Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger It Takes A Village to Buy A House

It Takes A Village to Buy A House

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, May 10, 2021

Back in 2015 I helped one of my very favorite people Tiana purchase a home in Cully on a large lot with her then wife. Back then, the market was competitive, but not so competitive that a buyer with only a small down payment couldn’t get a house on the first offer they wrote. Two and a half years ago life circumstances changed and Tiana and her ex-wife broke up and I helped them sell the house. At that time in late 2019, the market had pretty much flat-lined, and when we sold that house, it did take a few weeks to go pending. Ever since then, Tiana has talked about getting back in the market to buy another home.

And then in January of this year, Tiana and her now partner Mallory hit the “go” button and were ready to start shopping. Which is pretty much exactly the same time everyone else in Portland decided they needed to buy a house. Within only 5% down and not having the ability to make up a gap in case the appraised value came in lower then the purchase price, Tiana got caught in theloop of writing offer after offer after offer. Each offer she wrote was easily $25k-$60k over asking, and every single time, she was either outbid or someone else had better terms. And then on the 7th try, we found a home in Brentwood Darlington that was perfect in just about every way. It was super cute, mid-century ranch  with 3 bedrooms, a large kitchen, sunny windows and a huge yard. And like every other house she wrote on, this one also had multiple offers. But this time, Tiana’s lender, the one and only Jennifer Leon at Umpqua Bank who I work with all the time, happened to also be chummy with the listing agent. Jennifer called the listing agent and expounded on just how wonderful a person Tiana is, and how much both Jennifer and myself have invested in seeing Tiana become a homeowner. And it worked!!! The sellers decided to sell to Tiana even though there was a couple of offers that were higher and presumably had better terms.

The inspection turned up a few issues that need addressing, and because of the multiple offers the sellers were understandably not willing to give my buyer a credit or do any repairs, but all of the issues are fixable. And then the piece we had all been dreading came to pass. The house appraised for $27k under purchase price. Big ouch. Tiana did have some funds to make up a tiny portion of the difference, but not enough to even get close to the purchase price. We submitted a reconsideration of value and the appraiser did come up a bit, so between what the appraiser came up with and the small amount of additional down payment Tiana was able to bring in, the sellers agreed to sell to Tiana at a price still under the agreed upon purchase price.

When the listing agent let Tiana, myself and Jennifer know that the sellers were ok moving forward at the lower price, all three of us were in tears. Happy tears. And all was well in the world at that moment.

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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