Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger Epic Win on Wilshire Park Bricker

Epic Win on Wilshire Park Bricker

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, September 1, 2020

I helped my buyers Brooke-Lynn and Ivan sell their classic mid-century in Rose City Park back in March. They loved their old 2 bed 1 bath home, but were ready for something bigger and in closer-in NE Portland. When they sold their home they had multiple offers and were able to get a buyer who gave them 2 months of rent-back. Once late May came around, they still had not secured their next dream home, so off they went to stay at friends houses, then AirBnB’s.

In late July what they thought was their dream home came on the market in Overlook, but after a fierce multiple offer battle, they didn’t feel comfortable going as high as the house ultimately sold for. They were sad, but determined to find the next dream house. And then along came a house that had just had a $70k price reduction which put it within their budget. From the outside, for all appearances it was a classic brick one level sprawling mid-century facing Wilshire Park in NE. We went to take a look and inside it was even bigger than it looks on the outside. All of the rooms were huge and airy and one room in the basement was huge with a fireplace, built-ins and  9′ tall ceilings. The house felt 1950’s all over, but the year built was listed as 1920.

While checking out the house we figured out there had been a little 1920 bungalow, but sometime in the 1950’s, someone  built a huge mid-century around it on 3 sides. The location across from the park is dreamy, so it’s easy to see why someone built out the house. It wasn’t the perfect house, but by removing a wall between the dining room and kitchen, it was clear that this house could be everything they had been looking for.

The house had originally been listed for $125k more than the new list price, and was now being sold as-is. Brooke-Lynn and Ivan loved it enough to put in an offer knowing that the house needed a lot of work on the systems and mechanics which were all well past their prime. We also knew that it had a terrible looking roof that would need to be replaced and an in-use oil furnace from the 1950’s with an underground oil tank. But even at the list price, it was a great opportunity for someone willing to put the money into it to bring it back. And Brooke-Lynn and Ivan decided they were those people. We wrote up an offer and the sellers accepted it right away.

And then came the inspection. And it wasn’t just the roof and furnace. It was everything- plumbing, electrical, rats, foundation, sewer, an oil tank leak, and more. After sleeping on it, they decided that too much work was needed and to get it up to par would cost in the $60k-$70k range- and that was before any cosmetic work. For the house to work for them, the price would need to be another $75k lower- so $200k under the original list price. We were pretty sure that the sellers wouldn’t go for that, so with a lot of sadness, we terminated the transaction. And then, what do you know, the sellers agent came back to us and asked my buyers what they would be willing to pay for the home. The sellers were older and had health problems, and given the state of the house, they really didn’t want to risk going back on the market. After weighing their options, they decided to come back to us. The listing agent and I scrambled to get bids for everything so my buyers would have an idea of the cost of all the needed repairs. My buyers decided that if the sellers would pay for the roof, do a pest control clean-up and abatement with the help from wildlife control in Houston, and get the leaky oil tank cleaned up and registered with DEQ, that they would be willing to pay $45k under what they had been in contract with. We thought there was no way that the seller would go for it, but go for it they did.

So about 2 weeks after we fell out of contract, we went back under contract, and 2 weeks after that, we closed. During the second transaction my buyers were able to line up all the contractors for the plumbing, sewer replacement, furnace replacement, electrical work, and the sellers pre-paid for the new roof and gutters. My buyers had a fantastic lender- Jake Planton with 2 Rivers Mortgage, who was able to get them an appraisal waiver and revive the dead transaction under the original lock and loan terms. I have never had a transaction where my buyers terminated and we were able to get back on track with terms that were acceptable to my buyers. My buyers had been so discouraged after they terminated on the house, that they were literally a few hours away from making the decision to move away from Portland for the time being. Once my buyers get the house back into great condition by dealing with all the systems upgrades and deferred maintenance, they can move on to the fun stuff including taking down a wall and re-doing the kitchen. I can’t wait to see magic they in store for the house!

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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