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Vanessa & Brett Leonard

Redwood City, Horgan Ranch | client since 2015

Teacher at Las Lomitas School District in Menlo Park | Business Process Outsourcing at Sellbytel

Where did you grow up and what made you stay here?

Vanessa

I grew up in Burlingame. It was a wonderful place to grow up! We rode bikes in the neighborhood until dark and had Easter egg hunts in neighbors' backyards or at Washington Park. I loved going to Burlingame Avenue for lunch at Copenhagen Bakery. There never used to be a Gap or any retail stores there when I was a young kid! I went to St. Matthew’s Episcopal, then Burlingame Intermediate School and Burlingame High School. I studied Journalism at UCLA and majored in Communications. I graduated, worked as a TV news reporter in Montana, but then got the itch to come back to warmer Californai! I returned to SF and worked as a news writer and producer. I met Brett 11 years ago and shortly after we got married we bought our first home! At the time, the Bay Area was getting even more popular to live, but we were able to buy a nice home in San Carlos.

Brett

I grew up in Rittenhouse Square Philadelphia and studied at Temple and Arizona University. I always dreamed of moving to California (because of watching so many movies made in California/Hollywood). I moved out west in 1998 and dreamed of meeting a California girl! Vanessa was my dream come true!

What was your journey like buying a home and what do you love about your neighborhood?

Vanessa

I found the first time home buying experience a little scary because it was so unknown! I loved living in San Carlos because it reminded me so much of Burlingame - cute quaint shops - good authentic food and restaurants and close to schools and parks. It’s also not that far from San Francisco! Brett and I bought our second home this past summer in Redwood City. I felt the purchasing process was great! We got the home for below asking! It was larger than our first home, and much closer to where my children go to school and where I work. We love that it’s so close to Woodside High, where the kids like to play and close to local restaurants and other parks. We loved the Halloween parade that had a marching band.

What was your experience working with Raziel?

Vanessa

My experience working with Raziel was outstanding. I felt he was VERY accommodating to taking my calls and emails and answering my never ending questions. He let us know about all our options throughout the process. He was level headed and realistic about the process.

What was your childhood ambition?

Vanessa

I had always wanted to be a TV news reporter.

Brett

To be a Philadelphia Phillies player.

Who inspired you the most?

Vanessa

I’m inspired most by my mom who passed away a few years ago. Somehow, she raised two daughters, worked as an interior designer and teacher and made it all look so easy and seamless- in Burlingame! It is hard to not have her around, but we often spend much time with my father who loves to play with the kids!

What is at the top of your bucket list?

Vanessa

My bucket list items include more travel – continuing to explore more of Italy and France, and other various tropical islands.

What organization do you love?

Vanessa

I love working as a special education teacher. It takes a lot of organization and patience!

What's the best advice you've ever received?

Vanessa

I try to live by my dad’s motto of seeing the glass half full, and not half empty!