- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Name: Valerie M. Blake

Company: Prudential Carruthers Realtors

Address: 5025 Wisconsin Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20016

Phone: 202/246-8602, direct; 202/362-3400, office

Fax: 202/318-1164, direct; 202/362-4242, office

E-mail: Valerie@dchomequest.com

Web site: www.dchomequest.com

Year started: 1997

How did you get started in real estate? Real estate is my second career but has always been my first love. I was between jobs and house-hunting myself. During that time, a friend of 20 years recalled that as long as he had known me, I had always turned first to the real estate section of the local paper. The light bulb went off above my head, I signed up for classes, and the rest is history.

How long with the current company? Since October 1998

Licenses and designation: Real estate sales in Maryland, Virginia and the District; graduate, Realtor Institute

Associations: National Association of Realtors, Greater Capital Association of Realtors

Awards: Top agent at Prudential Carruthers Realtors uptown D.C. office, 1999-2003; Prudential Carruthers Realtors top 2 percent, 2001-03; Prudential Real Estate Chairman’s Circle Gold Award, 2001-03; Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors Platinum Producer Award

Greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months: In order to take my business to the next level, I entered into partnership with a colleague at my office, Jennifer Doney. We then hired an office manager, Cory Clifton, to handle ancillary tasks. Because we all have unique responsibilities, we are better able to work at the things we enjoy and are good at, which translates into high-quality service for our clients.

What is your area of specialty? Buyers and sellers in the District, and primarily within the Beltway in Virginia and Maryland

Highest-priced home sold: $1,220,000

Most memorable house: I think your first home is always your most memorable. Mine was an asymmetrical Cape Cod on a lot where the back yard flooded every spring thaw. It had indoor-outdoor carpet in the kitchen, foil wallpaper in several rooms, a bathroom where nobody taller than 6 feet 2 inches could stand up straight, and a utility room that was painted blue and yellow — horizontally. I paid $22,200 for it in 1977, and it became the first in a series of residences and investment properties for me.

Education: Bachelor of arts in foreign languages, Florida State University

Pets: Miniature schnauzers Jacques and Alexandra

Community service/community affiliations/outside interests: Washington D.C. Humane Society; Sunshine Kids Foundation (Prudential’s national charitable organization in support of children with cancer); Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumnae Association; home renovation, kitchen and bath design, and travel.

Last book read: “Interior Design Trade” (third edition), by John F. Pile

Last movie seen: “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”

What kind of car do you drive? 2004 Chrysler 300M Special and 1990 Avanti four-door Touring Sedan

What is your personal dream house? If I had a home for each facet of my personality, I would have a loft in Manhattan, a beach house in the Carolinas, a redwood cabin in the Shenandoahs, a Victorian bed-and-breakfast in the Midwest, a chalet in European wine country and, of course, a pied-a-terre in the District.

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