Featured in Goshen Quarterly!
Happy to report I was asked to be in the quarterly magazine, Goshen Quarterly, and they made me a cover girl! Click below to read the article!
Home Staging Authority Combines Experience, Knowledge and Sparkle – Meet Claudia Jacobs
By Sharon MacGregor
Photos by Michael Bloom
Among the over 5,000 people who call Goshen their home, lives an energetic powerhouse who has raised her two sons; Aston who now lives in Brooklyn and Preston, a freshman at UVM in Burlington, Vermont.
Goshen resident Claudia Jacobs is recognizably the area’s leading home staging consultant and restaging professional. Some may recognize her name from the biweekly column in the Times Herald Record, “Claudia’s Corner,” while others may have attended a class she taught in Kingston, Nyack, or Goshen. How did this vivacious and creatively talented woman start out as a pioneer in a practically unheard of field just over ten years ago?
“I was enrolled in college as an adult part-time student studying interior design, I sometimes call this my mid-life crisis,” Jacobs laughed, “when a friend showed me a New York Times article about home staging. I did a little research and found an accredited course in New York City which I then completed.”
Staging can be defined as preparing a home to be considered appealing to a wide variety of prospective buyers to sell the house at the highest price in the shortest amount of time. Hiring a professional home stager may be done by the private individual or through a real estate agent.
Since then, Jacobs has also completed an accredited program as a Re-designer which includes using a home owners current contents and rearranging them in the most complimentary manner.
College was put aside as, “I didn’t really want to know what was going on behind the walls. I just wanted to make it look nice,” said Jacobs.
It was, and at times continues to be, challenging to bring the value of home staging to the forefront of realtors minds prior to listing a house for sale. However, following the first year as the area’s premier home stager, Jacobs was approached by Deb Botti of the Times Herald Record to be a featured story in the newspaper. The idea evolved into a contest. Readers could submit a photo of a room they would like to redesign and the winner would receive a complimentary make-over. Jacobs selected the entry which would result in the best transformation and runners up evolved into future columns for “Claudia’s Corner,” which first ran in the now defunct Home section.
Today, she has successfully run her own business, Claudia Jacobs Designs, for 11 years. Additionally, Jacobs also conducts educational seminars both in public venues such as the recent one held at the Goshen Public Library or in Goshen at the Orange-Ulster BOCES, Nyack and Kingston. Class topics include Home Staging and House Life Connection.
In social settings, new acquaintances may ask questions about their home decor in much the same manner someone may ask nurses or doctors about their physical ailments.
“It’s funny,” she shared, “Someone may ask me what color they should paint their bathroom, but really, I need to know more and just because a color is popular, it may not work in your house.”
Recently, two Orange County homes Jacobs staged, as well as provided consulting services for, were featured in an episode of “House Hunters,” on HGTV.
When asked to share a little bit about herself, Jacobs said, “Goshen has been my home since 1989. When I first moved to Goshen with eight acres of property and my Italian heritage, I was determined to have a garden. That is how I grew up both in the Bronx when I was a little girl and Rockland County as a teenager. We not only had a garden but did canning. After a few years of having my own small garden, I realized I’m living in an area loaded with local farms. It didn’t take me long to give up the work and support our local farms. Now we have the Goshen Farmers market, plus so many others in the area. If I need anything earlier in the week, I go to the Florida market. It is definitely one of the benefits of living here, the farms and vineyards, which means wine! Now we also have Angry Orchard in the area for hard cider. I’m gluten free so I can’t appreciate all of the breweries opening up in the area but I can certainly enjoy wine and hard cider.
I love my home and property. It has been a wonderful place to raise my family. In a way I feel spoiled because the thought of downsizing has me feeling I have everything I could want where I am right now. I am experiencing the almost empty nest and considering my timeline for staying in my home, which I love, but it is a lot to maintain. I am trying to take my own advice that I give to clients on a regular basis.
Downsizing and moving are very emotional for the seller which is why I say it is never too early to start, even years before you plan on selling. This is another benefit of staging – it allows the seller to start emotionally detaching from their home, which is difficult. It also allows the potential buyer to visually move in and emotionally connect to a home on the market. Once a buyer makes an emotional connection, the house is sold.”
Jacobs’ enthusiasm for her work, family and home are sincerely spoken with an effervescent bubbliness that simply cannot be contained as she continued, “I feel blessed to live in the Hudson Valley, which shows its beauty in every season. Over the years I have developed many amazing connections, both personally and professionally. That said, I do choose to surround myself with positive, upbeat people. The older I get, the more precious my time has become. Authentic energy is very important to me. What I mean by that is, for a person to be real, to be themselves.
I am an energy person and can pick up on that with people and places, which helps me with my clients. It is all about how a person or place makes you feel, what type of energy is being shared. I discuss this more in my House-Life Connection class. Like everything in life, we can focus on the positive or the negative. I try to bring out the positive of a house when I am staging.”
Claudia Jacobs is the professional authority on home staging and redesign, as well as someone you may very run into at local events and the farmers market. She is easily identified by both her brilliantly sparkling smile and friendly demeanor. And about what color you should paint your bathroom in the house you plan on living, she is likely advise you to, “ignore the trends and stick to what you like.”
Connecting with Claudia Jacobs can be done via her website at www.claudiajacobsdesigns.com, email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (845) 294-8993. Also, remember to check the Times Herald Record Real Estate section every other Sunday for “Claudia’s Corner.”