Vincent Tsao
2 min readJan 8, 2021

I started thinking about buying a home in early 2020. For some folks who know me, that may come as a shock. In 2017, I literally wrote about being a nomad as I embarked upon a seven-month backpacking trip across South America. Now, here I am, warming to the thought of permanently settling down in San Francisco. Or as permanent as a 28 year-old male without a family can be.

The urge to buy a place wasn’t gradual- it felt like I hit a switch. As the end of quarantine receded into the distance and more folks took advantage of the opportunity to relocate, the more I wanted a place to call home. People ask if I have any desire to work remotely from Hawaii or some other alluring destination. Not really! I lived as a digital nomad and look back on those memories fondly, but these days I’d rather take an actual vacation. Trying to get the best of both worlds can be a tall and tiring task.

Besides the emotional considerations, there were pragmatic ones:

  • I see myself in San Francisco for at least the next five years.
  • My sister and most of my extended family live in the bay. I’m actively convincing my parents to move from Texas. It’s slow going.
  • I’ve been paying rent for a decade, and I’d like to build my own equity instead of always helping others’ build theirs.
  • I tire of periodically boxing up my life and then promptly unboxing it. I’ve never put much energy into bringing my apartments to life because I didn’t care to lug around a large and expensive inventory of things.

Besides the pros, there were cons:

  • San Francisco housing prices are ridiculous.
  • I have to pick between a small old condo in San Francisco or a mansion in Texas.
  • Did I already say that prices in SF are ridiculous?
Expensive tastes, huh?

At the end of the day, buying a home still feels like the right decision for me at this point in my life. We’ll see how 2021 feels about that!



Vincent Tsao

Endlessly curious, always optimizing. Startup and product enthusiast. Building at Persona.