What’s my home worth in Litchfield County?

I get asked that question all the time, what IS my home worth? The usual response is, “I don’t know, I haven’t seen your home.” While that is true, many want some idea before I even get there.

Well, now you can have some idea. It’s instant, it’s free, there is no obligation to use this service. And from all indications so far, it works fairly well!

Please remember, it is not a substitute for a real market analysis done by a real estate professional. It is a start, something for you to think about. Any of these computer generated programs are not able to see inside your home, to see inside the homes any of the homes it is using to base the information on.

So go ahead and try it, you know you want to! Free, painless and easy. No obligation. I promise! Just enter your address and it will take you to a new page with the information you have been waiting for.

 

 

Looking for a Litchfield County Hidaway With a Pool?

Just 90 minutes from New York City and less than 10 minutes from Lake Waramaug, this home is the perfect weekend retreat from your busy city life. A modern, open style with 3 levels of living space makes living a breeze.

Main level:

  • Large eat in kitchen with sliders to the deck overlooking the back yard and pool.
  • Spacious living room with a focal point fireplace and sliders to the deck.
  • Bedroom or office
  • Half bath

Upper level:

  • Master suite with walk in closet and private bathroom
  • 2 large, light filled bedrooms
  • Second bathroom for bedrooms
  • Washer and Dryer

Lower level:

  • Media room
  • Large family room with sliders to pool
  • Full bathroom
  • Storage

The house has geothermal heating and air conditioning and is fully alarmed. There is an inground pool for you to enjoy.

2 Bear Lane is located in the Northville section of New Milford, in much desired Litchfield County. Check out the photos below, just click on them for a full color brochure. And give me a call to show you your new home, 203.460.1775.

 

Pricing a home to sell in New Milford CT

In other parts of the country the real estate market is doing much better than in Litchfield County, CT. Relying on real estate information that is not local specific can be the kiss of death.

new milford ct real estateHow do I price your home to sell in New Milford, CT?

There are a few things I have to consider when pricing a home to sell. I look at what is currently active on the market that will be the toughest competition for your home. Then I look at the similar homes that have recently taken a deposit to see if your home matches or beats those. Next are the homes in the pending sale category. They are waiting to close and are not being actively marketed as they are expected to sell.

The last category I research are those homes that have sold in the past few months. Because our current real estate activity is sluggish, I may have to look farther than the last 3 months, but when I am looking for past sales of homes that are comparable to yours I have to think about what the buyers appraiser will look at to figure out how much the house is worth. They have rules and regulations about how many months back they can look, how far away from the subject property sales are, and they must be similar.

  • A cape does not compare to a raised ranch.
  • A raised ranch does not compare to a colonial.
  • A ranch does not comp to a cape.
  • On and on.

I make it my business to know the New Milford CT real estate market.

Because I have seen many of the properties that have sold, that are currently on the market, that are under deposit and that have a pending sale, I know which are most like your  home. This is most important, an agent must understand the local real estate market in order to price a home to sell!

I consider location, condition of the home and the pulse of the current real estate market in New Milford, CT when pricing your home. One fact we still cannot escape in this current real estate market is the amount of money you owe on your home is irrelevant to the actual current market value.

You can check out the local competition for your New Milford CT home here.

Coming up  in this series, Selling a home in New Milford, CT. We have the price right, what’s next?

If you would like more information on what your New Milford, CT home is worth in today’s real estate market, give me a call at 203.460.1775. 

Mid Century Modern Home For Sale in Danbury CT

3 Dogwood Drive, Danbury, CT, true paradise for the mid century lover!

3 Dogwood Drive Danbury CTAre you a mid century modern lover like me? Then this home is calling your name. The very first time I went I was sure I saw Frank, Dean and the rest of the “Rat Pack” hanging out by the pool!

This home was carefully designed by its owner, with the help of architects who clearly understood both function and form, while staying true to the mid century era of living. This is just one of those homes that you won’t be able to forget!

A three bedroom, three full bath sprawling ranch, 3 Dogwood Drive has been meticulously maintained and well cared for. A spa like setting outside with mature plantings creates privacy and an oasis. Step out to the patio and sit by the kidney shaped gunite pool, imagine the parties and the fun you will have out here, from a poolside breakfast to a midnight swim.

The house was built to be lived in, to be loved and to be well used. A large family room with stone flooring and soaring ceilings has a wall of sliders that step out to the patio and pool area. The line between the outdoors and indoors is blurred as you sit inside and gaze over the pool. What a vacation, on a daily basis!

Mid century modern for sale Danbury CTThe sunken living room has a focal point fireplace and a wall of windows overlooking the front yard. Step up to the dining area, and you realize how easy it will be to entertain in this home. The dining area has sliders that open to the patio, bringing the outdoors in. Taking your entertaining from table side to pool side is just a matter of steps away.

The European style kitchen has tons of counter space and cabinets, perfect for cooking. Pocket doors allow you to close off the kitchen while entertaining. I love to sit with my guests after a meal, but don’t like them to see the dishes, and this is the perfect solution.

The master suite is tucked away at the opposite end of the house from the living areas, with access to the patio and pool area. I see morning and evening dips in the pools, coffee on the patio, a glass of wine at night while retreating to your sanctuary. A private office in the master suite, custom built in’s, a cedar closet and a truly spectacular bathroom add just the right touch to make this a perfect place to unwind, relax and rejuvenate.

I could go on and on about all the features 3 Dogwood Drive has to offer like the many closets for storage, beautiful fixtures in the bathrooms, heated floors, central air, the list is endless. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Please enjoy these photos of this wonderful and amazing mid century modern gem for sale in Danbury, CT. If  you like what you see and are dying to see more, give me a call at 203.460.1775 for a private showing.

Subdivision or neighborhood, what is it? New Milford, CT real estate talk

I set out, camera in hand, to get you some pictures of our subdivisions in New Milford, CT.

A funny thing happened, I realized my concept of a subdivision is not like what others around the country may have. Sure, we have them, a few even have a fancy sign, set in stone pillars as an example. Graceful entrances to a few of the newer ones. Yet the older, more established subdivisions have lost their signs, some of the residents probably don’t even realize what the subdivision was once called! Of course a trip to the town hall would tell you the name when the subdivision was created. But now they are just neighborhoods. Some smaller, some larger, and they are located all over town.

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What I found was… I couldn’t get pictures! Not of the homes anyway, not really. Many of them are well established with an acre or two of land. The homes are set back from the wide, tree lined streets and you just can’t get a good shot of the typical homes. (I don’t like to take pictures of homes unless I have a home listed, I wouldn’t want it of my own home so I don’t do it, sorry about that.)

After much thought I decided we have neighborhoods. If you tell us you want to live in a subdivision we will know what you mean. You want more of a neighborhood feel, homes that are not in more private locations. Each neighborhood offering home owners something special based on size, price, location in town. We have them all here. 

New Milford, CT is 64 square miles and rural. Which subdivision or neighborhood will suit you best often depends on where you work. If you want to get to New York State quickly, perhaps something along the New York border will work best for you, like Colonial Ridge off of Route 55. Colonial Ridge is a well established subdivision. With that comes more trees, more plantings, homes in varying stages of upgrades and therefore varying prices.

Or maybe you need quicker access to I84. We have a few options available in Southern New Milford. For larger, newer homes, Fieldstone Estates is still in progress of being built, the latest ones are on Reservoir Road.

For homes that are going to be less expensive, Meadowbrook or Pleasantview are both great options. Although there are no longer signs there to let you know the name, many people will still refer to them by name. The streets are wide, the neighborhoods are both well established, the homes vary in size and price, and of course style.

If you want a newer, larger home with all the bells and whistles, the larger 4-5 bedroom colonials in Fieldstone Estates or Farmstead Acres might just do the trick for you. Fieldstone Estates is in the southern part of town, and Farmstead Acres is on the cusp of Northville, just off Route 109 and Ridge Rd. Gorgeous homes, not fully built out but already well established. Very quite cul de sacs in both.

Perhaps Candlewood Lake is more to your liking? Homes in lake communities are just that, we do not refer to them as subdivisions. They are water communities with association fees. Some are now tax districts instead of associations. They do have rules and regulations and they are all different. The one thing they all have in common is Candlewood Lake! Many of these lake communities have been around almost as long as Candlewood Lake has been here. Again, all different prices, different styles, options for anyone that is looking for one thing above all others. Access to Candlewood Lake!

Depending on what your needs are there are many different areas, subdivisions, neighborhoods, even more rural lifestyle homes available in New Milford, CT. All prices, all sizes, homes with privacy, homes on cul de sacs, antiques, new construction and all in between. Let us know what is important to you and we are sure we can help you find your new home in New Milford, CT! Your choice will probably start with which section of town you want to be in, then price and size of the home will come into play for you. 

Search homes for sale in New Milford, CT. 

Home for sale in Washington CT with built in pool

Vintage colonial for sale in Washington, CT with a built in pool, currently offered for sale at $379,900.

114 Bee Brook Road, Washington Depot, CT. 06794

Wonderful built in pool set with Hidden Valley Nature Preserve as the backdrop.
Wonderful built in pool set with Hidden Valley Nature Preserve as the backdrop.

Here is the real estate deal of the week, a home with some choices!

The original section of the home has three bedrooms upstairs with a full bath, the addition has a legal accessory apartment with a small kitchen and full bath.  You can use the extra income from the rental to help with the mortgage payment,  turn the accessory apartment into a grand master suite,  it would even make a great home office, your choice!

Enter through the front door and you will be greeted with many original features that endear us to a vintage home, hardwood floors, built in’s, even glass doorknobs and a secret room! And of course a two car garage and a built in pool.

The parlor is in the front of the home with plenty of windows to let the light stream through. The kitchen is large with ample cabinet and counter space and has a breakfast bar. There is also an open area for the dining table. The kitchen opens to a family room surrounded by local pink granite.

Upstairs are the original three bedrooms in the home and a full bath. There is wall to wall carpeting in the bedrooms with hardwood floors under. And I promised you a secret room. One bedroom has a door to the attic. One one side is storage, the other is the “secret room”, a room perfect for a hideaway, for adventures of young and old alike!

An accessory apartment or a master suite? You can access the accessory apartment from stairs in the family room, or from the second entrance at the back of the home. The choice is yours, either rent and use the income to help pay the mortgage or renovate and make it a fantastic master suite! The apartment over looks the back yard and the built in pool.

There are mature gardens on all sides of the home, giving a splendid display of color. And of course your own gate into Hidden Valley Preserve and the many walking and hiking trails within. Hidden Valley Preserve is a 650 acre gem, with many walking and hiking trails including a wonderful walk on the old railroad bed along the Shepaug River. It is part of one of the oldest land trusts in Connecticut, Steep Rock Association.

Check out 114 Bee Brook Road, Washington Depot CT. A beautiful vintage colonial with a built in pool and an accessory apartment.

It might be a smokin’ hot price, but you still can’t afford it!

You see a house for sale in Southern Litchfield County, a smokin’ hot price, you are pre-approved by a lender, it’s in your price range… What do I mean you can’t afford it?

smokin hotIn a word (actually 2 words) Property taxes. Often times smokin’ hot real estate deals are homes that have been reduced significantly, but property taxes do not reduce as the price does. Those taxes need to be considered with your monthly payments, so this can knock the house right out of your affordable ball park.

Property tax is figured by the following: town assessment of the property times the mill rate divided by 1,000 = yearly property tax.

Towns and cities in Connecticut use what they have concluded, via their property assessments, 70% of their determination of fair market value. Do not confuse their number of “fair market value” for what is now fair market value according to the current real estate market! I always cringe when I hear anyone, especially a real estate agent, “the town says it is worth $XXX,XXX”. One has nothing to do with another!

What the town is saying is, on the date we revalued the property (and not through the same process a bank appraisal is done) they determined the house to be worth $XXX,XXX. Between revaluations, their fair market value price does not fluctuate, however the real estate market sure does. And their mill rate certainly can move up or down too depending on the yearly budget votes.

This can be especially true of distressed sales, or homes that have languished on the market for a long time!

Property tax amounts are something I always check for my buyers. That way, when a smokin’ hot deal comes along with property taxes that knock it out of the ballpark for them, I let them know. I have them contact their mortgage person and discuss what the high amount will do to their bottom line… the monthly payments. It can over-tip the scales so that a house that seems affordable based on list price becomes unbearable when it comes to monthly payments. On top of the mortgage payments and property tax there is also insurance to consider, and if there are any association fees at all that has to be factored into your monthly payments.

That house you found for sale may have a smokin’ hot price, but those monthly payments including taxes could be too hot for you to handle!

Interested in a home for sale in Southern Litchfield County? You can start your home search right here. But don’t forget to check those property tax amounts!

 

 

Bored? Want to find something very fun and cool to do?

One of “those days”. You want to find something different to do in Connecticut and  you just can’t find it.

Whadday mean there's nothing to do?
Whadday mean there’s nothing to do?

After perusing the local papers, scouring the net, wracking your brain and you still can’t come up with something different, I think I have some inspiration for you!

I ran across what I think is one of the coolest blogs I have seen in a long, long time. A guy named Steve goes all over Connecticut and shares his adventures with us. Some of you may have seen him on TV or the news, or even read about him. But he was new to me. His blog is called Connecticut Museum Quest.

A museum blog?

Well, not really, not only. It is so much more than that! Steve goes way beyond the 4 wall traditional museum, he also hikes, drives, finds out of the way places we all might miss because we are just too busy to stop. I found the site so interesting, and it gave me a years worth of ideas. Places to go, things to learn about, even places to eat! And his style of writing is so enticing, I hope you actually stop reading and get out to explore a bit.

If anyone is complaining there is nothing to do, get some inspiration from Steve and his Connecticut Museum Quest. It’s not like Connecticut is so big you can’t take a day trip, expand your horizons a bit. And if you prefer to stay close to home I bet he has some cool stuff right around the corner from you!

One special blog all about Connecticut.

This truly is one of those blogs that is just so special you can’t miss it. I had a great time reading and learning and will be passing this on to many people. Steve is an amazing ambassador for Connecticut and he does have some pretty great suggestions on things to do. After all, it only takes 2 hours to drive across Connecticut, I am sure you will put a great day trip together after reading his posts!

Enjoy Connecticut!

What can you get for under a million in Washington CT?

Our listing for sale in Washington Depot.
Our listing for sale in Washington Depot.

Washington, CT in Litchfield County has some amazing homes, but what can you get for under a million dollars? With the shift in the real estate market there is plenty to be had. For under a million you can get in to Washington and make the changes you want, not what someone else decided you would like.

Check out the homes for sale for under a million in Washington CT 

Of course there are some very spectacular homes over a million in Washington, CT for sale. Just change the parameters after you click the link above and find your dream home! Listings are updated almost instantly, you will have the most up to date list of homes for sale in Washington.

Why Washington? It is beautiful, and a decent drive from New York City(about 90 minutes) making it very do-able for a second home in Litchfield County. Property taxes are phenomenal when compared to homes in Fairfield County in Connecticut or New York State.

What’s to do in Washington, CT? First, take in the beauty of the Litchfield Hills. Farms, forests, rolling hillsides. We have large nature preserves perfect for walking or hiking, or even cross country skiing in the winter months. There is Lake Waramaug, which is possibly one of the most beautiful lakes in all of Connecticut. And of course restaurants, boutique shopping, antique stores, all set in the serene countryside.

A few quick facts about Washington, CT.

  • Population 2011: 3,594
  • Households 2011: 1,548
  • Median Household Income 2011: $66,016
  • Square Miles: 48

For full time residents who have school aged children, Washington, CT is part of Regional School District 12. Children attend the Washington Primary School and Shepaug Valley Middle and High School (both in Washington). Washington also is home to 4 private schools, Washington Montessori School, The Gunnery, Rumsey Hal School and Devereux Glenholme School.

For a bit more detailed information about Washington, CT (including Washington, Washington Depot, New Preston and Marbledale) check out Washington CT through the eyes of a lifelong resident.

For more information about the fine homes of Washington, CT for sale in Litchfield County, give the SPA Team a call at 860.946.0686. We would love to show you around!

In the meantime, enjoy a slideshow of Lake Waramaug!

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Is the New Milford CT Real Estate Market getting better or not?

Three bedroom home for sale in New Milford CT
Three bedroom home for sale in New Milford CT

It is so hard to listen to national news about the “hot” real estate market others are experiencing across the country and wonder if it is happening here in New Milford, CT. It is a complex answer as you can see below. Did we hit bottom and are now on the way up? Is it a sellers market in New Milford? . We are on track to have the best month in number of sales for 2013, if things continue to go as they have so far. I don’t believe the total number of sales will be jaw dropping, but any improvement is good. There are a few more days for homes to close in May, I will have to be patient to get the final numbers.

The success of the real estate market is tied to many other things,  the employment rates in the state, the proximity of jobs available to New Milford, confidence in the housing market, good rates and a lower housing inventory. Connecticut again posted a rate higher than the national unemployment averages which needs to come down in order for the real estate market to feel more positive effects.

The unemployment rate in Connecticut has been at 8.0 for the last three months, the national average for April posted at 7.5. When we hear that the real estate market in our neighboring state of Massachusetts is really heating up you must look at their unemployment rate, which was last posted at 6.4%, where it has been for a while. This means more people in Massachusetts are working and can afford to purchase homes. They have more jobs,  a shrinking pool of homes available for sale which creates the perfect storm. I must qualify that statement, I know that the Metro Boston area is doing very well in the housing market, I don’t know how the rest of the state is doing. The metro area seems to be on fire!

A new problem for New Milford CT seems to be an abundance of short sales.

Our inventory is still down, which is a great thing for sellers. Although for buyers looking up to $300,000 it is slim pickins, and much of those are short sales, a full 10% of the active single family homes for sale in New Milford are now short sales.

What impact does this have on a seller? If you are not in a short sale position and you price your home correctly according to condition and location, you should find that you will have lots of showings and hopefully an offer fairly quickly. I will warn you that overpricing can cause issues, especially when it comes time for the buyer to do an appraisal.

If you are a seller in a short sale position, it will take longer to sell, however with the inventory shrinking you just may procure that much needed offer. It is imperative that you are prepared to work with your agent, attorney and lender to get the ball rolling as quickly as possible once an offer does come in! Some short sales can be pre approved prior to going on the market, if you would like to know if that is your situation, give us a call at 860.946.0686 to further discuss the matter.

34 homes are under deposit. of these, the majority (15 homes) are in the $200,000-$300,000 price range. Again, this seems to be our hottest market right now. Of the homes that are under deposit, 4 are short sales and 2 are foreclosures.

40 homes are listed as sale pending. This means contracts are signed and most contingencies have been met. 15 of these homes are short sales which translates to 37.5%. That is very, very high. These short sales will sit in the pending sale status for far longer than a traditional sale making it very hard to judge what is going to happen. 3 homes that are pending sale are foreclosures.

Buying a home in New Milford, CT can be tight for anything under $300,000. First time home buyers can get very frustrated, many of the homes they are looking at are short sales that may need work, and very importantly, time to wait for the short sale to be approved by the lender. Homes that are priced well and are not short sales are moving very, very quickly. Often with multiple offers on them. This means you must be FULLY prepared when looking for a home.

  • Pre qualified, or better yet, pre approved (if possible)
  • Ready to run out and look at a moments notice
  • Be prepared to decide quickly to put an offer in or move on
  • Remember, in this lower price range it is NOT a buyers market, do not play around with low ball offers

What we are seeing is in a multiple offer situation, sellers are choosing buyers that are NOT using 100% financing. This does not mean there isn’t hope if you are using a product that is 100% financing, but you must be+ aware you may have to move on until you find someone that is not afraid of 100% financing. The housing market in New Milford is not sliding backwards and this is good news. It is fragile, and those who are selling or buying should know what the latest market conditions are.

Keeping you updated on the housing market in New Milford, CT.

We post detailed monthly market reports. Fill out the form below to get your monthly copy of our New Milford CT real estate market report. We do not sell email addresses, and will not use it for any other purpose than to notify you when the latest market report is ready.

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