Tag Archive | "westport connecticut"

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!

Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!

It’s a great time of year that is full of crisp air and college football. What’s more inspirational than the  movie “Rudy”? Despite seeing it more than 20 times, I still get choked up when he finally gets to play at the end of the game. “Rudy” is playing tonight at Staples High at 6:30 p.m. through the Westport Cinema Initiative in Westport Connecticut. Check out the link for more information at Westport Cinema Initiative.

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Is The “Days On Market” Number Important To Buyers And Sellers?

Is The “Days On Market” Number Important To Buyers And Sellers?

For my 29 years in real estate, the “days on market” stats on listings has always been tracked. It’s always a discussion between buyers and their agents and  it’s used in price opinions as a measurement tool.

Typically, buyers ask “how long has it been on the market?” When a property is listed for longer then the average time (100-120 days in our area), you will see them cringe a little. So my question is, should the “DOM” number influence buyers and is it a factor in what initial offers?

Years ago on MLS you had to do a little research and add up the days. Now, a click of the button gives the cumulative days.

So, back to my original question: Is measuring “days on market”  truly meaningful in the exchange of real estate or a barometer of anything important? Extended time on the market is reflective of resistance in the market to condition, location and ultimately price. But, don’t buyers already determine what they are willing to pay?

I think buyers are smart enough to figure out the value (or lack of value) on a home without examining the time on the market. Do you think it’s important to track “days on market”?

Posted in Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Is The “Days On Market” Number Important To Buyers And Sellers?

Jazz Jam Thursdays At The Westport Arts Center

Jazz Jam Thursdays At The Westport Arts Center

The Westport Arts Center presents “Jazz Jam Thursdays” at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.

Right in the heart of Westport, Connecticut, the Westport Arts Center presents *Jazz Jam Thursdays*–Thursdays:  May 17 & June 14, 7pm.

The cost is $15 for the public and $10 for Westport Arts Center Members.

Join WAC’s Artistic Director for Jazz, Brian Torff for a toe-tapping jam session with some of the community’s most active musicians. These sessions are intended to be a spontaneous exploration of jazz, blues, and other music styles. Students and semi-professionals encouraged to drop in and jam.  For additional information, contact the Westport Arts Center at 203-222-7070, westportartscenter.org.

Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., at 51 Riverside Avenue, Westport, CT.

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11th Annual “Castles In The Sand” in Westport Connecticut

11th Annual “Castles In The Sand” in Westport Connecticut

The 11th Annual “Castles In The Sand” is scheduled for Saturday, May 12th, with a rain date of May 13th. This afternoon of fun raises funds for the homeless and neighbors in need in Westport, Connecticut.

The build-a-thon will be held at Compo Beach from 12:00 p.m.- 4 p.m.  This is sponsored by Interfaith Homes With Home which does great work within our community to provide housing and support for local residents. Contact them at www.ihawestport.com to reserve your sand-sculpting lot or for additional information.

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The 4th Annual Walk/Run To Turn The Corner on Lyme

The 4th Annual Walk/Run To Turn The Corner on Lyme

On April 1st  2012, The 4th Annual Walk/Run to Turn the Corner on Lyme (on behalf of Turn the Corner Foundation) will be held at Sherwood Island in Westport Connecticut. This walk/run is being held to raise funds for research and awareness on Lyme Disease.

Registration and check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. The walk/run event includes:

5K and 10K run, and a 1 1/2 mile and 3 mile walk within Sherwood Island Park. It also includes information stations for you to learn more about Lyme disease, music, and food.

Early registration fees are $25 per person and $70 per family (children under 10 are free). If you register at the walk/run fees are $35 per person, and $80 per family (children under 10 are free). To register visit TurnTheCorner.org/walks.

For more information, contact Orna Grand at 203.454.4024, ornag55@gmail.com.

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Stay Away Old Man Winter!

Stay Away Old Man Winter!

We all have clear memories of Old Man Winter rearing his ugly head in January last year and not letting up until March. We hibernated and dealt with the snow that piled up until there was no place to plow it. Understandably, sloppy weather impacts the general pace of the real estate market including homeowners listing their homes and buyers wanting to search. Even after the thaw last year, homeowners delayed listing their homes due to repairs from snow and major icing problems.

This winter season had an early start with the destructive snow storm we had in October 2011, but stalled through the holidays. As we enter February it feels oddly like Spring. We all feel a little more chipper and hopeful. Buyers are very active in the market, and attending open houses in droves. There is a distinct “buzz” in the market and negotiations are taking place.

I hope the sunny, clear weather holds on and we have a mild winter. It will bode well for buyers , sellers and the real estate market. So, stay away Old Man Winter! See you next year!

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Southport Connecticut, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT Rentals, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on Stay Away Old Man Winter!

Westport Cinema Initiative Presents “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” On January 28th

Westport Cinema Initiative Presents “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” On January 28th

There are some really fun things going on in Westport Connecticut. I love supporting local organizations and this is one of them. Here is the latest press release from the Westport Cinema Initiative:

Hot on the heels of the sold-out screening of Farmageddon, Westport Cinema Initiative (WCI) presents Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey on January 28 at 4:00pm at Christ & Holy Trinity Church in Westport.

WCI is expecting a large turnout to see this acclaimed documentary that has garnered numerous film festival awards including Sundance, Dallas, Boston, Seattle and Nantucket and received rave reviews. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey captures the unique story of puppeteer Kevin Clash, and how a shy child with an unusual hobby created a beloved international icon.

Making his first puppet at the age of 10 (using his father’s raincoat to fashion a monkey from the furry fabric) Clash says he recognized that he had wanted to be a puppeteer ever since his early childhood. In 1984, after years of staging performances and creating puppets, he was noticed by the Muppet designers and eventually became an official puppeteer on Sesame Street. The following year Clash was given a puppet character to develop. Its name was Elmo and previous writers and puppeteers who worked on Elmo were not satisfied with their characterization.

Clash more than succeeded; he created a character who was in essence, a puppet version of the child in each of us.

Clash never looked back and he went on to win or share seventeen Emmys. Elmo remains so beloved that today, one-third of each Sesame Street episode is dedicated to “Elmo’s World”. While Kevin Clash is unknown to the world, Elmo is one of the most popular characters ever created, a household name with children and their parents around the globe.

Rare behind-the-scenes-footage of Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop highlight the story of Clash, the realization of his dream and the creation of Elmo, one of the most beloved characters in popular culture.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey screens January 28, 4pm at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, 75 Church Ln, Westport. Tickets are $10 each – available at westportcinema.org or at the door. The Westport Cinema Initiative is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to bringing an independent movie theater back to Westport CT. Westport’s last theaters closed in 1999 after 83 years of continuous operation. For additional information; visit westportcinema.org or facebook.com/WestportCinema.

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Sales For Westport Connecticut 2011 Versus 2006-2010

Sales For Westport Connecticut 2011 Versus 2006-2010

Trends in sales in Westport Connecticut have been very interesting so far this year, from January through November. I averaged the sales between 2006 and 2010 and compared them to where we are in 2011, by month. 2011 sales have been up and down beginning strong in January against the previous five years. Here is a market snapshot:

January 2011-18 closings vs average of 17.8

February 2011-15 closings vs average of 17.2

March 2011-20 closings vs average of 23.4

April 2011-32 closings vs average of 24.2

May 2011-42 closings vs average of 31

June 2011-54 closings vs average of 43.2

July 2011-36 closings vs average of 39.8

August 2011-43 closings vs average of 40.8

September 2011- 26 closings vs average of 27.8

October 2011-21 closings vs average 26.4

November 2011-17 closings vs average of 21.8

So, as of the end of November 2011 we had 324 closings vs 325 from November 2010. However, that doesn’t tell the entire story. In December 2010, we had 26 closings. Looking at the “pipeline” of bindered and properties under contract, December 2011 closings will be much leaner than in December 2010.

This subtle shift in pipeline may be contributing to increased inventory in many price points. Check back in for my analysis of the market, including active listings, bindered, pending and sold units.

 



Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Sales For Westport Connecticut 2011 Versus 2006-2010

“Gem Of The Week”-190 Hillspoint Road, Westport Connecticut

“Gem Of The Week”-190 Hillspoint Road, Westport Connecticut

Our “Gem Of the Week” is truly one of those homes that makes you slow down to look at every detail. It’s located in the beach area of Westport Connecticut, along the “Gold Coast”. It is stunning, luxury living and is captured best by Prudential CT Realty’s agent Sue Herrmann. As an investor and former marketing executive, Sue identifies and captures the fine features of this home through her “Gem Of The Week”. Enjoy this gem along with Sue’s other gems on her site:

http://hermhomes.com/190-Hillspoint.php

Posted in Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on “Gem Of The Week”-190 Hillspoint Road, Westport Connecticut

Be My Guest (Blogger)!

Be My Guest (Blogger)!

Be My Guest Blogger! Are you a small, local real estate-related or home-related business owner that would benefit from being featured on WestportPost.com? Contact me with your company information and any interesting background on your business. (I will also include your website link or website presence.) Your company will benefit from my Google ranking for local search terms and get additional online exposure. And, I get the benefit of your expertise and great content on my blog! Email me at melissabrownriley@gmail.com.

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Westport CT’s Yearly Rental Market

Yearly rentals always seem to be in demand in Westport, CT and as of November 25th, we have 76 of them available. The low rental listing price is $1000/month in Greens Farms and the high rental listing is on Minute Man Hill at $16,500 per month. The average rental listing price is $5515/month and the median listing rental price is $4500/month. There are currently 23 listings at $3000/month or less.

Well-priced rental listings are still moving quickly and tenants should have their credit checks completed and references ready before beginning their search. In Fairfield County, many landlords offer to pay the commission to the listing and rental agent, so no commission fee is charged to tenants. Contact me to ask about our Westport Rental Group, our highly-specialized team of agents and how we can provide you with the information you need. We can assist you whether you are searching for a rental in the Westport area or if you are a landlord.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Westport CT RentalsComments Off on Westport CT’s Yearly Rental Market

Westport CT Real Estate Market Update-Active Listings (Single Family and Condominiums)

Here is a quick market update on active single family homes in Westport Connecticut:

There are 307 single family listings on the market with the lowest price at $399,000 on Oakview and a high of $24,950,000 (yes, that is million) on Beachside Avenue. The median listing price is $1,595,000. I always like to use median, which is the “middle of the market” versus averages. The highest “days on market” is 808 days with the median at 126 days.

Here is a snapshot of the active condominium units in Westport Connecticut:

There are 20 condominiums on the market with the low of $294,500 on Hills Lane and the high of $1,495,000 in Regent’s Park. The median listing price is $699,500. The highest “days on market” is 440 days with the median at 109.

Prices are holding steady however, with a slow pipeline of binders and contracts in the hopper compared to last year, there will be pressure on prices in the next few months. I expect that we will be looking at a more aggressively priced market in the Spring.

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What is a SHORT SALE?

What is a SHORT SALE?

We are frequently asked “What is a short sale”? Even if sellers don’t know this term, many understand that they owe more on their mortgage than they can sell their home for on the open market. In a short sale, the property is sold and the lender agrees to accept less than is owed on the mortgage, releasing the lien that is secured to the property. Banks do not approve all short sales and their are guidelines for sellers considering a short sale.

Short sales may be the result of a few things: The seller purchases in a higher valued market and the market declines below the mortgage amount or the homeowner creates too much debt against the house thus being “upside down”. Many homeowners may feel that they have no options to sell their home. A “short sale” with the bank may be a viable option to sell their home or to avoid foreclosure. Having information and access to knowledgeable resources is critical for the homeowner to make sure they limit their liability.

Due of the number of short sales and the need in the market, we have developed a resource known as the “SAF Program” (Short Sale And Foreclosure) which assists homeowners throughout the short sale process. I will be posting additional information in the next few weeks.  Please let me know what questions you have or what information you would find helpful whether you are a seller or considering buying a short sale. If you need guidance, please contact me at (203)253-9222 or email me at MRiley@prudentialct.com and we will get the resources you need.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real Estate, Wilton ConnecticutComments Off on What is a SHORT SALE?

Like Ants At A Picnic

Like Ants At A Picnic

I was just catching up with one of my top agents on some of the dynamics of the Westport market. Every November and December the market becomes cyclical from an inventory standpoint. Much of the inventory that is available on the market has been “picked through” by buyers.  Three components are needed for a house to be perceived positively in the market: Proper/aggressive pricing, good or excellent location and good condition. When these three components do not align, listings experience resistance resulting extended marketing time and multiple reductions. Even more extreme, some overpriced properties that are so far out of range, simply become invisible to the market.

However, when a well-priced, well-condition home in a great location comes on the market, we see an immediate reaction. Just like ants at a good picnic, the buyers converge in an almost frenzied state and we see multiple offers. Quality inventory is definitely still desirable and sells quickly. I thought the “ants at a picnic” analogy from Jon Deak was clever and an accurate reflection of the well-positioned listings that hit the market.

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Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

Find out what has listed and sold in the Fairfield County real estate market or neighborhood of your choice. Your monthly, customizable “Market Snapshot” gives details on listing and sold housing trends. Whether you are selling your home or searching for a home, get inside access to the latest activity in your neighborhood on easy-to-understand graphics from real time MLS data. You can also receive a compelling monthly newsletter which outlines the latest market scoop. Click on the red widget on the right hand column to begin receiving your “Market Snapshot”. Contact me for additional information on real estate related questions at Melissa Riley (203)253-9222.

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on Can’t Get Enough Fairfield County Connecticut Housing Data?

No Electricity Needed

No Electricity Needed

Despite the challenges with flooding and no electricity from tropical storm Irene, Westport Connecticut’s farmer’s market is still thriving and open for business on Thursdays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Stop by for fresh fruits and vegetables from local vendors. The Westport Farmers Market has an informative website for directions and additional information if you would like to be a vendor or sponsor. Here is their mission statement:

 

The Westport Farmers Market is committed to providing fresh, local, healthy and seasonal food. Aspire to create a safe and healthy community environment for education and socialization. Increase awareness, knowledge and support for local producers focused on sustainable and healthy growing practices.

Visit their site at http://www.westportfarmersmarket.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on No Electricity Needed

5 Things We Love About Westport Connecticut

5 Things We Love About Westport Connecticut

I have the advantage of picking the brains of 50 real estate agents every day. All of them are actively involved in the community and have an in-depth knowledge of Westport and the surrounding areas. In the next few weeks, I am going to post some of the things they love about Westport Connecticut. It’s an interesting list for local Westporters, but also those thinking about buying here.

Winslow Park-This is in the heart of Westport and a designated off-leash dog walking park full of grass and trails to follow. http://www.dogster.com/local/CT/Westport/Dog_Parks/Winslow_park-123129

Westport Country Playhouse-This is another gem in the center of town. This 80-year old theater includes an intimate setting for locals and NYC theater-goers. Many of the shows eventually move to Broadway from this theater. It’s an experience and a treat to attend a show here. http://www.westportplayhouse.org/ourseason/2011seasonataglance.aspx?gclid=CPyErYne96oCFeMD5QodLkuIOw

Our local post office, where the clerks have been there for many years. They take the time to know the residents and remember their names.

Westport Public Library-This is one of the most organized and community-minded libraries around. The list of free courses is endless and the public always has something interesting to attend there. http://www.WestportLibrary.org

Westport Patch-This is a newer hyperlocal online news site. The editors have a great handle on the community and engage on a local level. It’s worth a peek at http://www.WestportPatch.com

Look for more “Things” we love about Westport Connecticut!

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The Five Factors Of Credit Scoring And Tips For Keeping Your Credit Score High

The Five Factors Of Credit Scoring And Tips For Keeping Your Credit Score High

Jeff Jensen

We have the benefit of having one of the most effective and responsive mortgage officers in our local Westport Prudential CT Realty office. Jeff Jensen guides us every day through the maze of mortgages and all of the challenges that seem to crop up. Jeff is this month’s guest blogger with important information on your credit score.  Jeff can be reached at (203)981-8282 or at jjensen@cthm.com.

Having a good credit score is a prerequisite for receiving the best interest rates and programs on credit cards, auto loans and home mortgages. The purpose of a credit score is to predict the statistical chance of a consumer being 90 days late within two years.  A credit score is a snapshot of one’s credit at that particular moment in time and can change at any time.

In order to maximize your score you need to be aware of the five components from which your score is determined.  They are listed below with the approximate weight by which they influence your score.  There are three national reporting bureaus Equifax, Transunion and Experion.  Each one of them has multiple scoring models which could cause your score could vary depending on which credit reporting service you use.

Payment history-35%

Revolving debt ratio-30%

Average age of File-15%

Mix of Credit-10%

Inquiries-10%

Payment history is a record of the timeliness of your monthly payments.  Creditors normally report to the bureaus shortly after the end of each month using a form called an E Oscar.  Payments made on time will keep your score high.  A late payment will cause your score to go down for a period of time depending on the category.  Normally late payments affect the score of the following types of accounts in ascending degrees of severity for both the penalty to the score and the period that the y will affect the score.  They are in order below starting with the least severe.

Revolving Credit (credit cards)

Auto Loans

Mortgage Payments

Tax Liens

Foreclosures

Bankruptcy

Your revolving debt ratio measures the amount of outstanding debt you have on a particular account versus the high credit limit for the account.  For instance, if you have a credit card with a $5,000. high limit and have an outstanding balance of $1,200. your score would not be likely to receive a negative change.  If, however, your balance on the same card exceeded 50% of the high limit or $2,500., Your score would be reduced.  You would do well to have your debt shared among several cards and keep all the balances below 50% of the limit and ideally below 10%.  Contrary to what many believe, you are rewarded for having the highest limits with lowest balances.  The thinking is that you are worthy of being afforded the high limit and have the restraint and the sense not use it.  It is wise to periodically call your bank and ask to have your limit increased.  Another little known derogatory is closing credit cards.  You should keep them open and use them every six months or so if they are not your main cards.  One handy trick is to have a business credit card if you charge a lot on cards for your business.  Business cards do not report to credit bureaus on your personal report so the level of utilization is not an issue.

The average age of credit files rewards those with a longer history.   Hang onto old credit cards and your score will improve over time.

The mix of types of credit is an important element of your score.   The best scores will normally be available for those who have three to five credit cards, a mortgage, an auto loan and home equity lines of credit.

The number of credit inquiries can hurt your credit score.  Inquiries can cost between 0 and 50 points.  The average inquiry cost is about 5 points.  Inquiries affect the score for one year.  Some inquiries such as personal, job related, insurance among others do not affect your score.  If, however, you go to store after store and open new credit cards, not only will your score plummet, but you will also incur additional scrutiny when applying for auto loans or mortgages.  Auto and mortgage loans are in a special category.  Because credit bureaus understand that those purchases will affect your cash flow for years to come, additional inquiries do not affect you.  Upon your first inquiry for either one of those loan types, a 45 day window is opened during which you can apply to multiple vendors of the same loan type with impunity.

Keeping your score as high as possible can save you thousands and thousands of dollars over your life time.  It is important to manage the balances and high limits on your credit cards and never pay a bill late.  Even paying a bill after the 15 day grace period could affect your ability to receive future credit.  Scores over 800 are generously rewarded with low rates and attractive programs.

If you need additional assistance with any mortgage-related question or issue, email Jeff Jensen at jjensen@cthm.com

Posted in CT Real Estate, Fairfield County Real Estate, Weston Connecticut Real Estate, Westport Connecticut, Westport Connecticut Real EstateComments Off on The Five Factors Of Credit Scoring And Tips For Keeping Your Credit Score High

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.

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