This is so true, especially for real estate!

Jack Welch Quote

When the real estate bubble “burst” in 2007, the market as we knew it completely changed. But then, in typical post-bubble-bursting fashion, the market started to recover in 2012.

Since 2012, two things have become very apparent to me…

First, like never before, location has become even more important. Certainly the expression location, location, location has been around for some time and location as a value criterion has always been important.

That said, after the 2012 rebound started, I noticed that, while many properties have fully recovered in their asking price value, those properties in challenged locations did not rebound as fast nor did they ever return to their pre-bubble value. Buyers are no longer willing to compromise on location the way they once did.

The second thing I have noticed since that time is that buyers want to feel like they are getting a value.

For the longest time, especially in the area of the country in which I work, it had been a sellers’ market. In the pre-2007 market dynamics, sellers could make the most terrific demands and buyers had no choice but to meet them if they wanted a particular house. Buyers understood that, even if they didn’t want to meet the demands, there was always a buyer right behind them who would. Buyers didn’t like it, but what choice did they have?

After the bubble burst, buyers got to take a turn in the driver’s seat and they were responsible for determining the value proposition of a deal.  All of a sudden, they got a taste for what it’s like to call the shots on a deal and trust me, they liked it! Who could blame them.

Now that we are in post bubble equilibrium, that is one aspect of real estate that buyers are not willing to cede to sellers. Sure, sellers are able to ask for more money for their properties than they were able to ask from 2007 to 2012 and they are likely to get it. BUT, they will only get it if their home offers a good value for that higher price.

Buyers are no longer willing to settle for less-than-perfect houses that are priced like perfect houses. They are not willing to pay when they do not obviously see the value. Buyers simply will not buy when their value ideals are not met.

So, when I read the above quote by Jack Welch, the retired CEO of General Electric, all I could say was, true that!

Welcome to the Value Decade!

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What is my new fascination with orange front doors?!?

I could not sleep today. I woke up at 3am and just couldn’t go back to sleep. When I got out of bed, it was so early, my dog didn’t even get up with me…he opted to sleep another hour and a half before rising to beg for breakfast :-)

In any event, I padded out to the kitchen to do what I always do when I can’t sleep…I trawled through Pinterest to look at pretty pictures of stuff that I have absolutely no use for but still want nonetheless.

When I do get to have a moment on Pinterest these days (unfortunately those moments are few and far between), I find myself absolutely drawn to orange front doors.

Orange front doors?

I don’t really consider myself an “orange” type of gal, but for whatever reason, orange seems to be flipping my switch these days.

I saw this picture and I really liked the door. The whole door…the color, the hardware, and especially the trimwork. The rest of the entryway is a bit busy for me, but that door is just a standout feature.

Take a look…

Orange Door

So bright and cheery, right?!?

You can look at many other pretty front door colors I have featured




herehereherehere & here


Image: Style at Home



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Well said…

Maya Angelou QUote

Image: Finding Home


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When low mortgage rates are bad

low mortgage ratesI recently read an article on AOL Real Estate that asserted all the refinancing of the past year or two is causing a shortage of houses for sale.

It totally makes sense to me.

First, as a Realtor, I have felt the shortage of inventory! I feel like I have nothing to offer some of my clients.

Second, my husband and I refi-ed ourselves last year to a nice, low rate of 3.5%. I remember saying at the time that it seemed like the money was almost free!

We need a bigger home and we continually wrestle with adding on or moving. I am the proponent of moving and my husband is the proponent of adding on.

I have to say, the one argument he makes that always stops me dead in my in tracks is that our carrying costs on our current house are so low, why would we ever contemplate giving that up.

He gets me with that one every time. I never have a response.

According to the AOL article:

Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, estimates that as many as 3.6 million homeowners are unlikely to sell this year because they would have to give up a lower rate.

Seems we’re not the only ones grappling with this.

You can read the entire AOL article here.

Image: Newsday
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Sunday snooping time! They paid how much for that house?!?

Here are the local property transfers…happy snooping!

I am including as a source for property transfers (by town). Originally I did not want to use this as a source because the pages don’t always load properly. I use a Macbook Air and my preferred browser is Chrome and unfortunately the way the real estate sales are coded, the pages appear blank on my computer. If I want to see the pages, I have to switch browsers to Safari. If you pull up the pages and nothing appears, switching browsers may do the trick. Good luck and happy snooping!









The Master ListDarien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Norwalk, Redding, Ridgefield, Stamford, Westport, Wilton

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Little things that make a BIG difference – Pillow “Punching”

punched pillowsYesterday, I took a client to see a house that had just come on the market.

It was a stunner! Decorated perfectly. It was gorgeous, but looked comfortable and real. Sometimes when you view a beautifully decorated home, you can tell that the owners couldn’t possibly live comfortably in the environment and that the house was probably staged or recently visited by a decorator. It’s sort of like when you see celebrities homes online, they always look so perfect but so impersonal and, quite frankly, uncomfortable.

This house was different, it was beautiful AND it looked like the current owner uses and enjoys it (I don’t think there were any children still in the residence, which explains a lot :-) ).

My client kept walking through and saying, “This is exactly how I want to live. This is beautiful and I could just move right in.”

Mission accomplished by that owner. The perfect balance of staging and reality!

My eight-year-old son had to come with me to show the house as no babysitting was available. He usually just sits on a couch and plays video games on the iPad. Luckily my client is very sweet and doesn’t mind.

What struck me was the comment HE made about the house…

Having dinner that night, when asked if he thought the house was nice, he responded without hesitation, “Yes. Their pillows looked really good.”

The pillows?!?

Of all the beautiful things in that house, the pillows?!?

When I asked him what about them looked good, he said that they were all lined up in the right spots and they were “punched” down in the middle.

For perspective, at our house, pillows are NEVER in “the right” spot on the couches and they are NEVER decoratively “punched down” in the middle. With a boy and a dog, I am lucky if they even stay on the couches themselves!

In any event, if a small touch like a “punched pillow” is noticed by an eight-year-old boy, then it must be a worthy decorating endeavor!

If your house is on the market, check out your pillows. Could a karate chop down the middle right before a showing make your room look better? Maybe!

Image: Lady of the House Interiors


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Weekly Home Sales Snapshot – 7/11/14



Source: Greater Fairfield County CMLS,  HOUSES Sold = Single Family, Multi-Family, Condo/Co-Op


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Is Residential Real Estate Really a ‘Crapshoot’?

Please note:

I NEVER copy posts from someone else and just post them verbatim.

First, it’s just not cool to use someone else’s hard work. Second, if you want to read something why read my copy, just go and read the real thing. Third, I am such a Debbie Do-Good, I am completely paranoid about being sued for using someone else’s content.

BUT, this is the first time I am doing so because I felt the article was so well written and makes such a wonderful point there was nothing I was going to add to change or add to improve it. Since I could not improve upon perfection, I am re-posting verbatim.

If you would like to read the original article at Keeping Current Matters, the original source, please find it here.



Is Residential Real Estate Really a ‘Crapshoot’?

by  on July 9, 2014

Is Residential Real Estate Really a 'Crapshoot'? | Keeping Current Matters

Our founder, Steve Harney, occasionally asks to do a personal post on what he sees as important to our industry. Today is one of those days. Enjoy! – The KCM Crew

That is what a headline announced in a CNNMoney post Monday. They were quoting Karl Case “an economist whose name is synonymous with home prices. He is co-creator of the much watched S&P/Case-Shiller home price indexes with Bob Shiller, who won the Nobel Prize in economics last year.”

Case did explain that the commonly held belief that housing prices could ‘never’ depreciate was corrected over the last decade. And it is true that Case referenced a home he bought during that time had lost almost half its value.

However, there were other comments attributed to Case in the article:

  • He bought one home at $54,000 which he later sold for over four times that amount ($240,000)
  • Another home he purchased for $375,000 is now worth a million dollars.

He bet on three houses; one lost 50%, one gained over 400% and the other gained approximately 300%. Sounds like great odds to me.

Give me the dice and get out of my way.

Last week, John Maxfield, in a The Motley Fool blog post, wrote:

“Over the past year, [home prices] are up by 8.9%. Over the past two years, they’re up by 19.7%. Over the past three years, they’re up by 23%. And there’s little evidence that this trend is coming to an end anytime soon…

[It] should be obvious why now is such an opportunistic time to buy a house. Of course, if you want to wait, that’s up to you. But doing so could very well be a source of regret later on down the road.”

Give me the dice and get out of my way.

If buying residential real estate is actually a crapshoot (as the headline claimed), it seems the odds are in the shooter’s hand.

PLEASE give me the dice and get out of my way. I really want to roll.


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A perfect front door color for the summer

I saw this front door this morning and just had to share…

Perfect for summer.


summer door


You can look at many other pretty front door colors I have featured




hereherehere & here


Image: Pinterest/Centsational Girl




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Rental property window treatments – One Realtor’s Opinion

rental w:wo blinds

I have been showing a lot of rental homes lately and I mean A LOT!

For some reason many of them have been vacant when I’ve shown them. Vacant rental properties are both good and bad.

Good because they look nice and roomy and you don’t have to overlook a current tenant’s “style” of decoration…or lack thereof!

Bad because they are spartan and can seem emotionally cold and sad.

One thing I have noticed about vacant rental properties is that some of them have window treatments and some don’t.

The more and more rentals I show, the more I am coming to the conclusion that no window treatments in vacant rental homes is better than having window treatments.

First of all, having no window treatments allows all the light to come in making the rental seem brighter. That’s always a plus.

Second, what makes for a snazzy window treatment is COMPLETELY subjective. When it comes to subjective decorating elements, the less (or none) the better in a rental.

As a landlord, I never put window treatments in my properties because I’ve always wanted to give my tenants their own choice. I have found, over the years of being a landlord, that my tenants like very diverse window coverings and anything I would have chosen probably would not have worked with their decor.

A rental property must appeal to a wide variety of people and renters are not nearly as emotionally invested in a home as someone who is buying it for themselves. Making a rental property seem a bit more “vanilla” is probably better.

Don’t put window treatments in vacant rental properties…one Realtor’s opinion.

Image: Little Victorian
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