Home Buying in Beaverton>Question Details

Me, Home Buyer in Portland, OR

I am about finishing my MBA and will be moving to Portland to take up a job in the Hillsboro area. Do I rent?

Asked by Me, Portland, OR Sat Jan 26, 2008

or buy? In what location (I need a location with a great elementary school)? Do I wait for six months before buying?

Help the community by answering this question:


Consensus opinion is rent first for a while. That's particularly important as if you're like the majority of folks who work at large firms in Hillsboro, you'll likely not end up living there. Things to consider:

Hillsboro school district (my hometown) is inferior to the Beaverton School District in terms of achievement, funding, etc. nearly across the board. Hillsboro has pockets of high-achieving schools, largely related to new development predominantly with high-tech families.

But Bethany in unincorporated Washington County (north of Beaverton) is really the bedroom community for Hillsboro employment. You'll likely end up there. Everyone here is correct that the Portland area market has bargains, but also keep in mind that where you're coming from likely has a weaker housing market than here. We've held up well. Most areas in the Portland area have still experienced year-over-year value gains, though anemic compared to recently double-digit escalation. Still, it's not quite the buyer's market that most of the rest of the country is experiencing and it's certainly not a declining-price/value market across the board like a lot of other places, due in part to our land use controls.

Look around and familiarize yourself with the area.. then call a qualified realtor, perhaps one of these fine individuals that also answered your question.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 31, 2008
Renting gives you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with commutes,schools, and neighborhoods. This is all important data that you will not be able to collect and assess in a short period of time. It is not clear what part of the country you are relocating from..but the buyer who relocates has to "adjust" their assesment of the housing market..I go straight to county records for comps, I evaluate graduation rates, check for AP courses/IB offered. Are Businesses bulding up in the area?
It all factors into resale..and resale has to be a consideration -- whether its 5 years/10 years ...
Take your time -- research the area, do the math -- Enjoy Portland!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 28, 2008
Congrats on finishing up the MBA program! I've lived in the porltand metro area 6 years myself. And I would recommend renting for the 1st 6 months...get to know the areas and schools. Not all schools are created equal. Here's more info on schools: http://cristinajohn.yourkwagent.com/atj/user/AdditionalGetAc…

All the best!
Cristina John
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jun 9, 2008
I would only suggest buying if a) you are not willing to pay a premium for a short term least, b) you could stay in your home for 2 years before feeling the need to move again.

Rent is essentially always about buying a house for someone else and I hate to see that money go away- EVER! You can speed up your acclimation process (neighborhoods, commutes, etc.) with good interviews of co-workers and your Realtor. Rates are still hovering just above or below 6% which is traditionally a solid number. And we have so much inventory on the market right now that you could really drive a hard bargain - that may dissipate over the summer as seasonal movers transition in and out.

For more information about schools see these websites:
http://schooltree.org is a good site for information on class sizes, student teacher ratios and socio-economic type data. You can look at district-wide information or even get into specific school/grade level data.

http://www.ode.state.or.us is the Oregon Department of Education’s web site with wide ranging information. Going into the” Reports” section should bring up information on districts and specific schools. This site is a little dry; all the data is here, but you have to dig around to find it.

http://www.oregonlive.com/education is from the Oregonian. On the left side of the web page under the graphic of the apple you will find PDF’s that show teacher ratings, SAT scores, Federal School report cards, Oregon test scores, etc. This is presented very well and is a little less dry that the ODE site. They create a lot of charts, matrix type presentations, etc. You can pull it up by regional areas so you can easily see how one school compares to another in the immediate area.

http://nces.ed.gov is a national database of educational statistics. This site allows you to search for all schools in a specific location, or by a specific school name. Class size, ethnic make up, and other census-type data are available.

The state of Oregon gives assessment tests to all students in grades 3, 5, 8 and 11. They are not the most perfect measure of one district versus another, but the best common yardstick we have.

As you look at school rating, I would throw in a little aside. One of the criteria the state uses in grading schools is the amount of improvement they have made from one year to another. At times, top districts receive only a satisfactory rating because they have not significantly increased over the previous period. When you are already at the top, it’s hard to make the percentage gains they require. So look closely at the data and not just the verbal rating.

I also have Portland Monthly Magazine's Best Schools in 2007 article as a .pdf which is often helpful as well.

Good luck!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 14, 2008
Well, interests are very good right now and it's a buyer's market. It's a good time to buy. That being said, if you are new to the area, it might be a good idea to rent for awhile until you have found the location that you want to live. I advise my clients to stay in a home for at least a couple of years, and you don't really want to rush in and buy before you a sure about the area.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
That's a great question and I think that the answer really depends on many factors. First thing I would do is consult a reputable lender and discuss your financial goals. If you just completed you MBA you may be saddled with some college loans and qualifying may be difficult at this time. If that is not the case then I would recommend buying in this market. As you learned in business school, buy low and sell high. Now is an optimal time to take advantage of some great bargains since prices have dropped in the past year and there are many homes on the market. Hillsboro is a wonderful community and offers some great elementary school options. It may also be in your best interest to get into a low cost townhome or condo and then as property values rebound you can use that equity to move up to a larger home. What ever your choice it sounds like you have a bright future and thinking in the right direction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Sep 1, 2008
I highly recommend renting first. If prices are only going to go down over the next few months as a few of the responders have alleged, then you aren't losing out by renting now. Even if you were to lose any money in rental fees, you might win out due to lower home prices.

Also, the biggest reason to rent is to be sure you're in the area you like. We moved to the area shortly after I received my freshly minted MBA to take a job in Hillsboro, too. There are lots of nice areas and we worked with an agent and some family here but we never really got a "feel" for the area. Where would we like to shop? Where are the good restaurants? Where is the traffic worst? What kind of schools would we like our kids to be in? There's a lot you can research in advance but a lot that doesn't really "click" until you experience it for a bit.

The other reason to rent is that then you are buying a home from a position of strength. Is a home in your ideal neighborhood not available just yet? Do you dislike your agent? Is the seller on the home you want not willing to come down on price? Who cares! If you're renting, time is on your side and you can wait it all out and make the adjustments you need without feeling desperate.

While renting may mean that you're moving twice in a relatively short period of time, if you're looking for a home you hope to be happy in for several years, I highly recommend renting first.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2008
Rent. If you don't know the area it will be a roll of the dice if you like a certain area. I know a few people who regret not waiting and you shouldn't either. There are plenty of homes, no need to hurry.
Web Reference: http://mikecandoit.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 24, 2008
Most people already know the answer to this question as buying always makes sense over renting or we would have no buyers. The write off alone is where you really see your return and finding the house that fits you lifestyle is the next. Team up with a Real Estate agent that has a banking back round and atleast 5 years of experience in real estate. This market is a buyers market only if the agent is willing to show you the houses that meet your needs and make sense for you. Last thing you need is a new job and house that affects your career. I notice a couple things from your question that would help me and one is where are you moving from and two what kind of monthly allowance are you expecting if you where to rent vs buy.

Good luck and congrats!
Web Reference: http://www.century21.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jul 19, 2008
There are two ways to look at this; 1) Would taking the time PRIOR to beginning your new job be the best use of your time? Would taking the time to look for a home, then moving, getting settled, starting school, etc. work best for you or 2) Would moving, starting a job, getting settled, beginning school and THEN starting your search all over again . . . moving again, etc. work for you?

I'm an Exclusive Buyer's Agent here in the Metro Portland area. I've had clients relocate one of the two ways. Most of them come out PRIOR to beginning their new position, and we spend a LOT of time and energy looking at homes, neighborhoods, even touring schools. Most of my clients wanted to move once, get settled in, get the family settled, then start their new job, etc.

Some clients moved into an apartment, and then wanted to begin their search right away. They did not like living in an apartment, and most of their household was in storage.

Many of my clients didn't want the hassle of having to uproot again only after a short time, and it's always the little things that's annoying -- even changing utilities, driver's license, mailing addresses, etc. Especially when they started to work full time, they didn't want to concentrate on house hunting, they wated to enjoy their weekends, time off, and didn't want to spend this house hunting.. Too much to deal with after starting a new job.

I relocated to the area in July 1990. I purchased first, moved once. Also, if you find a house that is ideal, but not in the same school, your child will have to change schools again too. Sometimes it's difficult to rent, have the child integrated, make friends and then maybe not be able to find a suitable property in that school area when you are ready to move.

Professionally, and personally, if you are serious about buying I'd say it's a much better idea to try to find a home first, move once, get settled . . . I work with a lot of relocation buyers. I take a lot of time to acclimate them to the various areas, and neighborhoods. I consider all things while showing property, including commutes, and schools in order to assure my clients will be well informed and knowledgable when they make their decision on a property. IF . . . they are unable to find a suitable property (which is rare, especially in today's "buyers' market"). . . . then they go to Plan B and rent.

Hope this helps! And welcome to the area. It was the best move I could have made, and I have enjoyed living here. I hope you will too!
Web Reference: http://www.ebaportland.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jun 17, 2008
If you are interested in buying, you may search present inventory for single family, multiple family, and bare land at:


I can provide personlized attention if you contact me:

Regards, Chris@HouseNow.com 541-284-2511
Web Reference: http://www.HouseNow.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 18, 2008
I would say absolutely buy. I have a great article for buyers on why now is a great time to buy. If you wait you could end up spending more for a home and having a higher interest rate. Bottom line your payments will be higher and you wont have ether equity you could have had if you rent.

As far as what areas offer better schools or crime rates I would refer to facts rather than opinions. Through my property tracker program any home you find has a report on demographics, school ratings, and more. It's a very useful tool if you are new to the area.

I like Hillsboro and Bethany area codes 97229 and 97124. These two areas are seeing large growth of supporting semiconductor and solar companies. Light rail access, trendy shops and farmers market and they are close to Portland. This helps keep property prices stable with room for growth in the continued years as the area continues to have a high demand for housing employees of these large companies.

Of course like everyone else on this list I would love to sell you a home but more importantly help you make a good informed choice about the area and what is best for your lifestyle. If you are going to buy you should be able to stay in the home at least 2 years.

For more information about Hillsboro and Bethany feel free to contact me
Farah de Verteuil
John L Scott Market Center
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 27, 2008
These Hillsboro Elementary Schools were all rated exceptional: Eastwood, Farmington View, Indian Hills, Mooberry, and Orenco. Unless your are familiar with the area, I would rent short term while you look for a suitable neighborhood. I would definately buy to take advantage of the current housing market. Interest rates are low and there are deals to be had. Let me know if I can help you.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
Hey Me!

I live and work in Hillsboro. If you are moving here to work you will need to get up to speed on the differences between Beaverton and Hillsboro and Portland. Tax rates, Schools, Crime etc... I have all of that for you. The very best schools in this area are going to be in Bethany in the Beaverton Schools. The K-12 in this area in some neighborhoods are all of the highest scoring in this region. This area is also very low property taxes there, It is not in Hillsboro or Beaverton (which can be a strength) and offers a 97229 Zip with Portland address. That and it is a newer area with low traffic and very low crime. Great place to call home.

You have about a 10 minute ride to All of the HIllsboro High tech by a non-freeeway back road drive and are close to Nike World campus..... and less than 10 miles to downtown PDX via gorgeous back roads!

If you are coming here I would rent on a short term basis and be ready to buy. Values are down on some homes and there are some exceptional bargains. So from now to June should be your best opportunity to catch somebody that needs a ready willing and able buyer.... but inventory is showing signs of tightening and Builders are just about done selling off a few new homes that have been sitting.

Check out my websites at http://www.BethanyHomes.info and http://www.nwhomecenter.com.

Call me and I will go over all of this with you. This is my area of expertise.

Congrats on the new job and lets get started! I also have a line on some short term furnished rentals that may work for you as well.

Best wishes;


Dirk T Knudsen
Re\Max Metro
#1 Ranked Re\Max Team in Oregon
Web Reference: http://www.nwhomecenter.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 26, 2008
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