Saturday marks the last official day of business for Nevitt Real Estate at 702 First Ave. in Perry, with Bob Nevitt closing on a 21-year real estate career.
Nevitt said he made known his plans to retire last month with an announcement on the local radio and in a big ad in the shopper, but the official close is effective Nov. 1.
“I just turned 70 this year, and it’s time,” Nevitt said. “It’s time. I’m ready. I had a good run at real estate. I’m proud of what Barb and I and Lorrie and Lila and the rest of the people that work for me have done in the business to help me survive and be profitable.”
By Barb, Bob means his wife of 43 years, Barb Apple Nevitt, who died in 2013 after a six year battle with Alzheimer’s Disease. It was Barb who first brought Bob into the real estate game in 1999 after more than 20 years of her own success as a realtor.
The couple had married in 1970, and Bob worked at the Oscar Meyer hog kill in Perry from 1970 to 1983. He ran the FS Feeds store in Perry from 1983 to 1993 and was briefly with Growmark Feed before venturing with a partner in Decorah on a feeder-pig operation with 4,000 sows.
Hog production was lucrative until the market tanked in 1998, Nevitt said, and “the packers ran everybody out of business.” So he sold his hogs except for one unit near Earlham, and he joined Barb in the real estate business in November 1999.
At first the Nevitts worked out of the upper floor of the Ray Heenan’s insurance agency at 901 First Ave., eventually buying out Heenan’s GMAC real estate business in 2003 and moving to the house at 702 First Ave., which they remodeled into offices, in 2007.
Nevitt said the business grew steadily, and they were soon listing about 100 properties a year, though the pace slowed somewhat in recent years, a fact brought forcefully to his memory by the six file cabinets and 30 boxes of files he shredded in wrapping up the business.
It was also in 2007 that Barb Nevitt was diagnosed with early-onset Azheimer’s disease. Barb died Nov. 24, 2013.
Bob kept the real estate business going with the assistance of several agents and his longtime business associate Lila Davis Lind, whom Bob described as “one of the top-notch closers in the business.” Davis Lind is also retiring at the end of the year.
Bob married Lorrie Hoffman Motsick in October 2018, and thoughts of retirement might have begun to crop up then. He and Lorrie are “going to do some traveling and going to Florida this winter for a couple of months,” Bob said. “We’re just going to take life easy.”
But with six rental properties in Perry plus one Airbnb and a second one in the works, his will be an active retirement.
“I’ve got things to do,” he said. “I’ve got an acreage to take care of, and I mean to build a shop out there for me to piddle around in in the summertime when I don’t have anything else to do.”
The market for Perry real estate remains promising, Nevitt said, even though there has been an “influx of Des Moines realtors in last couple of years.” There are some 1,500 real estate agents in the so-called golden circle of the Des Moines metro, he said.
“The market’s super,” he said. “The problem with the market is we don’t have any houses for sale in this town except for houses that have been sitting on the market too long because they’re overpriced. A lot of outside agents have come in and priced these houses according to what the Des Moines market is, and they’re not selling. I could go online and tell you how many we have in Perry, but it’s not very many. When a good house comes up, it’s lasts for about a week, and it might have multiple offers, and it might sell for more than asking price. I mean a good listing that’s priced right.”