Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger Mid-Century Delight for Delightful Buyers In Kenton!

Mid-Century Delight for Delightful Buyers In Kenton!

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, November 2, 2021

My buyers Annie and Ben were referred to me by one of the great lenders at Portland Housing Center. They were first time home buyers and during our meeting when we met to discuss their plan and get a feel to see if we would be a good fit to work together, we talked about the ideal house for them. They had a really clear idea of exactly what they were looking for and where they wanted to buy. Ben works in Vancouver and Annie works on the inner east side so their ideal house would be in North Portland in Kenton or near I-5. They also wanted something with vintage charm- preferably mid-century, and in good shape that would be easy to maintain. They also wanted a yard and their budget was $400k tops. They were still interviewing agents when a couple of days after we met, I got an email from my wonderful colleague Martin Cross here at Living Room with info on an open house a great listing of his in Kenton was having the next day.  On paper that house seemed to meet all the criteria that Annie and Ben had, so I forwarded the email along to them. They responded that indeed, the house looked like it was great and they could tell I had a really good sense of what they were looking for, and that sealed the deal for us working together.

Annie and Ben stopped by the open house and let me know right afterwards the house was beautiful and perfect for them. I went back to see it with them the next day, and the following day we wrote up a great offer. The sellers accepted and 6 days after we first met they were under contract. We had the inspection and it was going really well, with the exception of the roof which we all suspected was toast. And then we got the bad news. At some point the tub overflow drain line had been disconnected so water had been getting behind the tub for a long, long time. Everything under there including subfloor and floor joists were toast. The rot had worked its way into the wall behind the tub plumbing and had spread out from just under the tub to most of the bathroom. The only real fix was to remove the tub, vanity and toilet, gut the bathroom, and then rebuild the bathroom from the subfloor up. Ouch.

A lot of buyers would have walked at this point, but after a few days of hard thinking, Annie and Ben decided that they still loved the house and felt that if there was a way to have this all fixed before they take possession, they would stick with it. They knew they wanted it fixed, and the last thing they wanted was to get keys to their new house and then have to find somewhere else to live while the only bathroom got rebuilt. The next move was finding a contractor who could do the job within the next month. Between Martin the listing agent and myself, we hunkered down and found a few contractors who could go out there to take a look. The first  company to get back to us bid the job at nearly 3 times what the sellers wound up paying for the same scope of work and said it would take  4-6 months before the job could be completed. In the end, a contractor who the seller had personally used for other jobs said they could get the entire job done within a couple of weeks including mold remediation, and indeed they did. My buyers even got to pick out new flooring and a new toilet.

Despite such a huge repair, we wound up closing only one week late. The sellers are doing a 3 week occupancy after close, so on the last day of the weekend before Thanksgiving, I will have the honor and pleasure of meeting my buyers at the house to hand over keys.


Alyssa Isenstein Krueger

Broker | OR


I am living the dream. Working as a real estate broker in my home town brings this native Portland gal joy beyond measure. Check Out My Reviews! 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, our 2 cats Spaghetti and Will, and our chickens, Rosie, Lil' Peck, Penelope and Nugget. I am an obsessive gardener/plant fiend and love that we live in a climate where I can grow eucalyptus trees (I have 3 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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