Blog ADU Moving On Up to Mt. Tabor

Moving On Up to Mt. Tabor

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, November 6, 2020

A little over 4 years ago a most fabulous lady named Claire contacted me to help her purchase her first home. At the time, she was working for a non-profit and while she didn’t have a lot of funds or a high paying job, she did have fierce determination to buy a home. It took a while, and included several grants and first time home buyer programs, but she wound up purchasing the most adorable condo ever that I was listing. My seller on the condo had purchased the condo a couple of years before, and then met the love of her life and they sold the condo to buy a bigger home. Claire wound up buying the condo after a break-up with a former partner. Fast forward 3 years and Claire contacted me again because she had met the love of her life Timothy. Claire had moved out of the condo into a larger apartment with Timothy, and she was ready to sell the condo. I listed the condo and within a couple of weeks got a great offer and a month later she closed on the condo and that chapter of her life. Timothy is a veteran and eligible for a VA loan. I hooked them up with Jennifer Leon over at Umpqua who is fabulous with VA loans and they got pre-approved for a nice sized loan. Off we went to go look at good sized detached houses with 3 and 4 bedrooms in great parts of town.

We spent a solid weekend looking at 10+ houses, and as often happens, they fell in love with the first house we saw. It’s a brand new 4 bedroom home with a legal ADU that sits on the edge of Mt Tabor and has a lovely west facing view. With both of them working from home, this house has plenty of space for a home office and future bedrooms for their hopefully expanded family. And with the ADU on the bottom floor, it provides a great space for a renter or as a space for family to come stay for longer visits once a baby comes on board. After they decided that this was the house they wanted to buy, they got back in touch with Jennifer for a pre-approval letter to go along with their offer, and found at that the interest rate was only 2.5%. TWO POINT FIVE PERCENT! Whut?!?  Claire and Timothy had a monthly budget and at that low of a rate, it meant that they could do 100% financing and still pay several hundred less a month then what they had budgeted for. We all had to slap ourselves silly when we found out how low their monthly payments would be- even with zero down.

We wrote up the offer, had it accepted, went through inspections and with the exception of a very unexpected find of an abandoned oil tank on a property with new construction, (that thankfully had not leaked) sailed through the transaction. A little more then 3 years after I handed Claire her first set of keys to her very first home, I had the privilege of handing over the second set of keys to an even bigger and better home.

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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