Meet the Team
Columbia County Real Estate Specialists is a team of experienced licensed real estate agents who were born and raised in the Hudson Valley area. Our team shares a common vision of serving each and every client’s interests and goals without compromise, and a mission of delivering the highest level of customer service to the Columbia County real estate community.
Over the years, we have witnessed Columbia County’s transformation from a farming community into a popular destination for second home buyers — but quietly doing so without sacrificing the rural country charm that makes it such a special place to live. We believe you will find Columbia County to be as delightful a place to live as we do. Let our local knowledge and expertise make the difference in your search for the ideal country home, land parcel, farm or estate in the part of the world we proudly call home.
- Accredited Buyer Representative designation
- Member of the New York State Association of Realtors®
- Member of the Columbia-Greene Board of Realtors®
Margaret Bower Avenia
Margaret Bower Avenia is the Principal Broker of Columbia County Real Estate Specialists. Whether you are in the market to buy or sell real estate in Columbia County, or would just like information or advice about investing in Columbia County real estate, Margaret is available to help. Margaret has Columbia County real estate in her blood. In 1961 her grandfather, George H. Beach, started his first real estate company in Spencertown New York. In 2002 Margaret went to work for her grandfather, learning the day to day operations of the business and the hard work it takes to be successful. Today, Margaret proudly follows in her grandfather’s footsteps specializing in the full range of services to buyers, sellers, renters and investors. As her grandfather often told her, the key to being successful is integrity, honesty, and hard work. Whatever your real Estate needs, feel free to call Margaret at (800) 290-4235 or email Margaret Bower Avenia.
If you are looking for a realtor to help you buy or sell a home, I highly recommend Margaret. This past Spring my daughters & I were planning to move from NC to Columbia County, when I called about a house Margaret had listed. Our contact over the next few days let me know she was the realtor I wanted to deal with. Margaret quickly returned my calls, and always went out of her way to find the information I asked for, plus anything else I might find helpful. I feel very confident that she is honest and hardworking. Over the weeks it took to get to closing, she worked hard making sure everything was completed on time. I’m happy to say, that our house already feels like home and Margaret has quickly become a good friend.Sincerely, T. Sanders, Copake NY
John Avenia is co-owner of Columbia County Real Estate Specialists, LLC and Margaret’s husband. John is an Associate Broker with more than fifteen years of experience assisting people buy and sell real estate in Columbia County NY. John has earned the prestigious designation of an Accredited Buyer’s Representative and specializes in helping people from outside the area find and acquire the country home of their dreams.
John was born and raised in Hillsdale NY. His family owned and operated the Hillsdale Supermarket, which is how became so well grounded in the local community. John had the good fortune to attend Taconic Hills, graduate with a B.S. degree from Clarkson University and earn an MBA from the University of California Berkeley. Today John, Margaret and their daughter Emma are happy to make Columbia County their home. Contact John by email or call (800) 290-4235 any time he can be of assistance.
John's knowledge and expertise were invaluable to me in the process of finding and buying a house in Columbia County. As a first time home buyer and relative stranger to the area, I relied on John not only to show me the region, but also to help me make intelligent decisions regarding specific properties. We spent some long days looking and eventually found the perfect house for me. His guidance and assistance continued throughout the entire process — from making an offer all the way to the final closing and beyond. I simply could not have done this without him.Donald W., Stockport, NY
Sarah Scholz Smith
Sara Scholz Smith is an Associate Broker with Columbia County Real Estate Specialists. Sara is a long time resident of Columbia County who takes great pride in raising her family in a part of the world that offers so much natural beauty and rural charm. As a real estate agent, she brings over 15 years of experience in delivering the best possible service for her customers and clients. Sara has worked as a salesperson with several local real estate agencies in Columbia County and recently her own agency. Outside demands necessitated that Sara scale back, so she closed her office and joined the team at Columbia County Real Estate Specialists. Sara is a very friendly person and knowledgeable agent who works extremely hard for her clients.
Contact Sarah Scholz Smith any time she can be of assistance.
Sarah Scholz Smith's local knowledge and professional expertise were invaluable to me in the process of finding and buying my home in Columbia County. She worked diligently every step of the way and did not rest until the closing was complete. I could not have been happier with an agent and actually enjoyed the experience of working with Sara.George T, Hillsdale, NY