Blog Buyer Lucky Buyers Purchase First House on the Block to Get Color TV!

Lucky Buyers Purchase First House on the Block to Get Color TV!

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, March 5, 2019

I met Jillian and Nick in early November when they began their house hunting adventure. As mid-century enthusiasts, they knew exactly what kind of house they wanted- open floor plan, huge picture windows, fireplace and preferably a vintage style kitchen. The only problem with having a love for that style is they are far from the only buyers out there looking for that perfect little mid-century in East Portland. About a week after we met they found what they thought was their dream home- as much as they tried not to fall in love, they did anyway and all 8 of their combined heart valves collapsed when the sellers selected another higher offer. They felt they would never get over losing that house, yet they managed to find a couple more homes that they liked enough to put offers in on. Considering all of the homes they liked were priced at or  near the very top of their budget, they didn’t have a lot of wiggle room to go up in price when the multiple offer situations would kick in, so after they lost two more houses, they were heartbroken, but only in a 2-valve way each as opposed to the first house which was a 4-valve heartbreak.

Throughout the journey, I kept promising them that the reason they lost out on the other houses was because they hadn’t found the right house yet. I think they sort of believed me, but after losing out on 3 houses to buyers offering more, I could understand their skepticism. And then the perfect little ranchalow in Hazelwood popped up on the market. Built by a master-plasterer in 1951, the home’s gorgeous stucco siding looks as fresh and new today as it probably did when it was built 68 years ago. It’s like it never grew up and occupies a spot in Neverland where houses don’t age.  The layout is classic mid-century with the public spaces- the living room, formal dining room and kitchen spanning the front of the house and the bedrooms and bathroom spanning the rear of the house. With huge windows, original tile in the kitchen and bathroom and a large roman brick fireplace in the living room, the house feels homey and familiar. The home went on the market on a Tuesday, we saw it that night, and Jillian and Nick were head over heels- even more so than the first house that had broken their hearts. We wrote an offer the next day and by Friday there were multiple offers. During that whole time Jillian and Nick held their breaths. We submitted an escalation clause with the offer because we knew that if they liked the house so much, so would others and they really didn’t want this one to fall through their tender grasps. On Friday, the seller reviewed all of the offers and since they knew how much Nick and Jillian wanted the house- and being the first offer in definitely helped, the seller chose their offer, and they only had to escalate up a small amount.

While the home was in escrow, my buyers did some research on the house’s history, and they learned that the original owners who had built it never had kids, but they were the first house on the block to get color tv. And the first movie the neighbors all gathered around together to watch? Peter Pan of course.

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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