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!

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portland home energy score program

Portland Home Energy Score Update: 2020

January 17, 2020

When the calendar turned over to the new year, Portland’s Home Energy Score program celebrated its second birthday.  What’s new in the world of Home Energy Scores since they were implemented? To start with, Portland is seeing increased participation in the program, with nearly 13,000 homes scored. The average score, at 4.7/10, continues to be a little bit lower than expected. Also, the City of Portland is cracking down on home sellers (dishing out $ fines) who don’t comply with the rules. 2020 Home Energy Scores in Portland If you’re considering selling a home in Portland and have already talked to a real estate agent, you might already be aware that you need a Home Energy Score before the listing...


is portland safe crime rates

Is Portland Safe? – 2020 Update

January 13, 2020

Is Portland safe, is a legitimate question as Portland, Oregon has been in the news often as of late with many hours of newsreels focused on Antifa and Proud boys or Portland’s growing homeless population. I promise this will not be another polictically opinionated piece in response to that question, but a relaying of the facts. I’m a local real estate agent in Portland, licensed here since 2003, and so livability and quality of life, as you might imagine, is one of the most important things to my present and future clients. The question of whether Portland is safe or parts of Portland are safe, is an important one to my real estate profession. Portland Safety Ratings and Crime Map...


what makes a home sell in real estate

What makes a Home Sell? – 2020 Update

January 10, 2020

There are more ways in 2020 to sell a home than ever before. We discussed the four major ways to sell a home in this detailed real estate podcast: Now we want to build on that and explain the science behind the methods, what exactly makes a home sell in the U.S. in the year 2020 (and beyond). Thankfully every year the National Association of Realtors does extensive research to determine just that, all the forces that cause a home to sell. The profile of home buyers and sellers report is so comprehensive that anything that doesn’t make the NAR list of what causes a home to sell, simply doesn’t make an impact on the real estate market at all....


portland neighborhood best elementary school

Top 3 Portland Neighborhoods for Highly Rated Elementary Schools: 2020 Update

January 6, 2020

Research shows that home values near top-performing schools are valued higher, (whether that is a good or bad thing is not being discussed here, rather reporting that it is a reality) and 50% of buyers say they’ll pay more for a home if it’s near a desirable school. The Portland area is home to hundreds of schools, but not all perform equally. We’ve sorted through the highest rated public elementary schools in the city and matched them with their Portland neighborhood. 1. Southwest Hills The schools: Ainsworth Elementary has a long history in Portland, going back to 1914. The three-story brick building is local landmark, and the school has a robust music and art program as well as a Spanish Immersion...


portland vacant home steps

15 Things you Must-Know Before Leaving your Home Vacant

January 3, 2020

Leaving a vacant home is sometimes a necessary life choice, and not one that homeowners ever feel completely comfortable with. That said, if your situation calls for a home to be vacant for few weeks or even months, there are steps you can take to make it a lot less risky. For the saavy Portland homeowner willing to spend some time and money shoring up a vacant house, the reward is peace of mind.  Top Three Risks for Vacant Homes Everyone has their own nightmare scenario for their vacant home, but the most common problems are these: Deferred maintenance. Weeds crop up in the yard. Cobwebs collect in the eaves. Hinges and locks grow creaky from disuse, and the inside...


portland real estate market review

Top 5 Portland Real Estate Market News Stories – 2019 Recap

December 20, 2019

Like previous years, 2019 was one in which technology dramatically shifted the age-old practice of buying and selling real estate. On one hand, the increased access to real estate market data that we now enjoy allows both buyers and sellers to make better decisions. On the other hand, technology has also clouded the real estate market by inserting iBuyers and corporate investors into what has primarily been a person-to-person exchange. In addition to these stories, we’ve covered important news on affordability and housing here in Portland, including local changes to the way new housing is developed. All in all, we published over 100 articles here on the real estate blog in 2019! Now we’re asking what we can learn from...


oil tank decommission oregon

Portland Oil Tank Decommissioning: 2020 Update Home Hazards

December 16, 2019

If your Portland home has a heating oil tank, even a decommissioned one, you may need to get a new site assessment and/or certification letter from the DEQ before your home sells. This will come as a surprise to many Portland home owners who paid to have their oil tanks decommissioned in the past. No, there hasn’t been a rule change. Decommissioning is still voluntary, and the DEQ hasn’t called for mass recertifications — this is purely based on home buyers’ preferences. Over the past few years, there has been an increase in concern about soil contamination from old oil tanks, even those that had been previously decommissioned, and buyers are testing during their inspection period. If soil contamination is...


real estate agent reviews

Top Real Estate Agent Review Sites: 2020 Update

December 13, 2019

For a long time, unverified online reviews were the bane of the real estate agent’s existence! Now it’s almost 2020, and we can finally celebrate the fact that actual customers are voicing their opinions online, creating a merit-based system in which the best real estate agents win.  However, the saavy real estate agent chooser should know where to look, because fake reviews are still out there (and we’ve been hit ourselves with some bogus spam reviews from people who simply don’t exist. So where’s the best place to find verified reviews of real estate agents from people who actually worked with them? We’re glad you asked! If you’re simply looking for reviews on the Stephen FitzMaurice Team, you can find...


oregon wood stove decommission

Wood Stove Removal in Oregon: 2020 Update

December 6, 2019

Selling a home in Portland? You may have this item on your to-do list: Decommission the wood stove.  Wood stove decommissioning is 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 certified, it must be decommissioned...


portland housing market crash bubble

Portland Real Estate Bubble – Housing Market Crash 2020

December 3, 2019

You have probably started hearing already that the Portland real estate market is cooling, and many now want to know if the real estate market here will crash, are we in a market bubble now and will it pop in 2020? Will the Portland Real Estate Bubble Pop in 2020? We are going to answer that question, I believe fairly definitively (minus any international market calamities that we could not possibly predict), in this article by looking at all of the major drivers within the Portland real estate market and they are these 5: Portland wage rates Portland employment rates Portland new home construction rates Portland housing affordability rates Portland population growth After analyzing these five local market questions, we...