My Craziest Transaction: Building A Neighborhood

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As an entry into this month's Craziest Transaction Challenge, I'm going to write about a transaction that was more interesting and educational than crazy. You decide if it is fact or fiction.

As many of you know, I started blogging before most people even knew what a blog is. I was fortunate to begin early. I was the first in Wenatchee to start a blog and the only one who consistently blogged even after others started. I blogged every day from September 2005 until I retired in November of 2011. My Google rankings were off the charts, holding 7 of the top 10 spots on Google for Wenatchee real estate. 

One day I had HGTV call me investigating the possibility of doing a segment with homebuyers in Wenatchee. Nothing came of that. I also had Time Magazine call me in the mid-2000s when Wenatchee was rated the #1 appreciating real estate market in the entire nation. I think I might have gotten a mention in one of their publications but not sure about that.

The most interesting (even exciting) call I received, though, was from a Microsoft executive asking about land in Wenatchee. He and a group of friends were interested in buying a parcel of property to subdivide and build homes for themselves. There were 9 couples and they would use these as second homes until they retired. Essentially, they wanted to create a small neighborhood for themselves. 

For those of you not familiar with the geography of where Wenatchee is located, Microsoft is located just 150 miles west of Wenatchee in Redmond, Washington. Wenatchee is a popular weekend get-a-way for many folks living on what we call the "wetside" of the state.

This call sent me looking for land. As it happened, there was a small subdivision that had just been developed in an area near the golf course where I play. There were 13 lots, which was a little bigger than what they wanted but I presented it to the "leader of the pack."  To my surprise, he came over and looked at the property and said he thought it might work for them.  He said the extra 4 lots could be perfect for a clubhouse for activities and events and play area for their kids.  He went back to his friends and arranged for all of them to come over and discuss the possibilities.  I rented a small bus and took them around to some of the land options available.  The one with the 13 lots was most appealing since they wouldn't have to go through the long process of developing the subdivision.

This was turning out to be a very exciting venture but I was feeling overwhelmed with all the responsibilities of managing this large of a transaction for my out of area clients. I already had a pretty full plate managing my real estate and property management office. 

So, I enlisted the help of a good friend who worked the development side of real estate for another company. We worked through all the details of our agreement and were off and running. We agreed he would take the lead from here on out and keep me in the loop throughout the process.

This story is already getting long so I won't go into the details.  Although my friend took the lead once we got everyone signed up, he kept me in the loop throughout the process.  We hired 3 different builders to work with to get the homes built and a different builder to do the clubhouse. With all the planning and details this project took nearly two years to complete.   

Although the final commission check was issued in August, it turned out to be a very Merry Christmas that year.

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"The best way to predict the future is to create it!"
- Peter Drucker

"Information is FREE. Knowledge, Experience & Integrity Are Priceless."

-Carol Williams

Retired: Real Estate Broker/Owner, Property Manager 
Coaching, goal setting and marketing consultant by appt.

Active: Golf & Travel Blogger
"Golf isn't a sport. It's a lifestyle."



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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

What a great story (true I bet), Carol. Stuff like this DOES happen.


Dec 12, 2019 04:14 PM #9
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I believe it.  I am glad it became a reality.  Merry Christmas.

Dec 12, 2019 05:40 PM #10
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

That was certainly a memorable project, and true I believe. Does the same group for the "wetside" still own their properties there? Have any retired yet, living there full time? It's a great concept.

Dec 12, 2019 08:19 PM #11
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Carol.

What a nice overload problem to have.  I bet that last commission check was a nice one, for sure.

Dec 13, 2019 02:05 AM #12
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Carol. Must say you knew when to seek aid to keep it all together. Kudos to you! Enjoy your day as you did your commission check!

Dec 13, 2019 04:35 AM #13
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Carol, that is a great story. I'm sure they appreciated all your hard work.

Dec 13, 2019 04:43 AM #14
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

That sounds like a really interesting project and rewarding financially as well !

Dec 13, 2019 04:48 AM #15
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Carol - it certainly seems as if this story could be true...  Either way, it sounds like an adventure.  In learning - discovering - and so much more.  

Dec 13, 2019 05:01 AM #16
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Carol Williams - I can image the excitement you felt when that was complete.  That was a mega project.

Dec 13, 2019 05:59 AM #17
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I think that story is true and I think I would enjoy working on that type of a deal.  They built their own little getaway resort.  Is it still used today?  I would love to hear more about what is happening with it now.

Dec 13, 2019 05:59 AM #18
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Carol... what an interesting story... and I suspect relatively unique. Obviously delighted that it all worked out for you in the end.

Dec 13, 2019 06:08 AM #19
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

What an interesting and exciting deal to work on, can see why there would be much learning through that one. Glad you had a good Christmas.

Dec 13, 2019 10:59 AM #20
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

I didn't know you started from the ground up with your blog. It was something I wanted to do for long time and couldn't get answers in my community about the implementation that I needed but I never gave up. I didn't start until 2010 but I think many people who started earlier were smart and made quite an impression on people like those from Microsoft. 

Dec 13, 2019 05:47 PM #21
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

I believe this one! That's a very cool story. I hope those Microsoft families stayed friends with each other!

Dec 14, 2019 06:08 AM #22
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

I sure hope this is true, and it's a great idea too. I've always thought folks who are good friends should retire in a small community together. It's great for the support we need to get us through the aging years. 

Dec 14, 2019 06:54 AM #23
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Good evening, there are always some crazy things that happen in real estate transactions. But I am thankful that I make it through each one, with happy clients at the end. Have a blessed night and merry Christmas

Dec 14, 2019 04:55 PM #24
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Sure hoping this one is true. Of course, you could pull this off. And congratulations on the completion of your neighborhood Carol Williams 

Dec 14, 2019 10:14 PM #25
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Congratulations on your feature recognition. Thanks for sharing this story.

Dec 16, 2019 08:20 AM #26
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Prado Real Estate South - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

What a project to take on Carol! It takes a lot of cooperation, organization and talent from start to completion. This story has to be true!

Dec 16, 2019 03:10 PM #27
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Great story, Carol. I am sure that it was your consistent dedication to blogging that initially brought you to their attention. Then it was your experience and professionalism that won them over.

Dec 18, 2019 05:15 PM #28
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