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Buying a home in the Beaver State can be expensive, but that doesn't mean owning a home is necessarily out of reach. Start by looking at homes in more affordable areas and find the best mortgage rates. Shopping around with mortgage lenders will help you save a significant chunk of money on your housing costs, so make sure you keep an eye on mortgage rates in Oregon.
There are plenty of affordable places to settle down in the state, including the five in the list below.
Pendleton is known as a cow town. It’s a place settlers passed through on the Oregon Trail. The median value is $172,100, lower than the national median of $217,500, according to Niche. Plenty of families live in Pendleton, and the town offers lots of amenities such as an annual rodeo, parks, cultural attractions, bars, and restaurants. Property taxes in Umatilla County, where Pendleton is located, is 1.1%, higher than the state average of 0.87% (according to Tax-rates.org). More than half of its 16,733 residents own their homes.
Also in Umatilla County, Hermiston is the largest city in Eastern Oregon, within a stone's throw of Cold Springs National Wildlife Refuge. There are lots of hiking trails, parks, and coffee shops, making it a great place for those who want access to amenities, but a slower pace of life. The median value of homes in Hermiston is $164,300. Its public schools are rated above average, and 61% of its residents are homeowners. Property taxes are some of the highest in the state at 1.1%.
Altamont has a population of 19,341, and residents here can enjoy a slower pace of life, but with plenty of access to parks and outdoor activities. Perhaps in part because it's close to the California border, Altamont has a median home value of $157,500. But that is still lower than the national median. Part of what makes it one of the most affordable places to live in Oregon is a property tax rate of 0.64% in Klamath County, one of the lowest rates in the state.
The city of Klamath Falls is just north of Altamont, and it's named for falls on the Link River. The area has one the highest concentration of bald eagles in the Pacific Northwest, and plenty of access to outdoor activities like canoeing, hunting, and fishing. The median home value is only $159,500, but more residents rent than own their homes. Schools are rated slightly above average here, and property taxes are 0.64% in Klamath County.
Considered a suburb, but technically within Salem's city limits, Hayesville offers residents access to national parks such as the Chatuge Dam and Recreation Area, and easy access to Salem proper. Many of its 21,979 residents are families, and just about half own their properties. Homes have a median value of $201,700, just below the national median. Property taxes are among the highest in the state at 1%. Niche named Hayesville the most diverse suburb in Oregon.
Finding a home in Oregon involves more than looking for affordable home prices. It also means making sure your credit profile is good enough that lenders will offer the most competitive rates and terms. While you're shopping around different lenders, work to raise your credit score and improve your debt-to-income ratio.
If you want to uncover more about the best mortgage lenders for low rates and fees, our experts have created a shortlist of the top mortgage companies. Some of our experts have even used these lenders themselves to cut their costs.
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