By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, April 27, 2018
By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, April 27, 2018
Three years ago I met with Jacob and Martha to talk about selling their sweet little 880 sf ranchalow in SE and buying a bigger home for their growing family. At that time, they had 2 kids and were anticipating that as their little one grew bigger, they were going to need a bigger home. They are avid gardeners and urban farm folks with chickens roaming their nearly a quarter acre lot directly across the street from Brentwood Park. Having a large yard was something they knew they wanted in their next house, but given how few large lots are in closer-in SE, they settled on the idea of being ok with a smaller yard in exchange for a larger house. They prepped their home for listing, got pre-approved and we set about finding them a new home. After getting beat out multiple times by cash offers, they decided to put the brakes on the whole endeavor. And then along came their third child. And their house got even smaller. We stayed in touch and every now and then they would pop up to inquire about a house they had seen, or to ask questions about their home’s value. A couple of months ago we bumped into each other at a pullet day at a local farm/garden supply store. They mentioned they were still thinking about options on their house and were considering adding on and still thinking about maybe moving. Seeing as we were both there to add to our mutual chicken flocks, their family and my family each adopted 2 chickens, including a pair of sister Barred Rock chickens- they took one and we took the other.
One of my real estate super powers/obsession is my constant checking of all listings in all price ranges in all areas I work, even if I don’t have buyers currently looking in specific areas. On Friday, March 16th, a listing for a gorgeous 1920 large bungalow popped up in the Ardenwald neighborhood in Milwaukie. With three bedrooms and one bath upstairs, and a fourth bedroom, beautiful living room and dining room with built-ins and fireplace, and large kitchen on the main floor, plus a full mainly finished basement, it seemed like a great catch for someone. As I looked at the listing a little closer, I had to do a double take because the lot size was listed at .4- nearly a 1/2 acre. It almost seemed too good to be true, and visions of Jacob and Martha’s family happily living it up in that house and yard danced in my brain. I sent them the listing noting that if it piqued their interest, to let me know. Within 1/2 hour of my sending the listing over to them, I got a response of YES- they were definitely interested. Seeing as they were not in the market to make a move, they didn’t have a recent pre-approval letter, so they managed to get all of their documents to the lender that day for a pre-approval. On Saturday morning we met at the house and it was even more glorious in person as it was in the listing. And that yard- the whole back of the house looks over onto the yard that just goes, and goes, and goes. It’s so vast that unless a homeowner want’s to spend a full day mowing the lawn, a full size ride-on mower is going to probably make it’s way to the property. Full of fruit trees, overgrown gardens, and open space beyond measure, for urban farmer types like Jacob and Martha, it couldn’t be dreamier. And the house and yard sit at the top of a hill, so both house and yard have lovely views of the west hills.
They had fallen head over heels in love with this house, and enough so to really push hard to get the house. They stopped back in at the open house on Sunday, and were able to meet with and chat with the listing agent. It was definitely underpriced given the size, charm, condition and lot size, and accordingly it received 5 offers, all well over list, within the first 3 days of being on the market. I kept in touch with the listing agent over the weekend, and explained to her how perfect it would be for Jacob and Martha’s family, and how this was the house they had been waiting for for three years. Between my buyers letter, their meeting the listing agent at the open house, and my making a case for how great my buyers were and how perfect this house was for them, the seller fell in love with my buyers through their letter and my story and really wanted to sell to Jacob and Martha. With a few nudges and an addendum increasing their offer amount, their offer rose to the cream of the top, and 5 and 1/2 half weeks from the day they saw the house, I handed them the keys to their new life.
They will be moving in this weekend and in two weeks I will list their beloved little ranchalow in SE. First order of business though will be building a new chicken coop and run as the one they have at their ranchalow isn’t going anywhere. By the time their ranchalow sells, their backyard flock, including one of my chickens sister, will have a landing pad in what’s probably the nicest house with the biggest yard in that part of town. Quite the epic three year journey, but given how special this Milwaukie house is, I know it’s all been worth it.