Whether you are an experienced home buyer or you’re taking out a Portland mortgage for the first time, it’s common to have questions about the mortgage loan process in 2022. The real estate market changes regularly, especially in the wake of the still ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Is this a good or a poor time to sell your home? What about buying one? How do these stats change depending on the area where you are looking to live? We of The Lindley Team have put together some of the most common questions people have asked us about getting mortgage help in Oregon, and we hope it can help you too.

Looking For a Home in Portland, Oregon

If you are looking to buy a home in Portland, Oregon at some point during the next several months or years, then the best advice we can give you is to start looking for your potential home right away. The housing market is very competitive right now as there is a high demand for houses in this beautiful area, but a rather limited supply of homes.

If you are shopping online for a home, browse regularly and consider a variety of options. You should also have a clear budget in mind before you begin, and may even want to talk to a mortgage company to get an estimate of what your budget should be in order to make the expected monthly payments. If you continue looking regularly, you are sure to find an affordable home you love in a great area.

Why Is Portland, Oregon a Desirable Location to Live Right Now?

In most of the country, housing prices are expected to drop throughout the year, meaning that 2022 should be a much better time to buy a home than in some years past. This could mean that prices in Portland will be dropping soon too, which is why The Lindley Team suggests you get a head start in browsing for potential homes now so you will be prepared to move on any excellent price drops you find on the houses you are looking at. Here are a few more facts about housing and mortgage in Portland, Oregon and why Portland in particular has been gaining a lot of attention on the real estate market.

  • In January 2022, the average price of a Portland home was approximately $560,000. The national average price of a home in the United States is $320,662. Portland is widely considered a seller’s market at this time, and perhaps into 2023 and beyond.
  • Many people move to Oregon so they can stay near California without being dropped into the big, busy cities. Oregon has its own beautiful beaches and forests to enjoy too
  • The tech industry is booming in Portland, bringing many people to live in the area for great work.
  • Many cities in Oregon have urban growth boundaries that limit the amount of homes that can be built in a sprawling pattern in the area. It is also more difficult than it was a few decades ago for builders to obtain bridge loans. This causes the existing houses to rise in price because the supply remains limited
  • Due to concerns about the pandemic (and difficulties involved with moving, which can require contact with moving companies and new neighborhoods), many sellers removed their homes from the market. This has taken the already low supply even lower with no sign of supply growing again any time soon

Why Is Portland, Oregon a Popular Real Estate Market For Millennials?

If you count yourself as part of the Millennial generation, then you can expect to find a lot of people in your age range around the Portland area. Portland offers cultural enjoyment, beautiful nature (including both mountains and the ocean), and safe neighborhoods full of families. Although a Portland mortgage can be pricey, the truth is that the nearby Silicon Valley rent prices are so high, many businesses are being forced to relocate out of the San Francisco Bay area. Many of them are moving north to Oregon, creating a hub of growth that is very attractive to young Millennials looking for a new home.

Clearly, Portland homes are high in value and on the pricier side compared to homes elsewhere in the country. However, Portland mortgage rates are much lower than usual, which makes houses more affordable than they would be at the more common high mortgage rates found elsewhere in the country. Despite the high price tags on a home, 2022 can still offer real estate buyer’s an advantage if you know how to look for one.

The Mortgage Loan Process For Oregon

There are six basic steps in the typical Portland mortgage loan process. Does Portland still sound like a great place to make your next home? If you are looking for mortgage assistance in Oregon, The Lindley Team is there to help.

Step 1: Pre-Approval

Before you can buy a home, you will need to be pre-approved to take out a mortgage. The real estate agents you are working with need to know what types of loans you can qualify for and how much you can realistically borrow/afford. Be sure to obtain a loan pre-approval before you talk to a real estate agent about the houses you are interested in. This will allow the rest of the loan approval process to go smoothly so there are no last minute “rushes” to get your financials reviewed and approved. When you start the pre-approval process, be prepared to send and discuss several personal documents, such as your credit history.

  • TIP – Getting a loan pre-approval can benefit you in other ways. When sellers are considering who to sell their home to, they may be more likely to sell it to someone who has already been pre-approved for a loan. Taking the steps to obtain a loan pre-approval shows the seller that you are serious about buying their home and assures them that you are well qualified to go through with the purchase.
  • Are you looking far into the future as you consider your prospects of buying a home in Portland, Oregon? Continue to build up a good credit score now so you can receive a mortgage pre-qualification with the best terms and interest rate.

Remember that in Portland, homes are low in supply and high in demand. When a seller knows they have a valuable property and they will not want to risk going under contract with someone who may not be able to close due to financial constraints. A pre-approval from a reputable lender is key in assuring the seller that accepting your offer will result in a smooth, on-time transaction, with no surprises.

Step 2: House Shopping

When you shop for houses online, keep in mind that the prices you see posted are never the final price you should expect to pay. Even if you are an inexperienced home buyer, remembering this fact will help you stay on top of the market without being taken advantage of. Sometimes, online listings are not updated in a timely manner. A real estate agent can help you stay up to date on which homes are available on the market and what a reasonable price for each home would be.

  • All houses should be inspected to ensure there are no issues with the property you are looking at. If there are signs of damage (termites, cracked foundation, roof leaks) or safety hazards (mold, out-of-code electrical).
  • If possible, try to walk through a home you are considering, even if you found it online and there were many pictures included. You will be taking out a large loan to afford your home and will be paying off that loan for years, so it’s important to experience what you are buying first hand so you can be certain you will be getting what you expect.
  • You may also like to ask if the home is insulated or when the water and air filters were last replaced if you are unsure

When you find a house you are interested in purchasing, have an agent help you make an offer on it. You should expect to offer close to the amount of money you are being loaned. There is no reason to take out a loan for more money than you are planning to actually use, since you will need to pay back all the money you borrow plus interest.

  • Related: Home Decorating (Use the posted link)

Step 3: Mortgage Application

When you apply for a mortgage loan, you should expect to provide a lot of personal information, including some of your private documents. You should be prepared to provide info about (although not all will apply):

  • Your current employer
  • Your current job
  • Your salary/income
  • Your taxes
  • Your Social Security information
  • Any child support/alimony you are currently paying
  • The money you received or expect to receive from selling your current home
  • Your bank information
  • Your investments
  • Your credit cards
  • Any other properties you own
  • Any current mortgages or car loans you are paying off
  • Any previous bankruptcies you have filed
  • Information regarding any foreclosure or short sale that you were involved with
  • And more

When there is so much information you are expected to provide, applying for a mortgage can be very intimidating. Always be cautious about taking out a mortgage and buying a new home. Be certain you are in a financial situation that allows you to afford the expenses.

Types of Mortgages

Speak with the mortgage company you are working with to determine which type of loan would be best for you. There are several types you can consider depending on your circumstances:

  • Fixed Rate Mortgage
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
  • Conventional loan
  • FHA loan
  • VA loan
  • Reverse Mortgage
  • Government-issued loan
  • Bridge loan

Step 4: Loan Processing

Your mortgage company will assist with the processing of your loan. This will require you to provide all relevant documents, which will be reviewed and sent to the underwriter. It should not take too long for your documents to be processed, so speak with your mortgage company if a few weeks pass without you hearing back.

Step 5: Underwriting

The underwriter is the person who will be making the final decision on whether you qualify for the loan you are asking for. In this phase of the mortgage loan process, all your documents will be evaluated and the property you are looking at will be examined to confirm it also meets the requirements for the loan you are asking for. All information will be double-checked during this phase to ensure you have a high credit score and are not attempting to commit fraud by taking out your loan. The interest rate for the loan will also be determined and confirmed before the loan is finalized.

  • Certain investors and/or loan programs have requirements beyond what is typical (overlays); these outlying conditions may come up during the underwriter review process.
  • Your loan officer will communicate any additional needs that the underwriter might have to complete your file.

If your loan is approved, congratulations! You are ready to review and sign final documents.

Step 6: Closing

The closing disclosure is a document which will show the final loan amount, fees and the money you are expected to pay. These numbers are expected to adjust slightly during the process of your loan as all of the details are solidified (tax payoff amounts, home owner’s insurance, etc.) You are allowed to review all of the terms of the loan during this time. You may also be given the opportunity to conduct a final walk-through of the property you’ve decided on to ensure that everything is in order.

  • At the closing meeting, remember to bring a valid ID. For example, a driver’s license or a passport.
  • Be prepared with a wire transfer or cashier’s check for any remaining funds due at closing.
  • Once you sign the relevant documents, everything is ready to fund and record!

Congratulations on looking for a new home! Preparing for a move can be stressful and exciting at the same time, but signing your name to get an affordable loan doesn’t have to be. The Lindley Team can offer you mortgage assistance in Oregon and answer any further questions you have about the mortgage loan process. We love the Portland area and look forward to welcoming you here. Apply for a loan today and say hello to a new life in Oregon.

If you’d like to start the process of getting a home, come see us at the Tammi Lindley Team. We are Portland’s premier mortgage lenders, offering hundreds of mortgage products so you can pick the mortgage that matches your needs. Contact us today and start the process of owning your dream home.