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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lake oswego real estate

Lake Oswego, Oregon Real Estate Market, 2023 Update

March 31, 2023

Each month we highlight the real estate market of one of Portland’s many desirable suburbs in our Portland Suburb Real Estate Market Reports. This month we will take a look at the desirable Lake Oswego, which lies 8 miles south of Portland in an area known for its natural beauty, thanks to its namesake, Lake Oswego, which is surrounded by parks and provides residents with access to endless water activities. Lake Oswego also boasts a highly rated public educational system and its neighborhoods exude a sense of community. Our focus with this article is to provide an overview of the current real estate market conditions in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Lake Oswego Real Estate Inventory has Stabilized Inventory in Lake Oswego is starting...

oregon wood stove decommission

Wood Stove Removal in Oregon: A Complete Guide

March 28, 2023

Selling or buying a home in Portland? You may have this item on your to-do list: Dealing with decommissioning the wood stove.  Wood stove decommissioning is still a hot topic in Portland because many homes have older wood stoves that are not EPA-certified, and therefore are illegal to sell with the home. Period. Real estate sales contracts will let you choose to make the seller or the buyer responsible for the removal, but the removal of the wood stove in Oregon is not negotiable. It doesn’t matter if the wood stove is not in use, if it is in a shop or garage, or if the wood stove installation is otherwise up to code. If the stove itself is not...

buyers agent commission rates

Average Buyers Agent Real Estate Commission, 2023 Report

March 27, 2023

I love writing about real estate commission. Licensed for 20 years now, I have always been surprised when Realty companies and other real estate agents are hush-hush about their commission rates. I have the opposite approach. My commission rates are transparent and upfront and I write annual reports on local and national real estate commission rates, divided into what sellers agents are charging and what buyers agents are receiving. Typically when a homeowner hires a Realtor to sell the home, they pay both the sellers agent and buyers agent fees. Let’s say the total commission charge is 5% (a common rate these days), the sellers agent might take 3% of that and give 2% to the buyers agent (check your...

Portland Real Estate Market, April 2023 Report

March 24, 2023

As we move into April 2023 after a period of market stabilization, we can anticipate that the Portland housing market will start to warm up as more new homes are listed and buyers become more active. Inventory has been declining since the start of the year and home sales have been rising to meet the supply, and with the market reinvigoration that comes with Spring, we can reasonably expect sales to continue in an upward trajectory. Portland Inventory Has Likely Bottomed-Out and Will Rise in April We are currently positioned on the brink of a wave of new home listings typical of the Spring housing market, so inventory should start climbing as well. But despite an increase in inventory, if...

Top 10 Portland Neighborhoods in 2023

March 17, 2023

The neighborhoods across Portland have so much to offer – whether you’re visiting from out-of-town or want to buy a home in an area that matches your specific wants and needs. What makes Portland neighborhoods unique is that they each have their own distinct “feel”, shaped by their natural surroundings, local businesses and restaurants, and of course the people who live there. The appeal of some of these neighborhoods is the proximity to nearly everything a resident could want, and often within walking distance, so there’s hardly a need to venture outside the neighborhood for daily necessities. Others are surrounded by natural beauty while also enjoying quick access to downtown. In this article we’ll explore ten desirable Portland neighborhoods based...

Whose Fence is it Anyway? How to Resolve Fence Problems with Your Neighbor

March 17, 2023

Living in a city often means living in tight spaces. Portland is no different, especially with the possibility of an increase in additions and new construction, thanks to the city’s new Residential Infill Project (RIP). Homeowners install fences on their properties for a variety of reasons: to keep pets and children safe, to serve as a tidy perimeter for landscaping, and to maintain privacy. It’s been said that good fences make good neighbors, but fences can also cause antagonism when disputes between neighbors arise over property boundaries. Here, we’ll sort through Oregon fence laws and local codes and restrictions and offer some useful tips for resolving fence conflicts peacefully. What Causes Fence and Boundary Conflicts Between Neighbors? Previous negotiation—Your neighbor...

portland new construction homes

New Construction Homes Sell for 16% More Per Sq. Ft. than Resale Homes

March 17, 2023

Selling homes for more than twenty years now (licensed in 2003), one of the rules of thumb in the real estate market I tell my clients is that new construction homes sell for a lot more per square foot than resale homes. Appraisers would never compare new construction homes with resale homes when conducting a report, and Realtors worth their salt would never compare the two when preparing a home value estimate for a client. But in all my years I’ve yet to find a good place to get the hard data, the difference in price per sq. ft. between new and resale homes in our area. So I decided to start my own annual reports on this, so I...

Rent vs. Buy a Home in Portland, Oregon? A Financial Calculation 2023

March 13, 2023

In their 2022 Housing Survey, NeighborWorks America found that nearly nine in ten Americans agree that homeownership is important, and many see both increased feelings of security and connection to their community as significant benefits of owning a home. In reality, being a homeowner extends beyond the property itself to a sense of ownership and shared responsibility in the neighborhood, which leads to more involvement in the community and reduced crime, among other benefits. While owning a home is rewarding, there are times when renting may be a better fit. We’ll explore the options for each in light of the current housing market. Factors to Consider When Deciding to Rent or Buy The first and most obvious consideration is finances:...

downpayment assistance real estate

Down Payment Assistance Programs for Home Buyers in 2023

March 10, 2023

Preparing to buy a home for the first time can be a daunting prospect with all of the factors to consider and steps to complete, not to mention the large financial investment involved in the initial downpayment. Because this is often the part of the home buying process that buyers either find most intimidating or that discourages them from homeownership altogether, we’d like to highlight the many financial assistance programs that are available to help make the dream of homeownership a reality. We’ve done the work of sifting through the federal, state, county and city programs to share the best down payment programs available in the Portland metro area. These programs apply to a range of income levels, so you...

selling vintage real estate Portland

Selling Mom and Dad’s Portland Home

March 8, 2023

Underneath the plains of Romania lies a cave that has been sealed off from the rest of the world for 5.5 million years. According to the BBC, “While our ape-like ancestors were coming down from the trees and evolving into modern humans, the inhabitants of this cave were cut off from the rest of the planet.” Insects, spiders, fungi and bacteria evolved separately in the low-oxygen environment, and scientists have discovered at least 33 species that exist nowhere else on earth! Does this cave sound like a place you know? Before a house becomes a “property” listed on the real estate market, it’s somebody’s home. And some of these homes have been, like Movile Cave, sealed off from the rest...