Portland House Flipping Guide

Portland House Flipping Guide

This Portland house flipping guide will help new and active house flippers do business successfully in this city.

People continue to move to Portland due to a strong economy from technology, sportswear companies and breweries. With an unemployment rate lower than the national average, and a young and vibrant workforce and jobs that are expected to grow in the future, Portland is an excellent place to invest in real estate.

Income taxes may be higher than other states, but sales tax is at zero meaning Portland is attractive to retirees looking to buy homes as well.

Market supply of houses is generally low comparable to housing demand, creating great profit opportunities for investors.

The overall population of Portland is growing and household income is higher than the national average. Working adults with families in the area consistently buy homes. Portland boast some very good neighborhoods and school districts for families.

There are house flipping and real estate investment groups in the area to learn more about the business and to meet other investors.

Key House Flipping Stats for Portland

Population647,805 and 5 year growth rate of 1.49%
IncomeAverage Household Income of $71,931 and 5 year growth rate of 18%
Home ValueAverage price of 3 bedroom 2 bath home of $399,000 and 5 year growth rate of 38%
Cost of LivingPortland is 108 vs 100 for the U.S. cost of living index
New Home Starts14,504 and 5 year growth rate of 18%

Portland Property Taxes

Clackamas County

Roughly 0.85% of a property’s assessed fair market value are collected as property tax. The average yearly property tax paid by Clackamas County residents totals about 3.66% of their yearly income.

For properties that are the primary residence of the taxpayer, a homestead exemption may exist.

This may also help protect the home from being repossessed in the case of a property tax lien due to unpaid Clackamas County property taxes or other types of other debt.


Washington County

On average, 0.93% of a property’s assessed fair market value is collected as property tax in Washington County. About 3.4% of resident’s yearly income is paid as property tax.

You can get an application form for the Washington County homestead exemption from the Washington County Tax Assessor. This can provide a small tax break for properties which are used as the primary residence.

Other tax exemptions might be available for farmland, green space, veterans, or others. Call the Assessor’s Office to find out more information.


Multnomah County

On average, 0.99% of a property’s assessed fair market value as property tax in Multnomah County. About 3.96% of residents’ yearly income is paid as property tax residents in this county.

Get a Homestead Exemption to help protect your home from being repossessed in the case of a property tax lien because of unpaid Multnomah County property taxes.


Portland Area Flood Zones

Columbia River FIRM Flood Zone AE.

Multnomah Drainage District No. 1 

Columbia River FIRM Flood Zone A.

Willamette River FIRM Flood Zone AE.

Johnson Creek, Fanno Creek and Crystal Springs Creek FIRM Flood Zone AE.  

Johnson Creek FIRM Flood Zone AH.

Johnson Creek FIRM Flood Zone AO. 

Johnson Creek, Fanno Creek, Tryon Creek, and Crystal Springs Creek FIRM Flood Zone A.

Flood 1996 inundation areas adjacent to Columbia River FIRM Flood Zone AE, Multnomah Drainage District No. 1, Peninsula Drainage District No. 2 Firm Zone AH and Columbia River FIRM Flood Zone A shall have freeboard of one foot.

Portland Crime Rate

Portland Crime Rate410 crime index versus 280.5 U.S. average

Portland Transportation

Portlanders use public transit at a higher rate than in most similarly sized U.S. cities.


TriMet operates a large fleet (610 buses) on a network with a total of 80 bus routes.

Trains and Light Rail

Portland’s light rail system, named MAX (short for Metropolitan Area Express), is made up of five color-coded lines.

The central parts of Portland are served by The Portland Streetcar, a two-line streetcar system serving the central part of Portland including downtown and the immediately surrounding areas.

The cities of Wilsonville, Tualatin, Tigard and Beaverton are connected by
TriMet’s WES Commuter Rail.

For long-distance passenger rail service , travelers can use Amtrak to travel to and from Portland.

Aerial Tram

The Portland Aerial Tram is an aerial cableway that connects the South Waterfront district with Marquam Hill above the city.


Bicycle use is popular in Portland has been growing quickly over the past decade. The city core is very friendly to bikes and people who walk to work or for shopping.

Many streets in Portland are one-way, such that parts of downtown Portland are almost all one-way streets that form a grid of alternating street traffic.


There are a large number of bridges in Portland to travel across that give the city its nickname of “Bridgetown”.


The Portland International Airport (PDX, KPDX) serves as Portland’s main airport and is located about 20 minutes by car from downtown.

Ride Sharing

There are also car sharing services for those living in downtown Portland or in nearby neighborhoods through Zipcar.

Neighborhoods to Flip Houses in Portland

Eastmoreland is one of the best neighborhoods in the Portland-metro area. Highly rated public schools, low crime, active nightlife, and good for families. Average home values are around $733,000.

Arlington Heights is another excellent neighborhood for families and public schools. However, diversity is a little bit lower, and crime is not as low as Eastmoreland. Average home values sit around $787,000.

Healy Heights has top notch public schools and very low crime. It is an overall great place to raise a family. Average home values are around $725,000 in this neighborhood.

Richmond has an average home value of $379,684 compared to $440,072 for Portland overall. Houses built there are also much older than in the rest the city. The crime rate is also slightly higher, but it does have decent schools. This could be a great area to flip houses in Portland.

Lake Oswego has the best school district in the Portland-metro area. Very high state test scores in math and reading and a student-teacher ratio of 22 to 1.  Lake Oswego is right nearby and so is downtown Portland. Average home values are near $650,000.

Portland Foreclosure Auctions

Foreclosure property sales are held at 12:00 noon at City Hall Atrium inside City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, OR 97204

Also see:

The City of Portland Foreclosed Property Auction Information

The Daily Journal of Commerce Sheriff Sales

Oregon State Sheriff’s Sales

Auction.com Portland Foreclosure sales

Portland Tax Assessments

Multnomah County Assessment and Taxation

The Multnomah Building
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Suite 175
Portland, OR 97214


Customer Service
[email protected]


Portland Deeds and Titles

The counties that make up Portland record documents related to property transactions such as mortgages and deeds. This information can be accessed through the Division of Assessment, Recording and Taxation’s Public Research Room. Online information can be found through their two online databases,  MultCoPropTax and MultCoRecords. Both require registration for full access but MultCoPropTax permits limited access through a guest login.


Also, Portland Maps can provide basic property information including ownership information.

Portland Zoning

City of Portland Development Services:

General Information (503) 823-7300

Planning & Zoning (503) 823-7526

Email: [email protected]

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201


Portland Residential Permits


  • Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU’s)
  • Garage, Shed Accessory structures
  • Fences
  • Conversion to Living Space
  • Residential Demolition
  • Residential Seismic Strengthening
  • Decks
  • Retaining Walls

Portland House Flipping Tips


Local Portland laws tend to discourage quick flips. So you should really look to add value by renovating and rehabbing properties with a longer holding period. Portlanders are interested in their community and don’t want prices to skyrocket with speculators. Buying houses in poor shape and fixing them up signals you’re a good member of the community and will get you lots more leeway with taxes, permits, financing, etc.


If you’re into quick flips or wholesale deals where you’re not adding a lot of value, you could run into trouble with taxes, permits, and local approvals.

Portland is a very wet, rainy environment most of the time. This can cause a lot of wood rot and mold issues. Avoid houses with these types of problems and make sure you inspect and budget for them carefully. Add at least 10% to the total cost estimate as a safeguard to these unforeseen problems.

What to Look Out For

Stay away from Eastern neighborhoods that are further from I-5, as these are potentially more crime-filled.

Because it rains a lot in Portland, instability in the soil is an issue. This is usually related to hill slides or the water table. Portland has some areas that you have to pay particular attention to the topography for a number of reasons, one of which is where homes have been built on or near sides of hills. There are also some areas of the city that have water problems in basements due to this same situation.

In particular, the west hills and surrounding areas have had some slope instability issues. In fact, many homes in Portland older than 40 years will have some settlement issues. Inspect the foundation and soil stability/drainage carefully. Having a good inspector familiar with these issues is key to staying out of trouble.

Leaked contaminants from asphalt can be an issue so be sure to get soil and water tests done. If you buy a property, you will inherit the clean-up costs from any contaminants in the soil.

There are some areas of town that have high water tables that create water problems in the basement.

Look out for flood zones because there are settling issues for homes built in low areas that have flooded. Sinking problems take a very long time to sort themselves out, if ever.

Real Estate Flipping and Investing Groups in Portland

Northwest Real Estate Investors Association

Northwest Real Estate Investors Association
15532 SW Pacific Hwy, C1B PMB 312
Tigard, OR 97224

Phone: (503) 482-6955


Oregon REIA

1430 Willamette Street #103

Eugene, OR 97401 Phone: (541) 393-2508


RareBird Investor Network


[email protected]

800 NE Broadway St. Portland, OR 97232


Portland House Flipping Outlook

With a growing population, limited housing supply, low taxes and plenty of houses to rehab, Portland is a good place to invest in house flipping. By being prepared and using all available resources to guide you, flipping houses in Portland can be a very lucrative endeavor.

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