Real estate a family affair for Wilsons

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — A few people in the know consider Richland County, and the area around Bellville and Butler, as “ground zero” in today’s real estate market.

If someone is looking to buy a house, they should be standing in line behind dozens of people who want to live in the area, according to realtors at Wilson Family Realty in Bellville.

Jim Wilson says “it’s a lot easier to sell something if you have a good product.” He said “without a doubt” the Bellville and Lexington areas attract people because of the schools, the proximity to I-71, the beautiful countryside and “good people.”

Wilson said he has 27 people working with him in his office, including his son and daughter. The Wilson Family Realty office is in a building on Main Street, where desks, computers, phones and other necessities occupy two floors.

Wilson said he has been “top seller” for this part of the state for 20 years in a row.

People around the villages of Bellville and Butler know how popular the area is, because members of the councils frequently discuss how hard it is to find a good place to live here. Bellville council member Clint Knight has mentioned the fact he has family members trying to find property here, and they haven’t had that kind of luck.

Last month 54 properties were sold by Wilson Family Realty, Wilson said.

It can be easy to sell properties as long as people are not “delusional,” Wilson said. Some people might be watching tv and get the idea the Clear Fork valley area is comparable to California. That is not the case, Wilson said.

Sometimes an agent has to “walk away” from working with an owner. That is because “not all business is good business,” Wilson said.

This neighborhood is good because there is support for everything: athletics, veterans groups, school events.

There are a “lot of people who wish they could work here,” said Wilson.

There is one person Wilson refers to as a “poster child” for people who want to move here. She is Marlene Carter, who now lives outside Bellville to the north. She and her husband lived in Michigan, but she would visit here and always said she wanted to move back here. Wilson worked with her and they found their property.

Wilson calls several persons who work with him as success stories. Fred Morgenstern inquired about working with Wilson, wanting to now if anyone could join the firm or if it was “just family.”

Morgenstern said he had worked for other groups, including Remax. He said he is glad he made the change to work with Wilson because he considers this area the “epicenter” of real estate activity.

He said he has done $1 million in business in 2007, because the housing bubble burst, and this year, 2017.

Wilson said technology now allows people to live far, far away and still look at property here. He said he has sold a condo from a woman from China. He said he is available to people starting at 6:30 a.m., seven days a week. That is why he can claim so much business, he said.

He “disdains laziness and dishonesty,” he said.

One thing some people don’t consider when looking at property here is that not only does the area have a variety of attributes. It also has “water, aquifer.”

A lot of people probably haven’t considered the value of good water. In the old days many homes had to rely only on a cistern for water.

Being able to drill a well for water is a major plus, he said.

Wilson said he was able to get into real estate when he was in his 20s. He was able to buy a farm, with help from a friend. That meant he could go from an apartment to a farm property.

He said he was able to “leverage” that property and buy other things.

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Jim Wilson, right, of Wilson Family Realty, with his son Kirk, left, and daughter Amanda. Louise Swartzwalder | Bellville Star Wilson, right, of Wilson Family Realty, with his son Kirk, left, and daughter Amanda. Louise Swartzwalder | Bellville Star