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All Aboard in the Marina

Alex and Emily Nelson


Buyers: Alex and Emily Nelson
Bought: 2-bed, 2-bath condo in the Marina
Asking: $1.99M
Final: $1.95M
Realtor: Darwin Tejada, McGuire

“Real estate is like a train. It doesn’t matter if you get on the front, the middle, or the caboose—you just have to get on it.” It’s a favored aphorism of Emily Nelson’s father, and one that she and her husband, Alex, both 29 and originally from the East Coast, have closely heeded. The couple “worked really damn hard” to come up with the down payment for their first condo, a 1,000-square-foot one-bedroom tenancy in common (TIC) in the Marina. Two years later, they decided to trade up. Emily, a recruiter at Google, cuts to the chase: “We didn’t want to have a baby in a closet.”

They teamed up with Darwin Tejada of McGuire, who has been specializing in the northern part of the city for 25 years. A condo priced at $1.99 million that had been sitting on the market for a while caught their eye.

They offered $100,000 under the listed price, but the owner refused to go below it at all. Eventually, the Nelsons crept up within striking distance of her asking price, to $1.95 million, but buyer and seller both refused to budge from there. To close the sale, the seller’s agent agreed to cut his commission rate to make up the difference. Says Alex, “We ended up finding a happy medium that got us both what we wanted.”


The Family Business
Broker, Lawyer, Designer, Mom
To the Locals Go the Spoils
Tell a Story, and Make It Good
The Lottery Winners
Riding Out the Recession
The Soul (and House) Mates
Three Boys and a Dream
Not in Texas Anymore
A Reward for the Faithful
A Gift from Grandma
The Grateful Educators
Chasing the Dream
The Renter No Longer
The Data Optimizers
An Accidental Homeowner
The “Oh-S**t” Moment
All Aboard in the Marina

Originally published in the November issue of San Francisco

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