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"The Outdoors At Your Front Door is the slogan for LaPine Oregon and it is easy to see why the catchy phrase was chosen. A short half-hour commute by car to Bend and 15 minutes from Sunriver, La Pine offers friendly hospitality, generosity and small town values, a galore of recreational activities -  hiking, hunting, fishing and boating as well as a feeling of privacy and seclusion with its forests and open space. And it seems that along with the attractiveness of the outdoors at your doorstep it is also the cost of living and the pleasures of living in a small community that are bringing builders and potential home buyers to Central Oregon's up and coming bedroom community.

In the past, homes around La Pine typically sold as a second home or vacation home for retirees or others wanting solitude. But as new homes in planned neighborhoods are being built the face of the homebuyer in La Pine is changing. Families are finding La Pine to be an affordable alternative. Median home prices in La Pine jumped nearly $20,000 from 2002 to 2003 but still remain some of the most affordable housing in Central Oregon especially compared to one of La Pine closest neighbors (In 2003 the median price of a home in Sunriver cost $330,000; triple the price of a comparable home in La Pine).

Lapine, Oregon

      Because LaPine is unincorporated, there are no city boundaries and no official population figures for the area.  Stop and ask anyone on the street how many people live in La Pine and where the boundaries for this burgeoning city begin and end and you'll get a different answer each time. According to the Economic Development Center for Central Oregon, estimates for the La Pine area (south of Sunriver and north of the Klamath County line) are between 15,000 and 16,000 residents.  Talk to builders like Reinhardt Construction, Pahlisch Homes and Trepanier Construction, who are investing in the community, and there is no doubt that La Pine is growing in all directions.  â€œLa Pine is on the verge of busting loose,” Paul Cathcart from the La Pine Chamber of Commerce said.

       In October, Pahlisch Homes is expected to begin construction in La Pine's Newberry Neighborhood on 32.5 acres of a 518 acre plot of land owned by Deschutes County.  Sixteen more parcels of land will be sold to various builders so that the neighborhood displays a sense of diversity in homes.  Ultimately, the neighborhood will include 107 homes and a 3-acre community park with a soccer field and a basketball court.  Prices for a Pahlisch Homes are estimated to range from $110,000 to about $250,000 and may be available as early as January of next year.

In the meantime Reinhardt Construction is in Phase I of Huntington Meadows, its 200-lot residential development. Seven homes in this affordable housing development (prices start at $99,000) have already been sold. Other developers like Trepanier Construction, David Finke Enterprises and Perry Walter Construction are building homes off Finley Butte Road. R & W Estates, a 4-acre, custom home subdivision by Perry Walters Construction is currently in the land development stage. The 12 lots are large with plenty of usable space for a detached garage, shop or storage that so many recreationalists require.

And Gresham developer McMaster Construction is building the Wheeler Ranch neighborhood with a model home being included in the 2004 Central Oregon Builders Association Tour of Homes. This is the first time a home from La Pine has been featured on the tour.

As all this development takes place Deschutes County is working hard to prevent ground water pollution in areas like Newberry Neighborhood by issuing Transferable Development Credits to help reduce the number of on-site septic systems. According to Catherine Morrow of Deschutes County Community Development Department a property owner or developer in South Deschutes County gets compensation for putting a restrictive covenant on their property that does not allow placement of a septic system on that stated property. Community leaders and the La Pine Sewer district in turn are developing municipal services that include a community water and sewer system creating a long-term solution to preventing water pollution.

Growing pains like this are inevitable when a region experiences a surge in growth rather than a decline. La Pine will have some challenging years ahead as it works to build a safe and livable community.  It will continue to work towards safe environmental standards, creating job opportunities in the area and keeping up with the rise in property taxes and real estate values. But the foundations are being set now as city leaders, Deschutes County, developers and homeowners continue to plan for La Pine's future.

Article By:

Erika Rench
The Bulletin

Lapine Oregon real estate

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