Definitive Spaces LLC/Definitive Home Staging — Dishonest and Misleading Designer
This is an alert to those seeking design services or home staging services in Chicago and near by areas:
Stretch your legs, you will want to RUN and not walk away from this Definitive Home Staging and it's own, Ian J Lowery!
A great summary of the kind of man you might sadly run across can be had by reading his website and the false promises he makes. This homestager, Lowery, claims that if you hire him to rearrange you furniture banks are going to huge loans based on 'what your house might be worth' at some future time.
Home Staging is what property owners use as a presentation tool when they are looking to sell or to get furnished rental units leased. There are many good and known companies in Chicago who offer services. Of the seven others I talked to, none know who this Ian Lowery is. Let that be a warning sign for you, I wish I'd found that out in time.
Read this website quote:
“Banks are now offering buyers renovation loan options that are calculated by the home's potential value, not it's current value.”
Wow! This is part of his scam to sell his service of simply cleaning your home and reordering furniture in an awkward way (one time) at a huge fee! He makes assurances that this will help the bank give you more money for renovations. It is a foot in the door gimmick for him to try and hustle up more business. After checking with other homestagers (after being burned) I find this is some smoke and mirrors gimmick on the part of Definitive Home Staging. It is not common practice to tell a client the bank must surely give more money due to a superficial redecorating job! This launches into the second phase of the attempted con which this Ian Lowery attempts to pull.
What Ian Lowery does not tell you are lists of banks he works with who give these loans nor that the loan is an FHA loan. When you want to use the type of loan you need to find a 203K consultant and that there are fees and other hidden costs. You have to seek out this loan on your own and it turns out the cleaning and 'staging' service will do nothing to aid your getting any kind of loan.
So... Ian then mentions that he is really a 'designer'. The real value is in remodeling and it turns out that Mt Lowery is your man. He goes from being the man who cleaned your living space to a full on 'designer'. That means he wants to play interior decorator by tearing down walls and ripping up the area. He is not an architect nor does his company employ one.
I was smart enough to stop and look into matters at this point. Take what I learned to heart and stay away! When the same initial promise of getting more money from the banks and adding more value was made a second time, for higher costs with these design services, it was a red flag.
This company of Lowery's Definitive Spaces LLC which owns the home staging business is big trouble. Seems that Definitive Spaces LLC was running around with a builder and supplier in the suburbs that Lowery was on the dole with. That builder recently went bankrupt under Chapter 7!
So Lowery moved his focus into the city. Seems however that Definitive Spaces LLC and Ian Lowery have both been sued in court recently. I guess his design services are not much better then his home cleaning and home staging ones are! That was enough for me- I pulled the plug.
I was shocked to learn, but this confirmed what I feared, that the business address for Definitive Spaces LLC and Ian Lowery and his Definitive Home Staging are all out of some rented apartment! Not even a proper commercial business space; he is running this show out of a spare bedroom.
I had to pay another home staging company to do the work right. They did, thankfully, and they did not try to sell me additional remodeling services.
Seems the only truths about Lowery were the place he went to school and his name. Lies that he can secure loans for you when you hire him on with his services, his past business partners now being bankrupt, lawsuits against him and his company, and just plain poor workmanship make me glad I distanced myself from this man and this companies.
Don't fall into the trap I did! Keep away!