After growing up in the Palisades, Brett Duffy now brings decades of experience to the community through the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices office.
Post: What neighborhood of the Palisades did you grow up in and what was your childhood like?
Duffy: Most of my childhood was spent between the Palisades and Malibu. We lived on Tramonto Drive, and I have fond memories of spending time in the Village, going to movies at the Bay Theater and having lunch at the Hotdog Show. We would go to the beach at Castellammare and Tower 15.
Post: Where did you go to school and what did you study?
Duffy: I attended several private schools on the Westside for elementary and middle school, and then went to boarding school in New Hampshire and Connecticut for grades eight through 12.
With a desire to head back west for college, I stumbled upon the University of Colorado at Boulder, which had a mixture of East Coast meets West Coast and winters that weren’t as harsh as back east because of the more than 300 days of sunshine per year.
With the majority of out-of-state students coming from California, I felt right at home. I studied English, communications and film studies.
Post: What led to a career in real estate?
Duffy: I come from a family of real estate investors—both commercial and residential—so you can say I was introduced to real estate at a very young age. I got my start in real estate after college, working for eight years in commercial property management and leasing. That experience taught me so much about landlord/tenant relations and solving problems.
I then transitioned into residential and have been in the same office at Berkshire Hathaway for 22 years all with the same manager, John Closson, handling sales in the Palisades and adjacent communities.
Post: How many years of experience do you have and how does it help when working with clients?
Duffy: With 30 years of experience and my background in property management, leasing and residential sales, I have seen it all and have sold everything from a mobile home to an $18 million Malibu beach home. My experience has taught me to be patient, to listen and to always represent my client’s interest to the best of my ability.
Post: What neighborhood of the Palisades do you live in now and why do you love it?
Duffy: My family has lived in the Highlands Summit for the past 18 years. We love the ocean and mountain views, and the peace and tranquility that the Highlands offers. I know this sounds cliché but when I am home, I feel like I am on vacation. The amenities are amazing, from the Summit Club to the numerous hiking and biking trails.
Post: What advice do you have for first-time homebuyers?
Duffy: Always a good idea to get pre-approved, so you know what you can afford. Be patient, the journey to finding your dream home can be a long and bumpy road, but if you stay the course and work with a seasoned real estate professional, your dream of home ownership can and will become a reality.
Post: What neighborhood do you recommend for a family to purchase in?
Duffy: It’s important to find out a client’s true wish list and come up with a list of homes that checks off as many boxes as possible.
One family may want to live in the Alphabet Streets and be able to easily access the Village. Another family may prefer the peace and tranquility of the Highlands. Other families may prefer to live West of Temescal in the El Medio Bluffs or Marquez Knolls for easy access in and out of the Palisades, while others may prefer the Huntington or Riviera.
My job as a real estate professional is to educate my clients with all the information needed for them to make the best informed decision for themselves.
Post: How has the pandemic affected real estate in Pacific Palisades?
Duffy: Regardless of what is happening with the economy, stock market or even a global pandemic, people still want to buy and sell real estate for a variety of reasons.
When the governor and mayor issued the stay at home orders and non-essential businesses were being shut down during the early stages of the pandemic, there was a real concern about the real estate market.
Thankfully, we were deemed an essential business early on and, as long as we followed government-mandated showing requirements and practiced best practice real estate guidelines, we were able to conduct real estate activities with the exception, of course, of Tuesday Broker’s Caravans and Sunday public open houses.
After the stay at home orders were amended, we experienced a real surge in real estate activity with a lot of pent up buyer demand. With the low inventory and historically low interest rates, the market remains active but properties that are not priced correctly out of the gate are taking longer to sell.
I feel that, when the dust settles, the Palisades real estate market will be stronger than ever. This is one of the greatest communities in the country and we are all so fortunate to be able to live here.
Post: What do you do for fun when you are not working?
Duffy: My wife and I raised two great kids who are now in college. Growing up in the Palisades they were able to participate in so many fun activities that were available to us, from Y Princesses and Guides, Riviera Cotillion, Fancy Feet Dance Studio, Gerry Blanks Martial Arts, flag football, basketball, tennis, volleyball and PPBA at Palisades Park.
I enjoyed my years coaching basketball and baseball at Palisades Park, and we always made time for family beach days at Tower 15, ski trips to Mammoth Mountain and watching our beloved Lakers play at the Staples Center.
Now that we are officially empty nesters, my wife and I are enjoying hiking, cooking together, reading and catching up on movies. Lastly, I enjoy surfing and surf travel, which I have done for the past 41 years.
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