Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Monday, September 1, 2014

Injustice knows no limits

After about a year of writing this blog, I am going to step outside of my usual topics for just a moment to express my anger towards people who who knew better, but decided to harm others for their own gain.

This story by Steve Duin in The Oregonian has me outraged, and I know my readers will feel the same.  Thank you Mr. Duin for bringing this to our attention, and kudos to Oregon First Realty for their swift, unequivocal response. And lastly, gratitude for neighbors and good people like them everywhere.

Besides the immediate firing of Ms. Bitter, I hope the Real Estate Agency conducts an investigation into her behavior and pulls her license.  Mr. Leland should be given the same opportunity for redemption.

There is no paucity of disparaging remarks for neighbors Bittler and Leland - 757 and counting in only 2 days.  Though they are not asking for anyone to fix their mistake, I hope they will get something more for what is obviously a very valuable asset.mm

To read the entire article - CLICK HERE

The article was updated on August 31.  Follow the link in the article to see what is happening now.  This is not over yet.

Steve Duin:  Two acres,
Two neighboring couples
And a $200,000 misunderstanding
Elmo and Melitta Marquette
Elmo and Melitta Marquette, on the front porch of their 1923 home in SW Portland (Steve Duin)
The Oregonian, August 30, 2014  By Steve Duin

Update: Oregon First terminates Sandra Bittler, Realtor who bought Elmo and Melitta's Garden Home property

Last November, a two-acre parcel in Southwest Portland sold for $22,000, one-tenth of what Multnomah County considers its real-market value.

AX185_46DE_9.JPGLooking downhill at the edge of the disputed property. Steve Duin 
And as I revisit that transaction -- and the two couples at the heart of it -- I want you to reflect on whether something went wrong here ... or whether this story is simply further proof that America is the land of opportunity.

Elmo and Melitta Marquette have lived in their 1923 house on Southwest Garden Home Road for more than 30 years.  He was a long-time plumber; Melitta spend three decades with Veterans Affairs.
They lean on their next-door neighbor, Donna Lee Holmes, now and then, to pick up the new cable boxes, turn off the hazard lights in the new Jeep, and to explain where to file those "free" checks that arrive 
in the mail.

But given their ages -- Elmo is 86, Melitta 88 -- they are admirably self-sufficient.  Elmo is often walking the neighborhood and feeding the birds. Melitta maintains the checkbook, even though she only enters the check amount, not the running balance.

At some point in time, the Marquettes spoke to their neighbors -- Michael Leland and Sandra Bittler -- about selling the two-acre meadow just down the hill and abutting both their properties.
Leland is the president of Mortgage Trust, a Portland lender. Bittler, his wife, is a principal real-estate broker at Oregon First.

"When we first moved in, seven-plus years ago, we saw they had a bunch of land, and we said, 'If you're ever thinking of selling, let us know,'" Leland said.
"Elmo knocked on the door one day and said they were interested in selling. He threw a number out, and we went from there."
That number, according to the sales agreement for the 2.02 acres and the essential easement, was $22,000.
"I didn't read it carefully. I should have, but I didn't. I thought it was $220,000," Melitta insisted last week.  "He (Elmo) got all that mixed up.  When you get older, it's easy to do."

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