Portland Real Estate Blog

This is a top 100 real estate blog in the world according to Feedspot.com. In particular this is a Portland real estate blog written by a top 1% Portland real estate agent, Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor. Stephen regularly reports on the Portland real estate market, including short sale and foreclosure news. He gives home selling and home buying tips. He also writes informative articles on Portland neighborhoods. Finally, he writes to inform the general public about real estate agents and the industry.

You can subscribe to this Portland real estate blog via email (or by RSS button below), look for the sign up form on this page. Relevant articles will appear next to every post. I truly hope you will enjoy this world-class Portland real estate blog!


portland rental law landlords

Portland Rental Law: What Landlords should Know in 2021

September 18, 2020

The Portland real estate rental market was pretty eventful for rental owners in Portland in 2020. For long-term rental/investment property owners, the contentious FAIR ordinance went into effect city-wide in March, but was soon overshadowed by COVID and the subsequent ban on evictions. Short-term property owners saw a dip in bookings as well, but the situation resolved itself more quickly. Let’s review what the changes were for rental owners in the Portland real estate market this year, and what you need to do to be a successful rental owner in Portland in 2021 and beyond. Before we get started, we should say that we are not lawyers and that this blog post is not intended to be a complete guide...


portland real estate photography

Professional Real Estate Photography Sells Homes

September 14, 2020

As a real estate agent, it’s hard for me to name just one thing that sellers MUST do before they list their home for sale. But getting professional photographs of the home is pretty high up on the list. There’s just no arguing with the facts: A well photographed home is a home that sells more quickly, and often for more money.  Professional vs. Non-professional Photos Let’s make a distinction between standard, camera-phone photos and professional photography. The pictures that most real estate agents take are simply inadequate for accurately displaying a home online. Even though high-megapixel smartphone cameras are pretty nice these days, they’re not good enough to replicate professional photography.  Professional photography isn’t just about the high-end camera,...


sellers closing costs to sell a home

How much are Sellers’ Closing Costs to Sell a Home in Oregon?

September 11, 2020

The seller pays for the title insurance closing cost. A home seller has to pay for the title insurance cost, title insurance being that policy purchased to protect the buyer from a false or hidden seller. Title insurance covers the passing of ownership to the buyer and by Oregon state law, is paid for by the seller. Title insurance rates change, but a rough estimate for today is about $1350 for a $500,000 home. The price goes down if the home sales price is less and up if it is more. It is my understanding based on industry experience that this title insurance cost cannot be passed on to the buyer. The seller pays for half of the escrow closing...


flooring choices for home remodel portland

Top 5 Flooring Choices – Portland 2020

September 7, 2020

The past decade has seen a move away from carpeting and toward easy-to-clean, hard-surface flooring. In particular, hardwood flooring is huge in 2020, and products that mimic the look (and sometimes the feel) of hardwood floors are a close second. New advances in graphic tiles, vinyl and engineered lumber have embraced the wood-look trend, but are these products the safe and green options that buyers are looking for? Let’s take a look at this year’s Top 5 flooring materials, and how they stack up for your home value.  Genuine Wood Portland, like many places in the Pacific Northwest, has a long-term love affair with wood building materials. Hardwood floors are the basic definition of a classic Portland home, no matter...


what is real estate escrow

What is Real Estate Escrow and How Much is It?

September 4, 2020

Going through the escrow process can be a bit like an obstacle course: You pay to get in, and then there are a lot of hoops to jump through before you end up closing on your home! A good real estate agent can help you avoid the pitfalls. In this article we’ll attempt to give you a preview of the escrow process and associated costs.  So what is escrow?  According to Investopedia, “Escrow is a legal concept describing a financial instrument whereby an asset or escrow money is held by a third party on behalf of two other parties that are in the process of completing a transaction.” That’s about as clear as mud so let’s break it down! Basically, escrow is the...


sell a vacant home or occupied

What Sells a Home: Vacant, Seller, or Tenant Occupied?

September 1, 2020

2020 Real Estate Market Update. You’re getting ready to sell your home and you wonder, should I move out and vacate the property for the real estate market, or should I stay and not worry about it? Or let’s say you’re getting ready to sell your investment property with tenant inside. Should you wait until they leave to put it on the real estate market, or is it better to sell with a tenant inside? A lot of articles we write might have a 10% – 15% impact on selling a home, such as picking the right time of year to buy or sell. Even a 10% difference in being able to sell a home is huge. But occupancy, who...


portland real estate roof types

Pros and Cons of Top 5 Portland Roof Types

August 31, 2020

A good roof is something we take for granted until a big storm comes through or it’s time for a replacement. That’s why we’re bringing you our unbiased, real-estate-agent-approved list of the Top 5 roofing materials in Portland, and the pros and cons of each. Except where noted, pricing information comes from Home Advisor, per “square” of roofing which covers 100 square feet. This doesn’t include the cost of installation. Wood (Cedar) Shake Roofing in Portland Cedar is the most common type of wood used for roofing in North America. Cedar shakes (the term for cedar shingles cut for roof application) look beautiful and natural, but come with some drawbacks. Cedar shake roofing Pros:  It’s a natural look with great curb...


portland trimet max line tigard

Portland’s MAX Light Rail: Where’s it going in 2020?

August 28, 2020

The MAX (short for Metropolitan Area Express) is the only light rail system in Oregon and the fourth-busiest in the country, after systems in LA, Boston and San Fransisco. The service, run by TriMet, hopes to gain funding to expand MAX service into Tigard and Tualatin in 2020. This year also brings fresh challenges in maintaining ridership and safety. We’ll look at some 2020 updates for the MAX, but first, a little background on the trains that are ubiquitous across Portland. MAX Quick Facts 60 miles of rails run the MAX light rail from Hillsboro to Gresham; Portland Airport to Milwaukie and just about everywhere in between. It has five color-coded lines (blue, green, orange, red, yellow) and 94 stations...


portland real estate forecast 2021

2021 Portland Real Estate Market Forecast

August 25, 2020

The 2021 Portland real estate market is full of uncertainty, but we’ve experienced enough of the post COVID19 housing market to have some confidence in creating a solid forecast. We will follow up with a second housing market projection in Jan. 2021, but this should be a good guide to any home buyer or seller in the Portland real estate market today. First we will start with a collection of real estate industry predictions: 2021 National Real Estate Market Predictions -1.5% Housing Price Drop, Zillow -6.6% Housing Price Drop, CoreLogic 2021 Portland Real Estate Market Forecasts -2% Housing Price Drop, Zillow +1% Housing Price Increase – My Prediction Will my Home Increase or Decrease in Value in 2021? Honestly that...


oregon wood stove removal guide

Portland Home Testing: Wood Stove Removal 2020

August 24, 2020

A 2014 DEQ survey of Portland residents found that more than half of those who burn wood for heat are doing so with uncertified wood stoves. In fact, there may be as many as 80,000 uncertified wood stoves in Oregon!  Why are uncertified wood stoves a problem? They’re one of the biggest sources of air pollution in Portland. According to a Multnomah County report, residential wood smoke accounts for 11% of all cancer-causing air pollutants in the area. In addition to containing particulate matter small enough to enter the body through the lungs, wood smoke can be source of formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds.  “Certified” wood stoves control emissions by re-igniting toxic compounds in the smoke before it escapes out...