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Home Mortgage Rates in Oregon

This is a good time to buy a home in Oregon. Since there are a large number of houses on the market now, the prices are lower than they have been in the past. Combine this with the reasonable mortgage rates available, and you will agree that it is the right time to become a homeowner in Oregon.

Oregon Real Estate Prices

General real estate prices in Oregon compared to nationwide prices

  • Median value of houses occupied by owners in Oregon – $152,100
  • Median value of houses occupied by owners nationwide – $119,600
  • Median asking price of owner occupied houses in Oregon – $138,000
  • Median asking price of owner occupied houses nationwide – $89,600

Home prices were falling in 2009, but the number of sales has been increasing. With federal tax credits available for home buyers who sign a purchase agreement by the end of April, this would be an excellent time to shop for a mortgage.

Oregon is a great place to live for many reasons. The Cascade Mountains, numerous lakes, rivers, forests and the Pacific Ocean provide recreational opportunities for your enjoyment, and everyone appreciates the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. In Oregon, you will find large cities with all the amenities as well as quaint little towns with their own special attractions.

Popular Cities in Oregon

Portland.

The most popular cities in Oregon are:

  • Portland
  • Bend
  • Eugene
  • Newport
  • Medford
  • Lincoln City
  • Seaside
  • Cannon Beach
  • Corvallis
  • Klamath Falls
  • McMinnville
  • Astoria
  • Florence

Fastest Growing Cities in Oregon

Oregon cities experiencing the fastest growth are:

  • Bend
  • Corvallis
  • Hood River

Bend has been one of the fastest growing cities in Oregon recently. One of the reasons for its popularity is the variety of outdoor activities available for residents and tourists alike. Whether you like to climb mountains, ski, hike, bike or raft, you will enjoy the beautiful scenery in the Bend vicinity. The Ponderosa Pines and high desert climate make it a popular tourist recreational area. Many people have been selling their expensive homes in California for a profit and moving to Bend where real estate is less costly. After buying a home, they still have enough of that profit remaining to enjoy a nice lifestyle in Bend.

Many people are choosing to spend their retirement years in Corvallis. The city is attracting many new boutiques and restaurants, and the real estate business is doing well. It is home to Oregon State University with its large student body increasing the city’s population.

Hood River’s location next to the gorge ensures that it will continue to grow and attract tourists. Being close to Portland is another favorable factor in its potential for growth.

Types of Mortgages in Oregon

  • Fixed Rate Mortgage – the interest rate remains the same until the loan is paid off.
  • Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) – the interest rate is usually low in the beginning. After a specific time the rate adjusts following an index like LIBOR.
  • Second Mortgages can be either a home equity fixed interest rate loan or a home equity line of credit with an adjustable interest rate.

If you feel that the mortgage loan rates will be higher in a few years, you would be wise to get a fixed rate loan now while the rates are lower. However, if you believe the rates will drop even more, the adjustable rate loan would allow you to get a lower rate when the time comes for your loan rate to be adjusted.

Oregon is mainly a title theory state with title to a property staying in trust until the loan is paid in full. If foreclosure becomes necessary, under this theory it would be a non-judicial procedure. A deed of trust provides the security for the title, and the power-of-sale provisions in the deed provide for a faster foreclosure process.

The laws of Oregon also allow mortgages to function as liens on real property. This permits a lender to use the courts for judicial foreclosures. This type of foreclosure takes longer and is more costly than a non-judicial process.

Mortgage Rates in Oregon

Mortgage rates in Oregon have generally been keeping pace with the national average. There will be a few variables, but for the most part, Oregon rates continue to be comparable to nationwide rates. Because mortgage rates change frequently, it is a good idea to monitor them on a regular basis to get the best rate locked in.

Typical rates for mortgages in Oregon as of Feb. 2010 are approximately:

  • 4.75% for a fixed rate 30 year loan
  • 4.125% - 4.25% for a fixed rate 15 year loan
  • 3.625% for a 5/1 ARM loan

This compares with the average national rate of:

  • 4.00% for a 30 year fixed rate loan
  • 4.37% for a 15 year fixed rate loan
  • 3.73% for a 5/1 ARM loan

Since the mortgage rates are lower than usual now, it may be a good idea to lock in your rate when you apply for the loan. The rates are unpredictable, and if they go up before your loan is approved you will still benefit from the rate in effect at the time of your application if you have it locked in.

Non-recourse mortgages

Oregon is a non-recourse state regarding mortgages. If a borrower defaults on a loan secured by a home, only the home will be lost to the lender. If the lender cannot recover the full amount of the outstanding debt from the sale of the property, there will generally be no recourse for the lender to sue the borrower for the remaining amount of the loan. However, deficiency judgments are allowed in Oregon if a foreclosed property brings less than the loan balance at a public sale. The lender could seek recourse through the courts, but that remedy is usually not feasible because of the high cost and length of time involved in the process.

Foreclosure Process in Oregon

Judicial foreclosure

  • The lender records a notice of default, and if there is not a power-of-sale in the mortgage the process goes through the court system.
  • The court approves a foreclosure.
  • The property is offered for sale.

It normally takes about 180 days for an uncontested judicial foreclosure on a property to be finalized. It takes longer if the homeowner files for bankruptcy, contests the foreclosure in court or asks for postponement of the sale.

Non-judicial foreclosure

However, there is usually a power-of-sale clause included in the mortgage which permits the lender to sell the property without any court proceedings.

  • A notice of default is recorded by the county recorder at least four months before the proposed sale of the property.
  • The borrower must also receive the notice of default at least four months before the date of the sale.
  • The lender must publish a notice of sale in the local newspaper one time every week for four weeks with the last notice appearing no less than 20 days before the proposed date of sale.
  • The borrower can halt the process as late as five days before the sale date if the entire loan balance and costs are paid in full.
  • The sale must take place between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the site mentioned on the notice.
  • The sale must be a public auction, and anybody except the trustee can submit bids.
  • The person with the highest bid must pay the total amount in cash at the close of the auction.
  • Ownership of the property will be transferred by the trustee within 10 days after the sale.
  • The new owner may claim possession of the property when the transfer is completed.
  • If the sale is postponed for less than 180 days after the originally proposed sale date, it is not necessary to restart the foreclosure process to continue it.
  • Foreclosures that do not go through the court cannot be redeemed by the borrower after the sale takes place.

Help for Troubled Borrowers

Some lending companies offer loan modifications to borrowers who are having difficulty making their mortgage payments. Unscrupulous companies charge large up-front fees for this service, but Oregon law makes this practice illegal. The State of Oregon has mortgage counselors to work with people who are concerned about the possibility of losing their homes to foreclosure. This counseling is either free or has a minimal charge.

Right of Redemption in Oregon

If there has been a judicial foreclosure and sale of a property, it can be redeemed 180 days after the sale. The Sheriff must be noticed not less than 2 days or more than 30 days before the redemption, and the owner must make full payment of the loan balance and the costs involved. If a foreclosure was non-judicial, the borrower cannot redeem the property after it is sold.

Chapter 86 of the Oregon Revised Statutes contains the laws regarding mortgages and trust deeds, and the foreclosure laws are in Chapter 88. The statutes governing foreclosures in Oregon can be found online at http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/086.html and http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/088.html.