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Matt Tiffany & Vidita Chopra

San Mateo, Parkside | client since 2014

Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University | Clinical Research Coordinator at UCSF

Where did you grow up and why did you decide to stay here?

Buffalo was great to grow up in but the Bay Area is vastly superior. I came here for graduate school and fell in love with the area. Once Vidita moved out here we haven't looked back.

We grew up in different parts of the world - Matt is from Buffalo, NY. I didn't grow up in one city. My family moved alot for my dad's job, bur if I had to pick a hometown, it would be New Delhi, India. My grandparents lived there always. Growing up in India was awesome! I had the best childhood and family and miss it sometimes. Things are not the same back home anymore though so it's not the same when I visit.

How did you decide to move out of San Francisco?

Since I worked down at Stanford, and Vidita worked in San Francisco, we wanted something that we could easily commute up and down the peninsula from, so we didn’t want to look at the East Bay, for example. We were using Google Maps, and we were going around to all the open houses. It was working okay in terms of recalling which open houses we went to, and what they were like, but that really didn’t give us as much information about the neighborhood per se, so that’s what got us to Raziel’s website. We initially started investigating what the neighborhoods were like, and Raziel’s website was an amazing tool. We viewed the maps, and thought whoever made this map did a much better job than us. We loved the maps, and that’s honestly what brought us to the website, and it said burlingameproperties.com.

We were renting a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco, and after five years, felt pretty cramped. We loved the city and the convenience of just living in the middle of everything, but felt like it was time for us to have a larger space, and that was very hard for us to afford in San Francisco. So we wanted to look at neighborhoods in the Peninsula. San Mateo seemed like it was right in the middle. We started off with using apps like Trulia and Redfin and quickly realized that we would need a Realtor who we could really trust and somebody who was very knowledgeable. We had no clue about the peninsula, because we were so caught up in living in San Francisco. We wanted to do was educate ourselves on what constitutes the peninsula...what were the different cities, different counties, and different neighborhoods. We knew San Mateo was, a good in-between in terms of commuting and had a lot of nice neighborhoods.

I called and Raziel was at a wedding and he missed my call, but called me back within an hour. He said, “Hey, I’m at a wedding, but I would love to meet up when I get back”. That, in and of itself, said a lot for him to answer the phone while he was at a wedding, and also be responsive right away. So, we were really excited to meet him. We set up a time and drove to Burlingame and spent a few hours in Raziel’s office, and signed the contract to formally hire him, and started looking.

My experience working with Raziel was:

Continuous: We found Raziel through his website while trying to select neighborhoods along the peninsula to narrow our housing search. We had talked with at least one other realtor prior to meeting with Raziel, and had several recommendations for other realtors from friends and family.

There is very little one can do to make buying property in the Bay Area easier besides having a boat load of cash. However, Raziel has a formula for buying a house that we listened to and it worked for us. One could likely arise at this formula through other sources, but here is why you should go with Raziel and pay him the extra percentage that he requires:

1) He is a genuinely good human being and is not in the market to solely make money. This is proven by his clear focus on community, especially his focus on the mid-peninsula and Burlingame. He has lived in this area his whole life and is extremely familiar with the neighborhoods.

2) After working with him you join his community. Most people in the Bay Area are transplants and if you are like us, you will likely either move to another location in the Bay Area or move away (I don't know why you would want to). As a consequence, you will see a realtor at least once more. Raziel continuously reaches out to his community to stay connected, through parties, dinners, and local events. While these are certainly amazing and unique perks of being in Raziel's community, he also has a network of knowledge about what to do and who to talk to concerning things after you move in. We found that our house needed some small repairs and turned to Raziel who steered us in the right direction.

No realtor can find you your perfect home. You have to be proactive. Raziel applies his formula and gives you the optimal chance at getting a house. Pick Raziel over other realtors not only because of his high success rate, but mostly because, unlike other realtors, your relationship with him will not stop after you sign the last document.

Fruitful: We bought a house and he played a key role in that process. He gave us the right tips at the right time and stayed calm when emotions were high. I recommend him to everyone looking for a house in the Peninsula!

What do you love the most about your neighborhood?

It's quiet and not too far away from downtown San Mateo. There are clean sidewalks and parks nearby.

The trees!! I love every single tree on our street, especially the one in our backyard. It is such a treat after living in an apartment of 5 years.

What was your journey like buying a home?

My wife and Raziel were awesome!


It was tough. People say we had it easy since we found a home within two months but I still thought it was emotionally challenging. Having Raziel as a realtor definitely made things a lot smoother. It is not easy to buy a home in the Bay Area but once you do, you feel very proud.

What surprised you the most about the home buying process?

How about that first property tax bill....


How quickly the homes fly off the market and how much over asking price every single home sells for!

What was your childhood ambition?

To cure cancer.

To be a Pop Diva.

What's your proudest accomplishment?

Getting my PhD.

Surviving childbirth and emerging with the cutest baby.

What's your favorite hidden gem?

Apple Fritter on Norfolk Street in San Mateo.

Tokie's for sushi in Foster City.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Trying to make enough money to thrive in the Bay Area.

Moving to the United States at the age of 18 and leaving everything I loved back in India.

What was your first job?

Paperboy

Research Assistant

What inspires you?

Jens Voight (a German former professional road bicycle racer for several teams)

I find music very inspiring.

What's your favorite movie?

The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

Legally Blonde....I know, embarrasing.

What's your favorite room in your house

The quiet garage.

Our nursery, it turned out amazing! Sometimes Matt and I will go there and hang out even if our baby is in the other room.

What is at the top of your bucket list?

To bicycle up Col de la Croix de Fer

To visit the pyramids in Egypt

What organizations do you love?

SF2G

Breast Cancer Action (www.bacaction.org)

What is the best advice you have ever received?

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say aything at all - I don't talk much.

Just breathe....