The median home value in Oregon is the ninth-highest in the country. However, homes are still being sold at a fast pace which signals a competitive housing market. Knowing the latest mortgage rates in Oregon can increase your odds of landing an affordable dream home in the Beaver State.
This guide can help you learn everything you need about mortgage rates in Oregon. Read on for a complete rundown on the state’s homebuyer assistance programs and get insider access to the latest Oregon mortgage and refinance rates!
Home Loan Options In Oregon
You have three main loan options to buy your home in Oregon. Since each loan type has its benefits and disadvantages, we recommend you learn about all of them so that you can make informed decisions about which one best fits your needs and financial circumstances.
Conventional Home Loan
Almost all mortgages not provided by government entities are conventional home loans. They’re mostly offered by private mortgage lenders and credit unions with limits set by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA). Conforming loan amount limits in the entire State of Oregon is set at the national standard of $548,250.
Conventional mortgages are further broken down into three loan types, each with its unique rate schemes and features:
Fixed-rate mortgages feature a stable interest rate that won’t change with market conditions. This guaranteed rate translates into consistent monthly payment amounts.
Due to their predictability, fixed-rate mortgages are popular with first-time homebuyers. However, their rates tend to be higher compared to other loan types.
Most people take 30-year fixed-rate mortgages because of the affordable monthly payments. Your lender may also offer 15-year and 20-year loan terms if you want lower rates – with the caveat of higher monthly payments.
Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Interest rates on an ARM change annually based on a lender-chosen market index. This means your monthly payment can change on a yearly basis. Most ARMs feature an introductory period with fixed interest rates at the beginning of their lives. The low rates on these introductory periods make them good for short-term savings.
The length of an ARM’s introductory period is denoted by its name. For instance, a 3/1 ARM has three years of fixed rates before it enters the adjustable phase.
You can get jumbo loans if you’re looking to buy a more expensive home. These loans can exceed FHFA limits, but jumbo rates are typically higher than other loans because of the increased risk to lenders.
Government-Backed Loan Programs
The federal government backs three major loan programs aimed at select demographics, like military members and low-income borrowers. These loans usually feature more affordable rates and reduced down payment requirements.
The three government loan types are:
FHA loans: Designed for low-income homebuyers without a good credit score, FHA loans have more lenient qualification requirements. However, these benefits come with mandatory mortgage insurance fees and lower loan limits.
USDA loans: These loans are run by the United States Department of Agriculture to increase the homeownership rate in rural regions. Because of this, there are strict area requirements. Qualified USDA borrowers receive a zero-down loan with lower mortgage insurance premiums.
VA loans: You can qualify for a VA loan if you’re an active or former military member. These zero-down loans require a VA funding fee worth 2.3% of the loan. However, you can lower these fees if you put more money down.
A refinance provides you with a loan to pay off your existing mortgage. There are two types of refinances that can be used to accomplish different goals:
Rate and term refinance: This type of refinancing allows you to change your loan’s type and length. You can shorten or lengthen your mortgage as well as alter it from a fixed-rate into an ARM or vice versa.
Cash-out refinance: Cash-out refis liquidate your home equity by providing a loan that’s larger than your current mortgage balance. Any money left after paying off your loan can be used for other needs.
Compare Mortgage Rates In Oregon
Historically, Oregon mortgage rates tend to be slightly lower than the national average mortgage rates. Check the table below to take a look at the most current mortgage rates in the state. All mortgage and refinance rates listed are taken from America’s top lenders.
Today’s Mortgage Rates in Oregon
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These mortgage rates may change without prior notice. Your actual rate may vary depending on your financial conditions and other factors.
Enter your financial details into the calculator at the top of this page for a personalized Oregon mortgage interest rate estimate.
First-Time Homebuyer Programs In Oregon
Unlike other states, Oregon only has one state-wide homebuyer assistance program. However, in addition to the state-sponsored mortgage run by the Oregon Housing and Community Services department, you can qualify for county-specific down payment assistance (DPA) programs.
Oregon Bond Residential Loan
The Oregon Bond program offers two types of competitive-rate mortgages for the state’s residents:
Cash Advantage: Below-market-rate loan with 3% of the loan in DPA
Rate Advantage: More affordable rates than the Cash Advantage program, but without DPA
To qualify for the program, you must meet these requirements:
Be a first-time homebuyer
Meet the program’s income limits
Purchase a single-family home in Oregon to act as a primary residence
Stay under home purchase price limits
The Oregon Housing and Community Services department connects you with down payment and closing cost assistance programs throughout the state. Here are a few programs you can look up:
ACCESS: Offers down payment grants worth $1,000 for first-time homebuyers or $15,000 for veterans in Jackson & Josephine
Community Connection of Northeast Oregon: Offers a down payment loan worth $15,000 for veterans buying their first home in Baker, Grant, Union, and Wallowa
NeighborWorks Umpqua: Offers no-interest loans worth up to $10,000 for first-time buyers in Coos, Curry, Douglas, Klamath, and Lake
Note that many of these county programs have their own qualification requirements like income limits, homebuyer education course participation, and minimum contributions. Here is a complete list of county-specific assistance programs in Oregon.
Buying A Home In Oregon
Oregon’s high median home value means you don’t have a lot of room for error. Even the slightest missteps can potentially cause you to waste thousands of dollars.
To prevent mistakes and buy homes with confidence, follow these six steps!
Step 1: Start The Mortgage Process
The home buying process begins with a pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender. You can get one by applying for a mortgage and passing the lender’s credit checks.
This document contains key details about your mortgage like its type, maximum loan amount, and interest rate. Pre-approval letters serve as a budget guide for your house hunt and a sign of financial home buying readiness.
Step 2: Find A Realtor
A good real estate agent with local experience is your greatest ally in the home buying journey. They’ll show you the best home deals and provide key insights about the neighborhood, like the average home values and property taxes. When interviewing prospective real estate agents, pay close attention to their years of experience and review scores.
Step 3: Hunt For Homes
Your house hunt should start at the neighborhood level. Pick a neighborhood that fits your budget and search for the most affordable homes there.
If you don’t find a home that ticks all your boxes, consider opting for a fixer-upper. The money you saved by buying a cheaper home can then be used for home improvements.
Step 4: Put Down An Offer
You’re likely not the only one looking to buy the house. Set yourself apart from other buyers and catch the seller’s eye by putting down a larger offer than the listed property value. Consult your real estate agent before doing so to avoid overpaying.
Step 5: Inspect And Appraise The Home
Do your due diligence before scheduling a closing day. Recruit home inspectors and appraisers to double-check your home. You can renegotiate a deal if your home turns out to be overvalued or have serious defects.
Step 6: Finalize The Deal
Have the money to pay your closing costs and origination fees before closing day. During the paperwork signing, have your real estate agent present to answer any questions you may have.
How To Get Better Oregon Mortgage Rates
Mortgages are long-term financial commitments. Any small savings you make by reducing your mortgage rate now will add up in the long run. These tips can help you reduce your rates and maximize your savings!
Work With Mortgage Brokers
Independent mortgage brokers can help you compare lender offers better. Their experience allows them to determine which lender gives you the best value and may even find good deals that you couldn’t find yourself. In some cases, your broker may even land you discounted lender fees or even waive them altogether.
Apply For A Shorter Loan Term
Shorter loan terms come with a lower mortgage rate because your lender bears less risk providing them. Moreover, you make fewer interest payments with a shorter loan term which also reduces your total mortgage expenses.
Purchase Mortgage Points
You can buy discount points to drive down your mortgage rate. Each point is usually worth 1% of your loan and grants you a 0.25% mortgage rate reduction.
However, mortgage points only affect your current loan, so only buy them if you’re not planning to refinance. You can ask your lender for potential savings figures to determine if this is the most cost-efficient path for you.
Follow Additional Rate Reduction Tips
To supplement the three tips above, here are more steps you can do to reduce your mortgage rate:
Increase your credit score
Shop around for loan offers from multiple lenders
Provide a larger down payment
Finding an affordable home in Oregon is tougher due to its high median home value. However, knowing the current mortgage rates and how to buy a home can boost your odds of landing a dream home in the state.
If you’re on the trail for the best mortgage and housing deals in Oregon, Wesley LLC is here for you. Contact our professional team today for more mortgage resources and advice!