Success Stories

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Sale of home will benefit low income children

Longtime Chula Vista resident Mitchel Kotula is selling the house that he and his wife bought in 1962. That in itself is not much of a story, but the entire proceeds from the sale will be donated to support parochial education programs and it will benefit the Catholic Church of the Most Precious Blood in Chula Vista. Why? Mitch wants to give back to the Church that has been so important to him in his life and wants to help poor children who, like him, came from families struggling financially. Mitchel Kotula 96, was the son of extremely poor Polish and Ukrainian immigrants. His parents entered America through Ellis Island, NY in 1913 at a time when today's social programs did not exist. The family was so poor that Mitch only had one pair of pants that his mother washed each night to dry on the radiator for wear to school the next day. Every day he would walk the streets picking up bits of coal so that they could heat their house. Mitch attended school, was an excellent student and was active in the Catholic Church. Mitch went on to enlist in the US Navy and have a family of his own. He retired as a Master Chief Petty Officer in 1964 after 27 years of active duty. And now after his wife of 67 years has passed, he is selling his home and going to use the proceeds to "help poor kids like me to get good religious education." Mitch regularly and quietly contributed to repairs of The Most Precious Blood Church which included the renovation of the Adoration Chapel and a large learning center. Mitch has established the Mitchel Kotula Charitable Foundation. The proceeds from the sale of the house will be used to support low income children with their Parochial educations as well as to support religious programs at the Catholic Church of the Most Precious Blood.

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Selling the Family Home Filled with Memories and Many Possessions

I was in need of an agent to sell my father's house. My father has dementia and now lives in an assisted living facility. Due to his age and health conditions his house's interior and exterior were in bad shape. Valerie found us the perfect contractors to make my father's house presentable to sell. The price we received was far better than we had hoped. Her expertise helped immensely throughout the whole process, from her recommendations, to marketing my father's home, and finally the close of escrow.


Families in Transition

My mom passed away earlier this year. My 84 year old dad chose to sell their home and move out of state to an independent senior community near me. Valerie took care of all the details. She helped him find someone to organize an estate sale, handle repairs for the buyer, and even empty the house after his move. By phone with my dad in Oregon, she covered all of his needs. We are very pleased with Valerie, her professionalism and caring ways. She went over and above what was needed. Thank you Valerie!

Client's experience in moving her senior father.

Father moved to memory care housing and you wouldn't believe what the realtor did.

Ingram Family

I was in need of an agent to sell my father’s house and Valerie was recommended by a friend. My father has dementia and now lives in an assisted living facility. Due to his age and health conditions, his house’s interior and exterior were in bad shape. Valerie found us the perfect contractors to work on getting my father’s house presentable to sell. His house was so nice we hated to sell it. We received an offer before the house went on the MLS because Valerie marketed the house early. The price we received was better than we had hoped at the start of this process. Her expertise helped immensely throughout the whole process, from her recommendations to marketing my father’s home, and finally the close of escrow. I highly recommend Valerie Upham.

Patrick & Jennifer

Valerie’s advice about what to do to prepare our home for sale paid off far beyond our expectations. Not only was she spot on about the results, but her advice also netted me $20,000 more than I had hoped to get for the sale. Her knowledge and professional advice every step of the way was invaluable.

Jason & Lisa T.

My mom passed away. My 84-year-old dad had to sell their home and he had to move out of state to Oregon. Valerie was his Realtor®. She took care of all the details even helping him find someone to have an estate sale for him, all the repairs, and anything that the buyer requested. We are very pleased with Valerie, her professionalism, and her caring personality. She went over and above what she needed to do. Thank You, Valerie.

Corder R. & Family

I needed a fast sale of my mother's home and Valerie met with me, suggested several options, immediately contacted potential buyers, and I had an offer in 24 hours that's fast. Valerie is personable, ethical, and well connected. When I needed to immediately clear out the house of contents, Valerie provided resources. When I needed an attorney, she provided a valuable referral that I would not have found on my own. Valerie is very caring, responsive, and a joy to work and I would welcome the opportunity to work with her again.

Dan & Yvonne

I needed to sell my dad’s house from about 460 miles away and was very worried about how it would all get done. The house needed paint, repairs, windows, new carpet, landscaping, staging, and termite work and Valerie handled everything long distance to get the house ready to be listed. She ended up making the house look better than it’s ever looked. She not only performed this huge feat in record time but miraculously got as a final offer 50k over the listing price. We got 12 offers in the first weekend, in this unstable economic period. I can’t say enough good things about what a terrific person, friend, and agent Valerie Upham has been.

The Easton Family

We would like to recognize the opportunity that we had working with Valerie Upham for the selling of our home and the purchase of our dream home. She demonstrated in every single step of the process not only care but also a tremendous knowledge and she gave us direction in two complex transactions. It was through her professionalism and strong determination that the sale of our house in Vista was possible, a house that at the beginning we thought was going to be easy and fast, but the reality showed a completely different scenario due to neighborhood issues, and through each challenge, Valerie made it possible. And on the other side was the purchase of our dream home which wasn’t easy to acquire because it was a short sale, but trusting Valerie throughout the process made it all possible. Thank you, Valerie, for all your input in our business and you’re your always rewarding personality.


We are pleased to recommend Valerie Upham. After considering several Realtors®, we hired Valerie based on her very good reputation and expertise as well as her affiliation with a respected realty company. Valerie was easy to work with as we prepared to sell our home for over 50 years. She gave her professional opinion on everything from the pricing to which upgrades to do to how to stage the house to appeal to today's buyers. She knew our neighborhood well, and had good vendors to recommend, but was also open to using the experts we've used in our home in years prior. Valerie was proactive in marketing our home in traditional ways such as MLS listings and Realtor® caravans, but also through ads in upscale publications and even by creating an open house party or event for the community. She made selling our home a better experience by being a good communicator, making herself available, providing professional opinions based on years of experience, and staying on top of every step of the process. We recommend Valerie to anyone looking for a Realtor®.

Gabriela & Bill

I’ve bought and sold several homes in my life and I have never worked with anyone as amazing as Valerie. It was one of the most unexpected thrills to see her create her magic in front of my eyes. I wish I owned more property, so I could work with Valerie again. She’s a Gem.

Work With The Valerie Upham Team

Valerie and her team have assisted hundreds of clients to reach their real estate goals. With fierce negotiation skills and extensive knowledge of the San Diego real estate market, they demonstrate a solid proficiency in handling every stage of the process.
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