Oregon’s capital is a big city with a small-town feel. The historic downtown area and the vineyard-covered Willamette Valley countryside provide a peaceful and relaxed setting; while, in the metro area, there is a major hospital and several shopping centers, as well as Willamette University, the oldest university in the West.
If you are considering buying a home in Salem, Oregon, you need to know that competition is stiff in the housing market. This is primarily because inventory is low and there is high demand from homebuyers. So, if you want to increase your chances of getting the house you want, take note of these tips:
Get a Mortgage Preapproval
While a pre-qualification is a good first step when you need to know if you can qualify for a mortgage and how much you may be able to borrow, a mortgage preapproval gives you more than just an estimate. With a preapproval, the lender offers to loan you a certain amount after reviewing your financial status. This commitment comes with specific conditions and is typically valid for a set term, such as 60, 90, or 120 days
Start Saving for Your Down Payment
While it is possible for you to buy a home without having to pay a down payment, it will be advantageous for you to pay a 20% down payment. By paying this down payment, you will be able to pay off your mortgage faster, avoid private mortgage insurance, and get a better rate.
Start Organizing Your Documents
You will be required by your mortgage lender to submit several documents and getting all these together might take some time, so you need to start compiling and getting your documents organized as soon as possible. Some of the documents that you will need to submit include your Social Security Number, proof of employment, proof of income, bank account information, credit information, tax documents, and purchase agreement. Some mortgage lenders may also require you to submit a detailed list of your monthly expenses. If a family member or a friend will be helping you with your down payment, you will also be required to present a gift letter. This is a letter that explicitly states that the money that you, the borrower, has received is indeed a gift and is not expected to be paid back in any way, shape, or form.
Do Your Research
The local real estate market in Salem, Oregon has changed significantly over the past few years. So, if you are planning to buy a home in this city, it will benefit you to do your research on the current real estate market conditions. One of the things you will need to know is the median home price in this area. The most recent data shows that the median home price in Salem is $292,700, as of February 2020. This is much lower compared to the state median home price which is $366,500. Loan limits have been raised throughout the state, specifically FHA, VA, and conventional mortgage loans. Consequently, homebuyers have higher financing capacity, as the conforming loan limit for a conventional or regular mortgage has been increased to $510,400.
Do Your Due Diligence
Simply put, due diligence is taking time to learn about your mortgage loan, the neighborhood of the property you intend to buy, and about the house itself. Specifically, due diligence refers to the period of time stated in the purchase agreement. Within this period, you are given the opportunity to learn everything you can about the property and to back out of the deal if you learn that the house is not right for you. The due diligence period varies; it can be a number of days or it can last until closing, depending on the purchase agreement and the state where you are buying.
Hire a Real Estate Agent You Trust
While you might know exactly what you want in a house and you might think that everything you need to know about the local real estate market in Salem can be searched online, an experienced real estate agent is such an invaluable partner in your home search and purchase. For one, only a local real estate agent knows which neighborhoods are near good schools and whether or not a certain neighborhood is good for real estate investment. Another benefit of working with a real estate agent is the time and energy that you are able to save. Instead of sifting through all the available options yourself, your agent can do this for you. Next, realtors can identify potential problems that you may not see, like leaks, roofing problems, and mold issues. And lastly, your agent can negotiate on your behalf, so you are able to get the best deal without having to be stressed in the process.
If you are looking to buy a home in Salem, Oregon, these tips will help you go through the process smoothly and get the best deal from your home purchase. I will also be able to help you in your search for the perfect home in this area. Just give me a call at 503.932.8639 or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you would like to schedule an appointment.