No Place Like Home ...

Growing up amidst the rolling hills and oak trees of the North Bay, I always felt we lived in one of the most beautiful places on earth. I still remember day trips through West Marin to Heart’s Desire Beach, and looking for salamanders and treefrogs by the creek nearby our house. I guess I’ve always associated that pleasant rootedness I call “home” with the good life. And I guess that’s what eventually led to my passion for real estate: In many ways, it’s about discovering a route home for my clients. 

In 2007 I graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Rhetoric and English Literature and went to work for a few years in a group home for boys too unruly for the foster system – a bunch of real-life lost boys, and some of the best human beings I’ve ever had the privilege to know. Following that I spent several years abroad, working at jobs ranging from cooking aboard a supply ship on the Berring Sea, to prospect drilling for gold in the Alaskan interior, to working on an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico.

An Alaskan sea.

Given my ultimate goal, the fact I wound up living and working in such outlandish places was pretty ironic: Sure I wanted to see more of the world, but my main aim was always to return home with enough of a fortune to buy some land and develop it into a perennial, nor-cal paradise. For a long time I’d been fascinated with creating true wealth (and not just the monetary kind) through real estate, but it wasn’t until oil prices tanked a few years ago, and all of us grunts on my rig got laid off, that I realized I needed to return home to pursue my dream. I needed to become an expert at what I was passionate about. So I moved back to the Bay Area, enrolled in some real estate classes, and found my passion in finding ways to help people through real estate.

An arctic fox.

World's First Selfie

Sustainable development is my foremost passion. But I wasn’t working long in real estate before I realized expertise in finance was the key to making everything happen. Whether buying or building a home, leveraging one’s assets through a mortgage not only makes home-ownership vastly more accessible. A mortgage also multiplies one’s capacity to create wealth from one's assets, and this makes real estate the most powerful type of investment most people have access to. 

As a mortgage consultant, much of my days now consist of educating people on the mortgages, terms, amounts of leverage, and lenders that could ideally fit their needs. I quite literally get to help them strategize their various routes home. Sometimes that means helping them buy their first place; other times it means helping them build the home they’ve always dreamed of; and still other times it means helping them secure their financial future. Mortgage consulting is a tough, but incredibly rewarding profession, and the fact I get to do it in the Bay Area feels pretty special: To be able to help people thrive here, where I grew up, feels not only fortunate. It also make me feel as if, in some ways, my route home has already come full circle.

Purdy old P-17.

There's really no place like it.