Century-old real estate company looks back at ever changing market

Tulare and Fresno Counties' oldest family-owned real estate company is celebrating a huge milestone.

Newton and Sons Real Estate in the south Valley have been in business for a century.

Deborah Newton Johnston or Debbie, has been part of that business for 42 of those years.

"Real estate is always a really good investment and as Will Rogers said, buy land, they are not making any more of it," she said.

They have been helping people buy homes since 1918, Debbie's Grandfather started it all in Dinuba and eventually, they expanded into Reedley where Debbie works as a broker.

As you can imagine, they've seen a lot of changes over the years.

"In my grandfather's day, your word was your bond and most deals were sealed with a handshake and then maybe followed up with a few lines on a one-page contract," Debbie said.

Then came two pages, then a few more and fast forward to today where contracts are about 40 pages long. Technology has also changed the game.

"There were no fax machines, there were no computers, so everything goes at a quicker pace now," she said.

Debbie said even though the market has fluctuated over the years, prices have always increased. Today, a home will cost you 25 times as much as it did in the 1900s.

"Back then my dad said that they could build a home for $10 a square foot, $10 dollars, including the lot," she said.

According to Debbie, the market was booming between 2005 and 2006, then it fell and continued dropping until 2012.

At the moment, the market is looking good and she sees it staying strong unless interest rates go up.
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