Steve Duin

Doing the Right Thing and the Smart Thing

We saw local examples last week of doing the right thing and doing the smart thing.

A couple, both of whom are real estate professionals, returned a 2-acre parcel to the sellers, an elderly couple, who by all appearances got the short end of a sale price.

A Canadian pipeline company announced plans for a $500 million propane export facility at the Port of Portland and declined to take advantage of available subsidies.

The couple who returned the property did so after blistering publicity generated by Oregonian columnist Steve Duin, which prompted calls that the sale amounted to elder abuse. The parcel carries a real market value of $220,000, but the buyers obtained it for just $22,000.

While the buyers ultimately did the right thing, it came too late to avoid dents to their professional reputations. Mrs. Buyer lost her real estate job and readers who posted comments on Duin's column questioned the integrity of Mr. Buyer who runs a mortgage company. The attorney general was preparing to investigate the sale.