I lived in lovely, fabulous San Francisco for 12 years before making my way to Portland over 8 years ago. Back in the day, i'd be paying exorbitant rent - and was therefore never in a position to buy anything (very little savings, no down payment, and finally - self-employed).
When my husband and I first visited friends who had moved here - we fell in love! It was a gorgeous summer day and everything was so green and lush. We were invited to a an amazing block party with food, drinks, music and friends. We looked at houses that were within our reach! We loved all the micro neighborhoods with local flair and character. And finally - we could park. ANYWHERE. Sign us up!!
We are living in our 2nd home now and love it here. Our kids are firmly entrenched in our local elementary school and we can walk everywhere. The community, the food and the shopping are all incredible. The only thing that gets me down is too many gray days. But mark my words: Spring is coming!! And we get a real, honest-to-warmness, no fog, tank-tops-at-night summer.
So if you're thinking about making the trek up north, let's compare what you're getting in SF for $3100/mo rent vs. what you can buy with a $3100/mo mortgage up here (let's just assume 20% down). Also I threw in the cost of a condo with smaller square footage to see how easy it can be to get in the real estate ownership game.
Example #1/San Francisco/Lower Pacific Heights
Here you'll find a 1 bed/1 bath apartment with 773 sf! Does not included parking - but you can pay $275 for a parking spot. Monthly rent is $3100 (and I bet there is a hefty deposit, plus 1st and last to move in).
Example #2/Portland/NE - Equivalent price
For less than the rent above, you could afford to buy a $500,000 home. This example is a 2004 sf home with 3 beds and 2 baths. Walkable to several cool neighborhood commercial districts. Cute yard and it even has a skateboard ramp in the basement (!). Tons of character too.
Example #3/Portland/Equivalent space
Le's say you don't need a 2000 sf house! What if you're happy with a smaller space - less than 1000sf? How much would that cost you here? This modern condo is a 1 bed/1 bath with 679sf. List price is $240K. With only 5% down payment, your monthly payment would be $2,140 (including HOA dues). Which means you could save about $1000/month and be earning equity in your own investment.
Intrigued?? I just attended a 1st time homebuyers seminar and there are some amazing programs out there! Email me and we can start a conversation.