Research Portland Neighborhoods like a Pro

portland neighborhood research

Home buyers often find themselves in a catch-22. They want to buy a home in a neighborhood they love, but how will they know they love it until they’ve lived there?

It’s a real problem, considering that there are 95 different neighborhoods in the city of Portland alone, each lying within one of the five major quadrants: Northwest, Southwest, Northeast, Southeast and North Portland. (The Willamette River divides the east and west of the city, while Burnside Avenue divides the city north and south.) On top of that, Portland has many suburbs and unincorporated communities that our real estate team covers as well.

Where should you get started? Online is simplest and you avoid traffic! After some preliminary research you may want to drive around and visit some of the neighborhood amenities. Finally, once you have a good idea of what you might like, contact our top 1% buyer’s team! They are happy to show you around and can add their own researched insights into your Portland home search efforts. In fact, if you’d like to start with meeting the Portland Buyers Team, we can do that too and help point you to some neighborhoods that match your price range and some of the amenities you’re looking for (i.e. transportation access, shops and restaurants, home styles, micro-climates, etc.)

There are some things you can’t learn by simply spending some time in a place, and that’s where the internet comes in really handy. Whether you want to learn about local schools, crime rates, or the likelihood that your street will flood in a storm, Portland has tools for that.

Here are my top real estate agent recommended sites for DIY research. Of course, if you’re too busy or don’t feel like figuring it all out, you can always ask your buyers’ agent!

Now that you know the basic geography of the city, visit for more detailed information. Enter an address, and this site will not only tell you which neighborhood it’s in, but provide you with extensive data on crime, schools, traffic, development and more. Click on the “Advanced” tab and then “Gallery” to find specialty maps. Even as a real estate agent, it seems like I always find out new information when I go to this site. The latest map is “ADU Friendly Tax Lots”, which can help you find a home that potentially allows you to build an Accessory Dwelling Unit for rental income.
2. Walk Score. This website is definitely advertising driven – look out for ads disguised as helpful links! – but there is good information here based on data collected on the ease of walking and biking around. Scroll down for a list of the most walkable neighborhoods in Portland! You’ll be surprised to learn that some are ranked low, where the city has not yet added sidewalks. Other neighborhoods, like Hollywood and the Pearl District, are ranked among the best in the nation for walkability!

3. Here’s an easy-to-use website that gives an overview of user-collected data on neighborhoods, as well as information that might be more reliable if you look elsewhere, such as the home value indexes. Still, some of the written reviews can be helpful if for some reason you’re unable to visit the neighborhood yourself!

4. Oregon’s School Report Cards. If you have school-age children, the state of Oregon requires districts to put out report cards on their schools. Use portlandmaps or to find the school your child would be enrolled in, then go to the portal to find out how that school is graded.

April 21, 2017

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

4% max to sell a home in Portland and SW Washington.
4.25% max to sell a home in Salem and Bend.
Over 2,000 homes sold.