Sunriver area homes for sale
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Sunriver, the 3,300-acre development located on the Deschutes River 15 miles south of Bend, was founded in 1968 as a “resort residential community” — but the emphasis has always been on “resort.”
A 1998 Homeowner’s Association survey showed that permanent residents comprised only 22 percent of the total number of Sunriver property owners. Bill Peck, Director of Community Development for Sunriver, says that although new owners are not surveyed regarding “how and when” they’ll live in their home, he believes that the permanent resident percentage has held steady at about 20 percent for the last six years. About 80 percent of the buyers are looking for second homes or vacation homes. About two thirds of those buyers are from Oregon; the rest come from California, Washington and various other states.
Though not an incorporated city, Sunriver is a complete community providing services such as a department of public safety, police department, emergency medical center, 911 emergency system, fire department, and ambulance service. The Sunriver Village Mall and Sunriver Business Park include service stations, grocery, convenience and liquor stores, a variety of restaurants, gift, apparel, and sports shops, bakeries, beauty salons, a post office, and a variety of professional services. Sunriver even boasts a 5,500 foot-long paved and lighted airstrip— the third largest in the state and one of the longest private airstrips in the West.
Because Sunriver is bordered by National Forest, further development by way of expansion is not an option. However, there are still a modest number of lots within the boundaries of Sunriver that have not been built on. At the end of 2003, says Peck, the count was 261 single-family lots that were vacant (out of a total of 3,221). Undeveloped lots sell for an average of $200,000 when they sell, that is, which is rarely. “The majority are not for sale,” says Peck. “The owners are holding on to them for investment purposes, or because they are planning to build on them at some point in the future.”
This means that new building isn’t happening in Sunriver at nearly the same rate as elsewhere in Central Oregon. Only 37 new homes were built in Sunriver last year (up from 31 in 2001). But what is happening is remodeling - lots and lots of remodeling. With resale homes available in quantity in Sunriver, buying a house and completely renovating it - even tearing it down and starting over - is common. Neal Young of Sun Forest Construction’s Restoration and Renovation Department reports that the company completed 217 remodel jobs in Sunriver in 2003 alone - up from 110 five years prior.
Sunriver Resort is jumping on the remodeling bandwagon too. Sunriver is 35 years old, The resort has reinvested a lot of money into the lodge, golf course, accommodations, and public areas for guests and owners to use in the last few years.
If buyers have their hearts set on a brand new lot or a home that’s only a few years old, they can always turn to Sunriver’s neighboring communities — Crosswater and Vandevert Ranch and the new Caldera Springs.. While the lots and homes in these developments would certainly live up to any buyer’s expectations, shoppers might be in for a case of sticker shock. Crosswater homes average $1.5 million; lots sell in the mid $400,000 range. Vandevert Ranch prices are steeper yet, at an average of $2.5 million for a home and $800,000 for a lot.
Peck doesn’t see real estate activity slowing in Sunriver, which he expects will continue to be a prime destination for baby boomers looking to retire in a place where they can maintain an active lifestyle. And while the borders around Crosswater and Vandevert Ranch are - like Sunriver’s - all set, there are a few parcels of land in the area surrounding Sunriver that could still be developed.
Kim Cooper Findling
Sunriver Oregon real estate
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