Ready to shop for your new home? Don’t forget to shop for a mortgage loan company first. Here are twelve questions to ask your potential mortgage lender.
If buying a home in Portland, OR is on the agenda for you in 2020 or beyond, you’ll want to look at various mortgage products available to help you finance this big purchase. That will also entail looking at different mortgage companies that can provide these products to you. This article contains a collection of tips for potential buyers on how to identify and choose the best mortgage company in Portland, OR.
The largest and most heavily populated city in the state of Oregon, Portland is known for its stunning natural landscapes, equipped with vast parks, paths, and bridges. The city is known for its hipster vibe and consciousness of the environment, and boasts vibrant art, music, and theater scenes. Portland also offers residents a booming job market, offering plenty of employment opportunities. It’s certainly a wonderful place to live and work.
If you are looking to buy a home in Portland, OR, you should be aware that the average price for a home is higher than the nationwide average. It’s also important to note that the current housing inventory in the city is rather tight, which means buyers may have to work a little harder to be more competitive amidst other prospective buyers who may be vying for the same properties.
Considering all this, you’ll want to make sure that you work with a seasoned real estate team and mortgage specialist to help make the homebuying process in Portland a success. A reputable mortgage company will make your home purchase as stress-free as possible, leaving you with a home you love and mortgage payments you can comfortably afford.
Finding the right home in Portland may take some legwork on your part, but once you find it, you’ll want to have a dependable mortgage company to back you up as you go through the mortgage approval process. If you choose the wrong mortgage company, you run the risk of having to deal with a myriad of issues.
In this article, we’ll give you a quick rundown of the current real estate market in Portland, as well as what you can realistically expect in terms of home prices and down payments. From there, we’ll provide you with 4 helpful tips on how to find the best mortgage company in Portland, OR. Finally, we’ll direct you to the ideal mortgage company in the city where you’ll be sure to find exactly what you need in a mortgage to help fund this important investment.
Brief Outline on the Real Estate Market in Portland, Oregon
As of February 2020, the city of Portland has a median home value of about $455,700. For comparison purposes, the median home price in Oregon is $366,500. On a city-to-city comparison, the median home prices in Salem, Eugene, and Bend are $292,700, $335,700, and $461,200, respectively.
Right now, the real estate market in Portland is neutral. Home prices have remained rather steady throughout the past 12 months and haven’t really gone anywhere. That said, Zillow expects home prices in Portland to increase 2.4% throughout the remainder of 2020. So, while prices are expected to rise, they are increasing at a rather modest pace, especially when compared to years past.
Of course, even though the market is neutral right now, that doesn’t mean that buyers won’t face competition from other interested buyers. That said, you likely won’t be seeing extreme competition over the next few months the way you may have in previous years.
The down payment amount you will need to put forth will depend on the type of mortgage you take out and the percentage of the purchase price that you are able to pay upfront. For instance, if you take out an FHA loan, you can put down as little as 3.5%. In this case, your down payment amount would be $15,949 based on the average price of $455,800 in Portland right now. If you put a 10% down payment on a conventional loan, which tends to be the typical down payment amount, you’re looking at putting down $45,580.
The down payment you require will also depend on the mortgage company in Portland that you choose. This is just one reason why you need to take measures to make the right choice.
Tip #1: Improve Your Credit Situation
Our first tip is to give your credit score a boost, and for good reason. Improving your credit score is a crucial component of the mortgage approval process and is one of the first things that mortgage companies will look at. That’s because your credit score paints the picture of the type of borrower you may be and tells a story of how responsible you may (or may not) have been with your finances in the past.
Making timely bill payments every month will contribute to a higher credit score and typically means you’re less of a risk. On the other hand, missing payments in the past will lower your credit score and will make you appear like more of a risk to lenders. In this case, your chances of getting approved for a mortgage at a decent rate are much lower.
By improving your credit situation, you can expand your options. While mortgage companies have different required minimum credit scores, the general consensus is that a score of at least 650 to 680 is needed to get a conventional mortgage (though there may be FHA loan options that allow lower scores). If you improve your credit score, you can open up more possibilities.
Related: Check Your Credit Score for Free
Tip #2: Ask the Right Questions
When you’re in the process of finding and choosing a mortgage company, consider it somewhat like an interview. You want to ask mortgage companies the right questions, and the answers that you get will help you determine whether or not a specific firm is the right one to work with.
Asking detailed questions about things such as mortgage interest rates, fixed-rate versus adjustable-rate loans, closing costs, monthly payment obligations, and so forth will help you get an idea of what the mortgage company will be able to offer you. A good mortgage company will give you detailed answers to all of these questions. If you feel like you’re not getting all the information you need, that’s a red flag and means you should walk away.
Asking tough questions will ultimately make it easier to determine which mortgage company is really looking out for you.
Tip #3: Compare Rates from Several Options
Before you choose one particular mortgage company in Portland, consider comparing what a few of them are able to offer you. Comparison shopping is important in many aspects of life to make sure you get the best deal, and this includes comparing mortgage companies.
Thanks to the internet, it’s much easier and faster to get rate quotes from several prospective lenders. That’s precisely what you should do when you choose a mortgage company in Portland. Get interest rate quotes from different lenders, take a print out, and then compare them side by side. This is an essential part of your analysis when choosing one mortgage company over another.
Of course, there are other factors that will also need to be looked at. For instance, one mortgage company might offer a lower interest rate but may require a higher down payment amount. The point is that analyzing the interest rates offered by various lenders is important before making a choice.
Tip #4: Thoroughly Review Each Option
Not only should you ask about interest rates, closing costs, fees, monthly payments, and so on, but you should also thoroughly interview each option. Narrow down your options and interview those that make your short list. Ask questions about the loan programs they offer, what you can qualify for, whether there are any assistance programs you can take advantage of, what credit score is needed, how much money you need to put down, and so on. Get a sense of the mortgage company’s financial stability so that you won’t be unpleasantly surprised down the road.
Call Sammamish Mortgage for More Info
There is so much more to know about choosing the right mortgage company in Portland. That said, this article contains a great amount of detail to help you start your journey. If you’re interested in obtaining more information, get in touch with Sammamish Mortgage today. We have been in the mortgage lending business for about 28 years and have plenty of mortgage programs for you to choose from. We are based in the Pacific Northwest and plenty of knowledge of the markets in WA, ID, CO & OR. Contact us to get all your mortgage-related questions answered today!