Terry Bandy is a Senior Data scientist who lives and works in San Francisco, California. Bandy works with business owners to understand and apply big data to specific problems.
His interest in math, science, logic and technology began at an early age. He attended Saint Paul’s boarding high school in New Hampshire, where he was identified as a gifted student. He went on to study at Tufts University. While at Tufts Bandy and several classmates started a tech-based company which worked in the field of website analytics at it’s earliest starting points.
As technology matured, so did Bandy’s approach to analytics. He found his practice expanding exponentially, and soon interested buyers were contacting him. He sold the company five years after co-founding it. Terry Bandy moved to California to continue to work with the company. Terry Bandy earned his master’s in business intelligence, a field he found himself more and more fascinated with as he worked with business owners.
His master’s degree gave him a whole new perspective on the analytics work he was engaged in, and he found a new direction for his passion. He began offering freelance services, which were widely coveted. Bandy’s ability to see the big picture, apply data, and advise companies in ways that create concrete positive outcomes made him a highly sought after freelancer.
In what city/state was your first house located and approximately what year did you buy it?
I bought my first house in San Francisco in the 1989.
What was your living situation prior to buying your first house? Where/with whom/etc?
In college I became accustomed to living with roommates, and I really enjoyed it. I lived in “dorm style” situations for many years after graduating from Tufts. The Boston area has such a college vibe. It was easy to pretend that I was still on campus. I bounced around from apartment to apartment for at least five years after college, while I was focusing on the company I had helped to start. My living situation was not a priority.
What motivated you to purchase your first house?
When I moved to California, I started to feel older. All of a sudden I was away from everything I had known and I found that I had different preferences and desires than I thought I did. For example, I found that I really liked going to bed early and waking up early. I felt more productive and happier. So I looked for places that I could rent on my own so that I could have that peace and quiet. Soon it became apparent that I would be spending much more on rent per month if I wanted to live without roommates. I’m a numbers guy, and the numbers started to lead me to the idea of buying. It made more financial sense to purchase a house and put my rent money towards paying down a mortgage. I looked at it from a purely logical standpoint.
How did you go about getting the money together to buy it?
I was lucky enough to have saved a portion of my earnings from the sale of my first company. I had enough in the bank to make a significant down payment, and then I took out a loan from the bank for the rest of it. I was working full time at that time, so the bank offered me a good deal on a loan.
When you purchased, were you thinking of it as an investment or as a place to start a family. Please elaborate.
To be honest, having a family was not a consideration for me at the time. I was so involved in my work and my career, that I don’t even think the thought of starting a family occurred to me. I decided to purchase one day after writing out how much I would spend over the next five years on rent alone. I saw the number and felt kind of staggered by it. I made the next logical move.
What are 3 things you liked most about the house?
I liked being able to lock the doors at night and know that I could sleep without being disturbed. Years of living with roommates gave me a sense of anxiety about being woken up at all hours of the night. The house also had a front porch, which I loved sitting on in the morning with a cup of coffee and a good book. I also really liked the fact that it was next to a little market called Joey’s. I could walk for five minutes and grab a few groceries. I was a bachelor, so I lived on really simple food and convenience was a priority.
Was there anything you didn’t like about it?
I didn’t like the fact that when something broke it was my responsibility to fix it. The plumbing, in particular, wasn’t that good. I remember that the pipes to the toilets had been put in wrong, and they flushed with hot water. Since I was a new home-owner, and very involved in areas outside of the home, I didn’t do any upkeep. Problems were a real nuisance. I had a very busy life at the time, and I was used to having landlords fix those kinds of problems. I didn’t even know where to start.
Did you make any improvements or major renovations to the house?
No, not at all.
Please share 1-2 of your fondest/funniest memories from living there.
Once the plumbing to an upstairs bathroom leaked and water starting coming through the light fixtures in the downstairs kitchen. The woman I was seeing at the time had spent the night, and I didn’t want her to see the kitchen. I rushed her out of the house pretty fast!
Do you still live there or did you sell it or renting it?
I sold the house a few years after buying it. I realized that I needed to buy a house that was newer, and required less upkeep. I’m not a handyman. My strengths lie in other areas.
What advice would you give other first time home buyers?
I would say that you really need to shift your perspective when you buy a house. You have to be ready to take full responsibility. Also, run the numbers and make sure that your purchase is fiscally responsible. Even if you only own a home for a few years, it could be better than spending money on rent if you do it correctly.