there was a woman named Mary, who had an apartment in a far-away land called San Francisco. But she dreamed of having a home and a garden for her very own on the tiny, magical island of Alameda. So Mary set out on a sometimes-wonderful, often-perplexing, and occasionally terrifying adventure to find her new home. Mary searched far and wide on the tiny island. Some homes were too big, some homes too small. Some homes were too broken-down, some homes too expensive. Mary decided she needed someone to help her learn about her new community, and guide her in the puzzling world of home buying, but who?

Then, after a long Sunday of searching, she came to the last Open House in Alameda. She stood back and listened as Liz Rush spoke knowledgeably to other home seekers about walking the maze of real estate, and about the beauty and magic of living in Alameda. Mary realized she had found the person she needed to help make her dream come true.

So, Liz and Mary set off on their search. Mary expressed her dreams, needs, and questions as Liz listened thoughtfully. Liz knew the best homes to show Mary. They looked at homes as Liz explained their features and drawbacks. Mary looked at neighborhoods as Liz explained their characters and quirks. Finally they came to a lovely Craftsman bungalow with tiny gardens front and back. It was not too big, nor too small. It was not broken-down, nor too expensive. Best of all and most important, as they walked through it, Mary knew she had found the home she wanted at last.

Together Liz and Mary created an offer to buy the just-right house. Liz delivered the offer, and they waited restlessly. Pretty soon, but not too soon, the seller said Yes! The offer was accepted, but what would happen next? There were inspections to do and loans to get and contingencies to remove and move dates to negotiate. Liz was right there to find the right inspectors, recommend loan agents and negotiate when to move in.

Suddenly everything felt all too real and frightening. Had Mary made the right decision? Was she ready to leave her rent-controlled apartment in the land of San Francisco? Was this truly the right home for her? Mary expressed these doubts to Liz. Together they revisited the other homes and neighborhoods one by one. Some homes were too big, some homes too small. Some homes were too broken-down, some homes too expensive. The last home she came to was her lovely Craftsman bungalow with tiny gardens front and back. And Mary realized – it WAS just right!

Mary hired the inspector, and Liz reviewed the inspection with her. Mary signed the loan documents and Liz was by her side. Mary went on the final walk-through to accept the property as her very own, and Liz was right there with her. Just a short time later, Liz handed Mary the key to the lovely Craftsman bungalow with tiny gardens front and back. And Mary lived there happily ever after. Well, not quite. There was a floor to refinish and rooms to paint and lighting to install – and Liz remained a great resource for Mary as she found folks to help with her house, and learned how to care for the tiny gardens front and back, and put down roots in her new community

I hope you enjoyed this story from my client Mary about the experience of buying her home in Alameda. Mary’s home is on the Alameda Legacy Home Tour this Sunday, September 26, 2010. I will be a docent at her home for the morning shift. I hope you’ll stop by to see this lovely Craftsman and say hello!

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