By Marguerite Cleveland
Photo by Samantha Elise Tillman
Mel Santos is an experienced real estate professional who was recruited by the national firm of United Real Estate to bring to the state of Washington the United Real Estate basic platform of 100 percent commission payments to its brokers. Gig Harbor happens to be the first location in the state. He is honored to bring this platform to Washington, which will allow brokers to keep more of their earnings.
Mel is an active member of the local community and devotes many volunteer hours with the Rotary Club of Gig Harbor. When not working or volunteering you can find him either on the golf course or on the water exploring the beauty of the area.
Q. Can you tell our readers a little bit about your experience with the Rotary Club's Women's Reentry Program where you were one of the original organizers?
A. I was chairperson of the Vocational Service Committee back in 2012 when a fellow Rotarian had the idea of starting a reentry program for the women at Purdy Prison. At that time our committee approved seed money to get the program off the ground. I personally had the honor of being the first instructor, along with another Rotarian, of the first class back in 2013. The classes are for a six-week period. As you can see, not a lot of time to change an attitude, personality, etc. for a woman incarcerated for years now reentering society. However, I feel we did make a difference and did change a few lives.
Rotary has afforded me the opportunity to do great things in my community! I value that very much, as I love helping people, and knowing something I have done individually or with others can and will help improve and or change a life in a very positive way. The Rotary Women’s Program definitely holds a top spot in my heart. I will never forget the gratification I received personally for my participation in the creation and later teaching in this program.
Q. This area has a very competitive real estate market. Why is it important to have a real estate professional help you find your dream home?
A. What I strive for in building my company is recruiting good-quality God-loving persons that are ethical and strive to be the best at what they do. I offer my 35-plus years in the real estate industry to all my associated brokers. As we all really know experience and expertise more than not helps to create the best opportunity for a successful Real Estate transaction. A seller or a buyer can entrust a United Real Estate Puget Sound West Broker to be ready, willing and able to deal with all necessary parts of the transaction to guarantee a successful closing. So, for the average individual or couple that may only experience a sale or purchase of a home only three to five times in a lifetime, makes it imperative to entrust a qualified broker representing them.
Q. You have lived in the South Sound area since 2004. What are some of your favorite ways to enjoy the stunning outdoors we have in this area?
A. Being born in California and relocating here in Gig Harbor, Washington, in 2004, I have found this area to be absolutely magnificent! I love the great outdoors, and the beauty here is endless regardless of the season. When I’m not in the office or with clients I spend my spare time with family when I can ( Jason and Katrina, my daughter, and also Gwen, my granddaughter, all live in Austin, Texas.), playing golf, fishing, discovering the beauty of the Puget Sound, just being anywhere on the water or just being outdoors in general.
Q. With mortgage rates at a near-historic low, many homeowners are considering refinancing their home. As a real estate professional, what are some things they should consider before refinancing their home?
A. The current interest rate environment being at unbelievably low rates affords many opportunities. One may elect to refinance, sell or even purchase a new or larger home. All of those options can be very beneficial depending on the goals and dreams of the client. Also, things such as income, credit worthiness, property value all play a part in the process. All of us here at United Real Estate Puget Sound West continually counsel our clients on what’s best for them. We take pride in providing all necessary facts needed to make the right decision.