Tag Archive | "connecticut"

It’s Easy To Be Green

It’s Easy To Be Green

It is a great time to get organized, clean out and refresh your home. Getting rid of clutter, reorganizing and cleaning often helps us mentally prepare for the winter. Instead of mindlessly purchasing store-bought cleaners, think about what you can replace with”green” alternatives that are just as effective when it comes to cleaning. Using harsh cleaners can have a cumulative, toxic effect in your home.

Here a few ideas that are cost-effective and way better for your household and the environment:

Here are some basics to keep on hand that do a great cleaning job:

  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Club Soda
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid detergent
  • Tea tree Oil
  • Ketchup
  • Spray bottles
  • Newspaper
  • Sponges
  • Vanilla, Rosemary

Sink: I used to buy SoftScrub but found it expensive. Here is a perfectly good way of cleaning the sink. Mix baking soda and drop some liquid detergent in until it’s a creamy consistency. Baking soda is also great for freshening the drain.

Clogged drain: Instead of toxic Drano, use ½ cup baking soda and 2 cups of boiling water, ½ cup of vinegar to unclog. It really bubbles!

Mirrors and Windows: Use ½ teaspoon of liquid detergent, 3 tablespoons of white vinegar and 2 cups of water, put in a spray bottle and use a newspaper instead of a paper towel. The newspaper helps reduce streaking. Lemon juice or club soda can also be used.

Bathroom tile: Use baking soda with a moist sponge. Lemon juice or vinegar works on mildew. To disinfect, use 2 cups of water, a few tablespoons of liquid soap and 20 drops of tea tree oil.

Polishing silver: This is one of my favorite tips. Line your sink with aluminum foil and place your silver in the sink. Pour boiling water and a cup or two of baking soda and a small amount of salt. Let it sit for a few minutes and the tarnish will move from the silver to the foil. This really works!

Copper: Ketchup is the quick way to clean copper. Rub it with ketchup and a soft cloth.

Air fresheners: Instead of buying a chemical freshener, consider a mixture of water, lemon juice, vanilla and rosemary on your stove. You won’t ever buy an air freshener again!

Because all of these ingredients are healthier, you may want to clean more! Please let me know what “green” cleaners you use.

Posted in Fairfield County Real Estate, Featured, Green LivingComments Off on It’s Easy To Be Green

Listing Shortage

Listing Shortage

The Fairfield County market is so dynamic in nature and we all hold our breath in early January until we see the sale numbers. The real estate market is directly impacted by weather, mortgage rates and confidence (or lack thereof) in the economy. Connecticut budgetary woes and poor job numbers have been impacting how confident buyers feel about jumping into the market. Knowing the specifics of the market become a larger factor into your success as a buyer or seller. Another important factor is what type of inventory is available for buyers.

Currently, many price ranges are experiencing a shortage of quality listings. Some listings have been languishing on the market. It will be critical for a fresh batch of listings to enter the market in the next few weeks. Sellers in low inventory price points that are well-conditioned in desirable neighbors are getting attention in the market.

If you are a seller interested in getting objective feedback about pricing on your home, I would like to offer the best real estate agent for your needs. Contact me at (203)253-9222 or melissabrownriley@gmail.com with any questions on the process.


Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, FeaturedComments Off on Listing Shortage

Location, Location…Condition?

Location, Location…Condition?

You have heard the old real estate adage: The most important thing in real estate is Location, Location, Location. But, is that still the case for buyers? We are seeing an interesting trend in the market with a priority of finding the perfect home in great condition, with a second consideration of location. Buyers are also including many towns in their search. So, towns, areas, and neighborhoods are taking a backseat to condition.

I find this fascinating since my understanding of buyers (after 29 years in real estate) has always been that they decide on the town, and zero in on a neighborhood first, with the home becoming (almost) the secondary concern. In this market, buyers are clearly less forgiving of any home in less than perfect condition. This could simply be a by-product of the shift in leverage over the past few years to their side. So sellers who “wow” buyers with condition and staging may have a leg up.

So, maybe our new mantra should be: Location, location…condition? Let me know what you think.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT Rentals, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Location, Location…Condition?

Home Staging Process Demystified-Top 5 Questions Home Sellers Have

Home Staging Process Demystified-Top 5 Questions Home Sellers Have

Real Estate Home Staging is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to home sellers to sell their house or apartment faster and at the top dollar. Home Staging can make the difference in selling a property versus languishing for months on the market or not selling at all. One of the goals of staging is to strategically differentiate your property from the competition – other houses on the market.

HGTV shows such as The Stagers, Get it Sold and Designed to Sell have increased awareness of the importance in staging a home for sale, especially in today’s tough real estate market. There is however often confusion about how to go about staging a home. There are three distinct steps involved in staging a property for sale:

While these steps seem relatively simple there are still many questions that home sellers have. I want to discuss some of these most common questions.

What if I only want a home staging consultation and do the work on my own?

Most professional home stagers are flexible in the way they work with home sellers who are on a budget and will provide also a written consultation report that can be used as an action plan for DIY-ers.

My husband and I are both working full time and we do not have the time to implement all the suggestions on your consultation report.  How can I get this work accomplished?

Coordinating quotes and overseeing tradesmen such as contractors, electricians, carpenters, painters, flooring specialists, landscapers, and professional cleaning services, can be very time consuming and involves decision making on the spot. Many home sellers simply do not have the time or experience to take care of all this coordination. Ask your home staging company if they also offer project management services to make it all happen for you. While much of this coordination can be handled by a home stager, some aspects will still require your time – e.g. sorting through personal belongings, ….

We wanted to list our house as quickly as possible. Since we will not be able to get through your list of recommendations immediately, we will just list it as is and see how it goes. We can then work on it if we cannot sell it.

Is selling your house fast and at the top dollar your priority when selling your house? If that is your goal, then waiting to stage your house can be the biggest mistakes you can make in the home selling process. This is a whole topic for another blog post as there are many reasons. Here are a couple. If your house is not dressed to stand out from the competition, your real estate agent’s marketing efforts will not stand out and create the marvelous first impression needed to attract the necessary traffic to your house to get a quick offer. With 94% of buyers looking online first and being in this highly competitive market, your online photos need to be immaculate. The most traffic when selling a home is occurs in the first two to four weeks after it is listed on the market.  The first price drop typically happens after four to six weeks on the market. So don’t waste valuable time on the market not showing your house at its very best right away – first impressions are lasting impressions. Keep in mind “you can loose a sale by one click of the mouse”.

We have removed personal photos, de-cluttered and painted – We are ready to put our home on the market!

Congratulations on these accomplishments! But not so fast….you have now completed step 2 – you are still missing the showcasing of your house.  I know – there are many people who think that staging is just de-cluttering, neutralizing and removing photos. However, these are only the pre-requisites for properly staging a house or apartment. Now the most important part starts! Designing emotional connection points with home buyers. This can involve  bringing in different furniture, accessories, artwork, lighting, rugs, bedding, etc. Each house has different needs and every item that is being used in a staging design plan has to be carefully thought about to ensure that it emotionally connects with buyers. I recommend to leave this last step of showcasing the house to an experienced and knowledgeable professional stager.

My house already looks beautiful. I even had an Interior Designer design many of my rooms – I don’t need to stage.

Interior designers do wonderful transformations based on your personal style, but this is not necessarily what buyers are looking for. Once you put your house on the market it no longer matters how beautifully it has been designed to suit your taste. It is now all about the buyers and how to attract them and how to present your home so they can see themselves living  their dream lifestyle in your house.  Nobody wants to buy your old house.  They want to buy their new house!

Selling a house or apartment is for most home sellers very emotional and stressful. The better your house shows in conjunction with the right price, the faster your house will sell and the faster you will be able to move on with your life.

About the Author:

Birgit Anich is the president and chief lifestyle stager of Birgit Anich Staging & Interiors, LLC, a Real Estate Home Staging and Interior Styling Company in Fairfield county. Birgit is a National and Regional Awards Winner by the Real Estate Staging Company (RESA). Having been trained and mentored by HGTV star Matthew Finlason (“The Stagers”), she specializes in the most advanced and successful staging techniques of Target Staging & Lifestyle Merchandising. Birgit has been featured on local FOX, NBC, ABC, CBS, the radio, Life@Home Magazine, and other media. For more information contact 203.807.4040 or birgit@BirgitAnich.com or visit www.BirgitAnich.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Home Staging Process Demystified-Top 5 Questions Home Sellers Have

Madison Real Estate Market

sheila-tinn-murphyMadison, Connecticut is a jewel in the shoreline and this unique town has something to offer for everyone. It is a wonderful seaside community with sandy beaches overlooking Long Island Sound, local farms, woodlands, hiking trails of the Rockland Preserve, and two state parks; Hammonasset State Beach and Park with over 930 acres and 558 campsites, and the Cockaponset State Forest in the northern portion of the town. The town has a charming New England Green lined with historic homes and a beautiful church. The main street boasts a cinema, the Scranton Memorial Library, a finely appointed Inn and restaurant, an award winning bookshop, multiple coffee shops, hair salons, gift, clothing and jewelry boutiques. The town has a population of over 18,000. The school system has been awarded a silver ranking by Newsweek for its educational quality and also has been received accolades from Sports Illustrated for its wonderful sports programs. Madison also boasts a newcomers club with many activities to help a new resident meet people with like interests. It is a place known for its small town charm with the annual Fourth of July Parade with fireworks, concerts on the green, antique shows, farmers market and tag sales that offer something for every taste. The Shoreline East train offers services from New London to Stamford and an easy transfer to New York City or north to Boston. New Haven is the closest major city and it is known for not only Yale University and Yale- New Haven Hospital, but for its wonderful museums, shopping and dining. The Madison housing market has seen a decrease in the median sales price from $542,000 in 2007 to a median price of $465,000 in 2008. Sales saw a 29% decline. The waterfront prices have continued to climb and recently a waterfront home closed at over 3.4 million dollars. The entry price in Madison has also changed and there are many homes priced in the $200,000-$300,000 range. Mortgage rates are at a 25-30 year low making Madison affordable to many qualified buyers. This wonderful thriving community has a lot to offer and with so many homes to choose from, and affordable financing, it is certainly a great time to be a Madison buyer. Sheila Tinn-Murphy, Realtor, SRES, Fine Homes Specialist Chairman’s Circle, Top 3% nationally, Excellence Award. http://www.Stinnmurphy.prudentialct.com Cell 203-915-7530

Posted in Madison ConnecticutComments Off on Madison Real Estate Market

Newtown Connecticut Real Estate Market

Bob and Richelle Ward, Realtors, ABR, Top Producing Team in Newtown, CT Prudential CT Realty

Welcome to our information about life in Newtown, CT!

Horses are a part of life here in Newtown. It’s not uncommon to see people in riding clothes (boots and all) or to see horses around town. There are many horse trails in town – some that cross privately owned land & some follow the old railroad beds. I am not a rider; however, I understand from those who do ride that the trails in Newtown are very extensive and connect into Monroe and Brookfield.

Newtown Bridle Land Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and protection of equestrian and passive recreation trails so unique to rural character of Newtown, CT. They have been helpful when I’ve called seeking information about horse related “things” in town.

The Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard is located in Newtown. They are celebrating 200 years of history this year. Originally formed in 1808 to “attend upon and escort the Governor in times of peace and war, the 2CGHG now is part of the organized militia of the State of Connecticut, under the direction of the Governor and the National Guard. They often ride in ceremonies, but still do train. The public is always welcome to visit during regular drill hours or events.

Some of the horse facilities in town include:

Redgate Farms located at 50 Poverty Hollow Road, Newtown
Astor Place Show Stables located at 50 Poverty Hollow Road, Newtown
Fox Ridge Farm located at 39 Aunt Park Lane, Newtown
Rabbit Hill Farm at The Ridge Equestrian Center, 163 Papoose Hill Road, Newtown
Zoar Ridge Stables located at 5 Morgan Drive, Sandy Hook
There are many private horse properties in Newtown and Sandy Hook where one can board their horse(s). Horse riding lessons are given at different facilities and are even offered through the Parks and Recreation Program.

Email us for horse properties currently listed at rward@prudentialct.com

Posted in Newtown ConnecticutComments Off on Newtown Connecticut Real Estate Market

Real Estates "Chicken Little"

Barry Rosa, SVP of New Homes and Land for Prudential CT Realty has the dirt on the CT real estate market. Here is his most recent article on “Real Estate’s Chicken Little”:

Just about every economic disaster of monumental significance can be linked to a single word: panic. Headlines written in superlatives like, “worst, deepest, deadliest,” scream like air raid sirens day after day. Fingers point in all directions and the ultimate cause of the collapse, the pundits will tell you, was unchecked greed. The question will remain, who was supposed to be checking it?

Blame aside, the sky did not fall, but it’s pretty cloudy out here, and our ability to see clearly has moved us from panic into paralysis. People with the means and the desire to buy a home are stuck in neutral with no idea whom to trust or where to start. The best advice I can give is to STOP reading national news about real estate and start researching your local market statistics. You’ll find that Connecticut is in pretty good shape.

Here are some important facts about Fairfield County’s real estate market derived from October and early November statistics for 2008 compared to 2007:

Sales are down year over year, but homes are selling. In fact, in Fairfield County, there have been about 6,500 single-family and condo sales through early November of this year. This is about 60% of last year’s number. A decline, yes, but not a “collapse.” There are also about 1000 single-family and condominium properties under deposit (about 75% of which will close) that are not counted in this number.

There is another market indicator that you will rarely find reported: The relationship between inventory, sales and deposits. This is a very important barometer on the health of the market. Longer supply times suggest a weaker market; shorter supply times generally mean the market is stronger.

Fairfield County does not have an excessive inventory of existing or new homes. The current supply of homes (both single-family and condos), together with the rate of sales and current deposits, shows there is about a nine-month supply of single-family and eight-month supply of condominiums on the market.

The same advice holds true for misaligned price comparisons. People waiting for the sound of prices slamming to the bottom would do well to ignore national headlines proclaiming 20, 30 and 40 percent price drops, and pay attention instead to the age-old principle, price follows demand. The overall median prices for single-family homes and condo units have declined from last year, but only fairy tale writers would employ a verb such as “plummet” or “crash” to explain the shift.

Here are the numbers for Fairfield County: The single-family median sales price in 2008 is $530,000 vs. $580,000 last year, and for condo units it is $294,000 vs. $295,000. This is a decrease of about 9% for single-family homes and the condo median sales price is essentially unchanged. Average marketing times are currently in the 135-140 day range.

The economic projections are still cloudy for the near future, but the sky is still above us and there are some very good opportunities in the real estate market. Money is tighter, but mortgage rates are still low, and there is a first-time buyer tax credit of up to $7,500 available through July of 2009. The fact is that homes priced correctly based on credible sales data to be “in” today’s market, will sell. Homes that are simply “on” the market ¾ meaning they are priced arbitrarily to test the waters ¾ will not.

In the fairy tale Chicken Little, a pebble falling on a single chicken’s head drove an entire barnyard of feathered followers into the fox’s den, and it took a wise king to find the pebble and put the fears to rest. In real estate, relevance is king. Your real estate market is the one to watch. And if you’re watching Connecticut, you’ll see, it’s a good time to buy. For more information about the Connecticut Real Estate Market, visit: http://beta.prudentialct.com/specialproperties/nhl/marketreport.asp to see statistics for all towns in Fairfield County as well as the state of CT.

Posted in CT Real Estate

Buying, Selling Or Renting In Fairfield County Connecticut? Contact Us At (203)253-9222

FreshPickedRealEstate.com is known as "Fairfield County CT's Favorite Real Estate Blog". We feature market statistics, community events and interesting happenings in and around lower Fairfield County Connecticut, including Westport, Weston, Wilton, Norwalk, Fairfield and Easton. Look for real estate tips with a focus on "green living" in the area.
Contact me at MelissaBrownRiley@gmail.com or at (203)253-9222 for info on all real estate services, including buying, selling or renting in Fairfield County, Connecticut or in any other county or state through our national network. We also specialize in buying or selling "short sales" and foreclosures.

Search Like An Agent For A Home Or Rental

Do you think online marketing makes a difference in exposing your home to the market?

According to the National Association of Realtors, 91% of all buyers begin their search on the internet. As a seller, having a definitive online strategy creates a differentiation to maximize your exposure to the right target market. I offer 31 years of real estate experience with a strong technology twist and focus on utilizing Google to attract attention to your listing. Find out how we can create an advantage for you.

Investors from New York Searching In Fairfield County

Are you an investor from New York looking for well-valued properties in Fairfield County? We will pair you with an experienced agent who can assist you in your search. Melissa Riley (203)253-9222. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices-New England Properties

Luxury Rental Listings Are Needed

Fairfield County, including the towns of Westport, Weston, Fairfield, Easton, Wilton and Norwalk are highly desirable towns for rentals.
We are experiencing a lack of quality luxury rental listings in lower Fairfield County. We have tenants looking for rental properties that fit their needs.
We will assist you with establishing the rental value on your home and helping you through rental process. Proper representation is the core of our business and I we zero in on your needs no matter if you are landlord or tenant.

Closing Cost Estimator

Loan Information
Loan Amount $
View/Edit Closing Cost Details