Women open real estate business in their Home Town
A recent article about New Castle painted a dismal picture of downtown.Main Street was deserted, only smatterings of customers occupied local businesses and owners suggested New Castle residents didn’t know downtown existed.However, energetic new business owners Beth Cook, 54, and Debbie Sanderson, 39, see New Castle’s downtown area as an up-and-coming hot spot.Cook and Sanderson are co-owners of Home Town Real Estate, the only real estate agency located in New Castle. Home Town has real estate listings from Parachute to Basalt.”We live in New Castle and we like this growing market and wanted to have a share of it,” said Cook.According to the U.S. Census, from 2000-2003, New Castle’s growth rate was 35 percent, making it the fastest growing town in the valley. SIlt was next at 20 percent.
“We’re New Castle people, and whatever we can do to enhance the town is what we want to do,” Cook said.Home Town literally developed over night.Cook and Sanderson met while working for a Glenwood real estate company, Buzick and Associates.Soon, they realized how much they had in common – their sons played on the same football team, they lived in the same city, and, they both saw a need for a real estate company in the fastest growing city in Garfield County.By January of 2004, they were tossing around the idea of opening a new company. A week later they left Buzick and started Home Town.”We left on good terms, they’re a great company to work for,” Sanderson said.Home Town is different than other real estate agencies because it focuses on the customer instead of the commission, Sanderson said.
For example, Sanderson and Cook, who are the only agents, are active in pre-sale preparation.When a homeowner shows Cook and Sanderson their house for the first time, the team suggests improvements the owner can make to help sell the house.They might suggest new paint, clean carpets or new caulking in the bathroom. Suggesting home improvements to increase the chance of a sale are not uncommon in the industry, Sanderson said.Most agencies stop at the recommendation, Sanderson said.However, Cook and Sanderson offer to send out estimators and direct the homeowner to affordable home improvement professionals, which goes beyond industry standard, Sanderson said.”We help them figure out how to sell their house instead of sticking a sign in the yard and crossing our fingers,” Sanderson said.
Adding a professional business to downtown New Castle does wonders for growth, said Judy Shaffer, president and manager of the Alpine Bank in New Castle.”It’s one of those businesses we’ve been anticipating to come into downtown for some time,” said Steve Rippy, New Castle town administrator. “It creates more activity downtown which is positive for the area.”Home Town business is on the up and up.Opened for less than a year, Sanderson and Cook are already thinking about hiring another agent and additional administrative staff.”It’s been an awesome summer,” Sanderson said. “We’re just thrilled and we’ve had great sales. It’s a fun job and I want to come to work every day.”Contact Ivy Vogel: 945-8515, ext. firstname.lastname@example.org
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