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Let’s live here: Housing crunch makes relocating to Douglas County a challenge

May 20, 2019

Fly fishing on the Umpqua, riding on the Oregon Dunes, stopping for a meal and a night’s sleep before heading to Crater Lake.

There are many reasons why people visit Douglas County as tourists. But what happens if those visitors decide they want to stay?

This can be a great place to live, too. Provided you can find a home to move into. And that’s become harder and harder in recent years.

Like many places in Oregon, Douglas County’s in the middle of a housing crunch. That means there are fewer places to live and higher costs.

Valynn Currie of Currieco Real Estate in Roseburg said it’s tough to rent or buy right now.

“Right now when people come in and say, ‘Hey I want to rent a house.’ I look at my board and I have no vacancies,” she said.

It’s not much better news for the would-be home buyer, as there’s a shortage of homes for sale too.

“When homes are listed, they don’t last on the market very long at all,” she said.

And then there’s the price.

“It’s the old supply and demand theory. Our supply is low, the demand is high, so prices increase. And so our prices have gone up,” she said.

Be prepared for sticker shock when comparing this summer’s prices to last summer’s prices. They’re going to be up around 13 percent, Currie said.

As of this spring, entry level homes — three bedroom, two bath, 1,500 square feet — were going for about $270,000. Larger homes, from 1,800 to 2,200 square feet are more like $359,000. Coming from California, where a two-bedroom home can be twice that price, that might still seem like a sweet deal. Coming from the Midwest or Texas it may seem expensive.

The housing shortage may be eased somewhat as additional subdivisions and apartments are likely to be available soon. And for those with the resources, purchasing a lot and hiring a contractor to build them a home may be a good solution.

With the mild climate, low crime and natural beauty of the area, it’s likely that the number of visitors wanting to remain will only continue to increase.

“But my caveat is make sure you have a place to move to,” Currie said.

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