PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An owner of a Southeast Portland home put his house up for sale in August after not being able to get squatters off the property.
Over a month later, the house near 52nd and SE Flavel has been sold, and the squatters are out.
Cade Gardner, the man who bought the house with the help of a lender, told KOIN 6 News that he wanted to help out the neighborhood after hearing about the difficult predicament.
“So I saw it come up on the news and saw that there was kind of a squatter situation,” he said. “We saw it as an opportunity to possibly help a homeowner get out of a bad situation.”
Gardner is a local realtor and is already in the process of cleaning up the mess.
“When I came down here the first time, there was stuff all over the place. It actually looked completely different … There were tires, two cars, there were rims. Just about anything you could think of was covering the floor,” he said.
Normally, you can’t get a loan to buy a distressed home like the one on Flavel St. That’s why it often takes an investor willing to come in, clear it out and fix it back up.
“It is satisfying seeing a home go from just distressed and nobody really wants to live there and have all these problems to a new home,” Gardner said.
Neighbors are relieved Gardner is stepping in to help.
“It was kind of a nightmare over there,” said Kristy Dudley, a neighbor. “It will be nice to have a normal neighborhood again.
“(Gardner) booted everybody out,” added neighbor Terry Shorten. “Things are looking up.”
The neighbors explained that the home used to be used as transitional housing for people after rehab, and watched it devolve in recent years.
“It became trash right after the guys from the Oxford Home left,” Dudley said. “There were people coming and going all the time. It brought a lot of scary stuff into our neighborhood.”
They say Gardner is a breath of fresh air after all the troubles they’ve seen.
“He’s a really cool dude,” Shorten said. “He puts out that vibe like you’ve known him your whole life.”
Nathan Jones was the realtor who helped sell the house. Jones said the owner, Joe Lustgraaf, is happy it’s sold and ready to move forward with his life.
While making the purchase, Gardner said he introduced himself to the squatters living there and helped coordinate their move out.
“I was a little bit worried about them just kind of getting out of the house and then roaming the streets. So I made sure that they had another place to go whether that was with friends or family,” he said.
Gardner said that he plans to have the house refinished and back on the market in three months. He also said if anyone else in the area has a problem like this they’re dealing with, he’s willing to help.