As one of the longest running real estate agencies in the area, Shelman Realty has served Boundary County since 1963. The distinctive yellow and black signs proclaiming the agency to be "Your Hometown Realtor" can be seen on virtually every street, affirming that this is one hard-working group of real estate professionals who take their jobs seriously. In addition to real estate services, Shelman Realty also offers free notary services.
"One thing that makes us different is that we have a lot of experience and knowledge of the area," explained Steve Carey, owner and broker of Shelman Realty. "Most of us grew up here and have been a part of the community. The bottom line that really sets us apart is that we care about people. We are a full service agency. We really want people to be happy when they're in this community."
When Steve says, "Most of us grew up here," he really means it. Bonners Ferry born and raised, Steve, his brother, Sam (agent) and their sister, Jeanne King (office manager), all work at Shelman Realty. Agent Kirsten Madden has spent most of her life in Boundary County, and agent Jeff Mellinger has been in Boundary County for 13 years.
Steve emphasized that although the Shelman agents are independent contractors, they work as a team, or, in his words, "more like a family."
Although the Shelman office abounds with a relaxed, causal, welcoming feeling where laughter seems to be the general MO, the Shelman Realty team is very adamant about the positive opportunities available right now for purchasing real estate.
According to Kirsten, "First time buyers receive a tax credit of up to $8,000 if the buyer has not purchased a home within the last three years. This tax credit is only available until Dec. 31. The tax credit is based on 10% of the sales price of the property. There are also government loan programs for low-income buyers and zero down loans as well. In addition, there is funding available for bare land purchases." Steve added that bare land is the lowest price it has been in years.
"There may be a perception that 'nothing's happening in the real estate market,' but that's not true," said Sam. "We're still listing and selling. There is also the perception that banks don't want to loan money, but if you have decent credit, you can get a loan. Business has actually picked up lately."
Kirsten added that now is an excellent time to refinance. She said that there are many refinancing programs and that interest rates are low.
"One key to our success is that we listen to our clients to determine what they are looking for," stressed Sam. "Even if they don't know exactly what they're looking for, once we start showing houses, we can help them discover what they want. It's fun to work with people when they're excited about purchasing a home or property."
Steve said that his business philosophy has always been simple.
"Work hard and treat people right," he emphasized. "We really work at making sure people are happy. We really care about the people who come here."
Jeanne noted that the Shelman agents get excited about small sales as well as big sales.
Steve agreed with her comment, saying, "Whoever comes in, whether they are looking for a large property or a small one, we treat them just the same. That's what we're here for."
In his characteristically good-natured fashion, Sam said with a chuckle, "Big or small, we sell them all!" All of the agents at Shelman Realty expressed a sincere love for this community.
"Boundary County is one of the neatest, nicest places to live," Sam explained. "I can't think of a better place to live and raise a family. We have four seasons here, not just 'hot and hotter,' and we have the friendliest people."
Steve added that there are good utility prices here and many community events that bring people in. Kirsten mentioned that Boundary County is also a great place to retire.
"Our advertising says that we are a "home town" real estate agency," said Jeff. "We know the area and we are here to meet the needs of the people coming in as well as the local people, too. We have a variety of people in this office who come from different backgrounds and know how to service the needs of our clients. Boundary County is a fun place to have a family and children. There are lots of things to do to have fun rather than just work all the time."
"It would be really tough to live anywhere else," concluded Steve. "It's such a great community."
Shelman Realty is open six days a week, Monday through Saturday. Special appointments can also be arranged if necessary. The office is located at 6737 Cody Street. For more information, call 267-5515, 800-788-5515, or visit their website at www.shelmanrealty.com