The remarkable commercial revival downtown Fort Dodge has experienced during 2011 and 2012 just keeps getting better. Stacy Wearda has opened a Neighborhood Realty office at 706 First Ave. S.
Wearda, who has been in the real estate world since 2004, founded Neighborhood Realty in Webster City in 2007. She said that operation began with three agents and has grown to five.
Wearda launched her Fort Dodge expansion in April. She splits her time between the two locations. Her local team includes two additional agents - Heather Vandi and Morgan Fitzgerald.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Neighborhood Realty’s Heather Vandi, left, and Stacy Wearda pose with one of the perks that came with their offices at 706 Second Ave. N. — a walk-in safe.
"Our primary specialty would be residential real estate," Wearda said. "We'll also sell commercial, agricultural, investment properties."
Though Neighborhood Realty's focus is predominantly residential sales at the moment, there are plans to augment that component of the business with increased agricultural land sales later this year.
"I would like to start an ag division - a farm land division - as soon as we get our feet on the floor," Wearda said. "I have an agent that is currently getting licensed that will focus more on the farm land."
She is bullish about the housing market in Fort Dodge and said she expects her local office to expand because the economy here is already thriving and poised for even better days in the years just ahead.
"I envision this office growing," Wearda said, noting that the bright economic future of Fort Dodge was a major reason she opened an office here. "We are looking to grow."
While the Fort Dodge and Webster City housing markets have some differences, they overlap to a significant degree and have major similarities, Wearda said.
"There are some people coming into Fort Dodge who are moving to Webster City," she said. "(The Fort Dodge market) is a little faster-paced. I really enjoy working over here. For as much bigger as the town is, it still has a small-town feel. The people are really friendly."
Increasing her knowledge about Fort Dodge and becoming better known here are initial priorities for Wearda, who lives halfway between the two communities.
"Getting to know the town," she said. "Getting the town to know us."
Asked what makes her agency special, Wearda had a straightforward response.
"We're very friendly," she said with a laugh. "We're all full-time agents. We don't have any part-time agents. This is our full-time job. We're very thorough. We're very ethical."
A commitment to helping clients successfully traverse the sometimes intimidating process of buying or selling property is a key part of the service Neighborhood Realty provides.
"We're happy to come to their house first for a walk-through without any formal obligation," Wearda said. "We'll give them an idea of a market analysis. Let them know what kind of price range they would fall in. We'll give them some ideas of what they can do to help with curb appeal."
Acknowledging that the real estate world can be confusing to clients, Wearda said the approach at her agency is designed to make the process easier.
"A lot of people don't know where to start," she said. "We're patient, we're not pushy. ... It is a stressful process and a long process sometimes. We try to keep people informed. We make sure they know what's going on."
By June, Wearda said a new website - neighborhood-realty.net - will be up and running. She said it will feature a wide variety of information including tips about preparing a house for sale and information people need to know before beginning the buying process. It will have links to property listings as well as agent biographies.
Both the Fort Dodge and Webster City Neighborhood Realty offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Agents also are readily available for appointments at other times if that proves to be more convenient for clients.
Wearda stressed that for her Neighborhood Realty is an immensely enjoyable venture.
"I love people," she said. "Love to make people happy. Love to make families happy. I also love architecture."
Contact Terrence Dwyer at (515) 573-2141 or firstname.lastname@example.org