Buying a home anywhere can be a long, time-consuming process, especially when you’re buying somewhere popular, like Portland Oregon. If you need help with Portland home buying, follow this guide to make things easier and less stressful.
Step One: Find A Portland Property
If you’re looking to buy a property in Portland Oregon, your first step should be to start doing some research into popular areas, the types of property available, and the typical prices. What area would you like to live in? Look into different neighborhoods and see what you think might suit you. Take into account things like whether you need to be near a good school, what your commute will be like, and what amenities are nearby. Do you want to live near coffee shops or restaurants? It can be a good idea to visit different neighborhoods at different times of day and week. Somewhere that seems peaceful during the day on a Saturday might be far less quiet on a Saturday night when the bars are open, or during the week during the school work. Do your homework, and narrow down a few places you would like to live.
Once you’ve done this, you can look into what kind of homes are available in this area, such as small apartments or larger family homes, and what kind of prices they go for, so you have a clear idea of what you might be able to get for your money.
Online research can help you to do this. Property websites are useful for looking at different properties for sales and for finding recent sales prices in the area you’re thinking about. You could also get help from a realtor. Look for a real estate agent who has the right kind of properties on their books. There’s no point working with a realtor who specializes in selling homes that are well out of your budget. Check out the real estate agent too, and make sure you do your homework to find the right one. Check reviews and look at their property portfolio to find someone you can work with to find the right property.
It can be smart to line up a mortgage lender before you find a realtor and start looking at properties. By doing this, you will have a clear idea of exactly what you can afford, which gives your realtor a budget to work with while they find properties for you to work with. If you start the process of getting pre-approved for a mortgage early, you have lots of time to sort out any issues before they will cause any delays in you buying a property when you find one you like. It also shows realtors, and the people selling the house that you’re a serious buyer. In competitive markets like Portland, you sometimes need a preapproval letter in order to get a seller to seriously consider your offer.
To find the right realtor, ask your friends and family who have bought in the area if there is anyone they’d recommend and that they had a good experience with. Ideally, you are looking for a real estate agent who has experience working with people like you who have similar needs to you. This is because the needs of a retired couple looking to downsize their home are very different to the needs of a first-time buyer.
To find someone that you can trust, look for a real estate agent who is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). By becoming a member of NAR, they have formally agreed to abide by the group’s code of ethics. Some realtors also have certifications that show that they have completed extra training in a certain area of real estate. Some of these designations include:
- CRS (Certified Residential Specialist)
- ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative)
- SRES (Seniors Real Estate Specialist)
Get familiar with what the difference is between a buyer’s agent and a seller’s agent. Usually, a buyer’s agent represents a homebuyer in the real estate transaction, while a seller’s or a listing agent looks after the seller’s side, including valuing, pricing, and marketing the property, and negotiating the terms of the sale. Make sure you take on the right kind of agent to help you.
In some cases, just one real estate agent can act as an agent for both sides of the sale. This is known as a dual agency. Usually, this only happens when a buyer and a seller resort to the same brokerage for an agent. Some states don’t allow this to happen, as it does have some inherent risk. In Oregon, the law of agency allows dual agency only with the written consent of the principal given after receiving full disclosure by the agent. If you decide to go down this route, keep the risks in mind.
You might also come across an agent who will act as a referral agent, which means that the agent provides leads to another agent, for a fee.
Start looking for an agent by looking at each agent’s online presence. Look at their website and social media accounts. Seek out online reviews. One or two bad reviews are nothing to worry about, but several could be a bad sign.
Check with Oregon’s real estate regulator to find out whether an agent you’re considering is licensed or has any disciplinary actions.
Start looking for a realtor a few months before you expect to be preapproved for a mortgage and start looking for a property. While you’re doing the research to find a realtor to work with, create a list of must-haves that you’re looking for in your new property.
This is also the right time to get your budget prepped. After all, you can’t decide which houses to look at, if you don’t know what you can afford to spend. Don’t forget to include extra costs, including realtor fees, legal fees, closing costs, deed stamps, and taxes. You might also need a mortgage broker fee. Don’t forget to budget for the costs of moving too.
Step Two: Visit Some Properties
Plan several trips to view your shortlist of properties in the areas that you’re considering, and then a second trip to any of these that you really like after you’ve seen them. While you’re there looking at the house, explore the local area too. Walk around the local area and see what’s nearby, and get a feel for what it might be like to live there. It can also help to chat to the current homeowner, or the neighbors if you can, and ask lots of questions about what the area is really like. It could also be a good idea to pick up a copy of the local newspaper to see what’s going on.
If you’re looking to buy a holiday home or investing in a buy-to-let property, find out how popular the area is for renters or tourists. Do tourists visit all year round, or is the tourist season more seasonal? If you’re going to be living in the property yourself, you need to make sure that the local area can provide everything that you will need. Is there easy access to local amenities you will need, like a grocery store or a school for your children? What are the transport links like? Is it a commutable distance from your work?
Step Three: Get Your Professional Advisors And Finances In Place
Once you’ve found a Portland home that you want to buy, it’s time to make an offer. Before you can make your offer, you need to make sure that all your finances are in place and ready to go.
Will you need a mortgage or have you got the cash ready to buy without one? If you do need a mortgage, can you definitely get the mortgage that you need?
It will help you a lot if you can find the right mortgage lender. Look for one that knows the local area, like The Lindley Team. Portland’s home loan and mortgage rates are some of the lowest that they have ever been. Advice from the Lindley Team can help you to make the most of this and buy a property in this popular area without blowing the budget, by providing lending options that fit with your finances. This Portland mortgage lender also stays up-to-date with any fluctuations in the local area, market trends, and more by tracking all the important details so you don’t need to. The team also has a specialist service to help first-time buyers.
Make sure you have enough money set aside for any extra, hidden costs, like agency commissions and legal fees. If you are making your property purchase with cash, you will also need to make sure that you have written proof of funds before you go to view any homes.
Step Four: Make An Offer
Once you’ve got your finances in order, it’s time to make an offer on your property of choice. Usually, this means you will be dealing with a real estate agent who is representing the seller. It can be a good idea to get a realtor or a qualified broker yourself to handle your side of the sale. Your agent will be able to negotiate on your behalf and make sure that you fully understand the contract, and the contract has been written up according to any legal requirements. If you want to buy a new property in Oregon, the agent can also negotiate with the sales staff about things like the price and terms, as well as answering any questions that you might have.
Step Five: Carry Out Checks And Surveys
When you buy any kind of property, it is always sensible to have a survey and a building inspection carried. These inspections should include a pest inspection too. If any of the inspections come back with a result that finds a problem with the property you want to buy that you didn’t know about before, you still have time to pull out of buying, without too much in the way of financial damage. Your real estate agent or your legal representative should be able to help you to find a regulated specialist who can make these inspections for you. You could also choose to hire your own company to do this if you would prefer.
Step Six: Pay Your Deposit
After you have made an agreement with the seller of the property you want to buy and all building inspections have been completed, both you and the seller will need to sign a contract. This contract will be where you agree on a closing date. At this point of the proceedings, you will need to put down a deposit to secure the property. This deposit is normally about ten percent of the total price of the house. If you decide to pull out of buying the house after this stage, you will lose your deposit.
Step Seven: Agree On A Completion Date
Just before closing on the sale, you will need to arrange title and real estate insurance and make sure you are aware of any property taxes that you will need to pay. The closing will usually be held at a title company, although it can sometimes be done via email instead if one of the parties is unable to be present. This is more common at the moment, thanks to Covid. If the property you’re buying is going to be used as an income-producing property, then make sure that you are adhering to any tax liabilities. It can be a good idea to get some advice and support from a tax professional who is experienced in the Portland property market. They can make sure you get everything right. At the closing, all the funds will be distributed between all the necessary parties and you will get the keys to your new home, ready for you to move in! In most cases, the whole property purchasing process takes between thirty and sixty days from you making an offer and you receive the keys.
If you need home financing or have any questions about the lending process, please visit our website and contact us today for more information.