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Oregon bond rate offers record rate ever of 4.5% to first time home buyers

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is spreading the word about the record low fixed rate it is offering to help low and moderate-income households buy their first home. “Our 30 year fixed loan rate of 4.50% is the lowest we have ever offered since the agency launched the program in 1978!” said Bob Repine, OHCS Director. “Today’s low rate makes it more likely than ever that low-income families will realize the ‘American Dream’ of owning a home of their own.” In 2002, the program helped 1,160 families purchase homes in Oregon.

OHCS’s Residential Loan Program, also commonly known as the “Oregon Bond” program, is designed to help eligible homebuyers increase their purchasing power by providing them access to below-market interest rates when financing their first home. The great rates are made possible through the sale of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds issued by the Department. The program offers year-round continuous funding at below market rates.

To qualify for the program the borrower must not exceed the program’s household income limits, be a first-time homebuyer (for most areas of the state), and the property’s sale price must not exceed the program’s purchase price limits. The household income limits are $56,300 statewide; $65,300 for Benton County; or $65,800 for Clackamas, Columbia, Multnomah, Washington or Yamhill Counties. To be a first-time homebuyer, they may not have owned and occupied a home in the past three years. The property being financed must also meet the program’s purchase price limits that vary by county and whether the property is a new or existing home.

The current interest rate for the program is a fixed rate at 4.50% with a maximum loan and discount fee of 1.75 percent of the loan amount. The Oregon Bond Rate is not the only record low. According to Freddie Mac, a nationwide investor in mortgage loans, “The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 5.31 percent, with an average 0.6 point [loan origination fee], for the week ending May 30, 2003, slipping from 5.34 percent the week before. This figure sets yet another record low.” (Source: www.freddiemac.com). These record low rates should help keep the housing market hot throughout the summer months.

For more information about the Oregon Bond program, interested homebuyers should contact one of OHCS’s participating lenders to see if they qualify. To receive a program brochure and a list of participating lenders, please call the OHCS loan hotline at 503-986-2015 or visit our web site at www.oregonbond.us.

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) is the State’s housing finance agency and community services program administrator. The Department provides financial and programs support to create and preserve opportunities for quality, affordable housing for Oregonians of lower and moderate income and administers federal and state antipoverty, homeless, energy assistance and community service programs. The OHCS mission is to “Reach out for opportunities to create partnerships that improve Oregonians’ lives, and the quality of our communities.” For more information on the programs and services offered through OHCS, visit the website at www.hcs.state.or.us.

PO Box 14508, Salem, Oregon 97309-0409
503.986.2000, Fax 503.986.2020, TTY 503.986.2100
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