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Agent Snapshot: Victoria Upton, Accredited Luxury Home Specialist, Upton Gray Properties

Published in Houston Agent Magazine:

Name: Victoria Upton

Job Title: Accredited Luxury Home Specialist

Company: Upton Gray Properties

What was your first job in the realty industry? My grandmother owned Century 21 Greystone for over 15 years and during my summers, I would often work for her there.

Where did you grow up? Houston

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Fall is the Best Time for Buyers!

With the cooling weather comes a cooling real estate market. Fall (and eventually winter) is a slow season, but that makes it the best time to buy a new home thanks to several factors.

Sale Prices Drop

According to RealtyTrac’s analysis of more than 32 million home sales over 15 years, most people who buy a home in fall (primarily in October) pay 2.6 percent below the market value. This is a result of the slow real estate market and less competition. Sellers are usually worn out by this time and want to focus on the holidays, so at this time they are more willing to sell at a lower asking rate. Buyers also have less competition from other bids since most families are already settled in their new homes before school.

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Why to Buy a New Construction

Recently, more and more buyers have been gravitating towards new constructions rather than pre-existing homes. But what are the benefits of a new construction?


If you’re buying a new construction early on, you’ll have the benefit of choosing exactly what you want in your new home. You can choose the color, design, location, and placement of certain rooms to your heart’s content. Just note that your choices can be limited but it’s better than having no choice at all.

A new construction by Refined Custom Builders.

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Odd Factors that Increase Your Home Value

Curb appeal and location are some common factors that increase your home value. But what about the uncommon factors? Here are a couple of odd things that bump up your home’s value.

How Close you are to National-Chain Coffee Shops

If your home is a quarter mile away from a Starbucks, expect the value of your home to increase by 96%. It also works for Dunkin’ Donuts too since it that same study, homes that were a quarter mile away had an 80% value increase.

Blue Kitchens and/or Blue Bathrooms

Pops of blue can go a long way in your kitchen or bathroom. Homes with blue kitchens were sold for $1,809 premium while homes with blue bathrooms were sold for $5,440 premium.

Trendy Features

Stay on trend! Farmhouse sinks and barn doors are in right now and homes that include either feature sell faster and for more (8% to 13.5% more and 57 days faster).

City Proximity

There has been a 54% increase in the value of urban homes the past couple of years. Compared to suburban homes, urban homes are worth up to 35% more.

Featured Listing: 5639 Pine Forest Road

About the House

Today’s featured listing is 5639 Pine Forest Road! This fabulous home is 9,505 square feet of pure luxury with 7 beds, 7 full baths and 1 half bath! Inside, we have beautiful high ceilings throughout the home, a gorgeous wine room, game room, media room, and a fantastic master suite with huge his and her closets. Outdoors includes a custom pool with a cocktail table, fire pit, outdoor kitchen, and fountains. This home is perfect for entertaining guests! Just off of Woodway Drive, the Pine Forest property is a little way out of the hustle and bustle of the 610 Loop.

Around the Community

Pine Forest is located closer to Uptown Houston, which gives you access to an assortment of shopping, amenities, and entertainment! 10 to 15 minutes away are three different golf courses (Houston Country Club, River Oaks Country Club, and Memorial Park Golf Course & Driving Range) as well as the spacious Memorial Park and the luxurious Houstonian Hotel, Club, & Spa. 5 to 10 minutes away is Westheimer Road, home to an assortment of fine dining and cuisine. And 10 to 15 minutes away are numerous shopping centers like The Galleria, Uptown Park, Highland Village, and the River Oaks District.

For public schools, this property is located in Houston ISD so your child will be zoned to Briargrove Elementary, Tanglewood Middle School, and Wisdom High School. Your selection for private schools are wider as you are 7 minutes away from Second Baptist School (Pre-K to 12th Grade), 10 minutes from Primrose School at the Galleria (infants to Kindergarten), and 12 minutes away from River Oaks Baptist School (age 2 to 8th Grade).

For More Info

Contact Victoria Upton via email at or via phone at 281.497.4729 to schedule your tour today!

5 Reasons to Hire a Home Stager

“What is a home stager?” Like interior designers, home stagers decorate a room or home using a variety of tools including color, furniture, and even lighting. However, the main difference is WHO they’re decorating for. Interior designers decorate to make you, the client, happy in your space. Home stagers decorate not with the home owner’s preferences in mind but with what will SELL. Home stagers stage the home in a way that is most appealing to a mass market (hence the name). But now we ask: “Why should I hire a home stager?” Home stagers stage the home in a way that is most appealing to a mass market (hence the name). The benefits they bring may surprise you!

Increases Value of Home & Decreases Days on Market

According to the National Association of Realtors, 32% of homes were sold for 1% to 5% higher value when staged while 16% of homes were sold for 6% to 10% higher value when staged. At most, Realtors saw up to a 20% value increase when a home was staged. Days on market also have been reported to decrease when staged.

On the buyer’s side, 81% of buyers have reported they have an easier time visualizing themselves in a home when it is staged, 46% of sellers are willing to walk through when they see a staged home online and 26% of sellers are willing to overlook faults in a home if it is well staged.

Experienced Artists

In a way, home stagers are artists. They decorate a home to bring out its fullest selling potential. Experienced stagers will not only know what’s trending in the interior design world but what is selling in a real estate market. The experience they bring to the table won’t have you second-guessing which art piece to put on which wall.

Impartial Third-Party

Home stagers have one job: to sell a home. They aren’t emotionally attached to a space, so they will bring an impartial eye when inspecting the home for the first time. Furniture pieces you adore might be put aside to bring something in that’s more appealing while décor you dislike might be put front-and-center due to trends. They can also help de-personalize and de-clutter a room, two key tricks that will help in selling a home.

Connections to Other Industries

Home stagers don’t focus on just furniture. They consider lighting, paint, basically every aspect of a room. And fixing those parts requires extra hands. Luckily, experienced home stagers have a network of painters, contractors, and the like to rely on to give your home that extra sellable boost.

No Stress!

Selling a home is already stressful enough but leaving the decorating part to someone else will take a load off the seller’s shoulders. It also gives the seller piece of mind that there is a team working hard to make their home as profitable as possible.

Featured Listing: 4639 Waring St.

About the House

Today’s featured listing is 4639 Waring St., located inside the 610 loop near US 59. This beautiful modern home is a new construction from Refined Custom Builders with about 5,607 square feet of space. There are four bedrooms, five bathrooms, and 1 half bath with additional features such as high ceilings, large walk-in closets, outdoor kitchen, 3 car tandem garage, and room for a pool!

Around the Community

The Waring property is in the Afton Oaks subdivision and is minutes away from many shopping districts, most notably the Galleria, River Oaks, and Highland Village. There are also several theaters, parks, and even the River Oaks Country Club just a short drive away.

For schools, you have excellent picks no matter if you decide to go the public or private route. Enrolling your child in a public school will place them in Houston ISD’s School at St George Place (PK – 5th), Lanier Middle School, or Lamar High School, which all have ranked above 6 out of 10 at For private school, your choices include Primrose School at the Galleria (Infant – Kindergarten), River Oaks Baptist School (2 years – 8th), or St. John’s School (K – 12th). All private schools mention were ranked 4 stars and up on

For More Info

Contact Victoria Upton via email at or via phone at 281.497.4729 to schedule your tour today!

Houston Residential Real Estate July Snap Shot

July has been a good month for the Houston real estate market. Although it did not beat June 2018’s record-number sales, it did beat last July in almost all areas.

A Quick Look

A total of 8,108 single-family homes were sold in July compared to last July’s 7,433, a 9.1 percent increase. Overall, 2018 home sales have risen 3.4 percent so far compared to last year. The median price of single-family homes has jumped to 5.4 percent while the average has increased to 2.4 percent. The luxury home market (homes that are $750,000 and above) has seen an increase in sales by 6.3 percent. However, homes that range from $250,000 to $499,999 left the luxury home market in the dust with a whopping 21 percent increase in sales compared to last July.

The only area that saw a decrease was single-family homes inventory. The inventory dropped from 4.3-months supply last year to 4.2-months supply this year. The average across the U.S. is 4.3-months supply, so Houston’s supply is a little below that. Also, Days on Market (DOM) for single-family homes remain at 48 days on average.

Taken from, here are the July sales performances in each housing segment:

  • $1 – $99,999: decreased 12.2 percent
  • $100,000 – $149,999: decreased by 22.2 percent
  • $150,000 – $249,999: increased by 9.5 percent
  • $250,000 – $499,999: increased by 21.0 percent
  • $500,000 – $749,999: increased by 15.1 percent
  • $750,000 and above: increased by 6.3 percent

According to HAR Chair Kenya Burrell-VanWormer, the Houston housing market is “…one of the most vibrant in the U.S.” because of the healthy job market.

Interior Design Trends for Fall 2018

Just like the changing seasons, trends come and go. Check out the latest fall trends down below!

Velvet: Velvet accents like chairs and pillows give your room a luxury feel. It also adds a level of texture, which is a big overarching theme for this fall.

Find it Here:

Gold: Gold is still going strong this upcoming fall season. Although it’s commonly used as a statement piece, don’t be afraid to use it in bigger pieces like carpets. Or using it more frequently like in our bathroom example.


Jewel Tones: Pops of indigo, fuchsia, emerald green, and dark blue will help revitalize a room. Keep them as accent colors to your couch or table to not overwhelm your room with color.


Textures: Texture is just as important as lighting and color. It adds both visual and tactile elements to a room. Different textures can convey different atmospheres. For example, having fluffy, knitted textures bring out warmth while reflected textures add pop and a modern statement to a room.


Blush: Light pink/blush is a surprisingly great neutral tone! It adds warmth and character to a room and can be paired with both light and dark colors.


Oversized Florals: A surprising fall trend, oversized florals are popping up more and more as focal points for rooms. Have it on your wall and decorate your room around it. Or use it on your cushions or bedding as accent pieces.


Mix & Match Styles: More and more, people aren’t sticking to one focused style when decorating. Mix and match chairs, furniture pieces, or styles to make something completely your own.


Black: Black is back and here to stay for fall and winter. Using black in your accessories when decorating a neutral colored room will bring both warmth and texture. Black also looks great with metals. Be sure to keep black in your accessories though so it won’t completely darken your room.