I was born in San Rafael, but I consider Menlo Park my hometown. When I was 3 years old, my father took a job at Sunset Magazine (based in Menlo Park). My folks sold the family home in Marinwood, and we moved to Menlo Park. My dad bought a house from the owner of Sunset, Bill Lane. It was a really interesting single story home built in an early California style. It had oversized oak beams, terra-cotta tile floors and an over sized fireplace. The exterior and most interior walls were adobe brick. I really enjoyed living in that home! Menlo Park was a relatively normal place to live back then, before silicon chips, and micro processors ruled the peninsula.
I attended college, and eventually moved to Monterey. I lived like a pauper for a few years working as a civilian employee at Ft. Ord. Monterey was an absolutely beautiful place to live, but the weather drove me crazy. September, October, and November were amazing but the rest of the year was awful. I ended up moving (coincidentally) to San Rafael in the mid 1980’s. I evenually bought a home in Sonoma County in 1992.
When I first became a licensed real estate agent, I worked for a popular local franchise here in Santa Rosa. I was mentored by a senior agent who had been my Realtor a few years earlier. I diligently attended every meeting, and training opportunity offered. After 5 years, I felt I had enough experience to apply for my broker’s license. I took the state exam in Oakland, and about 2 weeks later received a letter stating I had passed, and was a broker. I felt really restricted by the franchise I worked for. The nail in the coffin occurred when a friend told me that he wanted to buy his grandmother’s house, and just wanted me to help them with the paperwork. They had agreed upon a price, based on a recent appraisal, but did not really know where to go from there. They wanted to know what I’d charge them for that service. I asked my managing broker what we charged for that and she said “You’ll never make it in this business if you can’t get 6% every time. I was appalled. I did the transaction for less, against my broker’s wishes, and left the company soon after to start my own business.
In addition to helping my clients buy and sell real estate, I enjoy mountain biking and hiking in the beautiful hills of Sonoma County. I am a professional white water guide, and frequently take friends and family up to the South Fork of the American River for some whitewater fun. I brew my own beer, and keep hives of honey bees. I rescue and/or forster beagles for Northern California Beagle Rescue and I support the Boy Scouts of America where I have been a den and troop leader for the past 5 years.
I have lived in Rincon Valley for the past 20 years and I think the best place to live in Santa Rosa. Rincon Valley still has some of the charm of yesteryear. There are two small central shopping centers where it’s hard to get in and out of the stores without seeing and talking to somebody you know. It is bordered by tall beautiful hills and mountains to the north and south, and there are plenty of things to do for all ages. I am truly grateful to be able to live and raise my kids here.