Buying a home in San Francisco is no easy feat, even if it’s your fourteenth time. So, when Patrick and his husband Akshay embarked on their latest house hunt — and first one as a couple — they knew it would take a lot of resolve to get an offer accepted in the Bay Area.
“It’s unlike any other real estate market”
With such limited inventory, finding a home in San Francisco can prove to be a challenge. “We’d been looking in the area for a while. I’ve done a lot of personal real estate investments over the last 15 years and was actually in the process of selling a house in Portland, Oregon at the same time,” said Patrick. “But the market here is intense.”
Despite the competition, for Patrick and Akshay, making the decision to buy a property in the city was a no-brainer. “We were paying almost $2,000 a month more for rent than our eventual mortgage. It’s crazy.”
Using Open Listings in a competitive market
Initially, Patrick found the service online by researching innovative new ways to invest in real estate. “I really wanted to work with a company that would streamline the process,” he said. “There’s a handful of real estate agents that are amazing, but once we heard of Open Listings, we did not look for a traditional real estate agent because knew that we could do our own due dilligence and use Open Listings for the rest of it. I never had any doubt it was going to be the right fit for us. Plus, it allowed us to maximize our dollar.”
On top of the streamlined service, Patrick and Akshay knew that every extra dollar they got with their commission refund would help make their Bay Area home ownership dreams a little more attainable.
“Every time we would look at a listing, we would check to see what our refund amount would be. It made an impact because your dollar doesn’t go far in the San Francisco market. Anything we were looking at within budget would require a bit of work. Knowing we were going to get that refund helped and gave us more cash to work with to make the updates we needed.”
Comfort meets chic in Akshay & Patrick’s new living room
“What we were looking for and what we got were a little bit different”
Akshay and Patrick began their house hunt looking for a two bedroom, two bathroom house in a nice neighborhood with backyard space for their dog, Riley. As Patrick works from home, he also needed the ability to have a home office, while Akshay needed to be near a shuttle stop for the tech company he works at.
The couple found that house hunting in San Francisco quickly became a lesson in compromise. “Because the price barrier is the driving force of any purchase here, we started looking at neighborhoods beyond San Fracisco and looking at the Bay Area overall. But, at the end of the day, we realized that location wasn’t the thing we wanted to sacrifice. So, at that point, we had to look at what could give.”
At that point, Patrick and Akshay re-prioritized their house hunting must-haves. Location (San Francisco proper) and property type (a single family residence vs. a condo or townhome) moved to the top of their list, while they expanded their search to include one bedroom homes.
“It was a constant negotiation. When you see something in this market, you don’t have the luxury of taking your time or really waiting to see if something is a better fit.”
Patrick and Akshay’s dog, Riley, feeling right at home in his new place
Finding ‘the one’
Fifteen offers later, Patrick and Akshay finally got their offer accepted for a charming home in the Southwest San Francisco Merced Heights neighborhood. “We checked most of our boxes — except, we got a one bedroom, one bath instead of a two bedroom, two bath home,” said Patrick.
“But we’re really happy with everything else. Plus, we ended up with an ocean view, which we absolutely love, and it wasn't on our checklist. So, it’s a trade-off.”
“I loved how simple it was”
After going the traditional offer route for his last 14 houses, Patrick was blown away by the simplicity and ease of Open Listings’ offer submission process. “Normally there’s so much paperwork, and it’s so cumbersome. This was just such a simple way to identify what we wanted our offer to be.”
With the help of their buying agent, Sarah, and their transaction coordinator, Crista, Patrick and Akshay were able to close on their new house quickly, just two days before going out of town for three weeks.
“They were both fantastic,” said Patrick. “Because this market goes so quickly and the offer periods are so intense, it was nice that they were so responsive. The communication was great.”
“Buying a home doesn’t have to be forever”
As Patrick and Akshay settle into their home, they’ve already used their refund to start making improvements in curb appeal — from landscaping to exterior improvements — to make the house feel more welcoming and to bolster their investment.
“This is definitely a house we’re going to hang onto for a long time. That being said, we’ll probably only live here for three to five years and will likely turn it into an investment property,” says Patrick.
Akshay, Patrick & Riley enjoying their new house
“By using a service like Open Listings, we were able to capitalize on our cash flow and get into this competitive market. It’s important to be able to get your foot in the door. You can buy a home, make money off of it, move onto another one, or keep it as a long term investment. You don’t have to live in it forever.”
But, in the meantime, the two are enjoying their new peek-a-boo ocean views and ample yard space for Riley.
Interested in maximizing your cash flow like Patrick & Akshay when it comes to homebuying? House hunt 24/7 with Open Listings, book home tours, submit offers, and save an average of $9,604 with our commission refund of up to 50%.
Buyer stories are based on interviews with Open Listings customers. Participants in Open Listings buyer stories have been compensated with a $100 gift card for their time. Their quotes have not been altered, except for brevity or grammar.