Designer of the Month: Jessica Lagrange

June is almost over, but before we say goodbye let’s not forget this month’s featured interior designer, Jessica Lagrange. As an up-and-coming star in the world of home decor, Lagrange has over 30 years of experience under her belt that has made her one of the most demanded designers among the Chicago elite.

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Growing up in a family of artists (her mother was a professional model and her cousin an architect), Lagrange has been exposed to art at a young age. According to her interview on Zillow, she explains,

So much of what we do as designers is about fashion. It’s the starting point for a lot of interior work; colors and shapes work hand-in-hand, so it’s necessary to be aware of both. As a little girl, my mother always had interior and fashion magazines around the house, so it feels almost second nature to have that fascination and appreciation for beauty and form.

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A piece of art-deco glam by Lastrange, utilizing a bold color palette and lines.

Lagrange defines interior design as ‘livable art’, and her basic philosophy being the tiniest of details can affect space on a large scale. “It’s that moment when you pick the right bed linens or mixing bowl matching your kitchen tile that you’re able to really take a deep breath and appreciate the beauty of the grander vision”, she says.

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Lagrange also uses travel and other cultures to give her inspiration and new ideas. “This past year, I traveled to India and got to see all of the women in their saris with the vibrant colors and textures — that brought me outside of my box. I don’t tend to wear or use color personally, so I felt stirred to incorporate more exotic elements.”

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So what do you think of Jessica Lastrange’s designs? Check out the rest of her interview from Zillow Blogs here.

Thanks and enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

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Sharpsburg Market Insider

Hey everyone! It’s that time of the month for another edition of Market Insider! This week I’m featuring the lovely town of Sharpsburg, MD. If you happen to be buying or selling a home here, you might want to take a quick read at this!

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The number of active listings in Sharpsburg increased by 22.7% from the previous month. The percent of owner occupied properties in this area is 12.71% above the national average. The median listing price for Sharpsburg is $249,900.

Understand the difference between “listing prices” (what sellers are asking for) and “sold prices” (what buyers are willing to pay). By comparing these price trends, you’ll have a good idea of where the market is heading. The median listing and sold property prices are calculated based on the market activity each month. (Some sales are not immediately available from public records. As they become available, the data are updated.)

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Median household income in Sharpsburg is $64,646 with 65 households earning between $35,000 to $40,000 annually. Income levels are listed along the left side of the chart, and the number of households are displayed along the bottom.

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The Crime Risk Index compares the likelihood of different crimes happening within this community to the national average. The national average for each type of crime equals a score of 100. A score of 200 would represent twice the risk as the national average, and a score of 50 would represent half the risk.

37
Median Age
50%
Married
1,541
Number of Homes
518
Homes with Children

The above data was gathered from multiple sources and includes current listings, recent sales, and more. Whether you’re a buyer or seller, the knowledge you gain will help put you in control of your real estate transactions.

Homes for sale in Sharpsburg, MD

If you’d like to read more statistics on the current housing market in Falling Waters, visit my website here. You can find more information on it such as local schools, a list of establishments (categorized and searchable by map), and you can even compare areas/neighborhoods according to zip code. It can really provide you with a thorough insight so you have a better idea of the community you want to move into.

Enjoy the rest of the week, everyone!

Get Out!

That’s right! Get out of my blog!

Just kidding. But you should get out, and I mean outside! Now that summer is here, have a barbecue or go to the beach! If you simply don’t have the time, you can still enjoy the great outdoors this season from your very own porch! And while you’re at it, you might as well make it look great!

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

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Give your boring, wooden flooring a makeover and use colorful rugs. Bold patterns such as stripes help make a statement and will surely catch the eye of any passerby. Keep your palettes and patterns in check, as perfected in the picture above. The blues and greens are kept in check with the whites while the rest of the furniture remains simple but interesting by putting similar patterns on the throw pillows.

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Because summer is all about colors and bloom, using colored pots for your plants is a marriage in heaven that will surely light up your entire garden. You can also mix it up by using different patterns and sizes for your pots, or color coordinating the flowers with their containers.

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And if you’re up to the challenge, create an outdoor space and chill out in your garden. The picture above exemplifies the perfect backyard escape: Fun, colorful cushions that pop out amidst the greenery and accentuated with colorful lanterns and fabric for a simple but effective backdrop. All of this topped off with the arbor that serves as both wall and ceiling for you to experience a lush, breezy atmosphere in your own home. Now who wouldn’t want that?

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

Ready to get out yet? For more ideas on how to spice up your porch, feel free to check out the rest of the article from BHG.com here.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

7 Mistakes When Selling Your House

How’s everyone doing this week? Lately I’ve been focusing on articles for home buyers, so I thought I’d share this helpful article for all you home sellers out there.

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7 Mistakes to Avoid When Selling a House

1. Not Preparing the Home for Sale

Cleaning the house is the first step because nobody will buy a dirty house. Clean houses sell quicker and for more money. As impatient as you are to move on to the next phase of your life, it is vitally important to get the cleaning, painting, repairs and staging done before the house goes on the market.

2. Not Pricing the Home Realistically

The first few weeks that your house is in the local Multiple Listing Service database are known as the “honeymoon period.” This is the time when it will get the most traffic. All the traffic in the world, however, won’t compensate for a too-high price.

Buyers aren’t ignorant and neither are their real estate agents. They are well aware of current market values in the areas they are searching and will know that your home is overpriced. In the meantime, you’ve wasted the honeymoon period. By the time you lower the price, agents and buyers will think there is something wrong with the house.

3. Not Hiring a Real Estate Agent

Yes, you will pay a real estate fee when the home sells. The flip side to hiring an agent is going it alone. If this is your first time selling a home, that would be a huge mistake.

First, unless you are a lawyer, how will you know how to protect your interests during the process? How will you understand the contracts and which ones to use when? Then, consider the negotiating process. Without an agent to advise you or to negotiate for you, you may make costly mistakes.

4. Trying to Hide Problems

Full disclosure of everything you know about the property is not only the law, but it protects you as well. Home sellers are legally required to disclose anything that affects the home’s desirability or value. This doesn’t mean just the big stuff, but neighborhood nuisances such as the weekly parties the college kids next door hold or the yappy dog that keeps you up at night.

A buyer can sue you in a court of law when the defect is discovered if you didn’t disclose it, in writing.

Remember, you are only required to disclose issues that you know about. There is no need to hire an inspector to learn if the house has defects you don’t know about. That is the buyer’s responsibility.

5. Letting the Ducks Run Wild

Many first-time sellers are also purchasing another home. Trying to juggle two real estate transactions is challenging, and it’s easy to let some of the details fall through the cracks. When that happens, though, you risk derailing either – or even both – of the transactions.

Line up all the stray ducks early in the process. Get your financing for the new home under way, and respond to the lender’s requests in a timely fashion. Check your current mortgage for prepayment penalties. In the case of a short sale, determine if there is a second lender. This is important information for your real estate agent.

6. Being Inflexible

Buyers look at houses when it is convenient for them, not for you. Many look at homes after work or on weekends – busy times for most families. It’s important to try to accommodate showings, even if it’s inconvenient for you.

7. Not Checking With Your Homeowner’s Insurance Agent

There will hopefully be a lot of people coming through your house and wandering around the property. Find out if your insurance covers slips and falls or anything else that might happen to a buyer while touring your property.

Take the time to walk around the property to find any hazards that exist. Cover the pool during showings and remove pets.

With the right real estate agent you’ll avoid most of these mistakes, experience a smooth transaction, and soon be on the road to your new life.

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

To read more on avoiding common home selling mistakes, check out the rest of the article here.

Designing With Nature

Happy Friday, everyone! I think I’ve been bombarding everyone with statistical posts lately, so I think it’s time to splash some color again on this blog and feature some fresh, new home decor tips–and speaking of fresh, this week’s theme is all about nature. Whether it’s incorporating greens or being eco-friendly, bringing Mother Nature into your home will bring a sense of relaxation for you and your family.

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While green is a classic when it comes to earth themes, using white will help pop out your base color and give a cool, clean feel to your room. And just because it’s nature doesn’t automatically mean plants. Be a little different and incorporate the sea (that’s nature too!) with seashells, corals, or starfish decor.

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Greens and browns are a staple combination in earthy themes, but it doesn’t always have to come down to paints and patterns. You can also bring more life into the room with simple artwork, just like with the bird portrait in the room above.

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Nature doesn’t always mean all flowers and bloom. For those with subtler tastes, use wood as your central theme and bring beiges into your room. You can also be a little edgy at the same time and hang a twig or branch on your wall.

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Of course, what is nature without the greenery? But just because incorporating plant life is a given doesn’t mean you can just put a bunch of plants anywhere! Subtlety is key when handling greens, so make good use of them by bringing one simple centerpiece to make it stand out in the room, just like in the classy dining room above.

Homes for sale in Martinsburg, WV

For more nature-themed decor tips and ideas, feel free to check out the rest of the article from BHG.com here.

Feeling inspired yet? Get working and start revamping your home for the summer!

Have a great weekend, everyone!