Newlyweds Jon and Kelly chose the Northern part of the Peninsula Bay Area as their ideal place to live. They loved Millbrae for its excellent schools and its close proximity to San Francisco and the airport.
One of my favorite things about working with Jon and Kelly was their no-nonsense approach to buying.
They embraced the fact that the market was good and that prices would continue to go up. They knew that it was to their advantage to buy as soon as possible and that to get into something quicker was better than prolonged searching for a needle in a haystack (i.e. dreamy first home). From my first meeting with them they were very clear on their goals and priorities.
Plan A was a single family home at the top end of their budget with the must haves of excellent schools, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a garage big enough for their cars and his motorcycle. Plan B was a townhome (not condominium) for a lower price with the same beds and baths and newer construction. From their current home base in Los Angeles they would research listings online via Redfin, and text me ones they liked asking what I thought it would sell for. If it was within their price cap one or both would fly up. When just Jon toured a home with me he would Facetime Kelly, walking her through the home. We’d have discussions of work needed and costs associated as well as placement of furnishings.
Something Kelly and I would always keep in mind was doorframe and ceiling height because Jon is 6′8″ tall. Something Jon would always keep in mind was his motorcycle.
Kelly’s mom, who joined us one day, was very scrutinizing. Not to say that she was a more savvy buyer then Jon and Kelly, just more particular and not accustomed to Bay Area prices. She was such fun to have along though, bringing a different perspective to the properties we saw. She was well-educated on the importance of location, Feng Shui, and property potential. And I learned a little more about Feng Shui from her and Kelly, so that was an extra bonus for me that day.
A few weeks in (not months), they decided to shift their search to the more affordable South Bay areas of Santa Clara and Sunnyvale. I previewed many homes they had an interest in online, and sent them photos of the houses, the street, and everything I saw outside of the online photos. My list whittled down to none.
Not to be deterred, that same day I received a text of two townhomes, one in Sunnyvale and one in Belmont. Both were lovely, both were brand new. Both were smaller than anything they’d looked at before, one was only a two-bedroom. The anticipation of multiple bids put the Sunnyvale price beyond their preferred budget and spurred them to write on the Belmont place. They were ready to buy.
Two days later we were in contract for $975,000 for a 2 bedroom, 2 ½ bath brand new townhome in Belmont. It is smaller and higher priced than what we were originally looking at. Kudos to Jon and Kelly for quickly adjusting their expectations and moving with the market rather than missing the market. With a move-in date set for March, they are excited to be in the Bay Area. And I am excited for them.