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“He is passionate, creative, out of the box thinker, with a can-do attitude”

“We hired James and Intersect to build our website and on line presence for our real estate business. He is passionate, creative, out of the box thinker, with a can-do attitude!”

Alla Gershberg

“They got us into the exactly right property for us.”

“We lucked out meeting Daren and Randy at a new home buyer’s seminar. They explained the process and when we were finally ready to look seriously, we called them and asked them to be our buyers agents. It was the best decision we made! We told them what we were looking for and they targeted neighborhoods and properties in our price range. Our wish list was crazy for what we wanted to spend, but we managed to pull it off in the end. When we toured each property, they provided their honest assessment. Their eye for detail and ability to identify problems steered us away from shoddy flips and lurking problems. They negotiated hard and when we lost the bidding war on a house we liked, they provided encouragement and convinced us we would find the house for us. While we couldn’t see it at the time, they were right. When we did find the perfect place (and we did find it!), we were able to move quickly and put together the winning offer. They worked hard behind the scenes, sometimes very late into the night to put together offers quickly and accurately. They even helped us with financial documents to quickly get the financing secured. Even when we were traveling we worked with them to make sure we could submit offers quickly. Now that the sale is done, they continue to be helpful finding resources to make home ownership easier. Aside from their knowledge, research and understanding of the market, Randy and Daren are just great guys who we always enjoyed talking to and being around them. There’s so much more I can say about how much we enjoyed working with them and how they got us into the exactly right property for us. The bottom line is this: great agents, great guys, we were so lucky to have found them and I’d work with them again in a heartbeat!”

Candace Archer & Jenn Nichols

“They work hard at it. They made me feel completely at ease throughout the whole buying process.”

“I’m a pretty competitive person. I do Ironman competitions, plus a whole host of other races and fitness challenges. I work hard at it. Randy and Daren are the Iron-men of real estate. They work hard at it. They made me
feel completely at ease throughout the whole buying process. I was a first time home buyer and pretty nervous. But they seem to just have a way about them that put my mind at ease. But the best thing is just smart they work.
The strategy they implemented got me the home I wanted, and I went up against 6 other offers. I’m truly grateful. And so is Hannah, my 2 year old lab. We now live in my dream two bedroom condo in the heart of Bloomingdale!”

Jack Tisne

“Not only did James do a fantastic job for us we will always be thankful for the lesson he taught us.”

“James showed us how to let go of the part of the real estate business that was just taking up our time. By trusting his vision and putting his strong, extremely competent and creative talents to work for us, we finally learned to hire others who were better than us to do things that were using up our time. Not only did James do a fantastic job for us we will always be thankful for the lesson he taught us.”

Eric Weaver

“Thank you to all of the team”

“District Residential made our transition to finding the right tenants and property management easy and a welcoming experience. We know our home while being rented will be in good hands! Thank you to all of the team.”

Steven

“If you’re looking to buy or sell your home I highly recommend that you choose Molly Branson as your agent”

“If you’re looking to buy or sell your home I highly recommend that you choose Molly Branson as your agent. First, Molly is friendly and easy to work with. She always made time to answer our questions and was very clear about where we were in the process of selling our condo. Molly also did a great job showing our condo. She used everything from advertising on social media, phone calls with her network of agents, and two open houses. Our condo was on the market for two days and sold over list price. We plan to use her as an agent again and will definitely recommend her to our friends.”

Jason Trentacoste

“Thank you to all of the team.”

“The team made our transition to finding the right tenants and property management easy and a welcoming experience. We know our home while being rented will be in good hands! Thank you to all of the team.”

Steven and Beth Fabbri

“Randy and Daren are an incredible team!”

“Randy and Daren are an incredible team! They thoughtfully walked us through the listing process and staged our Capitol Hill home beautifully — and completed the sale in just five days! Now that we’re looking for a home, we’ve been impressed with their diligence, consideration, and honesty at every step of the process.”

David White

“Molly was patient and flexible, and stepped in when she needed to in order to make the transaction happen”

“Molly was patient and flexible, and stepped in when she needed to in order to make the transaction happen. She had great ideas which totally worked out, and was never upset or put out…even when we had to contact her with an emergency while she was on vacation.”

Vickie Drake

“At each step of the process, we never felt pressured”

“As first time homebuyers, we were intimidated by the market and unfamiliar with the process, but we love DC and were open to living in a variety of neighborhoods. We were looking for someone who would be patient while we learned the ropes and who would help us feel confident in a highly competitive market.

We found all that and more. They helped guide us through many properties around the District to more fully understand what we were looking for in a house and a neighborhood.

At each step of the process, we never felt pressured to make an offer or any other decision with which we were not completely comfortable.

They were able to educate and empower us with his knowledge of the market, and his engaging personality helped us thoroughly enjoy the experience from start to finish.

After looking for just about a month and putting in two offers, we were under contract for an amazing house in Petworth. We’re so thankful they were in our corner advocating for us every step of the way.”

Adam & Rebecca Evans

“We found all that and more with District Residential.”

“As first time homebuyers, we were intimidated by the market and unfamiliar with the process, but we love DC and were open to living in a variety of neighborhoods. We were looking for someone who would be patient while we learned the ropes and who would help us feel confident in a highly competitive market.
We found all that and more with them. They helped guide us through many properties around the District to more fully understand what we were looking for in a house and a neighborhood. At each step of the process, we never felt pressured to make an offer or any other decision with which we were not completely comfortable. They were able to educate and empower us with their knowledge of the market, and their engaging personalities helped us thoroughly enjoy the experience from start to finish. After looking for just about a month and putting in two offers, we were under contract for an amazing house in Petworth. We’re so thankful they were in our corner advocating for us every step of the way (including pushing back on settlement and personally climbing on the roof to show the seller that inspection items were not addressed correctly and made sure they were fixed!).”
Adam & Rebecca

“They were there every step of the way”

“District Residential made the journey of finding a perfect apartment seamless. Flexible, timely, agile, and all around a wonderful people to work with, their style of customer relationship had no time-limits — from the weekends calls to late evenings emails, while I was different time-zones, they were there every step of the way — consummate professionals who facilitated exactly what I was looking for in an apartment. I believe I’ve found my real estate broker as long as I’m in the DC area for the years to come.”

David

“James is a real go-getter with genius ideas!”

“James is a real go-getter with genius ideas! He has helped me advance my real estate business in numerous ways. He is always ready to jump in and help with anything from marketing to social media to prospecting and lead generation. He is a delight to work with – fun, smart, professional and did I say fun?”

Deborah Lopez

“He created some of the best marketing pieces I’ve seen in my 25 years”

“I worked with James for years as he provided marketing, design and social media services for our real estate brokerage and directly to our agents. He created some of the best marketing pieces I’ve seen in my 25 years in the business and added much value to our endeavors during our collaboration.”

Patrick Carlisle

“He’s fun to work with, and smart as a whip.”

“James did marketing work for some of my real estate development properties, and was consistently energetic, focused, and creative. He’s fun to work with, and smart as a whip. No hesitation giving him a strong recommendation.”

Joel M. Karr

“James’ mind works at another level from the rest of us humans”

“James’ mind works at another level from the rest of us humans. Because of his creativity, my sales material was unique, compelling and always impressive.”

Shelly Sutherland

“He has tried-and-true recommendations that he is more than willing to share”

“My husband and I worked with James to find our new home in DC. We were new to the market and had lots of different thoughts about what we were looking for. James was incredibly patient as we traveled from neighborhood to neighborhood, from free-standing houses with yards to condos with street parking! James continues to be very helpful with brainstorming renovation ideas, giving recommendations for contractors/painters/glass workers. He has tried-and-true recommendations that he is more than willing to share. During the negotiation and settlement process, James was 100% present the whole time, keeping us up-to-date and running every decision past us. He took the time to explain each aspect of the bidding process, each point on the contract, and every step of the settlement process. We never felt pressured to increase our number or establish an escalation clause before the offer was submitted. James has a fabulous understanding of the bidding process and was able to predict (I sweat he has a crystal ball) how the seller would respond to different bids, inspection reports, etc. My husband and I would wholeheartedly recommend James to anyone looking to buy in the DMV area. When we are ready to move to another place we will definitely be using James to help us sell and buy somewhere else. We cant wait to have him over for dinner in our new place! Thanks for everything, James!”

Erin P.B. Katz

“Randy and Daren are fantastic; they’ve exceeded my expectations and then some!”

“Randy and Daren are fantastic; they’ve exceeded my expectations and then some! They guided this first time homebuyer beautifully through the process. I felt that my concerns were their concerns; emails and phone calls were answered very quickly and I was never left wondering what was happening. Every step from online listings, viewings, finances, bid/offer letters, and plenty of things I would not know to ask. They are extremely patient, professional and made me feel like I was their only client! I do not have enough words to explain my gratitude for their help in finding my perfect “castle” condo!”

Irina Royter

“Daren and Randy always had thoughtful, fresh and creative proposals – truly impressed.”

“I listed my property on Riggs Place with Daren and Randy. They staged it, inside and out, and then marketed it with videos, social media, and who knows how many other ways. I was very impressed. But where I was most impressed were their skills in negotiating. I think far too many times today, people are afraid to think outside the box. Daren and Randy always had thoughtful, fresh and creative proposals – truly impressed.”

Jesse Hauer

“I’m grateful for his positive spirit, can-do attitude, creative genius and OCD-level work.”

“Being a real estate agent requires the ability to juggle many things at once. Agents need to focus on their clients’ needs, and should delegate what they can as soon as they can. I simply cannot provide great customer attention if I’m preoccupied with my website or social media. Enter James Kastner. James not only unburdened me but he took my website and social media sites and ran with them. His elegant and creative design propelled my site into something more than I hoped for. And social media? Forget about it! I’m all over the place – key in this short-attention-span society. James has given me what I feel is priceless: peace of mind. I’m grateful for his positive spirit, can-do attitude, creative genius and OCD-level work. It’s always perfect, error-free and on point. Thank you, James!”

Mary Macpherson

“Molly has been an outstanding Realtor throughout the whole process of helping me buy a new place.”

“Molly has been an outstanding Realtor throughout the whole process of helping me buy a new place. It was my first time buying and I had so many clueless questions but Molly made all of my questions important and addressed them immediately. The process of buying a place could be a little frustrating but she makes it all easy and fun and fast forward 5 months, I have a condo that I really like. She is patient and never pushy, this is very important because no one wants to be pushed and buy a place that they will end up not liking. I really had a great experience of buying a place with Molly and she went above and beyond every time. I couldn’t wish for a better Realtor and experience. You would be lucky to have her as your agent.”

Kali Ferede

“Flexible, timely, agile, and all around a wonderful person to work with”

“District Residential made the journey of finding a perfect apartment seamless. Flexible, timely, agile, and all around a wonderful people to work with, their style of customer relationship had no time-limits — from the weekends calls to late evenings emails, while I was different time-zones, they were there every step of the way — consummate professionals who facilitated exactly what I was looking for in an apartment. I believe I’ve found my real estate broker as long as I’m in the DC area for the years to come.”

David Mazaheri

“Highly recommended and we would plan on using her as our agent again in the future!”

“We used Molly as our agent for both selling/buying, upgrading from a condo in DC to a house in Maryland. We first met Molly at an open house and were impressed by how much she remembered from our short conversation in the follow-up email she sent to us later that day. Throughout everything we appreciated Molly’s honesty and how she listened to our thoughts and concerns — she never came across as condescending or as if our concerns didn’t matter to her. When it came time to put an offer in on the house she was very aggressive in beating out a competing offer, which we appreciated since we had never been in that situation before. Molly also communicated with us constantly throughout the process and responded instantly whenever an issue came up. Highly recommended and we would plan on using her as our agent again in the future!”

David Garber

“He improves everything that he touches!”

“I employed James to manage and deliver my real estate print, social media and online marketing. James is a brilliant, savvy idea generator, brimming with creativity and energy. His excellent editing and writing skills result in marketing copy that is direct and full of impact! James delivers visually appealing results and he improves everything that he touches!”

John Solaegui

Latest Trends in Home Design

January 3, 2018

Latest Trends in Home Design

The economy, environment and demographics always play a role in emerging trends, but there are other factors these days such as the boon of technology and the desire to live a healthier lifestyle that impact the details of home design. We’re not just talking the mid-century modern decor craze, wallpaper fads, or DIY vanity trends. While many buyers and investors still pay close attention to details such as counter tops, fixtures, and flooring, many more are looking at the flow of the space as a whole, the eco-friendliness of the systems and materials, and the accessibility and usefulness of outdoor space.

Here are some of the latest themes in residential styling that we’re seeing that are not only innovative, but also increase value while allowing owners to personalize their spaces.

LIFE IS OUTSIDE

What’s happening: Perhaps it’s because living spaces in the city are often small, or maybe it’s the hours spent at the office, but more and more people want to stay outdoors longer and they’re looking to their homes to help achieve that. According to Brett Warmington of Warmington Oppenheim Development (WOD), a boutique DC-based urban infill developer, indoor/outdoor spaces are a big trend, especially in cities.

Things to look for: Outdoor leisure space is a valuable commodity. Features like outdoor living areas with fire pits or outdoor fireplaces allow outdoor activity even in colder months. When total outdoor living isn’t possible, screened porches that double as a sun room in the winter months are a big draw. And newer fade- and weather-resistant acrylic fibers make it easy for homeowners to decorate their outdoor spaces in whatever colors and styles they prefer.

“People want to feel as if they are living in a kind of ‘urban oasis’”, says Mr. Warmington, “so we spend a considerable amount of thought, time, energy and money on things like bringing in landscape engineers and architects to design the outdoor areas, choose the plants, and select other amenities that work specifically in that space, no matter how small.”

OPEN UP AND LET THE LIGHT SHINE IN

What’s happening: The combination of more time spent on social media and the fact that fewer people live near their family members can cause a sense of isolation and a craving for more light, air, and open spaces for face-to-face interactions. Homes have traditionally been divided into segregated rooms separated by walls, but these days, more and more walls are coming down as people now want lighter, more open spaces. They also want spaces to serve multiple purposes, and with this desire comes a different kind of living, making open floor plans increasingly popular.

Things to look for: “Everything structural is opening up while furnishings and details are edited down,” says Brook Rose another boutique developer in DC. “We’re seeing a big demand for more floor to ceiling windows, a desire for higher ceilings, open staircases, and stark white walls.”

While walls are coming down and rooms are expanded into flowing living space, there is also an increased importance of lights and lighting. This means installation of more and larger windows and light fixtures, as well as the addition of light wall colors to imbue as much light and airiness as possible into a space. One thing that WOD does in the spaces they design is put in skylights wherever we possible. “Many spaces can’t accommodate windows so we add skylights because lighting changes a space and no matter how advanced bulb manufacturers become, nothing can ever replace the natural light of the sun.

NOT ONE-SIZE FITS ALL

What’s happening: As home prices escalate — up 5.5 percent, according to CoreLogic Case-Shiller — and baby boomers downsize to retire or cut costs, every inch of available space counts more than ever. To make the best use of space for each resident, design professionals are zeroing in on how clients want to live rather than thinking about how people use space generically, and for this, one size certainly doesn’t fit all.

Outdoor roof space of the Helicopter Factory by Brook Rose

Things to look for: You and your clients are likely to see a greater variety in terms of layouts, building materials, home systems, color palettes, and furnishing choices, both in model homes and in houses staged for sale. Listing agents can take the cue from this trend by helping sellers highlight the flexibility of their spaces when putting a home on the market. Buyers’ reps should similarly showcase a range of living options in each home-shopping session.

For example, when individual homes or units can’t offer the open space, airy feel and outdoor living areas that homeowners desire, many multi-unit buildings and even single-family residential neighborhoods are now beginning to offer an array of amenity spaces to meet these needs. Residents get access to open, multi-use spaces like clubhouses with fancy kitchens, outdoor areas with pools and movie screens, fitness centers with group classes, and drive-up areas for food-truck socials. As a real estate professional, it’s advantageous to know which buildings, communities, and neighborhoods offer these sought-after social events and gathering spaces so you can point these out to your clients and open their minds to new options.

LIVING IN A MATERIAL WORLD

What’s happening: With an increased emphasis on healthier and more environmentally-friendly living, homeowners are actively seeking out ways to improve the health and sustainability of their homes. To do this, they’re looking to everything from water purifiers and eco-friendly HVAC systems, to non toxic paints and adhesives. A newer element to this trend will include enhanced environmental testing.

Things to look for: A growing number of builders, remodelers, architects, and interior designers expect health to influence their business decisions due to consumer demand, according to studies from both the Urban Land Institute and McGraw-Hill Construction. You should expect to see more buyers hiring health experts to examine listings and requiring in-home contaminant removal prior to a sale.

Your clients will also have greater access to additional home products that promote a healthy and sustainable home, such as UV and LED circadian lighting that promotes healthier sleep patterns; environmentally conscious building materials; and more efficient appliances and home systems. In addition, use of eco-conscious materials like bamboo, cork and hardwood flooring, low- or no-VOC paints, and a variety of reclaimed or “upcycled” materials in design decisions are more popular as homeowners aim for unique but “conscious” home design.

HOMES ARE GETTING SMARTER

What’s happening: With the rise of technology and “smart” devices, there’s a big trend toward “smart” homes. Everything from appliances to alarm systems are becoming wireless and internet-connected. WOD now installs Nest “smart” thermostats, as well as camera doorbells and electronic locks (no key loss!) in many of its developments, increasing connectivity and security. In addition, smart homes mean better efficiency overall, and homeowners who are able to control everything from the thermostat to the oven, and the dishwasher to the washing machine, with just a touch on a phone app or the sound of their voice.

The future is smart home automation

Things to look for: As tech-loving millennials get used to the idea of smart homes – and smart appliances and voice-controlled interfaces like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home become more commonplace – expect an increase in the number of buyers seeking out homes that are wi-fi connected from top to bottom. Anything that makes life more convenient and allows remote control of home systems will be high on the priority list for many new home buyers.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of the design trends that are seen in the current market, especially because design preferences are always shifting and changing. Still, with constant technological advances, environmental concerns that aren’t going anywhere, and a continued desire for connectedness in our ever changing world, these trends seem likely to stick around for awhile.

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