Meet Gary

Real estate and I have fit together from the beginning like a dovetail joint. I started working in construction for my dad at age 15 in Bellingham.  It was satisfying work, seeing something I was building with my own two hands take shape. During this season I learned to bandage the blisters and keep shoveling to get the job done. It was hard work which taught me tenacity and grit. Moving to Chicago in 1990 to complete my bachelor’s degree, I worked in high-end catering – my first experience in high-end anything! There, I learned how to provide concierge-level service in a high-pressure environment.  In addition, I continued to work in construction to put myself through college…but as you can see, housing was like a magnet for me.

After graduating in 1994 I went to work for an investment brokerage holding series 6, 63 and 26 securities/principle licenses, as well as an insurance license.  I acquired my first transaction experience working with estate planning and other securities professionals. Helping clients consider investment assets as well as handle sensitive client information were two valuable skills that I use to this day.

After five years of missing the great outdoors and creating something from my hands, I rejoined the construction industry. I started my own remodeling company soon after in 2002, specializing in middle to high-end remodeling and providing that excellent care my clients had come to expect.  Around this same time, my wife, Stacy, and I began buying and selling real estate.  I gained valuable investment, transaction, and landlord experience while working with Scott Germino, my real estate mentor and a legend in the Greater Seattle area for over 20 years.

Eleven years later I had created productive and customer-oriented systems, a nice portfolio of renovations, and a network of satisfied clients. Real estate always held intrigue for me from the investment side of things, and I decided to use my wisdom and experience to help other folks find that same success that I had.  My choice of leadership was easy.  I joined Scott Germino at Pillar Northwest Real Estate where his brokers averaged five times the experience of the traditional real estate broker.

Today those work experiences, combined with my desire to serve clients as a trusted friend, has made me the top choice for many Seattle and Eastside folks. I am excited to put my experience to work for you.  Together, I’m confident that we can achieve your ambitions!

Achievements:

  • Ranked #1 of 1723 Weichert brokers in our region of WA, ID, OR for Seller representation. #2 in overall Buyer and Seller representation 2017
  • President’s Club 2017
  • Ambassador Club Award 2015 and 2016
  • Remodeling firm – N-Provements 2002-2013

VOLUNTEERING:

Overlake Christian Church – Disaster and Humanitarian Relief

In 2010, the 6th largest earthquake ever recorded by a seismograph created a tsunami off the coast of Chile. In 2012, there were Chileans who were still without housing. I went with a group of volunteers to a little town called Illoca to build houses for two families. We built two houses in two weeks and taught the locals how to build from scratch (stick frame) rather than use the more expensive “pre-built” homes they had been using in the past but struggled to afford. We created systems and templates for them to frame floors, walls and even roof trusses. What a rewarding time…but boy did I miss my family while I was gone.

ABC Extreme Home Makeover

January 15, 2006             Port Orchard, WA           The Kirkwood Family

Our team was made up of predominately remodeling company owners.  We were slated to work on the millwork on day 4.  However, we learned that the project fell behind the very first day…by 26 hours!  Reason:  When the foundation was poured, the temperature fell below freezing that evening.  Even with calcium added to the mix, it did not fire off fast enough and could not be signed off for sill plates to begin framing.  When it was finally signed off, the project seemed hopelessly behind.  At the time we arrived, they were catching up, but still in the drywall taping stage.  Not being fellas to “wait around,” we went straight to work on what we could…the front porch and the back deck.  Try laying 5/4 radius cedar decking on the porch while 135 other workers are walking in and out of the front door.  That was a first for me.  About 16 hours later, we were beat, but finished with what we came to do.  Quite an exciting process and one I’m very thankful for.  It was overwhelming to view the episode about 6 weeks later and watch what our meager efforts had accomplished for a beautiful family.

ABC Extreme Home Makeover

December 9, 2007           Kirkland, WA                    The Chapin Family

This one was far closer to home…about 10 minutes away to be exact.  This time, our smaller crew focused on interior millwork and door hardware.  In a larger city, parking was a struggle.  We had to measure all the upstairs door frames.  Once measured, we walked through the hallway past 12 people…tiptoed down the stairs past 9 stair & railing guys, across the living room & entry floors dodging another 37 laborers, past 19 guys working on the porch, down the sidewalk (the front yard was mud…no sod yet) and 30 yards to a tent where the chop saw was set up out of the rain (yes – we always do these in the wintertime for some reason).  What I especially remember from that episode was Paul DiMeo and his “iron bed-frame” project for one of the kids.  We were stuck in the guest bath working on trim when they brought it up the hallway.  It was too large to pass through.   Out came the angle grinders…right at the top of the stairs!  Someone found some tarps and hardboard for surface protection and they chopped it in half to assemble later in the bedroom.  Paul is a riot, hooting and hollering the entire time!

In case you’re wondering…No, I did not see Ty on either project.  The only time I’ve been around him was on the beach in Maui a few years later.  But, the camera’s don’t lie.  He must have shown up for some of it.  😉