What was your first experience in Ballard Real Estate?
About 20 years ago, many of my friends were appalled at the idea of tying themselves to a mortgage. But it took only about two years before their rents surpassed my house payment and most ended up doing a housemate stint in my basement. Buying a house made me more financially independent-not less so. Building equity early was the best thing I’ve ever done, hands down. (Editor’s note: Schile has summited Rainier, finished 4 full marathons and visited 25+ countries, so that says something)
How did that lead to your becoming a realtor?
I mentored with the woman who represented me when I purchased. She encouraged me to become an agent even when I was deeply immersed in a career in Licensing that started at Miramar productions and led to the Bill Gates’ owned Corbis where I really honed my negotiation skills.
How long have you been specializing in Ballard Real Estate?
Since the purchase of my Whittier Heights (Ballard) home I’ve been interested in historic, (brick in particular) homes. I’ve restored both a 1940s and a 1927 and love the classic “Ballard” homes.
What have you enjoyed most about working/living in the Ballard neighborhood?
I love the beauty of the Salmon Bay, Golden Gardens and the brick-lined streets of the Ballard Landmark District. I love the smell of the salt air in Ballard.” This community has roots in a very hardworking past and you see it in strong civic involvement. I conceived and chair an annual Pie Party fundraiser at the Ballard FOE for the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research in the neighborhood as well. This is also my 5th year as the President of the Ballard Historical Society.
What have been some of the biggest changes you’ve experienced both personally and professionally in the ‘hood?
It’s bittersweet to see things change. I was chatting with an older Eagle’s Patron the other day who lamented the demise of a Youth Bowling League that the FOE used to run. Following the sentiment, I asked her if she missed the Sunset Lanes and she looked at me funny and said, “Oh No, this was years before that, when we had the Ballard Lanes.” It’s all perspective. Things are constantly changing. Remember when Lund Marine closed and put a sign up that said, “Will the last person in Ballard please turn off the lights?” That was more than 10 years ago. Lights are still on.
What are the three best pieces of advice for folks looking to buy in Ballard?
If you want to buy in Ballard, be patient, be realistic and find excellent agent representation, whom you both like and trust. You’re going to be spending a lot of time together.