No two journeys are the same. Still some follow a path marked by familiar footprints. Sometimes the forks taken are cloaked in ambiguity but for a lucky few, they are marked by simple truths, like “service,” “friendship” and “integrity.”
It was the perfect North Carolina summer night. In a colonial style home, two sets of sisters were being introduced for the first time. Emily and Sloane were spending their first night in Durham, NC after the long trip from San Francisco and they weren't quite sure what to think of this new place. That night, their parent’s REALTOR®, her husband, and two daughters visited to welcome the newest family to the neighborhood. There they stood, Emily and Sloane face to face with Meredith and Carrie. After a few short minutes of shy banter, the four girls jumped in the mini-van with a parent and headed off to complete the night with some ice cream. It was in that trip that the four girls knew that they would be best friends for a very long time.
With Emily remaining her best friend, Meredith White Howell understands what it means to be a real estate agent. "It's not just about finding someone a house. It's about helping make it a home and finding a life. My mom always told me that the job is not done when the keys get turned over. It's much more than that." Meredith’s mother, Debbie White, long one of the Triangle Area’s finest REALTORs, wasn’t her only influence in this direction. Her strong interest in home design was inherited in part from her father, Carlyle, who has built many of the most spectacular custom homes in the community. Nevertheless, a career in real estate was not a foregone conclusion. After graduating from Appalachian State with a degree in psychology she spent several years working in Architecture and filling her free time in another role defined by service, coaching. “I played and was captain of a Division I collegiate field hockey team. When I was offered the opportunities to coach at Jordan High School then Durham Academy and now Cape Fear Academy, I jumped at the chance. I continue to a lot through athletics that is very useful in Real Estate. One thing is that passion keeps you going, but preparation is what makes you successful.”
Meredith moved to the Wilmington area in 2008 to begin a new life with someone who shares those same values. Jason Howell, the pitching coach for UNCW’s baseball team asked Meredith to marry him in 2009 and they subsequently tied the knot at the Surf Club in Wrightsville Beach that November. “The beach has always been a love of mine, so when Jason was hired at UNCW, it was a no-brainer that the setting for the beginning of our life together would be here in Wrightsville Beach!” The couple now lives just across the bridge from the ocean in Landfall and is looking forward to raising their first child (expected arrival in March of 2011) in Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach.
Although Meredith has relocated from the Mother/Daughter team where she found her start in Real Estate, her mom’s influence is still a large part of how she conducts her business. “I still remember that summer night years ago when Carrie and I met Emily and Sloane as the moment that I realized that my Mom’s career was special and wonderful. That’s what I strive to continue and preserve.”