Meet Dina Karousos: Restaurant owner, Realtor, mother of 4

Dina Karousos
Prudential Prime Properties Dina Karousos Prudential Prime Properties

Dina Karousos
Prudential Prime Properties

Backstory: “I was born and raised in Smithfield, and from the time I was about 4 years old we summered in Narragansett, at Bonnet Shores. I graduated from Mt. Saint Charles, and then URI, majoring in child psychology.”

Former careers: “I worked in my family’s computer software business for a couple of years after college. I had met my husband Ted around graduation, and moved to Aquidneck Island around the same time. The commute was a bit much, so I left and started working for Ted’s family, in the restaurant business. I was working at Sea Fare’s American Café, in the Brick Market Place. They also owned the Sea Fare Inn, in Portsmouth. The Café closed in 2005, and that same year, wanting to offer a fun, family and kid-centered dining option, Ted and I opened the Blue Plate Diner in Middletown.”

Family: “Ted and I married in 1996 and had four children: George, Alex, Zachary and Sophia.”

Real estate: “I have been in real estate for almost five years, and it has been my full-time job since my youngest child started school. I had bought and sold commercial properties in the past, for investment purposes, so it has always been an interest of mine. And that experience made the test a lot easier! I really enjoy the process, whether it’s commercial or residential, a $100,000 starter home or $1 million-plus property. But helping to get a young couple into their first home is probably my favorite part of the job. With my psychology background, I have always been interested in people, and interested in understanding their needs. I really care for my clients and am committed to their goals, and not just meeting, but also exceeding their expectations. It helps that I have a very strong work ethic.”

Agency: “I’m with Prudential Prime Properties on Bellevue Avenue in Newport, but our reach is well beyond Aquidneck Island. I’ve had listings — and can find my way around — virtually every town in Rhode Island!”

When not working: “I have almost no free time, but when I do, I love tennis, and I love to travel. With four kids, we are usually limited to road trips in the Suburban, but we want to get to Greece soon. Ted’s extended family lives in a town on the coast, about 15 minutes from Athens and near the port that serves the Cyclades Islands. We would also like to go to China.”

The market: “We are seeing a change right now, at all price points. But I still don’t think the message is getting out there about how incredible the interest rates are right now, and how much more affordable property becomes when you can lock in for 30 years at 4%. At the same time, prices are still low, but sellers are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and rejecting the lowball offers. It’s creating a strange dynamic where the seller is not overjoyed with the price he is getting, and the buyer doesn’t feel like he got the deal of the century. But it’s more balanced.”

Where a restaurant owner eats at night: “As a busy mom of four, I try to get in as many home cooked meals as possible, but we do love a treat out from time to time at local restaurants. But Ted and I both cook at home!”

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