I said recently on this blog “ego quoque mutabo (I too shall change),” if one feels truly mutatus (changed) from non-grow-up-hood to adult-hood I can think of only two other activities that seal it after “getting a mortgage on a place to live.”
On Tuesday I signed and initialed many, many pages of paper which established my intention and permission to take possession of a few hundred square feet of San Francisco real estate. Having never bought a house before, this was some interesting times.
This last November when RubyConf came around I flirted with the idea “Maybe I could buy a place to live instead of renting…” Thanks to my sister putting me in connection with a realtor in the Silicon Valley who put me in contact with my AWESOME realtor Vanessa Gamp and the AWESOME financial help of Mike Ervin, we were able to put in a bid and go into contract on a new condo development in San Francisco’s South of Market (SoMa) district. It was a weird cycle of heartbreaks and hopes, dreams and despair, imaginings and scratching off. We saw about 20 properties since our move but none of them really made the right sense emotionally or financially.
I guess that’s a weird thing no one tells you about buying a home, it’s an X-Y axis between money and “satisfaction.” We just never got to the right balance of the two, until last Tuesday when Vanessa called me, in an agitated state. She wanted Lauren and I to drop everything and see “this great place.” So, come 4:30 we were outside, went in, and saw the place that “just felt right.”
Two of my friends, Ryan and Patrick gave great advice:
Said Ryan: When you find it, you just have to be ready to say, I just walked in here, but it’s right, let’s buy this very expensive thing.
Said Patrick: You have to love it, and you have to be able to walk away.
Upon entering and knowing the neighborhood, we loved it, and we were ready. The question was, would we have the opportunity to walk away, or would it be plucked. A few days later, our offer was accepted. A day later these photos were taken.
A few quick words to those who don’t know SF….
SoMa was formerly the realm of warehouses and, later, drug addicts, but come the new ball park, the endemic startup culture, and the growth of the Mission Bay biomedical research complex, all that has changed (for about a decade now). The unit is 2 blocks to Sony’s Metreon building, 2 blocks to the W hotel, near many fine restaurants, 3 blocks to the SF MOMA, 4 blocks to the Bloomingdales / Westfield center, 5 blocks to Market street, and 7 blocks to the Union Square shopping Mecca. We’ll be able to walk to some of the best features of this city of Gold and Fire.
As a bonus, we’re walking distance to transit which will help us embrace a walkable lifestyle. We’re also a quarter block away from Whole Foods, but having seen a tub of fruit there for $10, I’m thinking that may be a rare visit. Lastly, we’re just two right turns away from heading into freeway access should we want / need to visit the Peninsula or the South Bay.
But who cares about words, it’s all about the pictures. So here they are, from my iPhone.