I moved to the Westside of Santa Cruz from the Rio Del Mar (Aptos Beach Flats) area in 1982 and have lived here off and on ever since. I have moved around quite a bit actually. In 1989 I moved to the Santa Cruz Mountains and then lost my home to the Big Quake. Like a lot of Californians, I moved up to Oregon and tried selling Real Estate in Portland for Century 21. I only lasted a couple of years in Portland. I decided that I wanted to live in a way that was commensurate with my values so I sold everything and drove to Central America. I landed in Antigua, Guatemala - my idea was either to find volunteer work, or to buy a farm and try to live sustainably. I found work as a volunteer math teacher, living on an orphanage in El Peten. After 3 years of living in the jungle, with the San Pedro River as our only running water, I made an excursion to Trujillo, Honduras where I had heard that our director (Vincent Pescatore) was thinking of starting a new project. I loved the change in climate - still too hot, but with the Atlantic in front of us. I stayed there and helped secure the land that became Finca Del Nino Honduras. The Honduras project is alive and well and I believe that Zulena (Vincent's wife) is still President. Vincent crashed his plane 1/03/96 and died with 2 other volunteers who had just flown down from the States. I have to say that Vincent accomplished so much in his 35 years, he had an amazing energy that lit up his face and it was impossible to move slowly when with him.More Less
I came back home that year(1996), attended a family reunion in South Dakota and then rode the Greyhound to Bar Harbor, Maine where I found a Summer job harvesting veggies at an organic farm, which is now owned by the University of the Atlantic and used for an organic farming program, (at least that's what I heard when I visited again in 2003). After that I decided to finish my degree at UCSC and graduated 1998 with a BA in Anthropology. I never really planned to make a living at Anthropology, and figured I'd go back to Real Estate, which is what I did.
What does any of this have to do with Real Estate? Nothing. But it is the defining experience in my life, the story I like to tell - because it reminds me of who I am. It reminds me of what is important to me, of how hard each one of us is capable of working when confronted with something we feel passionate about.
My passion for Real Estate started just before I was 5 years old. My parents were deciding between two houses, and had sold our Campbell house on Century Drive for $18k. Their choices were 2 homes for $30k each, one was a large Victorian on Loma Alta at Los Gatos Blvd, and the other a new house on Craig Way above Alta Vista Elementary in East Los Gatos. I remember how excited I was by the idea of being walking distance to the library, and by the character and feel of the big old house. The new house (that they chose) held no fascination for me at all, and although its easy to see the attraction of the cul-de-sac home within view of the school as a parent now, I still know that they should have listened to me. After all the Loma Alta house is worth twice what the Craig Way house is worth, and not only that, but 21 years later I sold my Mom a house - and what did she buy? A downtown LG Victorian, I could have saved her the trouble of moving and kept her tax basis lower, if she had only listened to my 5 yr old self.
I am still fascinated by how our choices in where we live influence our lives: how car dependent are we?, how close to schools and services? how clean is the water? how good the soil? sun or redwoods? mountains or beach? what kind of community? Its all about putting down roots where we can thrive, finding the spot that nourishes our soul. This is one of the most important decisions we ever make, and I am honored to help in any way I can.