Linda Kilroy, WV Realtor
I’ve spent over 30 years now in the Eastern Panhandle—and counting. I love it here: the friendly people, wonderful scenery, and quiet rural setting. We’re proximate, too, to many major urban centers. Washington D.C., for example, where I grew up, is only an hour away. Baltimore, Maryland is a 90 minute commute; Hagerstown, Maryland is only 40 minutes away. It’s no wonder so many people are choosing the Panhandle for a vacation or investment home, or as a place to retire. We also increasingly have younger families embracing the Panhandle as a wholesome alternative to big city life. It’s a way of slowing down and taking life at a gentler pace.
Eastern Panhandle history is special. The Panhandle has 250 sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places—all concentrated in a small geographic area. Civil War history is huge here as well–you can’t help but feel the impact of it everywhere you turn. These connections to the past are an undeniable part of the Panhandle’s heritage and charm.
Real Estate is a hot commodity in the Eastern Panhandle right now. Berkeley County, for example, where Martinsburg is located, is the fastest growing county for real estate in the entire state of West Virginia. Jefferson County is booming too, and all aspects of the industry are benefiting: new construction, existing and historic properties, retail & commercial. The expansion and growth are exciting, but I sincerely hope to see smart growth in the Panhandle in order to safeguard all that is good about the region. We realtors can do our part, as can the homebuilders, business people, historic preservation societies, etc. It’s a long term collaboration that truly will put a stamp on our future.
There’s a real estate Revolution out there and it’s called the Internet. More than any other recent development, the Web has revolutionized the Real Estate field–from agents, brokers and buyers, to sellers, banks and title companies–all the way down the line. There are so many different options now. A buyer can view multiple properties online at the click of a mouse in the comfort and privacy of their own home. Sellers can market their properties to a much wider market–not only to local, but to out-of state or even overseas buyers. Agents have a much wider range of properties to offer clients with the ever-expanding online databases. It’s truly a different world out there for real estate.
A key element in real estate? Trust. Entrusting a home purchase or sale to someone is a huge responsibility. In my almost 30 years of real estate experience, I have always taken that responsibility seriously. I do my utmost to meet a client’s needs—whatever those needs may be. Happy lifetime clients are my goal. When I help a client buy or sell a property, I aim to make that transaction so satisfying that those clients will turn to me again and again over the years. It’s about trust, but also efficiency: following through on all the details that need to be attended to in order to make the transaction happen as smoothly as possible.
Down time is good too. Spending time with friends and family is a must. I’m married with two grown up daughters, and hope one day to be a grandparent. I’ve got a four-legged family member in the meantime who I love to lavish my affections on: Camille, my poodle! Other passions? My garden–sharing it with others is one of my favorite things to do. Travel is also a delight, when time permits. Florida’s Pensacola Beach is a great quick fix. My all time favorite destination, however, is the island of St. Martin in the Caribbean. It’s a tiny tropical paradise with both French and Dutch origins that has incredible beaches and scenery coupled with charming Colonial architecture.
On the local front, I feel it’s important to take time out to support charities. I’ve always been involved in cancer fundraising. It’s such an important cause—I honestly don’t know any families who haven’t been touched by it in one form or another over the years.
Any Panhandle Projections? I think the Eastern Panhandle region has been coming into its own for a while now–people are starting to realize what a special place it is and how valuable it is to America’s heritage. There’s an increasing awareness now of heritage issues on a national level—that the United States is a patchwork of many special places scattered throughout the country that add up to our heritage as a whole. That’s why intelligent growth in the Panhandle is so important–the looking out for what is unique to our region and safeguarding it at all costs. It’s a major issue, one that’s going to impact all of us down the line–one we can all pull together on to do our part to make it right.