- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 14, 2006

Name: Irene Morales Ward

Company: RE/Max Absolute

Address: 12700 Black Forest Lane, No. 205, Woodbridge, VA 22192

Phone: 540/371-6157

Fax: 360/343-6157

E-mail: [email protected]

Web site: www.IreneMoralesWard.com

Year started: 2001

How did you get started in real estate? I entered the real estate market after successfully acting as a general contractor during the construction of our own home. It seemed a natural progression to follow a path that I was passionate about — helping other people realize their dreams of homeownership.

How long with the current company? A little more than a year

Licenses and designations: Virginia real estate sales; accredited buyer’s representative, certified Internet professional

Associations: Prince William Association of Realtors, Richmond Association of Realtors, Virginia Association of Realtors, National Association of Realtors, Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council, Metropolitan Regional Informational Systems, Central Virginia Regional Multiple Listing Service

Awards: No. 1 Weichert, Realtors rookie in sales in Washington region; Weichert Chairman’s Club and President’s Club; RE/Max Executive Club

Greatest accomplishment in the past 12 months: Coordinating and providing rent-free housing to a family from New Orleans that had suffered massive losses because of Hurricane Katrina.

My husband and I offered a town house we owned for a family to use rent-free while they got on their feet. Close coordination with our parish, St. Francis of Assisi in Triangle, Va., and Catholic Charities allowed us to make contact with a single mother and her three children who had lost just about everything and had been living in temporary housing in a hotel in Lafayette, La., and had been re-evacuated when Hurricane Rita came. They ended up in Baton Rouge, La.

Simply getting the family here was not enough. Providing furnishings, clothes, school supplies and medical assistance and even helping the mother get her driver’s license and a car were accomplished in large part because of the generous and passionate dedication of a large community, including St. Francis parish, the Prince William Police Department, doctors and staff at Potomac Hospital, our family and friends.

What is your area of specialty? Alexandria to Spotsylvania on the Interstate 95 corridor.

Most memorable house: One I just settled which took more than 13 months from contract to closing. Seeing my happy clients move into this home was worth every minute of builder technicalities and problems. In the process, I not only got two satisfied clients but two great friends.

Worst experience: This ranks as my funniest experience. At the first listing appointment of my career, I was opening my portfolio when an enormous bird perched himself on the seller’s shoulder, and without skipping a beat, the seller asked, “What do you think our house is worth?”

Not to appear unprofessional, I simply followed his lead and made no mention of the humongous bird nibbling on his ear and pecking at his chest. His wife chimed in, “I know this house can’t be worth that much.” This she said as a second bird appeared out of nowhere to perch on my shoulder. The bird was much smaller, but he could talk.

Not having much experience with these wonderful creatures, I was terrified to look it in the eye. The wife sensed my apprehension and removed the bird from my shoulder, placed it on her own shoulder, and we proceeded. When we entered the master bedroom to take measurements, a cat came out from under the bed. I was determined to ignore it because it was small and I figured it was a kitten looking to play. When I lost my footing and almost stepped on the kitty, I looked down and to my amazement and dismay noticed that the kitty was actually a ferret.

Family: Husband, Bill; children Adrienne, 20, Billy, 18, Nicole, 16, Maria, 10, and Matthew, 8

Pets: Labrador retriever, Ike

Education: Bachelor of science degrees in business administration/marketing and physical education/sports management, Towson University, 1984; post-graduate studies in law and physical education, George Mason University, 1998-2000

Community affiliations/community service/outside interests: youth sports; past member, St. Francis of Assisi sports board; cooking; gardening; playing games with my children

Last book read: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” by Stephen R. Covey

Last movies seen: “Cars” and “The Wild”

What kind of car do you drive? 2000 Volvo S-80

What is your personal dream house? I live in it. We built our home with our own hands, and though many would consider it modest by today’s standards, it is a palace to us. I can allow my children to play outside safely, visit the neighbor’s horses, play a game of baseball or soccer in the front yard or canoe on Potomac Creek.

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