We had a strict deadline to find a home. We were renting from people who were selling and we could not agree on a price for that house, so we had to move.
As East Coast natives on a four-month deadline, Streeter and David had to jump into the East Bay real estate market quickly and learn about pricing, disclosures, and neighborhoods. After a bit of searching, they realized how difficult it was to find the one
home that worked.
Their agent Sue Arendt turned out to be their "real estate angel," according to David. "She helped us avoid bad decisions," he said.
She made herself available day and night, worked with the couple's style and insisted they understand the circumstances around each home they were interested in, which became really important with a couple of homes they almost bought.
"Early on, we found the perfect house on a hill and Sue insisted that we talk to a geo-technical engineer," said David. It turned out that the house was built on a landslide and was moving a bit down the hill with each passing year. Ultimately, they decided it wasn't the right house for them, even though they loved it.
"Sue could've just said this house is fine and let us buy it," said Streeter, because one person who checked out the hill situation said it was probably OK. But instead, she insisted the couple get it checked out with a geotechnical engineer.
Along came a second house the couple was ready to buy. But Sue did some investigating and found water in the basement. Also, it was a short sale, which she knew from experience would take longer to close and jeopardize the couple's deadline.
"Once again, she could've easily sold us this house and been done," said Streeter.
Sue's integrity and knowledge of the local market left an impression on them. In fact, just after their offer was accepted on the home they eventually bought, Sue reexamined the local market price fluctuations and was able to renegotiate a lower sales price for them.
"She wasn't going to let us do something stupid," said Streeter.
Now the two are happily settled into their unique house on a quiet corner in El Cerrito where David was able to set up a separate home office for his advertising business.
"We never felt like we were out there without support," smiles David.