Portland Real Estate Blog

This is a top 100 real estate blog in the world according to Feedspot.com. In particular, this is a local real estate blog written by a top 1% real estate agent in the U.S., Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor. Stephen regularly reports on the greater Portland metro area’s real estate market including annual housing forecasts and best time to sell or buy a home reports. He gives home selling and home buying professional advice. He also writes informative articles on Portland neighborhoods and suburbs as they relate to the real estate market. Finally, he writes to inform the general public about real estate agents, such as annual average real estate agent commission reports and more.

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rent vs buy a home portland real estate market

Rent vs. Buy a Portland Home in 2021

January 25, 2021

Potential first-time home buyers in 2021 have some tough decisions to make. Buying is always seen as more financially advantageous than renting, because the value of your investment will go up over time. After accumulating some funds for a down payment (and some roommate horror stories), most renters will attempt to buy a home in an area where they plan to stay for 6-10 years.  But is 2021 the year to do it? Initially you might think “no” when you consider that prices for Portland homes have climbed 7% over the past year, and a median-priced home is selling for close to half a million dollars as of January 2021 (according to the RMLS and Zillow). You’re better off buying...

when to sell a home in Portland

Best Month to Sell a Home in Portland in 2021

January 22, 2021

Every year I write an article on the best time to sell a home in Portland and a separate article on the best time to buy a home in Portland. (All of those articles are collected here.) And every year (except for 2020) a reader will notice that the Portland real estate market follows near-identical seasonal trends (with some variance each year) meaning in our metro there is an overall good season to sell a home and a different overall good season to buy a home. The best overall season each year to sell a home in Portland runs from mid-Jan. to early June. The best overall season to buy a home in Portland runs from late July through the...

House model on human hands with dollar icon.

Should You Sell Your House Online? 5 IBuyer Options

January 20, 2021

There’s no getting around it: the importance of an online presence for buyers is growing. In 2019, 93% of people shopping for a home used an online website in their search. But what about sellers? It’s likely that by now you’ve seen advertisements for companies that will buy your home hassle-free. These “iBuyers” pitch themselves as the easiest way to sell your home fast. Redfin and Zillow have been expanding their home buying programs for years now, with Zillow announcing in 2019 an intention to focus even more attention on Zillow Offers. And more iBuyer startups have joined the game. But how exactly does selling your home online work, and more importantly, what will it cost you? We’ll lay it...

portland home energy scores

Home Energy Score: Expanding beyond Portland in 2021

January 18, 2021

In 2018, the City of Portland began requiring that home sellers obtain a Home Energy Score Report before listing a home for sale in the city. This report, much like a miles-per-gallon rating on a car, allows home buyers to compare homes by energy efficiency.  As Portland home sellers gradually began scoring the city’s housing stock, buyers became accustomed to seeing the information included with the listing details for a home. Milwaukie created a similar Home Energy Score requirement in 2020, other cities across the state have begun considering making the Score mandatory in their jurisdictions, as well. Given that most of the housing stock in the region is older, with many homes in dire need of energy upgrades, the...

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Happy Valley, Oregon

January 15, 2021

When Shakespeare pondered, “What’s in a name?” … he probably wasn’t thinking about neighborhood incorporation and real estate. But the origin of Happy Valley’s name brings a little intrigue to the table. Local lore claims that the name originates from neighborhood youths who got into some hard cider before church services. Their boisterous singing dubbed them the “happy boys from the hollow,” and the name followed. However, even the city’s website acknowledges that this is most likely a tale spun for marketing purposes. Well, we can’t blame them, as the strategy has clearly worked. Happy Valley has been one of the fasted growing cities in Oregon for the past several years, and clinched the number one spot in 2020. PSU’s...

Interior design of scandinavian open space in stylish home staging.

How Much Does Portland Staging Cost?

January 13, 2021

Even if you’re a first time Portland home seller, chances are you’ve heard something about the benefits of staging a home. Staging has become a standard feature of many major real estate reality shows, and it is undeniably fun to watch as lived-in homes are transformed into elegantly styled spaces. But one thing these shows never tell you upfront is how big a chunk staging takes out of your wallet. How much does Portland staging cost? (We are going to tell you exactly.) And are you likely to see a return on your investment? We’ve reached out to some trusted Portland staging companies to find out how much staging is likely to cost. Keep reading for our analysis of how...

portland population growth

Are People Moving Out of Portland? 2021 Population Update

January 11, 2021

It’s fair game to say that we’ve had quite a dramatic year here in Portland. Between the pandemic and the protests, many may be wondering if folks are moving out of Portland in search of safer cities or quieter suburbs. When it comes to this hot button topic, some trends you may have seen in the news may include: Condo Sales Are Down. Are slowing condo sales across the city an indication of people avoiding making the move to Portland? Crime May Be Up. While national media covers the downtown protests, is crime in Portland rising? An Uncertain Economy. It’s no secret that it’s been a tough year nationally and globally. How does Portland’s economy match up? Rest assured, we...

2021 portland real estate market forecast

Portland Real Estate Market Forecast 2021 – A Boom Year

January 9, 2021

Each year we research and put out two Portland real estate market forecasts, one in the fall prior and one in January of the new year. Every year until now those two forecasts have lined up fairly closely. In 2021 we have a different story to tell. First off, it is important to realize that when you have an ever-changing powerful force (like a worldwide pandemic) normal factors that make for an accurate real estate forecast can be easily blown off track. Now that we have had enough real estate market time dealing with COVID19 and we have a clear path to a vaccine, it has become much easier to forecast than it was this fall. Quick summary to catch...

portland real estate flood map

New Portland Flood Map for 2021

January 4, 2021

Floods don’t just destroy homes and carry away vehicles, they also destroy infrastructure and cut off access to the outside world, sometimes for days at a time. When shopping for a home in Portland, having the right tools at hand to understand flood risk is essential. In some cases, it can be pretty clear that a home is directly in a flood zone where floods happen frequently. But more often, the answer is less clear-cut. First, we’ll explore the traditional way to view flood zones using FEMA and other government maps. Then we’ll get into detail on an exciting new tool that gives address-by-address information about flood risk. How to view flood zones using FEMA and City of Portland Flood...

gresham real estate market

Gresham Real Estate Market: 2021 Update

January 1, 2021

Known for affordability, diversity and a welcoming attitude, the Gresham real estate market east of Portland is experiencing renewed interest after 2020 turned the real estate market on its head. Whether you’re considering getting out of the city and closer to the Columbia Gorge, or are looking for a starter home in an affordable neighborhood, Gresham and the neighboring cities of Troutdale, Fairview and Wood Village provide bountiful options. Plus, they are closer to the ever-gorgeous Mt. Hood and many of the homes come with spectacular views (article photo). Gresham vs. Troutdale/Fairview/Wood Village With a population of over 110,000, Gresham is the second biggest city in the Portland metro area after Vancouver, Washington, or the largest if you’re not counting...