Tips on Purchasing Your First Home in Portland
Credit: OnPoint Community Credit Union
You’ve recently moved to Portland, and you’ve decided to put down roots. You are ready to purchase your perfect home, but you’re not sure where to start.
OnPoint Community Credit Union is the largest credit union in Oregon and offers everything you need and expect from a full-service financial institution while embodying local values and delivering a personal member experience.
Here are five helpful tips from our mortgage specialists for getting started on the path to home ownership.
Properly estimate the cost of home ownership.
Many people choose to buy instead of rent because their mortgage payments may be less than monthly rent. Plus, mortgage payments are build equity (ownership) rather than going to a landlord. However, monthly mortgage payments are just one piece of the cost of home ownership. A few other costs you'll need to consider include:
- A down payment
- Closing costs
- Property taxes
- Homeowners insurance
- Homeowners association fees
- Home maintenance and repairs
- Utility costs
Mortgage pre-approval will help make your home purchase go smoothly and help you determine how much you can borrow. Getting pre-approved will also show the seller that you're serious about the purchase and ready to close. This can be very helpful when you want to purchase a home that has multiple offers.
- Understand your mortgage loan options.
Is a fixed or adjustable rate mortgage better? Do you need a conforming or non-conforming loan? Do you qualify for any government-sponsored loan programs? The answer is it depends on your particular situation. Consider meeting with a mortgage specialist early in your home ownership journey to get all of your questions answered so you have a game plan when it’s time to make an offer.
Know how big of a down payment you need.
If the idea of saving a 20 percent down payment seems overwhelming, you’re not alone. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 25 percent of respondents said saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in the buying process. OnPoint offers mortgage solutions to meet every need, including the Just for Starters® program for first-time homebuyers, which finances up to 100 percent of the value of the home.
Understand how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act might affect you.
One of the great benefits of home ownership has been the favorable tax breaks. Homeowners can deduct their mortgage interest payments, which reduces the cost. However, the recent tax reform changed how much people could deduct. Now, buyers can deduct the first $750,000 of mortgage debt and up to $10,000 in state and local taxes. For families that made $50,000 or $75,000 per year, their decision to buy would be unaffected, according to research by the Urban Institute.
The process of buying a home can seem intimidating, but OnPoint’s team of Mortgage Loan Officers can help guide you through the process. Consider attending one of our free home buyer's seminars to get started. Our mortgage loan options are backed by local experience and local servicing. That means you get quicker decisions and more flexibility than anywhere else. OnPoint provides local lending options to meet your needs. Visit us online at www.onpointcu.com/mortgage.
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