Everything about this wedding was magical! It’s a wedding that we will never forget for a very important reason that I will talk about later!
Krithika and Serah are very sweet and were so fun to capture over their wedding weekend! Krithika’s laugh and smile are so genuine and she does this cute thing with her nose that you just fall in love with when you see her happy!
When their wedding took place, The Hayes Mansion was operated by Dolce, but now it is simply called “The Hayes Mansion”, as Dolce no longer operates it and the city of San Jose has sold it to another company that will continue to operate it as a hotel, which is great news because there was a chance it could have become something else like a senior citizen living center.
On the front lawn, Krithika and Serah held their traditional Tamil South Indian wedding ceremony. It was the perfect day with the perfect weather.
Now I mentioned in the first sentence of this blog post that I had a story that goes along with this wedding and it will make it one that we never forget. Okay here is the story, but first let’s start with the backstory.
I grew up in Los Gatos and really lived in only one house my entire life. I moved out for college at UC Santa Cruz but moved home after college to be close to my mom and save up, start my business, pay off student debt, etc. My mom has breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, and since my father passed away when I was 13, she is pretty much alone. By being there I was able to support her and be there for whatever she needed.
Over the past few years, I increasingly wanted to purchase real estate and move into a newer, larger house, one that I could call my own, and also have more space to house my growing business. At the beginning of 2018, I began seriously looking for places around San Jose. I felt like the market was getting “hotter” every day, and that every day I didn’t buy a house, the real estate market was going up and I would be less and less likely to be able to buy something I liked and needed for my goals.
The very first house that I actually went to go look at I actually really liked. I didn’t think it was supposed to be that easy so I wasn’t super confident in my offer, but I did place an offer on a home, even slightly above asking thinking there would be a great chance I would get it. Turned out, my offer was not accepted and the one that was accepted was $100,000 over asking price!
It me hard how insane the housing market is in the Bay Area. As a newbie home buyer, I thought I would never find “the one”, and the house that I was totally surprised sold for so much over asking, I almost wanted to call the new buyer and pay them, even more, to sell me the home they had just purchased!
A few weeks passed, the realtor showed me a couple of houses and sent me some emails but I didn’t like any of them. The size, location, curb appeal, were all not what I had envisioned, especially for the crazy prices they all were!
I visited a new home that was just built off of Camden and Highway 17. It had a beautiful kitchen which I really liked and had grey toned tile and walls which were really modern. The outside was “traditional style”, and I was not in love with it, or the location, but I realized I really wanted a new home. At the beginning of 2018, there were not a lot of new home developments going on in San Jose. There was Communication Hill, which I did look at, but I felt like it was too claustrophobic and it would even be more packed in the next few years.
I had pretty much given up on buying a house.
We shoot weddings at Hayes Mansion often and of course, over the past couple of years, I had seen the construction going on across the street where several new homes were being built but I didn’t put much thought into it. Now that I had been in the market for a new home, I started to slow down to just get an idea if there were still some left for sale. House after house had a “Sold” sign in the window and the other half had already been sold and people were living in them. Ponderosa was the home builder and their looked to be a sales office, which was set up in one of the homes and so I thought during the break in the middle of the day, I would check it out to possibly see what they looked like on the inside.
After the ceremony, a lot of times we have a break for a few hours. This way, guests can relax and start getting for the reception. Usually, if the break was long enough I would drive back to Los Gatos and take a nap and a shower before coming back.
Before heading home, I went over to the new homes across the street from Hayes Mansion and peeked through the windows. The inside from what I could see looked nice, and somehow I got a phone number of the salesperson and gave them a call on my cell phone. I asked if any of the homes were available. She said all were sold except the one model home which they would now be getting ready to sell. She mentioned that they had interested buyers but if I wanted to go inside, I could go see it the next day.
I had a gut feeling that this could be the one. For example, it’s price was at the top of my budget but in range, it was brand new which I wanted, it was three stories and the other house I previously wanted was three stories, it had a park and a venue I often shoot at directly across the street, and it had the office space and curb appeal I was also looking for if I was to have employees and clients alike coming often.
That day I went home and took my nap and shower but I could not stop thinking about the house. The rest of the wedding was amazing and at the end of the night, I stood outside the house and gazed into its bright shining lights, as they had left the lights on every night as it was the model home.
The following day I came back to meet the salesperson and do a walkthrough. Instantly I loved the place and the kitchen was amazing. Out of all the positives, there were very few negatives, and best of all, there would be no bidding wars. The price they were asking would be the price I pay, even if someone called and offered to pay more, they would accept my offer if I was willing to pay their asking price.
I really felt like it was meant to be. I thought about it and made another walkthrough that week and the following day I made my offer and put the deposit down. I worked on getting a loan through their lender, which was Wells Fargo and had a great agent help me along the way.
I first saw the house on June 10th 2o18 and got a closing date of August 23rd! I came on the 23rd and got the keys and could not believe what an epic moment this was. I was a homeowner!
Now if we had never shot this wedding, I probably would not have ever found this place. The realtors were not pushing it because they wouldn’t receive any commission. I had not seen any advertisements for it, partly because I was not looking in the paper etc, but also because they had sold all of them and were no longer advertising them and they were selling so quick, they didn’t need to!
Everything lined up at the right time and place and because I was ready at that time and place, things happened the way they did. I had been saving my whole life for this moment and working towards this goal. I saved and saved and worked my butt off for years and lived at home to be able to make this dream a reality. If I had not shot this wedding though, this reality would have never come true. Not at this location.
Since we have moved in lots has changed! We now have a wonderful office space with attached bathroom, an awesome space for gear, storage, a luxury kitchen, large living room and viewing area, spare bedrooms, all in a brand new home that we will use to take our business to the next level.
Obviously, it is super awesome to shoot weddings at Hayes Mansion since we are so close and the park across the street, Edenvale Garden Park, has been really great for doing family portraits, headshots, and for taking walks when we need to stretch our legs.
We invite all of our past, current, and future clients to come and stop by and visit us. We want to share this space with you all as your support has allowed us to grow and make a living for ourselves and we want to thank you all for your support, encouragement, and love.
God bless and thank you all!