Simultaneous open houses in King City and Summerfield along with clubhouse tours make house-hunting easy for future residents
The First Sunday real estate program is proving more popular than ever as time goes by, with brokers, prospective buyers and sellers reaping the benefits.
Robyn Dezendorf, a Summerfield resident and broker with Keller Williams Realty Portland Premiere, started the program about eight years ago after coming up with the idea of brokers with homes for sale in Summerfield simultaneously hosting open houses on the first Sunday of each month. At that time, there were about 40 properties for sale.
She put together information packets, including a map showing all the properties with open houses, and as an added bonus, Dezendorf asked volunteers to host an open house at the Clubhouse and be available to offer tours and answer questions.
In August 2016, Dezendorf resigned from the Summerfield Marketing Committee and stepped down from organizing the First Sunday events, and Elizabeth Young, a Summerfield resident and broker with Ken Miller & Associates in King City, took over the role of organizing the monthly events.
King City came late to the First Sunday party, but it has made up for lost time. Elaine Simms, a King City resident and broker with Ken Miller & Associates, started the King City First Sunday program in June despite the King City Civic Association Board of Directors voting not to endorse the program.
"As a King City resident, I can request use of the Clubhouse, so I set it up to use the living room on the first Sunday of each month and have gotten volunteers to be there to give tours and answer questions," Simms said. "I put information packets out plus cookies and water. I also go around and put balloons at all the houses that are participating that day."
In fact, on Dec. 4, while an outside group was renting the banquet room for a holiday party, in the living room, volunteer Carol Schultz was extolling the virtues of King City to a woman who had been looking at houses for sale that day. The woman and her friend said they appreciated getting information about living in King City.
Meanwhile, Maureen Bonfiglio, principal broker with Soldera Properties in Lake Oswego, had just listed a property in King City and participated in the First Sunday program for the first time.
She said she was "delighted" to participate in the December First Sunday open house. She also was impressed with how well the program was organized and how much information was provided about the community.
"This was all orchestrated by Elaine Simms, a homeowner in King City and real estate broker at Ken Miller & Associates," Bonfiglio said. "I was very impressed with her attention to detail, delighted she invited me to participate, and appreciate all of her time and energy to make this a successful event.
"While Sunday, Dec. 4, was extremely cold outside, the sky was blue with (some) clouds, and along with autumn leaves, added a palette of colors, which all created the perfect fall day for this First Sunday Realtor open house tour.
"I was extremely thrilled that over 20-plus visitors, along with two Realtors and their clients, toured my client's listing this day at 12467 S.W. King George Drive, King City. The event was very successful and provided the sellers and Realtors an opportunity to promote their listings to a multitude of interested buyers."
Across 99W at the Summerfield Clubhouse, two volunteers – Joann Casciato and Barbara Schultz – were holding down the fort under the watchful eye of Jeanne Ferrarin.
Actually, Ferrarin had just stopped by but soon got involved in the conversation. She was an original Clubhouse hostess when the First Sunday program started, but her roots in Summerfield go much deeper than that.
"My mom built a house here," Ferrarin said. "She was widowed and remarried and they wanted a new house. We would come out here and go to the dances and participate in the activities."
As for her involvement in the First Sunday program, "I did it all along until last year," Ferrarin said. "It's the Realtors who do it. I'm surprised at how much activity goes on here. I always say that Summerfield is the best-kept secret. I keep hearing, 'I never knew this was here,' but it's always been a great community."
Schultz, who has volunteered as a First Sunday Clubhouse hostess occasionally for several years, added, "Last time I hosted the First Sunday open house, I was busy the entire time. When I was buying here, my Realtor told me about the Clubhouse open house."
Ferrarin pointed out how great the Clubhouse looks since it has been updated, and Casciato, who has volunteered at First Sunday for about a year and a half, added, "I wouldn't live anyplace else. There is so much to do here."
The women saw a familiar face come in the door: A prospective buyer who has come to the Clubhouse every First Sunday for the past several months. She wants to buy a condo in The Fountains and checks every month to see if any have come up for sale.
As she left, she said she would definitely be back the next month.
The First Sunday open house program also includes the Highlands, which is in the process of being annexed into King City.