Leah is no stranger to the Elk River and surrounding areas and is a loved figure in her home area. If you ever had a chance to meet her, you will notice her great passion and energy right away! Leah is so much more than just an outstanding realtor though. Her story is too big to put into this intro, so let’s start off asking her to give us a brief background from childhood all the way to the present.
DD: Thank you for taking the time to speak to us today. As mentioned above you have quite a great story. Please give us a brief background starting with your childhood all the way to today and what led you to be a great realtor.
LS: To be as short as possible, I was born in Colombia South America. My 7 siblings and I were separated after our mother passed when I was 4 and we literally ended up on three different continents. One younger brother and I were adopted to the United States at age six and three. I fell in love with school, water sports and was fairly artistic. One of my favorite things to do was to build houses out of cardboard boxes, and they were very sophisticated, even down to art on the wall and ornate rugs! Apparently, I loved homes even from a young age.
I was able to grow up in Chanhassen as well as the Maple Grove area before these towns became really developed. At age 15 I began my search for our biological baby brother whom I never forgot and eventually found him living in the Netherlands. Reuniting with him was absolutely amazing and we remain very close today, with our kids only a few days apart- even our spouses names are the same – Daniel and Danielle. It was definitely not planned but just meant to be.
It was during my teen years as well, that I began my lifelong passion of community service while volunteering for the Red Cross. I realized at a very young age that we are not meant to take up space on earth, we are actually suppose to do as much good as we can. Helping others actually distracted me from my own pain and heartache, while giving me so much purpose and gratitude for life in general. No matter where I went, I have always managed to serve others through a variety of organizations and even became the Founding Board Chair of a one of just a handful Montessori Charter Schools in MN.
After graduating from Osseo Senior High I attended Hamline University for two and a half years then moved to New Mexico for my last year and a half of college. I graduated with a psychology degree from the University of New Mexico. It was in New Mexico where I began leasing luxury apartment homes, we had 13 buildings and three pools, designed of course with Southwestern desert themes; warm natural earth tones, stucco and beautiful arches! As beautiful as that property was, it was still apartment living, so we decided to build our first home. Our home had a huge rock back yard and brick fence, typical for NM because of the dessert wind storms. I thoroughly enjoyed and got to have a first hand look at the building process. We lived there for a year and a half and decided to finally get married. We missed Minnesota, our family and all the colors and seasons of MN and sold our home. We put our home on the market and discovered the selling of our home was almost as much fun for me as the building process.
We were so fortunate to buy a home in the Champlin area and were married. It was a year and a half after we were married that my baby brother in the Netherlands called me to tell me that he had written in to a television program in the Netherlands called Spoorlos (Search in English). He had written in to the show to help him find out what had happened to our family. Our families story aired live that Friday and my brother called me right after the show, telling me that we did have 4 older siblings and that 3 of them were sitting right there with him. I actually hopped on a flight in order to have an incredible reunion! It was shortly after my return home that we received the news I was finally pregnant. We had the first of our three cherished sons. I have been so privileged to see my life come full circle- if I ever write a book, that’s probably what I would name it!
We continued to live in Champlin for seven years. It was then that we sold our home and found a great builder, picked out our own home plans and built a beautiful home in Elk River, my husband’s home town.
Due to the fact that my husband traveled so much for work, we made the decision for me to stay at home so we could give the kids a stable home life, and I truly felt so blessed. I still volunteered at my kids schools, church and neighborhood association etc, but when our third began Kindergarten, I decided I would rekindle my love for homes as a career and got my Realtors license. It was at this same time that I felt such a calling to lead the way for our communities first public, tuition free Montessori elementary school. It was a crazy 5 years starting my career and the school but so worth every sweat and a few tears! The school is approved through the MN Department of Education for ages 3 years to the 8th grade. The school has grown to 160+ K students and is doing well even though opening through Covid. I support the school in any way I can but need to focus more on expanding my real estate business. Being a Realtor is an incredible job, but building life long relationships, where people will be calling me for years to come, is what its all about to me! I want to serve my clients in the absolute best way I can.
DD: Can you tell us more about your business and what services you specialize in?
LS: Building relationships is what it’s all about, whether you are purchasing or listing single-family homes anywhere around the twin cities. If you need to buy or sell land and/or multi-family and investment, I can do that too. I have the backing of an incredible office of 700+ agents with so much experience, to help if any issues ever arise.
DD: Do you have some good advice for new home buyers, and how to proceed in this market we have today?
LS: Get a great agent to walk you through each step! Real estate doesn’t have to be hard or scary, just take one step at a time. Let my experience work for you, so you can focus on packing or planning your move. So call me, Leah, at 763-350-9100!
DD: Could you give some advice for people who are thinking of selling, and also how they can make the best decisions in today’s market?
LS: Selling a home in this “Seller’s Market” is truly the best time to do it, but setting yourself up for the smoothest process and most profitable one is key. As your Realtor, I would guide you with the process of listing your home during the best time, have professional pictures taken every time and utilize the latest and greatest marketing real estate sites. The more your home is advertised, the more potential buyers see it and the greater the possibility of getting a better offer.
DD: What do you feel are some of your strong points that may separate you from the pack?
LS: I pledge to set up the best pictures, use the best marketing sites and tools to spread the word and to eliminate the possible issues buyers may have by offering solutions or plan to upgrade, update and fix potential oppositions of buyers.
DD: What is your area radius that you service?
LS: I will serve the twin cities metro area and answer the call of my clients whenever they may call.
DD: When you are not helping people buy and sell homes, what are some things you enjoy doing with your free time?
LS: I love my career and it hardly ever feels like work, but when not actively doing real estate, I love being a mom and wife and dear friend. I love to spend time outside no matter what activity or season and feel so blessed to live in such a beautiful state.
DD: If someone wants to contact you, what are the best ways to reach you?