The remainder of the community is developed with beautiful townhomes in various sizes and designs. For example, one can find newer contemporary townhomes in Painted Ridge, or gorgeous single level homes on large lots in Ironwood and Arrowood.

Broken Top - Living
Much like Sonja Porter’s listing at 19256 Green Lakes Loop, the community is artfully designed and celebrates everything unique and special about living in the mountainous high desert. The established community offers mature landscaping, expansive common areas, a clubhouse and restaurant, and a playground as well as creeks, ponds, paved walkways and breathtaking views of the Cascade Mountain Range and the Broken Top Golf Course. This community has so much to offer and the geography varies greatly offering residents the ability to live nestled in the large ponderosa pine trees or in a park-like setting backing to a pond and babbling brook or high up on rock outcroppings with expansive views. At the Broken Top community there truly is something for everyone.

Broken Top Community Clubhouse
Golf Course membership is not a requirement to buy within this community, but the Club House is beautifully appointed with a full fitness gym, swimming pool, restaurant, conference space and some of the best views in Bend.

The architectural masterpiece located at 19256 Green Lakes Loop is an exquisite European-inspired gem. This stunning south facing home on a .99 acre lot, offers 165 feet of golf course frontage at the 12th fairway. The home is an impressive 6,500 square feet and boasts main floor living with master suite, office, den, great room, laundry room, kitchen and dining room. Attached 4-car extended garage and heated driveway compliment this incredible property.

Broken Top - Family
If you are looking for the “wow” factor–look no further. The most impressive space in this home is the great room with exposed beams, vaulted ceilings, floor-to-ceiling Montana Moss fireplace, black walnut floors and mahogany cabinetry.  The dramatic iron railed staircase provides access to two oversized bedrooms with walk-in closets and ensuite bathrooms, hand-crafted on site by Iron Works of Central Oregon.

The master suite is a true oasis with a fireplace, his and hers closets, and a spa-like master bath featuring sauna, steam shower and a beautiful soaking tub overlooking the enclosed private garden. The large bedroom above the 4-car garage would work great as a bonus room or make the perfect in-law suite with its fireplace, wet bar and workspace.

Broken Top - Tub
Sonja Porter has utilized her background and extensive experience to benefit her real estate clients. In the 5 years that she has had her real estate license, Sonja has built her business exponentially, year after year. In 2018 she achieved one of the highest rankings and was recognized in the top 1% of agents in Bend, Oregon. She is passionate and knowledgeable about the region, and hyper-focused on customer service. She commits to each one of her clients unparalleled support and guidance at every step of their real estate transaction(s). She will provide expert advice, neighborhood information and market statistics to help her clients make educated real estate decisions. Whether her client is an individual looking to purchase a starter home or a developer looking to embark on a large-scale residential development project, Sonja has the skills, determination and experience to make the process go smoothly and efficiently.

Broken Top - Fireplace
Photo Credits – Mike Albright