Home Buying in Bend>Question Details

Spencer M, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA

Questions from a first time buyer

Asked by Spencer M, San Francisco, CA Tue Apr 28, 2009


I currently live in San Francisco, but am seriously considering moving to Bend later this year. I've never purchased a home before and have a lot of questions. I realize that obtaining a loan right now is probably not that easy, especially in Bend, given the housing meltdown. That said, my FICO is 745, and my gross income is roughly 3x the median male income in Bend.

I don't have a lot of money saved up. By the fall, I should be able to have enough saved up to put 10% down on a house in the 225k range. From what I understand, that means I'll need to pay for Mortgage Insurance? Any idea one what the going rates are for this in the bend area?

I'm looking for a 3bdrm, in the 1400-1700sqft range, preferably on a good sized lot (half an acre?). Seems like that is doable for the low to mid 200s right about now?

If I do this, I will be moving to bend in early november, but will want to have my house purchased and ready to move into by then. Is that doable from SF?


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I'm going through this process right now and being a first time home buyer myself, I am learning a lot of things along the way.

I am doing the FHA loan- 3.5 % down, and with so many foreclosures and short sales around here our experience has been that you can get the majority of sellers/banks to pay 100% of closing costs. I am personally going through Wells Fargo, but I would suggest looking into other banks also.

A couple friends of mine that are buying as well are going through BOA/countrywide and are getting amazing rates. They have an option of a Rural Loan where you don't have to have a down payment and the interest rates are lower (one got 4.37% at the beg. of May). One of the requirements is that you can not buy in Bend city limits. If you want more property that may be a great option for you. Average Bend city lots, tend to be pretty small. There are lots of properties that qualify right on the outskirts of town, that do have more property (such as Deschutes River Woods). Redmond which is a smaller city about 30 miles north of Bend has some really nice, newer (if not brand new) homes in newer subdivision that are great deals. Definitely look around if you can, there are so many options.

There are tons of options for under and around $200,000. You will def be able to find something!

Although, there are tons of short sales right now, if your on a time line that may not be the way to go. Some take months to even hear back and even longer to get all the paperwork together.

Here are two Mortgage Officers to contact in Bend:
Doug Houser
Wells Fargo

Cherie Auman

Good Luck!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 28, 2009
Hello Spencer,

I worked in SF for 10 years as an Art Director at top Ad Agencies there and lived in Marin. What you get
for the dollar in the Bend area vs. the Bay Area is amazing, you will be happily surprised. View my listings at
CentralOregonHomesandLand.com and representing Buyers, I just closed on a home in your price range
yesterday. A first time homebuyer from Sausalito that moved here and loves the area.

Call me at 541.548-3598 or Email: CentralOregonRealEstate@earthlink.net and I can hook you up with the
Lenders I use and get some quotes for you. As well as sending you info. and Listings, after we talk and
I know more of what you are looking for. In town, edge of town, old or new, etc.

A good FICA score, with good credit and a work history like you have makes for an easy loan process.

Looking forward to your call.

Diane Lozito, Broker
Coldwell Banker Morris Real Estate
Bend, OR
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu May 14, 2009
I'd love to just spout off a rate but without pulling credit and taking a full app I would be doing you a disservice. With 10% and the score you mentioned you should have no problem qualifying but with MI your debt ratio is limited to 41% so any loan officer would need more information.

I would definitely plan on a few trips between now and then to shop, take care of loan info, and sign.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 29, 2009
Good morning Spencer,

Those are reasonable expectations. Purchasing before you move is smart because you will still be employed when you make the purchase. You can also take advantage of the new first time home buyers tax credit. Sounds like you will be making a good income. Our cost of living here is very reasonable and we have no state tax. I also would condsider using a local lender. You will be able to find a very nice home right at 200K that will meet your needs. There are creative ways to deal with MI also. Please email at oregonhomes@hotmail.com. I will be happy to send you listing that will give you an idea of what you can expect to find in your price range. We have quite a range of neighborhoods to choose from. I would love to help you understand what we have here so you can make an informed decision. Daily direct flights from SF to Redmond, Oregon make it easy to fly in and check things out. My cell is 541-419-3999. I would love to help you.


Rick Gehrke
Century 21
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 29, 2009
Spencer - you are SO on the ball. Congrats. You are going to make a great homeowner.

Your credit score is great.

Your income seems right on target.

There are special first time home buyer loans that may allow you to put down less and avoid monthly private mortgage insurance (like FHA which is a federal program - I don't know if there are CA programs that might also assist you). FHA requires only 3.5% down, which might be an option for you and allow you to keep some cash in reserve for moving, emergencies, etc.

And, by the way, in addition to the $8000 tax credit for first time home buyers, there is another incentive in CA I have heard of - I think it is restricted to new home sales, but check with your agent.

The next step is talking to an agent, and getting a referral to a local lender. Congrats!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 29, 2009
Hello Spencer,
If you would like me to help you with your Real Estate search, then please feel free to email me, or give me a call. I can put you in touch with some lenders and mortgage brokers, to help you with getting pre qualified for a loan. I have some very interesting statistical reports that I can share with you on how the market has been here in Central Oregon, the last few years. I can also email you listings which match your search criteria, and provide you with additional information on them. There are plenty of homes available that would be within your search criteria. Please call me at (541) 390-0595 or email me at selenamcneill@yahoo.com, and we can get started with the process.
Take Care

Selena McNeill, Broker
Century 21 Gold Country Realty
550 NW Franklin Ave Suite 188
Bend OR 97701

Cell: 541-390-0595
Direct Fax: 1-541-982-2243
Email: selenamcneill@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.selenamcneill.com
Licensed Realtor in the State of Oregon, since 2004
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 28, 2009
First of all many of the items you are speaking of are covered in your mortgage - there are a ton of homes that would fit your basic criteria - more importantly - is where will you be working and so on... I would be happy to show you more than just what is on the market - drop me a line - stop by my website or give me a call
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 28, 2009
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