Contact

Michael Ma & Stephanie Gu

Burlingame, Ray Park | client since 2012

Principal at Parallel Advisors | Rheumatologist at Kaiser Permanente

What was your journey like buying a home?

Both

My wife and I took some time to visit several neighborhoods and open houses before we engaged Raziel as our agent. Once we did, we were fortunate to find our ideal family home rather quickly and our first offer was accepted after a bit of back-and-forth negotiation. After we purchased our home, we embarked on a major home renovation that took almost four months to complete. Fortunately, we were able to live in our previous home while the new home was being renovated and then sell it quickly after we moved into our new home.

My experience working with Raziel was: ___________

Both

Smooth. He took the time to get to know my family's needs and helped us gain a deeper understanding of the neighborhoods and price points. When he found out that my Mother-in-Law was going to be living with us from time-to-time, and wanted to help us in our search, he had his materials translated into Chinese so she could be more engaged in the process. When we finally found our ideal home, he negotiated a great price in a professional manner, facilitated our buyer inspections, and even helped us negotiate a small credit at closing based on some items we uncovered from our inspections. Raziel remained cool and composed throughout the transaction, and whenever an issue arose, he remained focused on finding solutions.

What surprised you the most about the home buying process?

Both

As a financial professional, it is not uncommon for me to utilize a spreadsheet when planning an important financial decision. However, despite my planning, my wife and I ultimately expanded our budget significantly. Although it was a bit unexpected at the time, in hindsight, I am grateful that we did. So whatever your budget is, be prepared to expand it.

What was your childhood ambition?

Michael

Fly like Superman.

What is your favorite hidden gem?

Michael

Literally, its my wife's engagement ring. As a Physician, she does not wear it to work so we hide it in a safe place.

What is your biggest challenge?

Michael

Balancing family, work, and health.

What was your first job?

Michael

Managing a 46-unit apartment building as a full-time college student.

Who inspires you?

Michael

My Grandfather. He lived a truly amazing life. He passed away in 2010 at the age of 100.

What is your favorite movie?

Michael

Any Christopher Nolan movie. The Dark Knight is film-making at its finest.

What is your top bucket list item?

Michael

Seeing the Cal Bears win the Rose Bowl.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

Michael

Being a Dad.

What organizations do you love?

Michael

The Burlingame Library Foundation and the Financial Planning Association of San Francisco. I serve on the Board of both.

What was it like growing up in Hillsborough?

Michael

Hillsborough is a quiet town with tree-lined streets, few sidewalks, and a temperate climate. The homes are surrounded by mature Eucalyptus and Redwood trees that fill the air with a minty pine scent. My childhood home was located only a block from North Elementary School and Crocker Middle school, so I have great memories of walking to and from school with my siblings and friends.

What is the best advice you've ever received?

Michael

"Money may come and go, but knowledge is forever." - My Grandpa Francois Ma