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Oregon First-Time Home Buyer | 2021 programs and grants

What to Know About Buying a Home in Oregon

Being a first-time homebuyer in Oregon can feel like you’re running on top. Because home prices in the state are undeniably high. And saving enough to own a home can be a real challenge.

But don’t despair. Because Oregon has a mountain of help for you, including education and counseling for home buyers as well as local and national mortgage programs.

And, best of all, you might be in line for some serious cash help to supplement your down payment savings.

Check your eligibility to buy a home in Oregon. Start here (October 14, 2021)

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Overview of homebuyers in Oregon

The median selling price of a home in Oregon in September 2021 was $ 510,000, according to Redfin. It may not be the highest price in a US state, but it is much higher than the national average.

And that can make it difficult for a first-time Oregon buyer to save enough for a down payment and closing costs. So read on to find out which programs could provide you with cash assistance.

Overview of Oregon homebuyers
Average listing price of a GOLD house $ 510,000
Minimum deposit in OR (3%) $ 15,300
20% deposit in OR $ 102,000
Average credit score in OU1 727
Maximum subsidy for the purchase of a home OR2 Up to $ 100,000 forgivable in Portland alone

Down payment amounts are based on the state’s most recent average selling price. The “minimum” down payment assumes a 3% down payment on a conventional mortgage with a minimum credit score of 620.

If you are eligible for a VA loan (backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs) or a USDA loan (backed by the United States Department of Agriculture), you may not need a down payment at all..

Check your eligibility to buy a home in Oregon. Start here (October 14, 2021)

First-Time Home Buyers in Oregon

If you’re a first-time home buyer in Oregon with a 20% down payment, you can get a conventional loan with a low interest rate. And you never have to pay for private mortgage insurance (PMI).

Of course, few first-time buyers have saved enough for a 20% discount. But the good news is, you don’t need a lot of them. Not by far.

Borrowers can often move into a new home with as little as 3% or even 0% down payment by using one of these low down payment mortgage programs:

  • Conventional 97 – From Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. 3% down payment and minimum credit score of 620. You can usually stop paying mortgage insurance after a few years.
  • FHA loan – Supported by the Federal Housing Administration. 3.5% down and a minimum credit score of 580. But you are usually required to take out mortgage loan insurance until you refinance with another type of mortgage, move out, or pay off your loan.
  • VA loan – Only for veterans, active military, reservists and the National Guard. No deposit is required. Minimum credit score varies by lender, but is often 620. No mortgage insurance outstanding after closing. These are arguably the best mortgages available, so apply if you qualify.
  • USDA loan – For low to moderate income people who shop in designated rural areas. No deposit required. Credit score requirements vary by lender, but are often 640. Low mortgage insurance rates
  • OHCS to lend – Can include competitive interest rates and can be used with down payment assistance. More info below

Note that most of these programs require the purchase of a primary residence. It is a house that you will live in full time, not a vacation home or investment property.

Depending on the mortgage you choose, you could potentially move into your new home with minimal cash out of pocket.

These programs even allow you to use donated cash or down payment assistance (PAD) to cover the down payment and closing costs.

If you’re not sure which program to choose for your first mortgage, your lender can help you find the right program based on your finances and home buying goals.

Find the best first-time buyer credit for you (Oct 14, 2021)

Oregon First-Time Home Buyers Programs

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) offers the Oregon Bond home loan program. It “helps Oregon low and moderate income families buy their first home.”

If you qualify, you can expect very generous help. Indeed, it boasts that you could even get a mortgage “with as little as zero cash down”.

OHCS has two main programs. Cash Advantage helps you with your down payment. And Rate Advantage gets you a lower mortgage rate, which means you can afford a better home.

To be eligible for an OHCS mortgage, you must:

  • Be a first-time home buyer in Oregon
  • Choose a participating lender among the List approved by OHCS
  • Take a training course for home buyers
  • Have a family income equal to or lower than the ceilings set by the OHCS
  • Call on a housing advisor

To find out if you qualify, speak to a housing advisor or speak to one of the lenders on the approved list.

These conditions are common for down payment assistance programs. And others you find will likely have similar ones. Of course, income limits and approved lenders may vary by program.

Oregon First-Time Home Buyers Grants

The OHCS says “Eligible homebuyers who have completed Homebuyer Training and Recommended Coaching from a qualified organization may receive up to $ 15 down payment and / or closing cost assistance. $ 000. “

You can expect the conditions listed above to apply. You can access OHCS funds through an approved lender and from a range of local programs listed at this link.

But the OHCS does not reveal some key details. Is it a grant or a loan? If it is a loan, do you have to repay it or is it canceled after X years? You will need to ask these questions of an advisor or approved lender.

Check your eligibility to buy a home in Oregon. Start here (October 14, 2021)

Buying a Home in Major Oregon Cities

None of Oregon’s big three cities has low real estate prices. Unsurprisingly, the most expensive was Portland. But there is good news for those who buy there: There was the smallest increase in home prices in the 12 months ending August 2021.

Eugene and Salem had lower prices but higher rates of price increase.

No matter which city (or county) you buy in, you should check out local down payment assistance programs. Because one of these may offer you better help than the statewide OHCS.

First-time homebuyers in Portland

The median list price in Portland was $ 539,000 in August 2021, according to This was up 6.8% year over year.

At these median prices, your down payment options may be between:

  • $ 16,170 for 3% deposit
  • $ 107,800 for 20% deposit

The city of Portland also has generous potential down payment assistance program.

Assuming your household income is equal to or less than 100% of Portland’s current Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for family size, you can get up to $ 80,000 across the country. city. And up to $ 100,000 in certain targeted areas.

This is a 30-year loan (second mortgage) with an interest rate of 0% and no monthly payments. If you sell the house, move, refinance, transfer, or pay off your primary mortgage in the first 15 years, you have to pay off the loan in full. But 50% is returned at the end of year 15. And then more is returned in subsequent years until, come year 30, when your primary (“first”) mortgage is fully paid off, you don’t. owe nothing.

It’s a good deal if you’re going to stay in residence for 15 years, and a lot if you’re going to stay for 30 years. Click on this link above for more details.

Salem first time buyers

The median list price in Salem was $ 389,900 in August 2021, according to It was up 15% year over year.

If you want to buy a home at this median price, your down payment options may be between:

  • $ 11,700 for 3% deposit
  • $ 77,980 for 20% deposit

The city of Salem says its HOME Investment Partnership Program can help with the costs of acquiring the home buyer. And that help can take the form of a grant, a deferred payment loan, or a below-market loan.

However, it does not provide any details or eligibility criteria. Then call the program at (503) 540-2494 for more details.

Eugène first time buyers

The median list price in Eugene was $ 440,000 in August 2021, according to This was up 17.3% year over year.

If you want to buy a home at this median price, your down payment options may be between:

  • $ 13,200 for 3% deposit
  • $ 88,000 for 20% deposit

Some sources say the town of Eugene has a down payment assistance program. However, if this is true, we could not find it on the city ​​website.

We suggest you call or email for more information. But the city only gives a mailing address under “contact us” on its website: City of Eugene, Oregon, City Manager’s Office, 101 West 10th Avenue, Suite 203, Eugene, OR 97401.

Where to Find Help Buying a Home in Oregon

All of the organizations we’ve listed above should provide free advice to any first-time homebuyer in Oregon or its area.

In addition to our selection, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides some statewide, regional, and local resource listings.

State-wide and region-wide homebuyer programs in Oregon

Oregon home buying programs by region

Also, click on the link to find out List of Oregon Realtors down payment assistance programs by county.

What Are Mortgage Rates Today in Oregon?

You can see today’s live mortgage rates in Oregon here.

When you’re ready to begin the home buying process, make sure you get personalized quotes from at least three mortgage lenders.

Don’t just look at the rates advertised online; apply for pre-approval and compare the interest rates and fees available to you. This is the only way to know that you are getting the best possible deal on your new home loan.

Check your new rate (Oct 14, 2021)

1 Source: 2021 study on 2020 data

2Based on a review of available DPA grants from the state at the time of writing this article