If you have the chance to work with Jeff, don’t pass it up.

My husband and I were standing in the newly remodeled kitchen of a bright, airy craftsman bungalow in Pomona’s homey Lincoln Park neighborhood — in the quiet foothills on the eastern edge of Los Angeles County — when Jeff Hughes told us: “If this is your dream house, put an offer down today. If you’re not sure about it, hold off. But if you think you’d regret it forever if someone else got this place, then don’t hesitate.”

I was eight months pregnant, we’d been pre-approved for our loan, and had only started looking at houses with Jeff the week before. We figured the process would take months. But this WAS our dream house — in excellent condition, full of 1920s charm, in a safe neighborhood where wild peacocks flocked under blossoming jacaranda trees. We had never bought a house before and were nervous about making an offer. Jeff, a childhood acquaintance of my husband’s, had assured us that he would work with us as long as we needed to find the right home — and he meant it. He didn’t have that pushy, let’s-make-a-deal-today attitude like other realtors we’d talked too, and he was happy to work with us regardless of our price range. Most importantly, he knew us, he knew the market, and he knew when to tell it to us straight.

We talked for over an hour in that kitchen about the specifications of the house, plus all our thoughts and feelings about this big step. By the end of the day, we made an offer. Ours was one of four offers, all of which came in the day after the house was listed. Thanks to Jeff’s negotiating savvy, our offer was chosen. It was the first and only offer we had to make in our entire search. We closed escrow in about three weeks and moved in two days later. 

Throughout the process, Jeff answered our calls, texts, and emails any time of day, including evenings and weekends. We got our loan through a credit union in a different part of the state that was somewhat slow-moving and hyper-vigilant about all the details of the application and inspections, but Jeff was diligent, flexible, and kind as he worked with us and our loan officers to get us to the finish line. He even went through every piece of paper line-by-line with us at our request, explaining all the fine print in the contracts. We couldn’t have asked for a better advocate.

When he handed us the key to our new home, he also gave us a gift — a dog tag for our labrador with the new address on it, and an intricately-etched cutting board that said “Home is where the shire is” — because at one point in the process my husband, who grew up in the area, mentioned that he’d always thought of it as the shire, a place he wanted to return to and settle down in after his worldly adventures. Jeff had remembered such a small thing. That’s how detail-oriented he is, and how much he cares.

Five days after we moved in, our daughter was born, and we got to bring her home to our beautiful new house. I can’t imagine having to move after she was born, in those hectic early months of new parenthood, and I can’t imagine living anywhere else. If Jeff hadn’t told us exactly when and how to move on this house — that morning in the remodeled kitchen — then we never would have arrived here.

If you have the chance to work with Jeff, don’t pass it up.

— Jessica L