About Us

Your House Academy offers a complete real estate education curriculum including Illinois real estate broker pre and post-license courses, managing broker pre-license courses, leasing agent pre-license course and continuing education courses: plus a complete array of study guides and testing materials.

Through our Innovative Flexible Learning program, a student seeking an Illinois real estate license can complete the required 75-hour course in a home-study format enhanced by workshop lectures. We have several workshop locations throughout Chicago's north and western suburbs.  The remaining 15-hour pre-license course is offered in the mandatory classroom setting.

As an Illinois Real Estate school, we want to offer more than just real estate license courses, so we've prepared a series of articles on preparing for the Illinois real estate license exam as well as information on a career in real estate.  You'll find them and more on our Resources page.

If you have questions or need advice, please contact Vince DePaul or Mike Fair, Directors ... 


Your House Academy
181 S. Bloomingdale Rd., Suite 204
Bloomingdale, IL  60108

630-307-3493 or by Email


Instructor Bios

Vince DePaul Photo

Vince DePaul,
Director, Real Estate Instructor

Vince DePaul is Director of the Your House Academy.  Vince began his real estate career in 1976 and is a real estate broker and a licensed real estate and continuing education instructor.  He has taught real estate at College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and Oakton Community College in Des Plaines, Illinois for several decades.  For ten years he produced and hosted a weekly, live call-in radio broadcast in Chicago called “Your House” where he was known as “Mr. Real Estate”.  [More about Vince]

Mike Fair,
Director, Real Estate Instructor

Mike Fair is the Director and President of the recently merged Illinois Academy of Real Estate and Your House Academy.  Mike has developed and instructed real estate courses since 1984 and has helped thousands of students pass their real estate exams.

Mike joined the real estate business in 1974 and his experience includes: new home construction, real estate sales, property management, real estate office management, financing, and education.  Mike has served as content advisor for Dearborn Financial Publishing, Hondros College and Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), Illinois’ exam provider.

He is a member of the National Association of Realtors®, the Illinois Association of Realtors®, the Real Estate Educator’s Association, and the Illinois Association of Real Estate Educators.

Mike is happily married his wife Laurie and has five adult children and five grandchildren.  His students enjoy and appreciate Mike’s intelligent, gentle, no nonsense approach to teaching.

Lee Baker
Real Estate Instructor

Lee Baker began his real estate career in 1992, after retiring from the United States Army. He started at Hillside Realty and then moved to Elite Realty. He received his broker’s license in 1994 and started teaching with Illinois Academy of Real Estate/Your House Real Estate Academy in 1999 and has been with them ever since. Lee has a large family which keeps him busy, including his wife, three daughters and nine grand children and 15 great grand children. Lee is also very active in his church.

Debbie Buckrucker
Real Estate Instructor

Debbie is an accomplished real estate and mortgage professional providing sales, marketing and training services for more than 20 years. She is a licensed Illinois Realtor and continuing education instructor. Debbie also spent 13 years in the mortgage industry providing loan origination and servicing products and solutions to mortgage lenders nationwide. As an expert in broker price opinions, she has earned the BPOR and C-Reps designations. She is an instructor for NAR’s BPOR, SFR, SRES and RPR courses in addition to teaching real estate pre-license workshops.

Paula Calzolari Photo

Paula Calzolari,
Real Estate Instructor

Paula Calzolari is a Real Estate Broker and has been a workshop leader with Your House Academy since 2001.  Paula skillfully uses her experiences in real estate sales, new construction sales, mortgage origination, and as a landlord/property owner to share memorable and comedic stories with her students.  Paula creates a casual and fun atmosphere in her pre-license workshops.  In fact, when Paula is not selling homes or teaching, she can be found performing limited engagements at Second City in Chicago.

Rob Corsello 
Work Shop Leader

Rob began his real estate career in 2002 and has joined the ranks of his companies' top agents. One of Rob’s proudest achievements is his 6 year service in the United States Marine Corps. His communication skills not only make him an award winning agent but an excellent teacher as well. Rob’s students appreciate and enjoy his friendly and professional teaching style and often encourage their friends and family to join Rob's classes.

Chad Hayward
Real Estate Instructor

Chad is an Illinois attorney practicing law since 2003 with a primary focus in real estate and bankruptcy law. Prior to attending undergraduate school at Western Michigan University, Chad served in the United States Marine Corps. He has been operating his own law firm since graduating from John Marshall Law School in 2003 and now employees two other attorneys. Chad has presented continuing legal educations courses to other attorneys and is a licensed real estate instructor.

Jill Insco Photo

Jill Insco,
Real Estate Instructor

Jill Insco earned her Business Administration Degree from National Louis University and began her real estate career in 1975.  She has enjoyed an outstanding professional career as a Realtor and an successful Managing Broker.  Jill is a licensed instructor and has been teaching pre-license and broker classes since 1997.  Students continually rate her overall performance a "10" and appreciate her ability to "stay on track."  Her reviews are excellent and to her credit ... "Her students pass the state exam!"

Tony Lamia
Workshop Leader

Tony has been a real estate broker and instructor since 1981. He has also been teaching business and accounting classes at Rock Valley College since 2002. Tony has numerous years of experience in real estate appraisal, management and development. In addition to his real estate and teaching experience Tony is also a licensed member of the Illinois Bar Association and has served in the U.S. Navy.

Michael Lavorato
Workshop Leader

Mike is a veteran agent in the Chicago area specializing in luxury real estate. He has consistently been one of the Chicago area’s Top Producers. He has been teaching real estate classes for over 7 years. He is a recognized professional in sales, project management, client relations and public speaking including appearances on ABC talk radio. He also has past experience in private financial service banking. Mike is a graduate of DePaul University and lives in western suburbs with my wife, daughter and their yellow lab.

 

Lori Linkimer Photo

Lori Linkimer,
Workshop Leader

Lori Linkimer is the managing broker of the Prudential Starck Realtors St. Charles office.  She has been recognized as a top sales producer, and an accomplished sales trainer.  Prior to starting her real estate career in 2000, Lori earned a Master of Education degree from Roosevelt University and has 24 years of classroom teaching experience.  Lori prides herself at consistently staying abreast of new information in the real estate field with continuing education classes and training seminars.

Cheryl McDonald
Real Estate Instructor

Cheryl has trained and coached thousands of brokers since 2003.  Cheryl began her career in real estate at Baird & Warner as a corporate sales trainer, then took a position in the National Sales Division at American Invesco and then transitioned into broker management with Dream Town Realty. After ten successful years in the real estate industry, Cheryl joined Keller Williams as a Productivity Coach and then transitioned into her current role as Director of training where she assists agents in creating their online presence and teaches pre-licensing and continuing education classes.  Cheryl has a Master's degree in Human Performance and Training .

Jennifer Mark Photo

Jennifer Mark,
Real Estate Instructor

Jennifer Mark is an outstanding Real Estate Broker and workshop leader. Before starting her real estate career, Jennifer received her Master of Business Administration from Northern Illinois University and received Bachelor degrees in Business Finance and Business & Economics from Benedictine University.  Jennifer's students appreciate her real world examples and value her knowledge of the topics and her positive attitude in her classroom.

Bill O'Donnell Photo

Bill O'Donnell,
Real Estate Instructor

Bill O’Donnell is one of our most experienced instructors with over 17 years in real estate sales and 10 years as a managing broker.  Bill is a Graduate of the Realtor® Institute (GRI) and has served on the Board of Directors of the National, State and Local Realtor® Associations.  He also served on the Board of Directors of the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois (MLSNI).  Bill teaches broker pre-license courses and enjoys one of the highest first time exam passing rates in the state.  He's also a career counselor and personal mentor for new and experienced agents.  Find out more ...

Jean Steffens
Real Estate Instructor

Jean Steffens began her career in real estate in 1998 and has been a successful residential real estate broker serving clients in the northwest suburban area.  Jean has a managing broker license and is affiliated with Brokercity, Inc. in West Dundee which is comprised of highly seasoned and successful long-time agents.  Jean has been an instructor with Your House Real Estate Academy since 2013 and has professional experience in public speaking and seminar production.  Prior to real estate, Jean earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications and Business from Northwestern University and was a public relations and marketing consultant for many years.  She is also a certified teacher/educator, tutor, and has earned a Master of Educations degree from Quincy University.

Clayton Waite Photo

Clayton Waite,
Real Estate Instructor

Clayton Waite began his award winning real estate career in 1987 and has loved it ever since.  He served as a Marine Corp Sergeant and graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in Education, English and Public Speaking.  Clayton taught as a Graduate Teaching Assistant, high school teacher and a County Public School Speech Therapist for several years.  As a licensed real estate instructor since 2000, his students continually remark about his teaching skills, sense of humor and his ability to make a tough subject easy to understand.

Carol Weinert Photo

Carol Weinert,
Workshop Leader

Carol Weinert is a wonderful example of a successful, accomplished Realtor.  She started her real estate career in 1969 and holds a number of professional designations including GRI-Graduate of Realtors Institute, CRS-Certified Residential Specialist, CRB-Certified Real Estate Broker Manager and RNMI-Member of the Realtors National Marketing Institute.  She served as President of the Fox Valley Board of Realtors and is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Club.  As a real estate educator, Carol's students appreciate her experience and extraordinary communication skills.

Mary Ellen Young
Real Estate Instructor

Mary Ellen has over 20 years of real estate experience as a Broker and a Managing Broker. She has trained over 200 brokers to successfully sell residential real estate.  Training is her specialty

 

Not Pictured...

Colleen Basinski,
Workshop Leader

Randy Bray,
Workshop Leader

Bud Busceni,
Real Estate Instructor

Patrick Cal,
Real Estate Instructor

Steve Johnstone,
Real Estate Instructor

Ed Kettley Jr.,
Real Estate Instructor

Rita Liberatore,
Workshop Leader

Brian Phillips,
Workshop Leader

Mike Popowcer,
Workshop Leader

Tigi Taso,
Real Estate Instructor

Our Office Staff

 Vince DePaul Photo Vince DePaul,
Director,
Real Estate Instructor
 Mike Fair Mike Fair
Director,
Real Estate Instructor
Roxanne Vertnik 

Roxanne Vertnik
Student Relations Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Plus:

Brian Little,
General Manager, Assistant Director

Paulette DePaul,
Chief Financial Officer

Michele Taylor,
Marketing Director

Claudia Ponce,
Registrar

Irene Stangone,
Inventory Control

Why Real Estate

Why Enter the Real Estate Field?
The real estate business is filled with many exciting opportunities. It gives you the opportunity to help others, to enjoy freedom and independence, to use your personal strengths, and to obtain financial security. Read More

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Locations

Flexible Learning classes and workshops are regularly scheduled in locations near you including ... Chicago, Bloomingdale, Schaumburg, Naperville and more.
Click to view all locations & directions.

Class & Workshop Schedules
Your House Real Estate Academy,
Illinois State-Approved
90-Hour Broker Pre-license Course
Find Out More