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Tell a Story, and Make It Good

Carrie Gorospe and Aaron Knapp


Buyers: Carrie Gorospe and Aaron Knapp
Bought: 3-bed, 2-bath with an in-law unit in Portola
Asking: $695K
Final: $850K
Realtor: Craig Burdsall, Vanguard

“Carrie sent this whole family story and some pictures. It wasn’t just ‘Here’s our budget, take care,’” Aaron Knapp says of making an offer on their new home in Portola. Both Knapp and his wife, Carrie Gorospe, have experience in housing (she’s a marketing director at a local real estate company, while Aaron studied real estate in college), so they aren’t naïve enough to think that a sappy letter is enough to triumph in this market—especially if everyone is writing them. But they knew it couldn’t hurt.

To come up with the down payment for their new home, the couple, both originally from Hawaii, sold their Honolulu condo, ultimately to someone who also chose to share a story with them. “People are very emotionally connected to their home, and the real estate process can be very sterile and impersonal,” Gorospe says. “You oftentimes never even meet the buyer or seller because you are kept at arm’s length. So to have a little bit of personal information and see photos and understand someone’s story can be helpful.”

Also: “Having a good realtor that you connect with is so important, and ours was wonderful,” Knapp says of their agent, Craig Burdsall, of Vanguard. “He became a very good friend, and we beat the pavement with him for several weeks.”

They eventually found “the one” while walking their dog in the close-knit Portola neighborhood. It was listed at a mere $695,000 and even had the basement in-law they wanted, so friends and family could come stay. Offers were due the next day, “so we went in full guns blazing.” They offered $850,000 and a little family history, and the place was theirs. In March of this year, they moved in.

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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