Blog Buyer Winning Woodstock Farmhouse

Winning Woodstock Farmhouse

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, March 26, 2019

Every now and then I get to work with incredibly easy clients and I have to pinch myself because they seem too good to be true. Hanne and Andrew fall into that category. They were referred to me by a long ago client, and when we met up to talk about working together, the process of buying a home and the kind of house they were looking for for their first home purchase, their needs were simple. They loved old houses, wanted at least a couple of bedrooms and wanted to be within easy biking distance (easy for them at least) from their jobs in inner East Portland and had a realistic budget. Shortly after we met and they got their pre-approval, I sent them all listings west of 82nd that were financeable and seemed to have some potential. I can’t remember how many listings I sent them- maybe 15-20, and by the next day they sent me back their comments and questions about all of them. One in particular looked intriguing to them- an old farmhouse in the Woodstock area. The house hit the market at the end of September, right when the market flat-lined for a few months. It was now mid-February and had been on the market for five months, seemed reasonably priced where it was at, and the photos made it seem like a cute house. Of course, the question arose of- what’s wrong with it?

To answer that question, we went to take a look. Inside the house was indeed cute! It had tall ceilings, a nice layout and a dreamy upstairs bedroom and den. It had carpet everywhere, but carpet is easy enough to change out. The house was built in 1907, back in the time before bathrooms inside the house were considered a home buyers must-have, so at some point, a bathroom was added to the house, right off the kitchen. For a lot of folks, wanting to have more of a separation between food prep and doing your business is a thing, but it didn’t bother Hanne and Andrew. Plus you can’t actually see the toilet from the kitchen. So the question was answered- really nothing was wrong with the house and Hanne and Andrew found themselves really drawn to the house. The next question was how reasonable would the bike commutes feel, so the next day, they rode their bikes there and back after work. The answer to that question was “reasonable!”. So with both burning questions answered- nothing wrong with the house and decent bike commutes, we wrote up an offer and the seller accepted right away. And that was the only house we looked at.

After their offer was accepted, I noticed in the DEQ LUST (leaking underground storage tank for those not in the know) and unfortunately there was an open file from 2012 where soil samples had been taken, and came back dirty. The soil samples were taken as part of the seller’s home inspection period, but unfortunately, and neither the listing agent or I could figure out how this could possibly happen, but having the seller remediate the dirty soil was not negotiated when the seller purchased the home in 2012. This is the number one item on my buyer’s repair addendum if they do soil samples and find evidence of a dirty tank. I won’t let any buyer of mine in good conscience purchase a home without having the leak cleaned up and a certificate issued stating the work was done to DEQ standards. And most agents are the same way, so how in this green earth the seller’s agent didn’t make a bigger deal out of it when she purchased the home will have to remain a mystery. So at the top of our repair addendum was having the seller get that leak taken care of. Unfortunately, when the remediation folks got in there to get the dirty soil out, the leak turned out to be a lot worse than anticipated. So after taking bucket loads of dirt from under the house (where the oil tank had been) they crew had to go back a couple more times to take more bucket loads. They eventually got all the dirty stuff out of there. We closed a couple of days late because of the soil clean-up, but the sellers are doing a 60 day occupancy after close while they go shop for a new home, so closing was pretty anti-climatic. In a couple of months I’ll get to see Andrew and Hanne again and hand them the keys to their new to them old farmhouse.

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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