Six months into the Covid pandemic, Cynthia Cook was making dinner for her family in Northern California while her husband, John Cook, planned a getaway to Kauai, the northernmost of Hawaii’s major islands. While searching for short-term rentals online, her husband noticed a listing that also was for sale.
“He came to me and said, ‘We’re going to buy this house,’ ” she recalls.
Ms. Cook, 46, a former commercial real-estate broker, and her husband, 51, a lawyer, had considered looking for a new home in the suburbs north of San Francisco, but were reluctant to test their luck in a seller’s market, where all-cash deals and multiple bidders had become the rule.
“I looked at him,” says Ms. Cook, “And I said, ‘OK, great, when are we leaving?’ ”
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