Blog Alyssa Isenstein Krueger When An Attached Home is the Answer

When An Attached Home is the Answer

By Alyssa Isenstein Krueger, December 19, 2019


First time homebuyers Justin and Steve were pretty clear about what they did want- a 3 bedroom 2 bath home with little to no yard, spacious, something that didn’t need any work and was easy to maintain, located near a bus line in SW that travels downtown regularly and not a condo. In their minds, they were picturing themselves in a detached home, but given their budget, they weren’t sure if what they wanted even existed in their price range.

We sat down to meet in early September to talk about expectations, what they were looking for in a home and what they could reasonably expect. I mentioned that an attached home/ townhouse that’s not part of a condominium association might hit all of their wants and needs. At first they looked at me like I had a third eye, but within a few minutes I could see the wheels and gears churning in their heads.  We talked about it some more and the more we talked about it, I think the more they realized that a townhouse really could be a great option for them.

Once they were ready to start shopping, I sent them a bunch of listings in their price range that at least met most of what they wanted which included a few townhouses. The first place we went to see was blocks from Multnomah Village. It was a townhouse built in 2015 the builder had built to rent out for a few years, then put on the market, so by the time it came on the market, it had been refreshed and was practically brand new. They immediately took a liking to it. It met every single item on their list, but given the higher property taxes, it was slightly over their budget. We then went and saw another town home in the area, and that one didn’t light a single sparkle in their eyes. After that we checked out a 3 bedroom 2 bathroom detached house in their price range, but compared to the first townhouse we saw, the detached one didn’t hold a candle and everything about it needed updating. When we finished our short but sweet tour, I could tell that they had fallen in love with the first place we saw.

The home had been on the market since February with only a fraction of a price reduction that whole time, so of course my buyers want to know what’s wrong with it, or what the issue is. When I spoke with the listing agent he said it came down to a seller who had drawn his line in the sand, and wasn’t going to accept anything below that line, despite what the market was repeatedly telling him. They had received other offers over the 9 months it had been on the market, but since the seller wasn’t moving the needle, it never went pending. Since it had been sitting vacant for so long, the seller was finally motivated to sell. Justin and Steve had their own line in the sand in terms of how much they were willing to pay for a monthly payment, and at it’s list price, it was $25,000 over what they were comfortable spending. We wrote up an offer, went through a couple of counters, and finally arrived at a combination of credits and price reductions that came in just three dollars under Justin and Steve’s bottom line. Thankfully the home was in terrific shape so we asked the seller to only fix a few tiny punch-list/blue tape items, which they agreed to do, and we closed on time. And when we met so I could hand over the keys, they seemed a shell shocked in a delightful way. They couldn’t believe it had been so easy, and for an agent, that’s the best response a buyer, particularly a first time buyer, can have.



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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