Blog Buyer Skinny Love in NoPo

Skinny Love in NoPo

By Mel Marzahl, April 1, 2020

Getting Started

Elizabeth and Kyle have been thinking about buying their first home for a long time! They are both super smart and thoughtful people who don’t take big decisions like buying their first home lightly. We met, talked about about strategy and what they were looking for months before we jumped into the market to shop.

By the time they were pre-approved, and ready to make a move, the Portland spring market had started early in February. Inventory was low, and it seemed like just about everyone and their mother wanted the same home Elizabeth and Kyle were looking for. Starting their search looking at some homes that need work, and then at homes for a little more that needed a little less work.

Narrowing Down the Search

We saw quite a few that were either really nice but way too small, or the right size, but needed way too much work. Then, we toured a skinny home on a little street in NoPo. On paper it wasn’t exactly what they thought they wanted, a skinny home that looked a bit beat up. We toured it anyway and after seeing it in person they realized they really liked the layout.

The house checked all the boxes as far as size, number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and garage space. It needed some work, it wasn’t old, but it needed work and was priced too high. I pulled comps and researched the neighborhood for them. After looking at the market and recent sold homes, they made a well-researched offer well below the asking price and after some negotiations, they walked away from it. They were bummed, but the home needed so much work, and for what the seller was asking, it just wasn’t worth it to them.

Within a few days, another home, almost exactly the same layout and size, but in WAY better condition, on a different street came up on the market for the SAME PRICE! They made an over well over asking, but were outbid…

Third Time’s a Charm!

BUT, without any time to be discouraged a THIRD skinny home on the exact street as the first one cam on the market. This third home was identical to the first but in much better condition and priced better too. By this one, they know exactly what they wanted, and they jumped on it! Theirs was the first and best offer. They decided to go in at their best price. The house was pretty new and had been well cared for. They didn’t find any surprises during the inspection, and the closing went very smoothly.

Elizabeth and Kyle are very excited to move into their new home in a few weeks. While the last few weeks of their escrow period happened to be in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, they stayed calm. Everyone involved in their. deal worked together (virtually and from home) to make sure they would close on time.

I was so happy to mail the keys to them, since we can’t hand them over in person. And I’m so excited to virtually wish them a huge CONGRATULATIONS! and cheers with a bubbly beverage via video chat.

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


Daniela Sardo

Being a trucker isn’t easy.  Long days on the road, sleeping in the back of the...

First-Time Buyer Snags Centennial Charmer

Mel Marzahl

I’ll start off by saying that the market in Portland is tough for first-time buyers right...

Changing Leaves of Fall

Teri Toombs

The leaves are leaving. Winter is coming. The year is nearly done. In the midst of...

Just Sold! Custom Cully Retreat

Ross Seligman

The large lots in Cully lend themselves to completely unique homes, like this stunning custom retreat...