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  • December 18, 2014

Ask An Agent - Ladue News: Special Features

Ask An Agent

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Posted: Thursday, June 6, 2013 12:00 pm | Updated: 11:30 am, Mon Sep 9, 2013.

You wouldn’t trust a stranger with your money, but how much do you know about the person helping you make the biggest purchase of your life? LN asked six area real estate agents about local favorites and the like so you can see what makes these professionals tick. (Hint: The Cardinals might have been mentioned once or twice…)

Margie Kubik of Gladys Manion

How did you begin working in real estate?

I began 14 years ago when my children started school full time. I thought I would be good at it: I had always been in sales, and it was something where I could arrange my own hours.

What is your favorite St. Louis neighborhood?

I live in Warson Woods. I like it here because it has a strong community atmosphere. It’s very centrally located; you can get almost any where in 15 minutes.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m also a personal trainer, so I train early in the morning. It was a nice mix for when real estate was in the tank and nothing was going on. I also like to run races and cycle. Oh, and we are hockey buffs and Cardinal baseball fans!

What is your favorite restaurant?

If I was going to go to a very nice sit-down dinner, it would be Sidney Street Café. For a quick bite, we love to go to J. Gilbert’s. They have TVs for sporting events, and great food!

What advice do you have for people trying to buy a home?

My advice would be to find a good realtor you trust, who is knowledgeable and available. When you find something that you love, don’t wait to write on it—it’s going to disappear. Be able to move quickly.

Steve Mathes of Coldwell Banker Gundaker

How did you begin working in real estate?

I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years, and I got started right out of college. I grew up in a commercial real estate background. I made my first deal and moved on from there.

Why do you like St. Louis?

I grew up here. I went to school in New Orleans. I got married right out of college, and came back here.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love sports. I’ve always been a huge Cardinals fan, so going to their games is one of my favorite things to do.

What is your favorite restaurant?

I love Italian food. If you haven’t tried Giuseppe's Ristorante, it’s the best. It’s open for dinner the second Saturday of the month.

What advice do you have for people trying to sell their home?

It’s never been a better time! It’s the combination of low inventory, a big surplus of buyers and low interest rates. We’ve had several opportunities where we’ve had showings on the first day and multiple offers.

Jeff Lottmann of Remax

How did you begin working in real estate?

I migrated into it. I owned some rental properties and sold medical equipment, and the company was bought out. It was a good time to move into real estate.

What is your favorite restaurant?

Around here, I love Mulligan’s Grill—I love the atmosphere, the service is exceptional, they really do know your name when you walk in, the food is consistent...It’s a great place to take the family.

Where do you like to go on vacation?

I love the Carolinas. Charleston, S.C., is a great place for families: It blends the beach, the entertainment, and it caters to all ages. Another great spot is Atlantic Beach, N.C.

What is your favorite St. Louis activity or place?

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure is one of my favorites, to see the outpouring of support, the camaraderie and the enthusiasm that the St. Louis community shows while supporting a good cause. I’ve been at—volunteered and ran—the race for about seven years now. It’s an unbelievable blend of enthusiasm and pride, and I’ll be there again this year.

What advice do you have for people trying to buy a home?

Seek value. I think everyone wants an incredible deal through a foreclosure, but those aren’t necessarily great values. Get a combination of comfort and quality. Great value opportunities are out there.

Julie Lane of Janet McAfee

How did you begin working in real estate?

I worked for eight years as a pharmaceutical rep.; I just wanted to do something that made me a part of the community, but allowed me to be home with my husband and children.

What is your favorite St. Louis neighborhood?

My favorite neighborhood is Ladue—specifically Maryhill. There are a lot of families here. It’s a beautiful place to raise your children, and it’s central to everything.

Where’s your favorite place to shop?

I really like to support the local shops, and there are so many in Ladue, Clayton and the Delmar Loop. As a family, we really like to support the local businesses.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I like to spend as much time as I can with my two girls and husband. The climate here is so nice. We love to go to ball games. We love to take our daughters to the Botanical Garden, the Butterfly House and the Zoo.

What advice do you have for people trying to buy a home?

If you’re thinking about moving at all, the best thing you can do is get your house ready, put it on the market and see what happens. Houses are really selling fast.

Katie McLaughlin, Laura McCarthy

How did you begin working in real estate?

My mom opened a real estate company when I was 4 and I was constantly at the office growing up. I actually didn’t ever plan on going into real estate. I got my license to help her for a summer job; then I realized I had a passion for it.

What is your favorite St. Louis activity or place?

I have little kids, so I love to utilize all the parks and the Zoo. That’s really unique about St. Louis—we have a lot of beautiful public parks. And the Zoo is so accessible to the entire city. It’s free and centrally located.

What is your favorite restaurant?

I like so many! I love Annie Gunn’s, and I also love Pastaria. They are so many great restaurants. It’s hard to choose!

Where’s your favorite place to shop?

I definitely love Plaza Frontenac, but I try to support the boutiques in town. I like Esther, Cha and Joy Tribout.

What advice do you have for people trying to sell their home?

If you have a seasoned agent, listen to their advice. Usually the advice I give is to make sure your house is in tip-top condition, price the home well and have it staged.

Katie Kirk Ross, Keller Williams

How did you begin working in real estate?

I began in real estate at the encouragement of my mother and current partner, Vicki Holton. I was a high school counselor and teacher, and when I knew it was time to move on, my mom encouraged me to look at real estate as a full-time career because she needed a partner. I did, and here I am!

What is your favorite St. Louis activity or place?

I really enjoy the Defiance/Augusta area for the wineries, lunch and hiking.

What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m pretty outdoorsy. I like any outdoor activity, like fishing and gardening. I also really enjoy reading. Sitting outside reading is the ultimate goal.

Where do you like to go on vacation?

Michigan is my favorite place to go in the summer. I’ve been going to northern Michigan every summer of my life.

What advice do you have for people trying to buy a home?

It’s so involved these days that, as a buyer, you should use an agent to help you through the process.

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