Many people who are being priced out of Seattle are turning to Portland for greener pastures. Seattle’s median home price at the end of September 2020 was at $773,508, and Portland’s median home price was at $451,000.
Portland is the most affordable West Coast city, hands down.
Obviously, $773,508 vs. $451,000 is a huge difference, and your money can go so much further in Portland. Plus, many people who start the home buying process in Seattle are shocked when they started getting serious about looking at loans.
Portland’s conforming number is $510,400. So anything listed above that means you need to have cash in hand (or do a jumbo loan). The thing that is important to know is that in King County (where Seattle is located), Pierce County, and Snohomish County, the conforming loan limit is $741,750 in 2020. So anything over this amount, you have to have in cash (or again, do a jumbo loan).
Let’s say you have $300,000 in cash in Seattle. You can get a $1 million house with a conventional/conforming loan. (And if you have $300,000 in cash in Portland, you can get a $800,000 house with a conforming loan. If you have $200,000 in Portland, it = a $710,000 home.)
Long story short: If you’re coming from Seattle, you have more buying power in Portland.
Not only that, but Portland offers many of the same things that Seattle does. Think about why people love Seattle. They love the close proximity to the outdoors, they love the great foodie scene, they love access to a booming tech scene, and many people love to travel and have easy access to an international airport. Portland has all of this, too, and you can have access for a LOT less money. Especially with more and more companies switching to remote work, this opens up your potential for what city you’re going to live in a whole lot more.
People who have tried to buy a decent house in Seattle for $500,000 know that this just isn’t going to happen. Maybe you can find something in a neighboring suburb that needs some fixing up. In Portland, you can buy a rad home for $500,000.
A $500,000 budget in Portland is amazing!
Here are a couple of homes in Portland that show examples of what you can buy at Portland’s median price point and at Seattle’s median price point:
This 2-bedroom, 1-bath home is a solid example of what you can buy for $450,000 (Portland’s September 2020 median price point) in Portland, Oregon.
This historic 4-bedroom, 2-bath home is in Portland’s Alameda neighborhood, one of the most expensive neighborhoods in the city. This is a great example of what you can buy at this price point in Portland (and remember that Seattle’s September 2020 median home price was at $817,000).