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Is Buying a House in Portland, Oregon a Good Investment?

You have always dreamed of owning a home. You’re doing well in your career and are thinking about homeownership as the next step to becoming an accomplished adult.

You may be looking into some of the best places to live in and have come across Portland, Oregon. You might be wondering, ‘Is buying a home in Portland, Oregon a good investment?’

Portland homes

Buying a house in Portland, Oregon is a good investment for several reasons:

1. You can leverage your home equity to be used in other future investments

2. The Portland real estate market is growing — the value of your home will increase in value over time.

3. It makes you eligible for tax deductions.

4. You’ll feel more secure when you own a home compared to when you’re renting one.

5. Portland, Oregon is a nice place to live in.

6. It builds your net worth.

In this article, you will discover in greater detail why buying a house in Portland, Oregon is one of the best investments you’ll ever make.

If you are in the market to buy your first home in Portland, Oregon but you are not sure if you’re making the right decision, there’s a wealth of reasons and new data that can help you make up your mind. From the quality of life to equity, here are the reasons why buying a home, in Portland is good for you:

Learn the reasons why you should invest in a Portland, Oregon home.

·         You can leverage your home equity to be used in other future investments

A recent report by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis has revealed that home equity is the biggest source of wealth here in the U.S. That means that until you get to the highest income brackets, you just don’t see Americans making any other huge investments.

If you keep at least a third of your assets in your principal home, you can find greater financial stability and the ability to move your funds around when certain emergency needs come up in the future. 

While you have the option of putting your home equity right back into your home through remodeling projects, you also have the option to use your equity to invest in something else, like a business. 

·         The Portland real estate market continues to grow

Homes for sale in Portland

Those who don’t believe in the value of homeownership often say that investing in real estate only makes sense if the value of the property increases over time. That is true, and that’s what you get when you invest in a home in Portland.

Although there are no guarantees that home values in Portland will increase in the short term, they definitely and significantly will in the long term.  Statistics show that the Portland real estate market will continue to grow in the long run, making it a wise option for those who are planning to buy a home in Oregon.

Take a look at these figures: 

  The population of Portland is seen to increase by 42 percent over the next two decades, making the seven-county Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Metropolitan Statistical Area’s population at least 3.5 million.

  The region has managed to grow its economy over the past decades, which means residents here are working and earning well. Because of this, those who do not have their own homes yet will have their own soon.

  Since a deficit in single-family homes is seen over the next two decades, at least 1,300 additional homes will be needed to close the gap. This will translate to more demand for existing homes.

·         Buying a home makes you eligible for tax deductions 

Portland homes

Since major players in Washington who lobby for housing policy like the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Homebuilders, and the Mortgage Bankers Association generally bat for homeowners and not renters, there are several tax-related laws that work to the advantage of homeowners.

For one, homeowners are entitled to mortgage interest deduction for the tax years 2018-2025, which means they can deduct the interest on up to $750,000 of the mortgage debt they incurred to buy their home. They can also deduct up to $10,000 of their state and local property tax from their federal tax and deduct remodeling costs from their net profit so they pay less in taxes.

If you buy a home in Portland, Oregon now, you don’t only get to enjoy these benefits but also benefits from other federal housing subsidies available to homeowners, including reduced rates on insurance.

·         You’ll feel more secure when you own a home compared to when you’re renting one.

Portland real estate agent

From 2014-2017, the average rent in Portland went up nearly 20 percent. That’s like throwing away your money for something that isn’t and won’t be yours! Also, imagine the risk of being homeless if your landlord decides he doesn’t want to rent out his property anymore. Where will you go?

If you’re hesitant to buy a home because you don’t want to borrow most of the value of the property, the good news is that mortgage payments can be fixed over the term of your loan. You also have the option of refinancing later if for some reason things change and you can no longer afford to pay back your loan on a monthly basis.

Even so, that doesn’t change the fact that unlike renting a home, buying a home lets you stay in the home and make improvements on it as long as you want.

·         It builds your net worth

A typical homeowner in Portland, Oregon has a net worth of $230,000, while a typical renter has around $5,000, according to the Federal Reserve. This is because homes in Portland have been gaining between 7-10% in value annually for the past few years. Generally, homeowners in the U.S. expect a 3% gain in their home values every year, so a gain of 7-10% is definitely a good deal if you’re planning to buy a home in Portland.

Unless boosting your net worth over your lifetime is not your priority, renting a home for a long time doesn’t make sense if you can actually afford to buy a home today, especially in a market as strong and as promising as the Portland real estate market.

Homes for sale in Portland

If you are still hesitant to buy a home in Portland, find a real estate agent you can trust. Working with a real estate agent will help you a lot in ensuring that all the aspects of your home purchase are under control. Your agent will also guide you throughout the home buying process and ensure that you make wise decisions along the way.

If you are buying a home in Portland and are looking for an agent you can trust, call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today.


Is New Construction in Portland Oregon a Good Investment?

If you are looking to invest in real estate, it’s normal to ask yourself the same question that most homebuyers ask: “Should I invest in new construction or an older home?” There’s a lot to think about when buying a new construction home in Portland Oregon, but the key is always to make sure that the pros outweigh the cons. 

In this article, you will discover why new construction is a good investment and what the pros and cons are of going this route. The more you know what to expect before you get started, the better prepared you will be as you go through the home buying process with your sanity intact.

Portland New Construction Homes- Learn more about the benefits of buying new construction in Portland.

A new construction home in Portland Oregon is a good investment for the following reasons:

  1. It will be easier to sell in the future
  2. It requires less maintenance
  3. It doesn’t require upgrades
  4. It comes with a warranty
  5. It’s in a great location
  6. It offers more freedom
  7. It allows you to save on energy costs

Keep reading to learn more about why investing in new construction is a great idea.

Why should you invest in new construction homes in Portland Oregon?

There are several reasons why investing in new construction homes is a good investment. If you know how to play your cards right and are certain about what you are getting yourself into, you will discover that the reward in investing in new construction is actually far more incredible than most people imagine.

Portland Oregon New Construction- Here are the reasons you should invest in Portland new construction homes.

Take a look at the following reasons to invest in new construction homes:

  • It will be easier to sell your new construction home in the future compared to an older home.

Generally speaking, people love new things. After all, why would you trade a new car or a new phone for something that’s old when brand new ones are just within your reach, right? 

Same applies to home buying. As a homebuyer, you love the feel of a new home. Compared with used homes, new construction homes are built with much cleaner lines, open spaces, and lots of allowance for sunlight to come in. 

Portland’s new construction homes also offer a different sense of comfort and trust because they feel cleaner and more yours. When you shop around for homes, you will find that it’s much easier for you to identify a new construction home as being your own than a home that tens and hundreds of owners have already been in and out of.

  • New construction homes require less maintenance

When you buy a fixer-upper, you buy a run-down home and run the risk of spending thousands of dollars on all the necessary repairs on the home. After that, you either put it back on the market or rent it out. 

While investing in a fixer-upper isn’t really a bad way to do business, the problem with investing in this type of property is that not everyone will be interested in a project home. If you are a homebuyer, you’d rather invest your money in something that will be easy to rent out or sell even if you don’t spend thousands on repairs and renovations. 

That explains why a new construction home is the way to go. Unlike fixer-uppers, new construction homes are ready as is. You don’t want to be stressed as much as possible, so you want a property that will require less maintenance. 

Another benefit of buying new construction is that since these homes are constructed with brand new appliances, these appliances still have factory warranties. This is a major plus, since you want your home to have appliances that take a long time before they need to be repaired. 

On the contrary, appliances in older homes have more maintenance issues. When you buy an old home, you don’t only deal with leaky pipes or roofs but also poor insulation, wiring and plumbing.

  • New construction homes don’t require upgrades

You don’t just look for a home to have a place to live. As a homebuyer, you also consider the luxuries and aesthetic features of a property—two things that old homes find it hard to keep up with.

When you buy a home, you invest a huge amount of money in it. Rationally, you won’t want to waste your money on a property that will only cause you headaches in the future.

With a new construction home, you are assured that you are the first to live in that home, so you don’t deal with the same issues that buyers of old homes usually deal with. New construction homes also have far more aesthetic value than old homes because of their big open rooms and vaulted ceilings, elegant laminate floors, and modern systems. 

If you buy an old home and try to replicate such features that are common in new construction homes, chances are you’ll burn a hole in your pocket.  

  • New construction homes have great warranties

Nowadays, new construction homes have warranties coming from their builders. These warranties cover new construction homes for up to 10 years, assuring you that whatever goes wrong with the property within that period of time, that won’t be on you but the home builder. 

Warranties for new construction homes have different levels of coverage but they’re all great warranties. However, it is still best to conduct your own research and make sure that you know what and who you’re dealing with before committing to buying one from your home builder.

  • New construction homes have great locations

One of your biggest considerations when searching for a home to buy is the neighborhood. When you have a family, the location of your home can be the difference between a red flag and a green light, so make sure you choose a neighborhood that is nothing less than great. 

The good news is, most new construction homes today are located in some of the best Portland neighborhoods. Neighborhoods in Portland Oregon belong to the best school districts and offer easy access to great amenities like parks, playgrounds and clubhouses.

Homes for Sale in Portland- Find out more about the pros of investing in new construction homes in Portland Oregon!
  • New construction homes offer more freedom

Since nobody knows your wants and needs better than you do, having control over the details of your home is already a luxury. As a homebuyer, you want your future home to suit your taste and lifestyle, but that’s hard to achieve when you’re buying an old home. 

Buying new construction means having all the freedom to pick out the color of your siding and the design of your room. Many of the things you want to customize in your future home are difficult, but they are achievable with new construction homes. With this type of home, you get to enjoy making so many decisions about the various aspects that will help you make your house feel more like a home.

  • You get to save on energy

Most homebuilders today take advantage of innovations in energy efficiency. That pretty much explains why if you are buying a new construction home, chances are you will get a home specifically designed and built to consume less energy. 

Most new construction homes today can be optimized for energy efficiency, including energy insulation and air sealing, as well as heating and cooling. That is why when you go for new construction, you have more say when it comes to the strategies used to minimize the carbon footprint of your home. 

When you buy new construction, you will find that the cons don’t matter much in comparison to the pros. If you want to figure out if this route is the best for you, gather all the facts, conduct your own research, and clearly think about what you really want your future home to be like.

It is also vital that you hire a real estate agent in Portland, Oregon that you can trust, so you can have someone to represent you when meeting with the home builder’s salesperson and advocate for your interests. Your real estate agent will educate you about the home buying process and help you make wise decisions along the way.

The more informed you are going into the process, the better you will be able to navigate the tricky process of buying new construction. Call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today and I will watch out for your best interests! You can count on my expertise as you make one of the biggest investments of your life.

What Do You Need To Know Before Buying A House in Portland OR?

Buying a house is pretty much like buying a secondhand car. You ask questions, look under the hood, test-drive, and see what happens. You can’t just make hasty decisions when buying a house, especially if it’s your first time. 

But while navigating the home buying process can be challenging, it becomes so much easier if you have a clear path forward. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know before you buy a house so you don’t regret your decision in the long run.

There is more to purchasing a home than just picking your preferred listing, signing a check, and moving in. There are steps to buying a house, and these steps include determining what to look for when buying, asking the right questions, understanding the hidden costs, and more.

Home for Sale in Portland Oregon

What are the things you need to consider before buying a house?

Since buying a home is one of the major financial decisions you will ever make in your entire life, it’s important for you to consider these things before you close on your dream home:

·         Your personal finances

Like I said, buying a home is a major financial decision. You can’t just decide to buy a house unless you are sure you can afford it. As you prepare to buy your first home, keep track of your credit score and try to improve it as much as you can. This is because the better your credit score is, the easier it will be for you to get approved for a loan. 

·         The local market

Before you put an offer on a home, monitor the condition of the market in the area where you plan to make your purchase. Pay special attention to the length of time that homes in your price range stay on the Portland real estate market and if there are big shifts in the asking price.

·         Your priorities

It’s always a good idea to keep your priorities clear to ensure that you know what to look for when searching for a home. Before you begin your search, write down the list of features you want your future home to have and make sure you revisit them as you begin looking for houses for sale Portland Oregon.

·         Your lifestyle

Before you buy a house, do not just dream of the kind of home you want to live in. Instead, think about the type of house that will fit your lifestyle. As you visualize homeownership, consider what type of life you are looking to lead and how long you are going to be there. You’ll never know, the house you are dreaming of may not be the one for you.

·         Your real estate agent

With your list of priorities and credit score in hand, start looking for a buyer’s agent in Portland who can help you find a home that fits your budget and criteria. Don’t miss this part. While some homebuyers choose to buy directly from the seller to save on commission, buying a home without a professional agent to assist you is a risky move. You need the help of a real estate agent who can facilitate negotiations between you and the seller and show you properties that meet your needs.

·         The location

Sometimes, a great location is all it takes to make you want to buy a home. Some homebuyers can live with almost any flaw in a home if they love the location. If you’re buying a home, however, remember that you cannot change your home’s location so consider all the things you need to deal with first before making a decision. Is the home close to your work? Does it offer easy access to schools, parks, shopping centers, and public transport?

·         The neighborhood

Just as the location should meet your expectations, the neighborhood should meet your expectations, too. As you decide whether you should buy a home or not, drive around the neighborhood on weekdays and weekends, during the day and in the evening, and observe if that’s the type of neighborhood you will love to have for your future home.

Houses for Sale Portland

What should you watch out for when buying a house?

As you start looking for a home, come up with a list so you can get your search off on the right foot. Commonly, house hunters look at the number of rooms, the size of the yard, and the condition of the kitchen when searching for homes, but remember that there are so many other things you need to think over before making an offer. Don’t be too focused on the size of the yard or the square footage of the garden, because there are other attributes to a home that are even far more important than them. Here are some of the items you must watch out for:

·       Roof condition

Ideally, a traditional shingle roof needs to be replaced every 20 to 25 years. Since this is a significant expense, it’s something you would not want to be stuck with right after purchasing your home. Make sure that before your purchase, the roof is still in good condition. Don’t hesitate to ask the seller about its age. 

·         Signs of foundational issues

While small issues like faded paint and broken light fixture can be easily remedied, foundational damage is not. If the foundation of a home is damaged, then you are looking at thousands of dollars in repairs. Before you buy a home, look for signs of cracking near its foundation and pay close attention to the grade of the floors for red flags. 

·         Energy efficiency

It pays to make sure that you are aware of the condition of the home’s insulation, especially if the property you are looking to buy was built several decades ago. This is because the better the insulation of a house is, the less you will have to spend on utility costs, particularly when it comes to heating and cooling. 

·         Water damage

Before you close on a home, watch out for signs of mold growth around pipes. If you spot mold growth, that’s a warning sign that something’s wrong with the house’s plumbing system or ventilation. Musty odors and peeling paint are also signs of excessive weathering, which may cause you trouble in the future.

Buyer’s Agent in Portland

What are the questions you need to ask before buying a house?

You’ve probably been dreaming of buying a house for years. You may have already considered how many bedrooms you want your future home to have, what kind of neighborhood you want to live in, or how you’re going to spruce up your garden. But like I said, buying a house is more than just about picking your favorite listing and moving in. Since home buying is a major investment, it’s better to take your time finding the house that’s right for you than being forced into something less-than-perfect just because you are pressured to make the purchase now. Know everything you need to know before you buy a home so you don’t regret your purchase in the future.

Here are the key questions you need to ask before you buy a home:

1.        Can you afford it?

When buying a home, it does not really matter how much money the bank is willing to loan you. What matters is the amount you are comfortable to pay each month. Remember, the bank or the loan officer shouldn’t be the ones telling you your affordability. Instead, you tell them your affordability. 

2.       What is the neighborhood like?

Checking out the neighborhood is crucial before buying a home. When you look at the other houses on the block and check out the amenities within the community, it will be easier for you to judge whether the location of the home you are looking to buy will be good for you and your family in the long run. 

3.       Are there ongoing maintenance issues?

Find out as much as you can from the current owners of the home if there are ongoing maintenance issues. If the water heater tends to stop working or the kitchen sink has a slow leak, you’ll want to know about it before you close on a home. Factoring in these maintenance issues, small or big, is crucial when making your buying decision.

4.       Are there upcoming replacement needs?

There are a lot of hidden costs in buying a house, so it’s imperative that you ask the current homeowner if there are appliances or features that are already nearing the end of their lifespan. Ask about any upcoming replacement needs and watch out for signs that something might need to be replaced in case the owner fails to disclose it to you.

Working with a real estate agent will help you a lot in ensuring that all the aspects of your home purchase are under control. Your agent will guide you throughout the home buying process and ensure that you make wise decisions along the way.If you are buying a home in Portland and are looking for an agent you can trust, call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today.

In case you can not view this video here, please click the link below to view What Do You Need To Know Before Buying a House in Portland Oregon? on my YouTube channel:

How Much Do You Need To Buy a House for the First Time?

At some point in your life, you turn your financial attention to buying a home. While saving for a new home may seem like an insurmountable challenge, you can handle the typically steep curve of down payments and closing costs much easier if you know what figures come into play when buying a home. In this article, you will discover how much you need to prepare before you make the single biggest transaction of your life!

How much do you need to save for the down payment?

When it comes to saving for your future home, take note of the rules of thumb. The estimates I will provide in this article will give some guidance on how much you will need to save up to buy a home for the first time, but take note that these are only estimates so it’s better if you save more.

If you ask a real estate expert how much you need to have saved to buy a new home,he or she will likely tell you to save at least 5% of the cost of your dream house. This 5% will be used towards your down payment if you are qualified for an FHA loan. 

As you save for your down payment, remember that this 5% estimate is only a minimum and expectations differ by community. For instance, if you buy a home in Portland, Oregon, you will find that minimum down payments are usually at 20% of the total cost of the home. Even if you are able to secure a mortgage by putting down less than this required percentage of the selling price, you still are almost certainly triggering mandatory mortgage insurance as a consequence.

Generally, homebuyers who pay less than 20% in down payment are required to pay mortgage insurance until their loan-to-value ratio is 80%. That means if you borrowed $270,000 on a $300,000 home, your LTV ratio will be 90%. As a result, your monthly payments on that policy will continue until you have finally paid your mortgage down by another $30,000 to a balance of $240,000, which is 80% of the total selling price of your future home.

It’s a different story for mortgage insurance premiums. Unlike mortgage insurance, the amount of your mortgage insurance premium heavily depends on your credit score and the size of your down payment. While there is no specific amount required for mortgage insurance premiums, when it comes to private loans, these run within the 0.3%-1.15% range.

Taking that into account, if you are a homebuyer who has an excellent credit profile and you go for a 30-year-mortgage, then you will have to take on an estimate of $1,762 monthly payments if you use your initial savings of $30,000 or 10% as the down payment for a $300,000 home.

If your savings amount to $60,000 and is therefore enough to cover 20% of the $300,000-worth home as down payment, then your monthly bill will go down to about $1,600 because this will eliminate the need for mortgage insurance. That means if you’re buying a home and savings are an issue for you, you might have no other choice but to take on the insurance in exchange for a lower down payment.  

Portland real estate agent

How much will you need for closing costs?

In real estate, closing costs refer to the costs covering the fees for agent commissions, appraisals, surveying, inspections and certifications, tax and title services, government record changes, and transfer taxes. Also included in these costs is the amount you pay to your mortgage lender.

Depending on the neighborhood you choose, other factors come into play when we talk about closing costs. For example, in a major city cooperative, you may be required to have a year or more of maintenance fees in the bank. You also cannot forget about your move—which is the tail end of your home buying experience.

Closing costs range from 3% to 6% of the selling price of a home. That means that if you are buying a $300,000 worth of home, you should be able to sock away at least $6,000 to $7,500 to cover the back end of your home buying experience.

When you think about closing costs, remember these two things:

·         Closing costs vary from one state to another. States have different real estate transfer tax and/ or mortgage stamps. These taxes refer to the government taxes collected based on a percentage of your mortgage loan amount and can vary based on various rates charged for attorneys, appraisals, and title insurance.

·         Closing costs must be outlined by your lender. Your lender is required to outline your closing costs in the Loan Estimate you receive when you first apply for the loan, as well as in the Closing Disclosure document you receive days before the settlement. Make sure to review them closely and ask questions if there’s anything you do not understand.

If you want to reduce or eliminate closing costs, you have two options. Either you negotiate for the home seller to pay your closing costs or you negotiate premium pricing with your lender. In certain areas, negotiating for the seller to pay the closing costs is a common practice. If you want to go the other way, however, then it’s like you are telling your lender that you are willing to pay a higher interest rate on your mortgage in exchange for the lender paying the closing costs.

Since you can’t be sure if you can really reduce or eliminate your closing costs using these two options, it is still wise to save enough and include these additional cash requirements in your home buying plans. After all, most lenders verify that you have funds available for these costs before they even let you close a deal.  

Homes for sale in Portland

So how much will you need to buy a home?

Considering how much you need to save for the down payment and the closing costs assuming you are buying a $300,000 home, the amount comes to at least $36,000 to $37,500. If you want some peace of mind, however, it is best if you don’t jump into the home buying process with an exact amount on hand. Remember not to leave out another all-important consideration, which is the homebuyer’s buffer.

Buying a home is the kind of transaction where unexpected costs may suddenly arise, so it is always best to prepare for any situation so you can be sure that your money can go further.

Let us say you have already saved $36,000 to $37,500 for your $300,000 home. While that is already quite an achievement, don’t forget that amount is just enough to cover for the down payment and the closing costs. Since anything can happen in between you making your initial payment to you finally moving into your new home, it is best to add enough to your savings to ensure that all the unexpected twists and turns in the home buying process are well accounted for.

Saving an amount equivalent to half-year of your mortgage payments is a sensible goal if you’re thinking about saving for your buffer. That amounts to about $10,752 if you are getting a $300,000 worth of home at 10% down payment. Your savings for your down payment, closing costs, and buffer considered, that’s a total of $46,572 to $48,072 of savings in the bank before you close a deal.If you are buying a home in Portland and are looking for an agent you can trust, call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today.

How Can You Buy a House Fast?

Buying a home can be a tedious process, broken up by periods of frantic activities. If you want your home buying process to fly through quickly, there are things you need to know and remember before you kick off the home buying dash. In this post, you will discover the secrets to buying a house fast. 

The average time for closing on a loan alone takes almost two months, but if you are not lucky enough, the process can take even much longer—sometimes even years! Unfortunately, homebuyers like you do not always have the luxury of waiting. 

Buying a home in Portland fast requires a little luck and a lot of preparation. If you are relocating from another state and need a place to live now, you cannot afford to wait for months before you find a new home.  The good news, however, is that there are ways you can speed up the home buying process even if your bank account is not as fat as your shopping rivals. 

Here are some ways you can speed up the house hunting and buying process:

Choose the right realtor

Even if you don’t have a fat bank account, if you have an experienced real estate agent in Portland who has a large network of real estate professionals, you can be one of the lucky few to submit a presale offer before your dream home even hits the market. 

In any real estate transaction, the no. 1 secret is always to pick a realtor who is intimately familiar with your preferred area and knows which homes are hitting the market. Your real estate agent will help you make wise decisions as you go through the home buying process and will give you a head start in finding out if a particular listing is right for you. 

Pepper your agent with questions

Portland homes

Since home buying can be confusing especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer, you shouldn’t feel guilty about asking questions early on in the transaction. If you get your questions answered early on with the help of your agent, that will help expedite the home buying process.

Asking questions is especially important when you fall in love with a home in a competitive market and are to sign the offer fast. Do not wait for the offer to arrive to ask these questions if you don’t want to miss the deadline for submitting your offer. 

Aim to get pre-approved, not just pre-qualified

While it is always nice to get pre-qualified for a mortgage before you begin your search for your future home, getting pre-approved is always better. In fact, it’s a necessity especially if you are eager to close the deal fast. Don’t be the type of homebuyer who thinks that getting pre-approved and pre-qualified are the same. While a pre-qualification requires just a quick conversation with your lender and a quick review of your credit score, a pre-approval front-loads the entire underwriting process and takes much longer. 

Getting pre-approved does not only make your offer look stronger, it also minimizes the surprises that may force a cancellation during escrow. 

Be particular about the homes you see

While it’s good to stay open-minded about homes, it doesn’t help if your goal is to buy a home fast. If you are in a rush, it is better to stay narrow-minded and be more particular about the homes that you chance upon. As you begin your search, do not bring a long list of attributes of your dream home. Instead, come up with a list that contains your absolute, must-have features and only consider the homes that precisely fit that list.

As you create your list, make sure that you consult your agent to determine if the attributes you listed are possible in your area. You may have to review your criteria once you run out of homes to see.

Consider slow sellers

If you want to buy a house fast, it pays to look for sellers whose homes have been on the market for a while. Most of the time, home sellers who have not been able to find buyers for their homes are the most motivated to move quickly. 

You may want to ask your agent to help you look into homes that have been on the market for a long time. Remember, a slow seller in one market may not be a slow seller in another. In certain markets, a slow seller is someone who cannot sell his home in a week or two. In others, a slow seller is someone whose home has been on the market for a year or more.

Make your offer as strong as possible

Even if you are convinced that some features of your desired home warrant a lower asking price, remember that now is not the best time to underbid. Especially if you badly need a new home, it’s a must that you ensure your offer is strong. With your agent’s guidance and expertise, you can make your offer as strong as possible and easily outbid other house hunters. 

Keep in mind though that making a strong offer does not necessarily mean offering a lot of money. In some cases, it may also mean offering a larger down payment and more earnest money. Remember also that sellers who are not concerned about the buyer backing out are more likely to accept an offer.

Throw in some contingencies

Being prepared to waive contingencies is normal when buying a home. In real estate, a contingency refers to a clause in an offer that allows a homebuyer to walk away from the deal under certain circumstances. If you are buying a home in a hurry, you might have to waive certain contingencies to expedite the process. Remember, however, that this may spell trouble down the road, so seek the help of your agent as you choose your battles.

Be organized with your paperwork

Getting your paperwork in order is also key to a speedy home buying process. This process involves lots of paperwork, and it is a must that you keep every single bank statement, paystub, and other documents you get hold of in the process. In a process as complex as home buying, the more documentation, the better. This is because there are times when things get held up just because certain documents are not readily available.

Always make yourself available

Real estate agents in Portland

You know you are one step closer to buying your dream home once the seller has accepted your offer. If you want to close quickly, it is imperative that you are available any time of the day to answer whatever questions your agent or the seller’s agent may have about your offer. Especially if the home is already under agreement, the last thing that you want to happen is for the closing to be pushed back just because you or your agent fails to respond promptly to a query.
If you are buying a home in Portland and are looking for an agent you can trust, call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today.

Can You Buy A House With No Money Down?

If you are a millennial, you know how high down payments keep many young people like you from buying a home. You aspire to own your place but stay locked into the rental market far longer than you wish because you cannot afford the high down payment required to own a home in the U.S. Well, you probably aren’t aware that you can actually buy a house with no money on hand. In this post, you will learn how you can get your dream home with no money down!

Yes, you can buy a house with no money, provided that you can prove your ability to pay off the mortgage at a later time. There are no-down loans available out there, and you can easily avail them if you can prove that you have a steady source of income to allow you to repay the loan and all the fees associated with it in the long run.

Although it is far easier to get the home that you want with sufficient cash on hand, buying a home with no money is still possible. There’s a catch, though, as you still have to pay for lawn care, general maintenance, utilities, etc. to maintain the property. You will also have to pay for the cost of moving, decorating, etc. Needless to say, buying a home and moving into it require money. But if we’re only talking about the down payment needed to get started with the home buying process, there is definitely no reason you can’t get the home of your dreams.

How do you buy a house if you have no money?

Homes for sale in Portland- Buy your dream home with no money on hand!

Usually, people go for a mortgage when buying a house. If you go this path, you pay a certain part of the overall cost of the property as down payment. Then, you pay the remaining cost of the house every month as a monthly mortgage. While it is most common for home sellers to require a homebuyer to pay 20% upfront for down payment, there are many ways you can still buy your dream home without paying any down payment. Here are the mortgage programs you can get so you can buy your dream home with no money down:

·         USDA Loans

USDA loans let you buy a home in a qualifying rural or suburban area for zero down payment, provided that you meet income guidelines. These loans help make owning a home much more affordable, especially if you are living in any of the eligible rural and suburban areas and have a household income that falls within the USDA limits.

USDA loans are also commonly known as rural development loans. They offer an affordable mortgage option if you live in a qualifying rural or suburban area and want to buy a home. These loans are backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, so they are far more accessible than other loan options when buying a home. Unlike FHA and conventional loans, they do not require any down payment and allow prospective homebuyers to qualify for a loan even with a credit score as low as 640.

In most cases, the USDA monthly guarantee fee is much lower than FHA monthly mortgage insurance, and you are allowed to roll these fees into your loan. This means that if you already have a USDA loan, you are free to refinance it into a new USDA loan and get it as a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Remember, however, that you cannot refinance with a USDA loan if your current loan is a different loan type. 

·         VA Loans

If you are a veteran and you are not qualified for a USDA loan, then you have another option: a VA mortgage. Just like USDA loans, VA loans also offer 100% financing, allowing you to buy a home with zero down payment. One of the best things about these loans is that they do not require mortgage insurance, so borrowers like you get to save thousands of dollars every year. 

In the U.S., VA loans are the cheapest available today. But since VA home loans do not require mortgage insurance, they charge a one-time VA funding fee to help make the program self-sufficient. This fee is equivalent to 2.15% of the total loan amount, so if you are on a $200,000 mortgage, then your funding fee will be $4,300, which can be financed into the loan. 

If you are wondering whether or not you qualify for a VA loan, it hugely depends on the credit requirements of the lender. Usually, lenders require at least a 620 credit score, which is definitely not bad. Some small lenders require much lower credit scores than this. 

·         Navy Federal Credit Union Financing

If you are buying a home for the first time and you happen to be a member of the Navy Federal Credit Union, then you are likely to qualify for a no down payment home loan and no PMI. The goal of the Navy Federal Credit Union is to help first-time homebuyers like you realize your dream of homeownership now without having to wait for years to save a down payment. 

The union’s Homebuyers choice loans offer 100% financing on purchases, including home purchases. That alone makes them a great choice for homebuyers. 

Navy Federal Credit Union loans are characterized by fixed interest rates and consistent payments. With a fixed interest rate, you can be assured that your monthly payment to your principal and interest will stay the same for the entire life of your loan. These loans also do not require private mortgage insurance, which is very common among other lenders. Usually, lenders require borrowers to purchase PMI unless you can make a down payment of 20%. With the Navy Federal Credit Union loan, however, you won’t need a PMI to avail of the loan. 

Another good thing about Navy Federal Credit Union loans is that they allow home sellers to contribute up to 6% of the value of the home to your closing costs. This is quite a benefit for you as a homebuyer. These loans are also quite useful if you are looking to refinance your home but have low equity as they can refinance up to 97% of your home’s total value. 

Is a zero down payment mortgage right for you?

Real estate agents in Portland- Call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 and I’ll help you buy your dream home with limited budget on hand.

With sales rising, supply dropping, and pricing increasing in many cities in neighborhoods, today’s market looks pretty much like a bargain. That means now is a terrific time to purchase a home. Also, since rates for 30-year loans, 15-year loans, and 5-year loans are now cheaper than ever, the monthly cost of owning a home has also significantly lowered.

Despite that, however, the decision of whether to buy a home now or later still depends on you. Zero down payment mortgages let first-time homebuyers and repeat homebuyers buy property with no money required at closing—except the standard closing costs, of course. However, if you don’t qualify for any of the loans discussed in this article, you still have other options.

The FHA loan, HomeReady mortgage, and the Conventional 97 loan all offer low down payment options with as little as 3% down payment. Just like the zero down payment options we’ve mentioned earlier, these low down payment options also have their own share of advantages and disadvantages. Just as there are benefits to zero down mortgages, there are also benefits to putting at least a little money down on a purchase. For one, the amount you will need for your monthly mortgage will become less. Also, if your mortgage requires mortgage insurance, with more money down, your mortgage insurance will automatically cancel in a few years.

If you are buying a home in any of our Portland neighborhoods and are looking for an agent you can trust, call me, Anne Stewart, at 503-804-1466 today.

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

You’re going to publish a post today. Don’t worry about how your blog looks. Don’t worry if you haven’t given it a name yet, or you’re feeling overwhelmed. Just click the “New Post” button, and tell us why you’re here.

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.