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Saturday Morning Portland Real Estate Update

When I picked up my copy of the Oregonian this morning, I was expecting my ritual dose of bad news. We’d spent the previous evening watching the Blazers nearly snap victory from the jaws of defeat so knew that story was going to be on the cover but the one below it really caught my eye, “Time May Be Right To Buy First Home.” Is it a turning point for local mainstream media? Clearly not a “BUY NOW” which is what I have been advocating for months- no matter what the market, the are opportunities out there for the right buyer- not every buyer.

Reasons to look at buying include:

  • a recent drop in home prices.
  • historically low interest rates.
  • low down payments for FHA qualified loans and buyers.
  • a historically large inventory of home for sale and motivated sellers.
  • the $8000 first time buyer tax credit for those that qualify and close by Dec. 1, 2009.

Reasons to be concerned:

  • no clear “bottom” of the market.  It could continue to slide.
  • high unemployment rates and the possibility of it getting worse.
  • must be able to qualify for best case scenario.
  • overall economic uncertainty.

Each individual needs to decide what is best for them. Start by asking yourself how you weigh each factor. Plan on talking to a Realtor, accountant and mortgage broker. Talk to an accountant to verify that you qualify as a first time buyer (check the details). Talk to a mortgage broker and see how much you qualify for and decide if that works within your budget. Talk to a Realtor (preferably us) about assembling all the pieces and putting them together.

The Blazers have proven they can come back, the housing market can do the same.

I’ll be holding 2356 NW Hoyt open today (4/25/09) from 1-4 this afternoon.

5 Comments on “Saturday Morning Portland Real Estate Update

  1. Hi Charles
    This is interesting info. Here’s the pitch I’ve been throwing:
    Our Bakersfield CA homes for sale market has changed dramatically over the past many months. The time has come to benefit from the great prices. Bakersfield, CA homes for sale are at around the lowest prices investors have seen in recent times. While it is terrible that this market is hurting many homeowners. On the positive side, maybe even those hurting the most will be able to bounce back from this hardship and be in a more stable position in the near future. Bakersfield property prices now offer excitement for both first home buyers and investors too. Put this with the fact that interest rates for home buyers are so low, and it makes acquiring a home in Bakersfield very do-able. Investors and first time homebuyers should be considering their next home purchase with a positive attitude. Bakersfield, CA homes for sale spell opportunity! One very important thing to give thought to when purchasing or selling would be that having a good Realtor can save you a great deal of time and help you find the best deals.

  2. This is still a terrible time to buy a house. Oregon has 2nd highest unemployment, high debt-to-income ratios and a is on the top 10 list of states with foreclosures. Prices will drop another 20%. Do not be fooled.

  3. Not only do I agree with Lucy, but even if we are wrong there will not be a fast rebound of prices. The ability to get a quick low down payment loan is gone taking with it the fuel for the last bubble. So buying now carries the risk of a further declining property value, but waiting until we see several months of stabilization carries no real opportunity cost due to rising values.

  4. Everyone has their reasons for buying or not buying. Buying will always have its risks. Real estate is a market, not a satisfaction guaranteed purchase. 3.5% down for an FHA loan isn’t low? Qualified buyers get $8000 back via the first time buyer credit. In a down market, sellers make more concessions. In an up market that isn’t the case.

  5. Charles, true all good factors to consider. The problem I would have if I was a first time home buyer (unfortunately I don’t qualify for that) is that my $8,000 credit on say a $300K home is wiped out by only a 2.7% value decline. I am not sure that would be enough of an incentive to take on the risk.

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