Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

extraflamey, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

How much time is required to buy a first home?

Asked by extraflamey, Portland, OR Fri Mar 7, 2014

My boyfriend and I are starting to look for our first home together. We'll be looking for a single family under $200k in the suburbs and I am hearing some unfortunate horror stories from Realtor websites, friends, and recent home buyers. Stories of how all we will be doing is seeing dream house after dream house snatched by CA cash buyers and how we are going to need to be prepared to be dropping everything at a moments notice to view homes, write and rewrite competitive sob story offers to get the sellers attention. I know everyone's experience is different but the recurring trends are making me nervous. We do not work at jobs that will be pleased to be letting us skip out to do house searching at the drop of a hat. So...what are some of your experiences? Can you do home buying on the weekends with the occasional weekday for paperwork? Is the market so competitive that its required to be available for viewings, paperwork, and decisions immediately?

Help the community by answering this question:

Answers

10
BEST ANSWER
Get your finances in order - get pre-approved -

There are many ways to achieve a better position in the deal -

One Idea - Consider strengthening your position by telling the seller you are in the position to pay "cash" - but because you were taught responsible finance - and the interest rates are so low - fearing they will rise - you are "electing" to take advantage of the historically low rates and finance.

Putting emphasis on the fact that you are a "young" couple and REALLY like the home - great for your new family and expected children, schools and other things that will make you life
wonderful and can provide warm and fuzzy to the seller...

Sometimes going for the heart can be very effective -

All of this depends on the individual situation.

Get a professional negotiator that understands how to paint the picture!

Like my answer - select best answer!
Web Reference: http://www.garyyoungman.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Mar 13, 2014
"One Idea - Consider strengthening your position by telling the seller you are in the position to pay "cash" - but because you were taught responsible finance - and the interest rates are so low - fearing they will rise - you are "electing" to take advantage of the historically low rates and finance."

That kind of schlock might fly in Boca Raton, Florida. Most of the sellers I speak to in Portland are a bit more sophisticated and would see through such a pathetic attempt at lying.
Flag Thu Apr 17, 2014
Being preapproved first definitely positions best. If a property comes up you are interested in, you are considered a ready buyer. Also are you aware of all the available programs to assist first time home buyers with down payment, closing costs, etc? I will be more than happy to work with you in you home search. Thanks for reading, Sue
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 8, 2014
You need to be pre approved before you go looking for a home here in Portland. Our market is tight but if you know what you can afford then you can make a good offer on a property. Letme know if you would like my expertise I have 30 years experience in the business. Tom Inglesby, Broker RE/MAX
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 7, 2014
If you have a Realtor who goes over great strategies to get the home you want, and you listen to the Realtor, you shouldn't have to keep losing out on homes. So, it actually depends on you. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Mar 9, 2014
This is about knowing your market and understanding value -
This has the hint of short sale / foreclosure issues...
Flag Thu Mar 13, 2014
I am in CA and we did not succeed in 5 years. Overall, people trying to buy a house to live in here, do not get a change unless they pay grossly over the value and in cash.

I bid on a house listed for 165,000 and the price shot to 260,000, on one for 210,000 price hike -360,000. Speculators buy houses and double the price- from 360,000 to 650,000 and rent them for 3,000 and up.
The worst areas and cheapest houses, say gang infested houses in 150-200,000 are gone up 350-400,000 for shack with gang insignia on the fence.
Maybe it is better in OR. Here, some people bid on 170 houses and got none.
Neither the realtors nor the speculators nor the politicians do anything, even though it is the main reason we have no new businesses coming in- they cannot afford either the real estate or the pay needed to house their workers.
Flag Tue Mar 11, 2014
If you put your mind into it, and have a quality agent helping you, expect 60 - 90 days and you've got keys.

Here are some things to think about:

A seller listing their home for sale in the wet winter/early spring months is committed to selling. They understand what they’re up against, and have decided to go for it in what is traditionally a stronger buyer’s market.

A buyer could join the “herd” of buyers who are active during the traditional “good weather” months – and this competition for properties can mean buyers pay more, lose out on good-value listings, and receive less attention from swamped real estate agents and mortgage help.

Buying a home in the wet winter/early spring months can tell you a lot about what to expect from a property. Visit a house during a hard rain and you’ll see for yourself. Drive by houses after a fresh snowfall and discover which are well insulated (snow on roof) and which are losing costly heat (no snow on roof). Tour a house on a very windy day and discover how drafty those old windows and doors can be. Or spend some time in a house on a cold day and study how well it heats up everywhere, or not.

Your timing right now is excellent. Ignore the stories. If buying a home is your priority, pursue it and have some fun. Leave the gritty details to your agent, and enjoy viewing the homes for sale. It really isn't that bad!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014
The market is very competitive right now. Especially, at your price point. Homes that are priced appropriately are going very fast. This doesn't mean you won't be able to buy a home just because you can't shoot out on your lunch break, though. What will be important, is having all your ducks in a row, a good agent who is readily available, a quality lender who has pre-approved you and a technology platform that saves you time by sending you only homes that may be of interest. We can offer all three of these including, potentially, a zero down home loan. The closing process is typically 30 days from the time your offer is accepted until the close date. Let me know if you would like to chat about your wants/needs out of your home. You can also search for properties at PortlandHousingSearch.com - If I don't hear from you, BEST WISHES WITH YOUR FIRST HOME PURCHASE!
V/R
Marshall Rosario
Customer Service Manager / Broker
Stellar Realty Northwest
OR: (503) 427-9233 x 108 | Fax: (503) 200-2287
5530 SW Kelly Avenue, Portland, OR 97239
marshall@stellarnw.com | http://www.PortlandHousingSearch.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014
You will here it over and over again but hire an agent. It;s no cost to you and they can explain every step from the very beginning. You can do homebuying on weekends, weekdays, morning, night, whatever! I would suggest calling a few agents and seeing which ones are more flexible and have search times that match up with your own. They don't get paid unless you find what you're looking for. I promise you they will be excited to help you every step of the way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014
Hi! For the past year, our market has been running the lowest amount of inventory of homes for sale in over a decade. With so few homes to pick from but no reduction in buyers looking - it has made for a market where appropriately priced homes are selling in a matter of days, with many seeing multiple offers within 24 hours and we're selling higher than the list price on a regular basis. My team generally runs 30-50 listings at all times, and we are indeed seeing more cash buyers than usual - but the bulk of them are folks from right here in Portland rather than coming out of California and they are mostly purchasing fixer homes that they can flip or they are picking up a rental.

Best advice I can give is to make sure you have your loan approval in place so that you can put a strong, solid offer together when you find the right home. Also you're going to want to work with a Realtor that will fully understand what you are looking for, who has the ability to screen through and weed out the possible matches that might not be a good fit up front so that they are only telling you that you need to jump quickly when the perfect home comes up. I've had some instances where we've even written offers sight unseen, subject to interior inspection, to make sure we got the first foot in the door with an offer when we knew it was the right house! You've also got to then make your offer competitive - low ball offers will not even be considered in a multiple offer situation.

Unless you are writing an offer on a bank owned home or short sale, you will be able to utilize electronic signatures - these can be done in a matter of seconds in front of any computer where you can log onto your email, so this is no longer the time consuming appointment it once was.

All in all - this is a great time to buy a home. You will have some competition in the price range you'll be looking in so being prepared upfront is going to be a key factor. Working with a great Realtor is also a big key.

Congratulations on your decision to buy your first home - it will definitely be worth it in the end! If you need any help - just yell. My team would love to be a resource for you.

Kelly Gebler, Principal Broker
Cornerstone Group NW at Keller Williams Realty - PDX Central
http://www.CornerstoneGroupNW.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014
It all depends on how long it takes you to find the right house. If you find the right agent, it will be a shorter search. Think carefully about what it is you need, then about what you want and why those things are important to you, that will help narrow down the search. For example, I recently had a couple tell me they needed 4 bedrooms, but upon probing a little I learned the 4th bedroom was really an office, so we could also look at 3 bedroom homes with an office, which tended to be more in their price range.

If you and your agent do your homework proactively, it will make it more comfortable for you to make a quick decision once you find the right house. As for weekend searches, that's not at all unusual and, if you find an agent who is technologically savvy, you can even do a great deal of the paperwork online using e-signatures.

Find a good, local agent, do your homework up front, and then do what your agent suggests. It may be a but frustrating but it will be worth it in the end.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014
In most markets, yes you can do your home searches on the weekends. You should hook up with an agent you trust to help you by advising you, keeping an eye out for home that meet your budget and criteria. I know in some markets it definitely is a challenge when a "great" property comes on the market and is priced to sell. Are you available early evenings? Sometimes that works very well for showing homes - you need to find an agent who will work with your schedule. Paperwork can easily be done via email, as well. It could be that certain price ranges are more competitive than others - ask your agent.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 7, 2014
Search Advice
Ask our community a question
Email me when…

Learn more

Copyright © 2015 Trulia, Inc. All rights reserved.   |  
Have a question? Visit our Help Center to find the answer