Kelly D, Renter in Portland, OR

I am renting in the Pearl. Lived in Portland for 2 years now and love it. Is now a good time to buy a condo in the Pearl or other downtown area.?

Asked by Kelly D, Portland, OR Wed Jan 16, 2013

Is it a good time for investing in my first condo/home? Can I buy a foreclosed condo? What I need to know when buying?
Thank you

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Brad Golik, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Jan 17, 2013
Hello Kelly,
As many agents have said here, yes now is a very good time to make a condo purchase! Prices have been increasing in the Pearl and will only continue to rise. As you now know, inventory is very low right now so my best advice would be to be patient to make sure you find the condo of your dreams! Don't be scared into thinking that everything will be gone and you must make a rush decision. More condos will continue to come onto the market especially as we head into spring. I specialize with condos in the Pearl, downtown and Southwaterfront and would be happy to assist you in your search for the perfect place! This past week I have had tremendous activity in my condo listings so the buyers are now out and looking... there will be competition for buyers with these low inventory levels. In being patient, you will find opportunities that come along, they always do! While prices will continue going up (nationally expected to be 3-5% this year and slightly higher for Portland) keep in mind that the banking association expects rates to be up to 4.5% by year end. This could be the difference in buying a 1 bedroom unit in the future compared to a 2 bedroom unit right now... depending on your price point and if this is of importance to you.

I would highly recommend getting out to look at units right now! Continue to look at condos and lofts as they come on the market. Look at many! When the right one comes along, you will know it! That will be the time you need to step up and make an offer.
When buying a condo I suggest working with a specialist in the condo arena. A condo specialist is in that market EVERYDAY. This person will help you understand the things you need to know when buying a condo ...HOA reserves, restrictions, rental caps, pet policies, values, values of parking spaces and storage spaces, which buildings have litigation issues and what that means to a buyer etc. Knowing what is or is not a good value will be important information for you to have when you go to make your decision. As for buying a foreclosed property, there are not many out there and there will be less as we move forward so I wouldn't count on it.

Best of luck to you!
Feel free to visit me at
1 vote
Clint Elliott, Agent, Portland, OR
Mon Feb 10, 2014
Hi Kelly,

Looks like you got some great advice below. I'll throw in that interest rates are fantastic right now which depending on your timing could be a factor. I have had quite a few clients buy in the Pearl recently and all of them have been happy with their decisions. Home values will continue to rise (albeit a bit slower that last year) and rates look to be on the rise. You may have missed the bottom, but I believe that given market factors now is still a great time to buy.

Good luck!!
0 votes
Paul Johnson, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 23, 2013
Hi Kelly,

If you have lived in Portland for 2 years than you have gotten to know our city well enough to know just exactly where you like to shop eat and play. From an investment perspective, today is a better day to buy than tomorrow. With inventory and rates low we are at a juxtaposition of epic proportions. Now may be the best time to buy in your lifetime. You almost cant go wrong! Along with the pearl, I would consider the South Waterfront. This area is on the verge of explosion. If you talk with commercial experts, the infrastructure is being laid for tremendous growth. If you buy there now, it is already much lower than the Pearl and has potential to grow at a rate much higher. But ultimately homes aren't bought purely for investment. You have to way your lifestyle as well. A home is where you live. It becomes the center of your life. Take your time and choose wisely. Find an agent who knows the market and has the patience to get it right on your behalf! If you'd like to chat with me, call anytime. I'll buy you a cup of coffee and we can collaborate.


Paul Johnson
0 votes
Sharon Franc…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Kelly,

I agree with the commentator who said last year would have been best, but now is better than next year

! City Center living in Portland makes sense on so many levels, and in my opinion, a downtown condo should enjoy greater appreciation than condo's in other areas. As the investor owner of a small downtown condo, I understand your desire to have your own home there.

Among the items you and your broker will want to review will be the Home Owner Association (HOA) rules and regs (ie can you rent out your unit in the future?), the financial stability of the HOA, the possibility of special assessments in the future by the HOA if it is under capitalized. There is an Oregon Buyer's Advisory for Resale of Condominiums that will help pinpoint the issues for you, plus a special condominium purchase agreement.

If you decide to make an offer on a bank owned property, you will want to find out the amount of past monthly dues that are owed, and negotiate about who will be paying those dues if the HOA will not waive them.

I can email you a copy of the buyer's condominium advisory if that would be helpful, and also provide you a referral to a mortgage company who is up to date on condo buildings that are approved for FHA loans!

Hopefully you'll be in your own home by beautiful spring in the Pearl!

Call or email any time,

Sharon Francis, Principal Broker
Meadows Group Realtors Inc.
0 votes
Linda Heinri…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
It is an excellent time to buy a condo or home and lock in terrific prices and rates for the future. There is a clear trending of rising prices for both home ownership and rentals that are expected to continue upward - check out the latest stats from Corelogic. Yes, there are foreclosures out there.

As a homeowner you get the benefit of rising prices, while paying down your principle balance and increasing your equity. Plus, you are in control of how much your monthly costs are along with all the intangibles that go with home ownership.

If you would like information on purchasing a Condo, I have short overview I would be happy to send you. Due diligence is very important, but especially so in the Condo market. This is a very exciting time for you, so enjoy the process and call for help if you would like an experienced agent to guide you.
0 votes
Keenan Drisc…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
If you plan on living in Portland for at least another 3 years. Then it might be a good time for you to buy. There are some buildings in the Pearl and Nob Hill you should steer clear of. Let me know if I can help. Search under Keenan Driscoll you will find me easily. I do an exceptional job of representing buyers and sellers of homes and condos at all price points. I have a lot of experience with short sales and foreclosed properties.
0 votes
Miekeba Jones, Agent, Silver Spring, MD
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Kelly, Now is a good time to buy, before prices rise even more. If you choose a short sale, consult an attorney.
0 votes
Pat Fuller, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Available condos in the Pearl are becoming very limited and short sales and foreclosures even more so. However, I would suggest you not wait any longer. Also interest rates won't stay low for ever. I live in the Pearl and it is really great like you said. Let me know how I can help you.
0 votes
Kevin Levy, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Kelly,
I can understand why you want to live in the Pearl. A hop-skip and jump away from so many great restaurants, coffee shops, markets, pubs and everything else that makes Portland great. I can name a few of my favorites, but for another email.
Buying a bank owned/foreclosed condo is definitely a possibility if there is one out there in your price range. Do you have an idea of your price range or would you like me to send you to my Mortgage Broker who can help you out with the financial end of purchasing.

Check out this article I wrote on The Pearl District which also includes every condo available for sale:…
You can also view Downtown, Nob Hill properties and other of your favorite areas of Portland on the link below.

Feel free to give a call anytime and I am happy to walk you through the steps to get the ball rolling on buying your first property. Exciting time for you.

Kevin Levy
M Realty
0 votes
Nathan Neuba…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
As you may know, the Pearl is going to be expensive no matter when you purchase because it is a sought after area. From what I've heard from the 3 economic forecasts I've been to, the Portland market will see price increases this year any where from 5% to 15%. I think the truth is someone in between and probably closer to double digits.

Therefore, buying now is definitely the smart thing to do as long as you can afford it, but please know all condos and buildings are not the same. Several different criteria need to be analyzed.

Happy hunting. Feel free to call with questions.

0 votes
The Stephen…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
I'm not sure if there could be a better time. Prices rose last year Portland metro wide (for the first time since the crash) and are expected to increase again this year city wide. Act quick or miss out! I'm helping a buyer with a pending deal in the Pearl right now. Visit my website for a video introduction. Best of luck!
0 votes
Tamara Koedo…, Agent, Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
If you can afford to purchase in the Pearl or downtown area, this is a great time to purchase! Interest rates are still very good and prices are on the rise. Although there is always a chance the market may dip down again, I think prices will have a steady but slow appreciation. Having been in the industry for over 17 years and seen prices rise and fall, it is great to see them on the rise again!

The Pearl District seems to be thriving with many new shops and restaurants opening every day. There are plenty of condos in the area that have been on the market for a while but I think they will start selling again soon.

Prices for a 1 bedroom start at about 200k. Prices for a 2 bedroom start at about 500k. The beauty of living in the Pearl, as you are already aware, you can get by without a car due to the great public transportation system.

Tamara Koedoot
Premiere Property Group
0 votes
Tracy Wiens, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Kelly,

I have sold a number of condos in the Pearl/Downtown and condos/homes on the Eastside. My opinion is that with interest rates at historic lows now is a good time to buy. The only problem is our low inventory - my suggestion would be for you to get pre-qualified with your lender so that when the right property comes along you are ready to go!

I hope that helps, please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Tracy Wiens
Meadows Group Realtors
0 votes
Lana Lavenba…, Agent, Grants Pass, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
What a great time to buy. Low interest rates, great prices. Nothing says it has to be a foreclosed unit. You may find just a great price on any type of condo. You need to find a local agent that knows what they are doing. They can get you to a great lender. They will let you know what kind of dollars you will need to have in hand to put down, to close escrow and so forth. The lender can help you figure out what kind of payment per month is comfortable so you know what kind of price you can afford. That should include taxes, insurance and home association fees. Good luck and I hope you find just the right place!
0 votes
Vaughn Parry, , Lake Oswego, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Kelly, this is going to be the best opportunity in your lifetime to buy a home! 503-819-4663 Call me anytime!
0 votes
Bob Hoerner…, , Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013
I would say if you know this is where you want to be and plan on staying for a longer period of time, than yes now is a good time to buy. If you have not owned a home or condo in the past I suggest doing two things.

First from the lenders side as I am a lender in Portland, is to get pre-approved as this will help you know what price range to look in and know what cost will be involved with a purchase. Next is working with a local Realtor that knows the type of properties you wish to be looking at, as each condo is different and so is the building. You will need to look at home owners associations and if you can agree with the rules, also be prepared for additional expenses that go along with anything that has HOA dues this is a monthly cost to go for building upkeep and a reserve for future work that is built into a budget.

The pre-approval will help buy making any offer you make stronger to seller, and this seems true today as we having a market that is taking off in the first time home buyers area though out the Portland area.

Feel free to contact me with any questions
Bob Hoerner MLO 978954
0 votes
Andrea Guest…, Agent, Portland, OR
Wed Jan 16, 2013

In my opinion, a good time to buy a condo in the Pearl would have been a year ago. Inventory is tight and prices are going up. If you have been waiting to buy, you should buy soon...and don't expect to see many foreclosures left. Inventory should get better once the weather does. Keep in mind if you see a place you like, since inventory is tight, put your best foot forward immediately because good property is selling swiftly and often with multiple offers.

If you have any other specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them.

Andrea Guest
Oregon Realty Co.
0 votes
Travis Jacks…, Agent, Campbell, CA
Wed Jan 16, 2013
Its a great time to buy! If you are looking to purchase a condo you should get in touch with a local Realtor. I could refer you to an experienced Agent dealing with Portland Condos. They will be able to provide you with valuable insight and guild you through the buying process. Send your contact info to

Travis Jackson
Century 21 M & M Associates
DRE# 01879566
0 votes
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