Melissa & Scott Matthews

Burlingame, Lyon Hoag | client since 2014

Teacher and Student Counselor | 23andMe

What is your occupation?

I lead Castlight Health’s User Growth team.

I am a counselor for students with disabilities at a local community college, where I also teach.

Where are you from originally, and what brought you to the peninsula?

Scott grew up in Arkansas and I grew up in Florida. I eventually moved to New York for graduate school and Scott had moved there after finishing graduate school. We met one fateful night out and about in the city. We both grew up in small towns and we absolutely loved the energy of city life.

After we had been in New York for about 5 years, I received an offer to work for a San Francisco based start-up and it was off to the West Coast for us. We moved to Noe Valley and started exploring the Bay Area. We’ve been in the Bay Area for 5 years and have decided to make it our permanent home.

We knew once we started a family we didn’t want to stay in San Francisco so we started looking for other options in the Bay Area. Our first visit to Burlingame sealed it for us, we loved the access to retail and wonderful restaurants while still being close to all the fun that San Francisco offers. I also loved the warm weather! It really was exactly what we wanted when we thought about growing our family.

What do you love the most about your neighborhood?

Hands down the walkability, I’m a short walk to the CalTrain which means I can avoid fighting traffic when heading into San Francisco for work.

Being able to walk to numerous parks, retail, restaurants was an absolute must for us. The thing Scott and I really valued about New York and San Francisco was not needing to hop in a car whenever we wanted to do something. Being in Lyon-Hoag has really allowed us to retain that city feeling even though we’re in a suburban environment. A really great Sunday for us is walking to breakfast, hitting up the farmer’s market, then heading to Washington Park to enjoy the sun!

What was your journey like buying a home?

I had spent a year watching the Burlingame market before we decided it was time to move forward with the home buying process. It gave me a really good idea what we might end up with and at what price point we would be at. When we walked into the home we eventually purchased, it felt really right in a way that other homes I had seen up to that point did not. Coupled with Raziel’s’ excellent advice, we were able to feel really confident that we were making a solid offer. I was a jumble of nerves when the offer went forward and to say I was overjoyed when it was accepted is an understatement!

We were extremely lucky, the journey was a lot more enjoyable and less stressful than expected.

What surprised you the most?

We were prepared for the long haul and to have many offers rejected before we finally had one accepted. Raziel assured us that his clients often had their first offers accepted - that turned out to be true in our case and it was a very pleasant surprise!

Having done a lot of research and having a Realtor who was so knowledge about the local trends really made the process much more smooth than we anticipated.

I was also shocked by how quickly things moved. We saw the home over the weekend and had our offer submitted and accepted only a few days later. It was all a blur!

What was your experience like working with Raziel?

Raziel was really responsive and communicative throughout the home buying process. He is extremely knowledgeable about the market and gave us honest and trusted feedback and advice. I felt like he really listened to what we wanted and managed our expectations. Now that it’s been a few months since we’ve closed, I’ve also come to appreciate that Raziel also has set out to make a community among his clients. He’s done a great job of introducing us to neighbors and providing us with great referrals.

Being first time home buyers, Raziel did an excellent job walking us through the process and putting us in contact with some great resources. He was fantastic leading up to to the offer, during the closing period and after.

What is your favorite hidden gem?

We love Washington Park, but we’ve found that there’s generally never a wait for a swing at Victoria Park, which our impatient two year old thinks is a real gem.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Being a mom of two little girls

I can’t compete with that, becoming a parent.

What was your childhood ambition?

To be a ballerina or FBI agent

To be in the Olympics

What is your biggest challenge?

Not overindulging in sweets.

Finding enough hours in the day.

What was your first job?

Pizza chef at Showbiz Pizza (aka Chuck E Cheese)

Waitress at Crispers (local Florida restaurant)

Who is your inspiration?

My mom never ceases to amaze me with her energy and amazing mom skills!

My grandma Louise was an adventurer but still knew how to make a house a home.

What is your favorite movie?

I’ve seen Swingers about a million times

Rocky III

Which is your favorite room in the house?

Our kitchen/family room/play room is where our life happens.

What is your top bucket list item?

Go to a Superbowl (and see the Dallas Cowboys win!)

Camp out and see the Northern Lights

What organizations do you love?

I’ve enjoyed working with Habitat for Humanity

I’ve had some moving experiences volunteering for a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline affiliated crisis center.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

My mantra is “You just gotta laugh”

My grandma Louise always told me “be nice!”