1. How long have you lived in the Northern Virginia area?
I was born in sunny California, (San Diego to be exact) but followed family here about 11 years ago. My father and siblings ran a retail furniture store on the Eastern Shore and they needed some extra hands but they couldn’t afford to pay another employee. I thought it was time for me to do my part and help out in the family business.
2. How long have you been a Realtor?
The same 11 years. Knowing that the family business couldn’t pay me enough to keep up with bills, I decided that real estate would provide me with some flexibility and an income while I helped strategize about the future of the furniture business.
3. What do you love most about residential real estate?
I love working with people in life transitions. Whether it’s a first time home buyer, a couple looking for a home in which to grow a family, or a recent divorcee that’s never been involved with finance, I love begin the trusted advisor that sets my client up for long-term success. Helping them buy right and build equity with a drama-free experience is the key to happiness- for them and for me. I have built my career on clients coming back to me, asking to put their equity to work by finding them a bigger home.
4. Of all the experiences and sales you’ve had as a Realtor, can you tell me about your most memorable or most favorite?
When Donna came to me, she was going through an awful divorce. She is Romanian and had a young son. She’d never worked and her husband had always taken responsibility for the finances, so she had no clue on how or where to start a home search.
To make matters worse, this was happening during the ’09 financial crisis. Her income was limited and her credit was non-existent, and banks were reticent to give loans, so the experience was challenging. Knowing that a Short Sale was our best bet, we viewed 50 homes and put offers in on 10 of them before we met with success.
In the beginning, Donna even had to rent out the basement to help her afford the mortgage. Five years later, she called me because she was ready to move to a bigger home. The kicker however, was that by then, she’d rented the top two floors and had decided to become a landlord too!
From immigrant divorcee, to self-reliant, entrepreneur; it warms my heart to know I am part of such positive life transformations.