Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

liz, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

My mom and I want to buy a condominium. She is self employed and has a stable work history. I'm in college, and work part time. Any tips?

Asked by liz, Portland, OR Fri Jun 14, 2013

We have been renting for years and think its time to make a worthwhile investment, we found a small condominium and aren't quite sure how to go about this whole process. We both have great credit, and have a steady income. Are there any programs out there that can help facilitate this process?

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Hi Liz,

I am a condo specialist in Portland! I would love to sit down with you and your mother and your preferred lender/banker of choice and review your mortgage options. Once you have an idea of what your loan looks like, then you can work on your time frame for purchase and we can begin your Portland condo search!

0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 17, 2013
Hi Liz:

Check with the Portland Housing Dept. They are likely to have
housing assistance programs, where they may loan you the down payment or setup
an equity sharing agreement, should you sell down the road for a profit.

Also talk to a few lenders who can give you a FHA loan which requires a very small
down payment.

Good luck

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
The right lender can get you where you need to be. FHA has programs out there for you and your mom. Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
I did the same and helped my son get into his first home. Home ownership has substantially increased his credit score and he has taken the responsibility to heart. I am condo dweller myself and have owned a total of 6 condos at different times. I currently own my own condo-residence as well as one investment property.
I agree with Marvin that carefully considering ANY purchase is a must. But, there are more components to the purchase of a condo than a single-family dwelling! And, he is absolutely correct that they are the first to go down and the last to come out when the market hesitates! That being said, they are an often relatively inexpensive option for someone just starting out. Obviously, because I currently live in a condo, I love the lifestyle. It's "easy living" and very turn-key on the positive side and "communal living at it's best and worst" on the negative side.
I do believe that getting into the market is a positive thing with housing prices still somewhat low (but going up quickly) and interest rates still low (also, moving up slowly). I would be happy to meet with you and talk through the finer points. Of course, your first step would be to meet with a trusted mortgage broker and get the pre-approval process started. If you don't have a preferred lender, I'm happy to suggest a few you might call and interview.
All the best,
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
Web Reference: http://fabulousportland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 15, 2013
Many will not like my answer but thats life. I wouldnt buy a condo. Dont like em. First to go down and last to go up. Many problems associated with Home Owners Association, etc. ESPECIALLY TRUE NOW AND YOU MUST DO A LOT OF RESEARCH ON THE HOA TO BE SURE ITS HEALTHY.

How many units in the complex are owned by people who live in them vs rentals? How many are in foreclosure? How mant are owned by the banks after being foreclosed on? Are their any major physical problems that require increasing dues? Are their lawsuits against the HOA?

There are exceptions. If you can snag a place that fits your lifestyle for $50,000 that used to be $175,000 and the combined monthly including DUES is less than rent, considering tax implications, then maybe.

My first question is not something you will hear most 'salespeople' ask---WHY do you need to buy anything at all? Thats really an important first question for anyone considering a purchase. I am a specialized broker who mainly represents buyers but Im not here for soliciting. Im not even taking clients right now. These are my true views. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
You bring up some very good points about things to consider when owning a condo. However, for many, especially those who do not have access to maintenance assistance, a condo can be a great option. I believe the concerns you mentioned are very valid which is why it is essential to hire a competent real estate broker who will protect your needs when purchasing and help you to ask the right questions to determine if a condo is a good fit.
Flag Fri Jun 14, 2013
This is an excellent time to buy with interest rates low and a housing market that is beginning to gain momentum. The first step that you will want to take is to become pre-approved so that you know how much you will qualify for. The fun begins after you have been pre-qualified because you will then begin to think seriously about what you want in a home and begin looking at potential properties.

I have a fabulous team that can assist you through every step of the way from pre-qualification to handing over the keys so feel free to call me directly!

Angela Pernisco, Broker
MBA in Marketing

Knipe Realty NW, Inc.
Cell: (503) 807-2146
Fax: (503) 445-7665

Visit My Website:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Absolutely! Just need to contact a good lender.

Here are my recommendations:

Michael Neef
American Pacific Mortgage


Steph Noble
Northwest Mortgage Group, Inc
Mortgage Consultant
503.957.7221 mobile
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Hello Liz,
Congrats on the first step towards ownership.
Everyone below is correct. A lender is the first step.
Check out Vince Kingston from Eagle Home Mortgage 971-221-8525.
He is excellent at what he does and I think you will love is expertise.

To keep the ball rolling, after connecting with a Mortgage Broker, you should have an idea of where you want to purchase, Finding a neighborhood that works for you and is within your price range.

If you are looking for the Downtown condo area:
If you want inner SE or NE I would recommend browsing the many great neighborhoods and the condos for wale within each:

When you see a condo you like, just save it to your Favorites or click Request Showing and I will set up an appointment.

Call or email anytime, I'm always happy to help :)
Thank you,
Kevin Levy
M Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Both the self employed and part time income may be considered if a stable (not declining) 2 year history exists. Whether or not you should go FHA or Conventional will depend on not only the amount of the available down payment but your debt to income ratios.

Condos themselves are a whole other layer and each project has to qualify for financing as well.

Best to meet with a trusted mortgage professional first and see what you would qualify for and they could also do the homework on the condo project based on which loan product you are a candidate for.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Great question, as a first time home buyer it is wise to get educated to the home buying process first and this includes the mortgage loan. A short answer is that there are many different loan programs to look at and which is a good fit for your needs will depend on questions that a mortgage banker like me will ask.

With your mother being self-employed you should seek a lender that understands how to work with tax returns as her income comes from many different parts of the returns. Self-employed that have good accounts will take some write offs for taxes that we may be able to include with her income.

I would suggest that you talk with a good mortgage banker where your questions can be answered and learn about the mortgage options that you do have and be prepared to supply income documentation. By doing this last part a mortgage banker can than help determine how much of a payment you can qualify for and what this means from a purchase price, it also a good time to go over what is your comfort is with a payment.

If you have any additional questions please feel free to contact me.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Your Mom will need to gather her two most recent tax returns, bank statements for the past 6 months and a year to date profit and loss statement. As for yourself, the same with tax returns in addition to last two months check stubs. You can complete a loan application online with these items working with a trusted mortgage broker of mine. I'm a condo specialist, contact me and I can help you both through the process. I look forward to hearing from you!


Josh Reiter ABR,GRI
Principal Broker
Taylor Group Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Yes you need to speak to a lender to see what they recommend? Self employed has some extra hoops to go thru compared to a salaried buyer. Let me know if you want a great lender that will get you pre approved for a loan and that is much better than the pre qualified which doesn't mean much because that gives the lender a way to back out mid way thru your offer. You don't want that, so get pre approved it costs nothing and can be done in 7-9 days so then you are ready to go. Good luck to you. Thanks, Tom Inglesby, Broker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Yes! First you'll want to meet with a reputable lender to discuss your options. We work with a number great lenders we could recommend to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
Yes there are several opportunities out there. You need a really good lender and I can recommend several to you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 14, 2013
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