Raised in Garden Valley and trained in Fair Oaks, Realtor Maxine Hurley is comfortable in Western boots and high heels.
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She operates her real estate business, Hurley and Associates, from her 60-acre ranch in Garden Valley. She was brought up on the cattle ranch, which was owned by her grandmother. It is called Irish Creek Ranch.
The combination of ranching and real estate works well for the independent-minded Hurley. “It gives me the freedom I need and the opportunity to make money,” she said.
Hurley and her husband, Wendell Smith, do a lot of physical work on the ranch to keep it in good productive condition. “We try to keep fit and have a chemical-free diet as much as possible,” she said.
They raise their own beef. They have 10 head of Red Angus. “We sold six steers last year and kept the heifers,” she said. Hurley enjoys her cattle. “They are curious. They are smart. They make good ‘watch dogs’,” she said. An older cow named Mary, a Black Angus/Guernsey cross, is the lead cow. “She’s more of a pet,” said Hurley.
Irish Creek Ranch also has two Arabian horses and a Jack Russell dog, Spencer.
On the farming side, Hurley grows blueberries and recently planted 200 olive trees. She plans to use the olives for olive oil.
“Keeping up the ranch takes tenacity and hard work, just like real estate,” said Hurley.
Her life is not only ranching and farming. “I’ve been in sales all my life,” she said. She had a women’s clothing store called Maxine’s in Placerville and a sunglass store in Reno.
When she started in real estate in 1989, Hurley went to work for Lyon Real Estate in Fair Oaks. “Lyon had a great training program and some of the women who mentored me when I started are still good friends now,” she said.
Twelve years ago she went out on her own and formed Hurley and Associates. She represents residential and commercial buyers and sellers in El Dorado and surrounding counties.
“To be successful in real estate requires finding the right property for a buyer and getting sellers the right value for their property,” she said.
Hurley said prices are half what they were in 2006 in short sales. “It is very hard to watch people losing their jobs and then losing their homes,” she said. “Representing the seller relates to pricing, having the property ready to sell, and maximum communication to expose the property to as many prospective clients as possible.”
Being in business for 23 years, many of Hurley’s clients are repeats or referrals. They range from young couples with children to retirees. If they are moving to the country from urban areas, Hurley can help them with that adjustment. “I can tell them about getting your water from wells and what to do about fencing. I can coach them,” she said.
Looking at prospects for the next few years, Hurley said, “Hopefully, with my positive attitude, work ethic and perseverance, I will continue to be successful in real estate and ranching, and will write a book of my life as I see it in and about El Dorado County.”
To contact Maxine Hurley call 530-333-1177 or e-mail Maxine@hurleyassoc.com.