By Mary Starr Photos by Nancy J Reynolds Photography Kelli Boyd Photography and Bobby Haven
When searching for a new place to live one thing to consider is the familiarity with which your real estate professional has with the area. That gives long-time Realtors who are natives and long-time residents the edge, particularly for clients who are relocating from outside the area and may be total strangers to these magical Golden Isles. These are the professionals who can give you counsel on most anything from the restaurants to recreation. We recently visited with a few local Realtors, who also happen to be natives of the Golden Isles, just to learn a little more about them and the local real estate market.
George Skarpalezos Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate
The Skarpalezos family moved to Glynn County in the 1920s, beginning with George’s grandfather, who came to the U.S. from Skopelos, Greece, when he was 13 years old.
“My sister, Winnie, and I are super-close, and share the same passion for real estate, just like our dad, George Sr., who was a real estate agent and developer in Glynn County for over 30 years,” he said. “Winnie and I worked for and assisted with the operations at Skarpalezos Realty for 14 years, before joining Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Hodnett Cooper Real Estate.”
A native of the Golden Isles, George attended St. Simons Elementary School, Glynn Middle and both Brunswick and Glynn Academy high schools, gradating from Glynn Academy. Continuing his education, George graduated from Georgia Southern University with a political science degree.
He attributes his motivation to his father, George Skarpalezos Sr.
“My father taught me from an early age, that you must create your own activity; you must get out there and work hard for what you want,” he said. Real estate to me was a natural fit, the social aspect encompassed who I am as a person.
George’s business goals include being at the forefront, cultivating new relationships, providing a service for positive and joyful people and being their helping real estate hand.
“With the very active market we have today, you need someone on your team, in your corner,” he said. “My responsibility to protect my clients is my top priority. To be a Realtor is to be a good person and the importance of building those relationships is vital to me.”
George says there are any number of reasons to buy real estate in the Golden Isles, including the diverse business culture and easy-going island lifestyle.
“I love it here,” he said. “A growing small town – we have the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the … ports, beaches and community. We are a vacation and resort destination, but at the same time, a comforting place to grow up and raise your family … This is truly a place to call home.”
Off-the-clock, the rugby pitch is a good place to find George. A lifelong player, he says rugby is his favorite hobby. Next month, he’ll be playing in Anchorage, Alaska. Of course, he enjoys pursuits close to home as well.
“I enjoy relaxing on the beach, hiking, dining at the local restaurants, kayaking,” he said. “Glynn County offers endless opportunities to enjoy nature and be outdoors, which is what I enjoy most about living here.”
Lifelong residents also have a store of childhood memories upon which to reminisce, and George is no exception.
“I would have to say my top, hands down, favorite local memory would be working for Sea Island in the summer for their junior staff program,” he said. “Making the friendships, and working with the kids, was the best part about my summers. Still to this day, we all keep in touch and reminisce on the fun times we had.”