To new buyers looking to relocate I'd caution you to read the neighborhood web sites with care. Most of these are sponsored by real estate groups, who put the best picture on them. They show one cute shop or upgraded Victorian in a photo, which implies the whole region looks that way.
Check out Portlandmaps.com to identify crime rates and understand the turnover in a property. Also be aware that the market is highly variable these days and you can't rely on "comparables" to give you a clear sense of value. A lot of properties in the "value" neighborhoods have been flipped in recent years and new buyers will be absorbing the overinflated prices of earlier years.
Portland is a lovely place, but you really need to visit and spend some time before you're convinced that it's for you. If you're used to southern CA subdivision communities, you might check out Beaverton, which is much newer.
In regards to schools and other demographics that may sway your decision in one direction or another, here is a website that will be invaluable for your search:
http://www.portlandmaps.com (You simply type in the address of the home you're considering and it gives you EVERYTHING you want to know: schools, property information, crime stats, zoning, etc., etc.)
As for schools particularly, Portland Monthly (an awesome local publication) publishes the school report cards every December. Here is a PDF of the article:
http://www.portlandmonthlymag.com/documents/schoolgrid07.pdf (When you find a place you like all you'll have to do is check out the school on this cart to see if it meets your standards.)
Finally, I must say this is a great time to be buying into the market. Not only is there great inventory and many options, but rates are lower than they've been in years!!! To take advantage of what is going on with the rates, though, I highly recommend getting in touch with a great mortgage broker that can lock your rate while you continue your search. (I have a wonderful referral if you need one.)
Anyway, if you email me through my website with additional home specs I would love to sift through the listings and send you the ones with easy access to things - and there are a few that come to mind as I write this. (Not only did I live in inner SE for 4 years it is the heart of my business.) In any event, enjoy the move!! You are going to LOVE Portland.
Many blessings, Elisha
The Beaverton and Lake Oswego School are tops. There are plenty of good homes in Washnigton County for sale in your Range. The property taxes can be several thousand dollars less as well.
I would do you research before you leap. For a complete list fo schools and their academic scores email me. For help with Financing use the FHA Oregon Bond Loan for first time buyers.... it is at %5.125 right now on a 30 year with very low down.
Call or email if I can help.
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First time home buyer financing used to allow the buyer the ability to come up with less of a down payment. Financing now doesn't matter if you are a first time buyer or not, you still can go for the same type of financing. If you are looking for a low or no down payment loan then call me. Although there are 100% financing programs, you'll find that the private mortgage insurance company (pmi) will not always insure the loan. So using someone that knows what they are doing and keeps up with the rapid and ever changing guidelines is very helpful.
There are other ways of obtaining a down payment....gift funds and borrowed funds are some ideas but there are many options. Call me with your scenario and I'll put together some options for you free of charge. It helps to know what to expect. You can email me at email@example.com or call me toll free 877-777-9763. We lend within the entire State of Oregon. http://www.ambientlending.com
I plan to put my 2005 3/2.5 house on the market in May. It's a great house with lots of upgrades - laminate throughout lower level and most of upstairs too. Custom paint colors and tile in the bathroom backsplashes imported from Turkey. It has a great view of the Jackson Bottom Wetlands preserve - nesting eagles and all kinds of wildlife yet only 25 minutes by car to downtown Portland. Good school district, friendly neighbors, low HOA that also takes care of front yard.
Let me know if you'd like more details.
I would really love to help you in your search as you consider relocating. I have a lot of experience with relocations and can also send you a relocation packet. You can go to my web site below and email me to request this relocation packet. You can also search all listed homes, see house-specific satalite mapping, community connections, events etc. To check my QSC rating go to http://www.qualityservice.org and type in my name June Lizotte and state of Oregon.
To check on Registered Sex Offenders
To check Crime Stats, School Report Cards, zones etc.
To check on aerial maps, satellite imagery of global locations, zones and other pertinent information regarding a home you may wish to purchase or to simply enhance your knowledge of geography and topography.
http://www.familywatchdog.us/ (they can link this one from my web site as well)
http://www.pdx.edu/cpso/campuscrimelog.html Portland State Crime Log
http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=116 Area school report cards
http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml Area Education (No Child Left Behind)
http://www.learningfirst.org More on Oregon Education Issues
http://www.osba.org/hotopics/rptcard/index.asp More On Schools- OR. School Board
By the way, sounds like we have some similar backgrounds. I just turned 34. Both my wife and I grew up in SoCal. We own a classic home. Etc. etc.
Give me a shout if you'd like some help.
I just stopped by to drop off a "community reports" link I provide folks....great information and can zoom right into an address.
I looked into the auction side of it, and I am going to stay far away from that avenue. I would not buy a house I could not have a full inspection done on. I am going to do either a Short Sale, or buy an REO house. Both of which would allow me, or other buyers for that matter, the ability to have the house inspected by professionals, before deciding to buy.
I should have made that clearer in my post. Thank you for bringing that up. Buying at the auction is very very risky business, and should be left to professionals that have that kind of money to waste.
I am not a realtor; I am also a home buyer. I have been researching prices in Portland, Vancouver, and up here where I currently live, Seattle. I will be buying a home that is either in Foreclosure (you can offer a price to the Lender, called a short sale), or an REO (stands for Real Estate Owned) home. An REO home has gone through the auction and the bank bought it back. Either no one bid on it, or the bank out bid them. I will make sure I am not buying a house where the bank out bid someone and I am paying more than $.50 on the dollar for a home.
If you want the websites I use for my research email me for them. I love Portland, I used to live there and I can't wait to get back.
I would NOT pay the prices that are on the MLS or flyers. Many, many homes are either IN foreclosure, or on the brink of foreclosure. You are in the driving seat, and you can do a little research and save yourself tens of thousands of dollars, if not more.
Good luck! I'd search in the 97219 or 97239 zip codes for some great houses and schools. Our second choice school would be Maplewood, by the way.
Best luck on the relocation,
My family moved here from California 10 years ago. We love it here! For urban neighborhoods with character, I recommend the classic neighborhoods like Laurelhurst, Irvington, Woodstock, Alameda among a few. For school info go to http://www.GreatSchools.com. Feel free to use my neighborhood based search engine at http://www.NoelleSellsHomes.com and feel free to call and I will tour you around. 503-495-3841.Cheers! Noelle McEwen
There are many great neighborhoods in Portland - it's one of the things I love best about living here - and many things for an active family to do! I would strongly recommend checking out this site first for school district information - http://www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=126. You'll see all the scores for each school, and it's very interesting information! That can help you determine if you want to be in Portland proper or if you'd rather be on the west side.
Don't hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions!
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