How to Buy a House in Oregon

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 2, 2020

Are you thinking about buying a home in Oregon? Though the mortgage process can seem confusing, the truth is that you can break down the process into 5 simple steps. Today, we’ll take a look at how you can find the best mortgage and home for your needs in Oregon.  

Step 1: Consider Current Oregon Mortgage Rates

Every mortgage payment includes 2 parts: a principal payment (that goes toward reducing the amount that you owe) and an interest payment (that goes to your lender in exchange for servicing your loan). Interest rates don’t always stay the same. Average market rates can change over time and they may even change on a daily basis. Your local housing market, the state of the bond market and the overall economic strength of the country can all play a role in what you’ll end up paying for your mortgage loan.

Below, you’ll find a table with estimates on what you can expect to pay for a mortgage loan in Oregon today. We update this information regularly to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information possible.

Loan TypeRateAPR
30-year fixed N/A N/A
15-year fixed N/A N/A
7/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
5/1 ARM (adjustable rate) N/A N/A
Rates based on an average home price of $225,000 and a down payment of 20%.
See more mortgage rates on Zillow

Step 2: Pick a Mortgage Lender in Oregon

There are many types of mortgage loans and there are a seemingly endless number of mortgage lenders offering loans in Oregon. If you aren’t sure which lender you want to work with, consider a few of our favorites below.  

Quicken Loans
Best For
  • Online Service

1. Best Overall: Quicken Loans® 

If you’re buying your first home, you might be confused and overwhelmed by the process of applying for a mortgage loan. Quicken Loans is one of the best lenders for first-time buyers because the company offers a simple, intuitive preapproval process. Just answer a few questions about where you’d like to buy a home, your income and credit and employment. Most applicants will receive a decision instantly after applying.

Quicken Loans offers a very wide selection of conventional and government-backed mortgage loans with terms as short as 8 years and up to 30 years. Not sure which loan is right for you? Quicken Loans’ Rocket Mortgage® platform can help you learn more about your options and compare loan expenses and terms. 

Veterans United
securely through Veterans United's website

2. Best for Veterans: Veterans United

If you’ve served in the armed forces and you’re looking for a low down payment option, consider a VA loan. VA loans are special loans for active-duty members of the military and veterans that may allow you to buy a home with 0% down.

Veterans United is the country’s No. 1 issuer of VA loans and has been consistently highly rated by veterans who have used the lender’s services. Veterans United employs a full team of former service members who can help you determine if you qualify for a VA loan. They can also assist you in getting your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) you need to apply for a loan preapproval. If you don’t qualify for a VA loan, Veterans United can also set you up with a conventional loan for your home purchase.   

CrossCountry Mortgage
Best For
  • Self-employed Borrowers
securely through CrossCountry Mortgage's website

3. Best for Self-Employed Buyers: Luxury Mortgage

If you’re self-employed and you have more of your income tied up in business assets, you might have a harder time finding a mortgage loan. Self-employed buyers are seen as more of a risk to mortgage lenders because they don’t have a set, documented salary. This means that you might end up paying more for your mortgage loan or you might have to produce much, much more income documentation before you qualify.

Luxury Mortgage is one of the best choices if you’re self-employed. You can get a mortgage loan without an intensive underwriting process. Luxury Mortgage’s Asset Qualifier loan program allows you to use business assets in your loan preapproval calculation. There are also no income or employment verifications required to apply and you can borrow up to $6 million.   

Step 3: Find a House

Once you’ve applied for your loan and gotten a preapproval, it’s time for the most exciting part of buying a home — exploring the real estate market. Before you start hunting for homes, it’s a good idea to define exactly what you’re looking for. Some of the factors you’ll want to consider include:    

  • Price: Your mortgage preapproval will tell you home much money you’re approved to borrow. This can give you a good jumping-off point to begin your home search. However, remember that you’ll also need to budget for your down payment, closing costs and any necessary repairs. Set a hard budget and stick to it when you shop to avoid overborrowing.
  • Neighborhoods: Choosing a neighborhood is about much more than looking into the best local bars and restaurants. The neighborhood where you buy your home will determine how much you’ll pay for your home, the size of the property you’ll be able to afford, your property taxes, which schools your children will attend and more. Create a list of neighborhoods where you’re considering buying a home and compare expenses and school ratings for each.
  • Condition: Unless you plan to buy a new home, chances are that the property you purchase won’t be in pristine condition. But how much work are you willing to put into your property? Are you willing to pay more for a property that doesn’t need any major repairs or renovations? Or do you have the budget or DIY skills to handle these issues yourself.

You might also want to hire a real estate agent to help you with your home search. Your agent can help you identify homes in your budget, can give you access to property sales that aren’t publicly available and can help you keep your home search realistic and on track. 

Step 4: Make an Offer

When you find a home that you love, you’ll submit an “offer letter” to the home’s seller. An offer letter is an official statement that tells a seller you’re serious about buying their home. If your seller accepts the offer, you can move onto closing on your mortgage. If they reject it or give you a counteroffer, you can continue to negotiate the home’s sale — or you can walk away and find a new property.  

Though there’s no rule against writing your own offer letter, most buyers let their real estate agent or realtor handle the job for them. There are a few benefits that come with having your agent be the one to write the letter, including:

  • Experience: Real estate agents are local property experts. They know how to write a legally binding offer letter, and they know exactly what wording must be used to keep the offer valid.
  • Perspective: Agents understand what contingencies you should ask for and what’s reasonable and legal to ask for in closing assistance. Your agent can also help you determine how much you should offer for the home.
  • Buffering: Negotiating a home sale can be an emotionally exhausting process. Having a neutral 3rd party that isn’t personally invested in your home sale can help you keep a cool head when submitting offers and counteroffers.  

Step 5: Closing Time

After you and a seller agree on an offer for the home, it’s time to close on your mortgage loan. The mortgage closing process usually begins with an appraisal. During an appraisal, a home value expert called an appraiser will take a visit to your property, do a bit of outside research and assign an estimated value to your home. Appraisals are a required part of the mortgage application process because lenders need to know that you aren’t buying a home for more money than it’s worth. Appraisals also help to prevent fraud.

Take the time to schedule an inspection on your home before you buy it. During an inspection, an inspector will walk around your property and test your home’s systems and appliances. At the end of the inspection, he or she will also provide you with a report detailing everything wrong with the home. Though inspections aren’t usually required to get a mortgage, you should still schedule one to ensure you aren’t unwittingly buying a fixer-upper.

While you get your appraisal and inspection, your lender will focus on underwriting your loan. During underwriting, your lender prepares your loan paperwork and checks your financial and asset information to be sure that you qualify.

Once underwriting closes, you’ll attend a closing meeting with your lender, seller and agent. During closing, you’ll sign on your new loan, pay your down payment and closing costs and walk away as Oregon’s newest homeowner. 

Move-in Day in Oregon

Owning a home is about much more than choosing the right decorations and picking out furniture. As a homeowner, you have a responsibility to keep up with your monthly payments, ensure that you have the proper amount of flood and homeowner’s insurance and make sure that you’re setting aside enough money for property taxes. Be sure to keep your payments organized and your finances in order to stay on top of your mortgage and stay on track toward repayment.  

Get Ready for Take Off

Rocket Mortgage® is an online mortgage experience developed by the firm formerly known as Quicken Loans®, America’s largest mortgage lender. Rocket Mortgage® makes it easy to get a mortgage — you just tell the company about yourself, your home, your finances and Rocket Mortgage® gives you real interest rates and numbers. You can use Rocket Mortgage® to get approved, ask questions about your mortgage, manage your payments and more.

You can work at your own pace and someone is always there to answer your questions — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Want a fast, convenient way to get a mortgage? Give Rocket Mortgage® a try.