What was your selling experience like?
A few months after having our first child, Alice and I decided that it was time to move to a larger home closer to her work. That meant selling our Burlingame house, which after three years and a big remodelling project, had really just started to feel like home. Once we finally made the tough decision to sell, I realy enjoyed the process – it was fun documenting our work and making sure we had a good story to share with buyers. Raziel’s team took care of many of the hard parts of prepping, staging, marketing, and logistics, and we were really happy with the outcome.
Overall, we had a very smooth selling process. Raziel and his team did a really fantastic job with staging, and also made a big difference when negotiating with buyers. One thing I appreciated early in the process was Raziel’s advice on what items were worthwhile spending a bit of money to fix for the sale.
Why did you choose Raziel to sell your home?
Raziel was our agent when we purchased our home three years earlier, and we wanted to work with him again as a seller. We already had a good deal of respect and trust in his knowledge, professionalism, and personal integrity, so it was an easy choice.
We felt that one of the most important things we needed in an agent was someone who could help put together outstanding marketing materials, and Raziel’s homes have some of the best pictures and write-ups that we’ve seen. He is also one of the most well-known agents in Burlingame, which was helpful when working with buyer agents.
What surprised you the most about your selling experience?
Some of the specifics of our transaction were quite surprising, but I’ll have to tell them to you over a drink :).
I expected selling a house to be all business, but at some point I found myself feeling very emotionally attached to the buyers. I wanted to know that they would be good people, good neighbors to our friends, and that they would value the home. Even now, when I drive by Burlingame on my way to San Francisco, I often wonder what how they are doing in our old house. In the end, selling a house is a very personal experience.
What was your journey like buying a home?
When we first started looking, it was a bit de-moralizing. We were looking at open houses, and things were either too expensive, or disappeared from the market immediately. Once we knew we were serious, we interviewed a few realtors and really liked Raziel. We ended up buying the first house we looked at with him, and it was much easier than we expected. We moved in a couple months later.
Living in San Francisco and commuting to Mountain View wasn't working for my wife, so we were looking for a new place with some urgency, and it was causing a bit of anxiety. Simultaneously, I was trying to run my startup, which left me little time to actually search for property. Finding a good agent helped the process become much more guided, and gave us the information we needed to quickly and confidently narrow down our choices and decide to buy our current place in Burlingame.
What surprised you the most about the home buying process?
I was surprised that we bought a house that wan't even officially on the market. I didn't realize these types of sales happened very frequently. I guess you have to know the right person.
I think the home buying process could be more efficient than it is, and as a first time buyer, I was a bit surprised how much we needed to learn to optimize our time and avoid making mistakes. On the one hand, you have pre-market sales, closed bidding, and mortgage requirements, and on the other you have sites like RedFin and Zillow that give thousands of people access to the same limited supply of houses. Having a a good agent removed a lot of our uncertainty and doubt.
My experience working with Raziel was...
Easy. Raziel just made it happen! Behind the scenes, I think there was quite a bit of skill involved. Raziel is a very nice person, but he also works hard and is a good negotiator.
Delightful. Raziel is one of the most honest, intelligent, professional, competent, and fundamentally good people I've worked with. I'm happy to refer him to friends.
What did you love the most about your neighborhood?
The location was awesome! I liked being close to public transportation, downtown, and Washington park. I really liked being able to walk to Burlingame downtown for dinner, or for the Sunday morning farmer's market. I also really liked jogging along Airport Boulevard.
We were very close to Burlingame High School, and I liked going for early morning runs on the track, or just jogging down Oak Grove and admiring the huge trees. Living in Burlingame Gardens also made It really convenient for my wife and I to share the short ride to the Millbrae BART/Caltrain station before going separate directions to San Francisco and Mountain View. We couldn't have hoped for a better location.
Which is your favorite room in the house?
What was your childhood like?
I grew up in the suburbs of Tai-chung, Taiwan. I remember the houses being packed tightly in the alleyway where we lived near the train station. My Dad ran a Chinese medicine shop at the market near our house, and I used to play with the neighborhood kids near his store. The things I miss most about living in Taiwan are the food, and being surrounded by family.
I grew up in North Carolina, moving several times, but mostly living in the suburbs of Winston-Salem after I was 10. I remember hot summer afternoons playing basketball at our local recreation center, and early morning track practices in the park near my school. I always believed as a kid that I would eventually grow up and live somewhere new, and when I was 22, I packed my stuff and took a bus to San Francisco to find work amidst the web tech bubble of 2000. 14 years later, I finally got married and bought a house here.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Marrying my wife.
Helping launch Google photos.
What was your childhood ambition?
Start my own tech business.
Work for a great company.
What is your top bucket list item?
Complete an Ironman.
Travel to at least 50 countries.
What organization do you love?
Against Malaria Foundation.
What is your biggest challenge?
Creating apps that people love.
Who inspires you?
What is your favorite movie?
What is the best advice you've ever received?
"You'd be a good software engineer."
What is your favorite hidden gem?
Quansoo Beach, Chilmark, MA
Unnamed Beach, Hualien, Taiwan
What was your first job?
Lawn mowing business with my brother