Home Buying in 97205>Question Details

Amanda Green, Renter in Portland, OR

I'm looking to move out in September or October and can't decide if I should rent or if it's time to buy.

Asked by Amanda Green, Portland, OR Thu Jun 27, 2013

How much in costs am I looking at if I do buy? Home owner's association, realtor fees, etc. Also, what's up with the foreclosures? How does one look into that?

Help the community by answering this question:


Only you (and your banker) can decide if now is the right time to make a home purchase. There are compelling reasons for Home Ownership, but it is not right for everyone. If you are looking for stability in your housing costs, owning a home can help with that. Once you make the purchase, you will pretty much know what your monthly outlay will be for the next 30 years with some minor adjustments for taxes & insurance. Rentals not so much as you are somewhat at the whim of the landlord and market forces.

I would suggest you speak to a good mortgage broker who can work you through the lending process and help you to know how much you can afford and what other costs are associated with making a home purchase.

Then sit down with a good Buyers Agent who will also walk you through the process and work hard to achieve your goals and ensure your best interests are maintained throughout the process.

Buying a home does take some commitment, but for many people the rewards of controlling their costs, settling into a stable environment and likely creating a nest egg for the future as you pay down the mortgage, reap tax benefits & build equity is a compelling reason to buy a home. Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Sorry folks. I cant subscribe to anyone just using the blanket statement 'now is the best time to buy' or 'its always better to buy'. Sometimes its not.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Very hard to answer and you have a lot of subjects to cover. Costs are associated with price paid. Home Owners fees are for condos mostly, but many single family homes will have small fees for common areas such as a small neighborhood park, or even a planted area in the middle of a round about street. HOA fees vary a lot.

Amanda---my first question is WHY do you want to buy? Whats your goal? Taxes? Appreciation to make money later? Just to have your own place and do what you want to it? There are others. Rents are sky high in Oregon because so many homeowners lost the properties and have become renters. With huge demand, the landlords are having great fun with big profits now. Sometimes owning can be cheaper then renting depending on your out of pocket costs to buy. Real estate agents fees are paid by the seller though there is a long debate about how values could be lower if there was no comission but if we were not needed, no one would use us. Selling real estate isnt brain surgery but it aint for 5th graders. Almost all real estate sells through real estate brokers.

Regarding foreclosures---dont be taken in by all the hype and advertising by companies wanting to sell you lists, show you how (for a fee) to 'Buy and Sell for Quick Profits' like late night TV gurus do.

Thereare two types of foreclosures. Judicial, in front of the court and decided by a judge, and the 'old fashioned' courthouse stepsauctions. Almost no properties are auctioned any more due to massive lawsuits against lenders over the last two years. That is coming to an end and we may see more. Lenders are toying with the idea of not selling at all to individuals at aution, but selling ALL the homes they own to giant money firms who will keep them as rentals!! If that happens the American Dream will be a partial nightmare.

Many people are Short Selling, or selling for less than the houses existing loan and the lender takes a loss---hence the name 'short sale' Most buyers think they are going to steal those homes but its rare to do that. For the most part the homes sell for the TRUE CURRENT MARKET VALUE., If you have a big wad of cash and can find people in default before the foreclosure process is started, you may be able to negotiate with the lender do buy it short, but thats very rare too. Is romantyic in a way to think of picking up jewels in foreclosure but those times are mostly long gone. People with loans low enough to actually have equity can sell any minute of the day and dont need to give their homes away or go through foreclosure.

STAY AWAY FROM CONDOS. There are exceptions which I wont cover here. In general, I wont sell condos to people. They can have many problems. Id need 15 more minutes to discuss them. (Sorry condo owners)

You really need to meet with a professional to discuss these questions and more.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Amanda, before you do anything talk to a lender and see what you can buy if you decide you want to buy? I have a couple of great lenders that will give you solid advice about you current financia situation. If yoy plan on living here under 2 years rent now but longer that is a good question about living here and your job situation? How long will you live here if you buy? Once you have the information from a lender then you can make a qualified decision. Good luck to you. Tom Inglesby, Broker, RE/MAX equity group.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 16, 2013
Kudos to @Marvin and @Linda for providing a non biased answer to the home buying process! All too often, asking real estate and mortgage people if you should buy is the equivalent of asking the fox to guard the hen house! Invariably, the answers don't stray far from the enthusiastic "Of course you should!!!!"

The reality is the you, and you alone, will determine if now is a good time to buy, or not. To get to that answer, you will need the consultation and guidance of professionals in any number of disciplines: tax, financial planner, real estate and mortgage. As I see our careers, our "job" is to provide you (the consumer) with the knowledge, resource and tools to empower you to make sound decisions for your short and long term goals.

In essence, I believe in educating consumers as thoroughly as my knowledge and expertise allow....and encouraging them to make the decision that is best for their situation at the current time. Sometimes, it remains to buy now...sometimes, it means to wait. Once you have a sound basis of knowledge, you are much more in control of the process and can recognize more completely is someone has your best interest in mind...or, if they are more interested in their pay check at the end of the process.

Wishing you all the best,

NMLS #279125
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 8, 2013
Depends on the price, but I can't imagine a better time to buy (I don't always say that). Interest rates are rising from their historical lows and the market is poised to go up for the next few years. Let one of us put you in touch with a great lender - they will explain all the costs. We can also find the foreclosures for you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 28, 2013
Now is the time, the inventory in the primo neighborhoods is hard to come by but I have a good idea and lead on this, You should buy if you can find a place in prime location, iffy about 155K and definate good investment 200 to 350 K.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Hi Amanda,
Your decision to rent or buy will mostly depend on what your short and long term goals are.
Rents are predicted to continue to increase for the next two years. House prices are also appreciating. If homeownership is something you want to look into then now is a good time to do that. Interest rates are still low and other buyers are seeing the benefits of jumping on the appreciating home prices to start building equity.
The good thing as a buyer is there are no Realtor fees as those are in paid for out of the sellers contract with their agent.
The other fees and costs will come from the mortgage side. A lender will be able to review your financials to determine what the max you could afford is and then you decide what you are comfortable with. The realtor you decide to work with will be able to then calculate home owner fees and taxes into your monthly payment to make sure you are staying in the range you want to be.
As far as foreclosures, you can search just for these types of properties on the RLMS or your realtor can provide those.
Was there something specific you were curious about as far as foreclosed properties or just how to search for them?
Hopefully that was helpful. Let me know if I can answer anything else.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Hi Amanda, The decision to buy vs rent is an important one. The first thing that we like to do is look at your tolerance for increase in your overall housing expense and the relationship to your gross monthly income. If you can stomach an increase and you understand the tax benefits of homeownership and they can be made more tangible by seeing them in print it usually becomes easier to find a payment range you can deal with. A lot of lenders and Realtors just look at HOW MUCH you can afford rather than HOW SMART it is to make the payment. In this market where appreciation is back in swing it is a great time to buy if it is smart time to buy based on your individual situation and needs. We are glad to review any of this we are always at your service. Stuart Brown Market Manager Willamette Valley Bank
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
The benefits of owning far outweigh renting however the question is a personal one so without knowing your goals and current direction that is a question that we cannot answer at the moment.

What I would advise is meeting with a trusted mortgage professional and find out what you qualify for first. From there you can go over costs involved based on your qualifications.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
It any way possible, I would suggest you buy. As a buyer you dont pay realtor fees. You will pay general closing costs, unless your agent is able to get the seller to pay your closing c osts. I really suggest talking to a realtor in your area you are comfortable with and let them put a few scenarios together for you so you can make a good informed decision!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Dear Amanda,
It is definitely less expensive to Buy rather than Rent. I know some lenders with great programs for you. Feel free to call me 503-936-2432 and visit my website for the most up to date, comprehensive, listing info in Western Oregon, and SW Washington. http://www.OregonRealEstateByJewel.com -Jewel Stockli, "Jewel of The Rock" Prudential NW
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
Hi Amanda,
I suggest that you enlist the help of an experienced real estate agent in the area to assist you in finding a home that most closely matches your needs and desires rather it be for sale or for rent. They can also inform you about any foreclosures in the area.
And also consult a few lenders to determine if you qualify for a mortgage and if it is more advantageous to buy rather than lease. Interest rates are still very low at this stage but hard to predict what they will be in a year or two.

Best wishes!

Laura Feghali
Prudential Connecticut Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jun 27, 2013
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