Wanda McIlvaine

After suffering the loss of her 16 year-old daughter in a tragic car accident in 1996, Wanda took a new look at life over the next couple of years and realized… Life is what you make of it. She found happiness and success in a second career as a real estate agent, broker and owner of a real estate firm.

As comptroller of her family’s pool business (Budd’s Pools) for decades, she found the job rewarding but it did not provide the day to day people interaction she desired. She wanted to be with people, help people, help them fulfill their dreams and see them smile. After considering so many potential vocations to fill this desire, she concluded no other business could do that except the real estate brokerage business.

So, off to THE Real Estate School. She obtained her salesperson license in 1999 (and later her broker’s license). She made a deal with her husband, a seasoned real estate broker/owner who said, “do well your first year in real estate and I will consider opening a real estate office with you.” She did VERY well that first year and they opened that real estate company.

Budd Realty, Inc. was born in the year 2000 in a little office located in historic Woodbury. In 2008 they built a larger office and relocated to Deptford. After 17 years of tremendous success and growth, Wanda and her husband became The Budd Group, a team of highly skilled people who opted to affiliate themselves with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Fox & Roach REALTORS®.

The Real Estate School stuck with her and gave her the confidence to become an agent. The stories, comradery and sociability the students and instructors shared were priceless. Many, many fond memories come from those classes.

While Wanda prefers the residential side of real estate, The Budd Group does everything from residential, land, and commercial sales to rentals and property management.

In the past twenty years, Wanda has listed and sold nearly 800 homes. She is excited to keep learning and loves communicating with her clients and being solution oriented. “When someone is looking to buy the greatest asset they will own, they want you to be excited about it, too,” she says. “My job is to take the stress away from buyers and sellers and make it a joyful experience!”

Wanda believes that success is achieving what you hoped for and loving what you do. She says, “real estate has brought me the happiness I sought twenty years ago after tragedy in my life redirected me to a second career.”

Advice from Wanda:

“Attitude is everything. Don’t think selling real estate is fast money. Stick with it. Learn the business. Seek out good mentors. And, like I learned at The Real Estate School, have 3 or 4 transactions pending settlement at all times.”


John M
Magnolia, New Jersey
September 2018 Graduate

Kelby and Michelle were amazing! To be able to fit so much information into the class in two short weeks was incredible! I highly recommend this class and am looking forward to my new career!”

Read More
James S
Marlton, New Jersey
June 2019 Graduate

Kelby was a pleasure to learn from! She was very approachable and professional. This class had very engaging and interesting content and there was always something new to learn. I will highly recommend to others!

Read More
Kelicia P
Sewell, New Jersey
July 2019 Graduate

THANK YOU FOR MICHELLE! What a fantastic educator; she kept me engaged and interested in the class. She valued my study habits and was very encouraging along the way.

Read More
Kathy D
Blackwood, New Jersey
December 2017 Graduate

What a great experience! Kelby and Michelle know how to teach so that everyone can learn and become great realtors. They teach you exactly what you need to know to have a solid base, take the state test and to start your new career on the right foot! You are…

Read More
Edward G
Camden, New Jersey
September 2019 Graduate

The Real Estate School is the best! And they also have the Best Teachers!

Read More
Lizzie B
Mount Laurel, New Jersey
August 2019 Graduate

I would definitely recommend this course. The instructors are engaging with tons of knowledge.

Read More