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Portland Home Buying Tips for Summer Buyers - CCCU

 Saturday, August 8    CCCU
Portland Home Buying Tips for Summer Buyers - CCCU

What You Should Know About Buying a Home In Portland, OR In the Summer

CCCU's lending team examines what you should know about buying a home in Portland, OR in the summer and offers tips on how to become an Oregon homeowner successfully.
Summer has arrived in Portland, Oregon, which means we’ll get to enjoy two or three months without rain — at least, we hope so! Hot weather also means a hot and highly competitive residential real estate market. If you’re buying a home in Portland this summer, you’ve come to the right place. Our Portland community credit union has all the tips and advice you need to find your perfect house and settle in before fall.

Summer 2020 Portland housing market

Before you begin house-hunting, we recommend doing a little research on the present state of the housing market, as well as forecasts for the coming months. According to Zillow, the current median home value in Portland is $467,621, which is up 0.6% from last year. That said, Zillow predicts that home values will drop by 2% by this time next year. The median home sale price is $439,500. In Portland, the median price per square foot is $288, but the median in the Portland metro area is $232.
These numbers change quickly, so it’s a good idea to check once a month or so. Having this information in the back of your mind when buying a home in Portland in the summer will help you navigate the market and make an offer that’s more likely to be accepted.

Portland neighborhoods to consider

Aside from keeping tabs on the housing market, we suggest looking into which neighborhoods you’d like to live in, as well as which have homes that fall within your budget.
If you’d like to live closer in, some of the more affordable neighborhoods are Brentwood-Darlington, Woodstock, North Tabor, Foster-Powell, and South Burlingame. Buyer-friendly neighborhoods a little further out include Argay, Parkrose Heights, Mount Scott, Wilkes, and Powellhurst-Gilbert. And of course, the Portland metro area has many excellent suburbs, including Happy Valley, Tigard, Beaverton, and Hillsboro. Take note of your preferred zip codes and use them to filter your online searches.

Tips for buying a house in the summer in PDX

Besides staying up-to-date on the Portland housing market and figuring out which neighborhoods you can afford, there are a few more things you can do to set yourself up for success.

Keep your eye on prices

It’s not uncommon for homes to go up for sale in the spring and remain on the market into the summer. Since a lot of sellers want to move out before the school year starts in September, many end up lowering their listing prices after a few months. If you come across a home that’s a little over your budget, so keep an eye on it to see if the price drops by mid-to-late summer.

Scope out the neighborhood

One of the main reasons people buy houses in the summer is because the warm weather makes it easier to scope out the neighborhood before or after touring a home. When you go to an open house, set aside a little extra time to walk around the surrounding area. Are there sidewalks on most of the streets? Are lots of kids playing outside? How about nearby parks or grocery stores? Taking in the neighborhood vibe can help you make a decision when buying a house.

Know your must-haves

Making a list of must-haves will help you save time and narrow down your search when you browse homes. Some people prioritize off-street parking, large lots, storage space, or a certain number of bathrooms. For others, it’s about closets, bedrooms, windows, and updated finishes. Whatever your must-haves are, try to tour homes that meet all or most of your criteria.

Consider fixer-uppers

On that note, keeping your list of must-have short and being flexible in some areas will broaden your options. If you hate the carpet or kitchen countertops in a house, try to envision what it would look like to replace them. Also, think about whether you can afford to make updates within a couple years of moving in. Whether you tackle renovation projects yourself or hire a pro, there’s a lot you can do to transform a house with a little patience and creativity.

Send a letter to the seller

Since the summer tends to be pretty competitive, you might find yourself in a bidding war with other buyers over your dream home. Sellers often have a sentimental attachment to their homes and want to sell them to people who will love them as much as they did. When you make an offer, you may want to include a letter to the seller about why you love the house. This will add a personal touch that might set you apart from other buyers.

Get pre-approved before starting

If you’re serious about buying a home in Portland this summer, you should get pre-approved for a mortgage before beginning your search. With pre-approval, your lender will have already reviewed your income, credit, savings, and other critical documentation needed to move forward with a home loan. You’ll know exactly how much you can afford and can make an offer when the time is ripe.

Buying a House in Portland During COVID-19

Despite the pandemic, Portland's housing prices are likely to remain steady this summer if inventory levels remain low and if that stock moves quickly. RMLS reported that new listings in the Portland area decreased by 10.1% during the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous year, which means fewer listings that sustain prices. However, as Multnomah County reopens, we may see increased inventory that could push housing prices down slightly in favor of buyers.
If you weren't impacted economically by this turbulent time, the summer of 2020 might be the time to buy a house in Portland because mortgage rates are historically low and likely to remain that way. We recommend connecting with a Portland credit union like CCCU to discuss your lending options or a professional real estate agent to gain personalized information matching your needs.

Mortgage resources from CCCU

Buying a home is undoubtedly exciting. And yet, it can also be an exhausting roller coaster ride of falling in love with a house and then being let down if your offer isn’t accepted. CCCU is dedicated to helping buyers be successful in their journey to homeownership. Our Portland community credit union offers first-time homebuyer savings accounts, mortgage pre-approval, low-rate home loans, and other mortgage resources.
The lending team at CCCU can help you find a home-buying solution that fits your unique needs. Get in touch with us today to get started.



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