Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger Cookie Gets Her Own Yard in Mill Park

Cookie Gets Her Own Yard in Mill Park

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, April 13, 2020

Cindy and Oscar got in touch with me in what feels like a lifetime ago- mid January of 2020. They were eager to become homeowners, and after having gone through the process of trying to buy a home last year only to have it implode with a very low appraisal, they were ready for a fresh start. New agent (me), new lender (Umpqua) and a new year. They love mid-century homes and were looking for a home that wasn’t in perfect cosmetic condition. They love to garden and were looking forward to having a yard for their beloved pup Cookie.  In late February we looked at a a 1960 tri-level in a picture perfect mid-century block in Mill Park. The home hit most of their marks- it was in good enough shape to move into, had hardwood floors, mid-century charm, and a beautiful yard. They also wanted a home that would work for multiple generations for parents to move into eventually and kids in the future, and with the tri-level layout, it had the perfect floor plan for being able to do so.  It also needed a face-lift, something Oscar and Cindy actually wanted to do on a home. It had been on the market for almost 2 months, and while it was priced lower than what neighboring homes had recently sold for, it definitely needed some vision and felt overpriced considering how much work it needed. They decided to keep looking and found another great mid-century home in Milwaukie that they loved and decided to put an offer in on. That home had multiple offers and went for way over listing price, so they did not get that house. But all the while, the sweet tri-level in Mill Park kept calling to them. So a little over a week after they first saw it, we wrote up an offer for $25k under list price. The sellers countered back with $20k under list and my buyers accepted.

The following week everything in the world was still “normal” and we had our home inspection. The inspection turned up a few unexpected things and a lot of expected things. The house needed a new roof, a new electric panel and other assorted repairs and upgrades. Even though my buyers were under contract to purchase the home for $90k less than the house 2 doors down that went on the market and went pending in 2 days after my buyer’s offer had been accepted, we were able to negotiate a credit for a new roof and the seller replaced the panel. By the time we were at the end or our repair negotiations, the quarantine order was in place, and thankfully everything went smoothly and Cindy, Oscar and their pup Cookie were able to close on time.

Alyssa Isenstein Krueger



I am living the dream. Working as a real estate broker in my home town brings this native Portland gal joy beyond measure. I took the round-about-road towards this career. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in NY two decades ago with a degree in liberal arts/creative writing, I returned to my hometown of PDX and got a job in a legendary record store of days gone by, worked as a music and culture writer for Portland’s oldest weekly publication while pursuing a graduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning at Portland State University. Armed with my masters degree, I moved into the realm of affordable housing, community development, and urban planning, and then rounded the corner with a long stay in arts management then back around the bend when I got my real estate license and went to work for a non-profit housing builder at the cusp of the market crash in 2007. In the time between that market crash and the ensuing madness, I’ve stayed on top of the market like a dog guarding a bone. Using a magical combination of experience, instinct, and market data, I know what homes are worth, I know how to write a terrific offer, and I know how to help a seller market a home and receive and accept a great offer. Mutual trust and tender relationship building is the basis and foundation of my real estate practice. I use my skills as an active listener, creative solution finder and ace negotiator to get my clients the best price on a home, win the multiple offer roulette, and have as smooth and easy transaction as possible. Timely and responsive communication is the most important aspect of building trust and I don’t take that part lightly.  I am a stickler for details and nothing pleases me more than guiding a client through the home buying or selling process (and sometimes both at the same time). My role is one of advocate, advisor, partner, transaction organizer, and counselor. I am a partner broker with Portland Housing Center and relish the opportunity to work with eager first time home buyers. I have a knack for seeing the potential in almost any home and love to help clients see past what is and help them envision what can be. I have a decade of first-hand experience renovating and caressing my bungalow in Ladd’s Addition and had the honor of having my own home featured in a story in the Oregonian’s Homes and Gardens section. I can feel the love for any and almost all homes, but my heart goes all aflutter when entering a museum quality time capsule house -- the solid mid-century ones with the original pink or green tiled bathrooms, those charming early 1900’s farmhouses with the original kitchen cabinets and fir countertops, the cozy bungalows with the built-ins still intact. When I’m not working with clients, you’ll find me hanging with my two boys, Kalman and Saul, and my husband Robert, a Fine Art Conservator with his own business, Cascadia Art Conservation Center.  Retired racing greyhounds have been my constant companions since 1997, and our family includes Peanut the greyhound, Pinto the South Korean Italian greyhound, and our chickens, Rosie, Lola, Squishy, Duck and Prince. I am an obsessive gardener/plant fiend and love that we live in a climate where I can grow eucalyptus trees (I have 5 in my yard including a couple I started from seed) alongside blueberry bushes (6 in my yard). Given some free time, you’ll find me junking at an estate sale, dreaming of high brow junk, low brow art, making things, sewing, reading and dreaming of tropical locales.
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