That’s the entrance to my current home, it’s the 6th one I bought in an 8 year period. I bought this one after finding it on the Internet. Priced below market value, it was my chance to move to this city.
I bought the house right after the agent open house. When a home is priced that much below market value, all you get is about an hour to make a decision. At the time I thought I’d be in this house less than a year until I found my “real” home.
Four years later (the longest I’ve lived in any house) I’m still here, too busy staging my clients homes to move myself.
All that moving around is partly how I got into Home Staging as a career. I had bought, decorated and sold so many houses and always made money as long as I stuck to my formula of buying the ugliest (but structurally sound) house in the best location. Then I’d do all the cosmetic stuff… painting, fixing lighting, tearing up old carpets, new hardware on all the cabinets, window treatments and lastly, VERY careful placement of furniture accessories and art, and NO clutter.
This house looked completely different before even from the street. It had the ugliest storm door and a solid one behind it that let in no light. I replaced the address sign too, with one of my own design.
When the last house I sold went up in value $30,000 after I only owned it for 6 weeks (and sold it in a dead market), the penny really dropped for me and I realized I absolutely had a talent for decorating houses to sell for top dollar. It was then that I decided to offer my staging services to others. In the last four years I’ve staged hundreds of homes and clients have made anywhere from $10,000 profit to a high of $100,000 profit on my services!
Single women bought $550 billion worth of homes in only 3 years
All the newspapers have been making a big deal in the last couple of weeks about “Unmarried Women Buying Homes” as the fastest growing demographic, increasing their share of home buyers by 50% in 8 years.
I’m really pleased that other women are taking charge of their lives and finances in this way. It’s pretty hard to build your personal net worth without owning your own property.
According to Harvard University researcher, Rachel Bogardus Drew, the value of single women’s home purchases over a three year period totalled $550 billion!
Of course this trend will continue, considering the divorce rate and that we live longer than men by an average of 7 years. With so many women buying homes, this also bodes well for us as home stagers. When single female homeowners are ready to sell, they don’t have to convince their husbands to invest in our services. They can decide for themselves!
Besides women know that a home that shows well will be more appealing to buyers, after all, they make most of the home buying purchase decisions, even when they are part of a couple.
I’m always on the lookout for my next well-located and solid house that shows badly to buy. With proper staging, you can really make money at this, even in a down market.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva
President, Six Elements Inc.
Home staging expert Debra Gould, also known as The Staging Diva is president of home staging firm Six Elements Inc. and has been featured on HGTV, GlobalTV, CityTV, CNNMoney, MoneySense, Entrepreneur Magazine, Reader’s Digest, Woman’s Day and more. She has staged hundreds of homes in the $190,000 to $1.5 million price range and taught close to 300 women all over the US, Canada, and in Wales, Australia and South Africa to start and grow their own home staging businesses.