Portland Real Estate Blog

This is a top 100 real estate blog in the world according to Feedspot.com. In particular, this is a local real estate blog written by a top 1% real estate agent in the U.S., Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor. Stephen regularly reports on the greater Portland metro area’s real estate market including annual housing forecasts and best time to sell or buy a home reports. He gives home selling and home buying professional advice. He also writes informative articles on Portland neighborhoods and suburbs as they relate to the real estate market. Finally, he writes to inform the general public about real estate agents, such as annual average real estate agent commission reports and more.

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real estate stories

A Day in the Life of a Portland Real Estate Agent: Spider House

May 9, 2012

A lot of people ask me, being a Portland real estate agent, “What is the worst house you have ever been inside in Portland?” I’ll tell you a quick story with a Portland home-care moral. The spider house. As many of you know, Portlanders often let their houses blend in with the vegetation. Sometimes it is hard to know where the yard ends and the house begins. Well, this house looked like a jungle from the outside, in fact, I couldn’t see the house from the curb. What I could see were spiders. Four spider webs blocked the open front gate; I cut those webs with a folder and stepped into a spider death maze. All around this terrified real estate agent, countless...

short sales and foreclosures

How many Short Sales and Foreclosures are there in Portland?

April 30, 2012

The reports are in. In 2011 there were 8,590 short sales listed in the Portland metro area, of which 3,668 sold. Also in 2011, 8,134 foreclosures were listed in the Portland area and 7,802 sold. 45,256 regular homes were listed in the Portland area and 22,823 sold. Last year about 27% of homes listed were distressed (short sale or foreclosure), but the sales of distressed properties accounted for 33.5% of all sales. All statistics are provided by your Portland real estate agent and RMLS, Regional Multiple Listing Service in Portland. In 2012, especially in the fourth quarter analysts are projecting a large increase in foreclosures hitting the market in the Portland area. This will not necessarily cause great damage to...

portland affordability

How affordable is the Portland Real Estate Market?

April 27, 2012

Nationally, you’d have to go back more than 50 years to find a more affordable time to buy a home in America. Locally, in Portland’s real estate market, you’d have to go back even farther. Affordability is an easy measurement. Basically, affordability is simply the percentage of a family’s income that goes towards a home mortgage payment. Nationally in 2010 14.2% of people’s income went to pay their home mortgage. In 2011 that percentage shrunk even farther to 13%. In the Portland real estate market the numbers are even better: 13.9% in 2010 and a huge drop in 2011, all the way down to 11.4%. It might be a good idea to talk to your local Portland real estate agent...

Portland Short Sale Timeline

Portland Short Sale Timeline – Important News

April 20, 2012

Beginning June 15th of this year, all Portland short sales backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should expect to receive a bank response to any offers that come in within 30-60 days. A big push is happening at the government level to make short sales work. The FHFA, Federal Housing Finance Agency, has said that short sales are an effective alternative to foreclosures and short sales help to maintain stable communities. This push to increase the speed of short sales in Portland and across the nation will address the number one complaint of buyers in the Portland real estate market, it takes too long. The average time to close a Portland short sale transaction at the time of this...

own a home in Portland

In Portland, Buying a Home is Cheaper Than Renting

April 13, 2012

Max Radi and his partner Seth are not your typical homeowners. As recent college graduates with entry-level jobs, they were just looking for a decent place to rent near downtown Portland one year ago. “Then we started thinking about how we could get a decent return on our investment,” Max says. He looked at the numbers and realized that the cost was about the same to rent as to buy a condo in downtown Portland. “When you’re renting, that’s money you’re losing,” he says. When the two expanded their home buying search to condos outside the downtown neighborhood, the options were greater and the savings even more substantial. Seth had no credit, but Max’s credit was good enough to qualify...

realtor or real estate agent

REALTOR® in Portland vs. Portland Real Estate Agent

April 9, 2012

Logos for all three REALTOR® associations. Not all Portland Real Estate Agents are REALTORS®. The term “REALTOR®” is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. All REALTORS® in Portland are real estate agents, but not all Portland real estate agents are REALTORS®. This membership is much more than a networking group. A REALTOR® in Portland is held to a higher standard, the Code of Ethics put out by the NAR, a 17 point pledge to give ethical customer service. For instance, the first pledge is a promise to put the interests of buyers and sellers ahead of their own and to treat all parties honestly. All...

portland neighborhood map

Buying a Portland Home: Which Neighborhood Are You?

April 5, 2012

Some cities are defined by a sports team, a university or an industry, but Portland, Oregon is a city of neighborhoods. The homes, businesses, institutions and open spaces that comprise Portland’s neighborhoods create distinct personalities, embodied by the individuals who call their Portland neighborhood their home. When relocating to or buying a home in Portland, it’s important to consider which neighborhood you want to be a part of. This decision will affect what kind of home you live in, where your kids will go to school, how you’ll get to work, what kind of groceries you’ll buy, whether you’ll feel safe at home, and much more. Start by thinking about where you currently live. What do you like or dislike...

portland home prices rising

Going Up: New Apartments, Portland Home Prices

March 20, 2012

The average price of a home in Portland is up and the total number of residential properties on the market remains low, according to the most recent Market Action Report from the Regional Multiple Listing Service. Good news for sellers, but with the city’s population climbing at a steady rate, where is the needed housing to come from? Enter the apartment developers. In 2012, 21 new apartment projects will open around the Portland area, according to a recent report in the Portland Business Journal. Those projects will alleviate the tight the rental market in the city, which saw vacancy rates fall from 5.6 percent in 2009 to 3.6 percent last year. Many of these new apartment buildings are selling out...

landscaping tips

Sell Your Portland Home: Landscaping Tips

March 2, 2012

Spring is here, the perfect time to make some improvements to your property to boost your curb appeal to Portland home buyers. A well maintained outdoor area speaks volumes to potential buyers about the quality of the home and the neighborhood they’re investing in. If you’re even considering putting your home on the market this year, start now to save yourself time and money in getting your landscaping up to snuff. Here in Portland, Oregon, we’re known for our luxurious outdoor spaces. It’s not hard to establish one for your listing even if you only have a few months. Shop early for good deals on small trees and shrubs that will add dimension and character to your landscape. Look for...

picking a mortgage lender

How to Pick a Mortgage Lender in Portland Oregon.

February 22, 2012

How do I pick a Mortgage Lender in Portland? There are three basic choices when you are ready to find a lender for your Portland home. 1. Brick and Mortar bank: This refers to a Wells Fargo, US Bank, Chase, etc. that has a local presence and services the public’s checking and savings and well as many of their loan options. 2. Credit Union: Similar to a brick and mortar bank, these banks provide all encompassing financial services, but they are non-profit institutions and tend to provide a higher rate of return for their members (instead of their stockholders). 3. Direct Lending Mortgage Company: These companies focus exclusively on real estate lending. They often have a physical location, but not necessarily (like...