Home Buying in Portland>Question Details

Nate, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

buying a home in portland?

Asked by Nate, Portland, OR Mon Jan 4, 2010


I am looking to move back to portland after a five year hiatus and am thinking about purchasing a home in the n. portland area - arbor lodge, a little closer in perhaps? Currently I am living in Pennsylvania and may not be able to relocate for a few more years, so is this a logistical idea? I have the money for a down payment, a budget of about 180,000 and ideally would like to rent the home until I relocate. Thoughts? Do I qualify for the first time homebuyers credit? Any other incentives specific to oregon or portland buyers that I may qualify for? Thanks in advance for your help!

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Hi Nate,

first of all N. Portland is GREAT! I think for the budget of $180k you will probably have the most luck in the St. Johns neighborhood. There are some great property search links from my website (even though I'm a mortgage originator, I have links to some neighborhood specialists with great online search tools).

The first time buyer tax credit expires this spring. You MUST be under contract to purchase no later than 4/30/2010... and then you will have 60 days to close escrow in order to qualify. So if you are looking to wait, you will very likely be out of luck on that score.

good luck! happy hunting. Get back to portland ASAP!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi Nate,

All of these posts have some great information for you. Yes the tax credit for first time homebuyers is scheduled to expire this spring. However I have heard talk that it may be extended once again.

Since you are new to homeownership I feel inclined to bring this to your attention. If you purchase a home and call it a owner occupied home, or you say you will be live in the house you will get better terms (lower interest rate and less required down payments) then you would get with a non owner occupied or rental property’s terms. If you purchase the home and say you are going to live in the home but you turn around and rent it you would be committing mortgage fraud. If your mortgage broker or banker were aware of this they would also be committing mortgage fraud also. Unfortunately this is still going on within our industry and can be the result of large fines and or imprisonment. I would hate to have you get hooked up with a mortgage broker or banker that may give you information on the contrary. I don't mean to scare you but if you purchase a home and you call it an owner occupied home you may want to think long and hard about renting it. Mortgage fraud is a federal offence.

If you have any questions regarding purchasing a new home either for yourself or as a rental property please feel free to give me a call. Good luck Nate.

Douglas Brown
Sr. Loan Consultant
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 8, 2010

I think since you stated you have time you should become as informed as possible about the employment situation in the Portland area, the foreclosure situation and are prices still declining?

These things may provide you with a bigger advantage financially and in choice than the current Tax Credit...
If a home is available now for $180,000 and you could get the Tax Credit but the same home or one you like just as much is available in 6 months/a year for $160,000, which appeals to you more...

Take a few weeks to form an opinion about that by doing some research...The yearly and 4th Quarter reports on sale and prices will be out soon as well as more Foreclosure and employment info....Use it!

Portland/Vancouver Area Home Sale Activity
Data is for the third quarter 2009
Reporting resale single family residences and condos as well as new homes
* % Change is from the same period last year

You might wish to check out the Bank/Gov sites created to give the public access to view the Listed Foreclosures/Properties for sale and to provide information on the purchase process used plus much more information it's Free and updated constantly...Sites like..

.... http://www.wamuproperties.com/ .... http://www.hud.gov/homes/index.cfm

https://www.citimortgage.com/Mortgage/Oreo/SearchListing.do ...

The links to all of these Bank and Gov. sites can be found here.... http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/wiki/REO_Database_List.asp http://www.biggerpockets.com/bank-reo.html

If you ever need to find Public Records this search engine might come in handy.. http://publicrecords.onlinesearches.com/

Also ... The Fed Gov has created a site with information on all the Current Fed.Gov loan programs. It is easy to understand and use..

You can get specific information, compare options, or take a short questionnaire to determine your eligibility for each program.

Good hunting, Dunes
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 5, 2010
Hey Nate,

I would ask a loan officer and tax guy to get the best answers. I know $180,000 can get you a nice Bank Owned Home on that side of town. Portland is saturated with foreclosures too.

Good Luck!
Aaron Majors
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 5, 2010
Hi Nate:

The first step to your process would be to qualify for a loan. You should obtain a "pre-approval" and understand what your monthly mortgage will be. Then you need to think about the other costs associated with a rental. Will your budget line up with the going rental rates? Have you ever rented out a property before? A property management firm might be an option, but they require payment for their services. Again, you will need to factor ALL costs associated before you even think about looking for a property. Are you looking for a tax write-off? Do you want to generate income? And a lot more questions to consider, if you've not do so already.

Also, you will become a "landlord," and will need to understand the Oregon Landlord / Tenant laws as well. Even if you went with a property management company, you will be a Landlord. You've got to know what that implies. I would be happy to talk to you about this as well.

The tax credit would not be available, since you've indicated you would not be living in the property. The credit is for owner-occupied.

Again, first step: get your pre-approval in place. Feel free to contact:

Nevin Williams, Branch Manager
First Priority
(888) 206-5781 x 1017 Toll free
(916) 802-9743 Cell

He's a very informative guy and can assist with your questions.

Please don't hestitate to contact me off-board.

Hope that helps.


Carla Muss-Jacobs, Principal Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyers' Agent
Assisting Buyers in Metro Portland since 1999
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
I'm not sure if you could file an addendum, you would have to consult an accountant, that would be an excellent loop hole!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Nate that is a great idea. When you left Portland the prices were pretty low in North Portland but when Adiais moved in and light rail it really moved the prices up because is it so close to downtown. The U of P students and parents looking for rentals really pushes the market over there also. You would not be able to use the first time home buyer tax credit in my opinion since it is for owner occupied only and I have a buyer doing just what you want to do. You might also need more than 25% down depending on what rent is and what your current cash flow is? Kenton, St Johns will probably be more in your price range. With our average prices about $250,000 now, you are looking where many first time buyers are also looking at that price point. I have sold many in this range last summer and there is great activity in this range. If you would like a great loan officer email me.
Tom Inglesby, Broker
ABR,CRS,Earth Advantage Broker, CDPE, Certified Distressed Property Expert
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Thanks everyone for your feedback. I had a feeling that the tax credit is for owner occupied purchases only, though once I established occupancy could I then file an amended return as this would be my first home purchase? Essentially I am seeking a small, 1-2 bedroom starter home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi Nate. North Portland is a great area, especially Arbor lodge...however, that area is generally more expensive, if you go a little more north you will still be in a nice area. Buying a home now and renting it out is a great idea. Both for tax purposes and the equity you will gain in the home. And, when you eventually move here, you may even be able to sell that house and buy IN Arbor lodge!

Good Luck and let me know if you need anything more,

Tracey Hicks
dwell Realty
Web Reference: http://www.traceyhicks.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi Nate,
I have to say I agree with pretty much everything that has been posted; but wanted to point out that the tax credit is for owner occupied purchases and if you are going to rent it out for a few years it technically wouldn't qualify.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi again Nate,

I forgot to mention- if you are looking to buy as a rental property you would need a minimum down payment of 20% (with a significant rate improvement @ 25% down). Regarding the first time buyer credit if you purchase as a rental definitely consult a tax professional on that as you are edging towards a gray area (but my feeling is that you'd probably still qualify).

there is an interesting program you might look at as well called "fannie mae homepath mortgage". Our company can underwrite and issue these loans that are only available for certain fannie mae repo/foreclosed homes. This program will allow for 15% down and has no mortgage insurance, as well as no appraisal. Its pretty slick.

check the link for more details as well as an interactive map for homepath ready homes in portland
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
I saw James' answer. I'll add: You should start researching the area you want right now. You can search all the homes listed from my website and save your searches there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
In order to give you the best answers I need a little bit more detail but I will give it my best shot. North Portland is a great place to live, invest and rent. I live in North Portland and have for a few years now and really like the people and the growth I am seeing. As far as purchasing power in North Portland for $180,000 I agree with the lender below. St. John's is going to be your best option. St. John's has seen a lot of growth jsut in the past two years with new shops and coffee bars popping up on every corner. As far as rental this area has a lot to draw from with the University and the Adidas campus on North Greely. IF YOU want access to a free home search go to http://www.home-hazen.com and you can create a profile for the area and watch the inventory. If you find you want additional advice with more specifics feel free to email me.

RE/MAX equity group
top 10% producer
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
Hi, Nate! North Portland is my neighborhood, and you can definitely find some nice places in Kenton in your price range. Rentals in Portland run about $900/month for homes depending on size and location, so you'd have to determine your cashflow accordingly. You may qualify if this is your first home, but you might have a harder time getting a loan for a home you won't be living in - talk to a good mortgage person about that.

If you'd like a hand finding your home, check out my website to search all of the local MLS. Can't wait to see you at the local bakery!

Web Reference: http://www.welcometopdx.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 4, 2010
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