In Our LivingRoom: Meet Christen Carter of Busy Beaver Buttons

Meet Christen Carter of Busy Beaver Button Company

Busy Beaver Button Company, a thriving small business, was looking to grow their space, open a museum, and stay close to their original location on Armitage in Logan Square. With the help of Annie Coleman, Managing Broker of LivingRoom Realty, they purchased the perfect empty building sitting on a double wide lot a few blocks west of their original location on Armitage.

We asked them a few questions about their journey to expanding their headquarters.

LivingRoom Realty (LRR): Tell us about yourself?

Christen Carter (CC): I am a small business owner - Busy Beaver Button Co., and co-curator of the Button Museum. Right now, my life is mostly around buttons since I’m also working on a book about cultural history told through buttons.

I do love fixing up old buildings that need love and kinda like having property - it’s part of my retirement plan. I also like decorating and nesting into places, this has become a hobby of mine.

LRR: Tell us about your property?

CC: It’s a double-wide storefront with two apartments above. When I bought the building, it was just a blighted shell that suffered a couple of fires. But the beautiful yellow brick and personality were there! Plus, it has “good bones” as they say. The location is 3407 W Armitage, just west of Kimball. There’s also a big backyard and 3 car garage.

LRR: What were the deciding factors when choosing your area and property?

CC: We knew that we needed a place to expand, since I’m hoping this will be a 10+ year place for my company, Busy Beaver Button Co. And the big back yard will let us build out when we need to.It’s also walking distance from my house and close to the homes of many people who work here. And only a block away from our old location, so we wouldn’t lose any employees because of the distance. Being only a block away was very handy during construction - we could meet a tradesperson on a dime, since it took 2 minutes to walk from our previous location. 

The two apartments above help pay the mortgage and give us a cheaper property tax rate, those two things really help! Plus, for security sake, it’s nice that people are here during the day and at night, too.

I feel connected to Logan Square having lived and worked here since 2004, so I wanted to stay nearby. Plus, I remember when this building had two separate fires, the building was empty for years and it needed some serious love.

LRR: What’s your favorite thing about your property?

CC: The feel is just so nice. It’s pretty spacious and can display the Button Museum and accommodate the visitors. My brother, Joel found all this beautiful salvaged doors and interior windows, people can hardly believe that this place was a burned shell before we got it. You can really tell in all the details that a lot of love and consideration was put into it - this is mostly because of my brother!

LRR: What would you tell someone who is embarking on the buying process for your type of building?

CC:I always tell people to expect the project to cost at least 50% more than quoted by a GC and also about twice as long. The city can take awhile and things always come up.

We had to re-zone but that was the easiest thing - we had a good lawyer. That’s the other big thing - the professionals that you work with must honestly respect you and what you’re doing - trust is key. Some of the people we worked with were great, but some really made our lives more difficult than it needed to be. I learned a lot and now have developed what a “trusted partner” is, this helps us recognize red flags to change course. Have a good idea of what's important to you in terms of property characteristics, but also keep an open mind about what's going to work realistically, and be honest about your lifestyle needs. Obviously, finding the right agent is also crucial!

LRR: Tell us about any improvements you made or plan to make and why?

CC: I’d love to expand out the back to make more space for the button production. I also want to fix up the garage, not exciting, but we ran out of money with everything being over budget. Hopefully all of this within the next 3 years!

Thanks to Christen and Busy Beaver Button Co.  for letting LRR into their living room! Visit Busy Beaver Button Co. where you can order custom button, magnets and more. Do you have a button fan on your gift list? Consider picking up the Button Box  which contains one hundred colorful postcards featuring over three hundred buttons from the collection of the Busy Beaver Button Museum.

Home Ownership Outside the Box

How to Buy Property Cooperatively 

To Save Money and Build Community

Are you ready to own your own home, but concerned about rising real estate costs? Do you want to plan for the future or have a built in community by sharing your home with friends or family? Want to buy a commercial building and share resources? Are you interested in combining the financial, environmental, and/or community/social benefits of communal living with the security of property ownership?

If so, LivingRoom Realty's co-operative living Info sessions are for you! This new series of informal meet-ups is for anyone interested in learning more about how to successfully purchase, manage, and occupy co-operative real estate in Chicago. Join LivingRoom Realty brokers Annie Coleman & Susannah Ribstein, and co-op development consultant, Corrigan Nadon-Nichols, for this informative event. Join us for our first meet-up

Thursday Nov 1st from 6:30-8:30pm

 LivingRoom Realty 1530 W. Superior St.

Refreshments provided!

Please RSVP at contact@livingroomrealty.com

New Listing! 2737 N. Kimball Ave. #2

Sunny open floor plan one bedroom condo right in the heart of Logan Square. An extra-wide living room with large bay windows flows into the light-filled multipurpose dining area.

The open kitchen has granite countertops, peninsula bar, and stainless appliances.

Bathroom has ceramic tile and rain shower. The quality finishes are well-maintained throughout.

This is a great home base for exploring all that Logan Square has to offer, right outside the door: Unity Playlot, Elastic Arts, Aloft, Dill Pickle Food Co-Op, The Logan Theater, Blue Line, buses, and much more. Self-managed and well-maintained building.

Offered at $229,500. For questions or more information, contact Annie Coleman at (312) 371-9293 or annie@livingroomrealty.com.

Listing #09889684

New Listing & Open House This Weekend! 1754 W. Ohio

Rarely available spacious and sunny 4 bedroom/2.1 bath home in Ukrainian Village. Main level features an open floor plan living room and dining room with wood burning fireplace and newly refinished maple floors.

Eat in kitchen with island, hardwood cabinets, and stainless appliances flows to a large back deck perfect for entertaining.

Second floor features three bedrooms and a luxurious bathroom with glass surround shower, deep soaking tub, and double basin infinity sink. Listen to music from built in speakers in bathroom and/or in the large master bedroom.

The lower level has a family room, fourth bedroom, full bath and extra kitchen. The lower level can be closed off easily with side entrance for a private in-law quarters. Yard and 2 car garage round out this beautiful home. Awesome location 1/2 block to Talcott School, Easy walk to shopping and restaurants on Chicago Avenue and everything that West Town has to offer.

Offered at $740,000. For questions or more information, contact Sarah Frier at 773-860-3452 or sarah@livingroomrealty.com.

Open House this Weekend Saturday (3/17) from 12pm - 2pm Please RSVP to sarah@livingroomrealty.com

Listing #09882093

New Listing! 2507 N Sacramento

Gorgeous 5 bedroom/4 bathroom greystone on an oversized lot in the heart of Logan Square. This lovingly cared-for home has a wide floor plan and is a beautiful blend of original craftsmanship with modern amenities. The main level has a large foyer, sunny living room with wood burning fireplace, dining room with original stained glass built-in hutch, large bedroom or office, full bath, and sunny eat-in chef's kitchen.

The kitchen features include an abundance of cherry cabinets, high-end stainless appliances, wine fridge, pot filler, extra prep sink and granite counters. The upper level has total of 4 bedrooms and 2 full baths, including a master suite with private balcony, an open den area, and laundry. Original unpainted trim and hardwood floors throughout adds to this home’s charm.

The lower level features radiant floors, a large family room/playroom, wet bar, bathroom, laundry and a large storage area that could be converted into a guest bedroom if desired. The wide yard is professionally landscaped with native perennials and raised beds for growing vegetables. A central location in Logan Square makes for an easy walk to shopping, restaurants, farmers market and public transportation. This is truly a beautiful home.

Offered at $1,099,000. For questions or more information contact Annie Coleman at 312-371-9293 or Susannah Ribstein at 708-207-6590. 

Open House this Weekend Saturday (3/10) from 1pm - 3pm Sunday (3/11) from 12pm - 2pm   Please RSVP to Susannah@livingroomrealty.com

Listing #09873880

Landscape of the Housing Market for Buyers Thursday, February 15th

Landscape of the Market for Buyers LogoLandscape of the Housing Market for BuyersThursday, February 15th, 6:30pm-8pm

It's time for another buyers class! Now is the perfect time to learn about the housing market if you're planning to buy in the spring. Join us at LivingRoom Realty from 6:30-8:00 pm on February 15th as Real Estate Broker Liz Dudek, Mortgage Broker Ben DeBoer, and Home Inspector Mike Lamb guide you through the current landscape of home purchasing.

Topics to be covered will be:

- The pre-approval process and preparing your finances - Step by step overview of home buying process - Loan products available in today’s market - What are closing costs and detailed breakdown - How to decide on what type of property to buy - What to expect from a home inspection - What to look for in a building - Tips for saving for home improvements

Food and drinks will be provided. Please RSVP at contact@livingroomrealty.com so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you!

Liz Dudek, LivingRoom Realty Ben DeBoer, Molitor Financial Mike Lamb, Inspection Connection Inc.

Closing Tea: Living in Chicago - Dmitry Samarov - Sunday March 2nd 1-4pm

Stop by LivingRoom Realty on Sunday March 2nd from 1-4pm for a cup of tea and a cookie or two. It's your last chance to see Dmitry Samarov's Living In Chicago. We'd love to see you! mess

"I've lived in Chicago for over 20 years. For all that time I've drawn and painted inside and outside the places I've lived. Oil paintings, watercolors, charcoals and inks document what I see out windows and what I choose to bring home. I never start any of these pictures with any particular meaning in mind but the better ones are able to talk back to the viewer. They remind people of moments from their own experience. Books, chairs, dishes and such are what we all have in common. They connect us. By painting what I see every day, I'm trying to have a conversation with all the others who wake to similar views every day in this city."

 

Current Gallery Show: Living in Chicago - Dmitry Samarov - Friday January 17th-March 1, 2014

Living in Chicago - Dmitry Samarov

 

mess

"I've lived in Chicago for over 20 years. For all that time I've drawn and painted inside and outside the places I've lived. Oil paintings, watercolors, charcoals and inks document what I see out windows and what I choose to bring home. I never start any of these pictures with any particular meaning in mind but the better ones are able to talk back to the viewer. They remind people of moments from their own experience. Books, chairs, dishes and such are what we all have in common. They connect us. By painting what I see every day, I'm trying to have a conversation with all the others who wake to similar views every day in this city."

Please join us at LivingRoom Realty for Dmitry Samarov's opening reception, Friday January 17th, 6-9pm.

ABAN Event at LivingRoom • Thursday November 7th 6:30 - 8:30

You are invited! Please join us on Thursday November 7th from 6:30 - 8:30 for a one of a kind event just in time for the holidays! And feel free to bring friends!

Chicago Invite

At 7:00 ABAN co-founder Rebecca Brandt will share a 20 minute presentation and then take your questions.  There will be a ton of products for sale (cash/credit/check) and other opportunities to get involved.  With the holidays around the corner, November is a great time for friends and family to start picking up their holiday gifts.

process-img-1

Here are some ways you can get oriented with the ABAN mission:

Please RSVP to sarah@livingroomrealty.com

REFRAMING RESTORATION - A CASE STUDY FROM AN RX CUSTOMER

Hey look! We were featured in the ReBuilding Exchange's newsletter!

12RBX_LogoSystem_CMYK-03

Jeremy Kirk, owner of Kirk and Sons Construction, Elise Zelechowski, Executive Director of Rebuilding Exchange, and Annie Coleman, Managing Broker of LivingRoom Realty recently sat down to discuss Jeremy's recent restoration of a turn-of-the-century home in Hyde Park. Using salvaged and reclaimed materials, from the Rebuilding Exchange and other area reuse stores, while also upgrading the house with modern amenities, he combined a vintage and modern aesthetic to achieve a beautiful, unique, and "green" remodel. An excerpt from the interview is below.

Elise: Jeremy, you recently renovated a single family home in Hyde Park using mostly reclaimed and salvaged materials.  Were you motivated by potential cost savings or were you looking for a certain look for your remodel?

1314E52nd_viewer_6  1314E52nd_viewer_165

Jeremy: You can’t totally go into this just thinking you're going to save money.  The problem is that you might save money on the purchase of the reclaimed materials initially, but it will likely cost you more in labor to install those materials. This project is different then a lot of the creative reuse projects we’ve undertaken or seen. I don’t think there is a thing in the renovation that we put in just because it’s an old thing.  Reuse is not necessarily always about a reuse aesthetic movement.

Elise: Interesting. To that end, I think it’s really critical to bring a contractor into the project early when using reclaimed materials.  An integrated approach to the renovation process is key!  You have to openly communicate your vision early on, and then develop a relationship of trust, because your contractor will likely need to make a number of creative decisions on issues as they come up real time.  No one wants to micromanage! Or have a bunch of change orders.... Using reclaimed materials mandates that kind of openness.

Jeremy:  It’s true.  As a contractor, there are questions 10 times a day where you need to let the materials guide you towards a solution, letting the materials sometimes decide outcome.  Sometimes you don’t even have the materials yet, but you have a vision and a range of options.

Annie: What do you think are the benefits of using reclaimed materials?

Jeremy: Quality is number one.  We are very fortunate to be in Chicago because there is so much quality material around here, local manufacturing that has been around forever.  Take Chicago Faucets, for example. You can find a 100-year-old faucet that is about the same as the ones they sell now. It looks the same, it works the same, nothing is different.  You can still get the replacement parts. They cost about $380 new. You can get the same quality in a reclaimed one...and it’s never ceased to function.  There is almost something almost metaphysical about it. A quote I like is "historic renovation should maintain the integrity of the building's passage through time".  So you’re not trying to fix the building to when it was done.  If the building was built in 1890, it doesn't matter if the thing we are putting in there is from 1890 or 1910 or 1920, it is all part of what’s accumulated in the history of the structure.

1314E52nd_viewer_32  1314E52nd_viewer_9

Annie: So, do you feel that you ‘restored’ the property on 52nd?

Jeremy: I guess it’s hard not to call it restoration, but what you're really trying to do is bring out the qualities that were always there hidden through linoleum, wallpaper, and paneling.

Elise: There's quite a bit of research demonstrating that neighborhoods with maintained or restored older buildings tend to have better economic sustainability potential long-term.  Which makes sense when you consider how the built environment, and component building materials, act as cultural and historical assets, and make up a part of the fabric of our communities.

Annie: And in the case of a restoration or remodeling project, there’s something very special about a house where every part has been deliberated upon and the quality of each piece maximized.

You can find more photos of this project in our previous post.

Landscape of the Market for Buyers • Tuesday August 6th 6:30-8pm

Join us at LivingRoom Realty on Tuesday August 6th from 6:30-8:00 pm as Mortgage Broker Emma Butler, Real Estate Brokers Annie Coleman & Sarah Frier and Home Inspector Jeffrey Wadsworth guide you through the current landscape of home purchasing. greenconstruction3-large

Whether you are a first time buyer, thinking about buying in a year from now, or a seasoned home owner, this will be an informative talk on the unique dynamics of the current real estate market. You will leave the seminar fully informed on how you will need to prepare for your home search.

Topics to be covered will be: - The pre-approval process and preparing your finances - Loan products available in today’s market - What are closing costs and detailed breakdown - Benefits of home ownership and review of TaxSmart incentive program - How to decide on what type of property to buy - Overview of buying a foreclosure or short sale - What to expect from a home inspection - What to look for in a building when looking at properties - Tips for saving for home improvements

Food and Drinks will be Provided. Please RSVP at contact@livingroomrealty.com so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you! Annie Coleman, LivingRoom Realty Sarah Frier, LivingRoom Realty Emma Butler, Guaranteed Rate Jeffrey Wadsworth, RCIS LLC

Summer fun at the ACRE BLOCK PARTY!

The awesome folks from ACRE are having a Block Party to kick off the summer this Saturday June 8th from 2-8pm at ACRE  Projects 1913 W 17th St. Here are the details via their website: Its that time of year again for the Annual ACRE Block Party!

Blockparty-FB-1024x373 We’re celebrating the highly anticipated arrival of summer and our imminent departure for the farm in Wisconsin with a good old fashioned Pilsen block party. Stop by for fun and water games with the neighborhood kids, yummy summer drinks in our special ACRE glow-in-the-dark cups, arts & crafts, tunes by DJ MTZ + DJ Conner and other fun stuff.

Plus we’re excited to be releasing the 3rd edition of the ACRE Kitchen Cook Book- KADABRA. Cook books will be available for purchase and we’ll be serving up the ACRE chefs’ twist on street food including fancy hot dogs and shish kabob. You know its gonna be deeee-licious!

Come on by and bring yer friends!

P.S. Keep the party raging and head a few streets over to the after party kegger featuring tunes by DJ Hot Glue at 10pm. 2058 W 21st St.

Gallery Opening: DRIFTLESS - Saturday, May 18th, 7-10pm

We are so excited to announce our next show! Please join us on Saturday, May 18th, 7-10pm for the opening night of this amazing installation. DRIFTLESS: A Collaboration of Caleb Coppock, Daphne Eck & Betni Kalk

Driftless_postcard_final_front_web

Collectors and scavengers at their core, the artists gathered source materials as they explored 80-acres of ridge, valley and woods in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin located in the ‘Driftless Region’ of the Midwest.  Following a process of gathering and re-mixing natural, human-made and digital sources, they form a personal, composite perspective of this region. A close examination and slowing of pace amidst the cacophony of data unravels the playful potential of even the tiniest bits.

ARTIST STATEMENT: A collaborative project of Caleb Coppock, Daphne Eck and Bethany Kalk, "Driftless" is our art-based interpretation of 80-acres of ridge, valley and woods in Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin. Collectors and scavengers at our core, we gathered source materials as we explored property located in this ‘driftless region’ of the midwest that hadn’t been farmed in over 50 years.

Following a process of gathering and re-mixing natural, human-made and digital sources, we form a personal, composite perspective of this region. A close examination and slowing of pace amidst the cacophony of daily data unravels the playful potential of even the tiniest bits. Through our approach, we invite you to examine textures and color with care, to contemplate time passing and maybe even to linger on the subtleties of the sublime.

ABOUT SOLDIERS GROVE: Our inspiration and source materials were taken from an 80-acre farm in Soldiers Grove, a village in the Driftless Area of Wisconsin that is home to organic farmers, artists and Amish residents.

The Driftless Area is the region where Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin meet. The Driftless Area received its name for having escaped the glaciers that flattened most of the Midwest. So untouched, this preserves a large sample of what the northern and eastern United States were like before the Glacial Period.

The region has a more varied terrain than its notoriously flat and on-a-grid neighbors. Its 150-foot bluffs are made possible by uninterrupted erosion. Here, straight roads begin to curve, then turn again and again to go up or around the hills. Sunlit valleys peek sometimes peek through—but they are narrow and surrounded by forest and rocky crags.

In addition to its ridges, valleys and woods, the Soldier Grove property has a house with a nearby sauna and cabin, a barn-turned-theatre and a team of horses. Though the area is known for its many organic farms, this one hasn’t been cultivated for more than 50 years.

THE PROCESS: Our small team took several exploratory trips at different times of the year to photograph, gather ideas and materials for the exhibition. We absorbed the landscape in sun, rain and snow. Between hikes we warmed ourselves in the cabin (or the sauna), fed apples to the horses, and read back issues of The Sun.

Our beachcomber tendencies kicked in when we discovered thousands of geodes sparkling in the mud. Caleb built a stone sifter to help uncover the perfect specimen.

The exhibition includes sculptural drawings and collections of natural objects that focus on ranges of textures and colors.

BIOGRAPHIES: Caleb Coppock is a painter, sculptor, animator, designer, satellite imagery voyeur, beachcomber, and jeweler’s loupe junkie. He tirelessly searches for the glitch, the pattern, the poetic gem in what is otherwise often overlooked in this ocean of natural and digital information.

Daphne Eck is a writer, arranger and creative director. As a child, she’d try to get lost in the family almond orchard but the straight rows always led her home. Now she’s found a way to lose herself in a great story, long walk or deep thought.

Bethany Kalk is a professor, designer, painter, muralist and photographer. While growing up in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, she spent many hours submerged to her nose, watching creek creatures up close. She tracked insects, lizards and birds and watched ephemera on the forest floor decay almost overnight. Now she hunts for textures, colors and forms in the landscapes around her.

This is an event you won't want to miss.

Closing Tea: Desaturate 2 - Sunday April 28th 12-4pm

On Sunday April 28th from 12-4pm we bid farewell to the excellent Desaturate 2. Please join us for tea and cookies... don't miss your last chance to check out this awesome show! Featuring screen prints by: Kim Ambriz, Derrick Buisch, Ethan D'Ercole, Dan Grzeca, John Hitchcock, Kathleen Judge, Damon Locks, Jay Ryan and Dan S. Wang. Nine artist presenting 5 screen prints in black & white.

In the summer of 2010, Damon Locks came up with a way to ensure that he would continue to produce art and asked several artists to promise to make five, one color (black) screen prints each. Accountability to other artists would ensure that each artist would have to figure out how to make it happen. The results of that challenge produced the first Desaturate show made up of work from seven people.

Participating artist Derrick Buisch spearheaded the continuation of the project, leading to this... Desaturate 2. The same rules applied but artists tend to work around rules to delightful effect. More artists this time around means more great art to love. Come check out the work and hang out with some awesome people.

Consensus Building: Creating Your Own Cooperative • Wednesday March 20th

Save the Date!Consensus Building: Creating Your Own Cooperative Wednesday March 20th, 6:30-8:30

Have you ever dreamed about buying a building with friends and/or people with shared interests? Then join us at LivingRoom Realty on March 20th from 6:30-8:30pm, for a discussion on how to start your own housing cooperative (Co-Op). This is a viable and affordable option to owning your own home.

IMAG0304

We will discuss the difference between condos and Co-Ops, common benefits and risks, an overview of financing options, the fundamentals of consensus building, and an how to search for your property. We will also provide you with resources for taking the next steps in making your cooperative dream a reality. LivingRoom Realty is very pleased to have Mark Fick Senior Loan/Program Officer at Chicago Community Loan Fund, Lawyer Sarah Kaplan, and Sol House housing cooperative members Jessica Weisbach and Kevin Monahan join us for this talk. Food, drinks, and a fun time will be provided.

Please RSVP to: annie@livingroomrealty.com as soon as possible so we know attendance levels! We hope to see you there!

Gallery Opening: Desaturate 2 • Friday March 1st : 7-10pm

Desaturate 2 is opening, Friday March 1st, 7-10pm, at LivingRoom Gallery (Chicago). Featuring screen prints by: Kim Ambriz, Derrick Buisch, Ethan D'Ercole, Dan Grzeca, John Hitchcock, Kathleen Judge, Damon Locks, Jay Ryan and Dan S. Wang. Nine artist presenting 5 screen prints in black & white.

In the summer of 2010, Damon Locks came up with a way to ensure that he would continue to produce art and asked several artists to promise to make five, one color (black) screen prints each. Accountability to other artists would ensure that each artist would have to figure out how to make it happen. The results of that challenge produced the first Desaturate show made up of work from seven people.

Participating artist Derrick Buisch spearheaded the continuation of the project, leading to this... Desaturate 2. The same rules applied but artists tend to work around rules to delightful effect. More artists this time around means more great art to love. Come check out the work and hang out with some awesome people.

Landscape of The Market for Buyers • Wednesday February 13th 6:30pm

Join us at LivingRoom Realty on Wednesday February 13th 6:30-8:00 pm as Mortgage Broker Emma Butler, Real Estate Broker Elizabeth Dudek, and Home Inspector Mike Lamb guide you through the current landscape of home purchasing.

Whether you are a first time buyer, thinking about buying in a year from now, or a seasoned home owner, this will be an informative talk on the unique dynamics of the current real estate market. You will leave the seminar fully informed on how you will need to prepare for your home search.

Topics to be covered will be: - The pre-approval process and preparing your finances - Loan products available in today’s market - What are closing costs and detailed breakdown - Benefits of home ownership and review of TaxSmart incentive program - How to decide on what type of property to buy - Overview of buying a foreclosure or short sale - What to expect from a home inspection - What to look for in a building when looking at properties - Tips for saving for home improvements

Food and Drinks will be Provided. Please RSVP at contact@livingroomrealty.com, so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you!

Emma Butler, Guaranteed Rate Elizabeth Dudek, LivingRoom Realty Mike Lamb, Inspection Connection Inc.

Eve Fineman on her 2012 LivingRoom Exhibit: Objects In Space

Recently Eve Fineman wrote this lovely piece about her show at LivingRoom last year. It was a very well received show and we are delighted to have played a part! "Rather than displaying a series of independent pieces on pedestals, I was curious to see what a grouping of furniture and objects, all designed in Chicago, would look like together in one functional, unified space."

 

Reminder! A week from today! Landscape of the Market for Buyers at LivingRoom.

Join us at LivingRoom Realty on Wednesday January 9th 6:30-8:00 pm as Mortgage Broker Emma Butler, Real Estate Broker Annie Coleman, and Home Inspector Jeffrey Wadsworth guide you through the current landscape of home purchasing.

Whether you are a first time buyer, thinking about buying in a year from now, or a seasoned home owner, this will be an informative talk on the unique dynamics of the current real estate market. You will leave the seminar fully informed on how you will need to prepare for your home search.

Topics to be covered will be: - The pre-approval process and preparing your finances - Loan products available in today’s market - What are closing costs and detailed breakdown - Benefits of home ownership and review of TaxSmart incentive program - How to decide on what type of property to buy - Overview of buying a foreclosure or short sale - What to expect from a home inspection - What to look for in a building when looking at properties - Tips for saving for home improvements

Food and Drinks will be Provided. Please RSVP at contact@livingroomrealty.com, so we can plan appropriately. We look forward to seeing you!

Emma Butler, Guaranteed Rate Annie Coleman, LivingRoom Realty Jeffrey Wadsworth, RCIS LLC

Pitch Black : Closing Tea - This Saturday 12-4pm

Closing Tea: Pitch Black  The work of Damon Locks & Alix Lambert

Saturday December, 15th 12-4pm

Pitch Black presents the work of Damon Locks and Alix Lambert. Both artists exhibit pieces that explore the unseen side of the human condition and the challenges we face in confronting and exploring those places.

The screen prints on display by Damon Locks in the Pitch Black exhibit explore another tributary of his expression. Gone is the populous that inhabit his artistic terrain. The urban landscapes of previous pieces are deemed irrelevant in this new set of pieces. Shape and texture have moved to the forefront. There is an implicit interest in how mark making can bring forth some of the same concepts as his previous work in a more abstracted way.

The show is made up of a series of MOOD pieces. Even in their absence, it could be said the subject matter still revolves around people but now his artistic lens focuses on their reverberations. A recent viewing of Jean Painlevé's microscopic look at undersea life brought to mind otherworldly landscapes and inspired the more textural approach to this series.

The photography and sculpture by Alix Lambert are from her ongoing investigation into death. The two images were taken at the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropological Research Center (nicknamed The Body Farm)  - the only facility in the world that studies the decomposition of the human corpse. The bronze dental casts are a nod to teeth and/ or bite marks being common in identifying bodies and murder victims respectively.

"We are not a culture of death. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't go into great depth about what happens when someone dies. Let's take somebody who is killed and thrown out on the edge of the road and police are called. They come and they hold up sheets so that you can't see what's going on. Everybody drives by looking - but can't see anything. They call whoever comes to pick up the body. They come and out the body in a black disaster bag, and again you can't see what they are doing. The body bag goes to the morgue. Well, you don't take tours of morgues and you don't know what goes on in a morgue. If you ever see that individual again it may be at the funeral if they have an open coffin. But if they don't, they are buried and no one ever sees it. I don't know why we cover it up." - Bill Bass, Forensic anthropologist and founder of The Body Farm.