Blog Buyer First-Time Buyer Snags Centennial Charmer

First-Time Buyer Snags Centennial Charmer

By Mel Marzahl, November 30, 2020

I’ll start off by saying that the market in Portland is tough for first-time buyers right now. Honestly, it’s tough for all buyers right now! We have the lowest inventory we’ve ever had, so buyers are struggling to find the right property, and when they do, they have to fight for it. Centennial is one of the outer east side neighborhoods that are still affordable with home prices averaging $341,000 and rising rapidly. Home values in Centennial have gone up 8.81% in the past 12 months!*

My buyer, Isak, was in the same boat as a lot of other buyers out there. Some wonderful clients of mine who had also just bought their first home in Lents last year referred him to me (thank you!). Isak was ready to take advantage of the great mortgage rates and buy his first home. He is smart about it as well. His plan is to get a roommate or two to help offset the mortgage and possibly keep it as an investment property one day.

Along the way, we found, made offers on, and lost out on a few homes. We were up against investors with large cash reserves, sellers who were reluctant to work with buyers on necessary repairs, and multiple other buyers writing offers just as competitive as his. Isak took his time finding the right home and wasn’t one to jump on the first home that came around. He was lucky enough to have to move right away, so wasn’t in a time crunch to find something. This worked to his advantage. We were able to look at lots of homes that could work but ultimately didn’t feel ‘right’.

When we came across ‘the one’ Isak knew it was special. This 3bd/2ba home in the heart of Centennial checked a lot of his boxes. The house has an extra room that could be made into a 4th bedroom, music room, or office. It also has a basement for projects or storage and a two-car garage with a separate workshop area. To top it off, it sits on a large lot with a big front-yard filled with giant Douglas Firs providing shade and privacy. The house itself is cosmetically dated, but overall in great condition with a functional layout. The previous owners lived there for over 30 years and took excellent care of it. This is perfect for Isak because he can focus on the fun and creative updates.

We close today, and I’m so excited to hand over the keys to his home. Congrats Isak!

*Source: NAR RPR (Realtor’s Property Resource)

Mel Marzahl


A Pacific Northwest native, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What interested her most was realizing the significant financial impact the right investment property can make and learning how much having a home to truly call your own can improve your quality-of-life. Her specialties are working with first time home buyers and sellers but is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is also a CNE, or Certified Negotiations Expert, and knows that with all the technology available to buyers and sellers, one of the best skills a REALTOR® can have is knowing how to be a collaborative negotiator in order to get the best for their clients. After a decade long career working in operations and client service for creative companies in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mel earned her Oregon Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. Her philosophy in real estate is listen to her client’s needs and to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her buyers and sellers, many of whom become friends, and ensuring they get the highest level of service she is known for. With a background in art and events, Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table. She enjoys a remodel project, has a soft spot for Old Portland and 1900's craftsman houses, helping first time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on Portland real estate trends, but also technology and tools available to agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to researching and marketing properties, as well as communicating with her clients. When Mel is not working in real estate she is volunteering with the Red Cross, gardening, hosting dinner parties, or relaxing at home on Bull Mountain with her husband, Mike, and two big dogs, Indy and Jackson.
Read More
  • T: 503-443-5382

You might also enjoy

Sold! Serenity in Forest Grove

Ross Seligman

Sitting snugly in the Arbor Rose neighborhood of Hillsboro, this charming home just found itself a...


Jim Arnal

Real estate is rich with experiences that bring you joy and sadness.  Sometimes they combine when...


Jim Arnal

As the new year set in, it became clear that a perfect storm was forming.  Take this...


Marissa Sainz

You can’t know what kind of problems a home can have at first glance. As a...