Priscilla & JEREMY

MOVE TO SILICON VALLEY

We moved to the Bay Area 3-and-a-half years ago from Southern California, not realizing how crazy the housing market was. In L.A. you can get away with offering asking price, even under! Up here in Northern California, we rented, but even those prices were crazy—more than the mortgage we had paid in L.A. for a space that was smaller. We thought, “What are we moving ourselves into?”

We spent the first 2-and-a-half years saving up. Then, we sold our home in L.A. and took the plunge into finding a place up here. The impetus was that our 5 year old, Eliot was starting kindergarten. So, we were under the gun.

“It was important to me to not just find a great school, but a really great community for our family. We were starting over again in Northern California.”
— Priscilla

“It was important to me to not just find a great school, but a really great community for our family. We were starting over again in Northern California.”
— Priscilla

A Wide Search with a Patient Guide

Originally we looked as far south as Almaden and as far north as San Mateo, and everywhere in-between. We were shopping neighborhoods, looking up and down the peninsula, staying in our price range and searching for that perfect family neighborhood.

Kevin knew where we were coming from. He knew we weren’t just shopping for a home, but for a community we could plug into and thrive and grow and raise our children in. He highlighted the pros and cons of certain neighborhoods. We never felt any pressure from him. Kevin is a very, very patient man.

“My husband and I are very different people. He’s an engineer—straightforward and metrics-driven. I’m more touchy-feely. I care about the neighborhood, the aesthetics, the demographics. I want my children to grow up with diversity. When we met Kevin, he immediately appealed to both of us.” — Priscilla

“My husband and I are very different people. He’s an engineer—straightforward and  metrics-driven. I’m more touchy-feely. I care about the neighborhood, the aesthetics, the demographics. I want my children to grow up with diversity. When we met Kevin, he immediately appealed to both of us.”

— Priscilla

The 3-hour Education

In our first meeting, Jeremy grilled Kevin. Kevin comes from a consulting background, so he doesn’t just spit out answers. He really thought about the questions. He asked questions back, to make sure he understood us before he answered.

Then he said, “I’m going to walk you through the offer process, just so you understand what it’s like here in Silicon Valley. You guys should write a letter explaining who you are as a family, introducing yourselves. Be prepared to overbid on the house that you want. That overbid amount can range from a couple of thousand to tens of thousands. It depends on how much you want the house, and what the competition is in the neighborhood.”

Then he put us through an exercise, where he put four or five offers in front of us and said, These are real offers for a particular property. If you were the owner of this property and you looked at these offers, which would you choose? I was like, I’ll just pick the one with the highest bid. He says, Be careful because that one comes with a contingency. They’ll give you all this money, but they have to sell their house first. So what’s the next best offer? And he says the next best offer comes with a slightly different contingency, but a safer one.

It was an illustration to show us this was not a trivial thing, for a given property you’re going to get multiple offers you have to compete with. So how do you make your offer more attractive than the next person?

“Kevin made me realize that this is like playing in the NBA: No messing around. It’s like the playoffs. You lose, that’s it.” — Jeremy

“Kevin made me realize that this is like playing in the NBA: No messing around. It’s like the playoffs. You lose, that’s it.” — Jeremy

The home we found

I’ll be honest with you, the house we ended up with is not the house we thought we would have ended up with. We ended up a bit more south than we thought. We ended up with a swimming pool, which was not something we were looking for. We ended up with a foreclosure home that was a complete fixer-upper. But we bit the bullet and it was ours.

“The house we ended up with was the first offer we placed—unheard of in Silicon Valley. We were very fortunate our offer was accepted, since it was a foreclosure with competitors. We were one of eight offers.”

--Jeremy

Help for the long haul

We didn’t have contacts for inspectors or electricians or pool service. Kevin has all that—experience working with people and a really good rolodex of contacts who are professional, recommended, and used by him or his colleagues. He scheduled all these services for us. Kevin’s always present. He reads through everything so you can have fruitful conversations about what you’re stepping into.

We ended up fixing up everything—I’ve remodeled my kitchen and bathroom. We’ve redone the swimming pool and backyard. It’s perfect!

“And now that we’ve lived in this house for a little over a year, we have just fallen in love with our home. Our children will grow up here. Everything we wanted in a home has come true.”

— Priscilla & Jeremy

“And now that we’ve lived in this house for a little over a year, we have just fallen in love with our home. Our children will grow up here. Everything we wanted in a home has come true.”— Priscilla & Jeremy

ARTICLES AND VIDEOS

ARTICLES AND VIDEOS

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GET IN TOUCH

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