Blog Buyer A Move Back to the Old Neighborhood

A Move Back to the Old Neighborhood

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, March 19, 2019

Back in 2011 I sold my buyer Erika and her then husband their first home- a glorious mid-century in Laurelhurst. Since then, we’ve kept in touch and about 5 years ago I worked with her parents when they purchased a dream home on the Willamette. But life has a funny way of going a different path than the one you think you are on, and Erika and her first husband had an amicable divorce. Erika has a new partner, Jake, and they have been living in Gladstone, where Jake works as a teacher. Erika’s kids school, her job and her kids Dad’s house were all in her old Laurelhurst neighborhood, and the commute was eating Erika alive. Erika touched base with me about 4 months ago as she and Jake started thinking about moving back to the Laurelhurst area. We looked at a few houses over a few months, but none were quite right.

The weekend of the great snowmageddon of 2019, a grand old sort-of four-square near the Hollywood District and just north of Laurelhurst came on the market on a Saturday that Erika and Jake wanted to see. Thankfully it didn’t actually snow much in that neck of the woods, so I was first able to show Jake, and then later that evening Erika when she got off work.  The stately 1910 house has grand proportions and on the main floor, and the seller opened up the kitchen to the dining room turning the entire first floor into the greatest of great rooms. From the middle of this space, you can see out windows on all four sides of the house. The seller was a woodworker and built the extensive kitchen cabinetry and built-ins. Erika especially was in love with the house, and Jake loved that Erika loved it so much. It checked all her boxes- bedroom count, layout, style, and most importantly location. It’s just a few minutes away from her kids Dad’s house, their school and her work. Later that night they called me to let me know that this was their dream home and they wanted to put in an offer.

With the threat of snow, the listing agent decided not to do an open house, so we were hoping that not that many people would brave the wild weather to see it. Boy were we wrong. I kept in contact with the listing agent, and within a day of listing it, she was already getting questions from multiple agents wanting to put in offers for their clients. I let Erika and Jake know about the expected multiple offers, but they didn’t want to wait- this was their dream house and even though they knew other offers were coming in, they wanted to get theirs in right away. Knowing that multiple offers were expected, they wrote over asking and I submitted their offer a couple days after it was listed. When buyers know there are going to be multiple offers, a lot of agents and their buyers like to wait until the last minute to find out just how many offers are in, and then advising their clients on how high to write their offer. I spoke with the agent about putting in an escalation clause so that if higher offers came in, that my buyers offer would float to the top. In the end there were 7 offers, but we had put in the first offer and escalation and the listing agent gave us a chance to up our escalation at the last minute, which my buyers did, and they got the house. A few bumps popped up during the transaction that felt like nail-biters, but in the end it all came together. Pictured here is Erika, her youngest daughter and her niece. I’m so thrilled they got the house and as much as I love love love working with Erika, I hope this is the last house I sell her.

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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