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Joyce Chen & Wayne Hwang

San Mateo, Bay Meadows/Fiesta Gardens | client since 2018

Marketing | First Republic Bank | Creative Strategist | SalesForce

Where did you grow up? How did you decide to stay here?

Wayne

I grew up in Minnesota, while Joyce was born and raised in the foggy Sunset District of San Francisco. We met at Stanford, but we fell in love in New York. After four years in our well-curated shoebox in Manhattan, we decided to trade in skyscrapers and rooftop bars for dim sum. With our parents. Every Sunday.

What do you love the most about your neighborhood?

Joyce

Quality dogs and quality babies.

What was your journey like buying a home?

Both

We knew exactly what we wanted, and Raziel immediately made the call to find our (off market) house. We saw the house on a Sunday, put in the offer on Monday, and the offer was accepted on Tuesday.

What surprised you the most about the home buying process?

Joyce

How much my husband hated everything.

Our experience working with Raziel was: ___________ .

Wayne

Effortless.

We were referred to Raziel by our dear friends Cheri and Jeff. During our first meeting, Raziel asked thoughtful questions and took the time to walk us through his process. We respected that he set out the terms of his approach in clear, honest language.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Both

We’ve been so incredibly lucky, up to this point in our lives; when you’re young, healthy, happy, educated (caveat: we are the dumbest of our friend group), talented and loved, the world of possibilities is so wide. And in that atmosphere of relentless achievement, it’s easy to feel adrift.

We've made a home for ourselves. Now we wake up every morning with the mindset, “Okay, all the major decisions have been made. Let’s get to work.”

What was your childhood ambition?

Wayne

In order, plastic surgeon, concert pianist, fashion designer, macaron baker.

Joyce

Archaeologist, icon, legend.

What’s your favorite hidden gem?

Both

We’re really terrible Millennials, because we prefer cooking at home to eating out and we avoid traveling, outside of business trips. However, Wayne loves Baking Arts (18 East 3rd Avenue), where he gets cake decorating supplies and macaron specialty tools for his latest Instagram confections. We also make a point to stop by Suruki Supermarket (71 East 4th Avenue) every week to pick up our favorite brand of instant coffee, which we serve out of our embarrassing matching mugs, rosegold straws optional.

What’s been your biggest challenge?

Both

Dim sum. With our parents. Every Sunday.

What was your first job?

Wayne

When I was 16 years old, I got my first job in St. Paul, Minnesota, at a small boutique beading store where I taught Midwestern housewives how to bead their own crystal jewelry.

Joyce

My first job out of college was the crime beat at a newspaper in Tacoma, Washington. My shift started at 2pm and ended at 11pm; I had a police scanner at my desk, and when anything of interest came up, I would toss my cheap notebook into my cheap purse and drive, somewhat poorly, in the direction of danger.

What’s your greatest Inspiration?

Joyce

Spaces that are unapologetically devoted to art. For our combined bachelor/ette party in 2016, we took a road trip with three of our friends to visit the Dia: Beacon and Storm King Art Center in New York’s Hudson Valley. I like to describe our new home’s style as “industrial monk,” because the play of daylight across the super-dark hardwood floors and the white walls reminds me of The Met Cloisters.

Wayne

Artists whose work immediately tell a story, such as Iris Van Herpen, Michael Cino, and Elie Saab. Something that captivates you immediately, and reveals more complex layers as you consume it. But most of the time, I’m infinity scrolling through IG, cackling at memes from my favorite drag queens.

What’s your favorite movie?

Joyce

I’ll restrict my answers to my favorite train-based movies featuring Chris Evans: Snowpiercer (2013) and Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).

Wayne

It’s a tie between Stardust (2007) and Pan’s Labyrinth (2006).

What’s on the top of your bucket list item?

Wayne

Opening a bakery in Copenhagen.

Joyce

Writing a Very Specific short story collection in Copenhagen.

What organizations do you love?

Both

The de Young Museum, Legion of Honor, and 826 Valencia.