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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best of trulia

Best of Trulia Award

March 18, 2015

The results are in! Trulia.com (currently the 2nd most visited real estate website in the country) has made its list of best real estate agents around the country. It is based on the highest number of positive reviews, matching with a significant number of sales. I’m happy to add one more top real estate agent award to my collection. It is no secret, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, and all the major real estate websites like me. (It doesn’t hurt that I pay them to feature my listings before other homes on their sites!) If you are looking for a top agent (top 1% in Portland) to help you, please contact me today! See my top-notch marketing platform here. See the rest...


portland home value increase

Increase your Portland home value with Short-Term Rentals

March 5, 2015

In July of last year, the city of Portland voted to allow homeowners to offer short-term rentals in their homes or accessory dwellings. Are they the new threat to the sanctity of Portland neighborhoods, or a smart way for first-time home buyers to earn a little money off their investment? Short-term rentals have been embraced in Portland and the world over. Through sites like Airbnb and VRBO, home owners (or renters, with a landlord’s permission) can open up their homes to guests – the paying kind. If you’re the kind of person who likes their space and isn’t into sharing, this probably isn’t for you. But if, to you, a stranger’s just a friend you haven’t met yet, renting out...


fha portland home buyer

FHA Offers 3% Down-Payment Loans for First-Time Home Buyers

March 1, 2015

Starting next month, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — the lenders of the Federal Housing Authority — will offer home buyers mortgages with just a 3% down payment through its Home Possible Advantage loan program. On a $300,000 home, that means just $9,000 up front, plus closing costs. Is this a good idea for Portland home buyers? Most low-down-payment loans have a catch like variable rates or private mortgage insurance for life, but these Home Possible loans are fixed-rate mortgages. They do require mortgage insurance to be paid on top of the regular payment, but only until 20% (a typical home down payment) has been paid in equity on the home. For those who qualify, this is a great way...


portland home staging

Sell Your Home Fast With Professional Staging and Photography

February 23, 2015

Spring buying season is here and Portland home sellers will need to make some big decisions. Picking a great real estate agent is first. After that, it would be a good idea to start thinking about who will help you stage and photograph your home. Is staging really that important? It depends. If you have a big vacant home (2200+ Sq. Ft.) I think it is. If you have a small vacant home typically the buyer’s imagination is enough. If you are currently living in your home, think of the stager as an interior designer with a focus not on what you want, but what sells (what the market wants). My recommended stagers do whole house consultations and it is...


portland plans

Portland’s Housing Market Future – New Downtown Plan 2015

February 20, 2015

City planners, business owners, economists – and busy real estate agents! – agree: Portland’s population is growing. The metro area, which encompasses Multnomah, Washington, Clackamas, Clark, Skamania, Yamhill and Columbia counties, is forecast to reach 2.3 million next year. And that number could hit 3 million or more by 2035. That’s probably why the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is including plenty of housing in its plan to redesign downtown over the next 20 years. The West Quadrant Plan, which will serve as a guide for future Portland downtown investment and development, covers the western areas of Central Portland and areas along the Willamette River, including the Pearl District, Old Town/Chinatown, Downtown, Goose Hollow, University District and South...


portland realtor reviews

Four Tips for More Accurate Real Estate Agent Reviews

February 6, 2015

Real estate agent reviews can be incredibly helpful. Not only do they give the details you’re not going to find in an agent’s own marketing material, they give concrete information that you can use to compare and contrast agents. While it’s easy to find volumes of reviews for established agents, it’s not always easy to find helpful ones. A little online-review psychology: Most people are inclined to write them only if they’ve had a strongly positive or strongly negative experience, which widely skews the available information. Also, reviewers tend to be generic. It’s good to hear the glowing adjectives, but to learn what a client’s experience was actually like, you sometimes have to sift through pages and pages of reviews....


portland real estate market

Portland Market Short Sales and Foreclosures 2015 Update

February 3, 2015

Portland Foreclosures: So five years ago? Not quite. Since the housing bubble burst in 2009, and hundreds of homes went into foreclosure, Portland home buyers and sellers have adapted to a market composed of about 10% bank-owned homes and short sales. While the number of foreclosures has definitely lessened since the burst of the bubble, there are still quite a few entering the market every month. Oregon-wide, foreclosures actually increased in 2014, according to recent reports by RealtyTrac and the RMLS. RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service) tells the story for Portland. They reported that in the 4th quarter of 2014, 12% of new Portland listings were either bank-owned or short sales. Compared to the same period in 2013, that’s an...


real estate market

Portland Real Estate Market Review of 2014, Projections for 2015

January 27, 2015

It’s time to take a look back at 2014 and ask the big question: What kind of a year was it for the Portland real estate market, home buyers and sellers, and real estate agents? If you guessed “great”, you’re right. Home prices went up and so did the number of new listings, and Portland continued to build its reputation as one of the most desirable cities in the country to move to! The Portland RMLS report gives the most reliable data, although reports abound from Case Schiller, Zillow and Truila as well. Starting with the RMLS, we see in this month’s report that the median home price rose 7.7% in 2014, with the average just behind at 7.2%. In...


home buyers guide

A Home Buyer’s Guide to Portland Schools

January 23, 2015

How do you pick a Portland neighborhood to live in? You might want proximity to work, family, or recreational opportunities, but if you’re a parent, chances are schools top the list. There are many ways to figure out which Portland schools are right for your kids. Greatschools.org is a website that offers basic stats as well as user-generated info on schools and is geared toward the home buyer with quick links to real estate available near every school it lists. The school reviews are a little hit-and-miss (that’s what happens when students review their own schools) but the school details are helpful. Check out how many students are enrolled in the school and what kind of special programs it offers....


questions to ask listing agent

Five Questions to Ask a Portland Listing Agent – Before Signing

January 17, 2015

Putting your home on the market is a big decision, one that reverberates through your life and relationships. When the time comes to sell, however, the most important thing is the kind of relationship you have with your Portland real estate agent. After all, they’re earning their commission on your home, and you’re passing along your most valuable – and complicated – asset. Communication is essential! Get started early, make a list of desirable traits you want your real estate agent to have, and let him or her know what your expectations are as well. Most importantly, get the answers to the following questions: 1. Is he or she a REALTOR®? The title of REALTOR® is reserved for members of...