Growing up in San Diego in an early 20th century Spanish colonial, I felt a connection with that home and its history, complete with creaky hardwood floors, pretty glass cabinet pulls and doorknobs. I also appreciated the history of the craftsman style homes prevalent in Hillcrest, an area near downtown San Diego. The Victorian- and Craftsman-style homes nearby felt like mansions to me as a child! I vividly remember walking past houses and imagining what hidden charms they held.
This fascination and passion followed me into adulthood, and once I became a mom. I included my young daughter, Katie, who enjoyed this pastime as much as I did. When she was 4 years old, we would drive through every neighborhood, slowing as we passed a particularly captivating property.
When my daughter was 6 years old, I was co-leader of a Brownie troop with another mom who knew my love of houses. One day she said, “Hey, let’s get our real estate licenses and work together selling real estate.” Somehow, I had never considered this before, but thought, “How perfect! I can tour homes all day and make a living doing it.”
I was sold.
In the end, my friend did not follow through, but I did. At that point, I was working in property management, so it was a reasonable and exciting next step. Once licensed, I wanted real-life experience and training to help me build confidence. I took a position as a licensed assistant working for a high-producing agent with Prudential in San Diego. Only a few days after starting that job, my boss said, “By the way, I’m leaving for Europe for 3 months!” She handed me her stack of listing files and active escrow files and said, “Good luck!” I was stunned. I had no idea what I was doing but had just been handed the best possible scenario for me because I am a quick study when the pressure is on. I loved it! I learned a great deal in a short period of time. 

Historic Idyllwild, town center

Discovering Idyllwild:

You might be wondering about how I ended up in Idyllwild. Well, I did not “end up” here. It had been my dream and plan to move to this beautiful and unique mountain town since I was 10 years old. That was the summer of ’77 when my mother decided to load my brother, me, and herself up in our orange VW bug. We were going on an extended mountain camping adventure, with our destination set to the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Unfortunately (or fortunately), our little VW had other plans. Thank goodness my mom had chosen to take all available scenic routes and back roads. Because just two hours into our journey, that little VW’s engine blew up! We were traveling through a beautiful, lush, high-elevation stretch known as Garner Valley, just a few miles southeast of Idyllwild, when the car died right on that two-lane highway. We camped there for weeks until someone came to our rescue.
During our stay, a friend drove us to the town of Idyllwild and I’ll never forget that glorious day. As we went up the hill, the pine forest became denser and the beautiful landscapes even more breathtaking. The moment we arrived in the village, I was home and I knew it. My obsession with the mountain had solidified for life.
When my daughter was 6, I finally took the leap of faith and together we began our life in the most special mountain town in California. What I felt then and what I continue to feel now is a deep and intense gratitude that I’m able to do the job I love in the place I love.
Real estate suits me and I suit it in every way. I still get very excited about it, even after 20 years! You are never done learning in this business and no two days are alike, which presents challenges and opportunities for growth every single day. This is where I thrive.
I owe much gratitude to that friend who said, “Hey, let’s get our real estate licenses!”