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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house appraisal

How a REALTOR® in Portland can stop a bad Appraisal.

July 25, 2012

These days appraisals are at the top of the deal killer list for residential home sales. Demand in the Portland home market is up and often the market itself doesn’t catch up fast enough. This means that appraisers will be looking at old information that is skewing the way the bank is looking at the current sale. Also, the days have long past where a Realtor can choose an appraiser they trust. Appraisers are virtually randomly selected by the lender with no input permitted. Given these facts, what can be done to stop an appraiser from killing your Portland home sale? 1. Have your Portland Realtor meet the appraiser at the property. Not all appraisers are willing to talk with...

portland real estate market

Portland Home Sales, Prices on the Rise

July 23, 2012

Good news for Portland home sellers: Prices may not be what they were before the housing bubble burst, but they are getting better. Compared to last year, the number of homes sold in the Portland metro area has also risen, shrinking the inventory of unsold homes. The most recent Portland RMLS report, which describes the state of the housing market in June 2012 compared with previous months and years, showed an 8.6% rise in the median sales price over the past 12 months. Still, we’re not at peak 2007 prices, which averaged $355,000 for a Portland home. Now, the average price is $285,000, but that’s after three solid months of improvement. Realtor.com, which publishes national real estate news, also found...

purchasing a portland home

Buying a Portland Home: Tips for Seniors

July 11, 2012

Portland is a great place to retire. Whether you’re a long-term resident or are looking to relocate to a milder climate, Portland offers the right combination of quiet neighborhoods, big-city culture, and outdoor getaways. There are many homes on the market that will be comfortable and manageable for seniors in the long term. There are also some homes that just won’t work – whether because of location, layout or unforeseen structural problems. Read on to learn our tips for seniors looking to buy a home that they can live in for many healthy, happy years. 1. Choose the right neighborhood. Being retired means you’ll have more time to enjoy indoor and outdoor activities of all kinds, and you don’t necessarily need...

short sale assistance for military

New Short Sale Assistance for Portland Military Homeowners

June 30, 2012

New Frannie Mae and Freddie Mac policies will make it easier for military homeowners to short sale their homes when they must move because of a change in station. The Federal Housing Finance Agency announced June 21 that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will no longer be permitted to pursue a deficiency judgment, promissory note or any cash contribution from members of the military who have negotiated a short sale for their home. In Portland, short sales have taken off this year, and with recent federal regulations that have sped up the short sale process, more and more people are choosing this foreclosure alternative. In 2011, short sales made up 11% of all Portland home sales, up 2% from the...

portland sunrooms

DIY Portland Sunrooms Add Curb Appeal

June 11, 2012

In Portland, the one thing we can always use more of is sun. And if you’re selling your home, a sunroom is one feature that might help your home stand out from the crowd and get your Portland real estate agent’s phone a-ringing. A sunroom, solarium, enclosed or covered patio, attached greenhouse, or conservatory are all variations on the same theme: a room, preferably south-facing, that is designed to let in the sun and keep out other elements. They’re a space to keep tropical plants and start vegetables in the spring, or to hang out and watch a storm or the stars. In Portland’s climate, summer days are numbered, but on clear days in the spring and fall your sunroom...

portland real estate agents

How to pick a Portland Real Estate Agent.

May 29, 2012

Since I work with Portland Real Estate Agents everyday on a number of transactions and hear all sorts of things from various people, I thought I’d write a post on choosing a real estate agent (even if you don’t choose myself, though I hope you’d consider it). 1. Customer Service. No matter how experienced and agent is, no matter how much education they have, no matter how good their marketing package is, if they don’t have a customer service focus, don’t pick them. Customer service means picking up the phone or at least calling back within the same day. Customer service means updating the client regularly as the transaction progresses. No Portland real estate agent is worth your time unless...

short sale help in portland

How to Write a Winning Portland Short Sale Offer

May 24, 2012

Nothing is more difficult to purchase these days than a short sale! The numbers on successful Portland short sale offers are terrible, many reports suggest 1 out of 5 Portland short sale offers actually ends up in a sale. While no short sale offer is guaranteed to succeed, there are a number of things a Portland buyer can do to increase their chances of success. 1. Ask your Portland real estate agent to find out how many banks are involved in the short sale. Often a seller will have a first and second mortgage with two different banks and sometimes even a third in the mix with a home line of credit. Simply put, the less banks involved the better...

real estate market recovery

Real Estate Market Confirms Slow Economic Recovery

May 21, 2012

Tracking the economy as it theoretically recovers from the recession is a tricky process. Jobless rates, consumer spending, home prices, imports and exports – each number can give a different report of what the economy is like, from sunny to downright pessimistic. University of Oregon professor of economics Tim Duy puts together an index, the UO Index of Economic Indicators, that pieces together these numbers to give an overall picture of how the economy is doing. His most recent report, released this week, says that Oregon’s economy is continuing to grow, slowly but steadily, in 2012. The index rose 3.6% as of March this year, and consumer sentiment is one of the indicators largely responsible for this gain, according to...

When will Portland sell through its Shadow Inventory?

May 16, 2012

According to Standard and Poor’s first quarter 2012 data, it will take Portland and the country 3.8 years or about 46 months to sell through all of the distressed properties waiting to come out on the real estate market. S&P is counting all the shadow inventory, the number of homes with mortgage payments that are 90 days or more delinquent (many short sales) and those properties already in foreclosure. As for active foreclosures, Portland would sell through its inventory in about 19 months according to RealtyTrac, but this does not include properties currently behind in their mortgage payments. According to CoreLogic, 5.5% of Portland is behind on its mortgage payments. What does this mean for the Portland real estate market?...

real estate time table

Is now the best time to buy a Portland home?

May 14, 2012

According to many Portland Realtors, buying a home may never get any cheaper than right now. Prices are down 34% nationally and even more than that in Portland. In Portland prices have dropped in luxury homes as much as 50% in the last six years (generally speaking the higher the price of a Portland home, the greater percentage of loss in a down real estate market). Other homes in Portland have seen 40% to 20% losses. Mortgage rates are historically low, holding right now at high 3% or 4% depending on your credit. This will not last. We already saw mortgage rates climb in Portland briefly this spring and then plummet down again. Very soon rates are likely to raise...