Halden Zimmermann is generally regarded as being one of the perspicacious and incisive commentators and practitioners currently operating in the field of business and industry. Now Vice-President and General Manager of Leica Microsystems, Halden amply demonstrates the rewards of hard work, ambition and determination coupled with an unquenchable thirst to realize the potentials of any given company through innovation and improvement. He is also the youngest student to be accepted at the prestigious Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, where he studied for his MBA while employed at ITTAutomative before relocating to Paris, France where he led the transition of Alcan by adopting a commercial organizational framework utilizing a Value-Based, Dynamic Function, which is now emplaced throughout Alcan’s presence in five continents. He is a first generation American from New York and grew up in Washingtonville, where the family moved into a townhouse when he was a child – primarily because growing up in a New York City condo was not considered suitable for a child.
Halden Zimmermann‘s first house was purchased when he was just 22 years of age. He believed at the time that it was the best investment he could possibly make and worked, “a crazy amount of hours,” to be able to afford the down payment. Looking back, he realizes that all the hard work was definitely worth it as he sold the property after 6 years for a great deal more than he had originally paid for it. The house itself was located to all the necessary amenities being close to the downtown area. Of especial importance was its proximity to the university where he was then studying for his Masters degree. He recalls that the house had vaulted ceilings and great finishes and was a marvellous place to entertain – particularly during the summer months. An additional advantage was the the lack of maintenance. “The HOA managed cleaning, snow removal and repairs (which) was excellent because you could have your weekends to yourself and not have to work on the house or mow the lawn.”
Halden believes that the most important advice he would give to any first time buyer is “location, location, location.” In fact, he stresses that although it is of course important to buy a house you love, the location is infinitely more important than the features or the look of the home. “The first thing to really understand is to have the best location and neighborhood. Do not underestimate the value of sweat equity. Many of the improvements can be made to increase the value of the home with very small investments. It may be better to buy the home as it is and then add improvements inside and out on your own.”
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