Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger Mid-Century Dream in Cherry Park

Mid-Century Dream in Cherry Park

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, September 15, 2021

Four years ago I helped my client Matteo purchase his first home in Portland in Rose City Park after he recently moved to Portland from New Orleans. As an artist and stylist, he has a habit of buying and renovating homes, using his house as a palette for his talents. After four years living in his Rose City Park home, he was ready for a larger home with adequate studio space and further east to be closer to his job as a paintings teacher. He loves mid-centuries and we spent a few months looking at possibilities. He came so close to putting an offer on a home with a pool in Ventura Park, but decided at the last minute that he was basically buying a pool that came with a house, rather than the other way around.

A house that had been sitting on the market for a couple weeks in Cherry Park caught Matteo’s eye. For those who don’t know, Cherry Park is a small area of pristine mid-century homes in the Hazelwood neighborhood in SE Portland. The house was not staged and the kitchen and bathrooms were horribly outdated- pink carpet in the bathroom is never anyone’s cup of tea. It was also mid August when the market seemed to go to sleep this year. We went to see it and Matteo fell in love. It was super bright and had a gigantic window overlooking the large back yard. The tandem garage had been converted into living space and was absolutely perfect for becoming a painting studio.  The house reminded him of the house he grew up in so he at once felt he was in familiar and homey surroundings. Not having it staged was a mistake on the sellers part, but lucky for us. And as what almost always happens when a good sleeper house gets discovered, another buyer saw it right after we did and put in an offer. We wrote an offer for just a few thousand over asking, and the sellers accepted it right away. The home was an estate and the sellers had the house pre-inspected and made all necessary repairs before putting it on the market, so the inspection was clear and easy and the lender gave him an appraisal waiver as well and was able to close the transaction in 3.5 weeks.

Knowing what Matteo did to his Rose City Park home, I can only imagine how fabulous this house will be once he begins its transformation.

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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