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Road Trip!

Posted by Johnine Larsen on August 12, 2014
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img_3462Hi everyone,

I took a real estate road trip last week, and it reminded me yet again why I love this work. There’s nothing better than hearing about someone’s dream and helping her make that dream a reality.

It all started with a referral. One of our past clients introduced me to a retired woman who lives in the Maple Leaf neighborhood. Let’s call her Nancy. Nancy wanted to sell her house and move to Port Townsend, so she and I agreed to meet. I toured her Maple Leaf home and heard all about her plans to relocate to the Olympic Peninsula. We ended up talking for two and a half hours!

Well, as is usually the case with me, I wanted to do more for Nancy than just sell her home. Nancy was feeling overwhelmed by the whole process of selling and building and moving, and I could tell she wanted some guidance. So last week, I volunteered to visit Port Townsend with her to see the lots where she wanted to build her home. I wouldn’t be representing her as a buyer’s agent (my expertise stays within the Greater Seattle area), but I could offer suggestions and connect her to the right people. I rescheduled a few things and made room in my calendar. August 5th: Road Trip Day.

Nancy and I took my Honda Element (“the dog car”). We brought my dogs, too—because if you’re going all the way to the beautiful Olympic Peninsula, you might as well share the experience with your pets! Now, I have to admit: this was a big experience for me, too. Although I love the country, I’ve only been to the Olympic Peninsula half a dozen times.

We drove two hours to Port Townsend, that eclectic little community sitting happily on the waterfront, and Nancy and I talked the whole way. I could tell she was still feeling a little swamped by the whole process of selling a house and building a new one, so I reassured her: “You can slow down. If this feels rushed, wait. Wait until spring, and wait until you’ve got a solid plan for how you want to do this. Do it on your own time.” And that made the trip easier on her. It made it more fun, too, which is how it should be! Buying a home should be exciting.

img_3466Nancy and I saw the lots she was considering, and we walked around the properties to scope them out. I told her how much of the land she would need to clear, and I gave her building suggestions. I showed her some other lots, too, to give her a better idea of her options. We ate lunch up there, and I gave Nancy the names of some local Realtors and contractors who I’d trust to do quality, relationship-based work. It’s a huge undertaking to build a home in a new place, but by the end of our trip, Nancy was feeling better.

It was an incredible trip for me, too. We threw a ball for Fergie and played fetch, and all of us enjoyed the views. If you’ve never been to Port Townsend before, visit it at your own risk—it might make you want to move there! And I’m excited about Nancy’s relocation—I kept finding myself thinking like it was me building there. She and I spent a full day together, learning about one another’s hopes and dreams, and that’s what I love. Listening to people. Trying to understand their needs, and trying to help them. Doing as much as I can to move people toward their goals. If that means a road trip to Port Townsend with my dogs and a new friend, well, that’s just icing on the cake.

All the best,