Real Estate Broker Stuart Thomas

There are giants in every industry

Real estate Broker There is one true giant in the world of real estate his name is Stuart Thomas. Not only does he stand 6’8” tall, Stuart is also the broker owner of one of the truly great real estate organizations named RE/MAX Select One. A group of Orange County offices packed full of many of the best Realtors in the business.

Unlike other broker/owners, Stuart does not come from a family who were in the real estate business. His journey to the world of real estate starts across the ocean. He and his family moved from Manchester England when he and his brother were still very young. They settled in Fountain Valley.
After college, Stuart spent nearly ten years in the tech industry with three of those years spent living in Northern Virginia doing federal sales. He called on the CIA, FBI, NSA and DOJ among others.

Stuart transitioned into the world of Real Estate in the early 2000’s. RE/MAX Select One was born in March of 2003 just in time to catch the tail end of the biggest real estate boom in the history of the country. The original RE/MAX Select One office is located on Warner Ave. in Huntington Beach.

A few years later during a time when other offices were downsizing due to the mortgage meltdown, Stuart saw an opportunity. As he puts it, “Careers are made in a down market.” In late 2007, RE/MAX Select One opened its doors in Dana Point to provide a home in South Orange County for Realtors who saw their current office close their doors. This bold move among other things earned RE/MAX Select One the “2007 Office of the Year” award from RE/MAX of California and Hawaii. The next year, Stuart followed that award with being named “2008 Broker Owner of the Year” by RE/MAX of California and Hawaii. In the next few years as the market continued to struggle through the great recession, RE/MAX Select One Downtown Huntington Beach opened its doors in 2010 This was followed by RE/MAX Select One opening its doors in Laguna Niguel in 2012.
A small office in San Juan Capistrano capped off the five office locations. There are future growth plans for RE/MAX Select One.

CHOC Tower AwardGiving back to the community is at the very heart of Stuart Thomas and the entire RE/MAX Select One Organization. In 2009, after a lunch meeting with the worldwide President of RE/MAX International, Stuart decided to commit all the offices to become Miracle Offices. They would donate money from commissions earned on closed transactions to the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Through the Miracle network, all the money would be directed at CHOC Children’s Hospital. Stuart was later named Chairman of the RE/MAX Advisory committee to CHOC and made a bold pledge on behalf of other Orange County RE/MAX offices. Together, these RE/MAX offices would collectively raise $100,000 for the new tower at CHOC. In three years’ time, these amazing RE/MAX offices had met the obligation and there is a RE/MAX room in the ground floor of the new tower. This was all done during one of the roughest times in our nation’s history. Stuart is very proud that RE/MAX Select One has been named a “Miracle Office” by the Children’s Miracle Network every year since 2009. He accepted the Miracle Maker award from CHOC on behalf of RE/MAX Select One. Accepting the Lifetime Achievement AwardHe later accepted the CHOC Children’s Lifetime Achievement award on behalf of RE/MAX Select One. Kid’s don’t stop getting sick in a down market. Therefore, RE/MAX Select One will keep working to make a difference.
In 2010, Stuart had an idea to get the local real estate community in Orange County to come together to raise money for kids. Stuart approached a Broker Owner who he has great respect for. After laying out the vision to Broker Owner Frank McDowell who founded STAR Real Estate in 1977, Frank immediately saw the positive impact the real estate community could do. He agreed to partner with Stuart on the inaugural fundraising event and this year will mark the 8th year that they, along with the amazing “A” team who tirelessly work behind the scenes, have teamed up to raise money for kids. This year’s event will be the third year in a row that money will be raised for the Huntington Beach Police and Community Foundation and the fantastic programs they have for the youth in the community. The first five fundraisers benefited Colette’s Children’s Home, Habitat for Humanity, Project Self-Sufficiency, Make a Wish Foundation and CHOC. These fundraisers truly are a team effort and have truly helped some amazing organizations.
Hiring the right type of people and following through with what you promise is the key to the success at RE/MAX Select One. Sharing the vision and getting buy in from their Realtors on the different programs the office is involved within the community is also important. At RE/MAX Select One, hiring one amazing professional at a time ensures that the quality of associate is high. RE/MAX Select One Realtors averaged $175,000 in gross commissions last year. RE/MAX Select One had one of their associates ranked 9th out of 60,000 RE/MAX Realtors in the United States in 2015 for gross commissions earned. The people they hire are self-motivated and true professionals. They don’t need to be managed but they get all the support they require and then some directly from Stuart. Some offices see agent count as the key. RE/MAX Select One does not. For this reason, turnover at RE/MAX Select One is low as compared to other offices. This can be attributed to many factors. Hiring Realtors that fit the RE/MAX model is first and foremost. RE/MAX Select One believes that the best person to talk about a listing is the listing agent. They direct every lead back to their listing agents. For this reason, the office is loaded with listing agents who control their farms and have true buyer’s agents as part of their team. As Stuart is fond of saying, “Lister’s last in this business.”

Chili Cook Off Since Stuart never worked at another Real Estate office before opening RE/MAX Select One, he does things a little differently. His offices don’t have regular meetings. They have mixers and important items of value are sent via email. They do BBQs for the office during the summer. July 4th is celebrated with their associates and their clients at the office on Main Street watching the parade with a sausage and pancake breakfast. Stuart recognizes that their Affiliate partners such as lenders and Title reps are constantly paying for events that Realtors attend at no charge. As a way to show their appreciation for all the hard work their affiliate partners do, RE/MAX Select One for the past 11 years has invited Realtors from all offices to host an annual Affiliate appreciation day chili cook-off. Through it all, when facing hard decisions, Stuart uses a simple life rule. “Feed your family. Not your ego.” He has seen too many offices fail because the broker put ego ahead of common sense. He also believes that the associates are the ones who make the office. Not the broker.
Laguna Niguel REMAX OfficeLori McGuire of the McGuire Team at RE/MAX Select One in Laguna Niguel had this to say. “What a pleasure it has been to work with Stuart Thomas for nearly 10 years. I remember my original meeting with him when I was looking to move my business to a new broker. I thought immediately how charismatic, high-energy, focused on what he could provide me, and truly dedicated to providing the very best for his agents he exuded. Now nearly a decade later I can honestly say that he has been true to his word. It is a pleasure working with him knowing that he always has my back. He’s my biggest cheerleader and he lets me have the freedom to run my team the way I need to.”
Downtown Huntinton Beach REMAX OfficeKimber Wuerfel of RE/MAX Select One’s Downtown Huntington Beach office shares a few memories. “When I met Stuart, he was a man with a dream. It was 2004. Against all odds he opened his first RE/MAX office in Huntington Beach. The real estate market in Orange County and especially in Huntington Beach was dominated by (First Team), a local brand with a solid hold on the market at the time. I moved from that brand to join Stuart on his adventure. I watched Stuart make personal and professional sacrifices on a daily basis. His wisdom, determination and solid business sense has made RE/MAX Select One the go to brand in Orange County.”
Stuart Thomas Sense of Humor Famous SignStuart has served as a director with the Orange County Association of Realtors and serves on many other boards. He has written and sent out a motivational message titled “Monday’s Cup of Motivation” for close to 350 weeks in a row. Simple reminders of what truly matters in life. With that said, the thing that Stuart is most proud of is being a dad to his son Grant Thomas. He is a junior on the swim team at Mater Dei and plans to pursue a career in finance. Grant’s mom Simone Kelly who is a fantastic lady and amazing mom is the founder and CEO of Grason’s Estate sale company in Orange County. They have grown to be the number one estate sale company in the country and also sell franchises. Stuart’s mom Carole Thomas recently celebrated 40 years working at the Huntington Beach Unified School District. His older brother Simon is in the lending business in Arizona where he lives with his wife and three amazing kids. Stuart and Simon’s dad John Thomas passed away nearly a decade ago but his lessons on being a father are still alive in both his sons.
Stuart Thomas at Cakebread Wine Cellars TV ShowWhen Stuart is not working or with family, he enjoys cooking and a great glass of wine with great friends. Stuart was flown up by the Cakebread Family in NAPA Valley to be the first non-Cakebread employee ever featured in a cooking video at Dancing Bear Ranch. He is passionate about food and music. Stuart has learned that life is short and things can change in an instant for better or worse so appreciate what you have right now. Surrounding yourself with great positive people, friends and family is everything. Keep moving forward!!Stuart Thomas Hawaii Family Vacation

Is there a Doctor in the house?

California’s future Dr. Cody McWhirter standing next to his proud mom Michele Klein, both bursting with pride and joy as Cody is accepted into USF Health, Morsani School of Medicine!


Is there a Doctor in the house? This has been a common question for centuries in many emergency situations as we are all too familiar with these words. However in this particular case in the Klein residence of Long Beach California, be it known that Cody McWhirter son of Michele Klein, will soon be able to say Yes! there is a doctor in the house and, I am here to help you! My name is Dr. Cody McWhirter.

Cody McWhirter according to his grandmother Penelope Woodside, resident of Long Beach, stated to Home & Realty Magazine, that it has been her grandson Cody’s ultimate desire ever since he was a young boy to be able to complete medical school and go on to becoming a doctor. Cody according to his gram and Michele, has always been an honor roll student and high end achiever in every aspect of his development, as a youth, and now continuing his career entering into his first year of medical school. It’s always great to have a grandmother and a mom who believes in you!

Cody and Sean Best friends
Cody McWhirter and Sean Senozan best of friends since Los Alamitos High School.

Another interesting part of our story is Cody’s best friend Sean Senozan, also a former Los Alamitos, beach boy! Pictured below, with Cody, is Sean, on (right). Growing up during high school days at Los Alamitos High, Cody’s mom Michele, thought she had two sons! Sean Senozan, and Cody were best of friends and did everything as a team.
Sean now completing medical school and beginning his rotations.  Cody was recently accepted into medical school and will be grinding out some of the most challenging days and nights of his entire academic career!

Cody has already made USF Health, Morsani College of Medicine his new home in southern Florida! Sean flew in for the white coat ceremony.

The proud white coat team!

Cody McWhirter and Kaylee Traver
Cody celebrates with girl friend Kaylee Traver who flew in for Cody’s white coat ceremony.


And as every great story unfolds the handsome doctor soon to be, falls in love with the beautiful Physicians Assistant soon to be and Grandmother Penelope Woodside, and  Michele Klein, Cody’s proud mom, stand by the two of them as they get ready to hit the books in their respective career journeys.
We wish Cody McWhirter, Kaylee Traver, and Sean Senozan, the very best of everything in their new adventures!


Baham Rise Condo

New Development Rise


Real Estate Shamon Campbell, of H.G Christie’s, affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, says we have so much more than historical appeal, crystal clear waters and friendly natives, Luxury has become one of the Bahamas’ most valuable assets, and it has influenced a great chunk of the wealthy to own a piece of paradise. They, of course, now call it home.

While it boasts one main island, The Bahamas is considered the ‘capital’ of luxurious hotels such as the One&Only Ocean Club and The Cove at Atlantis. Boutique luxury hotels across the less populated islands of Exuma, Eleuthera and Andros also help to solidify the country’s luxury footprint in the niche boutique resort market.
Over recent years, The Bahamas’ economy has drawn an extraordinary level of international investors. An example of this boost is most noticeable in the emergence of hotels and condo developments across the island of New Providence.

In its current state, the local industry can be compared to the likes of infamously sought after destinations such as New York and Miami with new development offerings at every desirable avenue.

Developers are taking greater interest and advantage of the economic rise in The Bahamas, where there are certainly a whole lot more to sell than beautiful condos.

Bahama Rise Condo

From island hopping on yachts, to lounging on private beaches, dining in five star restaurants and shopping at high-­‐end retailers and back to enjoy the finishes of a modern condo, this is life in The Bahamas.

Developments such as One Ocean, Thirty Six and Palm Cay, two of which are on the ultra-­‐ exclusive Paradise Island, have brought new construction options to buyers – who for years – have been forced to purchase re-­‐sale condos. Bahama Rise Condo

Bahama Rise Condo

Europeans, Canadians and North Americans have expressed interest in these options throughout the chain of islands. And with the charming tax advantages, direct flights into Nassau from New York and Canada, airlift has played an important role in the real estate boom. Boutique aviation service providers such as Odyssey International have also played an important role in all of this fabulous development. Bahama LifestyleBaham Rise Condo

In comparison to real estate in other regions, this 700-­‐island paradise appears to be surging towards huge increases over previous years. A report of a 20% increase in sales from our partnering brokerage has investors and the industry at large very confident. Bahama Lifestyle

The opportunity for more product in the capital and other islands remain at large. With a single development generating up to 200 construction jobs, the government of The Bahamas remains generous with developer approvals.

Together, with a reduction in the purchasing power of British property and the strengthening US dollar, the influx of buyers yearning for their own piece of paradise will continue to climb.


Shamon Campbell


“Hello I’m Shamon Campbell,  and as your Estate Agent with H.G. Christie Ltd. an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, I pride myself on being able to provide my clients with top tier representation with a great portfolio of beautiful properties across the islands. Contact me for assistance or to ask any questions regarding real estate in The Bahamas.”

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Angela Kaufman of OC

Home & Realty Magazine is proud to introduce Angela Kaufman, the real estate game changer of OC, California, to all of our affluent home buyers.

Angela is one of our online magazine’s most referred agents by our affluent Home & Realty Magazine readers! A no nonsense Orange County professional agent who masters her craft and proudly represents the Global Luxury, Coldwell Banker brand.

Angela’s continuous education supported by the world’s most notable real estate brand Coldwell Banker, a leader since 1906, offers her clients the rest and assurance their home transaction will be managed with complete satisfaction.

Real Estate Agent

Angela’s differentiation has several layers of benefits for her clients. Angela’s vast knowledge of the OC territory in conjunction with her knowledge of school systems, community amenities, transportation systems, architectural design, building, and interior decor attributes make her one of most diversified agents in her territory. In addition, Angela keeps ahead of the curve in technology. She utilizes her computer to keep a pulse on market trends, new homes on the market, interest rates, inventory control, and lead generation for her next new listings! Angela employs the advertising arm of Home & Realty Magazine to market her clients properties to an affluent global audience.

Contact Angela on your next luxury investment or the sale of your property.

Angela Kaufman
My video introduction

Realtor, Coldwell Banker
ph:  (949)939-7925
My Stone Ridge Home





Luxury Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine
White Interior Decor

Virtual staging for luxury real estate was established 25 years ago in Northern California, the art of staging grew rapidly, earning a reputation as the number one tool to expedite property sales.  Why?  Because only 10% of the population can look past what they see and visualize a property’s potential.  Incredibly, 94.6% of homes that are staged sell within 33 days compared to an average of 196 days for homes that are not staged.  It was a no brainer, but one that many sellers and agents had to forego due to cost, complication and liability.

Fast forward to the blossoming digital year of 2010 when Founder and CEO of Virtual Staging LLC, Ilaria Barion, decided to incorporate the emerging concept of ‘virtual’ staging into her business.  With new stats indicating that 94% of all home buyers start their search online, and the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, Ilaria saw an opportunity that would allow her to take her company and services to the next level.

Peek inside as she compares and contrasts the cutting edge concept of virtual staging to that of traditional.


The primary difference between traditional and virtual staging is price point.  Traditional staging typically starts at the $5000.00 mark and goes up from there.  A two bedroom luxury apartment in New York will often require a budget of anywhere between $15,000.00 – $25,000.00 to stage with a minimum three-month contract.  What’s worse, the seller is expected to pay this expense requiring a significant amount of convincing by the listing agent.

To virtually stage an empty listing, the required budget drops to a starting point of $195.00 per photograph and $350.00 for decor replacement options.  Not only is the difference staggering, it is cost effective enough to make sense for the realtor to cover without question.  Liability for damages to the decor and the listing become a non-issue, and buyers benefit from the visuals all the same.


The process of physically staging a property is at a minimum a two-week endeavor.  It involves coordination of multiple schedules, including that of a moving company, and often gets pushed back even further if the realtor and designer cannot agree on proper decor once in place.

Virtual staging reduces this timeline to less than half.  Realtors simply submit listing photos and leave it to an expert to select appropriate decor.  Three business days later, their virtual staging is complete. There is no need for schedule coordination, no need for travel time on anyone’s part and technology takes the lead.


Luxury Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine
Outdoor Landscape Before & After

Virtual Staging allows for unique options in ways similar to that of architectural rendering, including but not limited to the following impressive menu:

* Landscape Enhancement
* Furniture and Decor Replacement (for homes that are filled with outdated existing decor)
* Window Treatments
* Lighting
* Expensive Options (baby grand pianos, sculpture & art)
* Cosmetic Alterations (hardwood floors vs existing carpet, painted walls vs existing wall paper)
* Room Enhancement
* Architectural Rendering for New Development
* Virtual Commercial Staging (view a commercial space as a restaurant, office or retail space)

“It’s all about disclosure,” says Ilaria.  “As long as we display ‘Before and After’ photos, we are allowing potential buyers to experience what’s possible.  We also pride ourselves in providing the most realistic virtual staging available.  Nobody wants to live in a cartoon.  We study the aesthetic of the market and create truly authentic renderings.”

Luxury Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine
Indoor Before & After

The concept of virtual staging has opened a global clientele to this industry and Ilaria’s team have staged luxury listings as far away as the Virgin Islands, Ireland and Canada.  They are currently the only vendor for the top luxury real estate firms and agents in the country.  She cites the most important thing to look for in a virtual staging vendor as realism.  “The virtually staged picture should look incredibly real to be effective in marketing the property,” says Ilaria.

Follow Home & Realty Magazine as we continue to watch the evolution of this industry.

Ilaria Barion is the Founder and CEO of Virtual Staging LLC
She is based in Minnesota and offers virtual staging globally.
Photo Credit: Virtual Staging LLC

French Kissed The Hamptons



It is hard to deny the allure of The Hamptons.  It is a coastal playground of escape and relaxation from the busy streets of New York City.  A place where the elite of Manhattan go to unwind and recharge.  It is no wonder why the signature style of a true Hamptons home embraces simple sophistication, comfort, soothing neutrals and a relaxing aura.  A coastal edge with a touch of country.  It remains a timeless classic.  A white-on-white color palette complimented by warm, timber flooring is incredibly popular.  The large-scale furniture with clean lines drenched in soft, dreamy textures creates a home of pure tranquility.

The Hamptons - Home & Realty Magazine

The most complimentary design style that dominates the Hamptons is French Provincial.  The similarities are uncanny, with its neutral palette.  However, the French Provincial aesthetic offers subtle ornate details which add a splash of intrigue.  With its warm and cozy appeal, it is a reflection of the homes in Provence in the South of France in the 17th and 18th century.  It is a relaxed, “shabby-chic” form of French-style living that combines elegance with functionality.  Colors are inspired by the landscape.  The furniture is sturdy and beautifully simple and includes farmhouse tables, armoires and buffets.

Not just for the Hamptons.  Take a peek at these inspiring examples of this splendid style combination.

The Hamptons - Home & Realty Magazine


The Hamptons - Home & Realty Magazine


The Hamptons - Home & Realty Magazine

Drone Photography For Luxury Real Estate

Drone photography in luxury real estate has recently been claimed to be the most important new technology to enter real estate marketing since the internet.  With the ability to highlight waterfront views, cascading gardens, architectural landscaping and unique swimming pools, drone photography has “upped the anti” in capturing the beauty of luxury listings.

Luxury Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine
Here are a few tips from Southern California expert drone photographer, Chad Robinson, on how to hire the right professional for your next aerial shoot and what to expect along the way.

* First and foremost, make sure you hire someone who is both registered with the FAA, as well as insured up to 1 million dollars.  Anything less is a risk that is not worth taking.  Chad wears his registration on a lanyard at all times while on sites. “It’s visible to anyone wondering and allows me to do my job.”

* Make sure you are confident and comfortable with your drone expert acting as an extension of your real estate team in your absence.  “Many times I’m present on a shoot without the agent or their assistant.  It’s just myself and the seller.  I’m always sure to conduct myself in a manner that reflects the same professionalism and level of service they’ve come to expect from my client.”

* Save on cost by negotiating a flat rate.  If you go with hourly, expect rates to start at $95.00 and depending on property size, expect forty minutes to an hour as a typical shoot time.

* Be sure you hire someone who is working with 4K resolution or higher.  “As of three months ago, anything else is not up to industry standard.  I also work with a 4K GoPro, which is a hand-held, stabilized, free-floating video that allows for aerial interior shots as well.  Make sure your photographer expects to use a diversity of media, such as the drone, a virtual tour and still shots.  I package all of this for my clients, brand it with their logo and encourage them to flush it out to their social media channels right away.”

The future of photography in luxury real estate, both commercial and residential, is certain to include the enhanced advantage of drone work. Keep up with Home & Realty Magazine as we watch this technology climb to new heights.

Chad Robinson is the owner of Clickit Digital Media.
He works in Los Angeles, California

PHOTO CREDIT: Chad Robinson of Clickit Digital Media

House Flipping by Tammie

House Flipping by Tammie

Meet Tammie Williams-Hoffman formerly of Los Angeles!

House Flipping - Home & Realty Magazine
Dream BIG

I met this amazing lady one day on my Facebook page while she clicked the “Like” button on one of my business posts.  As I started to learn more about Tammie, I  grew more interested in her story of House Flipping.

Tammie grew up in Los Angeles and was your typical California girl.  She loves to pamper herself with her manicures and pedicures, in addition to having her shopping sprees in some of the finest stores in town.  And of course, she always makes certain that her hair coloring appointments are on schedule! However, this polished woman has an another amazing side to her.  When she’s not getting pampered in a spa, she can be seen inside one of her investment properties hammering, painting and getting it ready to flip.

Tammie began her career in Los Angeles with a background in residential loans and later became the owner of her own loan company for 14 years.  As time passed, she later decided to move to Seattle to the upper Pacific North West where she would start her own house flipping business.

Tammie’s  in home flipping from financial ground zero all the way to the finished product – a beautiful turn-key home.  After discussing her work, we at Home & Realty thought it would be a fantastic idea to offer Tammie her own house flipping column and step-by-step videos that offer our readers information on how they can make new changes in their home.  The before & afters are sure to inspire!  Tammie’s “If I can do it” attitude was what attracted me to her in creating this column. We just love this business woman gone house flipper!

Urban Real Estate Trends

Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine


Trying to decide whether to buy a new home in the suburbs or in the city?  The ultimate goal should be to buy a home that will withstand market changes. In the major cities, urban real estate trends are often guided by a surge in infill development.  What is infill development? When it comes to urban development and planning, infill is the use of land within a built-up area for future construction as a part of community redevelopment. Its focus is reuse and re-positioning of obsolete buildings, renewing blighted neighborhoods so that they may again become prosperous neighborhoods.

Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine

When it comes to living in the city, home buyers will definitely spend more.  Urban infill developments demand much higher per square-foot prices compared to their suburban competitors, but some buyers are willing to pay for the added convenience of being centrally located closer to work, shopping, restaurants and nightlife.  With the escalated price of gasoline, buyers are headed back to the city because of the potentially long commutes and expense.  Some buyers can save even more by not having to own a car because of this convenience.  Think New Yorkers and their use of public transit and good old-fashioned walking.

Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine


Builders are creating designs with simple, clean lines circa 1960’s modern design with a modern-day edgy twist. They add imaginative lighting fixtures and hidden lighting sources.  Also, the use of creative built-ins that work double-duty such as large flat-screen televisions that swivel between rooms or double-sided fireplaces. Uniqueness but functionality and space efficiency are key trends. Kitchen trends include lesser use of granite, losing its appeal because it is not “special” anymore in the eyes of some buyers.  Silestone, a form of quartz, is gaining major popularity for its fantastic durability.  For bathrooms, vessel sinks are sinking in the popularity poll as well. Sinks that are larger and flatter and built-in to the vanity are making a comeback, but much sleeker versions are being designed. For the shower, rain shower heads are being installed in ceilings instead of walls.

Color schemes throughout the space are rebounding back to soft, cooler earth tones.  These colors are more relaxing and provide flexibility when changing your seasonal decor. I am seeing tons of gray, taupe, varying shades of blue and green and less of the warmer colors such as yellow, red or orange.

Eco-friendly “green” homes are becoming the rage as buyers prefer solar energy, not only for the planet, but for their wallets as well.  Natural fiber or eco-friendly wood flooring, compact fluorescent and LED lighting and energy-efficient high-end appliances are also added amenities seen in the newer “green” spaces. There is even a plug in some garages to plug in an electric car.

Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine

To me, the epitome of city living is having a spacious loft. In many cities, this is the design of choice. Lofts offer work/live space, which is generally multi-level.  The main level is usually an open space that can be used as an office, warehouse or place of business.  The upper levels feature floor-to-ceiling glass windows and the views make it very desirable to buyers. Exposed ventilation and duct work with virtually no walls separating living spaces, such as bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens allows for a more relaxed and transparent environment.


Single and savvy professionals are purchasing city homes together and splitting the mortgage.  Higher prices in the city make qualifying on a single home more difficult. Financially, to these singles, buying versus renting is the logical choice for them.  Singles also love the fact that downtown areas offer walking distance to work, shopping and nightlife.

Real Estate - Home & Realty Magazine

Another hot demographic of city home buyers are the baby boomers.  Once the children are grown and leave the suburban home, the extra space they leave behind can be unrealistic. There is way too much upkeep as well. These suburbanites desire to be closer to the downtown attractions and down-sizing to a smaller space that is newer and offers more conveniences is a major selling point for them.

Ultimately you have to weigh out the pros and cons of living in the city as opposed to the suburbs. City living may seem more expensive, but in the essence of productivity, time and access to services in some buildings such as concierge, shuttles, health and fitness centers for residents, as well as having public transit, retailers and businesses right outside your front door, you may actually be saving precious time and money with all of those modern conveniences at your fingertips.

Linda Ginex – Balance of Success Lifestyle

Linda Ginex – The Balance of Success Lifestyle

by Staff Writer, Sandie Yim

Success Lifestyle - Home & Realty Magazine
Linda Ginex, Coldwell Banker Previews International

“Happiness at work is not about eliminating all the bad stuff from your job. It’s about being happy at work even though some of these bad things are present. It’s about building your skills and your energy to fix the problems, and to create more and more positive experiences at work.”
― Alexander Kjerulf, Happy Hour is 9 to 5

When doing research for this article, this quote jumped out at me. Through my interviews and as I was writing, the credence of balance emerged beautifully as the story of Linda Ginex unfolded.

Linda Ginex, a Realtor of Coldwell Banker Preview International, headquartered in Orange County, CA, entered the business in 2006 just as the housing bubble was about to burst.  Prior to that essentially all of the real estate components were making more money than thought possible as prices for homes were proverbially shooting through the roof. Fast forward 10 years later, Ginex is still in the game and thriving. Where newbies once enticed by gargantuan commissions had to watch the market and their financial security crumble left real estate discouraged. Ginex stayed, however, secure in the housing cycle, in the fact that the market would rebuild and committed herself to the process.

The next two years steered Ginex into working with asset companies focusing on Real Estate Owned (REO) properties and Broker Price Opinion (BPO) modifications. “I was really fortunate”, recalls Ginex about the beginning of her career. “I got help from a mentor and learned in six months what could normally take years.” When asked about ever having doubts her answer was simple, “I liked the challenge. I’ve always known how to take the highs’ and low’s.” As history has shown the market recovered over time. Linda Ginex through sheer will had made a name for herself during one of the roughest housing market lows in decades.

Success Lifestyle - Home & Realty Magazine
Coldwell Banker Previews International

Nearly every morning, Ginex wakes at 7:00 a.m. and jots downs acknowledgments in her gratitude journal setting the tone for her day. Checking her phone, coffee, getting ready and the remainder of her day is client focused, ending it by balancing off with some physical exercise followed by dinner.

As evident from above it is easy to surmise Ginex’s intelligence, commitment and work ethic. Add her warm smile and ability to establish an immediate connection as hallmarks to her reputation and it’s no wonder she has a 5-star rating with reviews that read, “Linda is one of the best (if not the best agent) in Orange County.” Although, “…there are thousands of real estate agents to consider, there is a limited supply of realtors who are established and disciplined like Linda.”

A clear distinction from her peers and another winning Ginex characteristic is principle. “I’m straight up with my clients,” she says bluntly. “I wouldn’t let them buy something I myself wouldn’t invest in. I’m not the type of agent that would be worried about pointing out [issues]… if my client’s needs are not being met.”

From her start, Ginex always thought of technology as an ever expanding tool base for many industries, real estate included. She does recognize there are old school clients and caters to their needs with as much enthusiasm and care as she would an iWatch wearing, über traveling investor. Data mining, online presence, marketing, communication are technical aspects shaping how buying and selling homes are in these times. It is the present and facilitates the future.

Success Lifestyle - Home & Realty Magazine
Home & Realty Magazine

Perpetually on the look out for new ways to market with the latest technological methods, she chanced a very important meeting in 2009 with Home & Realty Magazine’s publisher Bruce Bryant when the magazine was in it’s infancy. To find out more about that fateful meet I sat down with the two of them over good hot coffee and asked, “how did you first meet?”  For a couple beats they looked at one another waiting for the other to remember the details. It was obvious (and comical) an abundance of shared memories existed between them making it difficult to pinpoint exactly when and how they met — a ringing endorsement of a true, long lasting friendship. Piecing the story together, they met while Bryant was prospecting. They sat down for a short meeting about Home & Realty Magazine and from there Ginex was on board. “The concept was not cookie cutter and that was exciting to me. Getting involved with the magazine was a no brainer in part due to Bruce’s prior accolades and it being something to add to my repertoire.” Ginex said.

Bryant immediately identified Ginex’s star potential and asked her to go on calls to pitch to other agents. “That is what is so unique about Linda, she cared about everybody,” Bryant said with some astonishment. “She wasn’t worried about being in a magazine with her competitors.”

“No, there’s enough business for all the top agents,” she tied in.

H&R Magazine began to expand and encapsulated patronage nationally and internationally. The growth for Ginex offered her more of what excited her: a challenge within her career to build and support an online luxury, lifestyle marketing vehicle to share with peers and allow them to also grow their businesses.  “It’s a great tool for my listings and to promote the lifestyle of OC (Orange County).” “Home & Realty magazine’s global reach is an advertiser’s strongest asset, in addition to the quality display of luxury real estate showcased.”

Ginex owes her unique perspective to a successful business to her personal beginning, her parents. “I’m blessed to [have been] brought up with so much love and support it’s natural to want to have those around you feel happy and comfortable.” Her mother Diane is an especially inspirational role model who earned her degree at night while caring for her Aerospace engineer husband and four children.  That sacrifice and dedication shaped Ginex’s outlook on life who more often than not looked to her mom for guidance.

Facing challenges and being out of her comfort zone are reoccurring themes in Ginex’s life. Aviophobia (a fear of flying) plagued her for decades. Then came the decision to beat it. “I found out everything I could about the process till it all made sense to me. Knowledge really is power.” With that knowledge and power, she flew by herself to Costa Rica leaving her fears in the wind. A bold move to tackle what can be a horrifying experience. But Ginex is no stranger to wanderlust. Her bucket list is packed full with global adventure which include touring castles in New Zealand on horseback or vacationing in a tree house with panoramic views. She hopes to white water raft along a U.S. river and build a house in a third world country. A notion that evolved from her work with local Habitat Humanity projects. “I think doing it overseas would be more challenging.” Another organization she volunteers for is the regional Special Olympics. “I draw inspiration from those kids who give their all, doing things I couldn’t do. It gives me perspective, provides balance.”

Globe trotting isn’t her only pastime. “I love getting together with friends and family, dining out. I love a good beer and an excellent scotch.”  All in all, Ginex has achieved balance in work, adventure, family, friends. She is pushing her boundaries but never forgets her home. Her efforts to maintain that balance result in a true happiness many might not ever experience. Clients of Ginex have noted her expertise, genuineness and positivity. Her life dictates her work and her clients reap the benefits of her joy.

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