Blog Stories A fine ballet; Or selling to buy new construction.

A fine ballet; Or selling to buy new construction.

By Alyssa Starelli, November 5, 2018

Past clients, Yoni and MJ called me up this summer after having decided they wanted to move, and they wanted NEW. We decided that the market was sufficiently flowing so that we could find a new property, write it contingent on the sale of their current home, and start the “ballet” as I call it.

Because of the nature of my specialty in ‘period-perfect’ or ‘mid-century’ home, new construction isn’t something I have a ton of experience in. We might be touring half completed homes, or just looking at spec sheets of what a home ‘should’ look like. We might have a lot of say (picking finishes or floor plans) or very little (plans and finishes complete).  It’s a different beast and the time-line is unsure — there are a dozen contractors needed to finish a job and one General Contractor to orchestrate them all. Trust in that GC is paramount, or many a sleepless night is inevitable and as much as you’d like to think a newly built house would be built to perfection, they certainly aren’t! A punchlist might be longer than the repair list on a 50 year old home!

We had a fun time shopping new homes in the SE area. There are interesting options and some dreamy sites to choose from, and everything is so clean and tidy. The family settled on one in particular that we were able to get under contract contingent on the sale of their property.  We then rushed to put their home in Brentwood-Darlington up for sale. And then the market slowed.. (I was receiving so many price reduction emails from other REALTORS®, I had to put a filter on my Gmail!)  We were hit too, and it took much longer and far more work than anticipated to find the right buyer for the seller’s home. This caused a lull and riveting intensity in our ballet — an urgency to obtain the new home the sellers dearly wanted!  Could we do it? OH the pressure! (Cue musical crescendo here!).

Alas, YES, we did find a buyer and he was incredibly easy going, the timeline couldn’t be more perfect if we could just make it stick.  The next act in our ballet was reviving the purchase of our new construction home — including inspection, repair addendum/punch list and a TON of completion work for the GC of that property, all running concurrently with the inspection and repair negotiation and repair completion of the seller’s current home! (Imagine Swan Lake when all the swans are busy flitting about).

Every step needed to hit perfectly:  I fretted, I planned contingencies, I texted and bothered everyone at wee hours in the morning!  One house needed to close within days to fund the other (enter: Title and Lender/Underwriting), the sellers needed rent back (but how much?), all work needed to be completed before possession (stage left: GC and his minions, stage right: my clients and our bevy of contractors)!

Every dancer had to play their part or chaos would ensue. And instead, (cue a relaxing music that lulls the audience into a peaceful sleep) the sellers moved into their new home on time, the buyer took possession of his home as expected, nobody was homeless, everyone was happy! Luckily, only the new refrigerator was delayed!!

I’d like to thank the players of my ballet:

Michael Riehl of Guild Mortgage for keeping me sane about math, timing and his extreme efforts to make it happen; Team Chase at FATCO for meeting our closing dates, keeping me apprised of hiccups and constant reassurance that we had it in the bag; Michael Vaughn of Paramount Realty (Realtor, Builder and the GC ) for puppet-mastering his team into completing the new construction in a shortened closing window and delivering a mini fridge when the fridge delivery was delayed; Garrett Conn of KW and his buyer for being super chill on an ever-moving timeline; My clients Yoni and MJ for starting the whole ballet and dancing their parts beautifully!

Alyssa Starelli

Broker | OR

A Portland native, Alyssa started her real estate career in the chaotic market of 2005, and quickly realized she reveled in matching particular clients with their perfect home, no matter how unusual. She then began specializing in mid-century properties - both Modern and Modest. More recently, she has included what she calls "Period-Perfect" homes to her repertoire. Her goal in this is to seek out those hard-to-find, unremodeled original homes of all eras. When I started in real estate, I realized there was a market for ranch homes, from Mid-Century Modern to the more modest Daylight Ranch, but few REALTORS® willing to service it. I started highlighting these 'Picks of the Week' on my website, introducing enthusiasts to the full gamut of midcentury houses of Portland. In 2006, I founded the Mid-Century Modern League in order to educate the public about the importance of preserving these gems. Today I continue to focus on Mid-Mod, but have added vintage, mostly unremodeled houses of earlier eras, which I call 'Period-Perfect', because they have interest to clients and are under-serviced too. Frankly, I enjoy seeking out any unusual or original elements a client might be interested in, it's a challenge to rise to." As Founder of the Mid-century Modern League, Alyssa is considered an authority in the local mid-century architecture scene, and is especially proud to include the Editors of Atomic Ranch Magazine in her past-client list. Often quoted in news and radio, she has been able to bring additional interest to her business, listings, and client's homes - many of which have been featured in magazines such as Atomic Ranch, Oregon Home, The Oregonian and also included on several local home tours. With a background in marketing, and an eye for the unique, Alyssa really enjoys buying and selling properties whose interesting features may be overlooked by other realtors, even (or especially) if those features aren't mentioned in the listing. As a hobby, Alyssa has issued herself a challenge to walk every residential street of Portland proper and document the best architecture specimens of each neighborhood. There are about 3500 square miles of Portland, and it's a big feat. By the time she finishes, she will have seen every house in Portland with her own eyes! You can follow her walks on her blog Portland-by-Foot. When off duty, you can find Alyssa at estate sales, honky tonks, her friend's cattle ranch, or seeking out ghost towns, roadtripping to the Oregon high-desert. A music fanatic and semi-retired booker/manager, Alyssa is heavily immersed in the western swing, old-school country, and rockabilly music scene, and you'll often find her out at shows, dancing, maybe even sharing her favorites on the radio. Alyssa Starelli 503-888-1362
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