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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sewer scope portland

Portland Home Tests: Sewer Scope!

May 29, 2014

Continuing our series on home tests Portland real estate agents recommend on older Portland homes, let’s talk about everybody’s favorite subject: Sewage. Okay, most of us would rather not think about what happens when we flush the toilet or run the garbage disposal, but just as you wouldn’t buy a home with fraying electrical lines or rusted-out water pipes, you should look into the condition of your potential home’s sewer system before you commit. In case you weren’t aware, all of the drains in your home’s kitchen, bathroom, laundry, etc., are connected to a sewer pipe that you become responsible for when you buy the home. Your sewer pipe runs under your front or back yard to connect to a...


portland home sales

Portland Home Sales, Acquisition Statistics, First Half 2014

May 21, 2014

Okay, so the 2014 Portland real estate market is not quite half over yet, but we are close and I find the acquisition numbers fascinating so far. In the last six months, 3734 Portland homes have sold and 961 Portland townhomes and condos. Of the regular Portland home sales, 762 or 20% were cash sales. A whopping 2533, or 67%, were conventional loan sales. 344, or 9% were FHA loan sales, and finally 95 or 3% were VA loans. The remaining 1% of sales were “other” financed, either seller financed, lease option, trade, or a rehab loan. In regards to townhomes and condos in Portland, 961 sold in the last six month. An amazing number of those sales were cash,...


radon tests portland

Portland Home Tests: Radon Gas

May 14, 2014

What’s invisible, odorless, creeps in your basement, and kills 21,000 people a year in the US alone according to the EPA? The answer is radon gas, and to be more specific, it comes from naturally occurring uranium in the rocks and soil underneath homes, including many in the Portland, Oregon area. And homes without basements can have a radon problem, although it is less likely. Pro tip: If your Portland home is on a crawlspace, be sure that all the crawlspace vents are open and not blocked with debris. If the crawlspace is open and well ventilated the chances of failing a Radon test drop to nearly zero in the Portland area. Here’s what you need to know: Radon gas...


portland real estate market

Portland Real Estate Market March 2014: Fresher than ever

May 7, 2014

Things that aren’t very good stale: Crackers, beer and the Portland real estate market. Luckily, Portlanders can fear no more this spring about stale real estate because the real estate market is fresh as a newly hatched chick (besides, here in the rainy Northwest, soggyness is a greater danger than staleness). According to a recent Trulia report, relative to the rest of the country, the Portland real estate market sells homes at one of the fastest rates in the nation. This month’s RMLS numbers back up the report. Inventory, an important marker of how quickly homes are passing from the hands of sellers to buyers, fell to 3.1 months in March. Average total time on the market was 85 days....


portland home appraisal

Appraisal FAQ – Need to know info. for Portland Home Appraisals

April 22, 2014

A home appraisal is part of nearly 95% of Portland real estate home sales. It is not 100% because around 5% of sales in Portland, Oregon are cash and do not require an appraisal. (Pro Tip: A cash buyer can hire an independent appraiser to evaluate the home and make their offer contingent on their satisfaction of that independent appraisal. This is not common, but also not a bad idea.) Also appraisals are used for home refinances, but in this article we will focus on an appraisal for a real estate transaction in Portland. Here is what you need to know about Portland home appraisals: Who pays for the appraisal? The buyer pays for it and it is not included...


lead pipe testing portland

Portland Home Buyer Tests: Lead Based Paint, Lead in Pipes

April 21, 2014

Many home buyers come to their Portland real estate agent with concerns about potential hazards and unseen risks in the Portland home they have their eye on. And well they should! Just because a home looks perfect on the surface doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dig a little deeper, especially if it’s an older home. Based on the experience of a Portland real estate agent, I’ll be doing a series of blog posts on home buyer tests – simple ways for you, the home buyer, to know if materials like lead, asbestos and radon are a problem for a given Portland home. Let’s start with lead. Once considered a great base for paints and water pipes because of its corrosion-resisting properties,...


portland real estate market

Best time to sell a house in the Portland real estate market.

April 9, 2014

There is a lot of debate in the Portland real estate industry surrounding the best time of the year to sell a Portland home. What I’ve found listening to the debate is that most Portland real estate agents are talking about it based on their experience. Experience can be useful, but when you’re considering broad questions, a bigger data picture is much more useful than one agent’s experience. So I will share my experience as a top Portland real estate agent, but I will also use the official Portland real estate market data as obtained from RMLS. (You can also sign up here to get it for free.) Big data picture for the Portland real estate market. Take a look...


first time home buyer

Six Strategies for First-Time Portland Homebuyers

March 31, 2014

Once in a while I try to stop, take a step back and ask myself: If I were a first-time homebuyer, how would I dive into the complex and exciting task of buying real estate in Portland, Oregon? Portland home buyers today are inundated with choices and information, from the ubiquitous real-estate-agent-ad-on-a-bench, to 3D tours that launch from craigslist ads. With so much at your fingertips, here’s a quick rundown on what to do – and who to listen to – first. 1. Nail down your price range. It’s not just about getting pre-approved for a mortgage, although you’ll want to do that, too. But banks and lenders are good at luring home buyers into spending more than they intended....


portland real estate market

Portland Real Estate Market News: Busy, Snowy February 2014

March 15, 2014

RLMS Market Action report for the Portland Metro Area, released this week, focused on February’ highlighted the number of closed sales in February, a whopping 1,467. According to the report, this was the best February in the Portland real estate market for closed sales since 2007. What does that mean? The average time on the Portland real estate market right now is 100 days, so it’s safe to say that it was a good winter for Portland home sales. Deals that were made in January, December, even November, closed last month and 1,467 happy home buyers and sellers went their separate ways. Following these leading numbers was the news that new transactions didn’t happen as prodigiously in February as they...


bathroom remodels

Boost Portland Home Values with Smart Bathroom Remodels

February 27, 2014

Before listing your home with a Portland real estate agent, you may be looking around at what you can fix up to improve your home’s market value. In my experience, home buyers in Portland are always attracted first to the kitchen and the bathrooms, and these rooms can really be the deciding factors in whether or not they love a home. We blogged about remodeling your kitchen in four easy and budget-friendly steps, so now let’s cover bathrooms. The most important thing to remember in any resale-focused home remodel is to be sure you’ll get a return on your investment. It seems basic but it is the easiest thing to forget in the throes of fixture shopping and bathroom-gutting. By...