Real Estate Blog

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In a recent Portland Monthly article, Randy Gragg offered “six imperatives of Portland’s future,” a series of factors and strategies for dealing with the city’s massive population influx as it is projected to bring some 200,000 new residents over the next two decades.

The article draws from an interview with former San Francisco and Portland head planner Gil Kelly (he’s about to take on the same role in Vancouver, BC), who spoke with Gragg this summer as part of the ongoing Bright Lights discussion series produced in conjunction with the University of Oregon's John Yeon Center.

I enjoyed the combination of article and discussion as an excuse to think in a long-range way about some of the architecture, infrastructure and open spaces the city will

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Thanks to websites like Houzz and Pinterest and TV networks like HGTV and DIY, it’s easier than ever to keep up with home decorating trends and find inspiration for improving your own home. Here are five of the top current interior design trends.

 1. Screen-free rooms: After a long day of using your smartphone and computer, it can feel amazing to come home and take a technology break. More and more, homeowners are creating specific screen-free rooms—perhaps a library, craft room, or listening room—where you can escape from technology for a while.

 2. Upholstered headboards: What if you could feel like you were sleeping in a luxury hotel bed every night? The bedding and mattress are an important part of that experience, but so is the aesthetic

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With all the money you pay for a home, you want to make sure you spending your hard-earned dollars on a legitimate piece of property—and that’s where a title company comes in.

When you purchase a home, a title company will research the property to ensure that you are the rightful owner. They’ll look through records for anything that might cause problems—ownership disputes, restrictions, unpaid taxes, liens, and more. Their goal is to document the chain of title and identify any issues that could become major problems down the road.

At the end of the process, the title company issues a title opinion. This is a legal document that states that the title is valid.

The title opinion is part of obtaining title insurance. The insurance protects both the

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There’s no more important time to work on your credit score than when you’re about to apply for a mortgage. Improving your credit can save you a ton of money—we’re talking about thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Here are the actions you can take that will have a notable impact on your score.

Pay down your credit card balances
Credit utilization is one of the biggest factors in determining your credit score. Your credit utilization should at least be less than 30 percent of your limit, and it’s even better if you can get it below 15 percent. This rule applies to both individual cards and your overall credit limit.

It may even be worthwhile to use some of the cash funds you were planning to use for a down payment to pay off credit

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Los Porteños 10th Anniversary Reading 7 p.m. Thursday, Literary Arts, FREE

iO Tillett Wright 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Powell’s City of Books, FREE

Jonathan Safran Foer 7 p.m. Friday, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing, FREE

National Geographic Live: Exploring Mars 7:30 p.m. Friday, Newmark Theatre

Jacob Needleman 4 p.m. Sunday, Powell’s City of Books, FREE


Bianca Del Rio 8 p.m. Thursday, Newmark Theatre

Trevor Noah 7:30 p.m. Friday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall


Dinosaur Jr. 8 p.m. Thursday, Crystal Ballroom

The Music of David Bowie 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall

Bebel Gilberto 7:30 p.m. Friday, Winningstad Theatre

Different Trains 7:30 p.m. Friday–Saturday, Oregon Rail

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Many property purchases are funded through FHA loans. How does this effect the appraisal process? Here is some insight into what inspectors are looking for and how to prepare your home to pass inspections with flying colors. 

Per FHA Single Family Housing Policy Handbook, “HUD requires every property to be safe, sound, and secure to be eligible for FHA insurance”. The property must also comply with HUD’s Minimum Property Requirements (MPR) and Minimum Property Standards (MPS). These requirements and standards form the basis for identifying the deficiencies of the property that the appraiser must note within the appraisal form and that must be addressed by the mortgagee before closing.

FHA Roster appraisers must report all readily observable

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It’s easy to get stressed out just hearing the word “renovation.” You’re instantly thinking of having your home life disrupted by construction debris, cluttered rooms, and loud noises.

But you don’t have to spend a ton of money and brace yourself for months of inconvenience to upgrade your home. Here are a few projects that you can knock out in a single day, and they’ll greatly improve the look and enjoyment of your home.

Paint or replace an exterior door: If you know the correct dimensions and specifications for a replacement door, replacing an exterior door is a quick and easy job. That’s even more true if you’re repainting it. Preparation and a few coats of paint will only take a few hours.

Plant some low-maintenance trees: Young evergreen

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Unless you built a custom home, you probably have a long list of things you’d like to improve in your current home. Browsing online listings might get you in the mood to upgrade to a new home, or you might be thinking about renovating your current home after binging on HGTV. The answer to renovation vs. relocation depends greatly on what you’re trying to fix.

Thinking about a new kitchen?
If you’re dreaming of a chef’s kitchen with new appliances and beautiful cabinets, renovating your own kitchen gives you incredible ROI and is less costly than moving. You’ll increase the value of your own home if you ever decide to sell, and there’s a great sense of accomplishment that comes with completing a custom renovation.

Need more space?
If you’re

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You may think that sale price is the only factor when you’re looking at comps and trying to set a price for your listing. But it’s actually a bit more complicated. Here are five things that affect comps that you might not be aware of.

 1. New construction nearby: Because of low prices for lots and varying prices in home building materials, new homes can actually be cheaper and cost less per square foot than existing homes. If there’s a lot of new construction nearby, that can affect the price for your own listing.

 2. Renovations: Recently renovated homes typically sell for more than homes that haven’t been updated in a while. If you’ve recently upgraded your home—especially sought-after upgrades like the kitchen or master bath—your home should

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