Charlotte Real Estate and More


Who Knew the World Could Change So Much in A Decade?

Who Knew the World Could Change So Much in A Decade?

I've absolutely loved reading the entries in the 'Decade contest' that Jeff Dowler, CRS so graciously hosted this month (THANK YOU, JEFF)! What is astonishing to me is that most entries were so very unique and personal - many shared things we knew already, others had some very interesting 'factoids' within!


A Decade of Change



As Ray and I discussed our past decade, we came up with some crazy developments we never expected...

We built two homes during the course of the past decade. We spent a lot of time in the hospital during a good part of this decade and at the end of the 10-year period, we find ourselves in a hospital, far away from home, with what we hope is finally the cure for Ray's hips & pelvis (osteomyelitis) - FINALLY!


The World is Changing - travel


We have traveled to the Caribbean several times, to France, Italy, Hawaii, the Panama Canal, Costa Rica and several US city tours (LA, Vegas, NOLA and others).


We had one son who married the girl of his dreams and we are crazy about her as well! That same son moved to Orlando for two years and while he was there, our youngest son landed a fabulous job in Charlotte and we were convinced the oldest and his new wife would return to Charlotte soon...and they did! Then, our youngest moved to Chicago for a job, almost exactly a year ago this week when my oldest moved back to Charlotte! Oh and they bought their first home when they moved back to Charlotte too...and we've helped them renovate their adorable full-brick ranch home near Uptown. 





Comparing our lives to 2009, we really didn't know how 'tough' our lives were then - and we're so glad we didn't know! We had two boys in college and I had to tweak my business considerably - from luxury sales to training/certifications/learning to manage short sales - just to keep our boys in college, and of course, food on the table and a roof over our heads! I also had a couple of assistants that I was bound and determined to keep employed during The Great Recession as well - and I did. 

The World is Changing - business


Talking about all of the changes, it just dawned on me that I'm so thankful I didn't realize how tough things were during the recession. I kept my nose to the grindstone and absolutely was NOT going to go back to my pre-real estate 'job' as a nurse. After getting my real estate license, I decided that since I had worked 4 tireless years to become a nurse, I was not about to give up my license. So smack dab during the middle of the recession, I made the decision that I was NOT going to use my nursing degree as a 'crutch' - my commitment to short sales & real estate was 100% and I gave up my nursing license. That was quite difficult to do but, it was a mental thing - making the commitment would not allow me to ever consider giving up the business.


From short sales to a turn-around in the market, the massive amount of inventory left from the buyers market, finally being absorbed and ultimately becoming a neutral now, a strong sellers market and all within a 10-year period of time! Who on earth would have thought all of this possible? We surely didn't! 


Now my business is run so differently than it used to be. This past decade taught me not to pigeon-hole myself within a single niche or area. As much as I love niches and feel that in general, it's a smart business practice, a single focus is no longer for me. I am committed to being flexible and with the business that I picked up during the recession, on top of my original sphere, I have plenty of 'variety' in my repeat & referral business - from millennials to 'downsizers,' from north Charlotte Metro to small-towns on the South Carolina border to lakes in NC & SC and of course, my in-town Charlotte business. I love, love, love ❤️ the variety and it keeps doors open for me that I didn't have open when The Great Recession caught me off-guard! 


Lastly, I sold my ownership in a new, boutique brokerage about 3 years ago and have found my new brokerage to be so wonderfully supportive and just what I needed to focus on expanding my personal business...and I've done just that.  






The world is changing - Charlotte NC

  • There are so many changes - Ray and I are like many and no longer have a home phone.
  • We no longer have a fax machine either! 
  • My husband actually went from a flip phone to a smart phone during this past decade - a BIG change that I had begged for years for him to do.
  • Texting now leads communication preference with most, over phone calls and emails.
  • Electronic signatures are preferred more often (by far) than ink-signatures.
  • We are seeing FAR more 'mail-away' Closings in real estate.
  • Wiring funds is no longer the 'safe' way to get money from one account to another - perhaps VENMO?
  • More electric cars fill our streets and we are even accommodating electric car owners with charging 'stations' across the city.
  • Charlotte now provides scooter rentals in our Uptown and the surrounding historic areas. 
  • Drones seem to be all the rage now, whereas a decade ago, few people were using drones.
  • Home security and smart cameras are in a large number of homes and many builders are even utilizing smart technology as a standard feature in all of their homes.
  • Who heard of probiotics 10 years ago? What about using grass-fed Ghee in your coffee? Kombucha?
  • Craft breweries have also become all the least here in Charlotte!
  • Lastly, retro is IN- embrace it!

Who knew a decade ago?!


Retro is in in Charlotte - embrace it!

© Debe Maxwell | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | | Who Knew the World Could Change So Much in A Decade?

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Comment balloon 25 commentsDebe Maxwell, CRS • July 31 2019 04:57AM


Morning again Debe.

Now, just imagine what will happen in the next decade.  I hope I'm around to see it

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) over 1 year ago

Good morning, Debe Maxwell, CRS you never fail to amaze me....your past 10 years have been quite the journey, and I'm sure the next 10 will be even more amazing.... always wishing the best for you and Ray....  you're such a delight and a champion at everything that challenges you....

Posted by Barbara Todaro, Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team (RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired ) over 1 year ago

What a great post down memory lane - how is your husband this morning? 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 1 year ago

Good morning Debe. So many changes and how quickly it went by! Enjoy your day.

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) over 1 year ago

Good morning Debe Maxwell, CRS - you did such a great job with this post including your story but also putting us all in the picture.  Things change but then again some things don't.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) over 1 year ago

Debe, what a decade. I'm with you, looking back I don't know how we got through some of the things we did, Here's hoping for important thing, Ray's return to good health.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) over 1 year ago

Hello Debe - you're right that each entry in this challenge have been quite unique(and fascinating) in how they have presented this ten-year period.  I like how you described your part as well as what was happening around us too.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 1 year ago

Thank you, James Dray! I'm not sure what will happen but, I've been thinking about it for a full month and am convinced that living in the here and now is where I prefer to be! Just keep the here and now coming! LOL

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Barbara Todaro, you are so kind - your comments always make my heart smile. Thank you for that! 

Yes, I do believe that the next 10 will be considerably different but, as we moved through that last 10, I didn't often see or feel the changes until challenged to do so! I've so enjoyed Jeff's challenge!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

It was so long but, I couldnt' stop typing, Lise Howe!  

He's doing good - hating having to lie flat for another 28 days but, other than that, healthwise, much better than when he arrived! He's surrounded by an outstanding medical team and has no other option than to soar under their care!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Oh my gosh, you're so right - it was here and gone with the blink of an eye, Wayne Martin!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Thank you, Grant Schneider! And, yes, I'm always grateful for those things that don't ever change too - family, friendships and physical and mental health; that definitely goes without saying but, never without heartfelt gratuity!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Lottie Kendall - I think we protect ourselves with lack of full awareness of how things are changing! I will rise to a challenge every day but, to know that things are going to permanently remain 180º different...well, that's a whole other challenge! 

I appreciate the good health wishes - he's doing well today. One day at a time, righht?!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Hi Michael Jacobs! Thank you and boy, have things changed...most things for the better but, others still leave my head shaking!

Hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

There you go again, Barbara Todaro! If everyone was so kind, the world would be such a better place! Happy Wednesday!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) over 1 year ago

Debe, it is a good idea to look back, and be greatful.  My dad was in the hospital most of the last 2 years with MRSA (picc line and all) from shoulder surgery - that sort of thing (not what Ray has, of course) is definitely something that can wear you down... but your resiliance is so magnificent!  You guys are Winners, so thankful to have you in my eco system!  We are pulling hard #SeeYouOnTheOtherSideOfDenver

Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) over 1 year ago

I have such admiration for you and how you handle life in general.

Thanks for sharing your past decade in business, travel, family, and technology. A good entry in the contest.

Posted by Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400, Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome ( HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400) over 1 year ago

Hi Debe Maxwell, CRS - You are in a wonderful market that is so vibrant and active and you understand it and have been able to adjust to it over the years. 

What I wanted to address is the major leap you made by not renewing your nursing license.  To me, this shows your courage and commitment to your real estate career. This says much about you. We see inspiration posts all the time about taking a risk to move ahead. You walk the talk. I wish you much success in the future. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Realty) over 1 year ago

Hello Debe,  Great to read your blog and see about the last 10 years for you.  Glad that Ray is doing better.


Posted by Will Hamm, "Where There's a Will, There's a Way!" (Hamm Homes) over 1 year ago

Your comments on the world in general amused me. Venmo is the bitcoin of today perhaps?

Posted by Wayne and Jean Marie Zuhl, The Last Names You'll Ever Need in Real Estate (Samsel & Associates) over 1 year ago

Debe-What a great entry. You both are amazing.  I enjoyed reading this. Sending healing thoughts and prayers. 

Posted by Sharon Lee, Retired and loving life (Sharon Lee's Virtual Assistance) over 1 year ago

Hi Debe:

I loved reading this post. Wow what a busy 10 years you and Ray have had, personally and business-wse. Love the photos!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 1 year ago

Debe you have fit a life time into the last 10 years.  But more importantly I hope Ray finds the cure he has been looking for!!!

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) over 1 year ago

Good for you for sticking with it.  You have such a great attitude and it served you well during the recession. Thankfully that housing recession is in the rear view mirror!

Posted by Jan Green, HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN (Value Added Service, 602-620-2699) over 1 year ago

Debe Maxwell, CRS - I would like to thank Jeff Dowler, CRS for offering this challenge and to the members, such as you who participated. I noticed you dug deep to convey what was in your heart and countless others did too. Yet, let us not lose sight of the fact there are those on ActiveRain who simply can't put it out there, their personal and business stories for reasons of their own. Respectfully, I understand and I have no doubt, you do too. My hope and prayers are by reading many of these stories, like yours, we can only hope courage is contagious to those who aren't ready to tell their stories. 

The housing recession took many people down to their knees. Although I didn't lose my house, I lost my savings tied into the stock market and with each short sale I saved, it gave me a reason to be thankful, after all, things can always be worse. 

Isn't it odd that out of the ashes of the recession technology gave us new ways to do business and numerous ways to innovate, grow, and communicate? And through it all, there was pain and there will be more as we continue to secure our privacy and go through many growing pains to keep us current with newer technology and AI. 

By the way,k you captured the essence of this challenge with grace and style, heart and soul. Thank you. 

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) over 1 year ago

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