Why I Love Real Estate
Real estate is the ultimate commodity. No two parcels are alike and real estate is the only resource that is finite. All the land we have already exists and no one is making more, at least until we go all Star Trek and colonize other planets. Yet, real estate often involves many different issues, some of which have nothing to do with real estate itself. The property could have an environmental issue, such as a leaking underground oil tank, or the property itself is ordinary, but one or both of the parties have specific needs that must be addressed. Sometimes it’s all about the numbers. Other times, it’s all about the business to be located there. Regardless of the type of real- estate issue, my job is to help people prosper.
I hate going to court and always wanted to be a business lawyer, but real estate always sounded boring to me. In law school I had to fight to stay awake during lectures about easements and deeds. Then the real world happened. A retailer client was being pushed around by a landlord and I needed to fix it. I had to go to court (I was young and had to do what I was told), but reviewing the lease piqued my interest and opened my eyes to the many possibilities in a deal. I soon realized that real estate is about more than title and survey, but about people’s lives. Regardless of whether the client is investing her savings in an apartment building or is leasing space in a shopping center for his “next big thing,” real people are involved, and real lives are impacted by the choices that are made. I’m helping people make major, life-altering decisions and that’s why I love going to the office every day.
What I Do Differently
Like my partner, Mark, I always knew I would go to law school, but never thought I’d be a lawyer. I always pictured myself running my own business. My parents and extended family were and are entrepreneurs and I inherited that desire to build something from the ground up. In the end, I got to do both; building a law firm from scratch and practicing law. I never thought I would like it, but I do.
Growing up, friends and family had to put up with me arguing about everything. I drove my parents crazy! In fact, my seventh-grade teacher in a moment of exasperation remarked “you should become a lawyer.” She was right. While age and experience has tempered my youthful exuberance, I live for the deal. I’m a deal-junkie and proud of it!
I started my career as a personal injury attorney in Orlando, Florida. After handling a major case against a well- known theme park, I discovered that I hated being in court. A year later I moved to Chicago and redirected my practice toward business transactions, which is what I wanted to do in the first place. Despite my earlier disdain, I found a particular interest in real estate. After working for a large institutional real estate company, the entrepreneurial bug bit me and I decided to start my own practice in Northbrook. Not only do I get to work close to home (no commute, yay!), I get to watch my two sons grow up. My friends miss events in the lives of their children. I do not.
Who I Am
I was born in New Jersey and raised from the age of 5 in Indianapolis by two parents from The Bronx. You can only imagine the culture shock when my parents realized that stores closed…ever! I left, went to college, and headed to Florida for law school and my first job. I planned to stay there for the rest of my life, but fate had other ideas. As luck would have it, my friend from college became my girlfriend, then fiancé, then wife. She grew up here and I love her more than I hate snow, which is saying something because I REALLY hate snow. I have a bitchin’ snow blower and aiming the chute at my boys and watching them run and laugh while trying to avoid getting hit by flying snow is worth the price of admission. I have a great life.
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