Settler

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!

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Vincent Tsao

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