Jim Gratton, son of a Realtor, married to a Realtor, is now a Realtor. Joining Judy to form Gratton & Associates, Jim brings years of sales experience to enhance the partnership with Judy, named 2018 Best Real Estate Agent/Broker in the “Best of Northshore 2018” issue of the Bothell/Kenmore Reporter.
Why did you become a real estate professional?
Genetic destiny, probably. My dad was a longtime Realtor, at one time Chairman of the Idaho Real Estate Commission. But, really, what motivated me to make this career change had more to do with transitioning from selling a consumable commodity, albeit a pleasurable one, to selling something that lasts, that really affects people’s lives long term.
What did you do before you transitioned into real estate?
I had a long career in the wine business, mostly in Seattle. For the last decade and a half, I was on what we call the “supplier” side of the business, working as the NW regional sales manager for a couple of different New York-based importers, Australia’s largest wine company, and even a couple of Woodinville-based Washington wineries. Before that, I was a sales rep and manager for Seattle wine distributors. I have obviously put my B.A. in Journalism to good use.
Who are some of your business idols and role models? And why?
Well, for real estate, for business idol, I’d have to say my father. For role model, it would be my wife Judy. She’s been a Realtor for over 20 years in this area. I’ve had the chance to watch her help her clients in both smooth and difficult transactions; I’ve seen how detail-oriented she is, and how she really listens to her clients, many times finding them their dream homes.
My dad developed vacation areas in Idaho, subdivisions, business properties, and really knew the ins and outs of real estate. My favorite real estate story about him, though, occurred when my mother was pregnant with me. He was showing a client homes around town when for some reason, he needed to stop at his own. The client told him that their house was exactly what he wanted to buy. So, Dad sold it to him right then and there. Might have been a better idea to inform my mother first.
What do you do for fun?
Playing music. I’ve played guitar since I was 13 and made my living at it for a year or so before we got married. Mostly acoustic guitar playing in dinner clubs in Idaho. There’s a YouTube video from a few years ago where I performed in Boise at a reunion of musicians who had played the Sandpiper Restaurants in southern Idaho back in the 1970’s, 80’s, & 90’s. Sounds not all that good in the video, which is too bad, ’cause at the club it was spot on. It’s a song I wrote for our son.
Now, I’ve been playing weekly with a group of guys in Seattle for many years. We’re more rock with electric instruments. Loads of fun.
What are your favorite things to do in the neighborhood?
Catching a movie at McMenamin’s. Love getting food and drink served to you at your seat. I’ve also enjoyed, more than I thought I would, a number of the shows at the Northshore Performing Arts Center. Let’s see, also Bothell High football games at Pop Keeney Stadium. The farmers’ markets during the summer. The 4th of July parade in downtown. The Christmas tree lighting. Walking the Burke-Gilman trail by the Sammamish Slough.
What are your favorite restaurants in the neighborhood?
That’s a hard one. Along with all the new apartments and condos, we’ve seen an explosion of new restaurants in Bothell. I haven’t even gotten to some like Prime and the Cottage that opened in the latter part of last year. But that said, I like Amaro Bistro, especially for late-night dining in their bar. We tried Stack 571 a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed the burgers and service. For Mexican cuisine, within about 4 square blocks, there are 3 we like–Pasion Tequila, Poquitos, and Julio’s. Lots to like, too, about the McMenamin’s restaurants. And, outside of the downtown Bothell core, we’ve enjoyed dining at Russell’s in the Monte Villa business park, Grazie in Canyon Park, and up in Mill Creek Tablas Woodstone Taverna and Calabria Ristorante Italiano.
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