By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, October 17, 2019
By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, October 17, 2019
I met Rachel and Rubin this past March. They had a matched savings account, an IDA (individual development account,) from Portland Housing Center and they were ready to buy a house. To say these two are delightful is an understatement- they are DELIGHTFUL and it’s people like these two that make my job so much fun. They are both from Portland and have lots of family in the area and knew they wanted to live near at least some of their family. They honed in on Milwaukie and SE Portland, and we set off looking at houses.
They were definitely attracted to vintage homes- mid-centuries and bungalows and it wasn’t long before we found a house that they really liked- just east of 82nd. A darling bungalow that oozed with charm, and even more importantly to Rubin, with a yard and garden to write home about. There were a couple of things about the house that weren’t perfect for them- the bedrooms were small and the location wasn’t ideal for them, but they loved the house enough to compromise on those issues. They are very budget conscious and knew they didn’t want to spend a dollar more than $400k, so they wrote an offer at a number they felt comfortable with. Another buyer wrote higher, and Rachel and Rubin got back-up position. At that time, they were disappointed they didn’t get the house, but were certainly not distraught. We picked up from there and kept looking at houses. A couple of weeks after they got back-up, I received a call from the listing agent letting me know that the first position buyers had backed out and did my buyers still want the house? I got in touch with them and gave them the good news, and their answer was an immediate yes. They moved into first position, and timelines were started. The next day we went back to the house just to make sure they still loved it, and while at the house, they felt the love again. But later that evening, the doubts began to creep in. Whenever a buyer expresses doubt about a house, I take that as a strong signal that this probably isn’t the right house for them, and the sooner they can back-out, the better for everyone. Calling listing agents to let them know my buyers are backing out is never pleasant for me, but I knew Rachel and Rubin were making the right decision. Thankfully that cute little house was back in contract within the week.
Right after they backed out of the sweet bungalow, we found another house in SE that was also charming but the biggest wow factor was that the house had a HUGE yard- something that was really important to them. The kitchen wasn’t great, but the yard was so nice that they felt that they could always remodel the kitchen at a later date. They wrote on that house, but so did a bunch of other buyers, and they lost out on that house. Again, they were disappointed, but certainly not crushed. Shortly after that experience, they decided that they wanted to take a break from house shopping for the summer- Rachel was going to take some intense courses towards becoming an accountant, and Rubin was hopefully looking at a job promotion, and they figured after the summer was over, they would be ready to resume the search. Sure enough, on the last day of August, they got in touch with me to let me know they were ready to house hunt again.
They had a short list of houses they wanted to see, so that week we went and saw a few more houses. And that’s when they found the ONE. A mid-century in the Ardenwald neighborhood in Milwaukie with a fireplace, 3 good sized bedrooms, an open kitchen, hard-wood floors and a double lot. And the house was listed nearly $35k below the other houses they had written offers on. And like the other houses they had written on, this house was also a hottie. But this time I could tell that if they didn’t get the house, they would be majorly disappointed- this house was perfect in every way for them. We wrote an offer that night, and within a couple of days, the house received 3 more offers. I had expressed how much Rachel and Rubin loved the house, and let the listing agent know to let me know if other offers came in, because Rachel and Rubin were more than willing to revise their offer upwards to get the house. Thankfully the listing agent was terrific, kept me in the loop, and with her sellers permission, told me they were fine with an escalation clause. We wrote up an addendum revising the offer, included an escalation clause, and boom, that did the trick. Interestingly, the house was listed at $360k, and even with 4 offers including our escalation, it only went for $9,500 over list. Because Rachel and Rubin are so delightful, the whole transaction was smooth with happy buyers and happy sellers in the end. The sellers are taking 2 weeks after closing to move out, and really all Rachel wanted was to be in the house by Halloween, and three days before Halloween I’ll be meeting them at the house to hand over the keys.