But did you know that Chuck has owned at least 60 cars in his lifetime? While attending San Diego High School in the 1960s, he owned four cars, including a 1950 Chevy, 1946 Ford sedan coupe, a 1950 Chevy coupe and a 1950 Oldsmobile 88 with a Rocket V-8 engine.
“My dad owned and managed car lots in Newport Beach, plus my grandfather worked in the auto business, and they were always driving new cars, so I caught the passion from them,” said Chuck.
Chuck currently owns a Porsche, Jaguar, Corvette and a Ford SUV, and is looking to buy a Ferrari to replace another Ferrari he recently sold.
In fact, it was a new Cadillac that caught Chuck’s interest about real estate as a career. It was 1972 and Chuck was age 27. After graduating from San Diego High in 1962 and attending San Diego City College, Chuck got a job working at a Sears store at the corner of Cleveland and University avenues in Hillcrest that was open for 33 years before it closed in 1986.
“I thought I was doing pretty well selling remodeling until a friend who sold real estate drove up in a brand-new Cadillac,” said Chuck. “That’s when I decided to switch professions. I joined Mission Hills Realty. We wore business suits and ties every day and only one woman worked in the office. The business has certainly changed since then.”
Chuck grew up in Long Beach. During World War II, his mom served as a block captain in their neighborhood. Every night she checked the nearby homes to make sure all lights were turned off and curtains drawn over fears that enemy submarines and ships patrolling the Pacific coastline would detect light that could be used as a target.
Chuck’s great-grandfather established a lumber company in 1841in Maine and lived in the town of Caribou, known in its history as a “jumping off” point for settlers who immigrated from Sweden in the 1870s. Chuck is a distant cousin of U.S. Senator Susan Collins of Maine.
Chuck’s other grandparents were longtime residents in San Diego County. His grandmother rode a stagecoach from San Diego to Ramona to marry his grandfather and raise a family there. The family still owns the acreage in Ramona which has a gemstone mine where garnet, quartz and tourmaline has been extracted.
Chuck attended an elementary school in Kensington with baseball player Graig Nettles, who played with the New York Yankee before joining the San Diego Padres during the ballclub’s 1984 World Series season. Another friend from elementary school, Bruce Hafer, grew up to became a contractor based in La Mesa. In 1999, Chuck helped designed it and in 2000 Bruce finished construction on the current Berkshire Hathaway building on Grossmont Summit Drive. The 13,000-square-foot building has 40 separate offices and about 100 desks.
In 2011, Chuck was coaxed out of retirement a year later to join Berkshire Hathaway Home Services California Properties. He lives in one of the 101 homes at Avocado Estates, a private, gated community in an unincorporated area of San Diego, just south of El Cajon. The community sits atop a hill and boasts expansive views of the El Cajon Valley and surrounding foothills.