Oregonian First-time Buyer Story

The Oregonian is publishing a new section each Thursday called inPORTLAND. Today’s cover story is called “Chasing the Portland Dream” by Scott Learn. It details the experience of a young couple and their search for a home under $200,000 in a close-in neighborhood. Long story short: it is not easy.

Quoting the article: “Assume, for a moment, that you’re a typical first-time Portland home buyer. You’re not a trust-fund baby, with Mommy and Daddy coughing up your 10 percent down. You’re not a California refugee with $100,000 clear on the sale of your cookie-cutter condo in Walnut Creek…

…Forget about the Hawthorne area and Clinton Street and Alberta Arts. In general, nix the west side. Scratch Overlook, Beaumont and Rose City. Maybe you’ll get lucky and find a dollhouse in Boise-Eliot, a cute-enough place in Kenton, Piedmont or Woodlawn, or a sparkling cottage on a together block in St. Johns, Cully, Foster-Powell or Woodstock.

But you better hope it’s not a fixer, because investors with cash are snapping those up, and you’re carrying an interest-only loan and no down payment. You can bank on offering well above the asking price. You can also count on multiple bids for anything worth buying.

You’re hoping this city is still the place where you can get a close-in old bungalow with nice trim, a porch and wood floors in decent shape. You’d like a short drive or bus ride to work and a short walk to shops. You’d prefer a neighborhood with some trees and character.

You’re chasing the Portland dream, and hoping it hasn’t turned to vapor, too.”

The full story is on oregonlive.com .

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