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.

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basement adus portland oregon

Basement ADUs: 2020 Portland Guide

February 28, 2020

For many Portland homeowners, having an Accessory Dwelling Unit might be the ticket to affordability, renting out a second unit on your property. Or, an ADU might allow you to take care of an aging relative, or simply create housing out of what was unused space.  Most people think of a backyard cottage when they think of an ADU, but in fact, many Portland homeowners have legal ADU potential right under their feet: in the basement! Now that Portland has updated its zoning rules to allow for ADUs on most city lots, 2020 may be your year to build a basement ADU. But before you start picking out wall colors and furnishings, there are four essential questions you must ask...

portland earthquake map

Portland Earthquake Maps: 2020 Guide

February 24, 2020

Yes, there is a certain amount of earthquake risk in Portland, but the good news is that geologists are getting better and better at understanding, mapping and even predicting seismic activity. Maps can also help us be better prepared for disasters by showing were resources and hazards are. Take a look at these Portland maps before you buy a home.  The Top 5 Portland Earthquake Maps of 2020 1. Latest U.S. Earthquakes Map  (Click the header links to go to the earthquake maps.) For those fascinated by seismic activity, this live US Geological Survey map provides up-to-the-minute information about earthquakes happening around the globe. Earthquakes appear as dots on the map; the colors indicate how long ago they happened. The...

school ratings change home value

School Ratings Impact Home Values: 2020 Update

February 21, 2020

A lot of things matter when it comes to the final sale price of a home – its size, location, age, even energy efficiency. But one major influence we’ve seen emerging in the real estate market over recent years is school ratings. In 2020, home buyers and sellers alike need to be aware of how the schools near their home are rated, and how that rating can affect home values both now and in the future. Why School Ratings, Why Now? As real estate agents, we have to know and respond to market forces, even as we try to combat misconceptions about what makes a school, home or neighborhood desirable or undesirable. It’s difficult in the case of schools because...

portland best neighborhoods

Top 5 Portland Neighborhoods: 2020 update

February 17, 2020

Searching for a home in Portland in 2020, but not sure where to start? In this blog post, we give you an overview of where the neighborhoods are in Portland. Then, we name our top 5 hot picks for affordable, fun, and friendly places to live in the city. What are the Five Sections of Portland? To be prepared to look at homes in Portland, home buyers should familiarize themselves with the Big Five: The Southwest, Northwest, North, Northeast and Southeast sections of Portland. These areas are defined by rivers and major roads, and each has their own unique character. Check out PortlandNeighborhood.com for an incredible clickable Portland neighborhood map, and guide, as well.) Southwest. When you enter Portland from...

top real estate websites by traffic

Top 10 Real Estate Websites by Traffic – 2020 Update

February 14, 2020

Real estate websites have a huge impact on the housing industry. Nearly every American spends time on one real estate website or another, looking for homes for sale, researching home prices, and staying in touch with the real estate market. NAR, the National Association of Realtors, reports that 95% of home buyers will search for their next home online. This report specifically focuses on websites buyers are using to search for homes. We pay extra on the top real estate websites. It is obvious where home buyers are, and we watch the numbers closely. Because most home sells are due to internet marketing, we track where the buyers are engaging online and pay extra money direct to real estate websites...

portland elementary school ratings

Top 5 Highest Rated Elementary Schools – Portland Metro 2020

February 10, 2020

Talk to five students attending any given school in the Portland area, and you’re likely to get five different answers to the question “Is this a good school?” The truth is, there are many factors impacting student performance in 2020, from teachers to administration, to the student’s own home life and level of interest.  On the other hand, there are schools that excel – and some that don’t – in measurable areas like graduation rates, student-to-teacher ratio, and staff turnover. While we can’t give a complete picture of what life is like in every school in the Portland metro area, what we’ve done here is gleaned the Top 5 public elementary schools, using two trusted online sources for school performance...

escrow earnest money fact fiction real estate

Escrow and Earnest Money FAQ – Fact or Fiction

February 7, 2020

“Escrow” is a hard-working word in real estate. It’s also the process (Or is it just a period of time? We’ll get to that in a minute) with a number of pitfalls for first-time home buyers and sellers. On the other hand, even experienced real estate agents have been known to believe some of the escrow and earnest money myths that circulate regularly. In this article, we’ll break down some of the “facts and fictions” you’re most likely to hear about escrow in 2020. Fact or Fiction? “Escrow” refers to a bank account, not a period of time, so you shouldn’t say “in escrow”. Fiction! Escrow is both – in fact, you could say that escrow is three things: A...

portland kitchen cabinets home value

Best DIY Kitchen Cabinet Ideas – Improve Home Value in 2020

February 3, 2020

Update, Don’t Replace Cabinets Buyers are serious about wanting fresh kitchen cabinets in their home. According to Remodeling Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value report, a minor kitchen remodel — new cabinets plus appliances, flooring and paint job — will offer a higher return on investment than major kitchen renovations, and buyers in Portland are especially likely to pay top dollar. Although one Houzz.com study found that 3 out of 4 kitchen remodelers opt for full cabinet replacement, this investment is unlikely to pay for itself when the home goes up for sale. In this article, we’ll focus on updates to existing kitchen cabinets that will give the whole room a fresh look.  How much to spend on kitchen cabinets for...

portland real estate market forecast

2020 Portland Real Estate Forecast (final)

January 31, 2020

This is our final Portland housing forecast for 2020, updated from our first prediction written in August. In this article we are going to address the financial market indicators that bolster a relatively stable real estate market prediction. We are going to address interest rates, housing affordability, foreclosure rates, construction rates, and crime statistics. See the initial 2020 forecast for a break down on your home’s value forecast based on specific criteria, such as its price range and the type of home you own. Of course for an exact home value estimate or forecast of your property, if you’re considering selling in the next year or two, call us direct and have us out to meet with you. Portland Real...

portland flood map

Portland Flood Maps: FEMA 2020 Update

January 27, 2020

Climate change, winter storms, questionable levees — the average home shopper has many good reasons to consider Portland flood risk before they buy. Your buyers’ real estate agent is a great resource, and should have information on hand about what the flood risk is for a home that you’re interested in.  For those who prefer the DIY approach, Portland flood maps available online allow you to check the potential for flooding at any given address. The maps we use most often in our real estate office are the Portland Flood Hazard Map and the FEMA map: Portland Flood Hazard Map The City of Portland has an impressive collection of online maps that allow the average person to find out just...