Blog Stories My Chicken's Sister's Family Moves to the Pearl of Ardenwald

My Chicken’s Sister’s Family Moves to the Pearl of Ardenwald

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.



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.
Read More
  • T: 503-724-6933

You might also enjoy

Just Sold: Beautiful Craftsman-style Home in Portland

Yascha Noonberg

3610 SE Grant Ct, Portland, OR 97214   This Craftsman-style home just a few blocks off...

JUST SOLD! 12 Days from List to CLOSED

Joanne Fantozzi

We just sold a super sweet condo in the Terra Linda complex in NW Portland’s Cedar...

Contemporary St. Helens Living

Shannon Dooley

Heading west from Portland on Highway 30 are a few places that most buyers don’t think...

Just Sold! Spacious Montavilla Home!

Dill Ward

Featuring three bedrooms and a bonus room. Freshly painted inside and out. All appliances including washer/dryer...