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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is zillow zestimate accurate

Is the Zillow Zestimate Accurate? 2020 Update

May 1, 2020

Anyone buying or selling a home in 2020 will frequently come across Zillow’s listing platform and the home-value estimation tool it uses: The Zestimate. Most take the Zestimate as a semi-accurate prediction of the home’s final sales price. But how often is that true? And what goes into creating the Zestimate? Off by $20,000 to $50,000 in most cases. Using Portland, Oregon as our subject for testing the Zillow Zestimate we look closely at the data. First we should note, Zillow has never claimed that the Zestimate is perfect. In fact, Zillow’s website clearly states that the Zestimate “is not an appraisal and it should be used as a starting point.” The disclaimer encourages buyers, sellers and the merely curious...

seismic retrofit portland guide

Seismic Retrofit Guide for Portland Homes

April 27, 2020

As more information, scientific warnings and earthquake maps become available to Portland homeowners, more people are asking their real estate agents about seismic retrofitting. Here’s a quick introduction to what it means to seismically retrofit a home, whether your home needs it done, and how to find the right contractor in 2020.  Seismic Retrofit vs Earthquake Preparedness A seismic retrofit is any action taken to prevent structural failure of the home in the event of an earthquake, and it’s recommended (but not yet required) by the City of Portland. Usually, it involves bolting the home to its foundation (more on that in the section below).  It’s important to keep in mind that seismic retrofitting will not “earthquake-proof” your home. There...

portland bathroom remodel ideas

5 Portland Bathroom Remodel Ideas – Increase Home Value

April 24, 2020

Did you know? Portland home buyers love a remodeled bathroom! It’s true — according to Remodeling’s Magazine’s 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, Portland home owners received 10% more return on investment for a midrange bathroom remodel than the national average.  Bathrooms offer great homeowner value because they’re a room in the house that we use every day. (Especially in the COVID 19 days right!) We go there to relax, rejuvenate and sometimes just to get away. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at just how much value a remodeled bathroom can contribute to your typical Portland home, and provide some Realtor approved improvement ideas! The Value of Bathroom Remodels The first thing to keep in mind about bathroom...

portland housing affordability

Portland Housing Affordability in 2020: More Homes Needed

April 20, 2020

Housing affordability is a big question facing presidential candidates as well as local decision-makers here in Portland, including those who are looking to buy or sell a home in the metro area. While some worry that the coronavirus or COVID 19 situation will crash the Portland real estate market, our current prediction is that it will not. Demand is still too high and our low inventory is about to get even lower. While we will see a major drop in overall real estate transactions, our real estate market will continue forward. For all the reasons why this is the case, or for the latest updates, check out our most current Portland real estate market news section. Taking a look at...

3d virtual tour real estate portland

3D Virtual Tours: The New Standard for Real Estate Sales Everywhere

April 17, 2020

Professional Photography became the Standard in the Last 10 Years I passed my exam and received my license to sell homes in Oregon in 2003. At the time, I was shocked how many real estate agents were still using their cell phones to take dark, blurry pictures of homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the time, our local MLS only let you display 8 photos of a home. This was just 17 years ago. Since being licensed our local MLS increased the photo count to 16, and then finally to 32 photos (where it is now). Similarly professional photography went from perhaps a 30% occurrence in 2003, to practically a 90% occurrence in 2020. Now almost every home...

portland real estate market spring

Portland Real Estate Market – Spring 2020, COVID 19 Update

April 13, 2020

COVID 19 has had a tremendous impact on the spring Portland real estate market. But the coronavirus neither sending housing prices down nor sending prices up. The great real estate balance of the number of available buyers vs. the number of available homes – is about the same, so prices are stable. What has happened is a massive drop in home buyers and a massive drop in available inventory (homes for sale). Enough time has passed that we now have the real estate market numbers to share with you. The market is changing weekly right now. See our most up-to-date Portland real estate market information here. 60% Drop in Home Buyers in Portland Late March 2020 saw the biggest drop...

mortgage deferral portland

1 Step to Mortgage Relief – Portland Homeowners vs. COVID 19

April 10, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020. It extended unemployment benefits for all Americans, proposed “recovery rebates” for taxpayers, and provided a payroll tax credit for all small businesses. The CARES Act also put into place two key protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages: First, no foreclosures will be allowed until May 17th, 2020. Second, mortgage holders may request up to one year of forbearance on their loan, meaning they can stop making payments temporarily if they have been impacted by the coronavirus or COVID19. Here in Portland, many homeowners will be relieved to know that losing their income due to coronavirus doesn’t mean they have to sell their home,...

Portland zip code map

Portland Zip Code Map 2020 Update

April 6, 2020

“What’s the zip?” Zip codes are so much a part of everyday life that we hardly even notice them. Whether shopping for real estate, verifying a credit card or sending a piece of mail, Portland zip codes are a convenient shorthand for location. Also, if you’re new to a city and don’t yet know the zip codes, they can be frustrating! Enter the Portland Zip Code Map. Metro, the regional governing body for Portland and surrounding areas, has the definitive zip code map, available in full-size pdf for handy saving and printing by clicking the thumbnail below. It covers Portland, west to Forest Grove, north into the state of Washington, east to Troutdale and Estacada, and south as far as...

portland home appraisal value

Portland Home Appraisals – 2020 FAQ

April 3, 2020

What’s the difference between the home inspection and the appraisal? Home inspections and appraisals have a lot in common. Both are key to the home sale transaction. Both involve a third party coming into the home to form an assessment. And both can be stressful for home buyers and sellers!  That’s about where the similarities end. A home inspection differs from an appraisal in that the inspection is performed on the buyer’s behalf, and the results will help shape the sales contract. A home appraisal is performed for the sake of the mortgage lender, and the result will only affect how much money the lender is willing to pay for the home. While a home inspector looks at the “guts”...

portland real estate market showings

Home Showings Down 60% in March, 2020: Portland Real Estate Market

March 30, 2020

Okay I know this should come as no surprise, but a lot of home buyers are staying home. This means a number of things and one thing it doesn’t necessarily mean is a Portland Real Estate Market Crash. First, and most importantly, we also need to know how many fewer homes have hit the market. Boots on the ground, it feels like 20% less homes to 40%. Less homes are going live on the real estate market in Portland, but I won’t have the full data for about 2 more weeks when the RMLS puts out their monthly market report (sign up at the link). If there are 60% less homes for sale (it could be that drastic) and 60%...