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How to buy a house in Portland, Oregon

Nov 25, 2022
CCCU can help you buy a house in Portland Oregon

Buying a house in the PNW is getting tougher. Here’s what you need to know to find the right deal in the right neighborhood. We’re breaking down neighborhoods, realtors, and mortgages -- plus, what kinds of options home buyers have for getting the financing they need to afford their home.
Portland’s housing market has been heating up for years. While it was commonplace to snag a cheaper house in PDX back in the early 2000s, things have gotten significantly more expensive in the past five years.
As prices rise, knowing when to buy is crucial. If housing prices start to drop, as is predicted, 2019 may be a great time to purchase a condo or smaller home. If you’re a young person hoping to stay in Oregon for the foreseeable future, buying a home this year can help you set yourself up for success in the future. Learn more about what you need to know about buying a home in Portland, Oregon below.


Know your budget

For any prospective home buyer, keeping in mind the cost that comes with home buying as well as homeownership is crucial. When calculating what you can afford, make sure you’re taking into account closing costs, realtor fees, and any other miscellaneous costs that may come up.
While the buying process is expensive, doing it right is crucial. The right appraiser can save you thousands down the line. Keeping in mind big expenses that may come up is also important for keeping the costs in the ballpark of what you are expecting. For instance, ensuring your roof is in good condition may seem obvious, but checking water heaters, windows, and appliances may not be the first things that come to mind. Make sure you’re checking on the little things that carry a big price tag. For your monthly costs, be sure to check out our mortgage calculator to ensure you don’t end up house poor.


Prioritize your needs

Knowing where your priorities will help you both with finding the right location and home. For instance, if you’re set on not needing to do renovations, you’ll be paying more upfront but can move in without the hassle of construction or potential money pits.
However, if you have specific layout or upgrades in mind, finding a location that has the right bones for your upcoming changes will help you avoid not being able to achieve the things you’re looking for. Have a will, won’t, and want list. This can help you determine what things you’re willing to give up, along with the things you would like and your hard line won’ts.


Shop around

Even if you know where you think you want to live in the Portland area, exploring new neighborhoods and options may open up a cheaper house, or a better fit in terms of set up. Are you hoping for an exciting, walkable nightlife? What about parks and libraries? Think through what you liked about places you’ve lived in Portland, as well as a few things you’d prefer to avoid.
Once you have these things in mind, exploring different neighborhoods and sessing them based on this criteria can help you identify which neighborhoods have what you’re looking for and are still within your price range.


Ask questions

Use your realtor as a resource can save you time and help you get the most up-to-date location specific information. If you don't like how things are going with your realtor, it's okay to find a new one! Make sure they know what’s on your list of things you're looking for, and give them enough time to find new places that would be a good fit for you. Working with multiple people to help you find the right place may also be helpful. You can also check out our resources for prospective home owners here.


Talk to people you trust

If you know people who have recently bought homes in Portland, asking them about their experience, recommendations, and red flags can also help. You should also speak with your financial institution and see if they have a specialist or person who can help you get the best deal with the best rate. 
We’re excited you’re taking the first steps toward home ownership in Portland, and want to make sure you have all the resources you need. Be sure to reach out with additional questions and CCCU is happy to work with you on home loans, realtor selection, and more. Happy home hunting!

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