Top Realtor cites good rates, great deals While headlines about the economy continue to fuel the fire for conservative spending, local Realtor Joan Imperato argues this is a good time to purchase a home. “This is a challenging market and many people are afraid,” said Imperato, “but if you look at the facts, there are many factors that make this a great time to buy a house. With the right information, today’s home buyer can make the best decision on what is likely to be the most important purchase of their life.” Imperato disagrees with the media’s portrayal of the housing market. She said the real estate market in the Houston area, specifically in Kingwood and Humble, is not bad. According to Imperato, some homes are selling in a few days and for top dollar, while others take a bit longer. “The key factors are condition and pricing, as has always been the case,” she said. “As long as a buyer and seller understand this, they can each make a decision as to what is the best approach when buying or selling a home.” As an agent, Imperato said the market is challenging, which only means she has to work harder to provide the most up-to-date information for her clients. “There is a healthy supply of beautiful and well-priced homes on the market and interest rates are outstanding,” she said. Imperato said lenders require good credit, consistent employment, at least 3.5 percent down on an FHA loan and a 5 percent down payment for conventional financing. “Rates are under 5 percent and it is a great time for first-time home buyers benefiting from the $8,000 First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit,” said Imperato, who emphasizes the importance of attention to detail and of educating oneself. Her own commitment to education and attention to detail, have helped her rise to the top. Imperato said she is consistently recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of the top two agents in Houston and is ranked as the top agent for Northeast Houston. According to the Houston Association of Realtors, she has been ranked as the top seller for Kingwood for some time. Imperato has experienced market fluctuations and trends through the years and has earned a GRI (Graduate Realtor Institute), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and her brokers license. This year, Imperato was awarded RE/MAX’s highest award, the Circle of Legends. She is the first woman to hold that distinction. RE/MAX has honored her as the No. 1 seller in Kingwood since 1987. She is also consistently among the top 10 sellers in the Houston area and top 20 in the state. In 1982, her husband received a job transfer from New York to Kingwood. She, her husband and her three children have called Kingwood home ever since. In 1985, a neighbor who was in real estate encouraged her to get involved in the business. He said she would be particularly suited to real estate because of her communication skills, work ethic and background in education. She started her career with a large national company and when brokers Sara and Ed Nowak opened RE/MAX Associates in 1986, she was there with six other agents for the launch. “In 2002, RE/MAX Associates and RE/MAX Northeast merged to become the strongest real estate agency in the Northeast,” she said. Imperato said she believes in giving back to the community. She is involved in Mothers Against Cancer, the FamilyTime Foundation, the Village Learning & Achievement Center and the Donne Di Domani Organization. Recently, through her volunteer efforts with the Donne, Imperato helped raise $10,000 for the Village Learning & Achievement Center. The money was raised by selling the organization’s homemade marinara sauce at the Nutcracker Market, where customers gladly wait in line for an hour or more for this Market favorite. With a successful business and an active community service life, Imperato still finds time for family. “I am grateful for my family. I consider it to be first and foremost in my life,” said Imperato. My husband has been my heart, soul and support. My two sons, Ted and Jon, and my daughter, Alison Brookby, who is also a Realtor, my eight grandchildren, and my assistants, Jo-Anne Jee and J.R. Klug are my inspiration and a tremendous support system,” said Imperato. For more information, visit www.joanimperatohomes.com or call 281-361-2205. Photo: Joan Imperato becomes the first woman to win RE/MAX’s highest honor, the Circle of Legends award. From left are Jo-Anne Jee, Imperato and J.R. Klug. Photo by Kathy Parks

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