Beginning in 2001, Tamar and Eli Katz set a goal to own their first home in the white-hot Silicon Valley market. They had been renting for nearly 20 years, and now with rising home prices and historically low inventory, the couple faced an uphill battle entering the real estate game.

Then, COVID-19 hit.

And, along with it came the uncertainty of ever being able to make their dreams of homeownership a reality.

What some may consider “late bloomers” in their 40’s, the Katzs contacted Sela Homes to discuss their options. Were homes safe to purchase? How could they take advantage of the incredibly low mortgage rates and first-time-home-buyer incentive programs offered by their bank? Would they be able to compete in a high-demand sellers’ market?

From the beginning of the pandemic to April 2021, median sales price for homes in the Santa Clara market have increased by nearly 10%. In fact, home prices in California have consistently risen to over 84% since the recession of 2012 while per capita rates have only risen 40% during the same period. Currently, only 27% of Californians can even qualify for home ownership — or approximately 1 in 4. 

Source: RealScout Market Trends, April 2021

In addition, the Katzs were faced with the same challenge many buyers are facing today — an uber-competitive seller’s market. With fewer than 30 homes available, the couple had seen nearly every property in their budget and had sadly watched each house go under contract with multiple offers on the table. 

But, they simply refused to give up. 

“With Covid, it was even more challenging, but Michal and Ayelet (Sela Homes) were able to schedule every property we wanted to see,” said Eli. “They knew how to approach both the emotional side of the home buying process, as well as the cold truth of our budgetary constraints.” 

Waiting until their 40’s to make their first purchase actually had its advantages — the couple not only knew what they wanted, but what they could also live without. They understood how to be competitive in today’s challenging market without giving up. They also knew they had to act quickly with the right off-market property presented by Sela Homes.

The team at Sela Homes had advised the Katz’s early in the process that housing prices are likely to continue to rise, while fewer and fewer sellers enter the market. Active listings dropped -20.8% from March to April 2021, alone. Understanding their desire to own their first home in their 40’s made the process even more timely, and Sela Homes knew that waiting for the market to rebound for buyers could potentially put them out of the market altogether.

“With many of the Bay Area’s tech companies announcing their plans to start bringing their workforce back to their physical offices, we are seeing an increase in buyers’ level of confidence in the economy and their own financial future. This confidence brings more buyers to the market and puts additional demand on an already-tight sellers’ market. Homeowners who have been on the fence are watching their neighbors sell for top money and are likely to also put their homes on the market, thereby increasing a short supply of inventory. 

I expect a very HOT summer real estate market and encourage my buyers to take advantage of these incredibly  low interest rates to make their home  purchase today before the market gets even more competitive. This is also a great time for sellers who have properties on busy streets or in less-than-optimal conditions to list their properties to get top value since they can be much more competitive with limited inventory,” said Ayelet Gingold, Co-founder of Sela Homes.


“With many of the Bay Area’s tech companies announcing their plans to start bringing their workforce back to their physical offices, we are seeing an increase in buyers’ level of confidence in the economy and their own financial future. This confidence brings more buyers to the market and puts additional demand on an already-tight sellers’ market. Homeowners who have been on the fence are watching their neighbors sell for top money and are likely to also put their homes on the market, thereby increasing a short supply of inventory. 

I expect a very HOT summer real estate market and encourage my buyers to take advantage of these incredibly  low interest rates to make their home  purchase today before the market gets even more competitive. This is also a great time for sellers who have properties on busy streets or in less-than-optimal conditions to list their properties to get top value since they can be much more competitive with limited inventory,” said Ayelet Gingold, Co-founder of Sela Homes.


It is with the same level of dedication and determination that Tamar & Eli experienced that all of our clients at Sela Homes can expect. We continue to serve each and every family with expertise and timeliness. We do not pressure our clients into just any offer for just any property. We simply do not give up until we find the right one.

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