Category Archives: Wellington Real Estate

Realtor Robert Ross Combines His Passion For Horses And Real Estate

Realtor Robert Ross Combines His Passion For Horses And Real Estate

For Robert Ross of the Keller Williams Luxury Team, a life in real estate was not a huge surprise. After all, the profession is in his blood.

“I was born and raised in California by two wonderful parents who both had lifelong careers in real estate,” Ross said. “My father always tried to find the best deal on the market, and my mom went over and above to make sure her clients were incredibly happy. I was always involved somehow in their real estate business. Whether it was helping to run their open houses, working on their comps, passing out just-sold cards or even offering my advice on deal negotiations, I truly enjoyed the work I was doing. This is where my love for real estate began.”

Ross’ other love was and remains the equestrian lifestyle. He became a Grand Prix jumper and was named to the U.S. Olympic sports festival team. He has developed Romance Farm Inc., a joint training business with students of all levels with his husband, dressage Olympian Robert Dover, and has been the organization’s secretary and treasurer since 1989.

Ross’ twin passions are not mutually exclusive. “It seemed that at every horse show, a friend would come to the ring and ask me if I knew of any stalls, barns or houses for rent or sale,” he recalled.

This led to a re-thinking of his career and a return to the family business.

“In 2008, as the real estate market began to crash, I saw an incredible opportunity to revisit my calling and pursued my degree in real estate, as well as investments in the new market,” he said. “My business, Robert Ross P.A., ranges from the smallest rentals to the highest end in equestrian and luxury properties in Wellington and Miami. I have chosen this area of real estate due to my extensive knowledge of the area over the past 30 years, as well as my love of horses.”

Ross knows that every client’s situation is unique. That’s what drives his team to treat every situation with the highest level of customer service and care.

“What sets Robert Ross P.A. apart is that we want every client to feel like they have been treated as if their rental or sale was a multi-million-dollar transaction,” he explained. “It is for these reasons that 90 percent of our clients are repeat clients or friends who have been referred to us.”

When he’s not busy working the best deals for his clients, Ross throws his total involvement into the Equestrian Aid Foundation, a nonprofit foundation originally formed in 1996 as the Equestrian AIDS Foundation.

“In the beginning, the organization had one, very simple purpose: to financially assist people in the horse industry who were stricken with AIDS; to let them know that their peers cared about them and wanted to help improve the quality of their lives,” he said. “In the years following, the foundation’s mission of providing grant-based support was broadened to include horse people suffering from catastrophic injuries or illness of all kinds. Our goal is to provide a helping hand that allows fellow equestrians to overcome adversity, focus on healing, and rebuild their lives.”

This focus on teamwork carries over into everything Ross does.

“My team is proud to live and work in Wellington, and I have the best and hardest-working team in the business,” he said. “I could not strive for excellence without this dedicated team supporting me. Wellington is one of the nicest and friendliest South Florida communities to live in, with an abundance of world class equestrian interests, quality schools, great restaurants and, of course, the best location to buy a home or farm.”

To contact Ross, call (561) 758-6185 or visit www.robertrosspa.com.

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Abby Jones Focuses On Equestrian Market Both Here And In Kentucky

Abby Jones Focuses On Equestrian Market Both Here And In Kentucky

Abby Jones is a fourth-generation Floridian whose professional background and love of horses make her a perfect fit at Wellington’s Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty.

“I was born and raised in South Florida,” Jones said. “I am originally from Hollywood Beach. My family moved to Southwest Ranches when I was 12. I started riding horses when I was nine and started showing ponies in Wellington in 1989. Naturally, the horse shows kept bringing me back to the Wellington area.”

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida, Jones started working for a private commercial appraisal company in Fort Lauderdale. She obtained her general appraiser’s license and real estate sales license in 2001 and continued to work as an appraiser.

“I worked for the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser’s office from 2003 until 2008,” Jones said. “After getting married, I wanted a job that allowed me the freedom to travel with my husband. I started selling real estate full time in 2013.”

A friend introduced her to the owners of Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty, and she found the firm to be a good fit.

“Because I had such a strong understanding of real estate through appraisal, especially in Palm Beach County, Sotheby’s hired me as a full-time sales agent,” she said.

Jones splits her time between Wellington and Lexington, Ky., where she is also a licensed Realtor. She continues to focus on equestrian clients in both horse-centric destinations. The situation is a very successful family affair.

“My husband is also a real estate agent,” Jones said. “Between the two of us, we try to help our clients with all of their real estate needs, anything from rental housing for clients and staff to closing multi-million-dollar properties. This past year, we closed more than $20 million in sales between Florida and Kentucky.”

Jones said that she enjoys working at Sotheby’s because of the tight-knit group of agents and its significant global presence, which greatly benefits her work in Wellington.

“In our little town of Wellington, we have a huge international market,” she said. “Equestrians come from all over the globe, and they know and trust the quality of the Sotheby’s name. Everything we do is first class. Clients return to me year after year because they know and trust that I can get the job done.”

That customer-client relationship is crucial to the success of every deal.

“Communication is key in this and any business,” Jones said. “Always keeping clients up-to-date is very important.”

Through her experience as both an appraiser and a Realtor, Jones has full confidence in her abilities and knowledge to help each and every client secure the situation of their dreams. One thing that she doesn’t have to work too hard at is selling Wellington as a destination. That takes care of itself.

“The weather is great, especially in the winter,” she said. “There is a wide range of real estate for buyers to choose from. Clients can buy a cute $200,000 condo or a deluxe multi-million-dollar equestrian property. There’s great shopping and plenty of restaurants. You can drive 20 minutes to the beach or hop on the new Brightline and be in Miami in less than an hour.”

Equestrian Sotheby’s International Realty is located at 12180 South Shore Blvd., Suite 102, in Wellington. To contact Abby Jones, call (561) 436-4097 or (561) 771-2626, or e-mail ajones@equestriansir.com.

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Luis Rodriguez Specializes In Equestrian Properties

Luis Rodriguez Specializes In Equestrian Properties

Luis Rodriguez of Keller Williams Realty is eager to sing the praises of Wellington in particular and Palm Beach County in general. After all, it’s the area where he grew up, and he speaks of the Palm Beaches with a mixture of knowledge and pride.

“I was raised in Miami and West Palm Beach and received my bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton,” Rodriguez said. “For more than 10 years, I lived in the Southland Park neighborhood near Flagler Drive close to the Intracoastal, so I know Palm Beach County well.”

Rodriguez was a natural for real estate. After being told he had the perfect personality and background for the job, he joined BRP Realty in Palm Beach. It was a matter of the heart that brought him to Wellington.

“Soon after, I met my future husband, documentary filmmaker Ron Davis,” Rodriguez explained. “He had moved to Palm Beach Polo in Wellington from New York City. I found that I really enjoyed the quiet equestrian lifestyle in Wellington, so I decided to make it my home as well. This month will mark my seventh year as a Wellington resident.”

Rodriguez specializes in equestrian lifestyle properties for both year-round and seasonal residents.

“My clients are looking for a comfortable lifestyle, which can range from a luxury condominium to a lavish equestrian estate,” he said. “I take great pride in getting to know what is going on in the community and what interests my clients, in order to help guide them to make the right choices.”

Rodriguez couldn’t be happier to be a part of the Keller Williams team, where he is the chair of the Wellington division of Keller Williams Luxury International. He is dedicated to consistently raising the bar when it comes to service and satisfaction.

“Keller Williams offers one of the most extensive training programs for new agents, as well as continued training for seasoned agents,” he said. “This ensures the highest level of expertise and that the most current marketing resources are at our fingertips to better serve the needs of buyers and sellers at every level. We have a lasting and positive effect on the lives of our clients. As I said before, this is a lifestyle business.”

Since his specialty is equestrian properties, it should come as no surprise that Rodriguez considers the horse community one of the true backbones of Wellington’s appeal.

“Money magazine recently named Wellington one of the eight best places to retire in the entire country, and we are the winter equestrian capital of the world,” he said. “Our little village offers some of the largest and most prestigious equestrian competitions in the world, showcasing the best in international show jumping, dressage and polo. These large equestrian venues offer a unique opportunity for competitors and fans to escape to the Sunshine State seasonally or year-round.”

Rodriguez keeps his eye on the ever-changing real estate market. When he looks at the big picture, he projects an optimistic future for the area.

“Wellington and its global equestrian roots are strong and give us a leg up, so to speak, on the rest of the country,” he said. “The large amount of private investments in property, and equestrian venues that are continuing to grow each year, help to stabilize our community. It reminds me of the baseball movie, Field of Dreams. The voice kept saying, ‘If you build it, they will come.’ Wellington is indeed building, and with our close proximity to Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale and Miami, there seems to be no reason to believe that the market will do anything in the near future but continue on a steady, upward path.”

For more information, call Rodriguez at (561) 385-2383, e-mail lrodriguezpb@gmail.com or visit him on the web at www.luisrodriguez.kwrealty.com.

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Chris Heine Jr. Of Chris Allen Realty Brings Unique Expertise To Clients

Chris Heine Jr. Of Chris Allen Realty Brings Unique Expertise To Clients

South Florida native Chris Heine Jr. of Chris Allen Realty comes to real estate quite naturally. After all, the profession runs in the family.

“My father was a builder while I was growing up, and construction and housing always caught my interest,” he said. “The industry is constantly evolving, and that is what intrigues me. Being a spec builder means I have to maintain up-to-date information about the market and watch trends as they shift in this area.”

Heine was born at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach, attended Cardinal Newman High School and received his degree from Florida Atlantic University in 2006.

“I have always loved the area here, which is why I decided to stay local for my college education,” he said. “Wellington and the western communities have evolved along with the entire market in the past 20 years, and I have been here to watch.”

Heine’s unique skill set gives him a leg up on the competition.

“I specialize in construction and valuations because I am a real estate investor myself,” he said. “This helps my clients because I can decipher inspection reports and cosmetic items and put a real budget value on items, where a normal broker would not be able to give accurate estimates without referring out to third party vendors for every small detail.”

This make Heine a unique resource for his clients. “Knowing the construction lingo and dealing with the items first-hand is a valuable resource,” he explained. “I also study the market in the surrounding area daily to see what is happening for my own investments, so I can help when clients are preparing offers as buyers or coming up with an accurate listing price as a seller.”

Heine is also a licensed mortgage loan originator. He added this to his resume out of a desire to fully understand the workings of the lending industry.

“Lending is the largest factor in buying and selling real estate when a client does not have liquid cash to purchase a property,” he said. “I am also in the process of getting a trainee designation in appraisals. These extra courses help me be the best in the industry when it comes to real estate, and I pass on my knowledge to all my agents in our weekly sales meetings. We maintain a boutique size so each of my agents can strive to be the best agent for their clients and represent them well.”

As someone who has grown up in the area, Heine said the decision to settle down here was easy.

“Our area is special because you can drive from a multi-million-dollar horse farm with 20 acres to a multi-million-dollar waterfront mansion on a half-acre in less than 30 minutes,” he said. “South Florida is the perfect geographical location to have all types of people residing here. People come from all over the world to vacation here or move here from other states because of the weather, atmosphere, culture, etc.”

When Heine surveys the shape of the current real estate market, he’s pleased with what he sees.

“I feel that the market is exactly where it should be for the strength in the economy and the jobs that are being filled,” he said. “We had some catching up to do after the stall in the market… We have seen year over year returns and equity growth in the double digits; 10 to 20 percent each year. I think this will plateau, and we will start seeing the average return of 4 to 5 percent a year for real estate. This is not a bad thing. In fact, it is actually a good thing. It shows a stable economy and means that real estate remains one of the best investments an individual can make.”

To contact Chris Heine, call (561) 507-5448 or visit www.chrisallenrealestate.com.

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Realtor Kathy Lebrecht Brings More Than 15 Years Of Local Experience

Realtor Kathy Lebrecht Brings More Than 15 Years Of Local Experience

Kathy Lebrecht of the Rucco Group at Re/Max Direct spent her childhood in the suburbs of New York City before leaving the northeast behind to begin life anew in South Florida.

“My family moved to Broward County from Long Island when I was eight,” she recalled. “I am one of nine children. I am very family-oriented; that is what makes being a Realtor special to me. I get to work with families.”

As a resident of the area for more than four decades, Lebrecht has watched South Florida grow from a handful of sleepy beach communities into a major metropolitan area.

“Witnessing this transformation has provided me with a deeper insight into our unique culture and vast knowledge of the many neighborhoods that make up Palm Beach County,” Lebrecht said.

Lebrecht moved to Wellington with her husband and three children in 2002, the same year that she began her real estate career. She considers both moves among the best decisions she has ever made.

“With 11 years in finance, I was well equipped to assist buyers and sellers with the largest financial transactions of their lives,” she said. “Starting at the original Re/Max in Wellington, I was deeply involved in the high level of development at that time, specializing in new construction in the Isles at Wellington and Versailles. Wellington has provided me with a plethora of opportunities, not just to develop my career but to raise my children.”

She enjoys the overall “vibe” of the village. “Wellington is a very close-knit community and does not have the same impersonal feel that is found in the big cities,” Lebrecht said.

She believes that the quality of the local educational system is also a big attraction for would-be residents.

“From kindergarten to high school, I cannot say enough about the education that my three children have received here,” Lebrecht said. “My oldest daughter loved attending school in Wellington, so much that she is now teaching third grade reading here. With so much experience in our school system, I enjoy pointing out to buyers the ins and outs of the schools in our various neighborhoods.”

In 2016, Lebrecht made a move within her company that took her game to a higher level.

“In order to fully realize the potential of our flourishing housing market, I joined the Rucco Group at Re/Max Direct two years ago,” she said. “The Rucco Group is the number-one team in Palm Beach County for volume. This allows us to offer a high level of service for very competitive commission rates due to economy of scale. This success is achieved through extensive community expertise, innovative marketing strategies and a diligent staff in place to handle every step of the transaction.”

When you do business with Lebrecht, she aims to make sure that the experience is successful on every level.

“We take customer satisfaction seriously; in fact, we guarantee it,” she said. “We offer sellers listing agreements that expire every 30 days with an automatic renewal. We take the stress out of buying or selling your home so that you can focus on your upcoming move.”

Call Kathy Lebrecht directly at (561) 758-7739. For more information, visit www.theruccogroup.com.el

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Realtor Mary Schiltz Enjoys Helping Clients Find Their New Homes

Realtor Mary Schiltz Enjoys Helping Clients Find Their
New Homes

Mary Schiltz of ERA Home Run Real Estate is grateful to have all the current technology that helps to make being a real estate professional easier than ever before. But, by her own admission, she’s proud to be a little “old school” as well.

Schiltz was born and raised in Fort Lauderdale. She met her partner, Dan, in 1980 and bought her first house in 1983 in Boca Raton.

“The home was in West Boca,” she recalled. “At the time, it was on the quiet side, but all the congestion caught up to us within a few years, so we packed up and headed north. We landed in Wellington on five acres. We figured we had some elbow room for at least a little while.”

Schiltz went to school and got her real estate license in 1995. Back then, construction was at a premium. This is where her partner’s profession came in handy.

“Dan was a general contractor, just like my dad, and this was the perfect place to be,” Schiltz said. “A lot of my first business came from Dan. He built about four spec homes a year. Also back then, among the dirt roads with no signs, was a bold new place called Loxahatchee. So, without a cell phone and with only a three-inch book with little tiny pictures from the MLS that were a month old and a makeshift map, I ventured out to sell homes. I really enjoyed it, and it turns out I was halfway decent at it.”

Two of Schiltz’s biggest joys are meeting new people and seeing how happy they are when they close on their new home. She can go all “high tech” if that’s what it takes to get the job done, but she has never lost the fondness for the way business was done when she first started out.

“I would rather print up paperwork and bring it to someone than just e-mail it,” Schiltz said. “I would rather pick up the phone and call to set up an appointment rather than schedule it online. But sometimes, you just have to go with the flow.”

Schiltz is grateful to be a part of the Lead Team at ERA Home Run Real Estate.

“My office is the best,” she said. “I know it’s hard to believe, but everybody pitches in to help everybody else like one well-oiled machine.”

Generally speaking, Schiltz’s area of expertise is residential real estate in and around the Wellington area. But that doesn’t mean that she has fenced herself in.

“I have worked from the Fort Lauderdale area all the way up to Port Saint Lucie, and I am always anxious to go outside my comfort zone to try something new,” she said. “With some of the new programs in the office, I can refer buyers and sellers all over the country. I can hand-pick an agent in any state to help a customer of mine buy or sell with just a phone call.”

Not one given to wild superlatives, her take on the immediate future of the local real estate market is cautious but very optimistic.

“I don’t own a crystal ball, so I hate to predict,” Schiltz said. “I will say that the market is rising at a good rate; good being slow and steady.”

As they say, slow and steady wins the race.

ERA Home Run Real Estate is located at 11973 Southern Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. To contact Mary Schiltz, call (561) 635-8477.

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Marc And Shelley Kerschner Put A Strong Focus On Customer Service

Marc And Shelley Kerschner Put A Strong Focus On Customer Service

Some people take a while before they settle into the real estate world. Marc and Shelley Kerschner of South FL Home Pros were well-established in other professions before deciding to focus on real estate.

“I am a retired doctor of chiropractic, having practiced in New York for more than 25 years,” Marc said. “My interest in real estate started when I bought my first house in 1985 in upstate New York. Since then, I have owned several homes and small commercial buildings, which led me to real estate as my second career.”

Shelley is originally from Montreal and has a background as a retail buyer for clothing stores. She and Marc married in 2003. They moved to Wellington with the idea of opening their own business. 

“We loved the family atmosphere, proximity to the beach, the character of the community, and closeness to family and friends,” she recalled. “We bought a hair salon in Manalapan, which I managed for more than nine years.”

The purchase of the salon was a cue for Marc to jump into something new. “Once Shelley was settled in the salon, I knew a bald-headed guy like me was not needed,” he said. “I decided to get my real estate license just as the market plunged and there was very little business. I persisted and kept the same attitude and ideals that made me successful in my chiropractic practice: give people great service, going above and beyond what is expected, and treat people with respect.”

Some years later, Shelley was looking for a change. The couple sold the business in January 2016, and she joined him in the real estate business.

“When I saw Marc having a lot of fun and success with real estate, I knew I wanted to join him,” she said. “I went to real estate school and got my license. It was the best decision I made. I just love helping clients fulfill their dreams.”

The Kerschners concentrate on residential properties in Wellington and the surrounding areas. They each have carved out areas of specialization.

“I have become the sellers’ specialist, handling the listing side of the business, and Shelley handles most of the buyers,” Marc explained. “This dynamic helps us work well together.”

Of course, the ability to step into your spouse’s shoes is another key component to their success. “There is always crossover,” Shelley said. “Sometimes I am working with several buyers, and Marc will take over some clients, and sometimes my buyer will need to sell a house. That is what teamwork is: working together to achieve our common goal and giving our clients a remarkable real estate experience.”

An important part of the job is keeping up-to-date in terms of presentation. “This is the digital age,” Marc said. “I have become quite adept in internet marketing and have found ways to showcase properties on social media. You need to change with the times and keep current. I think this puts us a step ahead of others. We offer very personalized, quality service.”

Shelley knows it’s hard to resist the pull to make their business bigger. She’s also well-aware that growth doesn’t guarantee better service for clients. “Real estate is a very personalized business,” she said. “Clients want personalized service and to interact with their Realtor, which is what we offer. We strive for high quality in all our work, like using professional photographers for our listings, high quality print materials for advertising, and giving our buyers and sellers a ‘wow’ experience.”

Call Marc and Shelley Kerschner of South FL Home Pros at (561) 596-3735 or (561) 596-3111. Visit www.southflhomepros.com for more information.

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Mark Plaxen Helps Clients Save Money When Buying And Selling Real Estate

Mark Plaxen Helps Clients Save Money When Buying And Selling Real Estate

For Mark Plaxen of 93 Realty, his decades-long involvement in Wellington real estate began as means to an end.

“I got involved in real estate initially because I felt that it was a great investment,” Plaxen recalled. “I started with $50,000 and bought $1 million worth of preconstruction homes, which consisted of three homes in local developments — two in Black Diamond; one in Olympia. When I sold the three, I closed on them all within a day. I made $100,000 on the investment.”

Plaxen grew up on Long Island. He graduated from UCLA, where he majored in business. He and his family have been residents of Wellington for two decades. He has had a first-hand view at the prolonged growth spurt that the area has undergone.

“After moving to Wellington, Money Magazine reported that it was one of the 20 best communities to reside in the U.S.,” Plaxen said. “When we got here, the village had 20,000 people. Now it has more than 60,000.  Wellington has become a unique area with homes ranging from $250,00 to the multi-millions. Our equestrian properties distinguish us from any other town in South Florida.”

Plaxen’s field of expertise is a boon to those customers who have never ventured into the real estate market before.

“I specialize in first-time home buyers, as well as golf communities with seniors,” he said. “My clients benefit by being represented by someone who has more than 20 years’ experience. Additionally, I have a great team of lenders, title companies, licensed contractors and inspectors.”

He believes that 93 Realty occupies a special spot in the marketplace.

“Our firm is unique from other Realtors, as we offer to list a house for only 1 percent,” Plaxen said. “Most traditional offices list homes for a total of 6 percent. I recently sold a home in Olympia for $175 per square foot. It sold for $845,000 without a pool and saved the seller almost $17,000 in commissions. There is no difference between us and a full-service broker. Your home is placed on all popular web sites, such as Realtor.com, Trulia and Zillow. If you’d like an open house, that’s never a problem. We also provide electric lock boxes, which notify us when agents come and go.”

Plaxen’s years of experience as a Realtor have taught him exactly what he has to do to satisfy the needs of each and every customer.

“A good agent works hard for the buyer and educates them,” he said. “There should be no reason for a buyer to hesitate taking an agent into new homes being built. It’s important for them to understand that the commission in Florida is paid by the seller or landlord. We started a new program at 93 Realty: if you buy from us, we’ll rebate you one-third of the commission. For example, if a home costs $500,000, and the commission is 3 percent or $15,000, the buyer then gets a $5,000 rebate. That’s a huge benefit.”

When it comes down to it, Plaxen invites future home buyers to contact him. “Let me help you purchase your dream home!” he said. “Wycliffe is a great place to live. If you want a tour of the property, or to play a round of golf, call me.”

To contact Mark Plaxen of 93 Realty, call (561) 352-0298 or e-mail mplaxenpa@gmail.com.

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Jill Merrell Of Illustrated Properties Returns To Her Real Estate Roots

Jill Merrell Of Illustrated Properties Returns
To Her Real Estate Roots

Merrell came to Wellington in 1979, among the first wave of community pioneers.

“My husband and I moved to the Wellington area from Fort Lauderdale in search of more space,” she recalled. “We sought out Wellington because of the available land and were surprised to learn how diverse it was. We felt it would be an incredible community to raise a family.”

Merrell has held an active real estate license since the early 1980s and worked in local real estate up until the birth of her second child.

“At that point, I left the office to work together with my husband building and selling spec homes,” she said. “We purchased Ultima Fitness and have successfully run that for more than 28 years with the support of a loyal and incredible community. Throughout my time in Wellington, I have always been involved in the community through many philanthropic and community-building endeavors.”

After the death of her husband in 2012, Merrell relocated to downtown West Palm Beach. Her ties to Wellington, however, remain strong, thanks to Ultima Fitness and her position at Illustrated Properties.

“I chose this company for many reasons,” Merrell said. “I have always prided myself on giving customers the best level of service that they deserve, so it was imperative for me to find a company that I can work with in assisting my clients to achieve their goals. Illustrated is a full-service company, allowing me to offer clients service from contract to close with our multitude of services. They are part of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, a global network of more than 500 premier real estate firms.”

This allows Merrell to assist customers on any transactions they need anywhere in the world.

“In addition, they offer tremendous continuing education for associates, so we are always up-to-date on better ways to serve the customer,” she said. “With the Illustrated Properties Family of Services, I have the ability to assist you on every aspect of the deal, so you can have more control and a better experience.”

When working in the Wellington area, Merrell doesn’t have to do all the selling. The community speaks for itself.

“There are few, if any, locations where you can get a top-shelf combination of destination, weather, diversity, property values, lifestyle, the equestrian community and events, expansive cultural centers, close proximity to airports and world-class dining options,” she said.

As far as the future of real estate, Merrell gives the local market a big thumbs-up.

“Home prices have appreciated, the job sector looks strong and housing remains relatively affordable as compared with the northeast and other feeder markets,” she said. “Palm Beach County, especially downtown West Palm Beach and Wellington, has one more positive attribute: international interest. From the incredible influx of visitors for the international world-class horse shows to the trend of the financial market sector staff and executives relocating to the area, the real estate market is in a great position to expand its overseas trade activity. Add to this the recent frigid winter in most of the country, and it is clear to see why more people than ever before are looking to relocate to beautiful Palm Beach County.”

Jill Merrell is based out of the Illustrated Properties office at 1810 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 346-5529 or visit www.jillmerrell.ipre.com

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The Fite Group’s Melanie Peterson Uses Her Equestrian Experience To Help Clients

The Fite Group’s Melanie Peterson Uses Her Equestrian
Experience To Help Clients

Wellington is the go-to place for all things equestrian. For Melanie Peterson of the Fite Group Luxury Homes, horses were her life and her livelihood for many years, and when it was time to close the barn door on her equestrian career, she began a new career in real estate.

“I was a professional horse trainer since high school and settled at my own facility after college,” said Peterson, whose family moved to Wellington in 1989. “One of my clients owned a brokerage in Boca Raton and encouraged me to get my license. I took his advice and did just that in 2011 and closed down my training business. I have been selling real estate in and around Wellington ever since.”

Although her training days are behind her, she still enjoys getting up in the saddle, as well as other outdoor activities.

“My husband and I live in Wellington with our two dogs and enjoy riding horses, bass fishing and sporting clays,” Peterson said.

Her equestrian experience has served Peterson well in her real estate career. It certainly helped her choose an area of the profession in which she has undeniable expertise.

“Utilizing my knowledge from managing horse farms and my business experience, I decided to specialize in equestrian properties in Wellington,” she said. “Growing up here, I have witnessed the growth over the years. Knowing these developments from as far back as before they existed helps me to guide my clients in their decisions, whether it is a single-family home, condo, farm or land needing to be developed.”

Wellington isn’t the only area that benefits from Peterson’s talents. 

“I also have my real estate license in Kentucky and specialize in equestrian properties in Lexington, specifically around the Kentucky Horse Park. Many of my clients here are also my clients there,” she explained.

Winding up with the Fite Group was anything but a coincidence for Peterson. She was searching for the perfect fit and found it.

“I chose to work at the Fite Group because I was looking for a brokerage that would support my business and help it grow,” Peterson explained. “The Fite Group has four offices around the county and over 120 agents. We all support each other and refer clients to each other. We also have a top marketing and graphics team that supports each property, so our media, whether digital or print, is second to none. Combining my knowledge and experience with the breadth of support from my office, it is a winning combination that allows me to get top dollar for my sellers and negotiate great deals for my buyers.”

Peterson’s view of Wellington is all-inclusive, but she does give great credit to the equestrian community for the role it plays in making the area an attractive destination.

“Wellington is special because it is a very international community with a hometown feel,” she said. “Whether you live in a $200,000 condo or a $10,000,000 farm, we are all eating at the same restaurants and going to the same grocery stores and share many of the same passions. The equestrian industry in Wellington has set it apart from any other community in the country, and the real estate values have benefited greatly from its development and expansion in recent years. It supports all of our local businesses and trades people, and definitely props up our real estate market in comparison to other municipalities nearby.”

The Fite Group Luxury Homes is located at 13501 South Shore Blvd. in Wellington. To contact Melanie Peterson, call (561) 870-6587 or e-mail mpeterson@fitegroup.com.

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