Portland Real Estate Search

PORTLAND BUYER’S GUIDE

TO BUY OR NOT TO BUY, THAT IS THE QUESTION?

The benefits of home ownership are both financial and personal (capital gains exclusion, preferential tax treatment, home value appreciation, property tax deductions, building equity through mortgage reduction, and future equity loans). But you have to be ready. When you feel ready, the first step in owning your home is working with a local lender to get preapproved..  I can recommend lenders who have ample knowledge on the local market and loan programs. I would also suggest “shopping” the interest rate.

FIND YOU’RE A TEAM

When purchasing a home in Portland, it is imperative that you work with a skilled broker.. When looking for a broker, check in with friends and family for referrals, review online reviews, and prepare questions for your first meeting. Are they listening to you and answering your questions? If they don’t know the answers, are they following-up with you to get your questions answered? A real estate broker represents you in the home buying process. They’re here to walk you through every step and assist you in making choices in the process. You want to work with someone who , is attentive, knowledgeable, easy to talk to and makes you feel comfortable.

GET PREQUALIFIED

It’s time to look at your credit and finances so you can build a solid portfolio as you prepare to buy in Portland. A good lender will give you a list of what you’re going to need in order to qualify for a loan. It’s important to have the details ironed out before heading into the buying process in Portland. In competitive markets, you have to have all of your info ready to write an offer. This step can’t be left out because sellers want to know that you’re qualified to buy. Depending on your budget and the listing price, you might be going up against other buyers. You want to shine!

Info to get ready for your lender:

  • Income Verification 
  • W2s
  • Copy of your tax return
  • Copy of your last paystub
  • Assets and Debts
  • Copy of your of bank statements
  • Retirement and investment accounts.
  • Gift letter
  • Credit Verification
  • Authority to run a credit score(a good lender will give you tips on improving your score as it can reduce your interest rate)

SAVE FOR A DOWN PAYMENT IN PORTLAND

NEEDS – WANTS - WISHES

Do you need 20% down payment? Not necessarily, but having funds for a down payment and other upfront costs is ideal...Start saving what you can. Different loan programs will require different amounts for your down. Your lender is the best person to iron out the details on loan programs and down payments. 

Once you are pre-approved, you’ll have a better sense of what you can afford and ultimately what and where in Portland you can buy. Portland’s market is competitive. You might want to:

  • Write a list of must-haves in your future home
  • Write a wish list by order of most desired wishes
  • Know what you’re willing to and not willing to let go of when looking

This list can evolve, as after getting out and seeing 10+ houses things change.

WE’RE HERE TO HELP

After you know what you are looking for,  you can set up automated alerts from your favorite real estate website. broker will  also create an automated search  on the RMLS.

When you see something you like, it's important to move fast.  In the current market homes can go pending within 1 day. Currently the average time on the market in the Portland metro is 20 days

WRITING AN OFFER

Your broker will do additional research on the home before you make an official offer. They might look into offering a tax trio from escrow, checking Portland maps for permitting issues, producing a competitive market analysis, and calling the listing broker to find out the wants/needs of the seller.

OFFER ACCEPTED, NOW WHAT?

Everything that comes next is decided within the initial offer. Generally, the first 10 business days are the most hectic. Within the first 10 business days you will need to deposit your earnest money, review seller disclosure, organize and attend all inspections, and negotiate any repairs needed to move forward.

Earnest money deposit: Typically, 1% of the purchase price is agreed on as earnest money in an offer. It needs to be deposited within 3 business days after the offer has been accepted. It will be refunded when the transaction is properly terminated within the timeline below. If the transaction proceeds to closing, it will be part of the down payment.

Property Disclosure Timeline: Within 5 business days after receiving the Property Disclosure from the seller’s agent, the buyer has the right to revoke the disclosure and cancel the transaction without doing the home inspection.

Home inspection period: Typically, 10 business days unless agreed upon differently. The buyer needs to perform home inspections (including radon and sewer line, etc) AND negotiate repairs with the seller. Inspections are one of those pesky hidden cost when buying a property. You should budget for $1,000+ for inspections. It is the buyer’s responsibility to keep track of the timeline, otherwise the inspection contingency period ends, and you will be buying it as-is.

Appraisal. After you get through inspection period, you will have to play the waiting game. Your lender will order a home appraisal to establish the home's value. Depending on current demand, appraisals can take 2-4 weeks to come through.

Signing and closing

Closing usually occurs the day after documents are signed unless the signing happens late on a Friday and the recording office is closed until the following Monday. In that case it can be several days from signing before the closing occurs. ...The signing day is probably NOT the closing day. After closing, you get the KEYS and can move in!