Looking for a home in the red-hot Portland market? What you need to know

When Caitlin and Charles Vestal began looking to buy a home in January, the search quickly felt like a full-time job.

“It has been an insane process,” Caitlin Vestal said. “I wasn’t working during the time, and I’m glad I wasn’t.”

The couple moved from Austin, Texas, to Portland last summer, arriving in what would soon become America’s hottest real estate market. Caitlin had been accepted to a graduate program in creative writing through Oregon State University, and Charles landed a tech job at the Portland design and engineering firm Uncorked Studios.

The couple ended up with a small, one-bedroom apartment along Southeast Division street but eventually decided to buy a home – something they’d never done before – with a backyard for their dogs.

Here’s what they found: