I'll admit it: I'm going to have you sign something right away. Oregon real estate law says I have to, at our first "substantive meeting." You'll have to sign something saying you got told about it a number of places in the paperwork as we move through your sale, in fact; it's kind of a big deal. There's even a brochure about it, which you should download and read.
Oregon is a state which allows for an agent to handle both the buyer and the seller in a transaction. I could do that. BUT I DON'T. My exception to the rule is if you want to do a transaction with a friend; in that case we'll all sit down over takeout and work out a price everyone is happy with, and everything will be 110% transparent.
You've gotten a copy of this every time you rented an apartment. Here's another. I'll stick one in your file, too.
At HOWNW.com, you can search for programs that can assist with down payments, etc. Beginning 2019, Oregon buyers can also take advantage of a First Time Buyer Savings Account (which you open at any bank), which allows a $5000 deduction on taxes. If you're in Washington, you can get down payment assistance through this program!
Got a remodeling project planned in that new house? (Of course you do, don't be silly.) In Portland, start at the Bureau of Development Services to see if you need a permit - and of course, check the average cost of your project based on this guide updated yearly by Pillar to Post. You can check cost vs value here or here. You'll also want to check with the Construction Contractor's Board to make sure your contractor is licensed and to see if they've had any complains.
I was going to do this project, but Amanda Sprinkling-Felt at True Home Inspections beat me to it: a directory of queer-owned, BIPOC-owned, and women-owned tradespeople, everything from cleaners to movers to plumbers. You can find it here.