Marlin High School - Class of 1996
Baylor University - BBA Class of 2000
(Real Estate & Entrepreneurship)
I was born in Waco, Texas and grew up in Marlin. I graduated from Marlin High School in 1996 and chose to attend Baylor University. I graduated from Baylor in 2000 with a BBA and majored in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship. While at Baylor, I was a member and an officer in Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. Immediately after graduation I began working in the mortgage business as a loan officer. I was working in the Waco and Austin area for 2 years before moving to Arizona to help open a new mortgage company. In Arizona, I quickly took on new responsibilities and gained new skills as a loan officer, underwriter and closing coordinator. After 2 years in Arizona, I decided to move back to Waco and open a mortgage company and real estate brokerage.
I obtained my Texas Mortgage Broker's license in 2005 and opened Brazos America Mortgage. I started small, but eventually grew to 8 loan officers. A year later I was able to obtain my real estate broker's license and started Gateway Realty with local Entrepreneur and home builder Cody Turner.
After several years of operating the businesses, I purchased a building in downtown Waco with full intentions on moving our offices downtown. However, I could see the overall real estate market was tightening and mortgage banks were slowly going out of business. I lost several of my loan officers and real estate agents at this point and the overall market climate was proving difficult. These were tough times in the real estate business.
I continued on with plans to renovate the downtown building and move my real estate operations to the second floor of the building. However, the main focus was going to be the bar and grill on the first floor that eventually came to be known as Austin's On The Avenue. Along with Austin Brock, we opened the new business in the fall of 2008 and ran it successfully for 3 years. At that time we sold the business and I returned to working full time as a real estate broker and property manager. With several commercial buildings and three apartment complexes under management, my newest venture was certainly keeping me busy.
After a few years of property management I needed to make a decision about my long term plans. At this time rates were at an all time low and the mortgage market was experiencing a refinance boom. The refinance boom also strengthened the purchase loan business and guidelines were gradually being eased. The home sales market in Waco appeared to be heating up and I did not want to miss out. I had been keeping up to date with the mortgage news and local market conditions, so it did not take long for me to decide to get back in to the business. I initially began working with Baylor University's credit union in their mortgage department, but an opportunity arose to become the in-house loan officer with a new real estate company called Magnolia Realty. Along with my company, loanDepot we worked with the agents at Magnolia for 3 years during the best part of the rise in the Waco area real estate market.
While still working as a loan officer with loanDepot, I purchased a tract of land in West that would become my first residential development. The 60 acre tract of land was developed into 16 acreage size homesites. I saved one of the lots for my wife and I to build our own home. Soon after that project was completed I identified another tract of land that was perfect for development in the City of West. This 29 lot subdivision was completed in the summer of 2022. And that development led to another large tract of land in West that is currently under construction.
As of September 2022, I am going back to the real estate brokerage business full time with The Vander Woude Group. Kevin and Heather Vander Woude are experienced real estate professionals that are highly regarded in the Central Texas area. With our combined experience and backgrounds we will be able to help a full range of clients realize their real estate ownership goals.
Copyright © 2022 Leslie Long, REALTOR - All Rights Reserved.
The Vander Woude Group - Central Texas Realty
TRec License #9007613
2032A N. Valley Mills Dr
Waco, TX 76712
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