Oregon is a wonderful state in which to live, and if you have been thinking about relocating, it would be an excellent place to call home. If you already live in Oregon, you may be considering a move to a different area or another home in your current vicinity. You will find some great mortgage rates in Oregon now, so this is a good time to make that move.
Oregon Real Estate Prices Compared to Nationwide Median Prices
- Median existing-home price in Oregon – $241,000, Nationwide – $170,500
- Average Home Value in Oregon – $201,100, Nationwide – $167,500
- Average Mortgage Payment in Oregon – $ 1,296, Nationwide – $ 1,295
A Great Place to Live
No matter what your likes and preferences, Oregon has something for everyone. The scenery is marvelous, with sights like the ocean, lakes, rivers, forests and mountains. Recreation opportunities are abundant, cultural prospects and employment options are numerous, and you can choose to live in a vibrant city, a quiet small town or a peaceful outlying area, each with its own unique charm.
Popular Oregon Cities
- Klamath Falls
- Cannon Beach
- Lincoln City
Oregon’s Fastest Growing Cities
For various reasons, several cities in Oregon claim the distinction of being the fastest growing city in the state. Among those rapidly growing cities are Bend, Hillsboro, Happy Valley and Sisters.
The county seat of Deschutes County was originally called Farewell Bend, and the postmaster later shortened the city’s name to Bend. It is the most populous city in Central Oregon and covers about 32 square miles. The picturesque city has a growing economy along with its growing population. High desert vegetation east of Bend and U.S. Forest Service land to the west contribute to the scenic setting and year-long recreation activities in the area. The low humidity, cool nights and sunny days provide a pleasant climate for residents and visitors to enjoy outdoor pursuits. The enriching cultural life in this flourishing city is another contributing factor to its growth.
This city is the county seat of Washington County and has experienced a healthy growth rate due in part to its close proximity to Portland, just 20 minutes away. The expansion in hospitality and leisure industries, health and education services and government jobs more than make up for the loss of jobs in construction, manufacturing, finance and trade. The downtown area combines both new and old buildings, and the city is one of the state’s high technology centers. An hour’s drive through the beautiful area can take you to lovely places like the Cascade Mountain Range or the Pacific Ocean, so there are many opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities in the area as well as urban pursuits in nearby Portland.
Located in Clackamas County, Happy Valley is a suburb of Portland, and its location near urban amenities along with its own suburban lifestyle make many people want to live there. The largest healthcare industry in Oregon is located in Happy Valley, and economic development continues to flourish with other businesses as well. The mild climate and nearby attractions like the Columbia River Gorge, Mt. Hood National Forest, Cascade Mountains and the Clackamas River provide excellent opportunities to enjoy the area’s natural beauty.
Just east of the Cascade Mountains, Sisters is in Deschutes County in central Oregon. The city is called the Gateway to the Cascades, and its restored 1880s downtown area has many galleries and specialty stores that attract visitors who come to the area. Residents and tourists alike enjoy the wide variety of activities and nature’s awesome beauty provided by the area’s lakes, rivers, streams, mountains and Ponderosa pines.
Types of Mortgages Offered in Oregon
The interest rate in a fixed rate mortgage remains the same for the entire term of the loan. It would be wise to get a mortgage with a fixed rate when the rates are low. Then, if the rates go up later, that increase will not raise your rate or payment.
Adjustable Rate (ARM)
An ARM usually has a low rate at first, and after the specified time, it adjusts higher or lower. If your current financial situation requires that you make lower payments for a while, the ARM can be an advantage for you. However, there is no guarantee what the rates will be in the future. If the rates remain favorable, or if they go up and then back down again, you can refinance to a fixed rate later.
A second mortgage is a home equity line of credit loan with an adjustable rate or a home equity loan with a fixed rate. After you have been making payments on a mortgage for a while and built up equity in your home, or when your home’s value increases so it is higher than your mortgage, you can borrow additional funds with a second mortgage if you choose.
When rates are lower, you can refinance your current loan to reap the benefits of those lower interest rates and possibly lower your monthly payments at the same time. If you have enough equity in your home, you can refinance it and take cash out as well.
Lenders like FHA loans because the Federal Housing Administration insures them against default. Borrowers like them because their down payments are lower, and it is easier to get approval for them. Borrowers are required to pay mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans, but those premiums can be included in the mortgage payments. They can also combine the local housing initiatives for the state and counties with FHA loans to make them even more appealing.
When you want to purchase a home with a price above the conforming loan limit, you can apply for a jumbo loan. However, due to the higher risk involved with this size loan, the mortgage interest rate will be higher as well.
Because Oregon is a non-recourse state, when a borrower defaults on a home loan, the lender generally has no recourse to sue the borrower if the sale of the property does not bring enough to pay off the debt. However, the lender may seek a court remedy, but the process is lengthy and costly, so most lenders do not pursue that option.
A notice of default is recorded by the lender, and in the absence of a power-of-sale in the mortgage, it proceeds through the courts. After the court approves the foreclosure, the lender sells the property. The judicial foreclosure process usually takes about six months if it is uncontested, but the homeowner can slow the process by asking for the sale’s postponement, contesting the foreclosure formally in court or filing bankruptcy proceedings.
Mortgages in Oregon work as liens on real property and allow lenders to obtain judicial foreclosures through the courts. However, judicial foreclosures cost more and take longer than non-judicial foreclosures.
Right of Redemption
A borrower has 180 days to redeem property after a judicial foreclosure sale by paying the loan balance and costs in full.
When a mortgage has a power-of-sale clause, the lender can bypass the court to sell the property. The lender must record a notice of default with the county recorder at least 120 days in advance of the intended sale date and publish a local newspaper notice once a week for four weeks. The last notice must be at least 20 days prior to the intended sale date. The borrower can pay the loan balance in full any time until five days before the sale and stop the foreclosure proceeding. A borrower cannot redeem the property after the sale if the foreclosure did not go through the court.
Since Oregon is primarily a title theory state, a property’s title remains in trust until the borrower makes the final payment. If the borrower defaults, a foreclosure proceeding would be non-judicial. Security for the title is the deed of trust, and provisions in the deed allow for a more rapid foreclosure.
Oregon Mortgage Rates Compared to National Averages
Although mortgage rates in Oregon are slightly below the national average, they have been increasing recently due in part to a rise in taxes and unemployment in the state. An average 30-year fixed rate for a mortgage in Oregon is currently about .27% lower than the national average.
Some of Oregon’s Specific Laws Concerning Mortgages:
When a borrower cannot qualify for a home loan because the purchase price is too high, the buyer may qualify for two loans, called an “80/20” loan, with one property as security. However, according to Oregon law, if the lender takes foreclosure action on the larger loan, and the smaller loan has the same beneficiary, the loan holder cannot sue for restitution on the smaller loan.
Real estate agents in Oregon are required to give Real Estate Transfer Disclosure Statements to buyers before they submit bids on homes. The seller must complete this document, which details all of the property included in the sale such as appliances, alarm systems and the like. The seller must also rate particular features of that property as well as of the house. The document also requires the seller to disclose possible problems or dangers that may dissuade a buyer from making an offer on the house.
The issuance of variable real estate interest rates is regulated in Oregon, so borrowers are guaranteed fixed rate mortgages if they are given large mortgage amounts. Lenders are not allowed to charge interest more than one day before recording the mortgages even if the loans were issued to the borrowers before that time.
Financial Assistance Programs
Homebuyers in Oregon qualify for state as well as federal VA, USDA and FHA loans. Oregon FHA loans offering interest rates that are below the market are available to first-time homebuyers, and they may be eligible for loans to make their down payments or pay for closing costs as well. Educational workers may qualify for loans with interest that is forgivable to assist with down payments on home loans.
The state of Oregon offers similar homebuyer programs for disabled people or persons who care for disabled people in their homes. In addition, the state aids homebuyers in making their mortgage payments with some irregular loans like the Interest Only PLUS loan. People who qualify for this loan receive 100 percent financing for their homes with 35-year loans and pay only the interest for the first five years. Each county in the state may have different requirements for these loans.
Most people who planned to purchase a home in 2010 rushed to sign a contract before the expiration of the homebuyer tax credit in April, and as a consequence, there were fewer than normal sales for the remainder of that year. However, there are more than a few great reasons to purchase a home in beautiful Oregon now.