Home Buying in Tualatin>Question Details

Kylie.mueller, Home Buyer in West Linn, OR

Hi, we are moving to the Portland area from overseas (Australia to be precise) we are looking to purchase a home want to know the best way to do this?

Asked by Kylie.mueller, West Linn, OR Thu Jun 9, 2011

We are looking to purchase in the following neighbourhoods Tualatin, Tigard, Lake Oswego, West Linn or Beaverton. School district is very important to us as one of our children starts school next year. We see some great deals online but are wondering about information relating to foreclosures and short sales etc. We have sold our home here in Australia and have a sizeable deposit. Should we be looking at foreclosures/short sales primarily to get the best deal just not sure which is the best way to go in order to get the "most bang for our buck so to speak". Regards Kylie.

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You could trade houses with my husband and I but we live in Bend and love, love, love Australia. Since I live in Bend I will bow out of answering your questions and let the real estate brokers in the Portland area answer. I wish you only the best and after you get settled come on over the Cascades and visit us in Bend.

Susan Agli, Broker, SRES, ALHS
Coldwell Banker Morris, Bend Oregon
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
There are some great purchasing opportunities in all of the areas you have selected. Short sales are not your best consideration just from a timing standpoint - they take a long time to close. Bank owned (they have been foreclosed and gone back to the bank) properties can be a good deal, provided there is no damage to the property that should need major repair. Banks will rarely do any repairs and usually the property is priced to take needed repairs into consideration. You may have to hire someone to do repairs or do them yourself. I am thinking that after a long move from Australia that does not sound too palatable.

Of course it all depends upon what your budget is, and what you can qualify to purchase. Your real first step is to speak to a reliable mortgage person to get prequalified for a loan so that when you find the house you want you can submit an offer with the knowledge you can afford it, which will also make the Seller comfortable.

Our office is in Lake Oswego and I live in Tualatin, and service the areas you are interested in looking. We also have a preferred broker relationship with one of the largest mortgage companies in the state to refer you to. If I can be of service in your search please don't hesitate to contact me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
My suggestion is you get one real estate agent you can rely on and feel comfortable with. You need to be open minded about looking at everything on the market in your price range. Short sales and foreclosures can be very difficult to deal with but if you have a lot of patience you can come out with a great deal in the long run. Again - they are not easy. Any agent you choose will be able to set you up with a list of homes so that you can preview them before you get there... on line to approve or disapprove so that you dont have to look at a 100 homes to find the right one. I hope it all goes well. Make sure you have your financing in place prior to looking and that will save you a lot of time and trouble when making an offer!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
I'd recomend against limiting your search to foreclosures or short sales (though you can do that on my web site) because, as noted, short sales can take a long time and you never know until it closes that something's going to abort the sale.

Foreclosures are generally not big bargains, UNLESS they are in lousy condition, in which case they will go for less than a home in good condition, but of course that's true of all homes, not just foreclosures. The idea that one can save significant money by looking just for foreclosures is for those who still believe in the tooth fairy.

Also, others have mentioned but I can't stress enough that you need to identify a mortgage source here immediately. I can recommend two if you like: Mark Boeck at Windermere Mortgage MBoeck@Windermere.com or Kelly Parkment at NW Mortgage kparkman@nwmortgagegroup.com. You will need recommendations for a whole host of other suppliers, most probably before you arrive, and our office keeps a current list of those who our customers have found to be reliable and fairly priced.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
You want a Realtor who works in this particular area, they will have the most knowledge of the values as well as foreclosure's & other distressed inventory. I've lived in this area for 34 yrs. Please feel free to call me, I would love to meet with you 503-820-9882.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Hello Kylie and family,

It sounds like you have done a lot of research online regarding the school districts, community styles within the cities you listed as well as information regarding short sales and foreclosures. There are truly a lot of great deals out there in all sale types (foreclosures, short sales, as well as non-distressed properties). A real estate broker is the best way to go to help determine if a home is a great deal or not with regards to market value as we can check the true comparable data of what is pending and sold in the areas, days on market, etc. The banks are getting better at pricing their bank-owned homes to get market value. Therefore, not all foreclosures are great deals anymore. The list prices are often lower as the banks are less willing to do improvements to the home and price accordingly. A non-distressed property that may be listed somewhat higher may have a very motivated owner who is also willing to adjust the price for needed repairs or have the repairs fixed as part of your agreement.

A good broker can also ask you and your family the right questions to help you determine the type of home you truly want. I live in Beaverton and have lived on the west side most of my life. I work within all of these cities. I would be happy to take you through various neighborhoods within those cities so you get a feel for what it would be like to live there. As mentioned in a previous answer, getting pre-qualified with a mortgage lender is truly one of the best first steps you can take. I would be happy to refer you to some great contacts I have, and I am sure Corri (mortgage lender from an earlier post) would also be happy to help you figure out the price of home you can afford.

Good luck with your home search. I hope your family finds just what you are looking for. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions you may have.


Mandy Lewis
Real Estate Broker
Windermere Realty Group
(503) 522-5803 direct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 10, 2011
Hi Kylie, The best way to go about looking for a home is to work with an agent that knows those areas. Depending on your timelines and how much of a commute you want to go to work will be key in whether you want to do look at short sales..as they are not typically short timeline wise. Commute will help narrow down the location.Then we can look for those homes that will give you that bang for your buck through the neighborhood comparables. I'd be happy to help you with your search! I've lived in Tigard, Tualatin and now West Linn and know these areas welll and my office is in Lake Oswego. You can also check me out at my blog activerain.com/cwestfall and my website where I have links to the school districts in these areas.

All the best in your home search and and early welcome to Portland!

Cindy Wesfall
Prudential NW Properties
5 Centerpointe Dr. Suite 150
Lake Oswego, OR 97035
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 9, 2011
First and foremost I would recommend speaking with a mortgage lender to make sure any financing obstacles that might present being you are moving from overseas.

Welcome to Portland!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 9, 2011
Whether you go for a short sale depends on your timeline, and how soon you want or need to close. Some short sales can take an awfully long time, then end up failing.

There are good deals among both foreclosed properties and short sales. But a good number of well-priced fair market sales also are out there, and they're going overlooked because many buyers are getting the mistaken impression that a property has to be a foreclosure or short sale to be good deal. That's not necessarily the case.

You should use an experienced, thorough broker who will provide you access to all properties available in these areas you want. I Am happy to answer any further questions if you have them.

Best of Luck... Craig
Web Reference: http://www.bybryson.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 9, 2011
Kylie - The first thing you want to do is get a reputable Realtor in the area/areas you are looking to help you get some background on the market. I would recommend that since you seem to be strongly considering looking at bank owned and short sale properties that you work with an agent that has a good background in working with both REO and Short Sale properties as they are not the same as your typical transaction with Mr. & Mrs. Seller. Interview a few agents or if you would like a referal to an agent in that area please let me know and I will be happy to get you in touch with someone in my network in that region.



360-621-9209 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 9, 2011
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