Whether searching for treasures for buyers, or putting seller’s homes in the limelight, all transactions are moments in which I take great pride and joy.
When my young, urban musician client began his search for a place to live, record music, and entertain friends, he was targeting alternative spaces like warehouses and former auto repair shops. Even an abandoned church was briefly considered. We ultimately found an unlikely gem—not so in-the-rough.
PROPERTY SITE: www.1703-19thAve.com
This stately home was a jalopy when my clients bought it in 2008. A major remodel brought the kitchen and 2.5 baths into the 21st century, and brought the owners an astounding return on their investment, setting a new high-water mark in the neighborhood.
PROPERTY SITE: www.342elwood.com
An extended family of three generations and two outdoor turtles needed something very specific, and this heirloom property fit the bill. They initially assumed they couldn't afford it, but through creative financing they were able to add this delightful home to their family's treasures.
Buy low, sell high -- that was the scenario for my clients on this gorgeous Tudor. They found it languishing on the market over the holidays, snapped it up with no competition, and sold it four years later at a handsome profit.
It started with a rare, vacant duplex for two families, followed by a condo conversion, and surprise! -- twins on the way. All played a part in the acquisition and subsequent successful re-sale, opening up new pursuits for a growing family.
When my clients were countered to increase their price in the 2008 purchase, they were sweating... Seven years later, their first California bungalow produced enough profit for them to buy a larger house for their family, which had by then expanded by 3 children.
My buyer had a very particular need: Sparkling clean soil so she could grow food for her nutritional therapy business. The five existing lemon trees in the back yard were bursting with fruit -- a good sign -- but we had to figure out how to test the soil, in advance of submitting a strong offer.
My buyers were waiting on the front porch when I arrived, already strategizing about how to win this super-special house. Originally a boat-building school on the same site as Berkeley's first elementary school, the property was "too unique" for conventional financing. My buyers ultimately prevailed on offer day in a nail-biting race, and First Republic Bank crafted a loan that sailed through.
Much to the delight of the neighbors, my clients executed a meticulous renovation of a decrepit Queen Anne home with great bones. Located on an historic block lined with swaying palm trees, the gorgeous finished product fetched a record-breaking price for the neighborhood.
The market was hot when my client became the first owner of this new town home, and hotter still when he sold it several years later at a profit. Two more listings in the same complex quickly followed, as original owners saw the market's appreciation and capitalized on it.
My buyers wanted views... of the Bay AND the hills. How was I going to find the house that had both? Fortunately they weren't in a hurry, and one day it was there -- the house with the Bay in front and the canyon in back. In addition to the irresistible views, the house had just been re-imagined from a vacation cottage to a thoroughly modern, green, sun-lit home.
When my clients bought this home in 2010, it was already a hot market in El Cerrito. I prepared my clients for competition, and we were ready for the race. I presented them to the sellers—in person, not just price and terms, but a more complete story about their family.
In spite of 15-offers, ours was accepted, and after we closed my clients became friends with the sellers. Is was then that we found out that there were two offers significantly higher than ours. Five years later, my clients got a job offer in Silicon Valley — a once-in-a-lifetime dream job that we couldn't pass up. They entrusted the listing of their house with me, as they said, “(their) good-luck charm.”
A dream house for my buyers -- as well as for 10 others who submitted offers -- this property's considerable assets included a unique central atrium and a view of both bridges. The clincher was the detached studio, perfect for a thriving jewelry design business.
My buyers were due to have a baby any minute, and were still searching for just the right house. In their laser-beam focus, they spotted this landmark home from a block away and fell in love with it. There was just one problem: It wasn't for sale...
"Moving out of state is no picnic", my clients said. "Can you just handle everything?" They handed me the keys, departed for Portland, and I got to work, managing updates, repairs, and preparations for several months before debuting on the market. The house made a splash and received 10 offers, thanks to careful planning and the sellers' willingness to make it shine.
My buyers saw the "For Sale" sign by sheer chance while strolling in the neighborhood one afternoon. They were in contract 5 days later to become the new stewards of the iconic Lueders House, one of the finest Victorians in the East Bay. A lifelong labor of love, this sensational Victorian mansion had undergone a tip-to-toe restoration over 30+ years. It is the last remaining estate in what was once a colony of similar homes in the 1800s. More info.
From San Francisco to Glenview? Not exactly what my clients had in mind originally, but seeing this home glowing like a lantern one evening, there was no turning back. An excellent example of fine Craftsman architecture and details, the edible garden was the cherry on top for these San Francisco foodies.