A local Livermore Real Estate Agent, specializing in selling ranch and farm property throughout California. He presently raises cattle in Livermore, CA. If you are looking for a place to raise horses, or to just spread out a little, call me at: (925) 455-5049
Henry Bettencourt was born in a home that is now on the Round Hill Country Club property in Danville. “My dad, John, leased and worked the ranch land,” he recounts. Then theDepression hit and he went out of business. He got a job as a gardener at Diablo Country Club, then went into trucking. He hauled grain to warehouses in Livermore and other areas.”
Bettencourt smiles when he talks about his own background. “I went into the service when I was 18. When I got out I worked hay balers around here and then went down to Los Banos. When I came back to the valley, I thought I would try farming.” He laughs, “Have you ever tried to farm when there is 13 ½ of rain each year?”
Watching The Valley Grow
Bettencourt decided to do something else. “In 1951 I got my real estate license and went to work for Harlan Gelderman.” Gelderman owned a real estate brokerage and was a large landowner in the San Ramon area. “When I went to work for him, there were only four homes in Round Hill Country Club. Those were the days when contracts for selling a house were one page long.”
Henry worked for Gelderman for 28 years, and then decided he wanted to do something else – to sell commercial property, rather than residential. Gelderman balked, so Bettencourt quit. “Pretty soon, I got a call from Harlan asking me to come back.”
Gelderman had planned to build a separate office onto the existing office for commercial sales, but died suddenly at age 56 before it was accomplished. So, Bettencourt decided to branch out on his own and sell real estate in Livermore, specializing in ranches.
Setback and Recovery
In 1983, Bettencourt’s world took a crash when Henry was hospitalized with extreme complications from diverticulitis that almost took his life. His illness and recuperation took one year. In the meantime, his wife Ellen, whom he had married in 1974, had left her job as executive assistant to Alameda County Don Excel, obtained her real estate license, and was managing the business.
Henry recovered, Ellen received her real estate broker’s license in 1986, and the business moved ahead. Then came the late 80’s and early 90’s when the market for homes and land dried up. Business was tough, but the Bettencourts hung on. In the mid 90’s the market turned around and has been going strong ever since.