Hailing from Elk Grove, Calif. near Sacramento, John and Therese Kingsbury found success early in life and were able to retire at age 50. Living 'the dream,' they bought a yacht and sailed for several years in and around Washington's San Juan islands, when they decided they wanted a more permanent home in this lush and scenic region.
They put their active real estate licenses and experience to work researching islands that might match their needs. In the process, John and Therese settled on Whidbey Island and learned enough to build a thriving real estate business specializing in Island/Skagit Counties vacation homes.
The Kingsburys encourage their clients to buy vacation homes as getaways, future retirement homes, investments, and active businesses, while guiding them through careful research. Here are some of their top tips for buyers and, in turn, other brokers who might want to enter this segment of the real estate business:
For realtors interested in selling vacation homes, in addition to the tips above, John and Therese recommend getting to know your market. Consider access to beach and water views. Find out about local non-profits. Not only do they offer satisfying participation in community, but they also offer access to potential clients. Help clients get creative in financing to manage rising interest rates. They're still very low, especially for those who are more financially secure.
Be a problem solver. Get to know local landscapers, plumbers, electricians and movers, house cleaners for vacation homes. Make sure you can be of maximum service to clients and help ensure their vacation rental is an asset, not an anchor for them.
John and Therese Kingsbury know from experience how a vacation home purchase can be a happy ending. They ended up on Whidbey Island living on a vast estate which they continue to groom with sculptures and nearly 100 Rhododendron species. Both are involved with local charities. They went from knowing no one, to being major players in their community.