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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portland fence disputes

Whose Fence is it Anyway? Resolving Problems with Neighbors.

November 23, 2020

With all that’s weighing on fences, it’s no wonder they’re a frequent source of conflict! In Portland, homes are constructed in some pretty tight spaces, and losing even a few inches of land to a neighbor can feel untenable. The appearance and upkeep of fences is also important, not just for aesthetics but also because fences are relied on to keep pets and children safe. In this article, we’ll attempt to untangle Oregon fence laws, as well the local codes and restrictions that affect their design and use. We’ll also provide home owners and buyers with some practical tips for resolving fence conflicts peacefully. When Fences Turn Contentious  As Portland grows and adds more housing (every lot in Portland can...


portland property taxes to rise

Portland Property Taxes Higher than Ever – 2021

November 20, 2020

Portland passed three new ballot measures this November that will increase property taxes in the city. But even if these measures had failed, property taxes would still go up for homeowners in the Portland metro region, because of the way our tax system is structured. A new report shows that Portland was #5 in the nation for highest property taxes (before this tax increase), but the reason has as much to do with home value assessments as it does the new bonds and levies. It will be interesting to see how Portland ranks in 2021 – will it have the highest property tax rate in the nation? Why do Portland property taxes increase every year? Property taxes are calculated by multiplying...


portland short sale market

Portland Short Sale Market Report – Back in 2021?

November 16, 2020

Short sales were almost non-existent in the Portland real estate market in 2020, representing a fraction of 1% of real estate transactions in the city. However, many expect short sales to rise in 2021 due to the impact of COVID-19 on the economy, and the end of mortgage relief programs that were passed in early 2020. Homeowners who are underwater on their mortgage should choose a short sale over a foreclosure in most cases, protecting themselves by enlisting the help of a Short Sale Certified real estate agent.  Before we get into the differences between short sales and foreclosures, we’ll go over some short sale basics and look at the current market for short sales. For more information on our...


best way to sell a home

Best Way to Sell your Home in 2021

November 13, 2020

Did you know there is comprehensive research done every year on how homes are sold across the country in the United States? The National Association of Realtors, or NAR, conducts the research and makes its reports publically available. The organization breaks down how homes sell across the country – down to a percentage point. The report, called NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers is often hundreds of pages long, but we will summarize it for you here. Rest assured the report clearly shows each year what makes a home sell and how homes get sold. Hard data every seller could use before making a decision on selling their home. Top 4 Ways a Home Sells 1. Home Buyer Searches...


portland real estate zoning changes

Starting 2021, a Six Plex can be built next to any Portland Home.

November 9, 2020

Travel back in time to Portland 150 years ago, and you’d see a housing mix that is different from today’s suburban, single-family-home-dominated neighborhoods. There were garden houses, rowhouses, courtyard apartments and cottages. Density was higher, and nobody needed parking because they used the Portland streetcar to get around (plus cars hadn’t been invented).  This vision has inspired a piece of legislation five years in the making: the Residential Infill Project. The goal of RIP, as it is known around Portland, is to reconstruct that higher-density time in Portland’s housing mix, in a contemporary way. The idea isn’t to strip away all zoning rules and create a housing free-for-all. In fact, RIP received a record-setting 15,000 public comments as it moved through...


portland neighborhood homes for sale

Top 4 Maps for Portland Real Estate Buyers – 2021

November 6, 2020

Shopping for real estate can feel like being toppled by a landslide of information. It helps to have visual aids as you explore neighborhoods, research the amenities that are important to you (whether it’s restaurants, schools or safety), and shop for your dream home. Fortunately, in 2021, interactive maps are ready to help you organize your search.  Map 1: Portland Homes For Sale We’ll start with the most obvious map to use first if you’re ready to start comparing home prices, lining up in-person or virtual tours, and creating sharable a list of your favorite homes on the market: Portlandhomesforsale.com Here are some of the maps you can make with its powerful search tools: A map of homes in your...


new construction rates portland

New Home Construction Dropped in Portland 2020, Will it Recover in 2021?

November 2, 2020

Like everything else this in 2020, new construction in Portland was hit by the pandemic, but signs are already pointing to a healthy recovery in 2021.  To understand what’s going on with the new construction market, let’s take a look at new construction permits that have been issued, under review, and finaled (meaning the building was completed) in Portland, and compare those to previous years.  Here are the new residential construction permit numbers for the first nine months of 2020, direct from the City of Portland database. So far this year: 540 new residential construction permits have been issued 294 are under review 714 have been finaled As you can see from the chart below, 2020 will be a five-year...


zillow real estate agent

What is a Zillow Real Estate Agent?

October 30, 2020

Does Zillow have their own Real Estate Agents? Okay so let’s first clarify. Does Zillow have their own Realty company with their own agents? Yes and no. Zillow does not have any agents within their company that you can call to list your home on the public market, or go help you find your next home – at least not yet. Zillow has employees that happen to also have their real estate license that assist Zillow with their “Zillow Offers” program. Basically it is one of many iBuyer programs that makes a cash offer on your home (typically way under market value) for those home sellers that are willing to prioritize convenience over sales price. So while you can’t yet...


portlands top suburb beaverton oregon

Beaverton, Oregon: Portland’s Top Suburb 2021

October 26, 2020

It would be difficult to name a more quintessentially Oregon suburb than Beaverton. Inspired by Oregon’s state mammal which also adorns our flag, the word “Beaverton” aptly describes the city next door to Portland, surrounded by nature and thriving with industry.  Beaverton Oregon Basics Beaverton is a popular suburb because of its proximity to Portland, its stand-alone qualities as Oregon’s sixth-largest city, as well as great schools, many acres of parks and natural areas, and a strong economy.  Beavertonians who commute to Portland travel an average of 7 miles, or 20 minutes by car. The area is also serviced by the MAX Blue Line (light rail), which carries over 55,000 people on an average weekday between downtown Portland and Beaverton,...


real estate delayed closings

19% of Home Sales are Delayed in Escrow

October 23, 2020

Delayed in escrow? You’re not alone. According to the National Association of Realtors’ most recent Confidence Index Survey, only 77% of homes close escrow on time. Another 19% are delayed but close eventually. In 4% of home sales, the contract is terminated and the home does not close.  Escrow begins at the moment the seller accepts an offer on the home and the buyer deposits earnest money. It ends at the “closing”, when the final paperwork is signed and the sellers hands off the keys to the buyer. Generally, real estate agents and their clients try to avoid moving this date, but sometimes pushing it back is the only alternative to having the deal fall through.  Why would escrow be...