Should I Buy or Rent in Portland, Oregon?

In Uncategorized by Juli

The transition from renting to owning is a major financial step, but not as significant as you may think in the Portland, OR metro area. You’ll need a down payment of 3.5% – 10%, solid credit and a plan to live in the same place for long enough to make buying worth your time and money. 75% of renters say owning a home is better than renting because it’s a solid investment and protects you from rent increases, according to the Fannie Mae National Housing Survey.


Here’s how the numbers break down:

Average home price in Portland: $395,000

Monthly payment to buy a 3 bedroom/2 bath for $395,000 with 5% down: $2,450

Monthly payment to rent the same house: $2000 – $2600/mo (according to

Down payment: (3.5%) $13,825 – (10%) $39,500

Closing costs: (about 1%) $3,950 (closing costs can be negotiated into the loan. Make sure you have a good realtor, like me, who knows how to do this)

Solid credit score: 580 or better; the higher your credit score, the better interest rate and loan options available for you (I can advise you on credit improvement strategies and introduce you to a mortgage broker who can help you get approved for a home loan)

Rent vs Buy Calculator: Check out this interactive rent-vs-buy calculator or contact me and I’ll run the numbers for you.

How much house can you afford: use this calculator for a quick, no-login-required estimate:


It generally makes financial sense to buy only if you plan to stay in that home for at least five years. You can’t always count on the home’s value to stay the same or increase, meaning you could lose money if you sell soon after buying. The larger a down payment you can make, the more financially secure you will be. You’ll also get a lower interest rate on your mortgage, meaning a lower monthly payment.

If you have questions or are interested in purchasing a home in the greater Portland Metro area, please contact me for more information or to ask any questions you have.*