What was your home selling experience like?
This was our first and only home, and we had spent most of 37 years remodeling and improving this home for our growing family; aside from our four children, our home was our biggest source of pride and joy. Selling was therefore a very emotional time for us.It could have been traumatic, but thanks to Raziel and the sensitive and professional team he assembled, preparing our home for sale, and then selling it, was a very positive experience where we focused on our bright future rather than what we were leaving.
Why did you choose Raziel to sell your home?
We first met Raziel and his family when our oldest son and Raziel played on the same AYSO soccer team when they were 7 years old (we found pictures to prove it)! Their group of friends began an annual gathering during the holidays when they started college to which we were invited, and over the years we have been following Raziel’s ascendency to among the top real estate agents in Burlingame. When it came time to sell our “empty nest” we knew we could not find a more honest agent in Burlingame who would keep our best interests in mind.
What surprised you the most about your selling experience?
The entire selling process seemed to be very smooth and quick. What was most amazing was receiving an offer over asking price with no contingencies that closed in a mere 21 days! When Raziel first met with us he predicted that would happen, and having heard other people’s selling experiences, I had my doubts. But his prediction came true!
I agree with Russ, the selling experience was very smooth.The marketing and administrative details were handled efficiently and effectively by Angilee and Vanessa, respectively, and Emily is an absolute project management wizard at managing the inspections and trades who helped get our house ready for sale. Raziel and the team communicated with us every step of the way, and we felt that selling our house with the best possible outcome was their highest priority.
What do you love most about your neighborhood?
Despite seeing a lot of change over 37 years, with younger families and children replacing older, original neighbors, we have a very friendly street. It is also a fairly narrow street so cars were forced to slow down, which was good for safety. Our location was ideal: walking distance to McKinley Elementary school, biking distance to Burlingame Intermediate and Burlingame High School, and an easy walk to shopping on either Broadway or Burlingame Avenue. We felt we were truly in the “heart” of Burlingame.
What was your childhood ambition?
I admired and respected my grandfather and father and wanted to be the best of both of them. My grandfather was a carpenter who worked to build many of the stately homes in lower Millbrae, and I spent a lot of time with him in his workshop when I was young. My father emigrated from Australia after having served with the US Merchant Marines in WWII and worked hard to support me and my four brothers, studying when he was not working so he could have a career in real estate after having been a stationary engineer and union steward. Both my grandfather and father were honest, hardworking men of the highest integrity. I provided for my family by become a building contractor remodeling high end homes on the Peninsula, treating my clients with the utmost respect just as I had been shown.
I recall wanting to attend Stanford, even though my father had gone to Cal; however, as the oldest of five children, that was not to be. So I focused on being the best I could be: as the mother of four amazing young people, in a 25 year career in leasing and finance, and managing our family’s contracting business.
What has been your biggest challenge?
For years my biggest challenge was keeping my head above water and staying awake! I was a full-time working mom with four active kids, my own full time job, and I managed our finances and household while Russ was managing his construction jobs. Both Russ and I burned the candle at both ends, but our focus was always on providing the best home, and the best education possible, for our kids.
My biggest challenge was trying to balance time with Gail and our kids with time spent growing my contracting business. I would leave my jobs to attend a soccer or baseball game, then return to the job to finish out the day. It was hard to go on vacations when the kids were out of school for the summer when we were working six and seven days a week.
What was your first job?
My first job was teaching swimming lessons at the home of my swim team coach. I was on the Millbrae Otters swim team and our coach and his wife taught lessons at their home. I bought a portable sewing machine with the money I earned and used it to sew my clothes.
My first job was selling greeting cards door-to-door for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. I sold so many cards that I got to meet Jerry Lewis on the stage at the Millbrae Theater! I also cut lawns, delivered newspapers, worked at a veterinary clinic, and then at a men’s clothing store in Millbrae called the Ritz Shop. I still see some of the people who I used to wait on at the Ritz Shop when I was in high school.
Who was your greatest inspiration?
My father was my greatest inspiration. He truly lived by the “Golden Rule”.
In my younger years I don’t recall any one person being an inspiration. However, through the years my mother has become my inspiration with her positive outlook and capacity to love.
What's your favorite room?
My favorite room is our living room because there was enough room for everyone to be comfortable.Our house has a real wood-burning fireplace that we enjoyed during the holidays when everybody was home.
My favorite room is the kitchen and breakfast room, because that is where our family gathered in the morning at the start of the day, and then shared our days over dinner.
What's the best advice you have ever received?
One of my college professors advised that I investigate everything. This was very useful advice, especially for the more complex construction projects we had through the years.
My Norwegian grandmother, an eternal optimist, always said, “There is never anything so bad that something good does not come of it.”
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