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5 Mortgage Tips for First-Time Buyers in Oregon: Updated for 2020

Summary: Are you a first-time homebuyer looking to buy in Oregon in 2020? If so, you’ll need some sound advice to ensure you make all the right moves. This guide will provide you with some excellent tips to help your first real estate transaction a successful one.

Are you planning to buy your first home in Oregon during 2020? Do you need to use a mortgage loan to help finance your purchase? If so, you’ll find the following mortgage advice helpful. Here are five financing tips and strategies for first-time home buyers in Oregon. Download the Free Home Buyers Guide eBook Now!

Market Update: Interest Rates Down, Home Prices Up

As of mid-January 2020, home prices across Oregon have been steadily increasing over the past year. In fact, prices have been on a steady climb since 2012. According to Zillow, home prices in Oregon increased 2.95% over the past year and are expected to rise by another 3.2% over the next 12 months.

According to the latest data, the median home price in Oregon rose to around $364,000 in January 2020, which is up from $356,000 from the same time last year. Price gains haven’t exactly been huge, but they’re steady, and they are expected to pick up the pace slightly over 2020.

Housing inventory will continue to remain rather tight, particularly at the entry-level price level. This could lead to a dip in sales, but continued low mortgage rates could keep things humming as buyers continue to take advantage of more affordable mortgages. That said, single-family housing starts are expected to increase in Oregon in an effort to curb the tight inventory and meet increasing demand as millennials enter the market in higher numbers.

In Portland, for instance, there’s currently only about 2.5-months of homes for sale, which is much lower than what’s considered a balanced market at around 5 to 6-months of supply.

5 Mortgage Tips for First-Time Buyers

With that market update out of the way, let’s move on to the mortgage advice mentioned earlier. Here are five helpful tips for first-time buyers in Oregon, fully updated for 2020.

1. Take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates.

According to Freddie Mac, the average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage loan dropped to 3.65% during the week of January 16, 2020. That’s much lower than the 4.45% it was at the same week last year.

Today’s low rates represent a good opportunity for first-time home buyers in Oregon. Especially for those who plan to use a 30-year fixed loan. By locking in a low rate today, you are shielding yourself from potential increases down the road.

2. Establish a basic budget before house hunting.

How much can you afford to put toward a monthly mortgage payment right now, based on your current income and monthly expenses? If you can’t answer this question, you’ve got a bit of homework to do.

Putting a budget on paper will help you ensure that you’re not taking on too much debt, with the addition of a mortgage. The good news is that you don’t have to be a financial planner or CPA to create a basic housing budget. Just take a look at your current monthly expenses, and subtract that amount from your monthly take-home pay.

Live Oregon Mortgage Rates Mar, 31, Tue, 2020

3. Explore low-down-payment mortgage options.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a large amount of money in the bank, you can probably skip over the section. But if you’re like many first-time home buyers in Oregon, you might not be able to come up with a large down payment on your purchase. And fortunately, you might not have to.

The average down payment among first-time home buyers in Oregon and nationwide has actually declined over the past few years, thanks to flexible mortgage programs that require less money up front. These days, both FHA and conventional loans offer relatively low down payments to qualified borrowers.

4. Consider using down payment gift money from relatives.

Did you know that a lot of mortgage programs allow borrowers to use gift money from family members for the down payment? It’s true. Both FHA and conventional loans allow for this kind of thing.

This is a great way for first-time buyers in Oregon to come up with the funds needed for the down payment on a purchase.

5. Keep an eye on home prices. They’re still rising in most areas.

Mortgage rates have been on a downward slide for several months now, as of mid-January 2020. Analysts and forecasters don’t expect a major rate hike anytime soon. In fact, it’s expected that rates will remain relatively stable throughout 2020 and likely won’t stray much from the 4% mark.

Home prices, on the other hand, continue to rise in most parts of Oregon. And this is something first-time buyers should keep a close eye on, especially those who plan to buy later next year. Postponing your purchase until later in 2020 or beyond might mean paying a higher price.

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Interested in Applying For a Mortgage in Oregon?

Are you considering buying a home in Oregon some time soon? If so, now is a great time to make the leap! When you’re ready, Sammamish Mortgage can help you secure the mortgage you need. We are a family-owned mortgage firm that serves the entire Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Colorado and offer many mortgage programs. Get in touch with Sammamish Mortgage today to apply for a mortgage or simply to have your questions answered!

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