By Andy Meeks, June 14, 2019
By Andy Meeks, June 14, 2019
My friends and clients Jessie and Ruth just bought a house, and I’m honored to have helped them through the process. They are so focused, detail-oriented, and on-point that it made the transaction smooth, steady and fun. It all went so well that we were even able to close three days ahead of our thirty-day schedule. That’s a 10% time savings – and that’s pretty fast!
Jessie and I first met when she moved here more than seven years ago when she reached out to me for career networking advice as a fellow alum of Colby College. We quickly struck up a friendship and shared similar work experiences connecting people to environmental non-profit work here in Portland. I quickly learned that Jessie is an intentional, loyal, and kind person that does everything with maximum effort and passion. No goal was too big for her, and she consistently exceeded even her own lofty expectations. We stayed in touch through work and life changes, and I count her among one of my close Portland friends. Fast-forward a few years to when she introduced me to her partner Ruth, an art director who is warm, generous, and detail-oriented, with great vision and imagination and is always asking smart questions. Needless to say, Jessie and Ruth complement each other really well and make a great team.
So I was especially excited when they asked me earlier this year to be their real estate broker to help them buy their very first house. We met in early April to discuss goals, needs, timelines, and geography. Lucky for me, Jessie was already far ahead of most first-time homebuyers as she had attended classes organized by the Portland Housing Center, and had participated in a matching savings program that ended up paying for a significant chunk of their closing costs.
Jessie and Ruth have been living in southeast Portland for a few years, and were hoping to stay in that area, especially since it would be a good place from which both of them could commute to work. (Jessie works in Lake Oswego and Ruth works in downtown Portland.) But they explained to me how they realized that they didn’t need to live right in the heart of a classic, walkable, Portland neighborhood — and pay the premium property prices those neighborhoods can command — nor did they want to compromise on size, space, condition or quality. I’m hearing this sentiment quite often from smart, forward-thinking homebuyers who are tired of the Portland prices, limited inventory and frenzied bidding situations. Those folks are increasingly finding their way just a few miles south to the relatively calmer, quieter and less expensive — but no less charming — neighborhoods of Milwaukie.
Milwaukie boasts a desirable blend of affordability, accessibility, quality housing stock, and more spacious and quiet neighborhoods. Because of these qualities, Milwaukie has been, and continues to be, one of the hottest areas of the Portland metro region for home sales…average days on market are nearly 15-20% lower in Milwaukie than other neighborhoods/zip codes in SE or NE Portland. The Orange MAX line makes it easy to commute into the city, and there are lots of hidden and not–so–hidden gems that make this city a great alternative home base.
Well, after just one afternoon of looking at houses together (they had seen everything online, and attended lots of open houses together) they were ready to make an offer on an adorable 2 bed/1 bath bungalow in Milwaukie, with a sizable backyard/patio and large detached garage, just blocks from the historic downtown district. It was everything they were hoping for! We wrote an offer the next morning, and we promised a short inspection period and quick close. The offer was accepted that day, ahead of a scheduled open house the next day. We worked through some significant repair negotiations and received some sizable seller concessions, and closing day was here before we knew it.
They’ve been an amazing team, and all of the qualities I’ve briefly mentioned came into play to make this dream a reality. Congrats to Jessie and Ruth on their transaction, as well as to the City of Milwaukie for adding two super cool people to your ranks!
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