Real estate is often the second, third, or fourth career for Realtors. Or it’s a side hustle, a part time gig, more of a hobby than a full time career. Not for me! I had dreamed of being a real estate agent since I was about 12 years old. I thought I would be a high school social studies teacher, do real estate on the side/in the summer, and then go full time when my kids were grown. Really, as a 12 year old this was my plan! I made it through getting my Master's in Education, but really hated the experience of student teaching. My sheltered butt was super surprised that kids didn’t stop what they were doing when an adult walked into the classroom.
I knew that working with people to buy and sell homes was a job because of my childhood neighbor, Dorothy Moothart. My family's Realtor, Dorothy lived across the street in Corvallis, Oregon. I watched her sell houses, raise her 4 sons as a widow, and she was a boss! I knew that I could be an independent, professional, respected woman like her. She sold my parents house in 1998 after she worked with us for about 3 years. We shopped all over Corvallis, Albany, and North Albany. We looked at resale houses, new construction, and lots owned by builders. My parents ended up buying a lot and having a house built. Dorothy was there every step of the way, going over the pros and cons of every property, and reminding my family of the goals we had initially started out with. I loved going to open houses, looking at neighborhoods, looking at lots, planning out where the house would go, and looking at books and books of floor plans. I also loved drawing out my own house plans on graph paper, although I knew that there was way too much math involved for me to be an architect! When we did build that house, I was involved way too much for a middle schooler. I went to every meeting, even for the loan at the bank. My dad and I redrew some of the layout, including redesigning my room and bathroom, and making my closet bigger than the master's. We visited the building site every evening, and I really loved seeing how a house is built. In high school some of the shenanigans my friends and I got up to included going to new developments at night. Not to do anything destructive or illegal, but so I could look at the layout and see where the bathrooms, kitchen, and view were going to be. Such a nerd!
With working in traditional eduction crossed off my list, thankfully, I took a huge leap. In 2008, right after moving to Portland, getting married, and in the middle of the real estate and economic crisis, I got my license. In the 11 year since then I’ve integrated my passion for houses with my interests in history and my talent for educating. I love to learn information, and then pass that on to others- in my job this is learning the history of a neighborhood, town, region, house style, house usage, or how people used to live. My classic example is pointing out the old orchards that gave the names for the oldest neighborhoods, and that closets were small because the average person had 3 outfits in 1900. Also, post WWII housing for a family of 4 was 2 bedrooms because kids were expected to share a room. And that kitchens used to be closed off because cooking wasn't a social thing, and you never wanted guests to see you cooking. And wall to wall carpet was seen as a luxury after WWII, so installing carpet over beautiful hardwoods was the expression of having made it to middle class! The list goes on and on, and I can’t help myself!
Now that you know my story, tell me yours! Are you working in the field you got your education in? Is it a career you knew about as a child? Did it even exist when you were a kid? Did you know about buying and selling houses when you were a kid? Did you move a lot?