Blog Stories Retirees - Oregon Dreaming.

Retirees – Oregon Dreaming.

By Alyssa Starelli, April 26, 2018

As we exchanged keys and perused their new Oregon home, Judith told me that her adult daughter reminded her that she’d written a report on Oregon in the 5th grade.  Seems perhaps the family had been dreaming of our lovely state for a long while…

Fans of the clean lines of mid-century modern, Judith and Arthur contacted me to help seek out their retirement home where they would live out their days walking their dogs in the evergreen trees of the parks and buttes of Oregon. Arthur was from the Pac NW and missed the green and the growing of berries and the like, and wanted to get back to it.  Knowing Portland to be fairly gray most months, and with Judith being an artist and employer of great color in her work, they wished for a home that was bright and light all year.  They wanted vaulted ceilings and open spaces,  a single level and a hopefully a easy-care home so that they could age-in-place.

I set them up with a search, and as we wanted to keep their purchase price realistic, we searched into the suburbs and into the ‘contemporary’ era of homes up through the 80’s. Within a week, they felt they FOUND THE ONE! Vaulted ceilings, clerestory and long wall windows,  the house exuded light. There was a enclosed sun porch with sky light and french doors that would be absolutely perfect for Judith’s studio.  The kitchen opened into a vaulted family room with woodstove and imparted a cozy feeling that I personally was jealous of.  This was way more house than Judith and Arthur were expecting for the money, and it made great sense to their budget too.   I wrote the strongest offer we could muster — there were multiple offers.  I submitted an offer with explanatory letter from me, and a love letter from Judith and with fingers crossed and left for my vacation, sneezing the whole way (Murphy’s Law of Real Estate says that a vacation + a cold = DEFINITE ACCEPTANCE!).

I arrived to my destination and of course, had a voice mail that our offer had been ACCEPTED!  I stole a few hours here and there for paperwork, to open escrow and set up inspections. The following week we started inspections on the cleanest, tidiest,  most well-maintained house I’ve ever helped a client buy.  It all went off without a hitch.  Closing a reverse mortgage was surprisingly easy. A few hoops to jump through on the lender and escrow’s side, but absolutely worth it for my buyers: a life with no mortgage payments!

Today I received a text: We are very happy people. Thanks again for all your help.”  And that means everything to me.   So, congrats to Judith and Arthur on the first step to their new adventure in Oregon!! I’m absolutely sure you’ll love it!!

Sincerely, Alyssa

Below are a few examples of Judith Bruce’s art.  Brilliant isn’t it?? See more at


Alyssa Starelli

Broker | OR

A Portland native, Alyssa started her real estate career in the chaotic market of 2005, and quickly realized she reveled in matching particular clients with their perfect home, no matter how unusual. She then began specializing in mid-century properties - both Modern and Modest. More recently, she has included what she calls "Period-Perfect" homes to her repertoire. Her goal in this is to seek out those hard-to-find, unremodeled original homes of all eras. When I started in real estate, I realized there was a market for ranch homes, from Mid-Century Modern to the more modest Daylight Ranch, but few REALTORS® willing to service it. I started highlighting these 'Picks of the Week' on my website, introducing enthusiasts to the full gamut of midcentury houses of Portland. In 2006, I founded the Mid-Century Modern League in order to educate the public about the importance of preserving these gems. Today I continue to focus on Mid-Mod, but have added vintage, mostly unremodeled houses of earlier eras, which I call 'Period-Perfect', because they have interest to clients and are under-serviced too. Frankly, I enjoy seeking out any unusual or original elements a client might be interested in, it's a challenge to rise to." As Founder of the Mid-century Modern League, Alyssa is considered an authority in the local mid-century architecture scene, and is especially proud to include the Editors of Atomic Ranch Magazine in her past-client list. Often quoted in news and radio, she has been able to bring additional interest to her business, listings, and client's homes - many of which have been featured in magazines such as Atomic Ranch, Oregon Home, The Oregonian and also included on several local home tours. With a background in marketing, and an eye for the unique, Alyssa really enjoys buying and selling properties whose interesting features may be overlooked by other realtors, even (or especially) if those features aren't mentioned in the listing. As a hobby, Alyssa has issued herself a challenge to walk every residential street of Portland proper and document the best architecture specimens of each neighborhood. There are about 3500 square miles of Portland, and it's a big feat. By the time she finishes, she will have seen every house in Portland with her own eyes! You can follow her walks on her blog Portland-by-Foot. When off duty, you can find Alyssa at estate sales, honky tonks, her friend's cattle ranch, or seeking out ghost towns, roadtripping to the Oregon high-desert. A music fanatic and semi-retired booker/manager, Alyssa is heavily immersed in the western swing, old-school country, and rockabilly music scene, and you'll often find her out at shows, dancing, maybe even sharing her favorites on the radio. Alyssa Starelli 503-888-1362
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