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

Broker | OR


Raised in the Pacific Northwest, Mel became a passionate advocate for homeownership and investing in real estate after buying and selling her first home. What drew her to it 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 yet she is fluent in all aspects of residential real estate. She is trained extensively in real estate negotiation, holding both the CNE (Certified Negotiation Expert) and RENE (Real Estate Negotiations Expert) designations. Mel 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 to get the best outcome for their clients. After a decade-long career working in operations and client service for creative companies, Mel earned her Broker’s license and made the move to real estate. She listens to her client’s needs and aims to treat everyone involved in a transaction with honesty and integrity. She loves getting to know her clients, their wants, and needs to ensure they get the highest level of service Mel is known for. Mel brings creativity and an eye for detail to the table with a background in art and events. She enjoys a remodel or renovation project, has a soft spot for old craftsman homes, loves helping first-time buyers, and educating her clients on the selling and purchasing process. She believes in staying up to date on market trends, technology, and tools available to real estate agents. This gives her an edge when it comes to marketing properties and 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, son, two big dogs, and a handful of chickens.
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