Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger Pearl District Condo for a First Time Homebuyer

Pearl District Condo for a First Time Homebuyer

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, August 26, 2021

If there is one part of the Portland market that’s not hot right now, it’s condos downtown and in the Pearl District. The Covid buying frenzy really focused on detached single family homes with yards. Communal living where you have to walk into an enclosed building and then take an elevator to your front door was the exact opposite of what the majority of buyers have wanted over the last year and a half. So for those folks who DO want to own a condo in the Pearl, the neighborhood is a pool full of fat oysters where buyers can take a while to look around be picky about what type of unit they want.

My buyer Gene moved up to Portland from southern California and had been renting an apartment in the Pearl. He loved  the neighborhood and how convenient it was to walk to anything and everything, and decided he wanted to purchase a Pearl condo for his first home. Gene loves to get out of town so having a dedicated parking spot was important, as was having as much of an unobstructed view out the window as possible. He was really attracted to the Edge Lofts at NW 14th and Kearney, and the higher the floor the better. We were able to score a fabulous 1 bedroom condo with views for days on the 10th floor. The previous owner spent a fortune upgrading the original blah kitchen into a masterpiece full of counter space and cupboards, all while leaving plenty of space in the living room/dining room/kitchen area. Interest rates are so dirt cheap right now that if you can afford the monthly payment, financially you are better off long term borrowing as much as 95% to get a conventional loan and investing whatever else you planned to use towards a down payment in so many other investments that on average pay greater than 3% annual return. For every $5,000 a buyer borrows, it’s about $21 a month, or equivalent to giving up one coffee a week at a coffee spot. The condo had been sitting on the market for 6 months and had a couple of price reductions. Holding onto as much cash as possible after closing made the most sense to Gene, so instead of asking for another price reduction, we asked for seller paid closing costs, which the sellers were happy to do. Inspection went great, appraisal came in at value and less then a month after we put in the offer, Gene got keys to his very own slice of Pearl paradise.

Alyssa Isenstein Krueger

Broker | OR


I am living the dream. Working as a real estate broker in my home town brings this native Portland gal joy beyond measure. Check Out My Reviews! 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, our 2 cats Spaghetti and Will, and our chickens, Rosie, Lil' Peck, Penelope and Nugget. I am an obsessive gardener/plant fiend and love that we live in a climate where I can grow eucalyptus trees (I have 3 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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