Realtor Advises Get A Grip

2015-04-24 10.12.21

After the demise of Tom’s rent a couch and get rich quick scheme, (which can be read about in my last blog), we decided it’s time to buy a house.  Downtown was a good experience while it lasted but we are ready for the suburbs.

We hired a realtor (Diane) and met with her at her office on a Monday.

“So, tell me what you’re looking for?”  asked Diane.

I jumped right in.  “We don’t want to live in a development and I don’t want to live in the suburb of Milwaukie.”  “What’s wrong with Milwaukie?” asked Diane.  “Well, it’s not very original to name the suburb the same as the city where Tom’s sisters live.  The mail will get all mixed up and it would be weird.”  Tom just rolled his eyes.

“We would like to avoid Multnomah County which has the highest taxes in OR.” Tom said.  “But we’re open to most of the other suburbs.  We don’t want to limit ourselves, as we know the market is tight.”

“What kind of a house would you like?” Diane pressed.

Once again I jumped right in.  “We want a single level house, or at least the master on the main floor, open kitchen to the great room, a gas fireplace, garage, privacy, trees and a nice neighborhood.”

Diane stared at us and said “You know that doesn’t exist, right?  Would you be willing to do some work if the house wasn’t perfect?”

ugly house

You know those thought bubbles that cartoonists put above heads when the person is thinking?  Here is Tom’s thought bubble:

Been there, done that.  Remembering the first house we bought in Chicago, a 3 story gutted brownstone on the edge of the good stuff, but definitely not in the good stuff.  It turned out to be (before we moved in), a Puerto Rican gang headquarters.  Oh the memories.

Stevie’s thought bubble:

Our house in Larkspur, CA which was an old estate.  When we bought it, it was rented to 12 rock musicians and trashed.  25 years of hard work and labor.  Front_Tea_House_Helo_477a[1] Yes, beautiful but time to move on

“Sure, but not a lot.  Not a major update.”  Tom said.  “Are you thinking 70’s tract home?” I asked Diane.  “Yes, that’s what I’m thinking.”


Depression!  “What are you willing to spend?”  asked Diane.  “We’re thinking  under $500,000.”  said Tom.

Diane couldn’t contain herself any longer.  She burst out laughing,  “Get a grip!”  We had clearly rattled her.  She quickly recovered.  “No problem, we will find you the perfect house!”   Diane’s thought bubble:



12 thoughts on “Realtor Advises Get A Grip

  1. Judy Liebo says:

    Welcome to Portland! Here’s my two cents…for all it’s worth. West Hills-great views, older homes, pricey. Bethany-cute little downtown area but traffic in the Beaverton area is awful. Sellwood-older neighborhood with a fun, funky feel. Very walkable and flat. Close to downtown. Lake Oswego-great downtown area full of everything from outdoor concert venues to movie theater and restaurants. Kind of the Edina of Portland so about 20% higher in price but a lovely area. West Linn-kissing cousin to Lake Oswego but with lots of hills. Mostly a bedroom community but very safe and comfortable. The Willamette area of West Linn has lots of older homes reasonably priced right off the river. Mt Hood views in most neighborhoods. Areas to avoid (in my opinion)-Gresham and its surrounding neighborhoods. Lots of Southeast Portland formerly called Felony Flats if that tells you anything. North Portland is in transition and has some really fun areas but you have to pick carefully.
    I would love to get together after the Holidays. My cousin Kathy Polikowski says hi and is thinking a trip to Portland would involve lots of fun.
    Happy holidays and good house hunting.
    Judy Ankeny Liebo

    • Stevie says:

      Thank you Judy! Lots of great information. We actually have friends that live in Felony Flats and can’t wait to get out. Will let everyone know how it turns out

  2. Mary Larson says:

    Whatever you do… do NOT buy a modular home!!! OK _ maybe they have improved over the last 45 years – so disregard that advice.. I just hope you find something that suits you soon!

  3. Will Brown says:

    Can’t wait to see how this turns out. Will this be your last move until assisted care? Have fun.


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