Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger Thirty-Two Days From Start to Finish on a Brooklyn House

Thirty-Two Days From Start to Finish on a Brooklyn House

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, February 19, 2021

Dave used to live across the street from me until about 2 or 3 years ago (who can keep track of time these days?) when he and his partner divorced and he moved into an apartment a few blocks away. His oldest kid and my oldest kid have been besties since before they could walk or talk, and it was Dave and his 2 kids who we had our last out of our family bubble non-socially distanced get together with on March 14th, 2020 at my older son’s 10th birthday party. When we parted ways that day, we didn’t know when we would be able to get together again in such a carefree  way because the following day we all went under lockdown. And nearly a whole entire year later, we are still waiting for that day.

Dave’s plan was to eventually buy another house, and on January 15th of 2021, he texted me to let me know he was ready to start shopping. He had a very narrow list of needs that were absolute musts- including a location within a mile of his kids mom’s place, at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a yard and some sort of studio or garage to tinker around on bikes and he had a maximum price that he would be willing to pay and was expecting to pay. He had his pre-approval on hand and so I went through RMLS to send him a list of all of the properties that sort of kind of matched his needs. And there were only 2 properties. And neither was really a decent option. On January 19th, a sweet bungalow in Brooklyn came on the market. As the crow flies, it was less then 8 blocks from his apartment. From what we could tell from the listing,it could not have been more perfect location wise, size wise, bedroom/bathroom count, the detached huge garage and great back yard. We went to see it in person on January 20th and it was as perfect in person as it seemed like it would be from the listing. It took Dave all of 5 minutes to decide this was going to be his house.

The house was listed at what last year would have been a very reasonable price, but since the floodgates opened and the buyers came spilling out, the supply of houses on the market shriveled to next to nothing, we knew it was going to go way over. The house was listed about 15% under what Dave’s maximum was, so he did have room to go up. Dave approached his offer price from a very practical and logical lens. As long as his monthly payment was within his comfort zone, how much he paid for the house wasn’t all that relevant. With interest rates well under 3%, money is cheaper then it’s ever been (a huge reason for the flood of buyers on the market) so a monthly payment on a house priced at $550k today, is about what it would be on a house priced at $600k a year ago. Savvy buyers know that it’s much more about the monthly payment then it is the sales price. Once interest rates start rising well over 3%, then it’s possible we might see prices stabilize, but for now, home prices are out of control. For this Brooklyn house, even though it was well priced, with 12 offers on the table, Dave’s offer won out between a combination of writing 15% over asking, offering a 3 weeks to close, being able to make up an appraisal gap if the appraisal came in lower then the purchase price (which didn’t happen, it appraised fine!), and stating in his offer that he would not ask for repairs under $4,000. This meant that if a larger issue was found during the inspection, my buyer could expect to negotiate it, but for the smaller stuff, Dave was basically saying he would take the house as-is. Thankfully the house breezed through the inspection and nothing needs to be done to the house anytime soon.

Dave’s story is highly unusual in this market because not that many buyers have the ability to and willingness to do what it takes to rise to the top in a heap of offers. As long as a buyer understands the current market and is willing to and has the means to write up an offer with all the deal sweeteners on the table along with the ability to offer well over asking, as Dave was, then it isn’t rocket science to snag a house even with multiple offers. And on February 16th, 32 days after Dave texted me to let me know he was ready to start the home buying process, he got the keys to his perfect house.


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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