'Meet the Agent' - Jonelle Smith - Harbour Realty

This month for “Meet the Agent’ we interview Jonelle Smith, President, Harbour Realty Ltd. Jonelle discusses her long and successful career in Bermuda Real Estate, view of the market - given changing regulations for PRC holders in Bermuda and also some top tips for when you are viewing a house.

How long have you been a real estate agent?  34 years! I started on Nov. 1st, 1981. The era was Betty Vorley at Kitsons, Margaret Ryan at Penboss, George Morris and Norman Noble at Bank of Bermuda.  They were all wonderful and full of encouragement to a young, inexperienced, recently licensed salesperson.

Why do you like working for Harbour Realty Ltd.? I formed Harbour Realty Ltd. in 1994. I primarily do Sales and enjoy the negotiations between Vendors and Purchasers along with running my own business. Esther Young has recently joined Harbour Realty Ltd. and is in charge of Rentals as the market is becoming more active again.

What is the favorite part of your job? I love knowing before I even show the prospects, that it is the right house for them! It is very rewarding to have the Vendor happy with the final price and the Purchaser thrilled with their new home.

What is your favorite property on the market right now?  A large four bedroom house with amazing views on Lolly’s Lane in Smith’s. You can see from Flatt’s Inlet to South Shore and the view is 180 degrees!  There is a pool and entertaining area along with a cottage, which is ideal for guests or rental income. Although the house needs some remedial work, the view will never change!https://www.propertyskipper.com/property/hrbr_26_lollys_lane

What property on the market right now, in your opinion, do you think is really good value? Luckington in Woodstock Hill, Paget is very good value given it’s great location, 4,500 plus square feet, .80 acreage, quality of construction, design,  and setting. All the houses in the neighbourhood are of similar or greater value, which is important when buying a home. The house offers formal and informal rooms, which makes it an executive home, but child friendly. The pool is fenced and the large lawn is great for soccer or games for kids and adults too! https://www.propertyskipper.com/property/hrbr_23_luckington

How do you see the Bermuda property market over the next 12 months? I think properties between $2m - $4m will continue to be active. That sector is seeing an increase in volume of sales and I think prices will start to slowly increase in the next 12 – 24 months.  Demand is being created with the new prospects entering the market having recently being granted status or becoming a PRC under the Job Maker’s Act. Further Immigration policies that will come into effect after the next session of Parliament, will permit PRC’s to purchase a home with more than one ARV.  This was quite a challenge previously, as most houses did have a second ARV and didn’t qualify. Generally, after people purchase a home they buy new furnishings, do improvements which will be great for the retail and construction industries. The first rung on the ladder, which is first time home owners, will be the last to come out of the doldrums. Purchasers being able to qualify for financing remains the most significant challenge to houses and condominiums under the $800,000 bracket during the next 12 months. 

What are your top 3 tips when looking a potential new home? 1. Enjoy the first walk through the house without looking at details (closets, basement) to see if you like the house overall. 2. If you revisit the property try a different time of the day to get a sense of the light, neighbourhood activity, sunsets, etc. 3. Never cancel an appointment because it is raining – if you like the house on a bad day, you will love it on a sunny day!

What do you think of propertyskipper.com (we promise not to edit!)? I was initially resistant to even a web site, no less propertyskipper.com because many of my listings are quiet or “whisper” listings. As there is no MLS system in Bermuda, I started to use propertyskipper.com to search for properties that would suit prospects. So it is a very convenient tool and can give lots of information to prospective purchasers. Propertyskipper.com is not replacement though for seeing a house in person or have a relationship with an agent or agents. Also, remember that not all Vendors want their listings advertised and you could be missing out on the property of your dreams, if an agent doesn’t know your wish list!

Agent Job Title: President – Harbour Realty Ltd.

Agent Contact Details: jonelle@harbourrealty.bm  296-1588/333-5374

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